Shute Shield: Round 14 Wrap Up
Photo: AJF Photography
The race for a spot in the 2017 Shute Shield finals is well and truly alive following a number of surprising results in round 14.
Southern Districts 37-33 Northern Suburbs
Southern Districts held on to claim a tight 37-33 win over Northern Suburbs after taking their foot off the pedal late in the match.
The Rebels were brilliant in the opening 60 minutes and led 37-12 halfway through the second half, but a desperate Norths side refused to go away and scored three unanswered converted tries in the final 15 minutes to set up a grand stand finish.
Attacking against 14 men, Norths had a chance to steal an unlikely victory but the Rebels defence held strong.
The win sees Souths jump to fourth spot, while Norths remain sixth with just one win from their last eight matches.
Sydney Uni 30-30 Manly
Sydney Uni have kept their finals hopes alive with a 30-30 draw against Manly at University Oval.
Following a seesawing opening 60 minutes, the Students scored two tries in two minutes while Manly had a player in the bin to claim a 30-23 lead in the 73rd minute.
With three minutes remaining, Manly stole a lineout deep inside Sydney Uni territory and spread the ball to centre Dennis Pili Gaitau who split the Uni defence and scored next to the posts to level the scores.
While Sydney Uni are still seventh, the Students are now just four points shy of a spot in the top six heading into crucial games against Warringah and Eastwood.
Randwick 32-14 Eastwood
Randwick have handed Eastwood their third straight loss, beating the Woodies 32-14 at TG Millner.
After leading 10-7 at the break, the Randwick outside backs took control of the match with Latu Latunipulu and Tom Collins both finishing off impressive tries to give their side a 25-7 lead.
Eastwood pounced while Randwick had a player in the bin to give their fans hope of a comeback, but that was short lived with Ed Kennedy barging over from close range to seal the bonus point win.
Heading into matches against Parramatta, Gordon and West Harbour, a consistent few weeks of rugby will see Randwick secure a top three finish, while Eastwood are now fifth, just five points ahead of Sydney Uni in seventh.
Warringah 45-18 Eastern Suburbs
Warringah have continued their impressive run of form, scoring seven tries in a convincing 45-18 bonus point win over Easts.
A hat trick to Josh Holmes and a double to Michael Adams proved the difference as the Rats moved within two wins of competition leaders Manly and ended the Beasties slim finals hopes.
Warringah now haven’t lost a match since round seven in early May.
Parramatta 33-28 Penrith
Parramatta scored a late try to break the hearts of the Penrith Emus and claim their third win of the season.
In a seesawing battle, the Emus forward produced their best performance of the season and dominated at scrum time in the first half.
The home side took the lead thanks to a try to winger Niko Dalivusa and a penalty goal to James Faiva but they weren’t able to hold out the Parramatta attack in the closing stages.
West Harbour 29-25 Gordon
Gordon’s finals hopes have suffered a blow following a 29-25 loss to West Harbour at Concord Oval.
The Highlanders led for the majority of the match but West Harbour were able to answer every time Gordon pushed ahead and the home side eventually took the lead through replacement forward Faiva Sailosi.
The four-point win is the Pirates third straight victory and keeps their finals hopes alive. Gordon and West Harbour are eight and ninth respectively and will both likely need to win their remaining four matches to book a spot in the finals.