Shute Shield Round 15: Eastwood and Uni impress, Manly defend their way into top six
Sydney Uni and Eastwood both flexed their muscles in round 15, while Manly defended brilliantly to give their finals hopes a huge boost.
Catch up on all the action from another fantastic weekend of Shute Shield rugby.
Photo: Serge Gonzalez
Sydney Uni 22-12 Eastern Suburbs
Two tries to Waratahs No.9 Jake Gordon proved the difference for Sydney Uni as they moved a step closer to a top three finish after a 22-12 win over Easts at Woollahra.
Gordon scored twice in the first half, before Rohan O’Regan added the Students third try to give the visitors a 19-0 lead.
Easts scored twice in the second half to add some respectability to the scoreboard and stopped Uni from scoring a fourth try and picking up what could be an all important bonus point in the coming weeks.
Despite the win, Uni remain in fourth spot while Easts are now a point behind Gordon in sixth place.
Manly 30-19 Southern Districts
An understrength Manly side defended like their season depended on it in the second half to hold out a fast finishing Southern Districts side and jump back into the top six.
Playing with a huge breeze behind them, the Marlins jumped away to an 18-0 lead at half time after dominating territory and possession.
Souths hit back just after the break through lock James Hasson and scored back to back tries midway through the second half to reduce the deficit to six points.
The Rebels attacked Manly’s line for what seemed like an eternity but couldn’t find a way through.
Souths then bombed a try with three men standing unmarked and Manly capitalised. The Marlins moved the ball down the other end and scored through Dennis Pili-Gaitau to seal an important bonus point win and end the Rebels’ finals hopes.
Eastwood 39-24 Gordon
Eastwood kept their minor premiership hopes alive with an impressive 39-24 win over Gordon at TG Millner but will be sweating on the fitness of gun flyhalf Tayler Adams after he injured his ankle.
Leading 18-10 after a tight first half, Eastwood kicked up a gear in the second stanza and scored through centres Barton Picone and Nox Muliufi to claim a 22 point lead.
Gordon hit back through winger Lagi Setu to give their travelling fans some hope, but an intercept try to Michael Icely sealed the result for the Woodies.
Gordon weren’t able to pick up a four try bonus point but remain in sixth ahead of tough clashes against Norths and Easts.
Eastwood are second but have one of the easier roads to the playoffs of the four teams battling for the minor premiership.
Warringah 57-29 West Harbour
Warringah held on to top spot on the Shute Shield ladder following a bonus point win over West Harbour but the home side didn’t have things all their own way at Rat Park.
West Harbour were brilliant early and led 17-7 following tries to Noah Cooper and Josh Redfern.
The Rats worked their way into the match, then put their foot down in the second half after taking the lead and ran in six unanswered tries to give their for and against a boost.
Noah Cooper scored a second for the Pirates but it was another match that got away from West Harbour.
Despite that, their first half form is proof that the Pirates may still play a major role in the coming weeks as teams battle to secure finals spots.
Randwick 26-13 Western Sydney
Randwick scored two late tries to beat Western Sydney at Lidcombe and keep their slim playoff hopes alive.
The Two Blues led 13-12 following a try to Hayden Cole and two penalty goals to flyhalf Dom Graham but couldn’t match the Wicks in the closing stages.
Winger Josh Gordon scored to give Randwick the lead, before Harrison Goddard crossed to seal the result after starting the match on the bench.
Randwick have a bye in round 17 and will need to beat Easts and Norths in their final two matches and rely on Easts and Gordon to lose two of their last three matches to be a chance of playing finals footy.