Shute Shield: Round 16 Wrap Up & Finals Update
Photo: Adam McDonald
More than 7000 fans turned up at Rat Park to watch Manly outlast Warringah in another classic derby, while Sydney Uni and West Harbour kept their finals hopes alive win important wins in round 16.
Manly 36-26 Warringah
Manly look destined to claim the Shute Shield minor premiership after claiming an important 35-26 victory over Warringah in front of a packed house at Rat Park.
Warringah were impressive early and led 14-0 following tries to Josh Holmes and Seb Wileman but Manly fought back and trailed by just seven at the break.
A Cam Bailey intercept try swung momentum in Manly’s favour in the second half and the Marlins took the lead while centre Denis Pili Gaitau was in the sin bin.
Dave Feltscheer crossed to give Warringah fans hope of extending their unbeaten run to nine rounds, but the Manly forwards had other ideas and dominated at scrum time to seal the result with a penalty try.
Manly can seal the minor premiership and top spot with a win over Penrith next weekend, while Warringah drop to third spot and must travel south across Sydney to face Southern Districts next weekend.
Sydney Uni 32-22 Eastwood
Sydney Uni have scored 20 unanswered points in the final 30 minutes to claim a 32-22 bonus point win over Eastwood and keep their final hopes alive.
The Woodies scored twice in the opening 15 minutes to take a 12-0 lead before the Students hit back and levelled the scores after two intercepts to debutant Guy Porter.
Eastwood pushed further ahead with a penalty goal and a try from a driving maul on either side of the half time break but from there, it was all the Students.
Nick Phipps crossed from close range to reduce the deficit before Christian Kagiassis kicked the home side into the lead with three penalty goals to give Uni a three point advantage in the 72nd minute.
With their season on the line, the Sydney Uni forwards crossed from close range with two minutes remaining to seal the win and what could be an all important four try bonus point.
The Students remain in seventh spot, five competition points below Eastwood and face Gordon and Parramatta in the final two rounds. The sixth placed Woodies take on Norths in an important clash for both sides before hosting Penrith in the final round.
Randwick 43-28 Gordon
Randwick edged closer to a top three finish with a 43-28 bonus point win over Gordon at Chatwood Oval.
Winger Latu Latunipulu picked up a double as the Galloping Greens crossed for seven tries and leapfrogged Warringah into second spot.
Gordon winger Paula Balekana grabbed a double to extend his lead as the competition’s leading try scorer, but the home side couldn’t stop Randwick’s attack, despite picking up a four try bonus point.
Randwick face West Harbour and Southern Districts in the final two rounds and may still need two victories to ensure a home semi final in week one. Gordon finish the year with clashes against Uni and Easts.
Northern Suburbs 70-21 Parramatta
Norths claimed back to back wins for the first time since round six this year, beating Parramatta 70-21 at Merrylands.
The reigning premiers were back to their attacking best in an impressive 10 try performance, with English import Augey Slowik and Will Miller both bagging doubles.
Parramatta made things tough for themselves with three yellow cards on an afternoon they’d like to forget.
The Shoreman remain in fifth place after the win, three points below fourth placed Souths and three points above sixth placed Eastwood, who they play next week ahead of a final round showdown with Warringah.
One win in the next fortnight will be enough to secure a finals spot, while two wins may see Norths jump into fourth spot if other results go their way.
Parramatta play Easts and Uni in their final two matches.
West Harbour 37- 25 Eastern Suburbs
West Harbour kept their slim finals hopes alive with a 37-25 win over Eastern Suburbs.
The Pirates dominated early and led 27-3 before Easts woke up and scored four answered tries to reduce the gap to just two points.
Taylor Adams kicked a penalty goal to extend the Pirates lead before the visitors scored a late try to secure a 12 point win.
While the Pirates finals hopes are alive, it’s not going to be easy. West Harbour must claim maximum points against both Randwick and Manly in the final two rounds and hope other results go their way.
Easts are playing for pride but finish the year with two winnable matches against Parramatta and Gordon.
Southern Districts 76-12 Penrith
Southern Districts claimed their seventh consecutive win, beating Penrith 76-12 at Forshaw.
The Rebels scored 12 tries including doubles to winger Alex Gibbon and reserve halfback Eli Pilz.
While they may be the form team of the competition at the moment, Souths have arguably the toughest end to the season of any side, with matches against Warringah at home and Randwick away in the coming fortnight.
Saturday’s win confirmed the Rebels finals spot, however their is still a lot to play for. Two wins should see Souths jump into the top three and claim a home semi final. Anything less and the Rebels could drop as low as sixth.
Penrith take on Manly and Eastwood in the final two rounds.
Shute Shield Round 16 Results
Warringah 26 (Tries: J. Holmes, S. Wileman, H. Angus, D. Feltscheer; Cons: H, Angus 3; Yellow Card: Joe Dakuitoga) defeated by Manly 35 (Tries: D. Pili-Gaitau, A. Hall, S. Shires, C. Bailey, Penalty Try; Cons: S. Lane 4; Yellow Card: D. Pili-Gaitau)
Gordon 28 (Tries: T. Gukibau, P. Balekana 2, M Hundt; Cons: P. Toeta 4) defeated by Randwick 43 (Tries: J. Armstrong, A. Freier, L. Latunipulu 2, T. Collins, T. Goodbody, J. Harris; Cons: A. Deegan 4)
Parramatta 21 (Tries: R. Duff, H. Cole, A. Cox; Cons: H. Cole 2, L. Tully; Yellow Cards: N. Vaifale, J. Leatigaga, N. Blacklock) defeated by Northern Suburbs 70 (Tries: H. Burey, L. Creagh, N. Duffy, M. Wells, A. Slowik 2, W. Miller 2, R. Woolf, A. Sinclair; G. Bautz; Cons: A. Sinclair 5, J. Kay; Pen Cons: A. Sinclair)
Sydney University 32 (Tries: G. Porter, G. Jeloudev, N. Phipps, N. Champion de Crespigny; Cons: C. Kagiassis 3; Pen Cons: C. Kagiassis 2) defeated Eastwood 22 (Tries: J. Starks, M. Kovacic, H. Roach; Cons: T. Hill 2; Pen Cons: T. Hill)
Southern Districts 76 (Tries: A. Ryan, V. Ma’umalanga, R. Saifoloi, B. Connolly, A. Gibbon 2, D. Roos, M. Carbone, E. Pilz 2, C. Nay, V. Fifita; Cons: R. Saifoloi 8) defeated Penrith 12 (Tries: A. Masina, J. Faoagali; Cons: J. Faiva; Yellow Card: N. Dalivusa)
Eastern Suburbs 25 (Tries: S. Longwell, N. Yeomans, T. Merrit, S. Stitcher; Cons: J. Maddocks; Pen Cons: A King) defeated by West Harbour 37 (Tries: G. Kolomalu, K. Drury-Hawkins 2, T. Mua, B. Cotton; Cons: T. Adams 3; Pen Cons: T. Adams 2)