The Wash-Up: Shute Shield Final – Manly v Eastwood

by Paul Cook - ********************** THE WARM-UP: ********************** The only decider to pit the best two teams in their relevant competition across the season was the Shute Shield. Manly and Eastwood had fought tooth and nail for top spot with the Marlins finally defending their Minor Premiership by a mere three points off the back of one less defeat than the Woodies. A form guide between the two was hard to get a read on, with both having smashed the other in their regular season clashes – Manly by 41-18 in round nine and Eastwood returning serve 43-16 in round 13. Manly’s impressive dispatching of Sydney University the week before had earned them their first appearance on the final day since 1997, when, ironically, the team they beat to lift their last Shute Shield title was Eastwood. The challenge for them was to ensure that the breaking of that particular hoodoo wasn’t sufficient reward in itself. For the Woodies, their defeat of Souths in the semi-final was another st
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