Warringah v Northern Suburbs: Key Match-ups

There are a handful of intriguing individual battles right across the park in tomorrow’s Shute Shield grand final between Warringah and Norths and a standout performance by someone in a key position could be the difference come 4:45pm tomorrow.

Here are a few key match ups to keep an eye on:

Josh Holmes v Nick Duffy

It’s a case of the Master vs the Apprentice at the base of the scrum. We all know how dangerous 30-year old Josh Holmes is, but 21-year old former Australian schoolboys No.9 Nick Duffy has been just as impressive in his first year in the top grade. Duffy will need to watch Holmes like a hawk around the park, as the Warringah halfback looks to spark his side’s attack.

Sam Ward v Michael Wells

Aggression has been a key component in both Warringah and Norths’ finals campaigns so far and backrowers Sam Ward and Michael Wells have played a big part it that. Both strong defenders, Ward and Wells will need to bend the defensive line in attack to help their side win quick ball so they can unleash the quick blokes out wide.

Hamish Angus v Angus Sinclair

If as expected, Hamish Angus recovers from injury and starts for Warringah tomorrow, he’ll line up directly against Sydney Rays teammate Angus Sinclair. Both playmakers will need to be solid in defence, confident and clear in attack and accurate with the boot, in play and from the tee.

Rory O’Connor & Sam Needs v Ezra Luxton & Lawrence Hunting

The big men in the front row don’t often get the recognition they deserve, but they’ll play a crucial role at set piece time. Warringah’s scrum improved last weekend against Manly and earned a critical penalty try in the second half. It’s a weapon the Rats will be eager to use again and if Norths can’t hold their own, it could make things tough for the reigning premiers.

Tom Connor v Will Miller

On his day, Norths No.7 Will Miller is the most dominant player in the competition and if Warringah are going to win tomorrow afternoon, they will need to nullify his impact at the breakdown. Rats No.7 Tom Connor will need to be everywhere and the first to almost every breakdown to stop Miller swinging momentum in the Shoreman’s favour.

Harry Jones v Richard Woolf

The competition’s two most electric wingers will mark one another in an intriguing battle out wide. Between them, Jones and Woolf have scored a handful of the most exciting tries this season. While it’s going to be tight and tough up front, the match could be won out wide if either Jones or Woolf has an afternoon to remember.