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By NSW Waratahs Media unit
Saturday, August 12th
Manly (1st) vs Eastwood (6th) – Manly Oval, 3:10 pm
Minor Premiers, Manly host 6th place Eastwood who are out to confirm they are serious premiership contenders in the first week of the Shute Shield Finals. The Village green is expected to be packed out to watch the premiership favourites play against an experienced Eastwood side.
Eastwood travel to Manly on the back of a strong performance against Penrith and are no strangers to a finals series. Woodies Skipper Jed Gillespie believes it will be his sides familiarity with finals football that will give them the advantage over the competition leaders.
“We do have finals experience,” he said. “The last 5 or 6 years we have been up there and we’ve played Manly and the big boys in the finals and a lot of the time we have come out on top.”
Manly are back at home after a loss against the in-form West Harbour Pirates in a high scoring battle. Manly Captain Adrian Hall insists that his side needs to bring more energy to the field and to put in a good performance on the weekend.
“We really need to front up with our energy again and put in a good performance to go one step further,” Hall said.
With Woodies playing for their survival and the Marlins playing to consolidate a home semi-final, this should be a great contest with two huge forwards packs going at it for 80 minutes. Both teams have similar backlines with dominant ball running centres in the midfield and speedy outside backs.
You can catch all the action live on Channel 7TWO at 3:00pm on Saturday 12th of August
Sio Tatola/ Mitch Lewis
Alex Westgarth/Gunnz Fuavao
Sam Shires/Kotoni Ale
Jacob Woodhouse/Cam Bailey
Josh Turner/ Jacob Woodhouse
Warringah (3rd) vs Randwick (4th) – Pittwater Rugby Park, 3:00 pm
Both Warringah and Randwick will be aiming to take the other finals results out of the equation with a win at Rat Park on Saturday afternoon. A loss to either Southern Districts or Manly will see the loser at Rat Park knocked out of the competition.
Warringah are coming into the finals after a very tough few weeks with losses to Manly and Southern Districts, but have come back with a strong victory against Norths last weekend leading into the finals. Warringah’s tough run will have them prepared for finals footy in front of a large home crowd.
Randwick have been defeated in the last two weeks against the two in-form teams of the competition, West Harbour and Southern Districts. These tough games will also have them primed for finals footy at a packed Rat Park.
The last time these teams faced the Rats beat the Galloping Greens at Coogee Oval 30-29, a great sign for what is come this Saturday, with both teams playing to secure themselves a spot in the top 4.
The introduction of Stephen Hoiles adds a lot of experience to the Randwick line-up especially the backrow who will have the tough task of containing a very talented Warringah backrow.
This game will be fast-paced and very entertaining so get down to Pittwater Rugby Park for a great day of Shute Shield Finals, with the main event kicking off at 3:00pm.
Sunday August 13
Southern Districts (2nd) vs Northern Suburbs (5th) – Forshaw Rugby Park, 3:10 pm
The in-form Southern Districts host last-years premiers Norths at Forshaw Rugby park in the final game of the round.
It is do or die for Norths who need to win to keep their hopes of a back to back premiership alive. Souths are playing to confirm and consolidate themselves at premiership contenders and a playing to host a semi-final at the fortress at Forshaw.
Southern Districts are coming into the finals with 8 wins in a row including victories over competition leaders Manly and most recently a great win over Randwick at Coogee Oval.
Norths are coming off a tough loss against Warringah and will be looking to keep their season alive at Forshaw. Last time these teams faced Souths got the spoils with a hardfought 37-33 victory over Norths.
The Rebels forwards put in a dominant display against Randwick last week with a very dominant scrum. Norths will need to challenge the Rebels upfront especially containing Waratahs player Jed Holloway, they should be very capable with both Hugh Sinclair and Will Miller in the side.
Catch all the action live on Channel 7TWO at 3:00pm on Sunday the 13th of August
Luke Smart/Denny Godinet
After 18 rounds of competition, the Top Six teams for the Shute Shield final series have been decided.
Manly, who finished as minor premiers, take on sixth placed Eastwood at Manly Oval at 3:10pm while third placed Warringah will host Randwick at Rat Park with both games being played on Saturday.
Current premiers Norths will travel to Forshaw Park to play Souths on Sunday.
The two lowest ranked losers this weekend are eliminated from the finals series.
The Colts play-off series will also get underway this weekend, with all games being played at Chatswood Oval over both days.
For those who can’t get to the games but still want to see the matches, 7Two will broadcast the Manly vs Eastwood game from 3pm Saturday and the Souths vs Norths match at the same time on Sunday.
A note on travelling to the games:
- There will be road closures on Sunday due to the City to Surf.
- This weekend there will be closures in both directions on a section of the Wakehurst Parkway at Frenchs Forest between Warringah Rd and Frenchs Forest Rd for works involving the construction of the new hospital.
Grade – Manly Oval
Grade – Pittwater Rugby Park
Grade – Forshaw Rugby Park
Colts – Chatswood Oval
Colts – Chatswood Oval
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Northern Suburbs will be out to defend their 2016 premiership title while the Warringah Rats will be determined to secure their first victory since 2005 in Saturday’s Shute Shield Grand Final to be played at North Sydney Oval.