Shute Shield Review: Round 8

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By NSW Rugby Union

The Manly Marlins have recorded a 25-7 victory over Northern Suburbs on Saturday to continue their rise up the Shute Shield table.

Helped by losses to the two teams above them, the Marlins move up one place to second and now trail front-running Eastwood by just two points.
Randwick notched up another win, overcoming Southern Districts to move up one place to sixth overall. Overall leader Eastwood also suffered a shock home loss, going down to Eastern Suburbs by 28 points to 25.
In other matches, Penrith fought hard but fell short against West Harbour, while Sydney University, out-muscled Gordon, and Parramatta ran over Warringah.
Among the strong crowd at Chatwood Oval was Australian Rugby Union CEO Bill Pulver, who said he was impressed by the standard of Sydney Premiership Rugby.  “I’ve been to four matches now, I’m enjoying it and loving it. Look, club rugby is in great shape. This is the third tier of Australian rugby and we clearly want to support club rugby.  We’d love to get the popularity of club rugby going, so from an ARU perspective we’re going to do everything we can to support club rugby.”
Gordon v Sydney University
In a match full of passion, Sydney University held strong to run away with a win, defeating Gordon 49 to 10. Both sides fought hard throughout the match but it was the Students who capitalised on their opportunities, running in six tries to one.
Said Students’ lock Bryon Hodge after the game, “There’s always going to be mistakes but we’re really pleased with the way we stuck to our game plan, despite those handling errors.  As a team we’re really happy with our performance.”
Gordon scrumhalf Terry Preston admitted his side too had its fair share of errors. “It’s been something we’ve been trying to work on all year, I think mainly today it was big and brutal with lots of hard tackles. We were in there for the first half (but) same as most games this year, we just couldn’t hold on.”
In the first half, both sides ran in quick tries but it was the Students who held strong, used their possession and put the pressure on the Highlanders. The Highlanders struggled as a result, making a number of mistakes and providing their opponents with three kickable penalties. Although the Students squandered a number of scoring chances, losing the ball numerous times on the Highlanders’ try line, they still managed to take a 21-10 into the break, courtesy of a two tries and three Bryson Hodge penalties and one conversion to a Tom Matthews try and five points from scrumhalf Preston.
When Gordon went a player down early in the second period, the Students wasted no time in capitalising, scoring two tries in quick succession. 
Tom Kingston’s introduction with 20 minutes remaining added extra speed to the backline, and the winger soon helped set up his side’s fifth try before adding one of his own to take the final score to 49-10.
Sydney University 49 (Tom Boidon, James Dargaville, Hugo Dessins, Stuart Dunbar, Tom Kingston, Nathan Trist tries, Bryson Hodge 5 cons 3 pens) d Gordon 10 (Tom Mathews try, Terry Preston pen, con) at Chatswood Oval. Referee Graham Cooper.
Manly v Northern Suburbs
The Manly Marlins were just too strong for a struggling Norths’ side, scoring four tries in a bonus-point 25-7 win that lifts them one place to second position on the Shute Shield ladder. The loss is Northern Suburbs’ third in a row and sees them slip further down the rankings to ninth. By contrast, Manly have now won four on the trot and sit just two points behind leaders Eastwood. 
Manly 25 (Harry Bergelin, Tim Fairbrother, Richard Hooper, Jacob Woodhouse tries, Tom Chesters con, pen) d Northern Suburbs 7 (Peter Schuster try, Liam Windon con) at Manly Oval. Referee Ed Martin.
Parramatta v Warringah
Parramatta proved too strong for Warringah, crossing the line eight times to secure a comfortable bonus-point victory at Merrylands RSL, much to the delight of long-time Two Blue Tatafu Polota-Nau. Ruled out of NSW action after suffering a broken arm last weekend, Parramatta’s favourite son helped cheer his side to a well-earned win that sees them jump up three places to seventh. 
Parramatta 51 (Sosene Anesi, Damien Fakafanua, Tukia Muli, Dan Rawaqa 2, Moses Tavola, William Tuitupou 2 tries, Dan Rawaqa 4 cons, pen) d Warringah 21 (Michael Adams, Josh Holmes, Sam Ward tries, Scott Bradley con, Dave Harvey 2 cons) at Merrylands RSL Rugby Park. Referee Damien Mitchelmore.
West Harbour v Penrith
In one of Penrith’s closest matches this year, the Emus came out firing and managed to stay in touch with fifth-placed West Harbour for the first three quarters of the match.  And after taking a 21-15 lead in the final quarter, they looked on course for their first victory of the season until an error gifted the Pirates a sniff and they quickly crossed the line to take the match 28 to 21.
West Harbour 28 (Max Beer, Tom Games, Cohen Masson, Shaun Treweek tries, Jack Debreczeni con, 2 pens) d Penrith 21 (Paula Katoa, Wilson Silipa, James Umu tries, Wilson Silipa con, Fokolulu Toumalolo 2 cons) at Concord Oval. Referee Jamie McGregor.
Randwick v Southern Districts
The Galloping Greensclamed a massive scalp this weekend, defeating title contenders Southern Districts by 33 points to 27 at Coogee Oval.  In a close match, both teams fought for the lead, but it was the home side who held strong to end the match ahead 33 to 25.  The Rebels fought hard in the first half scoring almost all of their points, but a Randwick resurgence saw them finish strongly and limit the Rebels’ to just three second half points.
Randwick 33 (Faitotoa Asa, Terrence Hepetema, Tom Goodbody, Seilala Lam 2 tries, Cayden Matehaere 4 cons) d Southern Districts 25 (Alex Gibbon, Jed Holloway, Rohan Saifoloi tries, Rohan Saifoloi 2 cons 2 pens) at Coogee Oval. Referee Will Houston.
Eastwood v Eastern Suburbs
A shock loss to Eastern Suburbs has narrowed Eastwood’s lead at the top of the table, with the Woodies and second-placed Marlins separated only by two bonus points. The Woodies struggled to maintain possession, with a number of mistakes gifting Easts the advantage.  Such was the strength of the visitors’ defence, the Woodies stumbled under the pressure. Although they mounted a second half comeback, a missed penalty attempt on the bell left the Woodies three points short of a draw and allowed Easts to snatch a fourth victory of the season so far.
Eastern Suburbs 28 (Henry Hudson, Will Fay, Anoton Lavin tries, Henry Hudson 2 cons, 3 pens) d Eastwood 25 (Michael McDougall, Gareth Palamo, Nick Reily tries, Ben Batger 2cons, 2 pens) at T.G. Millner Field. Referee Nathan Pearce.
Shute Shield ladder (after Round 8)
BP 4t
BP <7p
Southern Districts
Sydney University
West Harbour
Eastern Suburbs
Northern Suburbs
 P=Played   W=Wins   D=Draws   L=Losses   F=Points For   A=Points Against   Df=Points Difference   BP 4t=Four Tries   BP <7p=Close Losses   BP=Total Bonus Points   Pts=Ladder Points


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