Shute Shield: Tepai Moeroa returns for Two Blues as Manly look to bounce back

Fri, 16/04/2021, 04:00 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Tepai Moeroa in action for the NSW Waratahs | Getty Images

Waratahs centre Tepai Moeroa will be a welcome inclusion for the Two Blues as they face the red-hot Gordon.

Moeroa made his name in the Western Sydney area for the Parramatta Eels, before he switched codes back to rugby union at the end of 2019.

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With Chris Whittaker and Jason Gilmore opting for a 6-2 bench split for Saturday's clash with the Force, Moeroa has been cleared to play for Western Sydney, who was unable to stop a rampant Eastwood last week as they went down 59-19 at TG Milner.

The task doesn't get any easier, set to travel to Chatswood Oval to face Gordon, who will be celebrating flanker James Lough's 100th game.

Gordon seemed to take their loss in the Australian Club Championships against Easts to heart, with former Force halfback Jacob Abel and Ben Pollack running in hat-tricks in the 78-10 rout over Manly.

The loss devasted Manly according to hooker James Hilterbrand, who told the Northern Beaches Sports Tribune that the dressing room was a dark place after the loss.

“There wasn’t too much to be said,” Hilterbrand said.

(Head coach Matt McGoldrick) had a fair bit to say. He was emotional; he was pissed off that we’d lost as we did. And fair enough.

"But the players didn’t say a word.”

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They will get the chance to bounce back when they travel to Woollahra to face Easts, who are coming off a narrow win over Southern Districts.

Souths will unveil eight new debutants as they welcome Eastwood to Foreshaw Rugby Park,

Meanwhile, Randwick will be without Ben Donaldson after his call-u ap to the Waratahs side, however, welcome Triston Reilly back at inside centres they face Warringah at Pittwater Park.

In other games in the round, Hunter welcome Norths to Newcastle as Sydney Uni look to make it two from two when they face West Harbour, who will take plenty of confidence out of their strong performance against Randwick.

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