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The John Thornett Cup goes up for grabs for the third time this season, but in this clash, it’s a ticket to the big dance next week that will be the prized possession.
Norths were fortunate their early-season efforts held them in good stead and a 4th placed overall position has landed them a second look at the shield.
Whilst the two teams this week have taken very different routes and very different form lines, only 80 minutes separate them when the whistle blows.
The students come into this week’s Semi-Final as minor premiers and even a 1st half scare against Manly wasn’t enough to have them anything but clear favorites. While the Shoremen will relish the underdog tag.
Back Home to North Sydney Oval, this weekend will see an epic doubleheader with both 1st Grade Games played back to back at the same venue.
The Shoremen have gone down to Uni on both occasions throughout the season. Round 6 by the slim margin 29 – 24, before things blew out on the eve of finals in Round 17, 66 – 17.
After failing a fitness test last week, Lawrance Hunting will be given every chance to take his place in the front row. Lawrance will replace Andrew Tuala who suffered a knee injury last week, while 2018 Australian Schoolboy Zane Hogan will start just his second 1st Grade match at tighthead.
Meanwhile, Connor Vest who left the field with a shoulder injury on Saturday will be in a race to prove his fitness and take a bench position, replaced at Lock by captain Hugh Sinclair.
Junior Wallaby backrower Patrick Tafa will make just his second start this season at the back of the scrum, joined by Nick Duffy at scrumhalf and Waratah Cam Clark is back after overcoming a hamstring injury.
OUT: Max Ma’a (Shoulder), Connor Vest (Bench), Andrew Tuala (Knee), Nathan Russell (Bench), Michael Dowsett (Bench)
IN: Lawrance Hunting, Patrick Tafa, Zane Hogan, Nick Duffy, Cam Clark
OUT: Max Ma’a, Connor Vest
IN: Lawrance Hunting, Patrick Tafa
Semi-Final v Sydney University @ North Sydney Oval. Saturday, August 17th 3:10 pm
|1st Grade||1st Grade Caps|
|1||Lawrance Hunting||82 (100)|
|2||Sam Kitchen||68 (90)|
|3||Zane Hogan||1 (6)|
|4||Hugh Sinclair||84 (100)|
|5||Nick Palmer||64 (77)|
|6||Michael Wells||39 (42)|
|7||Will Miller||92 (103)|
|8||Patrick Tafa||11 (13)|
|9||Nick Duffy||19 (21)|
|11||Lachie Creagh||74 (83)|
|12||Jack Lindsay||11 (12)|
|14||Richard Woolf||66 (87)|
|15||Harry Burey||59 (61)|