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Round 17, the penultimate round.
All teams have built some good momentum over the past 3 weeks. The last time we met with Eastern Suburbs (Round 10) it was not a great result across the grades & each team will be looking for some retribution with plenty at stake for each grade.
4th Grade – Henderson Cup
Northern Suburbs (5th, 50pts) v Eastern Suburbs (3rd, 58pts) – 10:25am Woollahra Oval
When they last met, it was Eastern Suburbs with the win 13 – 8.
A result the brotherhood will be keen to turn around in order to solidify their finals run. With both Randwick (48pts) and Parramatta (46pts) hot on their heels a win this Saturday should avoid having to play a must win in round 18 against Randwick.
4th Grade were able to overturn an early season loss against West Harbour last week and face 3rd placed Easts who are coming off an upset loss to Randwick and a narrow victory over Parramatta in the last 2 weeks.
The mid-season inclusion of Ben Martin from his early season sabbatical in Canada has added a hard edge to the brotherhood backrow. Ben crossed for 12 tries last season and has been a big contributor since his return. His defence and hard running will be a big part of getting the win this week.
3rd Grade – Henderson Shield
Northern Suburbs (5th, 53pts) v Eastern Suburbs (3rd, 59pts) – 11:40am Woollahra Oval
When they last met, it was Eastern Suburbs with a big 55 – 28 win.
3rd Grade comes into this week off a big and impressive win, however, will be shot back to reality if they think it will be a case of turning up this weekend.
In a similar position to 4th Grade. To avoid a must win against Randwick in the final round a win here is crucial. The 7th placed Eastwood (48pts) will receive the 5-point bye and form a log jam for the final top 6 places.
Fly-Half Josh Smith is the general of the 3rd Grade team, look for him to be plugging the corners and have the team in great field position.
2nd Grade – Colin Caird Shield
Northern Suburbs (3rd, 60pts) v Eastern Suburbs (2nd, 65pts) – 1.05pm Woollahra Oval
Playing Finals this season is confirmed for 2nd Grade as they climbed a position with last week’s tough win.
Who may they face? Well, that’s a lottery!
3rd, 4th & 5th all locked on 60points. Eastwood getting a 5-point bye this week and the Rats facing West Harbour, a loss this weekend could slide 2nd grade 3 places down.
Narrowly losing 23-12 in round 10. Eastern Suburbs will be another tough opponent this week. Easts having put a couple teams to the sword in recent weeks.
2nd grade were buoyed by Hugh Sinclair in his return to the field last week as well as JP Sauni looking for more minutes.
Being able to roll out some consistent teams in recent weeks has been some good fortune for 2nd Grade as the club gets some players returning from injury.
1st Year colts graduate Harry Cudmore, has been going about his work out on the right wing with minimal fuss. The speedster nicknamed ‘WINX’ last season sure knows how the find the line like his namesake the great mare. The new artificial grass will only increase Harry’s speed as he looks to add his to his try tally.
1st Grade – Intrust Super Shute Shield
Northern Suburbs (2nd, 61pts) v Eastern Suburbs (6th, 55pts) – 3.10pm Woollahra Oval
Stinging from their loss in round 10, 36-8. This is one scalp 1st Grade certainly want to reclaim.
Both teams confirming they will play finals this season. Norths for the 3rd consecutive year, following wins in round 16. Norths 48-31 over a big West Harbour and Easts 41-24 in their battle of the east.
Having to defend some enormous bodies for the entire 80minutes last week. Coach Shannon Fraser was pleased with the effort boys put in, whilst acknowledging conceding 31 points is never an ideal result in any game.
In the 7Two broadcast Match of the Round, both teams will be lifted by the inclusion of various Waratahs players scattered through each team.
Will Miller and Cameron Clark are likely to return via the bench and have an impact later in the game, whilst Irae Simone will be straight back into the Centres. As well as a return to starting team for Captain Hugh Sinclair at No 8.
A win this weekend should be enough to secure the all important Home Semi-Final in week 1.