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Round 18, the final round and the countdown to finals is well underway.
Unfortunately for some teams, ‘that’s all she wrote” heading into the last week.
1st Grade: Current Position 4th
Run Home: This week v Randwick (8th)
As 1st grade looks to regain some momentum following two weeks they would rather forget before heading into a finals campaign.
Highly likely to meet Sydney University again in two weeks time, it is what can be achieved in that time which will be of significance in order to keep their season alive. That begins with Randwick, back home at North Sydney Oval.
Randwick comes into their final game off the back of a bye and with their season done and dusted, it’s very much a question mark as to what we will see from the proud myrtle green.
Randwick outwitted Norths at Coogee Oval back in round 5 and no doubt each team will have that result in the back of their mind.
The other game of significance in the final week is the Easts v Eastwood match which will determine the remaining 5th and 6th positions & determine who we play next week.
Previous Result: Round 5, Northern Suburbs 23 defeated by Randwick 32
Player to Watch: A new midfield combination this week and a new fullback role, will be interesting to see if this is way forward for the remainder of the season.
2nd Grade: Current Position 7th
Run Home: This week v Randwick (2nd)
With only pride to play for in the final two rounds. 2nd Grade showed great fight and spirit in their narrow loss on Saturday.
Desperate not to throw their season away. Redemption from an agonising 1 point loss in round 5 is the deep motivator for 2nd grade to end their season on a positive note.
With various individuals likely to feature for both 1st grade and a potential 3rd grade, it’s the 2nd grades team momentum that will help enhance the other grades.
Previous Result: Round 5, Northern Suburbs 26 defeated by Randwick 27
Player to Watch: Harry Cudmore, on the left-wing, is lighting fast. We haven’t seen the best of him, hampered by hamstring injuries of late. He has been back now for a couple of weeks and hopefully, we see him hit top speed. Nicknamed Winx, he was the colts leader try scorer in 2017.
3rd Grade: Current Position 7th
Run Home: This week v Randwick (1st)
Giant killers 3rd Grade have been playing Grand Final rugby now 3 rounds and week 18 is no different.
Having started their run in round 11, they found form notching up 7 wins on the trot.
Coming from well back, the winning must continue when they meet ladder leaders Randwick this weekend. Despite doing everything they can in the last 7 rounds, their season still hinges on 3rd placed Eastwood knocking over 6th placed Eastern Suburbs at Woollahra Oval.
Previous Result: Round 5, Northern Suburbs 28 defeated by Randwick 35
Player to Watch: Jack Radford’s halves combinations with Josh Kay has lead this team around well in recent weeks. Jack’s youth, energy and enthusiasm around the ruck is complemented by Josh’s game management, vision and calming influence.
4th Grade: Current Position 7th
Run Home: This week v Randwick (4th)
4th Grade was up for the challenge as they knocked over Sydney University. Unfortunately relying on others is a dangerous game.
As West Harbour fought hard they were unable to get past Manly and Gordon proved a thorn in the side once more beating Eastern Suburbs.
With 4th Grade’s fate sealed, “that’s all she wrote” for the brotherhoods 3rd consecutive grand final run.
Previous Result: Round 5, Northern Suburbs 15 defeated by Randwick 27
Player to Watch: Phil Pale, since shifting from the ruck base to fly-half and now the midfield this season. The nugget wrecking ball has finally found his position. Leading the defensive line up and taking some big carries, Pale only knows one way forward.
1st Colts: Current Position 7th
Run Home: This week v Randwick (1st)
After consecutive losses, 1st colts still cling to the hope of playing finals rugby.
Remaining just 4 points outside the top 6, they meet a red hot Randwick side with 16 wins and 16 bonus points.
If they can topple Randwick in the upset of the season, they still rely on 9th placed Eastwood upsetting 6th placed Easts.
Previous Result: Round 5, Northern Suburbs 18 defeated by Randwick 50
Player to Watch: Flankers Charlie Beatty and Harvey Lawler are two hard workers who get through a mountain of work.
2nd Colts: Current Position 3rd
Run Home: This week v Randwick (6th)
2nd Colts have stumbled in their past two finals dress rehearsals.
However, Norths will still fancy themselves this week having knocked over Randwick in round 5.
Desperate for some momentum, a win here is crucial.
Previous Result: Round 5, Northern Suburbs 17 defeated Randwick 14
Player to Watch: Tristan Leffers, since his move from the back three into the midfield he has imposed himself further on the game and vital cog in this backline.
3rd Colts: Current Position 6th
Run Home: This week v Randwick (3rd)
3rd Colts may stumble out of finals contention if they fail to get the job done here.
A loss last week to University had opened the door for Warringah to come over the top in the last round.
Previous Result: Round 5, Northern Suburbs 5 defeated by Randwick 53
Player to Watch: Two big Locks Nick Bradley and Tom Beaumont will need to step up and dominate the collisions to put their team on the front foot.