In possibly the most season defining round of Shute Sheild competition, Round 8 is jam-packed with blockbuster games.
Manly v Warringah
The traditional rivalry which would ordinarily headline such a round. With each team struggling for form in 2020, the biggest talking point out of this will be where too for the loser? Manly (9th) with only 2 wins will almost certainly miss the playoffs with a bye and 3 teams left above them to play. It's all in front of Warringah clinging to finals hopes, their run home is slightly better. This is a must win for the rats with a bye next week.
Two Blues v Penrith
In the first battle of the west since 2017, both teams would have circled this in the draw since Penrith rejoined the competition. Both winless after 7 rounds, pride will be worth as much as 4 points in this one.
Randwick v Gordon
Gordon may have been eying off a crack at the 'Sir Roden Cutler Shield' before Eastwood put a stop to Randwicks unbeaten run. Both teams with 6 wins have caught everyone's attention and people will have one eye on Coogee Oval. The loss of Gordon's sharp fullback Jaline Grahame will hurt. However, the battle of the two 10's David Horwitz (Randwick) and Rod Iona (Gordon) will play a pivotal roll in winning this. Both must be chalking up the Ken Catchpole Medal vote this season.
Souths v Easts
Somewhat of the surprise packets this season, Souths will be eager to keep their position entrenched in the top 6, having pulled off wins against Eastwood and Uni they fought back well to get past Rats by 1 point last week. The hobbits from the shire can play well past the 80 minutes. A loss here could spell the end for Easts leaving themselves too much to do in the finals rounds with games against Uni and Randwick. Souths certainly have the form when it comes to winning close one and this will go to the wire.
Uni v West Harbour
A game that may seem like a simple equation on paper. However, the Pirates who claimed their first win in round 6 defeating Manly, have long been somewhat of a bogey team for the students. Uni returns fresh off the bye and should be too strong but a scoresheet to keep an eye on.