Preview of all the Round 9 action
Rugby has an uncanny way of aligning the stars & as the season heads into the 2nd half, there is a distinct split of those in the running for competition glory. With all top 8 teams playing each other once more, the table is far from complete and looking at another shake up.
Easts (7th) v Sydney Uni (2nd)
Easts are almost into semi-finals a month early, on the edge of the top 6 they will be bolstered by some players returning from Super Rugby in the coming weeks. A great opportunity to leapfrog Souths who travel to Chatswood, but a mammoth task ahead of them. Reigning premiers Sydney University will be ready to go for a shot at another title coming off the back of a bye and big win over West Harbour. A game that could go either way and one the home side can't afford to lose. (Uni by 7)
Eastwood (5th) v Manly (8th)
The woods were strong in their loss to Norths last week and with a bye looming will need to get the points in this one. Recent results falling in favour of the Marlins giving themselves a shot at playing finals. With 4 tough games and a bye remaining Manly too are playing knock-out rugby earlier than they would like. Will it be too much week after week? (Eastwood by 12)
Gordon (1st) v Souths (6th)
Gordon stamped their authority on the competition in the top of the table clash last week. A strong 2nd half performance giving them a perfect 7 wins 7 bonus points beyond the halfway mark. It will be hard to see souths turn around their result from last week at the hands of Easts. After wins over Uni and Eastwood, they've also dropped games convincingly to Easts & Randwick and only narrowly got past the Rats by 1 point. Might depend on which South's team turns up. (Gordon by 12)
Two Blues (10th) v Hunter (12th)
Two Blues will be happy they got past their western counterparts (Penrith) and looking to continue that form. However, it won't amount to much more than pride, chalking up some wins for morale heading into 2021.
Penrith (13th) v West Harbour (11th)
The season has now well and truly got away from these two, despite West Harbour showing some promise. All that is left is to avoid the wooden spoon.