Around the Grounds - Round 16

17 days ago

Key Match Up - Manly (3rd) v Warringah (7th)

Having dropped 3 of their past 4 games, not many teams would like to face the run-home Manly have Rats, Gordon & Uni.

9 points clear inside the top 4, their position seems safe for now, as Eastwood face a tough round 16.

The impending return of Langi Gleeson & Lalakai Foketi will make a big difference. While there was a very familiar name in 2nd Grade last week (Denis Pili-Gaitau) and he too could be the starch they're looking for.

The top 4 that was in Warringahs sight seems miles away, having too dropped their last 3 & sit precariously close to falling outside the top 8. With Souths and West Harbour to finish, they won't want to leave this one to the final rounds.

Warringah by 2

Eastwood (5th) v Sydney Uni (1st)

Although normally relatively high on the ladder, no matter where these two clubs sit they always seem to have a ding-dong battle against each other. Especially at TG Millner.

Eastwood fought their way back into the match last week and failed to capitalise. A late penalty to Norths put them beyond bonus point territory as they relinquished their spot in the top 4.

Hunter (41), Warringah (41) and Randwick (40) trail closely behind and there could be a big shuffle at the end of this one.

Sydney Uni's last two score lines suggest they didn't have it all their own way, but they know how to win & their ladder position reflects that. With 3 rounds to go Uni will have their eye on the minor premiership with West Harbour and Manly to finish out the regular season.

Uni by 10

Eastern Suburbs (9th) v Gordon (4th)

Certain both teams are pleased this isn't being played at Chatswood Oval.

This is close to a match of the round, as Gordon aims to solidify their spot in the top 4 and Easts who started playing finals rugby a month out keep their season alive.

In an impressive run of form, Gordon are unbeaten since the bye putting 5 wins together to climb from 10th to 4th in a matter of weeks and everything suggests they should be adding another win here.

However, knockout rugby can be a different beast and Easts have plenty of life left in them. This one will be really close.

Easts by 2

Hunter (6th) v Randwick (8th)

Hunter has shown they've got plenty of fight left with back-to-back wins they will enjoy this game at a home.

Randwick meanwhile will need to collect themselves after yet another high-scoring game that didn't go their way.

They too could have been inside the top 4, now 3-points inside the 8 they roll the dice on their mates from the East if they drop this one.

Hunter by 8

West Harbour (11th) v Two Blues (10th)

Lightning did indeed strike twice, the Pirates are off the bottom and playing for bragging rights in this western derby.

West Harbor took a 1-point win in round 1 and since then each club has had very different journeys to now.

Two Blues have Norths and Eastwood to follow and likely need to win all 3 to reach the finals.

Wests by 3

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