Round 9 v Randwick Preview
Norths head back to Pittwater Rugby Park for the second of three home games at the venue in 2020. The Shoremen left it late but got the job done over Eastwood, in a thrilling Round 8 clash that had tries from very kick-off.
It gets no easier this week, facing a Randwick side that has taken the 2020 competition by storm in the opening rounds, bolstered by a cohort of Aussie 7's players.
Randwick and Norths sit 3rd and 4th respectively separated by a single point.
Norths having bounced back off their single loss to Easts (round 6) to record back to back wins (Two Blues and Eastwood) while Randwick has conceded 85 points in their past 2 weeks, 60 points more than in their opening 6 rounds combined.
In round filled with all top 8 clashes, securing the win this week will go a long way to deciding the top teams with only a handful of rounds remaining.
Norths were able to put some scrummaging woes behind them with a strong showing against a highly regarded woods pack. An area where Randwick were a little exposed in their loss to Gordon, it will be interesting to see how much is played in tight this week.
On what is expected to be a perfect spring day on Sydney's Northern Beaches, both teams have plenty of threats out wide. Norths bolstered by the return of Cam Clark (wing) who was a handful for the Two Blues in his first game this season. While the remainder of the backline is unchanged.
Hugh Sinclair comes into the backrow in his return from Waratahs duty this season. Sinclair replaces Heinrich Brendel who went down with a calf niggle at training this week.
For the visitors, form winger Dylan Pietsch is an omission with an ankle injury. While the lively Maurice Longbottom shifts to fullback, with speed and footwork to match any player in world rugby. Mitch Short and Ben Donaldson also return from Super Rugby in a new halves combination.
In's: Cam Clark, Hugh Sinclair
Out: Connor Winchester, Heinrich Brendel