Sydney University (@1.4) vs Warringah (@2.87)
24-08-2019

Our Prediction:

Sydney University will win

Sydney University – Warringah Match Prediction | 24-08-2019

The Queensland and Australian halfback, DCE will return to club level to captain Manly after an important Origin decider. The professionalism of Cherry-Evans in providing consistent performances across the season has helped the Sea Eagles stay in the mix for another finals berth. For the streak of wins to continue, the Manly halfback will need to be at the top of his game, taking control with possession in attacking opportunities but also when or if his side is in trouble. Manlys main playmaker has aided his younger half Cade Cust to naturally come in and out of the match to assist him while leading himself with 7 try assists and 300+ kick metres providing an all round skill set that brings his other outside backs or forwards into the match.

They are trying to stay inside that elusive group running into the finals. This meeting will have great significance on the table with the back end of the season upon us. Travel in time to now in round 17 and the sides are close once again moving into this game with the Sea Eagles on the edge of slipping into the top four while the Rabbitohs are trying to re-capture their early season form after four straight defeats.

Northern Suburbs were handed their third successive defeat last week when they went down to Randwick by 2 points. These 2 teams played twice in the regular season, with the Shoremen winning both times. Im tipping the Rats to reverse the trend and get the win this time around. Warringah finished the regular season with a disappointing 36-21 loss against Southern Districts at Forshaw. The Rats were without a large number of regular first graders and they will be hoping to field a more settled line up this week.

This could well be a grand final preview and I expect the Warringah Hillbillies to turn out in force to provide their trademark vocal support from the hill on the eastern side of Rat Park. The Rats enter this weeks match having won 8 in a row and sitting on top of the ladder while the Students are in second place with by far the best point differential in the competition. Much has changed since Sydney University humiliated Warringah by a score of 50-0 in their Round 3 Good Friday clash. Despite that, Im tipping Uni to score a hard fought win.

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Manly on the other hand, has won 4 in a row and continues to impress. A win this week, ahead of their Round 14 bye, would give the Beasties a much needed boost. Coach Brian Melrose has instilled a great sense of belief in the Marlins and they have a never-say-die attitude that ensures that they are always a chance to snatch a late win if required. Im predicting that Manly will run away with this one in the second half. Eastern Suburbs have won only 1 of their past 4 games and as a consequence, they now sit outside the top 6.

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Reynolds will need to be pivotal in this outing with Souths now staring down the barrel of five straight losses. The number sevens ability to create forced drop outs (with a tally of 17 this season), his crafty short kicking game, alongside his skill in turning field position for the team to get out of trouble with an average of 400+ kicking metres. Reynolds kicking game will be a crucial part in stopping Manlys outside backs from helping their forwards while applying enough pressure for South Sydney to create chances to score.

This is the match of the round with the Rabbitohs hanging onto their top four position while the Sea Eagles are looking for a top four berth. It will be up to those stars, alongside the halves of Souths, to turn around their recent dip in form. This will be a possession game and low scoring with both sides defence being some of the best in the NRL, but with the past performances of South Sydney starting to waiver, it will be close to a must-win to get their run home back on track. The Sea Eagles are out to show they are real contenders for the premiership and a top four finish in 2019. The return of Sam Burgess for the Bunnies is enormous for their confidence as well as their Origin contingent playing after the decider. With all their star players now back firing after the representative period, the cohesion of Cherry-Evans and both Trbojevics will be paramount if they are to topple Souths.

I think that Randwick will provide a stern test for Eastwood but the Woodies should prevail at home. With no point scoring bye before the finals, the Woodies need to keep winning if they are to challenge for the minor premiership. Randwick scored a confidence boosting 51 points in their Round 12 win over West Harbour and will be looking to once again show the attacking flair that the Galloping Greens are famous for. Eastwood entered last weeks match against Sydney University as firm favourites but were well beaten.

SQUAD NEWS

The Highlanders opened their season against Souths in Round 2 at Chatswood following their Round 1 bye. Gordon lost by 4 points on that occasion but have come a long way under Darren Colemans coaching. Southern Districts had lost 8 consecutive games prior to last weeks win over the Western Sydney Two Blues. Once again the Highlanders are fresh off the bye and I think theyll be too good for the Rebels under the power lines at Forshaw. Remarkably, the Rebels are still a chance to play finals footy and will be keen to create some momentum with a win over Gordon.

Eastwood will be desperate to reverse last weeks result, especially in front of their fans at Milner. Eastwood looked set to claim the minor premiership last week but were pipped at the post when Eastern Suburbs humbled them 48-26 to claim their third consecutive victory and secure a finals berth in the process. Easts have beaten the Woodies twice this season but I cant see them doing it a third time.

Northern Suburbs have conceded nearly 80 points in their last 2 games, including 40 against Manly in last weeks 9 point loss. Although the Shoremens recent form has been patchy, Im predicting a convincing win for them at home. Meanwhile, the Western Sydney Two Blues were comprehensively beaten last week by a Southern Districts team whose previous win came way back in mid-April.

In contrast, Manly has won only 1 of their last 5. However, its worth keeping in mind that the Marlins will be fresh off their final round bye and they did defeat the Students in their regular season clash. Sydney University will enter this game as the firm favourite, having won their last 5 games.

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