Sydney Shield Previews Rd 7
With early front-runners The Hills District Bulls suffering their first loss of the competition during Round 6, the competition is left with no remaining undefeated teams. Round 7 provides teams with an opportunity to prove themselves as true contenders as the top of the pack begins to form.
Still early in the season, only four teams have pulled ahead with eight or more points: the Hills District Bulls, Windsor Wolves, the Cabramatta Two Blues and Belrose Eagles. A large chunk of the teams find themselves tied with six points in the middle of the pack who will be competing against the Auburn Warriors in this week’s feature match.
For the Eagles, with three wins and two losses, a win against tenth-ranked Auburn would be just the thing to set them apart and push up into the top of the ladder. With just one win and four losses, a win against Belrose would be the lifeline Auburn needs to keep away from the bottom of the ladder. With the stakes high for both sides, the stage is set for an exciting Anzac Day clash at Lionel Watts Reserve at 3 pm.
Although the Belrose Eagles stumbled at the beginning of the season by falling in two early matches, they are confident that as the season progresses, they will prove themselves as finals contenders.
“We got off to a pretty slow start. But in saying that, we’ve lost some pretty close games, one versus Windsor that we should have won, and Campbelltown as well. So we’re right in the mix. In these last two or three weeks, we’ve been working on our defence, and getting that mongrel back,” said Coach James Mortimer.
Mortimer, who wears two hats as both coach and fullback, says his team has no shortage of motivation going into this weekend’s match against the Warriors.
“We’re very confident in our play and it all starts this week against Auburn. They’re always our kryptonite. They always give us a really good run. It’s going to be tough,” said Mortimer.
While Mortimer claims that Phil Domjen has been the biggest improver so far this season, along with the outstanding form of Al Mammone up front.
In this split round Cabramatta face Guildford (now to be played on May 3) and Wentworthville come up against Western Suburbs in a battle of the Magpies for the rescheduled Round 6 match.