Sydney Shield Preview Rd12 (Spare Round)
by Matt Buxton
The severe weather that Sydney faced earlier in the season caused several Sydney Shield matches to be washed out, and this is the weekend that most of those games will be made up.
Heading into the spare round, Windsor Wolves sit at the top of the ladder. However, they are in danger of losing pole position with five teams behind the Wolves playing make-up matches this weekend.
One of those teams is Hills District Bulls, who currently sit in second spot and are only a single point behind the competition leaders.
The Bulls face the sixth-placed Peninsula Seagulls, who have blown teams away in recent weeks with explosive attacking raids. It will be an interesting matchup this week, as Hills have the best defensive record in the competition.
Seagulls’ coach Tim Gee believes the best way to knock off Hills will be to focus on themselves rather than the opposition.
“Every game we’ve lost this year has been due to poor completions,” Gee said. “We’ve kept other teams in it and given them a leg up.
“If we just worry about what we’re going to do, control that ball, get an equal share and get to the back end of our sets instead of handing it over, I think we’ll get ourselves in the game.”
Gee also believes his team has to make little improvements in various areas of the game starting with Hills this Saturday afternoon at Lake Park.
“We need to work on game management,” says Gee. “Taking control of the game and setting it up and then being able to finish it off as well and managing it in between.
“We’ve improved on our defence and our ruck defence. That’s improved a lot over the last month which has shown in some results, but we just need to improve on our structure in attack.”
There is a lot on the line for both teams, as Hills would take top spot with a victory, whilst the Seagulls could potentially break into the top four with a win depending on other results.
East Campbelltown Eagles will host the Blacktown Workers this Saturday at Hurstville Oval. The Eagles need a win to stay in the top four, whilst the Workers will be looking to move up from the fringe of the top eight.
Two other teams with a lot to play for are the Wentworthville Magpies and the Cabramatta Two Blues, who are sitting in third and fifth spot respectively. They will play at Ringrose Park this Sunday at 1pm. A win for either team means a guaranteed spot in the top four heading into round 13, whilst a loss could mean dropping to as low as sixth.