Shute Shield Match Preview: Penrith v Warringah


Former Warringah assistant coach Julian Huxley will coach against his former club for the first time this weekend when Penrith host the Rats on Saturday afternoon.

“It will be great to see some old friends, although I was only at Warringah for one year I met some fantastic people there and look forward to sharing a day of rugby with them,” the new Penrith coach said.

The Emus have been beaten by Gordon and Eastwood in the opening two weeks but have shown glimpses of their potential in the early stages of the season.

Huxley admitted his side’s defense was still a work in progress and expected a tough challenge against an exciting Warringah side on Saturday.

“I think we need to improve our urgency in defence. Warringah will be extremely dangerous with individual threats all over the field, so it should be a good test for us.”

After falling just short against Norths in week one, Warringah were impressive against Gordon last weekend.

“Our lineout improved which was positive and our kick return attack was dangerous, but we still conceded four tries against Gordon. We can’t afford to leak that many points all season,” Rats coach Darren Coleman said.

“This week we’ve worked on out attacking shape and structures. Hopefully we are sharper against Penrith.

Waratahs Sam Needs, Maclean Jones and Harry Jones are all expected to get some game time on Saturday, with Coleman also handing NSW U20s centre Esera Chee-kam his first start in the top grade.

“I know very little about Esera as a player, but the NSW coaches speak highly of him so it's a good opportunity to give him some first grade experience and see what he's got,” Coleman said.

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