A host of Super Rugby stars are set to make their Shute Shield return at Coogee Oval on Saturday afternoon as both Randwick and Sydney Uni attempt to return to the winner’s circle after disappointing losses last weekend.
Randwick matched Southern Districts in the opening 40 minutes at Forshaw but the visitors were blown away in the second half, conceding 22 unanswered points after the break in a 39-14 loss.
“We were out enthused last week by a very good Southern Districts team. It was an uncharacteristically poor defensive effort and we gifted points through our line,” Randwick coach Shannon Fraser told Rugby News.
The Galloping Greens have named Andrew Kellaway and Reece Robinson in their starting XV, but despite adding plenty of speed to his side, Fraser said he thought the match would be won in tight.
“We need to improve our collision skills, especially without the ball and our game management needs to get better. It’s important that we control the effects of pressure against a side like Uni.”
Sydney Uni were also shown up last weekend but Tim Davidson was of full praise for Manly following the Marlins 36-10 win over the Students.
“They were exceptional and they didn't allow us to play the way we wanted to,” Davidson said.
“They won the territory battle and every time they got into our half they converted pressure into points. They also defended extremely well and forced us into mistakes, which meant we couldn't convert the opportunities that we created.”
Wallabies half Nick Phipps and Waratahs lock Dave McDuling have been named to play for the Students and Davidson said their presence has given his side a boost at training this week.
However the coach admitted the Students will still need plenty of improvement from last weekend if they are to challenge Randwick.
“We need to make sure we take our opportunities when they present themselves because against a good side like Randwick we won't get too many.
“We also have to react a lot quicker off turnover ball as Randwick have speed out wide that will punish us. Defensively we will need to have a lot more energy and intent to limit the go forward of the likes of Figg and Baldwin.”