It’s time for the 2012 Shute Shield

Carl Unger Roar Rookie

By Carl Unger, Carl Unger is a Roar Rookie

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    The 2012 Shute Shield is almost here, and if the 2011 season is any indication (remind yourelf of the amazing final, apologies Uni fans) this one should be a cracker too .

    There have been many changes in the off-season, not only to the teams but the Shute Shield format. The season now begins later and finishes earlier, containing 16 rounds, with teams after round 11 being split into two groups for the final rounds.

    There are teams showing some real promise. Focus your attention on a strongly recruited and vibrant Northern Suburbs side. The Shoremen impressed in a Super Rugby curtain-raiser against the Rebel Risers at AAMI Park in Melbourne, defeating the home team in a close contest.

    Eastwood should once again be hard to derail. They delivered a beat-down to Randwick in a pre-season trial, and the squad resembles the team who topped the ladder last season. Can the Woods establish a Uni-like dominance in premier rugby?

    Clubs looking vulnerable this season apart from usual strugglers Penrith and Parramatta are Warringah, who lost trial games to Penrith, and Gordon, set for a sorry season losing their two best performers. Dion Berryman has departed to play in the Italian Super 10, and Dave Harvey has finally managed to play Super Rugby, and has apparently agreed to play for North Shore rivals, Norths, this season.

    The match of the round this week will be the revamped and ready Northern Suburbs versus defending premiers Eastwood on ABC at the usual time of 3:00pm live from North Sydney Oval.

    A nice piece of news here especially for our interstate friends: there will now be replays of Shute Shield matches at 4:00am Tuesday mornings, so make sure you wake up early or get it recorded.

    Another season of premier rugby? Oh yes please.

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    The Crowd Says (15)

    • April 14th 2012 @ 7:18am
      Crashy said | April 14th 2012 @ 7:18am | ! Report

      Can’t wait. Will be interesting to see how uni goes without their stars. Norths do look good and I hear parramatta have bough players for 8 teams including colts which will cause some clubs real problems. Manly look pretty strong as well.

    • April 14th 2012 @ 8:27am
      Max Power said | April 14th 2012 @ 8:27am | ! Report

      If Warringah absolutely dominated Norths in a trial and Penrith beat Warringah does that mean that Penrith could be a chance to win this year?

    • April 14th 2012 @ 8:44am
      BS said | April 14th 2012 @ 8:44am | ! Report

      It would be an even better comp if the farcical points system was improved and enhanced. Go Gordon

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    • Roar Guru

      April 14th 2012 @ 9:11am
      Atawhai Drive said | April 14th 2012 @ 9:11am | ! Report

      The Shute Shield is back and all is right with the world.

      In a sign of the times, the Sydney Morning Herald’s threadbare sport section has ignored the SS completely.

      But page 131 of today’s Daily Telegraph is entirely devoted to the first round, with former SMH journo Jamie Pandaram previewing the 2012 prospects of all 12 teams.

      Good to be told that games will be replayed. I still haven’t seen the 2011 Grand Final; away from home on the day, I set the IQ to record the match and the power failed at the wrong time.

      The ABC coverage will miss Steve Robilliard this year. We can only hope the ABC’s commitment to the Shute Shield remains strong.

    • April 14th 2012 @ 9:30am
      NFS said | April 14th 2012 @ 9:30am | ! Report

      The game of the round is also on ABC Iview, if anyone misses it.

      • April 16th 2012 @ 10:51am
        Justin said | April 16th 2012 @ 10:51am | ! Report

        Checked on Iview this morning and cannot find any replay. I wonder if it will be up once the replay has been played on Tuesday morning (at 4am!)

    • April 14th 2012 @ 9:41am
      Bakkies said | April 14th 2012 @ 9:41am | ! Report

      I hope the standard is better this season. Better handling, goal kicking and defence (too many try fests for a level that tries to be our next tier after Super Rugby) to begin with.

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