Change is afoot and for Round 10 of the Dewar Shield, we sense there could be more movement on the ladder than Boris Johnson's cabinet.
Some big results last weekend have already shaken the competition up, but we suspect the top 4 is far from decided...
DEWAR SHIELD MATCH OF ROUND – LIVE ON THE RUGBY VIC FACEBOOK PAGE
Melbourne vs Melbourne Uni (Ref: Rob Whyte)
Melbourne return to Orrong Park this week after getting a major scare at The Pound in Round 9. A late burst and a hat-trick to Taliu Tuia saw them home against Footscray but they know they cant afford to leave it late this week against a Uni team that knocked them off last time they played.
Uni were involved in a high scoring thriller against Moorabbin and now sit only one point outside the top 4. The weather could play a big part in this game and if its wet then look for Uni to control the territory and pin Melbourne in the corners.
How the Unicorns respond and keep possession and build phases will determine the winner.
This will be an intriguing battle and if you can’t get there then tune in on the RV Facebook page from 3:10pm to watch it.
Unicorns to win in a classic by 3 points.
Endeavour Hills vs Footscray (Ref: Amber McLachlan)
This is an intriguing battle with the Eagles and the Doggies going at it at The Nest.
As we predicted last week, Endeavour went down to Power House and now see themselves in 6thplace. They have now lost 4 in a row and will be looking to get back on the winners list and keep in touch with the top 4. They blew plenty of chances last week and ill-discipline saw them reduced to 14 men as well. The Eagles need to find their composure and their belief if they are to feature at the back end of the season.
The Doggies are really playing with bite now and will be frustrated they let a golden opportunity slip last outing against Melbourne. They are developing an all-round game and also have some sharpshooters at goal so Eagles need to be wary that any penalty in their own half is a potential 3 points.
A wounded Eagle trying to find their identity against a Footscray team that has found theirs, makes for an interesting matchup.
Endeavour to get back on winning list, just... Eagles by 7 points
Moorabbin vs Box Hill (Ref: Shannon McLachlan)
The Rams will be looking to make up for last week’s surprise loss to Uni when they return home this week. Despite the loss, they are still sitting comfortably in 3rdspot but know they can’t afford another slip up this week and let the chasing pack close the gap.
Box Hill did last week what they have been doing all year and that is competing well then falling off in defence and letting the opposition off the hook. This was again the framework against Quins and they must find a way to keep themselves in games and produce a consistent defensive effort if they are to take something out of this season. They will be looking to turn around the 15 point loss from last time they played Moorabbin but a quality Rams outfit stinging from last week’s defeat will have other ideas and will look to control the game for long periods.
Moorabbin by 14 points.
Harlequins vs Power House (Ref: David Wall – 100 Dewar Shield games.)
A huge matchup with the giant killing 4thplaced Power House travelling to Ashwood Reserve to take on the ladder leaders.
What a match also for David Wall to raise the bat in and bring up his 100th Dewar Shield match as a referee. Congratulations to David and he will need to call on all that experience to control a game that has plenty on it.
Harlequins know they got out of jail last time they played Power House and will be looking for a more polished, controlled performance to remain at the top of the competition.
House stamped their top 4 credentials last week with a gutsy win over Endeavour but know that Quins at home are a whole different proposition. They do have the game style that has always troubled Harlequins so if they stay true to themselves they are capable of causing another upset and solidifying their top 4 spot.
A loss could see them drop out again as there is only 2 points separating 4thfrom 6th.
Harlequins to get up by 10 points