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Hunter Wildfires lace up boots for challenging fortnight


The Hunter Wildfires are lacing up the boots for a big fortnight at home in the prestigious Shute Shield competition.

Currently sitting in ninth spot on the table, Scott Coleman’s men face ladder leaders Warringah at No. 2 Sportsground on Saturday 18 May, followed by a showdown with the fifth-placed Easts a week later.

If ever there’s a time to gauge the side’s progress in 2024, it will occur during that period.

A couple of impressive victories should not only steady the ship, but fire a warning shot to Hunter’s rivals.

After back-to-back wins at the expense of Eastwood (38-19) and the Two Blues (17-15), the Wildfires suffered a narrow 38-34 loss to Sydney Uni.

But, they’ll be keen to respond in round seven this weekend, with both clubs eyeing off the Bottlemart Cup.

“The silverware was introduced as a way of celebrating our battles with Warringah,” Coleman said.

“It’ll be an annual trophy that we’ll play for every time we host the Rats at No. 2 Sportsground.

“It’s an exciting concept we’ve developed in conjunction with our good sponsor.

“The eagle eyes among us will also notice the Bottlemart Cup has been specifically designed to hold a can of beer or two, Tooheys New of course, for the victors to enjoy after the game.

“So, we’re keen to get that first drink this Saturday after full-time.

“However, more importantly, we need to hit our game and come away with a win.

“We’ll then vie for the Brokenwood Cup when Warringah host us on its home soil at Narrabeen.”

The clash with the Rats coincides with Ladies Day, too.

Women will be treated to the Bubbles Bar and Gin Bar, talented teams from Hunter Just Cuts and a make-up artist, while an unlimited drinks package, game day entry, hot food, grazing platters, raffles, rugby, great company, post-match performances and karaoke kick-ons in the community room are also available.

Gates open at 9.45am, with the Jack Scott Cup kicking off at 10.10am.

The Ladies Day function then begins from 1.30pm, with a massive day of fun planned.

In other fixtures last weekend, Sydney Uni prevailed 29-10 (second grade), 27-0 (women’s), 92-12 (colts 1st) and 45-5 (colts 2nd).

Shute Shield

Round six results:

  • Gordon d Randwick 19-13
  • Manly d Souths 30-16
  • Warringah d Easts 27-22
  • Sydney Uni d Hunter Wildfires 38-34
  • West Harbour d Eastwood 22-18
  • Two Blues d Norths 29-28

Round seven draw:

(Saturday 18 May)

  • 3.05pm: Randwick v West Harbour (Coogee Oval)
  • 3.05pm: Souths v Sydney Uni (Forshaw Rugby Park)
  • 3.05pm: Easts v Norths (Woollahra Oval)
  • 3.05pm: Manly v Two Blues (Manly Oval)
  • 3.05pm: Eastwood v Gordon (TG Millner Field)
  • 4.05pm: Hunter Wildfires v Warringah (No. 2 Sportsground)

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