Shute Shield: Mid Season Review Part 1 8/06/2018 Photo Credit: Sergio Gonzalez As the Shute Shield takes a weekend off to celebrate an old English ladies’ birthday, we thought we’d take the opportunity to check in with all 11 coaches and find out how they think their side is travelling at this point of the season. Finals footy might still be a long way off this year, but there isn’t a lot of room for error in a competition as tight as this one. Eastwood: 4th – 6 wins, 3 losses After welcoming back a handful of premiership players, Eastwood are starting to look a lot more like the side that won the Shute Shield in 2014 and 2015. Ben Batger played a starring role in both those grand final wins but now finds himself on the sideline, coaching alongside newly appointed Australian Women’s Sevens coach John Manenti. How would you describe your start to the season? Are you where you thought you would be at this point of the year? “I’d give us a 7/10 so far this year. We have played some really good football with good victories against Warringah and Sydney Uni. But at same time we have been our own worst enemy and lost games we could of easily won against Manly and West Harbour which were both at Home,” Batger said. “We always wanted to build into the season so sitting in fourth position, we’re reasonably happy. If you’re in the top six now you’ve obviously set yourself up to have a good crack at playing finals football.” Who has been your best performer so far this year? “Both Blake Sutton and Tom Murphy have both been playing really good rugby. They have taken their opportunity in first grade with both hands and have not only been consistent but have been consistently our best players week in week out,” he said. “Tom’s work rate has been incredible and Blake is proving after a few years in and out of the top grade that he’s a good first grade footballer and a threat in attack and defence.” Check up on the rest of the mid-season reviews here Catch up on the NSW Waratahs' progress throughout the 2018 season at our match-centre page.