North Sydney Bears Vs Western Suburbs Magpies
North Sydney Oval, Sunday, May 1
Referee: Michael Laverty
Broadcast: NSWRL Match of the Round to be aired on Fox Sports 2 HD and Fox Sports 2, Wednesday, May 4, 4.30pm
Summary: The Bears should be a rejuvenated side after they had their second bye of the season last weekend while the Magpies will have revenge on their minds after being handsomely beaten by the Bears at Campbelltown back in Round Three. The Magpies stats for the year doesn’t make for pretty reading unfortunately, they are statistically the poorest attacking team in the competition and only Windsor have conceded more points than they have this year and in fairness to the Wolves they have played one more game than the Magpies. Norths have shown signs of improvement early on in 2011 but if you were to take their victory against the Magpies away, they would be winless for the year, so we can’t get too carried away with their form either to be honest.
Game Breaker: Fetuli Talanoa – Fetuli may think he is a little stiff to find himself in the NSW Cup after being one of the NRL’s leading tackle busters early on in the season. But regardless of his feelings about how it is he has come to find himself in the NSW Cup, he will know that the quickest way to get back into the Souths line up is to star for the Bears on the weekend.
Prediction: The Bears should be able to post their second win of the year here against the Magpies.
Auckland Vulcans Vs Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Mt Smart Stadium, Saturday, April 30
Kick-off: 11.00am (NZST) 1.00pm (EST)
Referee: Leon Williamson
Summary: One meets two in a top of the table clash at Mt Smart Stadium to kick off proceedings in Round Eight of the NSW Cup. And with just the one loss between the two sides thus far in 2011 there is little doubt that this looks to be the match of the round. The competitions best attack in the Vulcans will face off against the best defence in the Bulldogs, and when you throw in a plethora of stars you have the makings of a real classic. Godinet Vs Reynolds, Johnson Vs Roberts and Robinson Vs Foster are just a few of the mouth watering match ups that awaits the Auckland faithful that will be in attendance on Saturday. The Bulldogs will be without the services of the competitions leading tryscorer in Michael Lett yet find themselves in the enviable position of being able to bring in a player like Heka Nanai in his place. No interruptions to the Warriors side means the Vulcans have the luxury of fielding a similar team to the one that dispatched of the Magpies at Campbelltown last weekend.
Game Breaker: Joel Moon – A player of wonderful ability, Moon is one of those players who has found it difficult to solidify his place in the NRL yet regularly dominates opposition when playing in the NSW Cup. A great ball runner with the ability to kick and pass, Moon must be watched closely by his opposite number and his clash here against Jonathan Wright promises to be a match defining one.
Prediction: Find it hard to tip against the Bulldogs in this competition, so will stick with them here but a home victory would certainly not shock.
Balmain Ryde-Eastwood Tigers Vs Cronulla Sharks
Leichhardt Oval, Saturday, April 30
Referee: Luke Phillips
Broadcast: www.nswrl.com.au’s Weekend Game-Cast, proudly brought to you by Teamm8
Summary: An intriguing clash here as the high flying Sharks head north to Leichhardt to face what should be a desperate Tigers outfit. Coming off the back of a 22-0 loss at the hands of the Jets, the Tigers find themselves in the unfamiliar position of eighth and are four points plus some considerable for and against away from the top four at present. Conversely the Sharks sit comfortably inside the top four after dispatching an out of sorts Wenty team at Toyota Stadium last weekend. The Sharks will be without the services of both Tim Smith and Isaac Gordon who have both been recalled to the NRL as replacements for Albert Kelly and Nathan Gardner respectively while the Tigers are still trying to sort out their halves situation following the departure of Blake Lazarus and Darren Nicholls in the off season. There is little doubt that there is plenty of talent in this Tigers squad but surely their fans would be getting frustrated with some of their sub-standard performances to start the season.
Game Breaker: Scott Porter – The 2010 NSW Cup ‘Player of the Year’ has had a slow start to the season, predominantly due to injury, but it has not taken him long to start to put his stamp on this year’s side. While the Sharks have been winning matches with the halves combination of Smith and Blair for the most part, there is little doubt that a fit and healthy Scott Porter commands one of those jerseys.
Prediction: If the Sharks can overcome the disruptions to their side they should be claiming the two competition points.
Manly Sea Eagles Vs Newtown Jets
Brookvale Oval, Saturday, April 30
Referee: Henry Perenara
Broadcast: Triple H 100.1FM (Link available via www.nswrl.com.au’s Weekend Game-Cast)
Summary: The Manly Sea Eagles will be ruing the one that got away after going down to the Centurions at Ausgrid Stadium last week, despite seemingly having the game under control with around twenty minutes remaining. Unfortunately three late Centurions tries combined with some errant goal kicking from the Sea Eagles handed the Centurions an unlikely win. And things don’t get much easier here as they square off against a Jets side that will be full of confidence following a professional win over a disappointing Tigers side at Henson Park last Saturday. The Jets unveiled their latest addition last week in former Tiger, Blake Lazarus, and it paid immediate dividends with the halfback scoring against his old club while for Manly, Dean Whare was good again last week in only his third game of the year and he will only get better with more matches under his belt.
Game Breaker: Terence Seuseu – Much has been made of this player’s colourful past recently but one thing is for certain, when Terence’s mind is on the job, he is an outstanding footballer. He plays with a toughness and edge that teammates love. A handful out of dummy half, particularly close to the oppositions try line, Seuseu is a constant danger and will look to lead Manly to their second win of the year against the Jets.
Prediction: The home side is not without a shout but if the Jets can repeat their efforts of last week, they should be winning again.
Windsor Wolves Vs Central Coast Centurions
Windsor Sports Complex, Saturday, April 30
Referee: Chris Sutton
Broadcast: Hawkesbury Radio 89.9FM (Link available via www.nswrl.com.au’s Weekend Game-Cast)
Summary: The Wolves appeared competitive against the Dogs for around 55 minutes last week but unfortunately for them they fell away late in the match and as a result the full time score didn’t make for nice reading. The Centurions would probably be the first to admit that they dodged a bullet last week against Manly and will certainly be looking to play better than that here against what should be a desperate Wolves side. Towney should add some much needed attack to the Wolves backline while Kyle O’Donnell is set to return in the backrow for the Centurions.
Game Breaker: Coedi Towney – Towney joined the Wolves in the off season after being one the Entrance’s best in the Bundaberg Red Cup in 2010. Injury has postponed his season to this point but given that he is now fit and healthy, opposition defences best beware.
Prediction: The Centurions got out of jail last weekend against Manly and perhaps have peaked on their early season performances at present. Windsor’s form has been too bad to believe and they desperately need the points. The Wolves in a close one.
Wentworthville Magpies have the BYE