Harold Matthews Preview - Round Two
A few of the competitions traditional powerhouses hit the ground running in Round One of the Harold Matthews Cup last weekend with the Penrith Panthers and Sydney Roosters standing the tallest following comprehensive 36-0 wins over the Parramatta Eels and Melbourne Storm respectively.
In addition to these powerful performances, there were also some matches that came right down to the wire with the Steelers sneaking home 15-14 against the Centurions thanks to a Dylan Morris field goal while just the two points separated the Magpies and Knights in Cessnock, with Western Suburbs claiming the win 26-24.
Casting our eyes forward to Round Two and there are some mouth-watering clashes on offer once again, and it all gets underway on Friday night at WIN Jubilee Oval when the Dragons take on the Steelers.
While the St George Illawarra Dragons are a merged entity at the NRL level, their Junior Rep sides continue to field teams under their original banners. A large number of these kids would have had exposure to one another over the off season and at in house trials and so forth, so their meeting on Friday night should make for some intriguing football.
Although these kids are still primarily 15 and 16 years of age, a large number of them will already be eyeing off spots in the St George Illawarra NYC side in the coming years, so a memorable performance here could be just what the doctor ordered.
Another match that jumps off the draw is the one between the Penrith Panthers and the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs.
As mentioned earlier, the Panthers will be brimming with confidence following their 36-0 win over Parramatta while the Bulldogs will be looking for their first win of the season after they went down to the Raiders 20-10 last weekend.
The Bulldogs traditionally are one of the Junior Reps powerhouses so the proposition of an 0-2 start will not sit well with the powers that be at Belmore, so a fired up Dogs side is expected come kick off out west on Saturday afternoon.
The NSWRL Media team will be at Morry Breen Oval on Saturday afternoon to bring you all of the action from the fixtures involving the Central Coast Centurions and the Canberra Raiders.
The Centurions will be looking to bounce back from the disappointment of their first up loss to the Steelers while the Raiders will be looking to make it back to back wins to start the season following their opening round win over the Bulldogs.
In other matches, the Magpies and Sea Eagles will both be looking to make it two from two when they tangle wings out at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on Saturday morning while the Bears face a tough proposition of keeping a rampant Roosters outfit in check out at TG Milner Field.
Also on Saturday the Rabbitohs will be looking for their first win of the year when they welcome the Western Sydney Academy of Sport to Redfern Oval while the South West Sydney Academy of Sport will host the Melbourne Storm at Campbelltown Sports Stadium in a match that both sides will genuinely believe they can win.
The Sharks and Tigers both posted professional wins in Round One and will be doing battle at Remondis Stadium on Saturday, and last but not least the Parramatta Eels and Newcastle Knights will both be looking for win number one when they lock horns out at New Era Stadium.