Harold Matthews Preview - Round Six
Six of the nine Harold Matthews Cup matches played in round five were decided by single figures and the Panthers and Roosters match ended in a draw.
Following their draw against the Roosters, the Panthers remain the only unbeaten side in 2014, and like their SG Ball counterparts, sit on top of the ladder as we head into the final months play.
With only three competition points separating fourth and fourteenth on the ladder, this year’s race to the finals looks to be one of the more hotly contested on record.
Any of the sides that finish this round sitting on six competition points will still consider themselves a very good hope of finishing in the top eight.
With this in mind, let’s look at a few of the marquee match ups in round six.
Two sides who sit outside the eight on four points are the tenth placed Western Sydney Academy of Sport and the eleventh placed Illawarra Steelers. A win here for either side will definitely keep their top eight hopes alive but a loss may well spell the end. Both of these sides look to have some winnable games remaining on their schedules so this clash may well determine which of the two can find their way into the bottom half of the eight before seasons end.
Another big clash is the one between the seventh placed Sharks and the thirteenth placed Centurions. A win for the Sharks here will see them move to eight points and possibly only a win away from securing a spot in the finals while the Centurions can move to six points with victory, and with the prospect of winnable games to come, the Centurions could not yet be discounted.
Perhaps the best match on paper this round is the one between the Knights and the Rabbitohs at Redfern Oval. The Knights have surprised somewhat in 2014 and currently find themselves in third place after five rounds while the Rabbitohs have mixed their form a little bit to this point of the competition but appear dangerous enough to test most sides on their day.
Other games this round see the Bulldogs host the Roosters at Belmore on Friday night while the Tigers host the Storm at Mascot Oval on Saturday.
The Magpies will welcome the Eels to Campbelltown Sports Stadium with both sides looking to move up the ladder while the Bears will still be looking for win number one when they host the top of the table Panthers.
Last but not least the Raiders host the Dragons down in the nation’s capital while the Sea Eagles and South West Sydney Academy of Sport will look to keep their finals dreams alive when they meet at Brookvale.
Once again the NSWRL twitter account @NSWRL will be providing halftime and fulltime match scores and you can follow the account by clicking here.