The top four teams in the competition flexed their muscle in Round Six of the Harold Matthews Cup with Penrith, Newcastle, Balmain and Canberra all recording strong victories over their opponents.
With only four points separating positions eight-seventeen, the need to string wins together over the remaining three rounds of the regular season is becoming of particular importance.
After six rounds, the Penrith Panthers still remain the only undefeated team in this year’s competition and can be rightly considered as the team to beat; however nothing is certain in Rugby League and their round eight clash with Newcastle next weekend is shaping up as a strong measurement of their credentials.
As we cast our eyes to this weekend, there are number of games taking place that could have a strong impact on the makeup of the final eight, so let’s take a look at the matches that matter.
The Tigers and Roosters will go head-to-head at New Era Stadium with the loser to find themselves outside of the top-four by the completion of the round. Balmain currently sits in fourth place and will not want to relinquish their slender one-point lead on the boys from Bondi heading into the home straight.
The Raiders and Rabbitohs will battle it out at Gunghalin Oval with the Raiders looking to remain in striking distance of pole position should the Panthers stumble when they take on the Western Suburbs Magpies; whilst South Sydney will be fighting to keep their paws inside the top-eight.
Fellow top four side the Newcastle Knights will host the Central Coast Centurions who will be looking to bounce back from a 36-6 defeat to the Sharks last weekend, as the boys from the shire look to capitalise on that win when they take on the Bulldogs who are fighting to find their way into the top-eight.
Melbourne and St George will be both searching for their second win of the season when they lock horns in Cranbourne; whilst the Eels will be looking to push their way into the top four if results go their way and they defeat the Bears.
To complete Round Seven of the Harold Matthews Cup, SWSA will take on the Illawarra Steelers and Manly will take on WSA.
Once again the NSWRL twitter account @NSWRL will be providing halftime and fulltime match scores and you can follow the account by clicking here.