Mounties Vs Guildford Owls
Aubrey Keech Reserve, Saturday, March 29
Referee: Scot Murray
Summary: Mounties snuck home in a close one against Windsor last weekend with a 36-34 win while Guildford lost in what was a tough first up ask against a stacked Wentworthville side. The Owls can take confidence out of their loss because we can hardly remember a stronger Ron Massey Cup team in recent years than the side they lost to last weekend. Mounties look to have found themselves another prolific try-scorer on the wings with Michael MacKinder grabbing a hat-trick last week against the Wolves. The experience of Ben and Casey Ellis will be crucial to the Owls’ chances of success here. The brothers have had many a torrid battle with the men in black and yellow and they will know what needs to be done to secure their first two points of the season
Prediction: Mounties at home is always a tough prospect. The Owls may have to wait till week three for their first points of the season. Mounties by 6.
Kingsgrove Colts Vs Asquith Magpies
WIN Jubilee Oval, Saturday, March 29
Referee: Ryan Jackson
Summary: Both teams are coming off first up losses and will be keen to get their first competition points of the season. There was plenty to like about Kingsgrove’s performance last weekend against Cabramatta and Simon Clark’s men should underestimate Jeremy Smith’s men at their own peril. Colts fullback Dwayne Brown showed he knows his way to the try-line last weekend when he grabbed a hat-trick against a strong Cabramatta defence while Asquith halfback Aaron Groom looked solid for the Magpies in their loss to Blacktown. Ron Massey Cup fans will know of big Francis Tuigamala and it is good to see he is still running around in the competition for Asquith. The man mountain will certainly be a handful for the Kingsgrove defence in the early exchanges. Should the Colts be able to counteract the barnstorming forward, they have enough class to claim the two points here.
Prediction: We are exclusively tipping the Colts to get the two points here. Colts by 2.
Auburn Warriors Vs The Entrance Tigers
Lidcombe Oval, Saturday, March 29
Referee: Kasey Badger
Summary: Western Suburbs managed to keep NRL experienced centre pairing Matt Utai and Heka Nanai relatively quiet last weekend and Tigers coach Jamy Forbes will hope his centre pairing of Allen Mulia-Malau and Brad Chatfield can do the same this weekend. Mulia-Malau, who is coming off a round one double, was a strong performer for the Wyong Roos last year and he was the chief destroyer of the Auckland Vulcans in Wellington last year as was mentioned in the VB NSW Cup previews yesterday. We like the looks of the battle set to be waged up front with the likes of Sione Tovo (Auburn) and Faailonga Fioni (Tigers). The Entrance halves ooze class and should be the difference here.
Prediction: The Tigers look to have too much class across the park but the Warriors can be anything if they turn it on. Tigers by 2 (but just throwing darts).
Windsor Wolves Vs Western Suburbs Magpies
Sportingbet Stadium, Saturday, March 29
Referee: Drew Oultram
Broadcast: Radio Coverage courtesy of Hawkesbury Radio 89.9FM (Link available via www.hawkesburyradio.com.au)
Summary: Windsor and Western Suburbs will be looking to go one step further this weekend after close losses in round one. The Wolves had their hearts broken last weekend when a Brendan Newton sideline conversion after the final siren sunk their chances against Mounties after leading 14-0 and 32-16 at various stages throughout the game. Halfback Eli Makaui has started the season on song, scoring three tries against Mounties, and will be looking to continue his form against the Magpies. Western Suburbs will be not too disappointed with their efforts against a strong Auburn side last weekend. Magpies centre pairing Rusty Bristow and Jerome Mose looked particularly strong and when they combine with a strong forward pack; the Magpies look dangerous.
Prediction: Makaui looks in good touch in the early stages of the season, and his running game will cause plenty of headaches for the opposition defence. Wests forwards will relish the challenge of improving on last week’s effort. Wolves by 6.
Wentworthville Magpies Vs Blacktown Workers
Ringrose Park, Sunday, March 30
Referee: Phil Sung
Summary: The reigning Premiers began their title defence with a convincing 42-26 defeat of Guildford last weekend and will be determined to keep their momentum flowing against Blacktown. On the back of a dominant forward pack, Hooker Brendan McKinnon was able to control the game for the Magpies and the Workers will need to be wary of his influence on the outcome of the game. Brendan Waters was also particularly good last weekend and will be a big factor in this match. Blacktown began their season with a hard-fought 28-21 victory over Asquith, and despite the Magpies dominating field position for much of the game, the Workers were able to make the most of the opportunities to put points on the board. Watch for Fullback Daniel Smith to cause problems for Wenty’s defence.
Prediction: Wentworthville have begun the season much like they finished the last and should prove too strong here. Magpies by 10.
Cabramatta Two Blues Vs Burwood North Ryde United
New Era Stadium, Sunday, March 30
Referee: Todd Smith
Summary: The Two Blues will be looking to build on their round one victory over Kingsgrove last weekend and will benefit from playing at home once again when they host Burwood North Ryde. Henry Iuta was in fine touch last weekend, and after shifting to the wing for this weekend’s game, will need to be watched closely by the United defence. Burwood will be disappointed with their round one loss to The Entrance and will be out to make amends. After being blown off the park in the first forty minutes, United delivered a committed second half and will be hopeful of building on that effort against Cabramatta. Kurt Aldridge is dangerous out of dummy half and will need to be watched after scoring a double last weekend.
Prediction: Away games against The Entrance are tough, and trips to New Era Stadium can be just as hard. Two Blues to win against a determined Burwood North Ryde. Two Blues by 10.