Ron Massey Cup Preview - Round Seventeen
Windsor Wolves Vs Auburn Warriors
Windsor Sports Complex, Saturday, July 26
Referee: Jeff Hartup
Broadcast: Radio Coverage courtesy of Hawkesbury Radio 89.9FM (Link available via www.hawkesburyradio.com.au)
Summary: The Windsor Wolves season hangs by a thread following back to back defeats at the hands of Cabra and Wenty in recent weeks. The Wolves now find themselves four competition points behind Cabramatta and Wests, who both sit on 17 points. But with four of their last six matches at home, the Wolves will still feel they can force their way into the eight by seasons end. The Warriors have also lost their last two, and four of their last five overall, so they will be keen to win just to regain some winning form. Auburn has one of the best attacks in the Ron Massey Cup with the likes of Matt Utai, Heka Nanai and Arthur Little in their backline, but they also have the worst ranked defence of any side currently in the top eight. Look for this one to be a high scoring affair if conditions allow it. The matchup between the Daniel Foster and Arthur Little in the halves will be pivotal to both sides winning chances.
Prediction: If the Wolves are any hope of making the finals, they must win here. Wolves by 6.
Asquith Magpies Vs The Entrance Tigers
Storey Park, Saturday, July 26
Referee: Drew Oultram
Broadcast: Radio Coverage courtesy of Triple H FM (Link available via www.triplehfm.com.au/hhh)
Summary: Three consecutive losses has seen the Tigers go from clear front runners to being on the verge of falling outside the top four, such is closeness of this year’s competition. In fact, their opponents here in Asquith would leapfrog the Tigers with a win due to their superior for and against. Asquith missed out on the chance to do just that last weekend when they went down to Guildford at home. The Magpies form at Storey Park this year had been quite good early on, but recently they have lost two games and also had a draw at home, so look for them to attempt to resume winning ways here. During the Tigers run of three losses, they have really struggled to put pressure on the scoreboard, scoring just 42 points over the stretch. In fact, the Tigers, despite sitting in third spot, are statistically the least effective attacking side in the top eight, averaging just 24 points a game. 24 points a match doesn’t sound too bad, but in a competition where high scores are often the norm, 24 points probably won’t cut it.
Prediction: Look for the Tigers to bounce back in what should be a close affair throughout. Tigers by 4.
Blacktown Workers Vs Cabramatta Two Blues
HE Laybutt Sporting Complex, Saturday, July 26
Referee: Phil Sung
Summary: With the exception of a 40 point loss at the hands of Mounties in round fourteen, the Blacktown Workers have arguably played their best football of the season over the past month. Wins over Wests and Asquith were bookended by close losses to the Colts and Wenty, so Blacktown may well fancy their chances of taking it right up to Cabra here. The Two Blues are also playing some pretty handy footy having won four of their last five, and they appear to be coming good at the right time of the season. Although they sit in eighth place on 17 competition points, Cabra could quite conceivably still finish in the top four if they continue on their merry way, thus is the compact nature of the top eight at present. The battle between the speedsters in Manning and Dibeci should be a fun one for the fans to watch in yet another clash that promises plenty of points.
Prediction: Cabra look to be hitting their straps and should account for a gallant Workers outfit. Cabra by 10.
Mounties Vs Kingsgrove Colts
Mt Pritchard Sports Complex, Saturday, July 26
Referee: Todd Smith
Summary: While they may not be able to lay claim to being ‘the hottest’ team in the Ron Massey Cup right now, the Kingsgrove Colts aren’t far off it. Having won three of their last four, with the lone loss only being by a narrow four point margin against Burwood, Jeremy Smith certainly has his troops playing some inspired rugby league. Unfortunately for Kingsgrove though, they will have to face a Mounties side, that after an indifferent start to 2014, finally looks to be putting it all together. The last time Mounties lost a game was way back in round eight when they went down to the Tigers by a single point. Since that time, Mounties have rattled off eight wins and one draw to vault themselves right into contention for the minor premiership. Dwayne Brown has scored in each of his last three matches for the Colts and will need to be watch closely here by Mounties. His matchup against opposing number one in Joey Bond should be one of the highlights of the day.
Prediction: Hard to see Mounties dropping this one with the minor premiership still very much up for grabs. Mounties by 16.
Guildford Owls Vs Burwood North Ryde United
McCredie Park, Sunday, July 27
Referee: Joshua McGowan
Summary: Another side that has come good of late is the Guildford Owls. Three consecutive wins, all against fellow top eight sides, has seen the Owls move into outright fourth, just the one point behind the three sides sitting on 21 points. Both the Hunt and Ellis brothers have been in fine form of late for Guildford, but collectively they will not want to underestimate Burwood, who are a better side than their place on the bottom of the ladder may indicate. United had managed back to back wins against Kingsgrove and Auburn prior to their loss against Wests last weekend. With Tarek El Masri and James Livock leading from the front, United will certainly test the Owls resolve in a match that the home side would be expected to win. When these two sides last met back in round six, it was a tough six point win to Guildford.
Prediction: The Owls have come good at the right time and will be too good for Burwood. Owls by 16.
Wentworthville Magpies Vs Western Suburbs Magpies
Ringrose Park, Sunday, July 27
Referee: Scot Murray
Summary: The ladder leading Wentworthville Magpies will look to maintain that status this Sunday when they host a Magpie of the Wests variety. Both sides enter this one as last start winners with Wenty knocking off Windsor 34-14 while Wests accounted for Burwood in a free flowing encounter 46-28. Wenty would not have forgotten the touch up that Wests gave them back in round six to the tune of 42-10 at Leichhardt Oval and will look to make the most of home field advantage here. Ben Fritz and Jon Pepa both bagged doubles last weekend for Wenty, and along with the likes of Cecil MacKenzie and Saia Tanginoa, they will prove to be a handful for the Wests defence. The Wests attack is not exactly chopped liver though, with the Mapasone boys and Nu Akeripa, more than capable of making an impression on the scoreboard.
Prediction: Don’t think there will be much in it at full time but think the home side may sneak home. Wenty by 2.
Make sure you are following @NSWRL on twitter and monitoring the #RMCup hashtag all season long for all the latest news and scores.