Competition - Intrust Super Premiership Round - Round 09 Teams - Penrith Panthers v Mounties - 30th of April 2016 Venue - Carrington Park, Bathurst, NSW, Photographer - Paul Barkley

PREVIEWS | Intrust Super Premiership NSW Rd 10

Penrith Panthers (9th) v New Zealand Warriors (3rd)
Pepper Stadium, Saturday 14 May
2pm
LIVE Broadcast by Hawksbury Radio (89.9FM)

While the Panthers have relocated their Round 10 NRL fixture to Christchurch, the Intrust Super Premiership NSW side remains firmly set at the foot of the mountains. It eliminates the possibility of more NRL regulars playing down a grade, as was the case in the Warriors’ last-start win over the Bulldogs.

Penrith will miss the experience and class of Elijah Taylor and New Zealand will be a different side without the likes of Manu Vatuvei, Ben Matulino and Bodene Thompson. Regardless, the Panthers will have to lift another level if the Warriors’ Round 9 go-forward and attacking prowess is replicated.

Ins and Outs:

The Panthers welcome promising fullback Brent Naden into the side, along with Paea Pua, Viliame Kikau and Rodney Coates. They replace George Jennings, Matt Place, Wellington Albert and Taylor, who has joined the Wests Tigers on a mid-season deal. While South Sydney’s Chris Grevsmuhl is widely tipped to join the Panthers effective immediately, it appears unlikely that he will play for either the NRL or Intrust Super Premiership NSW side in Round 10.

The Warriors lose three of Round 9’s relegated NRL players this week – Vatuvei, Matulino and Thompson – as well as Erin Clark, who didn’t take to the field in their last-start win. Coming into the side are NSW Residents representative Ken Maumalo, Jeff Robson, Toafofoa Sipley and Semisi Tyrell.

 

Newtown Jets (2nd) v Mounties (1st)
Henson Park, Saturday 14 May
3pm
LIVE Broadcast by Steele Sports

Mounties face yet another tough ask in Round 10 with a top-of-the-table clash at Henson Park. With a crowd of almost 9,000 expected to attend, it has the potential to define either club’s 2016 season.

While the Jets were last defeated two games ago, Mounties aim to make it seven straight and extend their lead over the rest of the competition.

Ins and Outs:

Just the one change for the Jets, with David Fifita elevated to play for the Sharks. Junior Roqica starts in his place, with Malakai Houma coming onto the bench.

The Mounties have lost Fiji international Sisa Waqa for this week, but he is replaced by experienced campaigner Cameron Phelps. After just five minutes in Round 9, Michael Morris is replaced by Will Mataka and Royce Hunt on an extended bench.

 

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs (12th) v Wentworthville Magpies (7th)
Belmore Oval, Saturday 14 May
3pm

It’s been a spectacular fall from grace for the Magpies, who were perched on the second rung of the competition ladder after the opening five rounds. The ensuing three games, however, have brought three losses to Mounties, the Jets and Tigers – three of the current top four sides. They could justifiably be relieved to be up against the Bulldogs this weekend, who remain winless in 12th position, but cannot take the clash lightly if they are to snap their mid-season losing streak.

The blue-and-whites had shown improvement in their narrow losses to the Jets and Bears, but realistically had little hope of overcoming a supercharged Warriors outfit last week. The most important thing for them is eliminating the doubts that could arise from their repeated poor finishes to games this season; the Bulldogs have held the lead in three of their past four games before eventually losing.

Ins and Outs:

The Bulldogs welcome back Chase Stanley from another devastating injury, as he looks to regain a first grade spot throughout the Origin period. Also returning and Danny Fualalo and Graham Clark – the trio unseat Reimis Smith, Will Solway and Craig Garvey who has again been named in the NRL squad.

As expected, the Magpies have rung in a host of changes – although not all of these are forced by the Eels’ salary cap dramas. Nick Walker, John Folau, Troy Dargan, Kaysa Pritchard, Matt Woods and Nick Kassis are the inclusions, replacing Jake Butler-Fleming, Bureta Faraimo, Michael Doolan, Blake Cook, Adrian Ha’angana and Andrew Pearn.

 

Wests Tigers (4th) v Wyong Roos (5th)
Campbelltown Stadium, Saturday 14 May
3pm
LIVE Broadcast by Steele Sports

If not for the first-versus-second encounter at Henson Park, this would undoubtedly be the most anticipated game of the round – if not this year. Both the Tigers and Roos have been playing entertaining, expansive football in recent weeks, which has shown in the results; the Tigers have scored 76 in two weeks, while the Roos have scored at least 28 points in every game since their Round 3 defeat – to the Tigers.

While Justin Hunt has been rewarded for his outstanding NSW Residents game with an NRL call-up, Watson Heleta proved his worth at the back to begin the season and will shift there seamlessly. For Wyong, the five-eighth experiment has finished for Omar Slaimankhel and Jason Seage slots into the vacant number 6 jersey.

Ins and Outs:

With fullback Justin Hunt earning his Wests Tigers NRL debut and Obeid Kharwin omitted, Watson Heleta returns to the number 1 jersey while Josh Addo-Carr and Michael Chee Kam slot into the backs. Experienced dummy-half Matt Ballin makes his club debut and forces Manaia Cherrington to the bench, pushing Jackson Wiliams out of the side. Jeremy Marshall-King is named on an extended interchange.

Kieran Gallagher, Jason Seage and Jackson Hill come into the Wyong side for Charlie Taylor, Connor Watson and Jake Lewis.

 

Illawarra Cutters (6th) v Newcastle Knights (11th)
Hunter Stadium, Sunday 15 May
11:40am
LIVE on FOX SPORTS 1 (501)

This weekend’s Fox Sports Match Of The Round features two sides who would have hoped to be higher on the ladder this year, but have shown glimpses of their potential regardless. The Cutters showed great promise to beat the Jets in Round 7, before being shown up by the Sea Eagles two weeks ago, while the Knights are averaging under 10 points in the four games since their lone victory over the Magpies.

Ins and Outs:

The Cutters welcome back the likes of Adam Quinlan and Taane Milne, along with Izaac Thompson, Tyrone McCarthy, Eric Newbigging and Hame Sele. They replace Mitch Porter, Thomas Carr, Kayne Brennan, Fraser Alcock, Jack Noble and Jake Marketo, who played in the Dragons’ golden point victory over the Raiders. Shaun Nona and Drew Hutchison also switch between the six and seven jerseys.

Newcastle also make a quite a few changes from their Round 9 loss to Wyong, welcoming Will Pearsall, Joe Morris, Lachlan Fitzgibbon, David Bhana and Tekina Vaelea in place of Sam Cook, Danny Kerr, Tyler Randell, Sam Bernstrom and Jamayne Taunoa-Brown.

 

North Sydney Bears (8th) v Manly Sea Eagles (10th)
North Sydney Oval, Sunday 15 May
3pm
LIVE Broadcast by Triple H (100.1FM)

North Sydney face of with Manly at North Sydney Oval this Sunday, in a big day of Rugby League featuring a hotly-contested Kick For Cash competition. It is two competition points, however, not $10,000, that is on the line for both teams – and bragging rights over their arch rivals.

Despite their lower position on the ladder, Manly must head into this as favourites based on recent form; they’ve posted 40, 36 and 42 points against Wyong, Mounties and Illawarra respectively, who are all in the top half of the ladder. Their second halves in particular have been promising, almost delivering a remarkable comeback over Mounties back in Round 7. Their weakness, of course, is without the ball – the Sea Eagles are the poorest defensive side so far in 2016.

A one-point win over the winless Bulldogs in Round 8 is the only victory the Bears have earned since Round 5 and without defensive standout Cheyne Whitelaw they will need to turn things around quickly. Consistency, as always, will remain the focus for coach Ben Gardiner.

Ins and Outs:

Latrell Schaumkel progresses from Ron Massey Cup to play for the Bears, along with Tevita Coterell, Fred Junior Mauala, Winstone Asotasi and Tulso Saumamao. They come in for Michael Oldfield, Jason Clark, Jack Gosiewski, Jordan Latham and Cheyne Whitelaw, who unfortunately is out for the season.

Manly will be boosted by the return of Jamie Buhrer, along with Harlan Collins, Daniel Vasek, Josh Martin and Heath Gray. They lose Brad Parker, Feleti Mateo, Blake Leary, Moses McGreal and Rhys Armstrong this week.