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Competition - NSW Cup.

Round - 12.

Teams - Illawarra Cutters Vs Wyong Roos.

Date - 28th of May 2016.

Venue - WIN Stadium, Wollongong.

Photographer - Robb Cox.

New Zealand Warriors v Wentworthville Magpies
Mt Smart Stadium, Saturday 4 June
2:40pm (local)

The New Zealand Warriors sit in outright second position on the Intrust Super Premiership NSW ladder, having not lost a match since Round 5. That defeat, coincidently, was against the team they are up against this week, the Wentworthville Magpies.

The Magpies had an incredible start to the year, completely overturning their 2015 form to win four of their first five matches, however it has not been all smooth sailing since then. They’ve had over 40 points put on them in their past two clashes against the Canterbury Bulldogs and the North Sydney Bears, and again a month ago against the Wests Tigers. Funnily enough, their last victory was in Round 5 against the Warriors.

Wentworthville have also been disrupted by the sudden departure of coach Joe Grima, who has stepped aside for personal health reasons. Ex-NRL veteran, Nathan Cayless, has taken the reigns, and the Wentworthville locals will be hoping to turn their form around.


North Sydney Bears v Wyong Roos
North Sydney Oval, Saturday 4 June
LIVE Broadcast on Steele Sports

These two sides take up the exact middle of the Intrust Super Premiership NSW ladder, with North Sydney sitting in sixth and Wyong sitting in seventh position. There is, however, a considerable gap between the sides, as the Bears are a massive four-competition points ahead of the Roos. Interestingly enough, Wyong has the advantage in the points-differential column.

The Roos have not been the measure of consistency that we are so used to in the competition, having gone down to Illawarra, Newtown and the Wests Tigers in consecutive weeks. Their last victory was in the Grand Final re-match back in Round 9.

North Sydney are coming off a huge 42-16 victory over Wentworthville, which followed a buzzer-beating win over Manly, so it is safe to say the Bears are in form. They will have to be very careful, however, as Jackson Hastings remains in the Wyong line-up.


Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v Mounties
Belmore Sports Ground, Saturday 4 June

Mounties are easily the benchmark of the competition, while the Canterbury Bulldogs have struggled to start 2016 – with the exception of their past two matches.

They have only gone down in a single game, which is why Mounties sit on top of the Intrust Super Premiership NSW ladder with four-points separating them from the second placed Warriors. They have a forward pack that possesses an incredible skill-set, including Jeff Lima, Jarrad Kennedy, Glen Buttriss, Sam Duggan, Scott Sorenson, and of course, Mitch Barnett.

The Bulldogs have certainly been the underachievers of 2016, as they possess a well-balanced side that include the dominant halves pairing of Matt Frawley and Dane Chisholm. They set a trend of giving up leads in the early stages of the year, but a six try effort to Jarrod McInally against Wentworthville sparked the side to win two in a row.


Wests Tigers v Penrith Panthers
Leichhardt Oval, Saturday 4 June
LIVE Broadcast on Steele Sports
Ryan Jackson

The Wests Tigers have faced some major adversity in recent weeks, losing chief playmaker Josh Drinkwater to Super League, before Intrust Super Premiership NSW Residents representative, Asipeli Fine, to the Canterbury Bulldogs in recent days.

They still sit very nicely on the ladder in fifth position, and on for and against are only a single try away from breaking into the top four. A seven-point defeat at the hands of Mounties last week proved that they can match it with the best, and this was further proven in previous weeks with victories over Newcastle, Wyong, North Sydney and Wentworthville.

Penrith set the defensive benchmark in the 2015 competition, but the same can certainly not be said this year. They are conceding an uncharacteristic 24 points per game, and have only recorded one victory since Round 7. The recent addition of under-20s Nathan Cleary has been positive for the Panthers, and they will be hoping he can add some control and class into their attack.


Newtown Jets v Illawarra Cutters
Henson Park, Saturday 4 June
LIVE Broadcast on Steele Sports

The match of the round will be at Henson Park when the Newtown Jets host the Illawarra Cutters. It is a battle of third versus fourth, and both teams are coming off a win against the Wyong Roos, as the Jets had a bye last week.

The Cutters have been up and down this past month, going down to Manly and Mounties while having good wins against Wyong and Newcastle. Despite the uncharacteristic Sea Eagles defeat, the Cutters’ form has been incredible to start the year, and they will be looking to solidify their position in the top four with a win over the in-form Jets.

 Newtown, meanwhile, have been in roughly the same boat as the Cutters, winning two from their last three. The last time these two side met was very recently in Round 7, where the Cutters won the match quite convincingly, to the tune of 28-14.


Manly Warringah Sea Eagles v Newcastle Knights
Brookvale Oval, Saturday 4 June

It’s safe to say that Manly and Newcastle are two desperate sides at this point of the season, as both sides sit in the bottom three spots in the competition ladder, and have only accumulated four wins between them.

The Knights have only managed one victory this season, which was a come-from-behind victory against the Wentworthville Magpies. They may be the premiers, but the amount of injuries changes to the NRL squad has a direct impact on the Intrust Super Premiership NSW team, and it is certainly showing. Coach Matt Lantry will be hoping for a better performance than recent weeks to really get their season back on track, and this weekend is a perfect opportunity to do so.

The Sea Eagles have put in some top-four-like performances here and there, but consistency is their biggest issue. A massive come-from-behind win against the Bulldogs and the demolition of the Illawarra Cutters are just examples of these, but they have failed to back, stringing together poor performances which result in their positioning on the table.

This match is do-or-die for both teams, and a victory could really get one their seasons back on track.  

Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.