North Sydney Bears v Newtown Jets
North Sydney Oval, Sunday 10 July
Broadcast LIVE on SteeleSports.com.au and triplehfm.com.au 100.1FM
The first leg of the Frank Hyde Shield for 2016 takes place at the famous North Sydney Oval this Sunday – and the home side will be desperate to go one-up against their fierce rivals.
Bears coach Ben Gardiner insists it’s a clash they need to win.
“Newtown are a really good side, they’ve been one of the sides that have been lucky enough to keep a similar side on the paddock for most of the weeks of the competition,” Gardiner tells NSWRL.com.au.
“They’ve had a few quiet weeks in the last few weeks, though, but they have had guys go up to NRL and back down from NRL so I would be thinking this week they would have quite a few of those guys back into their team, so they’ll be back to near full-strength.
“That’s a challenge that we like at North Sydney, we’ll have a red-hot crack.”
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v Mounties (Round 13 replayed match)
Belmore Sports Ground, Saturday 9 July
With cellar-dwellers Canterbury (15 competition points – 10th on the ladder) hosting high-flying Mounties (28 competition points – first on the ladder), it’s a case of David and Goliath here in the make-up Round 13 match.
But the Bulldogs are actually in decent form, especially considering the fact they hadn’t recorded a victory until Round 10.
They’ll need to crack a Mounties defensive wall though – the Canberra Raiders’ feeder team have conceded the least amount of points so far this season.
Penrith Panthers v Illawarra Cutters
Pepper Stadium, Sunday 10 July
This should be a cracker – Steve Georgallis’ sixth-placed Panthers hosting Jason Demetriou’s second-ranked Cutters.
The Panthers have strength across the park but the visitors have a number of key men, including fullback Adam Quinlan, centre Taane Milne and hooker Siliva Havili, who will need to be shut down if the home side can record an upset.
Newcastle Knights v Wentworthville Magpies
Hunter Stadium, Sunday 10 July
Broadcast LIVE on Fox Sports 501
The premiers Newcastle might be languishing in last place but don’t expect them to roll over easily against the ninth-placed Magpies.
The Knights are searching for a repeat of their Round 4 win over Wentworthville when the side meets them for the second time this season at Hunter Stadium.
While Newcastle was beaten 33-22 by the Mounties last week at Aubrey Keech Reserve, coach Matt Lantry was impressed with the team’s overall performance.
“For 50 minutes of the 80 minutes we were the better team,” he tells newcastleknights.com.au.
“We just lacked concentration in execution 10 minutes before half time and 10 minutes after half time.
“We spoke about our discipline that needed to be tidied up because we had a 6-1 penalty count leading into half time and within the first set of the second half, we gave away two penalties.
“We need to eliminate those things out of our game to minimise the opportunities the opposition gets.
"They are things we can control.”
One of the most dangerous players they’ll also need to control is Wenty fullback Honeti Tuha, the former Newcastle winger who scored a hat-trick in last year’s grand final.
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles v New Zealand Warriors
Brookvale Oval, Sunday 10 July,
The Sea Eagles are still a mathematical chance of making the top eight – they’re eight points outside the finals cut-off at this stage – but games like this are those they’ll need to win.
The Warriors are currently sitting in third position but are infamous for fades in performance across matches. If the Sea Eagles are any hope, look for Pita Godinet and Feleti Mateo, both former Warriors, to have a huge impact.
The visitors though, with pint-sized playmaker Mason Lino, should prove too strong.