PREVIEWS | Intrust Super Premiership Rd 21
Wests Tigers v Mounties
Campbelltown Sports Stadium, Saturday 30 July
Broadcast LIVE on Fox Sports
View the Wests Tigers v Mounties team lists
Mounties coach Stephen Antonelli isn’t having a bar of being branded the Intrust Super Premiership NSW title favourites. He hates the tag.
“I’m not a fan of being labelled favourites,” Antonelli tells NSWRL.com.au.
“I think we’re underdogs going into this week’s game.
“I don’t think many teams respect us – no-one talks about us… it’s how I like it.
“I like to earn respect – I like us playing like that.”
Despite sitting in first position on the ladder, Antonelli insists the fourth-placed Wests Tigers deserve favouritism entering this week’s clash. But he’s not treating NSWVB Blues Origin hooker Robbie Farah any differently.
“[We’ve got to treat him] like just another face,” he says.
“If you make a big song and dance about him, someone else like Justin Hunt or Jack Littlejohn will stand up and tear us to pieces.
“I hope Robbie does play – he’ll draw a crowd and add some atmosphere to Campbelltown.
“We’re ready for a great clash.”
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v Newcastle Knights
Belmore Sports Ground, Saturday 30 July
View the Canterbury-Bankstown v Newcastle team lists
This clash has all the hallmarks of a Bulldogs win: a home match at Belmore; a clash against the cellar-dwellers; another game for Newcastle just three days following their catch-up game against Manly.
The Knights, though, are the 2015 champions – and, despite having won just one match all year, will be desperate to finish this season on a high. With Chanel Mata’utia and Akuila Uate in the Newcastle line-up, the visitors are always a chance.
If the 10th-placed Bulldogs are to qualify for the finals though, they’ll take the Knights to the sword.
Newtown Jets v Penrith Panthers
Henson Park, Saturday 30 July
View the Newtown v Penrith team lists
It’s the fifth-placed Jets against the sixth-placed Panthers in what should be a great clash in Marrickville on Saturday.
The Panthers have the second-best attacking record in the competition, having scored 478 points, but the Jets – Cronulla’s feeder club – will prove more than a handful. Their squad features plenty of NRL talent, with the likes of Travis Robinson, Matt McIlwrick, Jesse Sene-Lefao and Jacob Gagan all capable of taking a step up.
Wyong Roos v North Sydney Bears
Morrie Breen Oval, Sunday 31 July
View the Wyong v North Sydney team lists
Sunday’s sole Intrust Super Premiership NSW fixture sees the seventh-placed Roos host the eighth-placed Bears.
The home side possesses a number of players to watch – including Omar Slaimankhel and Mitch Williams – but the Bears too have plenty of firepower.
With ninth-placed Wentworthville breathing down both teams’ necks, this is a crucial clash with the finals just around the corner.