PREVIEWS | Intrust Super Premiership NSW Rd 2
Mounties v Newtown Jets
Aubrey Keech Reserve, Saturday 11 March
On the back of a narrow win over the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles in Round 1, the Jets head west to Aubrey Keech Reserve to face Mounties, who themselves also enjoyed a first-start victory over the Bulldogs.
Newtown coach Greg Matterson knows his side will have to be better this week than they were last, with the Jets to turn out against a 'well-drilled' Mounties outfit that boasts plenty of experience.
"They're prepared to stay in the battle, they tick all the boxes, they just get through their sets," Matterson tells NSWRL.com.au.
"You've got to beat them; they won't beat themselves. The challenge for us is to be able to go set-for-set with them.
"We need to have patience and be able to stay in the game."
In team news, Kurt Capewell will miss the clash with Mounties after he was named a late inclusion for the Cronulla Sharks in their Round 2 match versus the Raiders in Canberra.
Newcastle Knights v Wyong Roos
McDonald Jones Stadium, Saturday 11 March
The Knights are set to run out in front of their home crowd for the first time this season, as Wyong travel up the M1 to the newly-named McDonald Jones Stadium.
Newcastle kicked off their campaign in Auckland with a tough first-up encounter against a Warriors side brimming with size and speed, and they were made to pay for a lack of care in possession.
On the receiving end of 42 first-half points, the Knights spent plenty time huddled around their own goal posts – though to their credit, mustered resistance in the second period to run in four tries of their own.
The Roos meanwhile turned in an impressive display, running out commanding 42-points-to-nil victors over the Wests Tigers at Morrie Breen Oval.
In team news, Wyong lose Intrust Super Premiership NSW Team of the Week star Zane Tetevano, who impressed when given a late appearance by the Sydney Roosters in their NRL clash with the Bulldogs on Thursday night.
Warriors v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Mt Smart Stadium, Saturday 11 March
Putting Newcastle to the sword on the back of an impressive first-half display, the Warriors went to sleep in the second 40 minutes in their season opener, much to the dismay of Coach Ricky Henry.
A shining light in the big win, half Mason Lino starred for his side in the opening week, having a role in a number of the Warriors' nine tries and kicking eight goals in the process.
The Warriors will be out to improve upon the performance – though with intentions of replicating the result – this weekend against the Bulldogs, who themselves impressed without claiming competition points in Round 1.
Form lines suggest the Bulldogs will be right in the thick of the contest in this match-up, narrowly falling at the feet of a highly-rated Mounties outfit last weekend.
The Bulldogs themselves will be hopeful of a more complete performance, going down last weekend despite leading in the early stages against Mounties.
Wests Tigers v Penrith Panthers
Campbelltown Stadium, Sunday 12 March
Wests Tigers will be out to find quick improvement when they play host to the Penrith Panthers in the battle of the big cats at Campbelltown on Sunday.
Penrith impressed in difficult conditions with a first-up win over Illawarra, getting the better of the 2016 Intrust Super Premiership NSW winners in what was an error-riddled affair.
Fullback Dylan Edwards and halfback Darren Nicholls impressed in the 22-point win, with the pair showing signs of promise early on in the new season.
“The conditions weren’t what you love to play footy but it was a good tough effort in defence,” Nicholls told NSWRL.com.au following the win over Illawarra.
“We shot ourselves in the foot with the ball completing at around 50 per cent, but I thought the defensive effort was the real highlight for us.”
The Tigers meanwhile return to Campbelltown on the back of a big loss at the hands of Wyong last weekend, with the side on the wrong end of a 42-0 Round 1 scoreline.
Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles v North Sydney Bears
H E Laybutt, Sunday 12 March
Running in three tries to Newtown's two wasn't enough for Blacktown to open their accounts as a new venture in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW competition.
Ill-discipline got the better of the Sea Eagles in the end, with Jets' marksman Joseph Paulo slotting two penalty goals – including one in the 75th minute – to see Newtown claim a vital win.
Blacktown impressed for large parts of their Round 1 performance, inspired by Titan-turned-Sea Eagle Cameron Cullen who put forward an impressive display.
North Sydney found joy in the competition's opening week with a win over Wentworthville, crossing for six tries, with fancied outside backs Braidon Burns and Robert Jennings each bagging a double.
The Bears look set to go without Burns' services at the weekend, with the flyer named in the Rabbitohs' side to take on Manly on Sunday.
Illawarra RLFC v Wentworthville Magpies
WIN Stadium, Sunday 12 March
Illawarra and Wentworthville wrap up Round 2 action at WIN Stadium, with each set to be desperate for the competition points after disappointing results in the opening week.
Illawarra will be hoping for conditions less testing than what was the case at Kogarah last time out, so too the Magpies who were asked to scrap in the wet against the Bears in Round 1.
In a losing side, speedster Matt Dufty showed glimpses of what he can do, looking dangerous at every time of asking against the Panthers last weekend.
The Magpies will be out to replicate the performance and effort of front-rower Alex Twal, who earned Intrust Super Premiership NSW Team-of-the-Week honours at the end of Round 1.