Wests Tigers v NZ Warriors
Campbelltown Stadium, Saturday 18 March
Broadcast LIVE on SteeleSports.com.au
On the back of two heavy defeats, the Wests Tigers play host to the NZ Warriors in a contest set to see plenty of points scored.
The Warriors – having crossed for 88 points inside their two matches played – will fancy their chances against a Tigers outfit which has leaked more points than any other team to start the season.
The trip to Campbelltown will be the first visit to Australia this season for the Intrust Super Premiership NSW Warriors, after beginning their 2017 campaign with back-to-back successes at home over the Knights and Bulldogs respectively.
For the Tigers, experienced hooker Matt Ballin earns a promotion to the starting side, after making his return to action from injury off the bench in last week’s defeat to the Panthers.
Newcastle Knights v North Sydney Bears
McDonald Jones Stadium, Saturday 18 March
Broadcast LIVE on Fox League (502)
Consecutive wins for the Bears to start the season fills the men from North Sydney with plenty of confidence as they travel up the M1 to face the Knights in Newcastle.
Tom Burgess is again expected to line-up for the Bears, named to start the match at prop, alongside fellow NRL-regular David Tyrell in the North Sydney pack.
Battered after conceding more than 40 points in their Round 1 clash with the Warriors, the Knights showed rapid signs of improvement the following week, going down by just eight to an in-form Wyong Roos outfit.
Illawarra RLFC v Newtown Jets
WIN Stadium, Saturday 18 March
Broadcast LIVE on SteeleSports.com.au
Illawarra RLFC will be in search of back-to-back wins when they play host to the Newtown Jets in Wollongong.
Despite the Jets going down in a heavy defeat to the Mounties in Round 2, Illawarra coach Mat Head says his side remains on notice this weekend.
“We know the type of club they are, they’ll always turn in a handy performance and find a way to make you work for the points,” Head told NSWRL.com.au.
Fa’amanu Brown will line-up at halfback for the Jets, with captain and regular playmaker Daniel Mortimer set to miss the match through injury.
A late inclusion in last weekend’s match, Sam Tagataese has been named to start the match at prop, joining Tony Williams in a big Jets run-on pack.
Mounties v Penrith Panthers
Aubrey Keech Reserve, Saturday 18 March
Broadcast LIVE on Hawkesbury Radio 89.9 FM
Mounties and Penrith are two of five sides that take a perfect start to the season into their Round 3 matches, with one of the pair set to taste defeat for the first time in 2017.
Mounties impressed with a commanding win over the Jets last weekend, though will need to aim up in defence against a red-hot Panthers side intent on playing an attacking brand of football.
“I thought our defence was a bit scrappy there towards the end. That’s something to work on for next week,” said Mounties backrower Anthony Moraitis in the wake of his side’s Round 2 success.
The Panthers ran in 52 points of their own last week, over a Tigers side that had no answers for the free-flowing Penrith play.
“We’re not too worried about the (Tigers) result, we’re focused on how we can perform better week in, week out,” Panthers star Tyrone May told NSWRL.com.au after the Round 2 win.
Wyong Roos v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Morrie Breen Oval, Saturday 18 March
Carrying an unblemished record into their clash with the Bulldogs, Wyong will be out to make it three-straight wins when the Bulldogs roll into town at the weekend.
The Roos impressed in the competition’s opening week, running in 42 unanswered points to consign the Wests Tigers to a heavy defeat to start the season.
Backing that effort up with a grinding win over the Knights last weekend, the Roos sit pretty, well entrenched in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW’s top four.
Canterbury-Bankstown, still yet to register a win this season, will face a tough task made only much the more difficult with Brad Abbey promoted to the NRL in place of the injured Will Hopoate.
Wentworthville Magpies v Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles
Ringrose Park, Sunday 19 March
Both the Magpies and the Sea Eagles head into this weekend’s clash at Ringrose Park yet to register a win this season.
Pipped by Newtown late in the contest in Round 1, Blacktown were again made to pay for their ill-discipline both with and without the ball, in their second week loss to North Sydney.
Wentworthville will be without experienced half Jeff Robson, who earns a first grade start in the Eels’ clash with the Titans on the Gold Coast on Friday.
Though falling to Illawarra in Round 2, Robson was instrumental in his side’s attack – laying on a try and crossing for one of his own last weekend.