PREVIEWS | ISP NSW Round 11
Newtown Jets v Illawarra RLFC
Henson Park, Saturday 20 May
Newtown Jets square off with the Illawarra in the opening match of Round 11, in what is sure to be a hotly-contested affair at Henson Park on Saturday afternoon.
Illawarra got the better of the Jets in Round 3 of the competition, edging Newtown in a torrid encounter at a wet and windy WIN Stadium in Wollongong.
Conditions may be much of the same here in this clash, set to place an added emphasis on control and completions – two areas which have, at time, evaded the Jets this season.
Newtown head into this clash on the back of a last-start win over the North Sydney Bears, while Illawarra take confidence from their Round 10 thumping of the Wentworthville Magpies.
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v Wyong Roos
Belmore Sports Ground, Saturday 20 May
The Bulldogs have the unenviable task of looking to stop the red-hot Wyong Roos at the weekend, an assessment which proved all too difficult for the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles in Round 10.
The Roos put paid to Blacktown, crossing for 40-unanswered points before tiring late in the match to concede three tries on the bounce themselves.
The win, although not a complete performance, was enough to ensure Rip Taylor’s men remain atop the competition heading into Round 11, with a healthy for-and-against to boot.
The Bulldogs themselves scored a solid win over the Wests Tigers at Belmore last weekend, and will be hopeful of earning back-to-back wins after an up-and-down start to the 2017 season.
Mounties v Wests Tigers
Aubrey Keech Reserve, Saturday 20 May
Mounties suffered what was considered a surprise defeat in Round 10, going down to the unfancied Newcastle Knights by 6 points in Cessnock.
In a see-sawing contest that saw Mounties draw level despite going behind by 12 points early, the Knights consigned Steve Antonelli’s men to their third loss of 2017.
Wests Tigers were made to pay for their missed chances in their loss to the Bulldogs last weekend, bringing undone their recent run of success in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW competition.
Look for the Mounties to bounce back from their shock defeat to the Knights, eager to consolidate their place as genuine title contenders.
Newcastle Knights v Penrith Panthers
McDonald Jones Stadium, Sunday 21 May
Broadcast LIVE on Fox League
Newcastle edged Mounties in dramatic fashion last weekend to score a surprise win over the Premiership heavy-weights, inspired by a match-winning try courtesy of True Blue, Trent Hodkinson.
The 50-metre dash to score was enough to seal his side’s win, lifting the Novocastrians into the log-jam of teams boasting eight competition points, 10 rounds gone.
The Panthers meanwhile sit ever so slightly to their better on nine points from their ten matches, the anomaly of which came from last weekend’s last-gasp 26-all draw with the Warriors.
Leading late on in the contest, the Panthers were forced to settle for a point at home, as the Warriors recorded their second draw of the season.
The Knights will take the mental-edge over the Panthers here in this clash, having got the competition points when the sides last met in Round 6 of the competition.
Wentworthville Magpies v Warriors
Ringrose Park, Sunday 21 May
Wentworthville play host to the Warriors at Ringrose Park on Sunday, and they’ll have to better their efforts of Round 10 to prove any hope of claiming the competition points against the men from New Zealand here.
Going down to the premiers Illawarra last weekend, the Magpies looked a shadow of the side that trumped Newtown the week prior.
A said, the Warriors snatched a point from the jaws of defeat to shore up their place in the competition’s top 4, just won win adrift of the Wyong Roos who head the competition.
North Sydney Bears v Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles
North Sydney Oval, Sunday 21 May
Rounding out the weekend, the North Sydney Bears host the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles in a clash sure to excite and delight.
Both sides coming off last-start losses, the stakes will be raised as each aims to return to the winners’ circle here in Round 11.
The Bears were sprung in their defeat to the Jets, while Blacktown’s late resistance against the league leaders gives them a point of hope heading into what looks another tough assessment.
The Workers – with a win, and pending the Wests Tigers’ result against Mounties – could leap David Heath’s men into 11th, ridding the unwanted tag of sitting at the foot of the competition.