PREVIEWS | ISP Rd 14
Western Suburbs Magpies v Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles
Saturday, 2 June 12.45pm
Broadcast LIVE on Fox League
The Magpies enjoyed a week off in Round 13 of the Intrust Super Premiership NSW but will be desperate to bounce back into the winner's circle after their 23-22 loss to the Jets a week prior.
Facing a Blacktown outfit also fresh off the bye, the Magpies will be looking to put in another formidable defensive performance as they have conceded the least amount of points of any team in the competition this year (205).
Meanwhile, the Workers have found some consistency in recent weeks and will be searching for their third unanswered victory with a win on the weekend potentially seeing them climb into the top-four.
Jackson Hastings and Cade Cust have quickly formed a lethal halves combination and have combined well with fullback Jade Anderson, who leads his side for tries scored with six this year.
North Sydney Bears v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
North Sydney Oval
Saturday, 9 June 1.00pm
Broadcast LIVE on Channel 9 and 9NOW
A victory this weekend is crucial for the Bears if they are to make a charge towards the Intrust Super Premiership finals series but will need to drastically improve their defensive efforts against a Bulldogs side looking to bounce back to form.
Although fighting out a tough first-half on the weekend and trailing 10-4 at the break, a poor second-half display saw the Bears record 43 missed tackles and a 53% completion rate.
An improved performance on either side of the ball will be imperative if they are to compete with a Bulldogs outfit coming off back-to-back losses and lingering in the bottom-half of the competition ladder.
After missing 47 tackles in their loss to the Jets on Saturday, they can take confidence in knowing they completed at over 80% and their forwards are capable of laying strong platforms through the middle-third - ranking fourth in the competition for metres gained.
Ofahiki Ogden has arguably been their most consistent performer this year and has run over 100 metres in each of his last five games.
Newcastle Knights v Wyong Roos
McDonald Jones Stadium
Saturday, 9 June 3.15pm
The Knights have endured a horrid season to date and will be looking to restore some pride after a thumping 62-0 loss to the Mounties on Saturday afternoon.
Beaten convincingly on either side of the ball, the Knights held just 40% possession for the entire contest and ran for just 800 metres - 1200 less than the Mounties.
While it was a quiet return for fullback Nick Meaney, the livewire will play a crucial role if the Knights are to compete against a Roos side who are coming off a valiant 16-all draw with tan in-form Panthers.
Back-rower Brock Gray has been instrumental in their recent success, with two tries in his last two games while making a name for himself on the left-edge with his late-footwork close to the line.
Expect a more disciplined performance from the Roos after they made 10 errors against the Panthers, but can take confidence from their improved attacking structures in recent weeks.
Wentworthville Magpies vs St George Illawarra Dragons
Sunday, 10 June 3.00pm
The Wentworthville Magpies will be desperate for an improved performance after a tough 36-6 loss to the Warriors and are now up against the Dragons who will be brimming with confidence following their impressive 28-10 victory over the Bears.
The Magpise will be looking for a more clinical attacking display after making just one line-break in their loss, but will welcome Rhys Davies into a new-look spine who will partner Arana Taumata in the halves.
They will be without inspirational hooker Reed Mahoney, who will make his first-grade debut for the Eels this Saturday after a mammoth 60-tackle performance last weekend.
The Dragons took their time to work their way into the contest against the Bears but a second-half blitz saw them cross for three unanswered tries within a relentless nine-minute period.
Inspired by a double to Jai Field and a spirited performance from fullback Patrick Herbert, the Dragons will now be looking to build on their back-to-back victories in the hopes of cementing a top-four spot on the Intrust Super Premiership NSW ladder.