Grand final spots will be decided in Junior Representative competitions this weekend, while iconic Henson Park comes to life on Saturday as NSWRL TV streams the Newtown Jets-Mounties game in The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup action, along with a Monday night blockbuster in the Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership.
The elimination finals in UNE SG Ball Cup (Under 17s), UNE Harold Matthews Cup (Under 19s) and Harvey Norman Tarsha Gale Cup (Under 19s girls) are being split between two grounds this Saturday – HE Laybutt Sporting Complex at Blacktown for the A Group of finals and Leichhardt Oval for B Group. All six games will be live streamed on NSWRL TV.
The action starts at 11am with the UNE Harold Matthews Cup clash between the Eels (2nd) and Panthers (3) at HE Laybutt, while in the Harvey Norman Tarsha Gale Cup the ladder-leader Knights meet the Dragons (5) at Leichhardt.
The second round of games kick off at 12.45pm with Illawarra (2) and Roosters (3) in the Harvey Norman Tarsha Gale Cup at HE Laybutt and competition-leaders Manly facing Western Suburbs (4) in the UNE Harold Matthews Cup at Leichhardt.
The third round kicks off at 2.30pm with UNE SG Ball Cup minor premiers, the Roosters, against Illawarra (6) at HE Laybutt, while Manly (2) take on Canberra (4) in UNE SG Ball Cup at Leichhardt.
In the middle of all the grand final qualification comes the 3pm Round seven game between the Jets and Mounties, with the “Bluebags” desperate to get off the bottom of the ladder and improve on their one win from five games. The weekend rounds out with Round seven action in the Harvey Norman Women’s Premiership between St Marys and the Rabbitohs at 7pm on Monday from the NSW Centre of Excellence.
The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup
The Jets’ only win of the season so far came back in Round one, although they drew with the Bears 20-20 in Round five but then slumped to the Knights last weekend 42-22. The Knights have enjoyed three wins – over the Knights, Canberra and then last week by 20 points over the Bears. Perhaps being home at Henson Park will lift the Jets in combination with the raft of changes coach Greg Matterson has made.
Former PNG Kumuls international and winger-centre at five NRL clubs, Nene Macdonald, will start in the centres, Tyla Tamou at halfback and a whole new bench including starting hooker Kyle Paterson from last week, Ethan Natoli, Brick Ilett and Duwanye Mariner. The injury concerns in the Sharks NRL side are also influencing the Jets personnel.
Mounties are not without changes with forwards Brad Deitz and Ava Seumanufagai called up onto the Bulldogs NRL bench, which brings in Jordan Remfrey onto the Mounties bench.
Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership
Jillaroos and NSW legend Tarsha Gale – whose name honours the Under-19s competition – will be the special guest commentator on Monday night, when St Marys try to force their way back into the top-four with a win over lowly-placed South Sydney.
The Rabbitohs continue the search for a maiden win this season in their fifth game, although they came close with a four-point loss to the Helensburgh Tigers back in Round five. They should be fresh for Monday night’s game after enjoying a bye in Round six.
St Marys are coming off back-to-back losses to the Wests Tigers and the Central Coast Roosters so won’t be offering any sympathy to South Sydney’s plight.