Friday, 20 March 2009
: The NRL Previews the NSW Cup Round Two.
BALMAIN RYDE EASTWOOD TIGERS v WESTERN SUBURBS MAGPIES
Saturday, March 21 @ Birchgrove Oval 3pm * FOXSPORTS 2 TV GAME
Rugby League returns to its spiritual home again in 2009 when the Balmain Ryde Eastwood Tigers and Western Suburbs Magpies take to Birchgrove Oval in a rematch of their Centenary clash last year. Both teams are coming off victories in Round 1 after the Tigers defeated their more fancied opponents the Auckland Vulcans in atrocious conditions at Western Springs Stadium and Western Suburbs took care of a solid Cronulla outfit at Campbelltown Stadium. The Tigers will again look to their pack to provide a good platform for talented halfback Josh Lewis to show his wares while Western Suburbs' veteran prop John Skandalis is set for his second clash after a solid return to NSW Cup competition in Round 1. Last year's heritage themed clash saw a huge crowd turn out to Birchgrove. Both clubs are hoping for the same this year and have made entry to this week's game FREE.
CENTRAL COAST STORM v SHELLHARBOUR
Saturday, March 21 @ Morrie Breen Oval 3pm
Rising star James Maloney proved the difference in Central Coast's win against Windsor last week and NRL Storm coach Craig Bellamy has taken notice, naming Maloney 19th man for his side's clash against Brisbane. Maloney is likely to be rushed back to Morrie Breen Oval where he will face Shellharbour half Matthew Head in what is shaping to be an intriguing battle. The game will feature a torrid forward battle as both sides boast powerful packs. The Storm will look to their super fit back row of Hep Cahill, Zeb Tawha and Brad Baldry while Irish International Ryan Tandy will be gunning for a big performance against Shellharbour's formidable front row. Whispers around the Shellharbour club are that tireless front-rower Jon Green has caught the eye of the senior coach but with names like Poore, Weyman and Costigan ahead of him Green must keep turning in solid performances for the South Coast based NSW Cup club for now.
CRONULLA SHARKS v NORTH SYDNEY BEARS
Saturday, March 21 @ Foreshaw Park, 1.15pm
North Sydney Bears play their first game of the season this week after having a bye in Round 1, and have named Luke Capewell at five-eighth for their clash against the Sharks. Capewell impressed in the NRL with South Sydney last year and will look to hit the ground running in 2009 for the red and black. The Bears have also added further spark to their backline with the addition of former Brisbane Broncos winger Reece Robinson, a Souths Junior who has returned from north of the border. The Sharks meanwhile will be looking for their first win of the season following a 28-22 loss to Western Suburbs last week. Sharks coach Alex Melville will have to do without powerhouse forward Jack Afamasaga this week who has been elevated to Ricky Stuart's NRL squad, which will see Anthony Killingbeck come into the starting side at lock and Tony Caine move to the interchange. The Sharks will be hoping for another big performance from hooker Terence Seu Seu.
NEWTOWN JETS v BANKSTOWN CITY BULLS
Saturday, March 21 @ Henson Park, 3pm
The Bulls will field arguably the hottest lineup in the NSW Cup when they meet the Jets on Saturday at Henson Park. With 11 of their starting 13 players being regular members of the Bulldogs NRL team last year, the Bulls will have plenty of firepower right across the park. For the Jets, Round 2 shapes as another tough assignment after they suffered a 42-10 defeat to Shellharbour last week. Coach Greg Matterson admitted during the week his side doesn't have the star billing of the Bulls, but his side will be keen to get back to the form that saw them go within a whisker of claiming the 2008 title. Bulldogs fans on the day will get the chance to see Brent Crisp, Heka Nanai, Tim Winitana, Matt Utai, Daryl Millard, Daniel Holdsworth, Trent Cutler, Michael Sullivan, Danny Williams, Yileen Gordon and Greek international Nick Kouparitsas on show for the Bulls.
WINDSOR WOLVES v AUCKLAND VULCANS
Saturday, March 21 @ Windsor Sports Complex, 5pm
The Wolves welcome former Newcastle Knights halfback Luke Walsh to their lineup following his signing with Penrith earlier this week. Walsh is highly rated by the game's greatest ever halfback Andrew Johns, who mentored him during his time at the Knights. Wolves coach Adam Przybyla has slotted the diminutive half in at five-eighth for this week's clash against Auckland and is surely hoping he can spark the side after its disappointing 30-6 loss to Central Coast Storm in the opening round of the competition. The Vulcans will be keen to go one better this week after suffering a 1-point loss to Balmain Ryde-Eastwood last week and coach Bernie Perenara will be hoping impressive five-eighth Liam Foran can again link with powerful wingers Patrick Ah Van and Malo Solomona.
BYE – WENTWORTHVILLE MAGPIES