THE first match of the round sees the Dragons take on the Magpies at WIN Stadium. The Dragons have made several changes from last weeks side, the most notable is the loss of Ryan Powell who will make his first grade debut. He will be replaced by Peter Ellis.
The Magpies have brought Peterson into halfback, pushing Levy onto the interchange bench. They?ll be hoping the change can turn around their fortunes after last week?s loss to the Cougars. If they suffer defeat this week they could find themselves falling as far as 9th spot with the finals just around the corner.
THE Round starts with a bottom of the table clash featuring the Newcastle Knights and North Sydney Bears. Newcastle comes off a win against Manly while the Bears lost narrowly to the Sharks. The Knights won?t expect to be as strong as last weekend though with their front row pair Kennedy and Tanner in first grade this week.
FOR the second week in a row the round starts off in Newcastle. Both sides come into this match on the back of big wins. The Knights have only made slight rearrangements to their side from last week. Their biggest loss will be Todd Bates who scored 16 points last weekend which means Balmain will be slight favourites to take out this match.
THE Newcastle Knights won 42-8 in a one sided affair against the Dragons at Oki Jubilee Stadium.
THE Canberra Raiders held off the Canterbury Bulldogs for a 21-16 win at the Sydney Showgrounds.
IT was a game of two halves. An old clich? but one that rang true in the Dragons and Storm clash. Melbourne eventually won 22-14 but did their best to squander a very comfortable halftime lead.
ROUND 17 kicks off with the top of the table Raiders taking on the Roosters at Aussie Stadium. The Raiders have completely dominated the competition to date but will face changes to their squad this week. Ace halfback Van Dijk suffered a hamstring injury against Cronulla ruling him out for this match. It means Gafa moves into halfback to form a new combination with Evans. Also Mashall Chalk comes back from injury to take up the fullback spot left by Phil Graham who has gone back up to first grade. For the Roosters Lopini Paea will move from the centres into the second row for this clash. Despite the loss of Dijk, the Raiders should come into this match as strong favourites.
THE Newcastle Knights silenced their critics with an inspiring 36-20 win over the New Zealand Warriors.
THE Sydney Roosters escaped with a 36-28 win after a very spirited second half performance from the Cronulla sharks.
THE Sydney Roosters have beaten the Canberra Raiders 20-16 in a top of the table thriller at Aussie Stadium.