Today Sam Bourke takes a look at the optimism in the water out Bondi way, as the Sydney Roosters loo...
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NORTHS v BURLEIGH *Live on ABC TV Bishop Park, Saturday May 12, 2pm. Referee: Luke POTTER
THE STORY: In threat of losing touch with the top five, Burleigh welcomes back junior representatives Kieran Turner and Luke Samoa, while Anthony Perkins returns from suspension. Burleigh is boosted by the inclusion of Trent Purdon, scorer of three tries in his last outing for the Bears. Norths v Burleigh clashes are traditionally known for their brutal forward battles.
THE STAT: Norths actually has the second-best attacking record in the league, but sits third-last on the ladder. That comes about via a forgettable defensive record, conceding almost 30 points per game. Coach Kevin Carmichael and his staff have been working hard to create greater understanding between the Melbourne-based players and the Brisbane contingent.
THE STAR: Alex Glenn was a remarkable story in the offseason, rising from Smartlend Cup local Under 19s player to a regular Wizard Cup starter. His story just got even better, with the Brisbane Broncos signing the impressive talent, a testament to what hard work can achieve.
Norths Devils Players: 1. Kieran TURNER 2. Georg KEPA 3. Joel THOMPSON 4. Will CHAMBERS 5. Anthony PERKINS 6. Jason POPPI 7. Liam FORAN 13. Sika MANU 12. Matthew BARTLETT 11. Matt RUA 10. Scott ANDERSON 9. James AUBUSSON 8. Aiden TOLMAN
Interchange: 14. Darren BRUCE 15. Brendan AFITU 16. Luke SAMOA 17. Adam BLAIR
Burleigh Bears Players: 1. Nick PARFITT 2. Trent PURDON 3. Alex GLENN 4. Jordan ATKINS 5. Aseri LAING 6. Adam HAYDEN 7. Ben BLACK 13. John FLINT 12. Leigh COGHILL 11. Martin GRIESE 10. James STOSIC 9. Ryan GUNDRY c 8. James GRIFFITHS
Interchange: 14. Josh BLATCH 15. Wayne PHILLIS 16. Stacey KATU 17. Murray EMMERSON
Coach: Jim LENIHAN
NORTH QLD v CENTRAL Dairy Farmers Stadium, Saturday May 12, 5.30pm Referee: Justin EASTWOOD
THE STORY: Suspensions and last-up defeats have brought widespread changes to these two teams, contestants in the competition