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NSW Cup Match Previews - Round 18
Wentworthville are on a three game winning streak at present and will be looking to make it four on the trot against a Sea Eagles outfit struggling to find consistency. Back in Round Five when these sides first met, Wentworthville had a 20-4 victory and will be hoping to chalk up another win against the Silvertails.
Both sides struggled for an 80 minute performance in their respective matches in Round 16. The Magpies held a 32-0 lead late in the match before allowing the Windsor Wolves to score 22 unanswered points while the Sea Eagles trailed the Cronulla Sharks 20-0 at half-time before making a second half comeback to level the scores at 20-all before eventually going down by seven.
Manly will be missing Michael Oldfield who replaces Steve Matai in the top grade while Wenty lose the services of devastating forwards Reni Maitua and Manase Manuokafoa to the Eels.
The Bears are in sixth position and will need to string some wins together over the next few weeks to stake their claim for a top four spot. They are coming off a loss to the Bulldogs in Round 16 but pushed the premiers for the first half of the contest taking an 11-4 lead to half-time before being overpowered in the second half.
The Sharks welcome back former Cowboys winger John Williams from a leg injury while the Bears have four players in Fetuli Talanoa (pneumonia), Matt Mundine (foot), Beau Falloon (back) and George Burgess (knee) returning from injury in a boost to their chances.
Matt Mundine will make his first appearance in a red and black jumper after being injured in Souths 42-4 loss to the Gold Goast Titans in a trial match earlier this year.
The Vulcans are sitting nicely in second position and have blown away sides in their last three encounters. They scored 52 points against Manly in Round 14, 44 against Windsor in Round 15 and 58 against the Central Coast in Round 16. The Tigers have finally discovered some form of their own with 3 wins and a draw in their last four outings which places them in seventh position.
In fact the loss to the Vulcans was the last time the Tigers tasted defeat and they will be hoping to turn the tables back on home soil. The return of Vulcans flyer Glen Fisiiahi allows Pita Godinet to return to his more favoured position of halfback.
The Tigers lineup remains largely unchanged and is the main reason the side has finally discovered some consistency of late. Either way this match is set up to be a belter and all rugby league fans should head out to Leichhardt Oval this Saturday for the double header.
Having come from behind to post a 32-15 win against the Bears a fortnight ago, the Dogs now return home looking to hone their skills as the run to the finals begins in earnest. The Centurions have certainly been through a rough patch of late and need to start to recapture their early season form if they are to be anything other than cannon fodder come finals time.
When these teams last met at Morrie Breen Oval back in Round 10 the Dogs came away with the two points and the Centurions have only tasted success once since with a victory against a depleted Jets side in Round 14. Josh Reynolds scored a hat-trick back in Round 10 and will no doubt be keen to add to that tally here.
It is hard to believe that not even 12 months ago the Wolves were deeply entrenched in the top eight and were regularly beating the likes of the Tigers, Jets and Dogs. Fast forward to now and they find themselves sitting in ninth place on the ladder, some three wins and considerable for and against behind the eighth placed Centurions with the season quickly drawing to a close.
The Centurions recent woes are certainly leaving the door ajar for the Wolves but the question remains