Central Coast Centurions Vs Balmain Ryde-Eastwood Tigers
Morrie Breen Oval, Saturday, June 4
Referee: Jon Stone
Broadcast: www.nswrl.com.au's Weekend Game-Cast, proudly brought to you by Teamm8
Summary: The Central Coast Centurions head into this clash off the back of their worst performance in quite some time after they were comprehensively defeated by the North Sydney Bears a fortnight ago at Harker Oval. Rip Taylor would not have been pleased with his sides effort as it appeared they almost threw in the towel late in the second half. Meanwhile the Tigers were able to make it two wins from their last three outings last weekend when they accounted for the Wolves at Leichhardt. The Centurions have regained the services of Shannon McDonnell, Peter Mata'utia and Simon Williams who were all unavailable a fortnight ago while the final make up of the Tigers team is anyone's guess as Paul Fletcher has named an eight man bench. One player who won't be playing for the Tigers is Matty Ryan as it appears he is another who is set to change clubs mid season with a move to Wentworthville looking like his destination. An interesting duel between two teams that are likely to hold equal belief that this is a winnable game.
Game Breaker: Peter Mata'utia - Fresh from making his NRL debut where he looked anything but an NRL rookie, Mata'utia should now have the self belief to dominate at this level of play. A strong runner of the ball with the ability to punch through the line and offload at will, Mata'utia will no doubt be a cause of concern for the Tigers back three all game long.
Prediction: The week off should have done the Centurions the world of good, and expect them to sneak home in a close one.
Newtown Jets Vs Wentworthville Magpies
Henson Park, Saturday, June 4
Referee: Shane Rehm
Broadcast: NSWRL Match of the Round to be aired on Fox Sports 2 HD and Fox Sports 2, Wednesday, June 8, 4.30pm
Summary: The Newtown Jets will need to overcome a huge test of the clubs depth if they are to make it three wins on the trot as Origin and injuries are starting to impinge on the fourth placed club. Players like Enahoro, Barrett, Naughton and Strickland just to name a few are all unavailable due to injury while regulars like Pritchard, Carney and Cordner are all suiting up for the Roosters. There are no such worries for Wenty though as they field what looks like arguably their best side of the season. Mortimer, Humble, Hicks and Filiga certainly help give this Wenty outfit some star power and rumours are abound that Reni Maitua may make his comeback from a two year layoff here also. The Jets ground out a solid win against the Bears last week and a repeat performance will be required here as you can imagine Greg Matterson will be refining his sides game plan to offset the sides personnel losses while Wenty would only need to repeat their first half performance from last week for the full eighty minutes here to register an important away win.
Game Breaker: Scott Jones - The former Shellharbour Dragon has been inspirational for the Jets off the bench in 2011. A pint sized dynamo that punches above his weight, Jones is proving to be one of the signings of the year despite the anonymity of said signing.
Prediction: This is a danger game for the home team but they have overcome the odds already this season and are capable of doing so again here, but it won't be easy.
North Sydney Bears Vs Auckland Vulcans
North Sydney Oval, Saturday, June 4
Referee: Henry Perenara
Broadcast: Triple H 100.1FM (Link available via www.nswrl.com.au's Weekend Game-Cast)
Summary: The North Sydney Bears face somewhat of a litmus test this weekend in regards to their finals credentials. There is little doubt the Bears are an improved side compared to the one that ran around in the 2010 NSW Cup, yet for all of that improvement who have they actually beaten? They have had the benefit of two byes already while most teams have only had the one, and three of their four wins have come against the bottom two teams on the ladder. Admittedly their other win was a convincing one against the Centurions up in Newcastle who were in fourth place at the time, but the Centurions were a shell of the team they had been and I'm not sure how much can be read into that result. Despite their loss to Wentworthville last weekend, the Vulcans still share joint top spot on the ladder and will not want to make it two losses on the trot away from Mt Smart Stadium. Johnny Aranga returns for the visitors which forces Glen Fisiiahi onto the wing while the Bears will take to North Sydney Oval with a very similar side to the one that ventured over to Henson Park last weekend. This needs to be a statement game for the Bears and wins like these can ultimately make the difference between finishing eighth and being bundled out of the finals in week one or potentially finishing fifth.
Game Breaker: Herman Retzlaff - The Like