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NSW Cup Previews Round 7
Cronulla Sharks Vs Wentworthville Magpies
Toyota Stadium, Saturday, April 23
Referee: Gavin West
Summary: Cronulla welcomed back 2010 NSW Cup player of the year, Scott Porter, last weekend against the Jets. Porter and Tim Smith combined well in the 20-10 win over the Jets and could be a dangerous halves combination with more games under their belt together. Justin O'Neill replaces Dean Collis in the centres for the Sharks, highlighting just how much depth the joint venture outfit has. Wentworthville are coming off a lesson from the Bulldogs at The Crest and will be keen to bounce back into some form with an improved showing here. On paper, the match looks pretty even but performances this year from Wentworthville haven't been up to their self imposed high standards. The Magpies need a good showing from sizable front-rowers Manase Manuokafoa and Pele Peletelese if they are to trouble the Sharks in this one.
Game Breaker: Kose Lelei - One of the form utilities in the NSW Cup thus far. Lelei upstaged some of his more fancied former team mates against the Bulldogs in Round 4 and will wreak havoc around the edges with a tired forward pack in front of him.
Prediction: Sharks to take a bite out of the Magpies.
Central Coast Centurions Vs Manly Sea Eagles
Ausgrid Stadium, Saturday, April 23
Referee: Matt Noyen
Broadcast: www.nswrl.com.au's Weekend Game-Cast, proudly brought to you by Teamm8
Summary: Manly cracked it for their first win against the Wolves last weekend at Brookvale while, the Centurions went down to the Vulcans after losing a few key players to the NRL on match day. Manly now have the added impetus of Terence Seu Seu at hooker and the return of centre Dean Whare has helped the Sea Eagles in the point-scoring ranks. Kyle O'Donnell and Steve Southern return from injury and the NRL respectively for the Centurions this week with the only worry for Rip Taylor being his diminishing hooking stocks. Simon Allen is the third hooker used by Taylor in only the seventh round of the competition with Chris Marlborough and Chris Adams both unavailable.
Game Breaker: Dale Clacherty - A junior representative centre for NSW, Clacherty got a taste of the NSW Cup late last season and will be a vital attacking weapon for the Centurions against an in form Manly backline.
Prediction: The Centurions to bounce back here and win in a close one.
Newtown Jets Vs Balmain Ryde-Eastwood Tigers
Henson Park, Saturday, April 23
Referee: Adam Gee
Broadcast: Triple H 100.1FM (Link available via www.nswrl.com.au's Weekend Game-Cast)
Broadcast: NSWRL Match of the Round to be aired on Fox Sports 2 HD and Fox Sports 2, Wednesday, April 27, 4.30pm
Summary: Both sides are traditional powerhouses in the NSW Cup and find themselves sitting mid table with only a handful of wins between them. Granted, both sides have had their selection headaches in the NRL but both have the depth in their system to cover for such headaches. Rumours are rife that representative centre Matt Ryan is seeking a release to join another western Sydney Club after being approached by their NRL coach and you would think he would be itching at the opportunity after being overlooked at the Tigers in recent years. He will get a prime opportunity to show his worth this weekend against Sydney Rooster Kane Linnett who partners one of the real success stories in the 2011 NSW Cup, Francis Vaiotu. Vaiotu was playing for Cabramatta in the Bundaberg Red Cup last year and, after impressing Coach Greg Matterson in the preseason, has been in superb touch thus far this year.
Game Breaker: Aidan Guerra - showed he hasn't lost his uncanny knack for finding the try-line last weekend after several weeks off with injury. Guerra will be lurking wide and could take the game away from the Tigers.
Prediction: The Tigers in an upset.
Western Suburbs Magpies Vs Auckland Vulcans
Campbelltown Sports Stadium, Saturday, April 23
Referee: Shane Charman
Summary: Brett Seymour moves up to the NRL this week and is replaced by Shaun Johnson. Johnson was a member of the Warriors' NYC program last year and has already found his feet in the NSW Cup, scoring two tries on debut against the Centurions last weekend. The Vulcans had planned on having the services of Jeremy Latimore but he has since been elevated to the NRL and is replaced by Kitiona Pasene in the starting line-up. Western Suburbs will be a refreshed group after having the bye last weekend. You know what you are going to get with the Magpies each week. They may not be the flashiest team in the NSW Cup but they will make you work for every point and if you don't turn up they will grind you into submission. Josh Davis continues to impress for Wests and wouldn't look out of place in the NRL.
Game Breaker: Shaun Johnson - young kid with big wraps on him. Ivan Cleary will be keeping a close eye on his progress as he makes his step up to the NSW Cup.
Prediction: The Vulcans should win comfortably.
Windsor Wolves Vs Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Windsor Sports Complex, Saturday, April 23
Referee: Ricky McFarlane
Broadcast: Hawkesbury Radio 89.9FM (Link available via www.nswrl.com.au's Weekend Game-Cast)
Summary: The Wolves head back to Windsor desperate for two points. They have lost four straight since their 8-6 win over Balmain Ryde-Eastwood in torrential rain at the Windsor Sports Complex in Round Two and they face a monumental task of not making it five-in-a-row against the Dogs here. A positive for the Wolves is that they are beginning to settle into a starting 13 after a number of player movements caused Coach Guy Missio to rethink his game plan. Bulldogs fans will be pleased with the return of promising halfback Josh Reynolds as well as the performance of young prop Sam Kasiano last weekend against Wentworthville. Windsor prop Dayne Weston can stake a representative claim here against a star studded Bulldogs forward pack which includes the likes of Kasiano, Warburton, Armit, Romelo and Morrin.
Game Breaker: Joel Romelo - Is always in the thick of the action. Watched him run 20 metres across field just to run at Tim Smith in Round 4. Loves the contest.
Prediction: The Dogs to keep the streak alive, but by less than what many may predict.
North Sydney Bears have the BYE