While the 2018 #NRL Pre-Season is still a few weeks away, there's a bunch of warm-up clashes happeni...
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Newtown Jets Vs Balmain Ryde Eastwood Tigers
Henson Park, Sunday, July 4 - Kick-off: 3.00pm
Referee: Gavin Morris
Broadcast: Unfortunately due to a programming clash, HHH Radio will not be calling the match - all the more reason to get to Henson Park on Sunday afternoon!
Just the one match scheduled for this weekend as the vast majority of sides enjoy a rare few days off. This game was originally set down for Round 13, but unfortunately due to bad weather, it had to be deferred to this spare weekend. Although it is third hosting first, it is essentially a top of the table clash as both teams have a game in hand over the rest of the competition, and whoever is victorious on Sunday will sit alone atop of the table. With the NSW Residents side taking on their QLD counterparts next Wednesday night at ANZ Stadium prior to Game Three of the Harvey Norman State of Origin Series, a handful of players will be unavailable for this mouth-watering clash. Missing on Sunday will be Sean Meaney, David Gower and Jared Farlow from the Tigers and also Aiden Guerra from the Jets. Matthew Ryan will play for Balmain, despite heading into the Residents camp as 18th man. Regardless of these selection interruptions, both sides, as you would expect given their positions on the ladder, have named extremely strong sides. The adaptable Gavin Cowan has been named at fullback as cover for Sean Meaney, which has seen Lee Bennett move into the centres, with Willie Mataka and Brett Lane coming into the Tigers starting line up in place of Gower and Farlow respectively. For Newtown, Jason Wells will more than likely be elevated off the bench to cover for the loss of Guerra while Russell Aitken's strong recent form has seen him rewarded with the number seven jersey as Liam Foran moves to hooker. Balmain was electric last weekend against a wounded Vulcans side, running in 48 points. Tame Tupou didn't take long to find his try scoring niche as he crossed for a double, as did Blake Lazarus and Lee Bennett. The Jets did it a little harder as it took them well into the second half to defeat a stubborn Centurions outfit. In what turned out to be one of the more entertaining games of 2010, Tu'u Maori and Chris Tuatara-Morrison combined for four tries while Jonathon Ford continued his stellar season with another outstanding performance. Purely form a statistical stand point, the Jets have the better attack and the Tigers have the competitions stiffest defence. This one has all the hallmarks of being the match of the year and is not to be missed.