NSWRL Premier
League: Round 18 Preview

The Round starts with a bottom of the table clash featuring the Newcastle Knights and North Sydney Bears. Newcastle comes off a win against Manly while the Bears lost narrowly to the Sharks. The Knights won?t expect to be as strong as last weekend though with their front row pair Kennedy and Tanner in first grade this week.

Newcastle Knights v North Sydney Bears Friday 8th August, 7:30pm at Energy Australia Stadium Referee: Ben Cummins Touch Judges: Darryn Lang and Doug Keen

Newcastle Knights ? Michael Young, Michael Fortier, Gavin Quinn, Jared Taylor, Joshua Smith, Michael Ennis, Chris Tyrie, Daniel Tolar, Luke Quigley, Andrew Price, Blake Mueller, Matthew Barlett, Riley Brown, Interchange: Brendan Worth, Matthew White, Tim Maddison, Mark Jaques, Todd Bates, Dane Tilse (Two to be omitted).

North Sydney Bears ? Team Unannounced

The Cougars continued their push for the top four last week with an impressive win and will try to continue that form again this week against the Jets. The Cougars have only made minor changes to last week?s side. The Jets on the other hand will be looking to avoid three straight losses but on the form of these two sides says it?ll be very tough for them to do so.

St Marys-Penrith Cougars v Newtown Jets Saturday 9th August, 3:00pm at Western Weekender Referee: Tony De Las Heras Touch Judges: Darren Alchin and Wayne Loveday

St Marys-Penrith Cougars ? Steve Turner, Chris Hicks, Shane Elford, Luke Dyer, Brett Howland, Daniel Russell, Ben Reynolds, Anthony Armour, Shannon Donato, Peter Lewis, Richard Fa?aoso, Danny Galea, Matthew Pow, Interchange: Garrett Crossman, George Rose, Ben Rogers, Tim Maccan, Shaun Ata (One to be omitted).

Newtown Jets ? Team Unannounced

The Roosters come into this next match on the back of a big win against competition leaders Canberra. Being only the second team to achieve that feat this season will give plenty of confidence for the remainder of the season. The Sharks unfortunately could be easy prey as their form of late has left a lot to be desired.

Sydney Roosters v Cronulla Sharks Saturday 9th August, 3:40pm at Aussie Stadium Referee: Tony Archer Touch Judges: Peter Castle and Steve Clapson

Sydney Roosters ? Grand Rovelli, Steve Skinnon, Lelea Paea, Tyrone Smith, Eric Grothe, Ben Wellington, Joe Williams, David Shillington, Wade Humphreys, Todd Ollivier, Lopini Paea, Fred Petersen, Richard Russell, Interchange: Tevita Metuisela, Shawn Mackay, Willie Bishop, Mal Kaufusi, Ian Henderson (One to be omitted).

Cronulla Sharks ? Loloaoa Milford, Adam Davidson, Andrew Emelio, Stephen Ross, Nick Youngquest, Jye Mullane, Travis Burns, Roy Friend, Pat Gibson, Nick Paterson, Jnr Paulo, Reece Williams, Greg Bird, Interchange: Don Tweddle, Shaun Wessell, Cameron Ciraldo, Kevin Kingston.

Souths chances this week take a blow as they will be without their stars in Merritt, Richardson and Kativerata. It?s not all bad for the Rabbitohs though as Craigie and Bajouri are very valuable additions to this week?s squad. Both teams come off losses but the Rabbitohs look the more dangerous of the two sides after giving second placed Canterbury a genuine scare.

Balmain Tigers v South Sydney Rabbitohs Saturday 9th August, 5:30pm at Leichardt Oval Referee: Steve Carrall Touch Judges: Alan Fallah and John McCormack

Balmain Tigers ? Team Unannounced

South Sydney Rabbitohs ? Wade McKinnon, Beau Mundine, Owen Craigie, David Fa?alogo, Ahmad Bajouri, Luke Branighan, Troy Robinson, David Buckley, Anthony Semrani, Brian Siemsen, Kevin Henderson, Stacey Katu, Jess Caine, Interchange: Shane Walker, Fuifui Moimoi, Joven Clarke, Wise Katerivata, Daniel Ninness (One to be omitted).

When the Dragons take on the Magpies on Sunday they?ll be fighting to stay in the top four. Their patchy form of late has allowed the Cougars to catch up on them. They don?t face an easy battle either with their opponents, the Magpies being no push overs. They have recorded some impressive wins in recent weeks and could cause some headaches for the top teams.

St George-Illawara Dragons v Western Suburbs Magpies Sunday 10th August, 12:00pm at Kograh Jubilee Oval Referee: Jason Weinstein Touch Judges: David Abood and George Jankowski

St George-Illawara Dragons ? Lee Bennett, Hassan Saleh, Chris Nero, Ben Creagh, Shane Laloata, Don Dickson, Dean Byrne, Jason Ellem, Ryan Powell, Steven Southern, Bryan Norrie, Gary McBride, Nathan Tutt, Interchange: Sam Faust, Robbie Simpson, Mark Dalle Cort, Josh Essex, Lachlan Russell, Ben Linde (Two to be omitted).

Western Suburbs Magpies ? Team Unannounced

The next match pits Manly up against Canberra. The Raiders last week dropped their first match in 16 rounds and without halfback Van Dijk are in danger squandering the great advantage they have built to date. This week they will try another halves combination of Gafa and Monaghan, moving Evans out into the centres. Despite the problems, Canberra will be confident of coming away from Brookvale with the two points.

Manly Sea Eagles v Canberra Raiders Sunday 10th August, 12:45pm at Brookvale Oval Referee: Jeff Younis Touch Judges: David Adams and Luke Bugden

Manly Sea Eagles ? Matt Hill, Daniel Watkins, Ryan Scott, Pat Foran, Sean Meaney, Brendan Crabb, Michael Gill, Gary Winter, Craig Hayne, Matt Austin, Clint Eadie, Ben Ellis, Phil Morwood, Interchange: Brad McLean, Adam Cutherbertson, Dylan Montgomery, Grant Wodden.

Canberra Raiders ? Marshall Chalk, Michael Robertson, James Evans, Phil Graham, Rod Jensen, Matt Gafa, Michael Monaghan, Darren Porter, Jarred Lawrence, Mark Bryant, Alan Rothery, Josh Miller, Simon Friend, Matt Doeg, Nathan Smith, Kris Kahler, Nick Kouparitsas, Alwyn Simpson, Adrian Purtell, Mark Simon (Three to be omitted).

The final match of the round sees Canterbury take on Parramatta. Being traditional rivals, there will be no love lost between the two sides on Sunday afternoon. Pride isn?t the only thing on the line with the winner taking second place on the table with the Bulldogs having the extra incentive of possibly first.

Canterbury Bulldogs v Parramatta Eels Sunday 10th August, 1:00pm at Sydney Showground Referee: Matthew Cecchin Touch Judges: Glenn Jackson and Mario Cafarelli

Canterbury Bulldogs ? Team Unannounced

Parramatta Eels ? Ronald Prince, Matt Gruska, Willie Tonga, Chad Halliday, Josh Williams, Adam Dykes, Paul Green, Justin Tsoulos, Daniel Irvine, Kyle Leuluai, Steve Crouch, Lee Hopkins, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Interchange: Steve Witt, Brett Sargent, Josh Cordoba, Anthony Boyd, Nathan McMillan, Jeff Robson, Adam Wheeler (Three to be omitted).

Matches at a glance: Knights v Bears Cougars v Jets Roosters v Sharks Tigers v Rabbitohs Dragons v Magpies Sea Eagles v Raiders Bulldogs v Eels