Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
4 days ago
Collies v Dapto 3pm Saturday July 17 - WIN #2 Ground The competition leaders face a desperate Dapto this weekend. The Canaries will fall six points out of the four, making a finals appearance impossible. Any late charge by Dapto this year must start against Collies, who are the form side of the premiership. Collies are in super form and it will take a massive improvement by the Canaries to compete with the Dogs. To make things even worse for Dapto, and every other team for that matter, is that Collies have signed several players mid-season to strengthen their already overflowing talent roster. The Dogs will therefore be odds on to end Dapto's season on Saturday. Uni v Wollongong 3pm Saturday July 17 - University Oval The clash between the depleted Bulls and underperforming Books is of no significance to the finals, with pride the only thing to play for this Saturday. Wollongong back up after an 88-12 humiliation at the hands of the Blacks, which is about the only thing that could make Uni's 56-14 loss to Wests look good. The Bulls have won only one match this season, and that was against Uni in the first round. The Books will be keen to avoid the embarrassment of letting that happen twice. Wollongong's chances will depend on the fitness of their large number of injured first graders. Uni are just about due to have a good game. Port Kembla vs Corrimal. 3pm Sunday July 18 - Noel Mulligan Oval The Corrimal Cougars travel to Noel Mulligan Oval to face Port for their second round clash after being soundly beaten in their deferred Wednesday night clash recently. The Blacks are in dynamic form, running in 15 tries last week against the Bulls. They way they are playing should produce a match with plenty of points and unless Corrimal can lift above their recent form, most of them will be scored against the Cougars. Port put 50 on their opponents last time they met and are likely to repeat this effort, so menacing has been their recent form. The Blacks have far too many stars to name, and all of them seem to be at the top of their game right now. Helensburgh v Thirroul. 3pm Sunday July 18 - Rex Jackson Oval Helensburgh have the unenviable task of facing the Butchers, who are heading towards the finals in a no-nonsense fashion. Helensburgh usually give Thirroul a hard match, but the class of the Butchers should prevail in the end, even at the Tigers' home ground. The Butchers also need the two competition points a lot more than their hosts, as a chance at a top two position will lost if Thirroul lose this match. It is hard seeing the Tigers matching it with Thirroul, but it will be interesting if Matt Tope can score enough points to ultimately gather the 47 needed to overtake the injured Mark Simon as the competition's leading scorer.