Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
4 days ago
Dapto vs Thirroul. Saturday July 10 - Dapto Showground
The grand final replay will be a torrid affair, with Dapto now only two points out of the top four, six behind the third placed Butchers. ? The Canaries have quietly sneaked back into contention and a repeat of their first round win over Thirroul will put a scare through the top four.? Thirroul have a good chance to push for a top two position with a win on Saturday.? Dapto are certainly a more formidable opponent than earlier in the season with the return of former Illawarra prop David Bil and New South wales Universities rep Steve Carlon.? Thirroul's lofty position on the table has been aided by Aaron Beath's recent appearances for the Butchers. ? Fuad Suljkanovic (Thirroul) and Adam Blake (Dapto) return from Country duties to their respective team also this week.
Corrimal? vs Collies. 3pm Saturday July 10 - Ziems Park
The Cougars' bubble has burst over the past couple of games after they momentarily flirted with the fringes of the top four.? Their capabilities will be tested by the leading team in the premiership on Saturday.? The Dogs are deserved competition leaders and Corrimal will have to be at the top of their game to prevent an avalanche of points.? Collies should have too much talent across the park for Corrimal to be able to contain over 80 minutes and the Cougars must be on their guard from the opening bell, so devastating has been Collies Form.
Wests vs Uni. 3pm Sunday July 11 - Parrish Park
This match is crucial to Wests.? These are two points they cannot afford to drop with their rivals Dapto only a win behind.? Uni are out of the running for 2004 and their only pleasure from here on in will be to upset some of the teams above them, starting with the Devils on Sunday.? The Books have a talented lineup but have failed miserably to even come close to putting it together this season.? As predicted by the Bartercard Web Of Steel earlier in the season, Dale Fritz will make his return to Illawarra rugby league after an 11 year absence when he steps out for Wests in this match.? Fritz left the Steelers as a 5/8 in 1993 before stints at Western Reds, North Queensland, Wests Magpies and Castleford, where he played second row.? He is a rugged defender whose experience will aid a side overwhelmed by Port last week.
Wollongong?vs Port Kembla. 3pm Sunday July 11 - Herb Clunas Oval
The Bulls conceded 70 points last week and can be thankful that Mark Simon is out injured.? Port are playing to well to see anything other than a big score.? Wollongong are lacking confidence in their ability and any weakness will be punished severely by Port.? Mark Simon is a huge kingpin in their side and will be missed, with the first week fielding a reshuffled side the best opportunity the Bulls can get to spring a huge upset.? Port should have too many class players to see anything but a big win.? The Bulls can expect the biggest crowd of the season this Sunday.