Tooheys Illawarra Rugby League
Round 16 preview

Wests vs Helensburgh. 3pm Saturday July 24 - Parrish Park

This match means little to Wests as far as making the finals is concerned.? They are now safe in fourth, although a win over the Tigers, and a loss to Collies by Thirroul, could have the Devils snapping at the Butchers' heels for third spot, and the psychological advantage it brings.? Helensburgh gave the Butchers a real run for their money last week and Wests cannot afford to be complacent. ? A loss for the Devils will on give their finals rivals more confidence when facing them next month.

Dapto vs Port Kembla. Saturday July 24 - Dapto Showground

The Canaries have a wonderful opportunity to restore some pride and at the same time upset the minor premiership chances of their opponents. ? Dapto have all the pressure off and can go out and throw it around the way Port play the game and plenty of points should be on offer.? The first round match was a 28-26 win to Blacks and they should fill up the grandstand with their travelling support on Saturday.? Port have improved since that match and should have another comfortable win in the end.

Corrimal? vs Uni. 3pm Saturday July 10 - Ziems Park

The Cougars are coming off three games against the top teams in which they have been beaten a total of 138-26.? They will be keen to get a win up after looking good before those games.? Uni lost against the Bulls for the second time this season and will also be keen to join Corrimal on 12 competition points. ? Corrimal started well last week, with Uni letting the Bulls get away to a big lead and if this happens again, the Cougars could be up 20-0 after 15 minutes.? The Books have risen to their 2003 for a couple of times this year and could easily do the same thing to Corrimal if the Cougars show any signs of complacency.

Thirroul vs Collies 3pm Sunday July 25 - Gibson Park

The match of the round sees the popular northern community's club take on the rich poker-machine backed Collegians.? Thirroul will need to be playing to their capacity to overcome the Dogs, who are narrowly the form side of the competition.? The Butchers' chances will increase if Fuad Suljkanovic makes it back from injury.? Jason Ferris should be back for the Dogs, leaving them with an embarrassment of riches.? The Butchers will look to their front row to lead them to victory, with the kicking game of Paul Air important.? Justin Brooker has been in brilliant form and could be pushed back to the wing if Dane Dorahy moves back to the centre diue to the return of Ferris at halfback.? This will be a great clash before a big crowd if the weather is fine and could be a preview of the 2004 grand final.

RESERVE GRADE

The Eagles will be licking their wounds after Wests beat them 30-2 last week and will run over the top of the Bulls on Sunday.? Dapto (19) face Port (20) in a must win game after being toppled out of the four by Collies last week.? Helensburgh won't have the firepower to match Wests on Saturday. ? Thirroul clash with Collies in an identical position on the table as Dapto and Port.? Uni should stay on the fringe of the four by overcoming Corrimal.? Five teams are in the thick of battle for the four positions, with the final outcome probably not known until after the final round.

UNDER 18'S

Dapto face Port again this weekend in a riduculous draw.? The Canaries won 16-4 and moved to the top of the table with 26 points. ? Like last week, the winner of this match will be leading the premiership. ? Despite the great win over Thirroul last week, Helensburgh will probably lose to Wests.? Berkeley will overcome the Bulls, who tasted victory for the first time against Uni last week.? The Books take on Thirroul and are likely to come up short again in front of the Butchers' home fans.

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