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globalrugbyleague - Fri, 04 Apr 2008 09:24:00 GMT
We’ve got double trouble on Friday night when four NRL powerhouses rip into each other like starving sharks spotting their first feed in a week..
The Roosters and Bulldogs, definite arch-rivals against Brisbane and Melbourne - these two teams have developed their own rivalry in recent years.
Brisbane won the grand final against Melbourne in 2006 and then the Storm won the grand final against Manly in 2007.
The Dogs beat the Roosters in 2004. The Roosters won the title in 2002 and made three straight grand finals between 2002-04.
These four clubs have figured strongly this Millennium. Sadly, however, both games are played at the same time tonight.
This is just plain wrong.
The Broncos and Storm on a Friday night in Melbourne should have been the main game while the Dogs and Roosters clash could and should have been on a Sunday afternoon at ANZ Stadium.
A traditional autumn afternoon in the sun, watching two great Sydney-based clubs. That’s what the game needed this weekend.
Canterbury Bulldogs V roosters
ANZ Stadium, 7.30pm
Referee: Tony Archer

Is it the Bulldogs versus the roosters or Sydney Bulldogs versus the Canterbury Roosters?
Willie Mason, Braith Anasta, Mark O'Meley and Nate Myles are all former Bulldogs players in case you were wondering.
New Bulldogs forward Danny Williams, who was traded when Mason switched clubs from the Dog Kennel to the chook pen in the off-season, is a former Rooster.
The ill-feeling between both clubs has been drummed out for weeks as a grudge match no fan could afford to miss.
This game will feature heavy, gang tackles, shoulder charges, switches of attack, collisions, high kicks, long kicks, mistakes and tense play. Wrestlemania 24, eat your heart out.
Whichever team holds their nerve will win and forget about the hype and all the media talk.
Tactically, I think the Bulldogs will cope and outfox the Roosters.
I believe coach Steve Folkes will get his forwards working down the short side a lot to avoid early collisions and the risk of dropping too much ball.
Watch for the Dogs to target the Roosters centres in defence using Andrew Ryan and Sonny Bill Williams running at them on the left and right hand sides of the field, respectively.
Conversely, the Roosters will kick early in the tackle count to move around the big men such as Chris Armit and Jarrad Hickey.
Michael Sullivan as the interchange dummy-half is the key. His passing and running game has been first class this year and added a new dimension to the game.
Verdict:
Bulldogs by seven.
Melbourne Storm v Brisbane Broncos
Olympic Park, 7.30pm
Referee: Jared Maxwell


Wayne Bennett's departure as coach to the Dragons at the end of the year has ironically, opened the door for Storm coach Craig Bellamy to get out of his contract and takeover in Brisbane from 2009 onwards.
Bellamy was Bennett's assistant for five years before he took over as Storm coach in 2003.
The Storm have made two grand finals under Bellamy and this is his sixth season of coaching the powerful Melbourne outfit.
Now that Israel Folau is joining the Broncos for the next four years from 2009 onwards, he'll have a new coach and I reckon the Broncos will get a deal struck and Bellamy will end up travelling north much like Leo McKern did in the famous Australian film.
I have had a good look at Melbourne this year and their form against the Warriors was pretty good. They were tough against the Sharks, but looked physically jaded against the tough Roosters.
I have always felt just before a ball was kicked the Storm would make the eight easily but they can't win the competition.
I know it's early days but they have some worrying signs.
The salary cap is starting to bite. They have lost five players from last year's grand final squad. Folau is now leaving and a few big names are coming off contract in the next year or two.
For two years they have played an intense, regimented, methodically, disciplined and high-standard of football and many of their stars, Cameron Smith, Billy Slater, Folau, Michael Crocker (injured at present), have played a lot of footy, so now they look a tad flat.
Also opposition teams work you out and Melbourne's style this year is the same as the previous three or four years, there is nothing unexpected about it.
The DVD replays the choreographed plays relentlessly and also the law of averages finds you out in the end so you can’t win all the time.
Brisbane, on the other hand, are fresh, revitalised and the fact Bennett made his decision a few months ago to leave a early has motivated them.
They have athletic, powerful forwards, who hit hard defensively, quick backs, a terrific buy in Peter Wallace and also PJ Marsh. Together with Michael Ennis this gives Brisbane a double-edge sword in attack around the rucks.
Throw in Lockyer and Hodges - the two best players in their positions on the planet), the experienced Joel Clinton, Karmichael Hunt, good speed with Darius Boyd and Steve Michaels and good depth off the bench and they look the goods.
A depleted Broncos were eliminated from the finals last year by Melbourne at Olympic Park.
One big fact for consideration, a Melbourne coached Craig Bellamy team hasn't lost three in a row!
Verdict:
Brisbane in a tight one. Both teams are professional, but I have a suspicion the Broncos 2008 team is on the way up and the Storm troopers while not on the slide, haven't improved. - Read More, Here