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NRL Preview - Australian Rugby league News
globalrugbyleague - Fri, 04 Apr 2008 08:51:00 GMT
Get ready to break the budget and buy six or seven packets of soothers as you prepare to scream the house down demonstrating your witt or lack of it in round 4 of the National Rugby League.


Melbourne Storm v Brisbane Broncos
Olympic Park, 7.30pm
Referee: Jared Maxwell
GRL Tip: Storm
Head To Head: Played 22, Storm 12, Broncos 9, drawn 1
At this venue: Storm 6, Broncos 2

The Broncos and the Melbourne Storm will have some dust to settle after Israel Folau signed a four-year deal with the Broncos this week .We should see Israel play a great game this weekend to impress his future team mates while Greg Inglis will step up. Is that enough to stop the undefeated Broncos? Word is that Darren Lockyer remains uncertain about returning but the good news is that Karmichael Hunt will be back after a weeks rest. My pick will be the Broncos.

STORM: Billy Slater, Steve Turner, Will Chambers, Israel Folau, Anthony Quinn, Greg Inglis, Cooper Cronk, Jeff Lima, Cam Smith (capt), Adam Blair, Jeremy Smith, Ryan Hoffman, Dallas Johnson Interchange: Matt Geyer, Antonio Kaufusi, Sika Manu, Clifford Manua. Coach: Craig Bellamy

BRONCOS: Karmichael Hunt, Reece Robinson, Steve Michaels, Justin Hodges, Darius Boyd, Darren Lockyer (capt), Peter Wallace, Ben Hannant, PJ Marsh, Sam Thaiday, David Stagg, Ashton Sims, Tonie Carroll Interchange: Michael Ennis, Joel Clinton, Greg Eastwood, Nick Kenny. Coach: Wayne Bennett

Canterbury Bulldogs V roosters
ANZ Stadium, 7.30pm
Referee: Tony Archer
GRL Tip: Roosters
Head To Head: Played 151, Roosters 74, Bulldogs 72, drawn 5
At this venue: Played 7, Bulldogs 6, Roosters 1

Round 4 kicks-off with an absolute cracker when the boys from Bondi take on the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium. Not since the 80’s have we had such talk before a game about which forward pack is going to come out on top. With the likes of Willie Mason and Mark O’Meley switching from the Bulldog camp, Sonny Bill Williams has had a few things to get off his chest in the lead-up to this battle of the titans. This game will be a close one for about 60 minutes but then the quick men around the middle may make it tough on the Bulldogs. My instinct is going with the Roosters in this one.

BULLDOGS: Luke Patten, Hazem El Masri, Tim Winitana, Willie Tonga, Heka Nanai, Ben Roberts, Daniel Holdsworth, Jarrad Hickey, Corey Hughes, Kane Cleal, Sonny Bill Williams, Andrew Ryan (capt), Lee Te Maari Interchange:Chris Armit, Brad Morrin, Danny Williams, Michael Sullivan. Coach: Steve Folkes

ROOSTERS: Anthony Minichiello, Amos Roberts, Setaimata Sa, Sam Perrett, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Braith Anasta, Mitchell Pearce, Mark O'Meley, Riley Brown, Nate Myles, Willie Mason, Anthony Tupou, Craig Fitzgibbon (capt) Interchange: Lopini Paea, David Shillington, Mitchell Aubusson, James Aubusson, Frank-Paul Nuuausala (one to be omitted) Coach: Brad Fittler.


St George Illawarra Dragons v Cronulla Sharks
ANZ Stadium, 5.30pm
Referee: Sean Hampstead
GRL Tip: Dragons
Head To Head: Played 20, Sharks 11, Dragons 6, drawn 1
At this venue: Played 2, Dragons 1, Sharks 1

Now the battle for the Southern Shire with the Sharks taking on the Dragons. It has been a tough week for Brownie but the players from the Dragons should be excited about their new coach for next year. The Sharks copped a huge belting at the hands of the Titans last week and will be looking to shut down Jamie Soward and Rangi Chase while trying to slow the Dragons big forwards. The red v army in a close one. How funny would it be if the Dragons built some momentum, got on a roll and won the premiership in Brownie’s last season as head coach?

DRAGONS: Ben Hornby, Jason Nightingale, Mark Gasnier (capt), Matt Cooper, Josh Morris, Rangi Chase, Jamie Soward, Justin Poore, Ben Ellis, Jason Ryles, Beau Scott, Kirk Reynoldson, Dean Young Interchange:Jarrod Saffy, Dan Hunt, Lagi Setu, Chase Stanley, Jon Green, Stuart Webb (two to be omitted) Coach: Nathan Brown

SHARKS: Brett Kearney, Bryson Goodwin, Ben Pomeroy, David Simmons, Luke Covell,Greg Bird, Brett Kimmorley, Adam Peek, Kevin Kingston, Luke Douglas, Paul Stephenson, Lance Thompson, Fraser Anderson Interchange:Jacob Selmes, Bryan Norrie, Isaac De Gois, Misi Taulapapa,Eddie Su'a (one to be omitted). Coach: Ricky Stuart.

Gold Coast Titans v Canberra Raiders
Skilled Park, 7.30pm
Referee: Ben Cummins
GRL Tip: Titans
Head To Head: Played 2, Titans 1, Raiders 1
At this venue: Yet to play at Skilled Park.

The Gold Coast Titans at the “Temple of Boom” take on Canberra but I think the heat up here will get to the Raiders seeing as the Titans train in it everyday and are used to it. The halves pairing of Matt Rogers and Scott Prince is really starting to gel along with a fit forward pack. The Titans should be hard too beat at home.

TITANS: Preston Campbell, Ben Jeffery, Luke O'Dwyer, Brett Delaney, Jordan Atkins, Mat Rogers, Scott Prince (capt), Luke Bailey (capt), Nathan Friend, Michael Hodgson, Anthony Laffranchi, Mark Minichiello, Ashley Harrison Interchange:Aaron Cannings, Brad Meyers, Josh Graham, Clint Amos, James Stosic, Gavin Cooper, Daniel Conn. (three to be omitted) Coach: John Cartwright

RAIDERS: Bronx Goodwin, Colin Best, Marshall Chalk, Joel Monaghan, Adrian Purtell, Terry Campese, Todd Carney, Troy Thompson, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Dane Tilse, Joe Picker, Nigel Plum, Alan Tongue (capt) Interchange: Lincoln Withers, Josh Miller, Michael Weyman, David Milne, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs (one to be omitted). Coach: Neil Henry

cowboys v eels
Dairy Farmers Stadium, 9.30pm
Referee: Bernard Sutton
GRL Tip: Eels
Head To Head: Played 20, Eels 11, Cowboys 8, drawn 1
At this venue: Played 8, Eels 4, Cowboys 3, drawn 1

NRL fans head up to Townsville to watch the Cowboys take on the Eels coming off a tough win against the Knights last week. The Eels maybe without hooker Mark Riddell though injury. Eels coach Michael Hagan will make a decision on him shortly. I think it will be a tight encounter with the Cowboys looking to end a not so good start to their 2008 campaign. The Eels however are not far off from playing their best and if they can turn the first 10 minutes of last week’s clash into forty or fifty minutes, the locals may be left scratching their heads once again.

COWBOYS: Matt Bowen, Ty Williams, Ashley Graham, Ben Harris, Mark Henry, Justin Smith, Johnathan Thurston (capt), Ray Cashmere, Aaron Payne, Carl Webb, Steve Southern, Jacob Lillyman, Luke O'Donnell Interchange: Anthony Watts, Sam Faust, Shane Tronc, Dayne Weston Coach: Graham Murray

EELS: Luke Burt, Taulima Tautai, Joel Reddy, Jarryd Hayne, Eric Grothe, Brett Finch, Tim Smith, Nathan Cayless (capt), Mark Riddell, Fuifui Moimoi, Nathan Hindmarsh, Daniel Wagon, Feleti Mateo. Interchange: Matt Keating, Josh Cordoba, Todd Lowrie, Weller Hauraki. Coach: Michael Hagan.


New Zealand Warriors v knights
Mt Smart Stadium, 2pm
Referee: Tony De Las Heras
GRL Tip: Warriors
Head To Head: Played 20, Knights 13, Warriors 6, drawn 1
At this venue: Played 11, Knights 7, Warriors 3, drawn 1

On Sunday Newcastle coach Brian Smith goes looking for a slice of heaven by crossing the Tasman to Mt Smart Stadium to watch the Warriors play the Knights who will be looking to make amends from last weeks golden point loss. Watch the halves bomb Manu Vatuvei early in the encounter. Knights captain Danny Buderus is still putting his hand up for a Blues jumper so expect the best from him. Back the visitors to be fly home winners.

WARRIORS: Lance Hohaia, Patrick Ah Van, Brent Tate, Ryan Shortland, Manu Vatuvei, Michael Witt, Grant Rovelli, Sam Rapira, Nathan Fien, Ruben Wiki (capt), Simon Mannering, Sonny Fai, Micheal Luck Interchange: Ian Henderson, Evarn Tuimavave, Epalahame Lauaki, Logan Swann, Wairangi Koopu (one to be omitted) Coach: Ivan Cleary

KNIGHTS: Kurt Gidley, James McManus, Wes Naiqama, Keith Lulia, Cooper Vuna, Jarrod Mullen, Scott Dureau, Daniel Tolar, Danny Buderus (capt), Jesse Royal, Chris Houston, Cameron Ciraldo, Zeb Taia Interchange:Matt Hilder, Cory Paterson, Richard Faaoso, Danny Wicks, Adam MacDougall (one to be omitted) Coach: Brian Smith

Manly Sea Eagles v rabbitohs
Brookvale Oval, 3pm
Referee: Shayne Hayne
GRL Tip: South Sydney
Head To Head: Played 119, Sea Eagles 65, Rabbitohs 64
At this venue: Played 48, Sea Eagles 29, Rabbitohs 19

Desperate South Sydney travel to old Brookvale Oval to play the Manly Sea Eagles. With Jamie Lyon out in the centres, Manly will be as slick as they were last week against New Zealand. Souths will need to be at their best to walk away with a win. The Sea Eagles should swoop down and grab win number two in 2008.

SEA EAGLES: Brett Stewart, Michael Robertson, Steve Bell, Jamie Lyon, Michael Bani, Luke Williamson, Matt Orford (capt), Jason King, Matt Ballin, Brent Kite, Anthony Watmough, Glenn Stewart, Steve Menzies Interchange: Josh Perry, Glenn Hall, Adam Cuthbertson, Mark Bryant, Heath L'Estrange, Jack Afamasafga (two to be omitted) Coach: Des Hasler

RABBITOHS: Nathan Merritt, Germaine Paulson, Fetuli Talanoa, Beau Champion, Shannon Hegarty, John Sutton, Jeremy Smith, Michael Greenfield, George Ndaira, Roy Asotasi (capt), David Kidwell (capt), Luke Stuart, Ben Lowe Intercha - Read More, Here