Tipping Competition2021

Teams on Trial 09 - Australian Rugby league News
Back
globalrugbyleague - Sat, 21 Feb 2009 15:52:00 GMT
The NRL’s pre-season trial and error warm-up matches continue this weekend in three different states, one territory and two countries.

These games mean D-day is getting closer for all 16 coaches who will be looking to decipher what the make-up of their team will probably look like in round 1 of the real season.

None of today or tomorrow’s fixtures will be televised which should be good for sales at the gate.

It means fans desperate for some footy will have to put up with the wet weather and turn up, much like a private school student who attends a compulsory First XV game of CAS or GPS rugby.

The only real difference being League fans don’t try and jump over the back fence and head home because they actually enjoy what they’re seeing.

Will I or any other journalist be any closer to figuring out who is going to have a tough season ahead of them and who will tip toe through the tulips without getting mugged by injury, suspension or a mental meltdown by midnight tonight when the results come through? Probably not.

But we will get an idea of which youngsters are probably ready for a stint in the NRL sometime this year and which positions players are performing best in. Little clues which will help coaches solve the puzzle eventually.

THE MINOR PREVIEW

MELBOURNE V NEWCASTLE
Princes Park, Melbourne
Saturday
KO: 6pm

The Knights play their first trial of the year against a Melbourne outfit looking to the likes of Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Greg Inglis to help last year’s Grand Final runners-up redeem themselves for their loss to the Warrior in Hamilton a week ago. Melbourne have had a tough off-season with a number of stars recovering from surgery, injury and representative duties. Don’t read into this too much. The Storm won’t produce their best team until round 1 against the Dragons. Knights will ride to victory.

BRISBANE V CANBERRA
Dolphin Oval, Redcliffe
Saturday
KO: 7pm

Two new coaches get to test their coaching credentials in the form of Ivan Henjak (Broncos) and David Furner (Raiders). Brisbane fans will get to see Israel Folau in action for the very first time tonight while Raiders supporters will be making the journey north to see Joel Monaghan in his first appearance since he gave away a penalty try in the World Cup final. I’ll tip Canberra to win from behind at the break.

ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA V BULLDOGS
WIN Stadium
Saturday
KO: 7pm

Global Rugby League has sent new blog columnist “Earthquake” down to one of the coldest venues for watching footy because like a thirsty Bulldog, the big man has been panting in excitement to see what the new recruits will do for the defending wooden spoon champions in 2009. Will Bennett’s boys get too cocky after their 54-6 win over the Roosters in Perth last weekend or are the Dogs going to need to get a few bad performances out of the way? This will be the trial game that attracts most interest this weekend. For the Bulldogs, you couldn’t ask for a better test of their pre-season training. In the end the Dragons will be too strong for the boys from Belmore.

GOLD COAST V CRONULLA
Richardson Park, Darwin
Saturday
KO: 7pm

Mat Rogers gets the chance to put some points on his former club , Cronulla at Richardson Park in Darwin, home of all matches played in the Darwin Rugby League. But how does Rogers go against the Sharks? The former test international has played against the club that made him famous three times since joining the Titans, winning two of those encounters. Top temperatures of 31 degrees are expected in the only territory hosting a trial this weekend. High profile recruit Trent Barrett will be making his post-Super League debut for the Sharks. He’ll join Corey Hughes and Jack Afamasaga up against a near full-strength Titans team. The Titans should win but in a closer contest then what the experts are expecting.

ROOSTERS V Wests Tigers
Sydney Football Stadium
Saturday
KO: 7:30pm

Who needs an NRL premiership when you’ve got the Foundation Cup sitting in the trophy cabinet. Everything goes on the line before a sell-out crowd at the Sydney Football Stadium. Bodies, reputations and morale. You probably won’t find a better opportunity this year to watch footy at this venue and then get out of the car park within the hour. Brad Fittler’s men will be feeling very sore as the Tigers go looking for their second trial win after beating a very young South Sydney outfit two weeks ago. The Roosters are defending Foundation Cup premier making this is a fifty-fifty contest.Always is. I think its time for the Foundation Cup to return to Concord Oval.

PENRITH V PARRAMATTA
Penrith Football Stadium
Saturday
KO: 8:00pm

Fight night heads to Penrith Football Stadium this weekend. While Earthquake will be getting his backside wet supporting his beloved Bulldogs, I will be sitting inside on the sofa next to my heater listening to radio updates on how the mighty Eels are travelling. Did all the scuffles breaking out during training take it out of Penrith earlier in the week? We’ll find out.The Eels should be too focused and too good for the men from the foot of the mountain.

WARRIORS V NORTH QUEENSLAND
North Harbour Stadium
Sunday
KO: 4pm

The Stacey Jones one last dance tour heads to Auckland on Sunday where the Warriors will meet a Cowboys outfit playing under new coach Neil Henry for the very first time. Matty Bowen did travel with the team but probably won’t play while Johnathan Thurston is expected to get some game time.The Cowboys have had a few days to get used to the conditions and this should be a competitive contest destined to go right down to the wire. It really could go either way. I’ll tip the Warriors in a tight one. - Read More, Here