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The Round Preview - Australian Rugby league News
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globalrugbyleague - Fri, 04 May 2007 10:25:00 GMT
Round 8 is going to offer sports fans no shortage of drama.

Injured players - fully aware that Origin spots are on the line - will attempt to stumble out of their casualty beds to play for their teams

Struggling clubs will do battle with each other in a no-holds barred attempt to win some rare competition points. Someone will still be searching for answers at the end of this weekend.

Let the games begin!


FRIDAY

ST GEORGE V PENRITH
Oki Jubilee Stadium
KO: 7:00pm
Referee: Sean Hampstead
GRL Tip: Penrith
There is doubt about the inclusion of centre Matt Cooper (Concussion) and Jason Ryles (Shoulder) participating in this game. That removes a combined total of 246 games worth of experience from Nathan Brown’s babes. Both these teams know how to score the first points in their games yet then find it difficult to score for long periods of the game. Don’t expect this one to be pretty. It will be a torrid, low-scoring desperate affair. Both sides are desperate for a win and that can only mean one thing. Safety first football.
DRAGONS: Josh Morris, Brett Morris, Chase Stanley, Keith Lulia, Wes Naiqama, Dean Young, Ben Hornby (captain), Justin Poore, Ben Ellis, Jason Ryles (c), Ashton Sims, Chris Houston, Ben Creagh. Interchange: Adam Peek, Dan Hunt, Danny Wicks, Rangi Chase, Lagi Setu (one to be omitted). Coach: Nathan Brown
PANTHERS: Rhys Wesser, Michael Gordon, Michael Jennings, Luke Lewis, Luke Rooney, Peter Wallace, Craig Gower (c), Frank Puletua, Luke Priddis, Brendan Worth, Frank Pritchard, Junior Moors, Nathan Smith. Interchange: Tim Grant, Tony Puletua, Mark O'Halloran, Keith Peters, Joel Clinton, Bob Blair (two to be omitted). Coach: Mathew Elliot
BRISBANE V SOUTHS
Suncorp Stadium
KO: 7:30pm
Referee: Paul Simpkins
GRL Tip: South Sydney
South Sydney have proven to be fast learners under new coach Jason Taylor. But can they learn how to finish games off better in the space of a week against the defending premiers? The Rabbitohs must get to more kicks on the last tackle because Darren Lockyer has been around a lot longer then Michael Witt (Warriors) and will have a lot more tricks up his sleeve. The Bunnies though have been playing more entertaining football and are more confident then their opponents. This will be a close knit affair.
BRONCOS: Karmichael Hunt, Steve Michaels, Nick Emmett, Justin Hodges, Darius Boyd, Darren Lockyer (captain), Joel Moon, Dane Carlaw, Shaun Berrigan, Petero Civoniceva, David Stagg, Brad Thorn, Greg Eastwood. Interchange: Tonie Carroll, Ben Hannant, Mick Ennis, Sam Thaiday. Coach: Wayne Bennett
RABBITOHS: David Peachey, Nathan Merritt, Nigel Vagana, Shannon Hegarty, Reece Simmonds, Jeremy Smith, Joe Williams, Peter Cusack (captain), Daniel Irvine, Roy Asotasi (captain), Luke Stuart, David Fa'alogo, Dean Widders. Interchange: Shane Rigon, John Sutton, Manase Manuokafoa, Jaiman Lowe, Scott Geddes, Joe Galuvao (two to be omitted). Coach: Jason Taylor.


SATURDAY

NEW ZEALAND V CRONULLA
Ericsson Stadium
KO: 5:30pm
Referee: Gavin Badger
GRL Tip: Warriors
The Sharks may not have Brett Kimmorley in this game after he sustained a concussion in Thursday’s Country versus City game. That’s a blow but the Sharks do have some good stocks in back-up. A Seymour-Kearney halves combination remains untested. At home the Warriors remain undefeated yet they’ve been unable to put together two wins in a row since round 2. The visitors are looking for their first win over New Zealand in Auckland for the first time since 1999.
WARRIORS: Patrick Ah Van, Todd Byrne, Tony Martin, Simon Mannering, Manu Vatuvei, Michael Witt, Grant Rovelli, Evarn Tuimavave, Nathan Fien, Steve Price (captain), Ruben Wiki, Logan Swann, Micheal Luck. Interchange: George Gatis, Sam Rapira, Epalahame Lauaki, Corey Lawrie. Coach: Ivan Cleary
SHARKS: Brett Kearney, David Simmons, Ben Pomeroy, Fraser Anderson, Luke Covell, Brett Seymour, Brett Kimmorley (captain), Ben Ross, Kevin Kingston, Luke Douglas, Paul Gallen, Lance Thompson, Greg Bird. Interchange: Craig Stapleton, Dayne Weston, Reece Williams, Isaac De Gois. Coach: Ricky Stuart.
Wests Tigers V MELBOURNE
Bluetongue Stadium
KO: 7:30pm
Referee: Tony Archer
GRL Tip: Storm

Wests Tigers have scored two wins since their round 1 clash against Melbourne while the away side remains undefeated. Not much of a comparison is it? The Storm on average have got at least 26.3 points in them per game while the Tigers have 19.3. The home side however averages more metres per game and with the Benji Marshall-John Morris halves combination now starting to fire, that could make the Storm vulnerable this weekend. What an exciting clash we’ve got between Greg Inglis and Benji Marshall. Inglis still hasn’t scored a try this season while Marshall – despite having 52 points next to his name (3 tries and 20 goals) has taken a while to get back to the form that saw the Tigers win a comp in 2005. Both teams need these two to be at their most creative in attack. An upset is on the cards I believe.
TIGERS: Brett Hodgson (captain), Daniel Fitzhenry, Dean Collis, Paul Whatuira, Taniela Tuiaki, Benji Marshall, John Morris, Todd Payten, Robbie Farah, Bryce Gibbs, Ben Galea, Chris Heighington, Dene Halatau. Interchange: Danny Galea, Chris Lawrence, Bronson Harrison, Ryan O'Hara, Jason Moodie, Liam Fulton, Stuart Flanagan (three to be omitted). Coach: Tim Sheens
STORM: Billy Slater, Steve Turner, Matt King, Matt Geyer, Israel Folau, Greg Inglis, Cooper Cronk, Antonio Kaufusi, Cameron Smith, Brett White, Michael Crocker, Ryan Hoffman, Dallas Johnson. Interchange: Sam Tagataese, Jeff Lima, Ian Donnelly, Anthony Quinn, Ben Cross, Will Chambers (two to be omitted). Coach: Craig Bellamy

PARRAMATTA V roosters
Parramatta Stadium
KO: 7:30pm
Referee: Tony De Las Heras.
GRL Tip: Eels

The media has been spray painting the roosters as having turned the corner on their poor start to the season despite their 1000th win coming at the expense of a team missing most of their preferred starting players. Will they believe all the publicity and could this make them sitting ducks for a big loss? Perhaps. Then again the Eels have been afflicted with a mysterious virus which has proven to be tougher to beat then any of the teams they’ve lost to this season. The Eels have benefited immensely from the Roosters fall from success, having won all of their home games against the Bondi Boys since 2004. Brett Finch will be looking to make his former side wait another week for win 1001.
EELS: Luke Burt, Jarryd Hayne, Ben Smith, Krisnan Inu, Eric Grothe, Brett Finch, Tim Smith, Nathan Cayless (captain), P.J. Marsh, Aaron Cannings, Nathan Hindmarsh, Ian Hindmarsh, Daniel Wagon. Interchange: Blake Green, Josh Cordoba, Zeb Taia, Feleti Mateo, Junior Paulo (one to be omitted). Coach: Michael Hagan
ROOSTERS: Anthony Minichiello, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Sam Perrett, Sia Soliola, Amos Roberts, Braith Anasta, Mitchell Pearce, David Shillington, Craig Wing, Danny Nutley, Shane Shackleton, Craig Fitzgibbon (captain), Anthony Tupou. Interchange: Chris Beattie, Frank Paul-Nuuausala, Lopini Paea, Ashley Harrison, Heath L'Estrange, John Williams, Shaun Foley, Mitchell Aubusson, Joel Monaghan (five to be omitted). Coach: Chris Anderson.

SUNDAY

CANBERRA V MANLY
Canberra Stadium
KO: 2:00pm
Referee: Jared Maxwell
GRL Tip: Manly

The glue has come unstuck and Manly are no longer undefeated. They’ll look to bounce back and quickly to get their good form back on track. But the Raiders are proving to be a bigger surprise packet then what many thought after they embarrassed Penrith 34-18 on the road last week. While Manly are scoring 22.3 points per game so far this season, the danger factor remains the Raiders impressive statistics at home. In all 3 home games, Neil Henry’s men have scored 33.6 points on average. This is a dark horse clash.
RAIDERS: William Zillman, Colin Best, Phil Graham, Adrian Purtell, David Howell, Terry Campese, Michael Dobson, Dane Tilse, Lincoln Withers, Troy Thompson, Neville Costigan, Josh Miller, Alan Tongue (captain). Interchange: Ben Jones, Trevor Thurling, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, Ryan Hinchcliffe. Coach: Neil Henry
SEA EAGLES: Brett Stewart, Michael Robertson, Steve Bell, Jamie Lyon, Chris Hicks, Michael Monaghan, Matt Orford (captain), Jason King, Matt Ballin, Brent Kite, Anthony Watmough, Glenn Stewart, Luke Williamson. Interchange: Clint Halden, Glenn Hall, George Rose, Mark Bryant, Adam Cuthbertson (one to be omitted). Coach: Des Hasler

BULLDOGS V NEWCASTLE
Telstra Stadium
KO: 3:00pm
Referee: Steve Clark.
GRL Tip: Bulldogs
Coach Brian Smith does not have a good track record against Steve Folkes, having being beaten by his Canterbury counterpart 9 times since the former prop started coaching first grade in 1998. He did beat him in round 1 this year but has not been able to score back to back wins over Folkes since 1998. Newcastle have their best player, Kurt Gidley, backing up from City-Country duties as do Canterbury with Hazem El Masri. The Dogs rarely lose to the Knights at this ground and have a long history of putting big scores on Newcastle.
BULLDOGS: Luke Patten, Hazem El Masri, Daryl Millard, Willie Tonga, Matt Utai, Daniel Holdsworth, Brent Sherwin, Chris Armit, Corey Hughes, Willie Mason, Sonny Bill Williams, Andrew Ryan (captain), Reni Maitua. Interchange: Adam Perry, Lee Te Maari, K - Read More, Here