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The Sneak Peak - Australian Rugby league News
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globalrugbyleague - Fri, 25 May 2007 15:22:00 GMT
We are at the cross-roads of season 2007. While the GRL Phantom is busy preparing his half-yearly report card assessing how your NRL team is traveling, here are some interesting statistics.

Heading into round 11:


Last year the cut-off mark was 28 points for the team that came eighth at the end of the regular season. The Broncos will definitely get another two points from their bye in round 13. But having won only 3 games this year, if if they lose another six games, then at best they’ll only be able to finish the season on 22-points, not enough to make the finals to defend their title.


The Roosters are leading the NRL competition…in penalty concessions while the most disciplined team award goes to the Titans who have given away only 43 penalties so far.


Brett Kimmorley is the second best player for kicks in play after 10 rounds, having booted the ball 128 times. At the beginning of the same corresponding round last season, BK wasn’t even in the top ten for kicks in play.

FRIDAY

BULLDOGS v cowboys
Suncorp Stadium, 7.30pm
Referee: Tony Archer
GRL Tip: Cowboys

Both these teams have lost their last two games with Origin stripping them of their most valuable personnel. Playing at home no longer makes a difference for the Belmore boys. They can’t wait to get Willie Mason back on the field.

You get the feeling that if he were in the side last Sunday they could very well have got the job done over Cronulla. Canterbury have dropped Daniel Holdsworth to Premier League.

NQLD have a halves pairing that is firing a lot better, will be suffering no origin injuries and they win more games then the Dogs at night. NQLD get my money.

BULLDOGS: Luke Patten, Hazem El Masri, Daryl Millard, Willie Tonga, Andrew Emelio, Ben Roberts, Brent Sherwin, Chris Armit, Corey Hughes, Willie Mason, Sonny Bill Williams, Andrew Ryan (captain) , Reni Maitua. Interchange: Adam Perry, Lee Te Maari, Kane Cleal, Jarrad Hickey, Nick Kouparitsas, Mark O'Meley (two to be omitted). Coach: Steve Folkes

COWBOYS: Matt Bowen, Brenton Bowen, Scott Minto, Paul Bowman, Ty Williams, Jason Smith, Johnathan Thurston (captain), Shane Tronc, Aaron Payne, Ray Cashmere, Steve Southern, Jacob Lillyman, Sione Faumuina. Interchange: David Faiumu, Scott Bolton, Sam Faust, Ben Vaeau, Jackson Nicolau, John Frith, Rod Jensen (three to be omitted). Coach: Graham Murray.

Canberra Raiders v ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Canberra Stadium, 7.30pm
Referee: Steve Clark
GRL Tip: Dragons

It’s unbelievable that this game is being delayed until 9:30pm. Clearly this is the clash that everybody wants to see. These two clubs are fighting to keep their finals hopes alive.

Simon Woolford versus his entire former team for the very first time since leaving. He’s only played in 4 games this year due to injury while his replacement in the nation’s capital, Lincoln Withers, has played in all 9 games, already scored four tries and runs more metres per game.

The Dragons have not won in Canberra since 2000 while the Raiders lost both matches after the bye last year. This will be a chiller thriller.

RAIDERS: William Zillman, David Milne, Marshall Chalk, Adrian Purtell, Bronx Goodwin, Terry Campese, Michael Dobson, Scott Logan, Lincoln Withers, Dane Tilse, Neville Costigan, Glen Turner, Alan Tongue (captain). Interchange: Josh Miller, Troy Thompson, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, Michael Weyman, Trevor Thurling, Ben Jones (two to be omitted). Coach: Neil Henry


DRAGONS: Ben Hornby (captain), Jason Nightingale, Keith Lulia, Matt Cooper, Josh Morris, Dean Young, Mathew Head, Justin Poore, Simon Woolford, Jason Ryles (captain), Ashton Sims, Beau Scott, Ben Creagh. Interchange: Adam Peek, Danny Wicks, Corey Payne, Ben Ellis, Sam Isemonger, Dan Hunt (two to be omitted). Coach: Nathan Brown

SATURDAY

MANLY SEA EAGLES v Melbourne Storm
Brookvale Oval, 5.30pm
Referee: Shayne Hayne
GRL Tip: Melbourne

The Melbourne Storm are bringing back 5 Origin stars (Brett White, Cameron Smith, Greg Inglis, Dallas Johnson, Matt King and Greg Inglis) from their interstate tour of duty, so they will be prone to physical exhaustion more then the home side.

But the Storm’s track record on the road this year is pretty solid (won 4 from 5 away) and their key ball runner, Billy Slater, will be fresh and ready to have an outstanding game in order to get some attention for Origin 2.

This will be a game of speed, patience and attacking imagination. A low-scoring affair is expected in a tight tussle that will go down to the full-time siren.

SEA EAGLES: Brett Stewart, Michael Robertson, Steve Bell, Steve Matai, Chris Hicks, Jamie Lyon, Matt Orford (captain), Jason King, Michael Monaghan, Brent Kite, Anthony Watmough, Glenn Stewart, Luke Williamson. Interchange: Travis Burns, Glenn Hall, George Rose, Mark Bryant. Coach: Des Hasler

STORM: Billy Slater, Steve Turner, Matt King, Anthony Quinn, Matt Geyer, Greg Inglis, Cooper Cronk, Brett White, Cameron Smith, Ben Cross, Antonio Kaufusi, Ryan Hoffman, Dallas Johnson. Interchange: Jeff Lima, Ian Donnelly, Jeremy Smith, Israel Folau, James Aubusson (one to be omitted). Coach: Craig Bellamy

THE SHARKS v roosters
Toyota Park, 7.30pm
Referee: Sean Hampstead
GRL Tip: Sharks

Ricky Stuart got sacked by the Roosters last year. Chris Anderson was given his marching orders at the end of 2004. All of a sudden the media wants us to believe these two men will be firing up their players for this one. Nonsense.

The Roosters would’ve been fired up after their first three losses while the Sharks won’t want to change very much from their current style of play given the success they’ve had.

These two coaches want to win, regardless of who they’re playing. This will be the first time Anderson returns to his old stomping ground since he was given the punt. The Roosters have not beaten a top eight team this season, have lost 9 of their past 10 away games while Anderson has only ever beaten Ricky Stuart once.

How confident am I that the Sharks will win this game? I will bet your car, your house and any other asset of yours worth more then $5000 that Cronulla will perform a feeding frenzy on the chooks.

SHARKS: Brett Kearney, Misi Taulapapa, Ben Pomeroy, Fraser Anderson, Luke Covell, Adam Dykes, Brett Kimmorley (captain), Ben Ross, Kevin Kingston, Craig Stapleton, Paul Gallen, Lance Thompson Greg Bird. Interchange: Luke Douglas, Phil Leuluai, Reece Williams Isaac De Gois. Coach: Ricky Stuart


ROOSTERS: Amos Roberts, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Sam Perrett, Joel Monaghan, John Williams, Setaimata Sa, Mitchell Pearce, David Shillington, Craig Wing, Danny Nutley, Shane Shackleton, Craig Fitzgibbon (captain), Ashley Harrison. Interchange: Mickey Paea, Lopini Paea, Nigel Plum, Mitchell Aubusson. Coach: Chris Anderson

GOLD GOAST TITANS v rabbitohs
Carrara Stadium, 7.30pm
Referee: Tony De Las Heras
GRL Tip: South Sydney

Two teams desperate to get the wheel spinning in their favour, this may not be a pretty game. The Rabbitohs defense has been outstanding but it’s made their attacking ability quite rigid and that has cost them at least 1 of their last three games.

Gold Coast have suffered from the effects of losing both prop Michael Henderson and fullback Preston Campbell to injury as well.

This is a 50-50 match and a tipsters nightmare. At Carrara, John Cartwright’s team perform well but South Sydney have also won across the border once this season already, so get ready for a bumpy ride.


TITANS: Richie Mathers, Matt Petersen, Mat Rogers, Brett Delaney, Smith Samau, Matt Hilder, Scott Prince (captain), Luke Bailey, Nathan Friend, James Stosic, Anthony Laffranchi, Mark Minichello, Luke Swain. Interchange: Kris Kahler, Michael Hodgson, Gavin Cooper, Josh Lewis. Coach: John Cartwright


RABBITOHS: Reece Simmonds, Nathan Merritt, Nigel Vagana, Shannon Hegarty, Paul Mellor, Jeremy Smith, Joe Williams, Peter Cusack (captain), Daniel Irvine, Roy Asotasi (capt), Luke Stuart, David Faalogo, Dean Widders. Interchange: Shane Rigon, Joe Galuvao, Manase Manuokafoa, Jaiman Lowe, Scott Geddes (one to be omitted). Coach: Jason Taylor

SUNDAY

Brisbane Broncos v knights
Suncorp Stadium, 2pm
Referee: Ben Cummins
GRL Tip: Newcastle

Denan Kemp could be back in the Broncos fold sooner then he thought after he scored the only try for Brisbane last week but what a try it was for this kid making his NRL debut.

With well timed vision, the 20-year old recovered a Matt Orford chip kick and ran a good length of the field to re-write his career history. The Broncos however need more then one player to get them out of their slump.

They tend to only play for 60 minutes after Origin and find it hard to back up. With 7 players returning and given their start to the season, it’s hard to see them walking away with a grin on Sunday afternoon.

They have not beaten the Knights at this venue since 1992. Newcastle could be vulnerable however having given away the first try - Read More, Here