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The Sneak Peek - Australian Rugby league News
globalrugbyleague - Fri, 10 Aug 2007 17:49:00 GMT
We are in for one hell of a ride when round 22 of the NRL kicks off on Friday night with two blockbuster games which will force you to cancel all previous booked engagements.

Friday, 10th August 2007

Bluetongue Stadium, 7.30pm
Referee: Shayne Hayne
GRL Tip: Manly

The Knights are in strife. There is no way to avoid using that word in the lead-up to this mis-match of the round. Team 14 have conceded 136 points in their past four losses (conceding 27.7 points per game on average), have not won a game since round 17, are still contenders for the club’s second wooden spoon and are now embroiled in a very public slanging match involving players and coach Brian Smith. Manly should use this opportunity to rest some of their key stars four weeks out from the finals because those opportunities will be limited come September. The Sea Eagles will be focused on the job at hand and should sink the Knights by half-time.

SEA EAGLES: Brett Stewart, Michael Robertson, Steve Bell, Steve Menzies, Chris Hicks, Jamie Lyon, Matt Orford (c), Mark Bryant, Michael Monaghan, Brent Kite, Anthony Watmough, Glenn Stewart, Luke Williamson. Interchange: Matt Ballin, Glenn Hall, Adam Cuthbertson, Jack Afamasaga, Clint Halden, Jason Wells (two to be omitted). Coach: Des Hasler

KNIGHTS: Kurt Gidley, James McManus, Brad Tighe, George Carmont, Cooper Vuna, Chris Bailey, Luke Walsh, Josh Perry, Michael Young, Jesse Royal, Zeb Taia, Daniel Abraham, Steve Simpson (c). Interchange: Terence Seu Seu, Cory Paterson, Mitchell Sargent, Kirk Reynoldson. Coach: Brian Smith

Wests Tigers V roosters
Telstra Stadium, 7.30pm
Referee: Tony Archer
GRL Tip: roosters

The last time the roosters recorded a victory over the Wests Tigers was in 2004 when they thumped them 56-0 at Campbelltown Stadium. However there are fears that last weekend’s 31-all draw against the Warriors at home may have overdrawn the physical reserves meaning the Tigers could be up against a side that may not be able complete the circuit tonight. Brad Fittler’s side have had a short preparation in the lead-up to this game with only 1 team winning the following week after having played for 90 minutes (Souths). Wests Tigers probably underestimated the Titans last week but will not make the same mistake two weeks in a row. The Roosters finals hopes come to an end tonight without taking anything away from the remarkable fightback orchestrated by the new general in charge at Bondi.

TIGERS: Shannon Gallant, Daniel Fitzhenry, Dean Collis, Paul Whatuira, Taniela Tuiaki, John Morris, Benji Marshall, Keith Galloway, Robbie Farah, Bryce Gibbs, Ben Galea, Chris Heighington, Liam Fulton. Interchange: Chris Lawrence, Dene Halatau, Bronson Harrison, Ben Te'o. Coach: Tim Sheens

ROOSTERS: Sam Perrett, Amos Roberts, Mitchell Aubusson, Joel Monaghan, John Williams, Braith Anasta, Craig Wing, David Shillington, Heath L'Estrange, Lopini Paea, Anthony Tupou, Nate Myles, Ashley Harrison (c).Interchange: Danny Nutley, Sia Soliola, Setaimata Sa, Shane Shackleton. Coach: Brad Fittler

Saturday, 11th August 2007

Mt Smart Stadium, 5.30pm
Referee: Ben Cummins
GRL Tip: New Zealand

New Zealand have scored 20 tries this season inside their own 50 metres and there is a good chance they’ll be able to raise that tally against an injury depleted Gold Coast side which is short on man-power up front. However with Scott Prince back in the side, the Titans are more then capable of keeping this game alive right up till the full-siren. However since these last two teams met six-weeks ago, the Warriors have improved (six wins and a draw) and in the size stakes this will be like a semi-trailor up against a mini minor. The Warriors are very heavy favourites to win well at home.

WARRIORS: Wade McKinnon, Michael Crockett, Jerome Ropati, Simon Mannering, Manu Vatuvei, Michael Witt, Grant Rovelli, Sam Rapira, George Gatis, Steve Price (c), Ruben Wiki, Logan Swann, Micheal Luck. Interchange: Wairangi Koopu, Evarn Tuimavave, Epalahame Lauaki, Nathan Fien. Coach: Ivan Cleary

TITANS: Preston Campbell, Jake Webster, Mat Rogers, Brett Delaney, Smith Samau, Josh Lewis, Scott Prince (c), Luke Bailey (c), Nathan Friend, Michael Hodgson, Anthony Laffranchi, Mark Minichiello, Luke O'Dwyer. Interchange: Daniel Conn, Ian Donnelly, Gavin Cooper, Luke Swain. Coach: John Cartwright

Parramatta Stadium, 7.30pm
Referee: Jason Robinson
GRL Tip: Parramatta

While the Eels are the expert’s hot tip, don’t underestimate the danger value of this game. Cronulla know that the Panthers could offload the wooden spoon to them and an air of desperation will mark the attitude of the visitors. However you got the feeling last weekend that the Eels didn’t quite score as many points as they could’ve have against the Bulldogs and that they may have some leftover scraps for the Sharks who are missing 5 of their best starting line-up stars including Brett Kearney, Lance Thompson and inspirational halfback Brett Kimmorley. If the Eels don’t get outscored in the second-half as they have in their last six matches, then back the blue and gold to win comfortably. Away from home, Ricky Stuart’s side ain’t fairing too well in 2007.

EELS: Jarryd Hayne, Krisnan Inu, Ben Smith, Timana Tahu, Eric Grothe, Brett Finch, Tim Smith, Nathan Cayless (c), Mark Riddell, Fuifui Moimoi, Nathan Hindmarsh, Ian Hindmarsh, Feleti Mateo.Interchange: PJ Marsh, Josh Cordoba, Chad Robinson, Aaron Cannings, Daniel Wagon (one to be omitted). Coach: Michael Hagan

SHARKS: Mitch Brown, David Simmons, Ben Pomeroy, Reece Williams, Luke Covell, Adam Dykes, Brett Seymour, Ben Ross, Isaac De Gois, Craig Stapleton, Henry Perenara, Luke Douglas, Paul Gallen. Interchange: Dayne Weston, Cameron Ciraldo, Fraser Anderson, Anthony Watts. Coach: Ricky Stuart.

WIN Stadium, 7.30pm
Referee: Steve Clark
GRL Tip: Dragons

South Sydney are gunning for the Dragons following their last minute loss in the Charity Shield in the pre-season. They are also hoping to win their 10th game of the year to record their best win-loss record since returning to the NRL in 2002. The Dragons have never been beaten by the Rabbitohs at WIN Stadium and have scored 50.8 points per game on average in their last five clashes. Joe Williams and Jeremy Smith are re-kindling their old halves combination for the first time in many weeks. Both backlines carry plenty of pace while you have to give Souths the edge in the forwards in the form of Peter Cusack and Roy Asotasi. South Sydney are starting well in their second-halves but then they give away the lead and with it the game. They must score more points in the final forty if they are to hold out the Dragons who have won 6 out of 8 games when leading at half-time.

DRAGONS: Ben Hornby, Tom Hewitt, Chase Stanley, Matt Cooper, Josh Morris, Mark Gasnier, Jamie Soward, Justin Poore, Simon Woolford, Jason Ryles (c), Beau Scott, Chris Houston, Ben Creagh. Interchange: Adam Peek, Ashton Simms, Dan Hunt, Rangi Chase, Lagi Setu (one to be omitted). Coach: Nathan Brown

RABBITOHS: Nathan Merritt, Fetuli Talanoa, Nigel Vagana, Yileen Gordon, Paul Mellor, Joe Williams, Jeremy Smith, Peter Cusack (c), Issac Luke, Roy Asotasi (c), John Sutton, David Fa'alogo, Ben Rogers. Interchange: Shane Rigon, Dean Widders, Luke Stuart, Michael Greenfield. Coach: Jason Taylor

Sunday, 12th August 2007

Telstra Stadium, 2.00pm
Referee: Paul Simpkins
GRL Tip: Bulldogs

The Raiders were still in the game last week against North QLD right up until the 69th minute. I think they can go the whole way against a Bulldogs side that is still without the inspirational Willie Mason. Radio commentators last week suggested the Dogs lacked a player with spark who could’ve have helped Canterbury lift when they needed to. Canberra spend more time in defence then Canterbury and they’ll need to cut the amount of tackling they are making if they want to score an upset similar to what happened last season. The loss of Alan Tongue for the Raiders is a major blow. Back the Dogs to come out of this fight with the two competition points but only just.

BULLDOGS: Trent Cutler, Hazem El Masri, Daryl Millard, Willie Tonga, Cameron Phelps, Ben Roberts, Brent Sherwin, Jarrad Hickey, Corey Hughes, Chris Armit, Sonny Bill Williams, Andrew Ryan (c), Reni Maitua. Interchange: Adam Perry, Nick Kouparitsas, Fred Briggs, Mark O'Meley.
Coach: Steve Folkes

RAIDERS: Marshall Chalk, David Howell, Phil Graham, Colin Best, Brett Kelly, Todd Carney, Michael Dobson, Dane Tilse, Lincoln Withers, Scott Logan, Matt Bickerstaff, Glen Turner, Alan Tongue (c). Interchange: Josh Miller, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, Neville Costigan, Joe Picker, Michael Weyman (one to be omitted). Coach: Neil Henry

Olympic Park, 3.00pm
Referee: Sean Hampstead
GRL Tip: Storm

Brisbane are losing more field personnel then sailors in the Bermuda Triangle each week. With no Hunt, Tate, Lockyer, Berrigan and Michael Ennis against a fully-fit Storm side, the Broncos attack is seriously devoid of a lot of points which they will need if they are to match it with Melbourne. Having said that, the Broncos love a challenge and you write them off at your own peril. Cameron Smith is back after a week off and that should enable the Storm not to suffer - Read More, Here