The Newsroom previews round 22 of the National Rugby League who will celebrate their ten year partnership with the Women in League foundation.
The Women in League round will feature:
– Women in League signage on-field and at matches
– 40 metre line numbers changed to purple, the colour of the round
– Referees wearing Women in League jerseys
– Half-time women’s touch, tag or tackle games
– Broncos, Cowboys, Warriors, Sharks and Storm players will wear Women in League jerseys
St George Illawarra Dragons v Brisbane Broncos
It will be a do or die clash for the Dragons and Brisbane with both teams desperate for a win heading into the finals. Brisbane are coming off losses to the Roosters and the Panthers while the Dragons are coming off losses to the Titans and the Bulldogs. Brisbane welcome back star forwards Sam Thaiday, Matt Gillett and Josh McGuire from suspension and injury, while the Dragons have suffered a massive blow, losing star forward Tyson Frizell for one week after touching a referee during a match. Players to watch are Euan Aitken and Tom Opacic. Both centres are something special when they get their hands on the ball; they are elusive and have an all-round skill set.
Newcastle Knights v Canterbury Bulldogs
The hapless Knights will take on the Bulldogs at Hunter Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Knights are coming off 13 straight losses and are facing a second consecutive wooden spoon. Newcastle will be boosted by the return of Jarrod Mullen from a hamstring complaint, along with centre Pat Mata’utia and prop Sam Mataora. The Bulldogs were lucky to come away with the two points last week after they were tested in the second half by the St George Illawarra Dragons. Tony Williams has been named for the Dogs while Greg Eastwood has been left out of the side. Players to watch are William Hopoate and Jake Mamo. Both fullbacks are dynamic try scorers and can give their side the edge.
Wests Tigers v North Queensland Cowboys
On Sunday afternoon, the Wests Tigers and the North Queensland Cowboys will play at Leichhardt Oval in an expected blockbuster. Coach Jason Taylor has again snubbed Tigers legend Robbie Farah and has selected Jack Littlejohn to fill in at halfback for Luke Brooks, who fell awkwardly in a tackle and twisted his knee last week against the Eels. He will be out for at least five weeks with the Tigers itching to get a spot in the final eight. The Cowboys are expected to welcome back star half Johnathan Thurston. Players to watch are Mitchell Moses and Michael Morgan, both five eighth’s are energetic and can change a game with their passing ability and kicking games. – Jesse Mullens.
Parramatta Eels v Manly Sea Eagles, Pirtek Stadium, Friday, 7:50pm
Cronulla Sharks v Canberra Raiders, Southern Cross Group Stadium, Saturday, 5:30pm
Melbourne Storm v South Sydney Rabbitohs, AAMI Park, Saturday, 7:30pm
Gold Coast Titans v New Zealand Warriors, CBUS Super Stadium, Sunday, 2pm
Penrith Panthers v Sydney Roosters, Pepper Stadium, Monday, 7pm
Photo of Dragons coach Paul McGregor and Euan Aitken at training from the St George Illawarra Dragons Facebook page.