Despite also feeling the fall-out of a mini injury crisis which is currently affecting the Sharks NRL squad, the Newtown Jets scored an impressive last start win over the Illawarra Cutters in arresting a two-game losing streak.
Led by half-back Todd Murphy and two tries from Jacob Gagan, the Jets scored a convincing 26-10 win to consolidate their position inside the NSW Cup top eight and will be looking to further enhance their finals credentials with a win over the Bulldogs this Saturday afternoon.
In a match to be played at Belmore Sports Ground, the Sharks will have to get the job done without big centre Sami Sauiluma who is again a part of the NRL squad, while Newtown-contracted prop Tim Robinson will also make the trip to the Gold Coast as 18th man for Cronulla’s match with the Titans.
The Jets however will still go into the match as favourites, with the Bulldogs coming off a 40-point thumping at the hands of competition leaders Mounties at their previous outing.
The Jets v Bulldogs match will follow the two Junior Rep National Championship matches, both of which feature the Sharks playing the Townsville Stingers.
The NSW Cup match is scheduled for a 3.00pm kick-off, the Under-18’s match is at 1.00pm and the Under-16’s at 11.00am.
Sharks fans not travelling to the Gold Coast to watch the NRL squad go around are encouraged to get out to Belmore to show their support of the two junior Sharks teams as well as the Jets in their match with Mounties.
Below is a NSWRL.com.au website preview of the Sharks v Bulldogs NSW Cup clash.
Canterbury v Newtown: Bulldogs looking to find bark
The Canterbury Bulldogs are hoping to rebound against the Newtown Jets after last week’s 58-18 thrashing at the hands of the competition leaders, Mounties.
“We have a few players returning so we’ll be more strengthened, especially in the forwards, and we’ve got a lot to make up for the performance last week,” Bulldogs coach Andy Patmore said. “We’re keen to make up for that.”
The Bulldogs find themselves sitting outside the top eight of the ladder after losing their past four matches. However, Patmore asserts it’s not a must-win contest against Newtown.
“We don’t use those sort of words,” Patmore said. “We’re more focused on the performance. We were disappointed of the way we went through our processes and also of our individual performance. We don’t mention losses but we’re really keen for a win and to put in a good performance at home.
“Up until last week we had played well but Mounties are a very strong side and that really shows the difference in class. We certainly didn’t play as well as we should have. We addressed playing better as a group even though we had players missing.”
Canterbury will need to step up against the speedy Jets who are motivated to consolidate a top-four position in the VB NSW Cup.
NOTE: A live broadcast of the NSW Cup match will be from 3.00pm on: www.radiohub.com.au
Photo – Gary Sutherland