The third-placed Newtown Jets square off against the second-placed St George-Illawarra Dragons at Panthers Stadium this Sunday with the winner set to be just one game away from contesting the Intrust Super Premiership Grand Final.
With winner progressing to a Preliminary Final stage in two weeks, while the loser goes into an elimination semi-final on the weekend of September 8-9, meaning the Jets will be keen to take a big step in their challenge for the 2018 NSW Intrust Super Premiership title.
The Jets come into the clash on the back of two convincing wins, a 32-12 triumph over the Wests Magpies, following a 52-16 thumping of the New Zealand Warriors the week prior.
Their opponents the Dragons have also been in reasonable form of late, their last result being a 26-12 win over Mounties, a victory that consolidated third position on the ISP ladder and set up the clash with the Jets on Sunday.
The two teams have met twice in 2018, the Dragons winning the most recent encounter by 18-10, while the Jets were successful by 24-12 way back in round two.
Helping the Newtown cause will be the likely return of chief playmaker Kyle Flanagan, fresh off his NRL debut last weekend, with the half back named to play the elimination finals match.
For the Dragons, due to injuries in their NRL squad, exciting young outside back Zac Lomax has been called into the first grade side in place of Euan Aitken, while the elusive Jai Field on an extended Dragons NRL bench and therefore not named in the ISP side for Sunday.
The Jets v Dragons match will be played at Panthers Stadium on Sunday, kicking off at 1.45pm. The match will be shown on a delayed telecast at 9.30pm on Sunday night.
Below are match details, the team lists, highlights from Newtown's last round win over the Magpies and a comprehensive preview courtesy of NSWRL.com.au.
This Sunday's match details are:
NSWRL Intrust Super Premiership NSW – Qualifying Final
Sunday, 2nd September 2018
St George-Illawarra (2nd place) versus Newtown (3rd place)
Newtown's team is:
Will Kennedy, Matt Evans, Aaron Gray, Reubenn Rennie, Sione Katoa, Jack A. Williams, Kyle Flanagan, Wes Lolo, Blayke Brailey, Ava Seumanufagai, Briton Nikora, Anthony Moraitis, Jaimin Jolliffe. Interchange: Billy Magoulias, Bessie Aufaga-Toomaga, Addison Demetriou, Malakai Houma, Matthew Jurd.
Coach: Greg Matterson.
Patrick Herbert, John Tohi, Reuben Garrick, Steven Marsters, Shaun Sauni-Esau, Adam Clune, Darren Nicholls, Pio Sokobalavu, Reece Robson, Mitchell Allgood, Jackson Ford, Jacob Host, Hame Sele.
Interchange: Joe Lovodua, Damien Sironen, Ashleigh Nisbet, Joshua Kerr, TJ Uele.
Coach: Mat Head.
Delayed telecast on Fox League at 9.30pm, Sunday.
The match is being broadcast live by Steele Sports on: www.steelesports.com.au
The highlights from last Saturday's Newtown-Western Suburbs match: https://www.nswrl.com.au/news/2018/08/25/magpies-winning-run-halted-by-jets/
Here are the match statistics from last Saturday's match at Henson Park: https://www.nswrl.com.au/siteassets/competitions/intrust-super-premiership-nsw/stats-reports/round24-stats---jetswests.pdf.pdf
How the NSWRL website has previewed this Sunday's match: https://www.nswrl.com.au/news/2018/08/30/preview--dragons-v-jets/