NSW Super League Round Eighteen Preview
posted by Artie on July 15, 2010
With only five rounds to go, there is all to play for this weekend with the Premiership, Top Five and the relegation spot still undecided. There remains no room for slipups, each team knowing that a hiccup now will play a large part in the final standings with little time for recovery.
The title still looks Parramatta’s to lose although Northern Tigers may still fancy their chances. With a game in hand, and with the two sides meeting in round 19, the Tigers are in with a hope so the Eagles won’t be able to rest easy. Parramatta take on Central Coast this Sunday, a side who have gained some good wins over the past month. The Coast were struggling for victories in the first half of the season but their hard work has paid off recently. Parramatta got back on track last weekend after two straight losses, a small scare which the Eagles won’t be keen to repeat.
The Tigers, meanwhile, face bottom-placed Fraser Park, also on Sunday. With their fixture last week postponed, Northern Tigers will certainly be freshened up, a chance to keep the pressure on Parramatta Eagles. The Tigers are in a rich vein of form, a loss to FC Bossy being their only recent reverse and if anybody is likely to upset the Eagles’ title ambitions, it will be the team from Asquith.
But it will be tough against Fraser Park who are increasingly desperate for points, and keen to avoid a second consecutive wooden spoon. Their four goals against Central Coast two weeks ago proved that they can score, Alex Smith being the man to watch.
The third game on Sunday sees Mount Druitt Town entertain St George. The Saints did well on Wednesday night, moving to second spot after their win over FC Bossy, in their rescheduled round ten clash. They will be fighting hard for the three points again as they seek a final top three spot and a finals double chance. Likewise Mount Druitt need the points, albeit for a different reason. With only a two point buffer over Fraser Park, the Rangers can ill afford too many more losses.
But while Sunday’s fixtures entice, Saturday’s also whet the appetite. Granville Rage versus FC Bossy is perhaps the pick as both clubs look to strengthen their finals chances. Bossy played positively against St George midweek although they eventually came away empty handed, despite going close on more than one occasion. They will fancy themselves against the Rage.
It has been a strange time for Granville. They have suffered three losses in succession, something you would not have picked too long ago. This loss of form will need to be addressed, with a host of clubs ready to step into the five should the Rage continue to falter.
The best placed of those clubs is Macarthur Rams, who travel to Arlington Oval to meet Dulwich Hill. The goals of the league’s top scorer Sam Messam have given Macarthur a good push along after some disappointing results earlier in the year. His sixteen goals so far has him well on the way to the Golden Boot award, and he will be particularly keen to put a goal or two away this week against his former club.
Dulwich Hill, meantime, haven’t given up their hopes of finals football, although it will be tough from here. They may be content with consolidating their Super League status, a job well done for their return season.
The winner of Sydney University v Spirit FC on Saturday will keep their finals hopes alive, a loss, especially for Uni, will probably end their season. It has been difficult for the Students, who have played the season away from their Hensley Field home, this week’s game again being moved to St George Stadium. Spirit are going well, their McDonald’s Cup final appearance testament to their ability, and the penalty loss an indication of the competitiveness of the Super League. This will be a close game, an in form Christian Soares may be the difference between the two sides.
St George v FC Bossy
Rescheduled Round Ten
Wednesday 14 July
A double to Denis Cutura clinched the points for St George over FC Bossy on Wednesday night, a win which moved the Saints into second spot on the table.
The first came early on, in the seventh minute, when, in the blink of an eye, Cutura smashed the ball past Matthew Kasbarian. It was a fine strike, on the run, which really gave the Bossy custodian no chance.
The visitors weren’t perturbed though, and gave themselves every chance as they sought an equaliser. They came close a couple of times, David Wilson having the best opportunity.
Cutura almost doubled the score just before half-time but it was his second-half header, from a corner, which ultimately confirmed the win.
St George 2 (Denis Cutura 7’, 65’) v FC Bossy Liverpool 0
St George 4 v FC Bossy Liverpool 0
Source - Peter Rowney