Round 17 First Grade Men's Preview
By Matt Hughes (NRL Vic Media)
This Saturday sees the penultimate round of the NRL Victoria First Grade competition take place. With Truganina and Werribee the only teams assured of a finals berth, several teams have it all to play for.
The Northern Thunder v North West Wolves clash is a must-win for both sides, with the Wolves sitting in fourth on 18 points, while the Thunder are just two points behind in fifth. A win for the Wolves would guarantee them a spot in the finals, while a win for the Thunder would put them right in the finals mix heading into the last round.
The Thunder currently have the wood over the Wolves, emerging victorious by 18 points in their round seven clash. With either side coming off losses that won’t mean much when both teams take the field at Seabrook Reserve.
Over at Langama Park Sunbury face a tough task in beating Truganina and keeping their slim finals hopes alive. The Tigers trail the ladder leaders by 15 points and could potentially sneak into fourth position if they win both their games and other results go their way.
The last time the sides did battle in round seven, the Rabbitohs won by a convincing 38 points. Truganina have only lost one game for the season and the Tigers will have to be at their best to make it two.
Altona versus Werribee is important for both outfits. Altona sit in third spot on twenty points and a win would assure them of finals, as well as giving them a chance to finish as high as second. Werribee on the other hand can’t finish any lower than third but can’t finish any higher than their current second spot standing. A win would guarantee them second spot.
Although Werribee sits higher on the ladder, Altona will take confidence from their 16-point win in round seven. The Roosters are also the only team to beat the table topping Rabbitohs this year, which is sure to put a spring in their step.
Waverley and Casey face off at Fregon Reserve and although neither team can make finals, they both would love to finish their seasons with a couple of wins. A win for the Warriors who sit on 13 points, followed by a win next week could have them finishing as high as fifth. A couple of wins for the Panthers who have 11 points could land them as high as sixth.