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Glenn Stewart

Sam Thaiday

Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Sea Eagles
Brisbane Broncos Broncos
2012 Stats
Tries:
2
Tackles:
563
Linebreaks:
0
L/B Assists:
8
Offloads:
19

Age: 30

Height: 180cm

Weight: 100kg

Glenn Stewart
2012 Stats
Tries:
4
Tackles:
762
Linebreaks:
6
L/B Assists:
2
Offloads:
13

Age: 29

Height: 181cm

Weight: 112kg

Sam Thaiday
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His nickname might be ‘Gifty’ but his Sea Eagles don’t yet have the premiership all wrapped up. Can Stewart help deliver another Brookvale belting and bust up the Broncos’ finals hopes?

Five losses in a row is not the best preparation for the finals but a big win against one of the premiership favourites on their home soil might help improve the confidence. Can Thaiday light up Friday night footy?

Michael Jennings

Jamal Idris

Penrith Panthers Panthers
Gold Coast Titans Titans
2012 Stats
Tries:
10
Breaks Tackle:
99
Missed Tackles:
31
Errors:
18
All Run Metres:
2107

Age: 26

Height: 180cm

Weight: 94kg

Michael Jennings
2012 Stats
Tries:
5
Breaks Tackle:
69
Missed Tackles:
45
Errors:
17
All Run Metres:
1458

Age: 24

Height: 199cm

Weight: 115kg

Jamal Idris
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This Panther has more zip than speedy Gonzales but his up-and-down season has meant we have not seen the best of his afterburners. With the season nearing its end will Jennings jump to life and scorch through the Titans?

Giant Jamal is not as quick and nimble as jet-speed Jennings but who needs speed when you can just run over the top of your opponents? Will Jennings become another speed bump statistic on Jamal’s resume?

Matthew Bowen

Johnathan Thurston

North Queensland Cowboys Cowboys
North Queensland Cowboys Cowboys
2012 Stats
Tries:
13
Linebreaks:
20
L/B Assists:
19
Offloads:
11
Try Assists:
27

Age: 32

Height: 175cm

Weight: 85kg

Matthew Bowen
2012 Stats
Tries:
3
Linebreaks:
11
L/B Assists:
26
Offloads:
24
Try Assists:
24

Age: 31

Height: 179cm

Weight: 86kg

Johnathan Thurston
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Who needs a big three when you have a big two as good as Bowen and JT? These northerners are shooting the Cowboys into the finals but which one is most vital to the team’s success? Is Bowen the best Cowboy on the range?

JT has more representative jerseys than little Matty Bowen and he might lead the Cowboys around the paddock but is he the backbone of the team? Does the headgear give JT an advantage?

Luke Burt

Nathan Merritt

Parramatta Eels Eels
South Sydney Rabbitohs Rabbitohs
2012 Stats
Tries:
7
Points:
134
Linebreaks:
4
Tackles:
65
Errors:
20

Age: 33

Height: 178cm

Weight: 88kg

Luke Burt
2012 Stats
Tries:
14
Points:
56
Linebreaks:
11
Tackles:
57
Errors:
8

Age: 31

Height: 181cm

Weight: 90kg

Nathan Merritt
vs

It will be a hard task for Ricky Stuart to find replacements for Burt and Hindmarsh next season at the Eels. Burt has delivered the blue and gold army a host of memories but will Merritt make his second-last game miserable?

Was last week’s loss just a hiccup or are the Rabbits starting to look shakey with September just around the corner? Master try-scorer Merritt will need to deliver a stellar performance for Souths to keep the doubters at bay.

 

Canberra Raiders

Raiders

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

Bulldogs

Coach: David Furner
Coach: Des Hasler
2012 Club Stats
Tries:
107
Goals:
83
Tackles:
7850
Linebreaks:
119
Offloads:
287
Try Assists:
82
2012 Club Stats
Tries:
110
Goals:
89
Tackles:
8139
Linebreaks:
125
Offloads:
337
Try Assists:
88
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Every game you win you are closer to a loss... well, that might be what Raiders coach David Furner is telling his team when they face the might of the Bulldogs who are on their way to a lucky 13 wins in a row.

Maybe Des Hasler is telling the truth when he says the Bulldogs are not the benchmark of the competition... winning 12 games in a row might just be a lucky streak. Will the minor premiership be sealed this weekend?

Melbourne Storm

Storm

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks

Sharks

Coach: Craig Bellamy
Coach: Shane Flanagan
2012 Club Stats
Comp Points:
38
Wins:
17
Losses:
7
Draws:
0
Points For:
579
Points Against:
361
2012 Club Stats
Comp Points:
29
Wins:
12
Losses:
11
Draws:
1
Points For:
445
Points Against:
441
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The Storm are back in form with three straight wins and with the punters giving the Bulldogs and Sea Eagles the favourites tags they could be a dark horse to snatch the premiership. But first they need to get through the Sharks.

The second half of the season has not been as impressive as the first but the Sharks are still in the top eight and ready to fight it out in the finals. Can Gallen and Carney end the Sharks’ premiership drought and deliver the Shire a shiny new trophy?

 

Match tying kick

Seven point lead

vs
Tuesday 21st August
Tuesday 21st August

This was a memorable field goal in extraordinary circumstances but it didn’t win the match for the Roosters. The Chooks still managed to get the victory in golden point extra time but was the kick from Anasta the match turner?

Extending the lead by seven points is a play that a lot of teams employ to help break the belief of the opposing team, but is it better than going for the kill and delivering a match-winning try? Braith or Benji...who has the better boot?

Brett Morris

Manu Vatuvei

vs
Tuesday 21st August
Tuesday 21st August

After playing some fullback earlier in the season Morris has been moved back to the wing for the Dragons. Has the mid-season shift affected his try-scoring ability or is Morris better off on the outside of the play?

They call him the ‘Beast’ and this Warriors has a unique method for crossing the try-line, which mostly just consists of running over the defence if they dare stand in front of him. Is Manu a better finisher than Morris?

 
 
 
 
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The views in this article are the author’s and not necessarily those of the clubs or the NRL.