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View Michael Buettners Toyota Cup Wrap
Interview with 2008 Toyota Cup player of the year - Ben Hunt

A review of the shortened round of Toyota Cup fixtures on offer this weekend.

Bulldogs v Penrith Panthers

Friday, 5:20pm – ANZ Stadium

After a massive loss to the lower placed Broncos last Friday; the Bulldogs will be keen for redemption when they return to ANZ Stadium for the first time since Round 8 of the premiership.

They take on a Panthers side which has progressively crept up the ladder in recent weeks and now just sits two points out of the top eight, despite a 56-18 drubbing at the hands of Manly last week.

The Bulldogs will be featuring a new halves combination, with Adrian Davis making his debut.

The Panthers will also feature a new halves combination for the match, with Harry Seijka being dropped to the bench and Blake Austin being promoted to the starting thirteen.

Referee: Luke Potter

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North Queensland Cowboys v Sydney Roosters
Saturday, 5:15pm – Dairy Farmers Stadium (Live on Fox Sports 2)

Saturday’s only Toyota Cup clash sees two teams from the lower half of the ladder facing off at Dairy Farmers Stadium. The twelfth placed North Queensland Cowboys and the fifteenth placed Sydney Roosters will be both desperate for wins in otherwise barren seasons.

Although the Cowboys would usually go in as favourites with the luxury of home ground advantage, so far in 2009 the club has won more games on the road than at Dairy Farmers.

And despite going down last week to the Titans, the Roosters will be buoyed by their strong showing.

Referee: Justin Davis

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Melbourne Storm v Wests Tigers
Sunday, 11:45am – Olympic Park Stadium (Live on Fox Sports 2)

The televised Sunday match promises to be one of the most exciting of the round when second-place Melbourne Storm take on the sixth placed Wests Tigers at Olympic Park.

With the home ground advantage and a host of in-form players, the Storm will go in as warm favourites.

But with the Wests Tigers in the midst of a purple patch of form winning seven of their last eight, this one should go down to the wire.

For the Wests Tigers, expect to see fullback Juke Mullany add to his impressive 106 season points tally while Darren Nicholls and Robert Lui will be keen to continue their strong halves combination.

While for the Storm fullback Gareth Widdop and winger Matt Duffie have been terrorizing opposing defensive lines all season.

Referee: Phil Haines

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Click here to view the Wests Tigers preview
Click here to view the Melbourne Storm preview

Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles v Canberra Raiders
Sunday, 12:45pm – Brookvale Oval

Current league leaders Manly-Warringah will take on last year’s premiers Canberra on Sunday afternoon at Brookvale in what is undoubtedly the match of the round.

However, both sides will be missing key players with Raider Josh Dugan (Telstra Premiership) and Manly’s Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (injured) unavailable.

As a result, several Toyota Cup debutants will fill the void which makes the outcome of this match difficult to determine.

Referee: Rick McFarlane

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Cronulla Sharks v Brisbane Broncos
Monday, 4:45pm – Toyota Stadium

Monday Night Football sees the eighth placed Brisbane Broncos taking on the last placed Cronulla Sharks at Toyota Stadium.

The Sharks will be desperate to knock over a Broncos outfit which will be without 2008 Toyota Cup player of the Year, Ben Hunt.

And despite the Queensland team’s senior squad missing five stars due to Origin, the junior Broncos have not had to call upon any debutants to fill the void.

Referee: Gavin Morris

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Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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