Peter Mata'utia will face brothers Chanel and Sione for the first time in the NRL on Sunday as the Dragons and Knights clash at Hunter Stadium.

VB NSW Cup Previews - Finals Week 2

Wentworthville Magpies (3) Vs Wyong Roos (7)
Leichhardt Oval, Sunday, September 14
Kick-off: 4.00pm
Referee: Liam Nicholls
Broadcast: NSWRL Livestream
Broadcast: Radio Coverage courtesy of Steele Sports Radio (Link available via www.steelesports.com.au)
Broadcast: Radio Coverage courtesy of 2GLF FM 89.3 (Link available via 893fm.com.au)
Broadcast: Radio Coverage courtesy of Hawkesbury Radio 89.9FM (Link available via www.hawkesburyradio.com.au)

Summary: The fairytale story that is the Wyong Roos has continued on for at least one more week after the side from the Central Coast knocked over the Wests Tigers for the second time in as many weeks at Leichhardt Oval last Sunday. Not only did the Roos win, it was perhaps one of their most impressive performances of the season as they resolutely defended their try line throughout and also looked sharp in attack at times in conditions that didn’t really suit such a display. What Rip Taylor has done with this side has been nothing short of a footballing miracle, and that statement is not meant to infer that his side doesn’t contain plenty of talent, because it does, but for a side that has no regular NRL talent filtering back into it to be within touching distance of a preliminary final is an amazing effort. Their opponents this week in the Wentworthville Magpies will be looking to bounce back from an average performance against the Knights last Saturday. Brett Cook would have been left scratching his head at full time with his side’s performance not up to the standard of a side that was a permanent fixture in the VB NSW Cup top four throughout the 2014 season. The Magpies found it hard to come to grips with the conditions on the day and spent far too much time playing sideways instead of north to south and vice a versa. In team news, just the one change for Wenty with Pat Mataele being named in the second row to replace Pauli Pauli who has not qualified for the remainder of the finals series. One Eel who has qualified yet has not been named is Ryan Morgan, and although his status is unknown at present, if he is available, you would imagine that his services will be called upon for this vital clash. For the Roos, just the one change with Adam Shaw being added to the bench at the expense of Nathan Clarke. The Roos recent winning run of six straight has largely been due to having the same core group of players on the park and this fact is reinforced by the stat that the club has used just 31 different players throughout their 2014 campaign. When you compare that number to the 54 used by Wenty over the same time frame, it really hits home just how lucky Wyong has been with injuries for the most part. Damon Goolagong was on fire last week for the Roos and Wenty will need to take space away from the young flyer to keep him quiet. Justin Hunt looked like the Magpies best chance of sparking their attack last night yet got frustrated at times when things weren’t going their way. Look for him to bounce back here with a big game. Such an intriguing clash on paper and I for one can’t wait to see how it unfolds come Sunday. 

2014 Head to Head Results:

Wentworthville Magpies 24 def. Wyong Roos 22 at Ringrose Park (Round 5) 

Wyong Roos 30 def. Wentworthville Magpies 22 at Remondis Stadium (Round 21)  

Prediction: The Roos were clinical last week and can make it seven straight here. Roos by 4.

Illawarra Cutters (4) Vs NZ Warriors (8)
Leichhardt Oval, Sunday, September 14
Kick-off: 6.10pm
Referee: Adam Cassidy
Broadcast: LIVE on Fox Sports 1 and Sky Sport NZ
Broadcast: Radio Coverage courtesy of Steele Sports Radio (Link available via www.steelesports.com.au)
Broadcast: Radio Coverage courtesy of 2GLF FM 89.3 (Link available via 893fm.com.au)

Summary: Another cracking clash awaits here when the Cutters tackle the Warriors in the second part of our Sunday double-header. The Warriors only made their way into the finals with a win over the Bears in what was the last match of the 2014 regular season. And after grabbing 8th place, they made the most of their chance posting an exciting 36-28 win over Mounties last weekend in a match that they lead throughout. And they will fancy their chances against a Cutters side that they have not lost to in 2014 after they played out a draw back in round two and then they claimed a seven point win in what was a highly entertaining affair back in round seven. The Cutters were served a good old fashioned reality check last weekend as they were brushed aside by a white hot Panthers team to the tune of 42-6. The Cutters were never really in the contest from the outset and it was only a try to Adam Quinlan as the full time siren sounded that saw them avoiding the shutout. After an average month or so, the Warriors have now won two straight while the Cutters have lost three straight and four of their last five. Statistically speaking there wasn’t much between these two sides defensively in 2014, with both sides conceding about 21 points a game on average but it was the Cutters who had by far the better attack, although last week’s respective games may suggest otherwise. In team news, the Warriors will be without Chad Townsend which means Carlos Tuimavave shifts back into the halves and Dominique Peyroux returns to take his place in the centres. For the Cutters, Adam Quinlan makes way however they do have some key ins with Will Matthews, Shane Pumipi, Kyle Stanley and Peter Mata’utia all returning now that the Dragons NRL commitments have finished for the year. Speaking of Peter Mata’utia, he has scored in both of the Cutters games against the Warriors this year, and another starring role on Sunday may well set up a clash against the Knights and younger brothers Chanel and Pat in a weeks’ time. 

2014 Head to Head Results:

NZ Warriors 12 drew with Illawarra Cutters 12 at Eden Park (Round 2) 

NZ Warriors 35 def. Illawarra Cutters 28 at WIN Jubilee Oval (Round 7)  

Prediction: Willing to forgive the Cutters performance last week and go with them here. Cutters by 2.