Winter Super League Round 13 Preview


There will be fireworks as the lower teams strive for vital points to try and stay in touch with the top-five. Remarkably, all teams are still in the race for the finals.
Round 13 kicks off with a classic grudge match between Fairfield City Lions and Bossy Liverpool at Norford Park on Saturday evening (5pm kick-off). The neighbours have played out some enthralling fixtures, Liverpool winning their earlier encounter 3-1 on their way to a blistering start to the season. At the other end, Fairfield has struggled this year, their inconsistency starving them of momentum, and they haven?t beaten Liverpool since a 5-2 drubbing at Norford in June 2006. But three draws in between the two matches shows how competitive these two sides are when they play each other.
The match-up between defending champions Bonnyrigg White Eagles and Northern Tigers at Bonnyrigg Sports Club on Saturday night (7.30pm kick-off) barely needs promotion as the two great rivals share plenty of history and have plenty to play for. From seven Super League encounters, Northern have won three and Bonnyrigg twice. But the White Eagles have enjoyed the biggest triumph, upsetting the 2007 minor premiers in last September?s grand final, 2-0. The first time these clubs met in Super League, they drew 1-1, the same result as the last time they met, in April.
Also on Saturday night (7.30pm), Central Coast Lightning welcome St George Saints to Pluim Park. Third-placed St George is enjoying some good form of late and boast six consecutive victories over Central Coast in Super league, but never by much. This is their first meeting at Pluim Park, and Central the Lightning will be keen to chalk up a maiden victory over the Saints on home turf, especially after enduring an epic 5-4 loss in their round two fixture in April. There is also a 1-0 loss to St George in last year?s elimination semi-final to atone for.
Sydney University tackle Granville Rage at Garside Park on Saturday night (7.30pm) in what should be another classic game. Out of seven Super League battles to date, the sides share three wins each and have netted a massive 31-goal total (including an incredible 6-4 win to Uni in 2005). The margins have never been blowouts, but second-from-bottom Uni will have to be on top of their game to overthrow a Granville side on the verge of a top-five position. The Rage have also notched up two wins on the trot over Uni.
Fifth-placed Fraser Park Dragons visit lowly Rockdale City Suns at the Ilinden Sports Centre on Sunday afternoon (3pm kick-off), with an interesting history trailing behind them. The two sides can?t be split on goals or results with Rockdale smashing Fraser Park 5-1 away in their opening Super League encounter in May 2006, only to be upstaged by the Dragons, 5-1, at Ilinden a month before the Suns won the title. Their last two meetings resulted in 1-0 away wins to both teams, with a 2-2 draw at Fraser Park nestled in between.
Mount Druitt Town Rangers host Parramatta Eagles at Popondetta Park on Sunday afternoon (3pm), but pick a winner at your own peril. Second-placed Parramatta have won all three of their Super League encounters with Mount Druitt, but only by one goal each time (3-2, 2-1 and 1-0). The Eagles are starting to show why they were picked as pre-season title contenders, with Bonnyrigg now within reach of their talons. But the Rangers have showed amazing tenacity in just their second year of Super League, losing just three of their 11 matches so far. Incredibly, Mount Druitt boast the second best defence in the league.
-By Daniel De Nardi