Both sides have claimed a win and draw to start the season and can enter the clash with due confidence. And, historically, it also promises to be close. Following two draws in 2006, the two combatants have since beat each other twice, the latest encounter won by Uni during their emphatic run to close out the 2008 season (narrowly missing an unlikely finals berth).
The match between Northern Tigers and early leaders Macarthur Rams at Lynwood Park on Saturday night (7.30pm) should be a cracker. The Tigers have kicked off season 2009 with two tough draws and will be battle-hardened for a plucky Rams side that cruised to a 6-0 round-one win on the coast and a last-gasp draw against St George last week. Interestingly, the Rams have only won of their eight Super League fixtures with the Tigers, going back to 2004. Two draws and a 2-0 win at home two years ago are Macarthur?s only joys, while the Tigers have won three of their four clashes at Lynwood.
PCYC Parramatta Eagles will be cautious of Central Coast Lightning when they meet at Pluim Park on Saturday night (7.30pm). Parramatta is without loss to start the year and would regard the Lightning as a game they should also win. But, one, they are on the road and out of town, and two, they don?t enjoy a convincing record against Central Coast, who smashed them 4-2 in their first Super League match at Melita Stadium in 2007. The Eagles returned serve with a 2-1 win at Pluim later that year, while their 2008 results saw a 1-1 draw at Pluim and a 4-1 win to Parramatta at Melita.
Boy, oh boy, what a match it will be when Rockdale City Suns take on Granville Rage at the Ilinden Sports Centre on Sunday afternoon (3pm kick-off). As well as wearing a nod from rival coaches to make this year?s finals, both sides share a fiery history. For a start, the Suns have only won one of their six Super League meetings, albeit 2-0 at Rockdale last May, with Granville winning four encounters (three of them tight 1-0 victories). But the home side will more vividly remember the 0-3 thrashing by Rage hands at Garside Park that ended their rocky 2008 season.
It?s an interesting rendezvous at Christie Park on Sunday afternoon (3pm) as last year?s respective title holders Spirit FC play FC Bossy Liverpool. Defending Super League champions Bossy are yet to get going in this year?s race, snaring a sole round-one draw. But they showed last year that as long as they?re top-five material at the other end of the season they will still be a force to be reckoned with. 2008 State League division one winners Spirit FC have already claimed gritty draws against highly fancied Granville and Parramatta, but they face the prospect of a third successive home game without a win.
Mount Druitt Town Rangers tackle a wounded Fraser Park FC at Popondetta Park on Saturday (7.30pm). Fraser Park, who sacked their coach following a second successive loss last week, won?t think they are fortunate to face Mount Druitt this week and not the likes of Rockdale or Parramatta. The Rangers have had a blistering start to the year ? competitive in a 1-3 round-one loss to Granville and beating champions Liverpool 3-1 last week. They also haven?t lost to Fraser Park at home in two league years together. Fraser Park officials were due to discuss a possible coaching replacement this week.
-By Daniel De Nardi