IT’S A BIG WEEKEND OF NRL FOR…
* ADAM REYNOLDS – The race for the NSW No.7 jersey reaches its climax and although Laurie Daley would have all but decided on his halfback, one strong performance against St George Illawarra could grant Reynolds his maiden sky blue jersey. No halfback candidate has really put up his hand ahead of Origin I … this is Reynolds’ chance to stake his claim.
* NATE MYLES – Myles hasn’t hit the ground running at Manly like he would have imagined, and even though he’s been one of Queensland’s best for the past decade, his position is all of a sudden under threat. Kevin Walters needs to find two forwards who weren’t in the Australian team a fortnight ago, and if Myles cops a belting from Gallen and company on Saturday night, Maroons selectors might look the other way.
* NEWCASTLE – Their only win of the season came against the Wests Tigers in round six and on Saturday they have their best chance to end their horror run against the same team. Nathan Brown’s men have conceded 179 points in their past four weeks, and given the Tigers defence hasn’t been much better this year, their only hope of salvaging some confidence will come through a competitive showing here.
* BRAD ARTHUR – Last week it was 12 from 15, but now it’s 12 from 14 that Parramatta require. Time is running out for Arthur’s men to make their finals run after the salary cap scandal, and ironically they host Melbourne, who Parramatta fans unleashed hell on during similar circumstances for the Storm in 2010. Win here, and the dream is still alive. Lose, and it’s virtually over.
* NORTH QUEENSLAND – They sit fourth on the ladder but given they’ve now dropped matches to both Brisbane and Melbourne the question could be asked on whether they have enough to beat the big guns. With Origin looming and Paul Green’s men likely to be the most depleted over the next two months, Friday’s blockbuster against Brisbane could prove far more vital than just your run-of-the-mill round 11 clash.