Western Suburbs Magpies will be looking to keep up their momentum this weekend as they take on the North Sydney Bears at North Sydney Oval on Sunday afternoon.
After a dominant 32-22 win over the Newtown Jets last week, Western Suburbs consolidated their spot inside the top eight once again and will now look to overtake the fifth-placed Bears this Sunday. North Sydney were undone by a high-quality Dragons side last week and will themselves be looking to bounce back.
Both sides head in to the game with four wins from their seven matches and just 10 points differential separating them on the ladder — making for an intriguing matchup on Sunday and definitely not a contest to be missed between two traditional clubs.
Following last week's win over the Jets, Canterbury Cup Coach Brett Hodgson has named a similar side to last week’s game — albeit without several NRL players who have been included in the extended NRL squad to face the Roosters.
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With the Canterbury Cup game on Sunday played after the NRL game against the defending premiers on Saturday night, Hodgson's side may once again see some late inclusions as Western Suburbs look to move inside the top four.
Paul Momirovski, Jacob Liddle, David Nofoaluma and Russell Packer have all been named amongst the reserves and could come in to calculations for Sunday.
Wests' side for Sunday's game still includes a number of NRL squad members as is, however, with Dylan Smith, Tyson Gamble, Sam McIntyre and Robbie Rochow all named — along with 2019 Development Players Tommy Talau, Alex Seyfarth and Kane Bradley, who bagged a double in last week's win over the Jets.
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Following on from last weeks thrilling victory, Kane Bradley and Jacob Liddle were recognised in their performance after being included in the Team of the Week. Bradley made two tries, two line-breaks and made 155 total metres while Liddle had one try and one try-assist, 120 total metres and 42 tackles.
For the Bears, Coach Jason Taylor has made only a couple of changes to his side with Lachlan Lam returning after featuring in first-grade last week.
Lam's inclusion is a key move for the Bears — who have produced several dominant performances with him in the side this year — while the inclusion of Poasa Faamausili at prop and Lindsay Collins in the run-on side is also a big boost.
Kickoff for the match is at 1:10pm AEST with live coverage via Channel 9.
For all live scores and updates from Sunday's game, visit the Match Centre here.
Match: Bears v Magpies
Round 8 -
Fullback for Bears is number 1 Kieren MossFullback for Magpies is number 1 Dylan Smith
Winger for Bears is number 2 Asu KepaoaWinger for Magpies is number 3 Tommy Talau
Centre for Bears is number 3 Ed MurphyCentre for Magpies is number 4 Kane McQuiggin
Centre for Bears is number 4 James TuitahiCentre for Magpies is number 23 Paul Momirovski
Winger for Bears is number 5 Bernard LewisWinger for Magpies is number 5 Kane Bradley
Five-Eighth for Bears is number 6 Lachlan LamFive-Eighth for Magpies is number 6 Tyson Gamble
Halfback for Bears is number 7 Brock LambHalfback for Magpies is number 7 Kauri Aupouri-Puketapu
Prop for Bears is number 16 John TuivaitiProp for Magpies is number 10 Russell Packer
Hooker for Bears is number 9 Bradley DeitzHooker for Magpies is number 21 Patrice Siolo
Prop for Bears is number 19 Egan ButcherProp for Magpies is number 16 Oliver Clark
2nd Row for Bears is number 11 Josh Curran2nd Row for Magpies is number 11 Sam McIntyre
2nd Row for Bears is number 12 Tom Freebairn2nd Row for Magpies is number 13 Robbie Rochow
Lock for Bears is number 13 Max BaileyLock for Magpies is number 18 Alex Seyfarth
Interchange for Bears is number 14 Sam VerrillsInterchange for Magpies is number 8 Joseph Ratuvakacereivalu
Interchange for Bears is number 15 Drew HutchisonInterchange for Magpies is number 14 Soni Luke
Interchange for Bears is number 17 Setefano HalaInterchange for Magpies is number 15 Elia Faatui
Interchange for Bears is number 18 Daniel FifitaInterchange for Magpies is number 19 Bilal Maarbani