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The Rock-itt : June 2010
is to the Cowboys. If 'JT' doesn't play, that usually means the Townsville based side don't win. And with Origin upon us the Cowboys face 3 games without their leader and for a team already in trouble sitting second last on the competition table the traditional New South Wales VS Queensland series is the last thing they need. Even the games were origin players are available the task of winning isn't an easy one with fixtures against the Manly Sea Eagles and South Sydney Rabbitohs. EelsParramatta's rocky season continues with inconsistent form crippling any chance the western Sydney side have of cracking into the top 4. After an impressive victory over the Sea Eagles at Brookvale Oval, they followed with a dreadful performance against the Cronulla Sharks at home. The Sharks loss also exposed how much the side rely on Jarryd Hayne as without the star fullback, the blue and gold looked flat and uninspiring in attack. The Eels face tough challenges in the coming weeks against the Dragons and the Melbourne Storm. Panthers The Mountain Men are proving to be the surprise packet of the 2010 season joining the Dragons and the Titans at the top of the table after 11 rounds. Not bad for a team who just 8 months ago contemplated letting coach Matthew Elliott go. Penrith have weapons all over the field in Michael Jennings, Frank Pritchard, Lachlan Coote, and Michael Gordon, as well as experienced hard working forwards Luke Lewis, Trent Waterhouse, and Petero Civoniceva. The Panthers seem to have found the right combination of youth and experience and pose a threat to all sides in the competition. Dragons The Dragons remain on top of the table but haven't been in the best form lately. Losses to Manly and Canberra in their past few matches have allowed the rest of the competition to catch up to the once runaway leaders. In order to get back to their best they will look to Jamie Soward who has been lacking in the past month. In good news for Dragons fans it seems Mark Gasnier is close to resigning with the club and will make a shock comeback mid- season bolstering the already star-studded line up. Rabbitohs The South Sydney side haven't been at there best this season, but still find themselves in 5th position, which is encouraging for Rabbitohs fans. Not so good news for the Redfern based side was the shoulder injury to captain Roy Asotasi, who is out for 4 weeks, just coming back from a leg injury. Sam Burgess will miss a game shortly as he will head back to England to suit up for his nation against France. Burgess originally wasn't going to make the trip to the Northern Hemisphere but after the coach told him his future plans involved Burgess as the England captain, the bustling second-rower decided to play. Roosters After firing out of the starting blocks the Roosters have come back down to earth and are now struggling to stay intact with the premier sides of the competition. The Roosters are just outside the 8 but current form indicated that their slide down the ladder is set to continue. Mitchell Pearce may be the Roosters saving grace with the young halfback due to make his return for the next Roosters clash. While Todd Carney has been an adequate fill-in for Pearce, Sydney has missed 'Junior Juniors' on-field leadership and direction. Tigers May will go down as a month that West Tigers coaches, players, and fans would rather forget. A four game losing streak was at its most embarrassing during heritage round when the Tigers who donned the Balmain jersey on the day went down 50- 10 to the Rabbitohs at the SCG. The merger side began to rebuild their season in round 11 defeating the Newcastle Knights in the wet at Energy Australia Stadium. Gareth Ellis will also join Sam Burgess in the England's test against France and will miss one of the Tigers upcoming clashes.