The Platinum Preview | Rounds 3, 4 & 5

by Billy Johnson

It’s a triple-treat of Platinum Pennant rounds this weekend with every team playing three matches from Friday to Sunday! With 30 points up for grabs for each team, the results of this weekend will have a huge bearing on how their season unfolds.

At such an early stage of the season, there’s no room for complacency for the teams at the top knowing that every other side will be on their heels looking to work their way up the ladder.

Let’s take a look at each team’s schedule over the weekend and what their goals will be coming out of Round 5.

Weekend Schedule

Cabramatta Bullants

Current Position: 1st

Upcoming Matches: Wenty Leagues (A), Taren Point (H), Warilla (A)

It’s been a red hot start to the Platinum Pennant for Cabramatta who are yet to drop a rink after their first two matches, claiming 19.5 out of a possible 20 points. The good form has continued for the Bullants as they took out the prestigious Warilla 4-A-Side tournament this week, beating a mighty Gorillas side in a stellar final to take the title.

The Bullants will bring the same 12 into their three matches as they face-off against Wenty Leagues on Friday before taking on Taren Point at home Saturday. Rounding out their weekend is a trip down south to play Warilla on their indoor green. Cabra will be buoyed knowing they tasted success only days ago against the Gorillas on their home surface in the 4-A-Side, but will also be weary knowing that the Gorillas will be out for redemption. Beating Warilla at Warilla is one of the hardest tasks in bowls, but can the Bullants pull it off twice in the space of a week?

Engadine Cougars

Current Position: 2nd

Upcoming Matches: Warilla (A), St Johns Park (H), Merrylands (H)

Engadine couldn’t have asked for a better start to their season, claiming the scalps of Southern-Sydney rivals Taren Point and competition heavyweights Raymond Terrace. The Cougars will field an unchanged side for their next three rounds which starts with another tough task, facing Warilla at Warilla. Having conquered the Jets at the Hangar last weekend, the Cougars will be going into this match with the belief that they can come away with a win, and this promises to be a great match.

It doesn’t get easier for the Cougars as they host the third-placed Saints in Round 4 and the Merrylands Magic in Round 5. Both the Saints and Magic currently sit in the top 5 alongside the Cougars and will provide a solid test to see if Engadine can maintain their unbeaten run.

Keep an eye on the team of Jacob Aitken, Josh Carney, Jack Lewis and Cohen Litfin who currently sit atop the player ladder with 2 wins +27.

St Johns Park Saints

Current Position: 3rd

Upcoming Matches: Belrose (A), Engadine (A), Raymond Terrace (H)

The Saints are coming! In fine form early and keen to continue that trend, St Johns Park head to Belrose on Friday night to face the winless Belrose. The Saints will know all too well the perils of facing a side looking for their first win when they line up on Friday – and they’ll no doubt be preparing for a fiery clash. A particularly entertaining match-up should be David Ferguson taking on Matt Flapper.

Saturday sees the Saints travel to Engadine for a clash against the Cougars, followed by a return home to face the Jets. Back-to-back clashes against fellow top 5 teams will be tough, but the Saints will be confident they have the firepower needed to win these matches.

Raymond Terrace Jets

Current Position: 4th

Upcoming Matches: East Maitland (A), Carlingford (A), St Johns Park (A)

The aptly named Jets will be racking up some frequent flyer miles with three consecutive away games this weekend. The trip to East Maitland is considerably shorter than their remaining two matches, and there will be more than just 10 points on the line in this derby match! Following their Friday clash, the Jets will make their way to Carlingford then St Johns Park, in what promises to be a blockbuster clash.

Baus v Baker. Schraner v Ferguson. Taylor v Twist. Need we say more!

It’s interesting to note that despite the 1 win 1 loss start, the Jets have won 5 out of 6 rinks in their first two matches – the second best record in the competition. They’ll be out to prove a point to the other teams this weekend and it all starts Friday night on the Bowls NSW live stream!

Merrylands Magic

Current Position: 5th

Upcoming Matches: Carlingford (H), Belrose (H), Engadine (A)

A narrow two-shot loss to the Saints in Round 1 prevented Merrylands from having a perfect start to the season, but despite the result the Magic will take plenty of positives from their first two rounds. What Merrylands have shown already is that they are ready to compete against all sides, and having three skippers in Aron Sherriff, Cody Packer and Shawn Thompson you can understand why the Magic will be backing themselves.

There will be plenty to play for in their match against Carlingford on Friday night, and the Magic will hope they can take a win into their Saturday match against Belrose. The maestro Aron Sherriff and his rink will be live streamed against the Bulls’ Dylan Fisher in what will be a fantastic match-up on the beautiful Belrose greens.

A trip to Engadine rounds out the Magic’s weekend, and they will be hoping they can cap it off with a win against the Cougars.

Carlingford Koalas

Current Position: 6th

Upcoming Matches: Merrylands (A), Raymond Terrace (H), East Maitland (H)

Sitting just outside the top 5 and playing back-to-back matches against sides sitting above them, this weekend will prove to be the perfect litmus test for the Koalas’ standing within the competition. Their 21-shot Round 1 victory over Wenty Leagues put the rest of the competition on notice, and if they can emulate that performance, Carlingford will be a difficult team to beat in any conditions.

Their final two matches will see both Raymond Terrace and East Maitland travel south to compete, and Carlingford will make sure there’s anything but a warm welcome to greet them on the greens!

Warilla Gorillas

Current Position: 7th

Upcoming Matches: Engadine (H), Wenty Leagues (H), Cabramatta (H)

I’m sure not many would have predicted the Gorillas to be sitting outside the top 5, but Warilla will know better than anyone that it’s only two games into the season, and competitions aren’t won in the first two games of the season.

Nonetheless, the Gorillas will look to take full advantage of three-straight home games as they host Engadine, Wenty Leagues and Cabramatta over the weekend. The Gorilla quartet of Corey Wedlock, Gary Kelly, Jeremy Henry and Aaron Teys enjoyed a successful week on their greens during the Warilla 4-A-Side, finishing as runners-up to Cabramatta in a cracking final.

That match experience on the indoor greens will further boost the Gorillas’ confidence for their upcoming matches, and be sure to clear your calendars this Sunday for their clash against Cabramatta on the Bowls NSW live stream. The Gorillas will be out to make sure the Bullants don’t claim back-to-back wins in their own backyard, and we can’t wait to see it all unfold live on Facebook and YouTube.

East Maitland Griffins

Current Position: 8th

Upcoming Matches: Raymond Terrace (H), Mt Lewis (A), Carlingford (A)

East Maitland will have no issues sitting 8th on the ladder knowing that they are only two points off the top 5. On Friday, they welcome (and I use the term welcome loosely) rivals Raymond Terrace for their Round 3 match, and then travel south to Sydney for matches against Mt Lewis and Carlingford.

These three matches will be a great gauge for East Maitland to see where they sit within the competition, and their run could all begin with a statement win on Friday night against the Jets.

Mt Lewis Lions

Current Position: 9th

Upcoming Matches: Taren Point (A), East Maitland (H), Belrose (A)

Much like Warilla and East Maitland, Mt Lewis will know that despite being outside the top 5, they’re well and truly within touching distance. They face the 0-2 Taren Point on Friday night, which could prove to be a difficult match knowing that The Point will be out to make amends for their back-to-back losses.

It doesn’t get any easier for the Lions as they back-up against East Maitland at home on Saturday before travelling to Belrose on Sunday. Despite playing two teams without a win this season, Mt Lewis face a tough weekend and will be looking to assert their dominance in the Platinum Pennant.

Belrose Bulls

Current Position: 10th

Upcoming Matches: St Johns Park (H), Merrylands (A), Mt Lewis (H)

It’s been tough going for Belrose starting the season 0-2, but the Bulls are no strangers to the top grade of bowls and have managed to fight their way back from similar positions time and time again over the years.

Hosting St Johns Park on Friday night will be a huge match in the context of the Bulls’ season, and they know that a win here could be the perfect kickstart to their Platinum Pennant campaign. A trip to Merrylands on Saturday will also be a tough task, and their third leg of the weekend is another home match against the Lions.

And remember, as the adage goes, beware the wounded bull!

Wenty Leagues Magpies

Current Position: 11th

Upcoming Matches: Cabramatta (H), Warilla (A), Taren Point (A)

Wenty Leagues will be looking to turn their fortunes around this weekend when they take on Cabramatta, Warilla and Taren Point. They showed on the live stream match against St Johns Park last week that they have the firepower to win matches, they’ll just need the right opportunity to get all rinks firing.

It will be no easy feat hosting the top of the ladder Bullants on Friday night, and life gets no easier as they travel to Warilla to play the Gorillas on their indoor green. That being said, with the likes of Barrie Lester, Brett Wilkie and Cameron Curtis in your team, you can’t help but feel that their first win could be just around the corner.

Taren Point

Current Position: 12th

Upcoming Matches: Mt Lewis (H), Cabramatta (A), Wenty Leagues (H)

It will come as no surprise that Taren Point will not be happy sitting bottom of the ladder after two rounds. It was a baptism of fire into Platinum Pennant for Taren Point as they faced up against Engadine and Merrylands over the first weekend.

This week, they host Mt Lewis on Friday night and will no doubt come out firing as they search for their first win. It will be the same when they travel to Cabramatta to play the Bullants, and the rink match-ups of Pearse v Wilson, Axon v Cahill and Bye-Norris v Healey are sure to make for a great match.

Their final match will be against the currently 11th placed Wenty Leagues, and given the positions of both sides at the moment there will be plenty to play for in this match.

Tune in to the Bowls NSW Facebook page and YouTube channel this Friday, Saturday and Sunday to watch the latest action from the Platinum Pennant, and if you’re in the P&O Platinum Pennant Tipping Competition make sure you submit your tips.

With all that being said… bring on the next three rounds!

Click here to visit the Platinum Pennant webpage