By Stephen Gallagher
THURSDAY: Cronulla Sutherland Sharks V North Queensland Cowboys – Southern Cross Group Stadium Stadium – 22.00NZT
Here’s a big game to kick off the round! The Sharks sitting strongly in second, and the Cowboys are fighting hard to move their way in to the top four.
The Sharks have been weak at home this season, but got a strong win against the Dragons last week.
If the Cowboys can pour on early points like they did last week, they’ll be sitting in a good spot to hold on.
Just need to strengthen their second half performances. Close game, this.
TIP: Sharks 1-12
FRIDAY: New Zealand Warriors V Saint George Illawarra – FMO Stadium – 20.05NZT
After the best and worst game of the season for the Warriors last week, their first ever home game in Hamilton will look to try light a spark in their season.
The Dragons always produce the goods against the Warriors, much like they did earlier this season.
The Warriors have the Dragons in the backs, but the strong front row of the Saints will most definitely cause some problems. Once again, it’s “do or die”.
TIP: Warriors 1-12
Brisbane Broncos V Wests Tigers – Suncorp Stadium – 22.00NZT
Broncos and Friday nights go together like Tigers and controversy. With members outraged at player departures and lack of commitment, it doesn’t get any easier against the Broncs.
Simply on another level, it won’t take long before the Tigers are torn apart.
Look at the Broncos deliver to cause problems by going to their left all night long. The Tigers will be lucky to have an answer I reckon.
TIP: Broncos 13+
SATURDAY: Gold Coast Titans V Manly Warringah Sea Eagles – CBUS Super Stadium – 19.30NZT
The Titans are on the move. They’re going to rocket up the table over the next six weeks.
They’ve started to click in the right places, and their win last week over the Storm could pose as a pivotal point in their season.
The Sea Eagles will want to be in the grind. The longer they can compete, the better chance they have to wear the Titans down in a close one.
Should be a good watch on a Saturday night.
TIP: Titans 13+
Parramatta Eels V Canberra Raiders – ANZ Stadium – 21.35NZT
Two teams that have fallen well away this season go head to head in what will either be an absolute try fest, or the worst game of the year.
Both struggling to complete the basics, this game can and will go either way.
The Eels were disgraceful from the first whistle last week, and will seek a better start.
The Raiders just need to give themselves space. Too many times they were caught tight and frustrated.
TIP: Raiders 1-12
SUNDAY: Newcastle Knights V Penrith Panthers – McDonald Jones Stadium – 16.05NZT
It must have been an awesome feeling last week for the Knights to double their win tally of the season. They played remarkable in a match they were told they’d lose.
As for Penrith, a stunning second half could see them march right through the season at the right time. They must have some belief amongst their ranks to come back from 22 points down.
Feel like there’s plenty of pressure on this match. I’m really looking forward to it.
TIP: Knights 1-12
Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs V Sydney Roosters – ANZ Stadium – 18.05NZT
Always a tough battle when these two line up against each other.
The Roosters could have smashed anyone last week as they threw the ball around with reckless abandon. Every set they looked dangerous.
The Bulldogs fell victims of a slow start. Their half hearted second half comeback was too little, too late. I can imagine there’s some players that will have to look at themselves in the mirror and become accountable very soon.
Roosters by two tries.
TIP: Roosters 1-12
South Sydney Rabbitohs V Melbourne Storm – NIB Stadium – 20.35NZT
Sunday afternoon footy in Perth, sounds almost too good to be true.
The Rabbits generally get on very well here. The Storm still sitting in first spot will try bounce back from a shock loss.
The Bunnies looking to add some more consistency to their game. A strong showing against a shit Tigers last week will help.
Should be a very defensive match. I can see a big arm-wrestle in the trenches. Whoever can cash in on the rare opportunities on goal will win.
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