By Stephen Gallagher
THUSRDAY: Cronulla Sharks V Melbourne Storm – Southern Cross Group Stadium – 21.55NZT
The top of the table clash gets us underway for Round 14.
It will have to be a big win for the Sharkies to slip in to first place due to points differential.
The Sharks are 3-3 at home this season, and will want to break in to positives with a dominant performance.
They managed to tame the Storm at AAMI Park earlier in the season, and will want to replicate that incredible performance here.
Storm are always up for a challenge. Another nail biter.
TIP: Sharks 1-12
FRIDAY: Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles V Newcastle Knights – Lottoland
The way Manly have carried themselves over the last three weeks has been brilliant. They’ve turned themselves in to a mean side who look set to make a finals appearance.
The Knights linger at the bottom of the table, and I don’t think they’ve got the style of play to beat Manly.
The Sea Eagles will run riot around the play the ball, and it could turn in to a bloodbath. The game should be tight for the first 25 minutes.
TIP: Sea Eagles 13+
Brisbane Broncos V South Sydney Rabbitohs – Suncorp Stadium – 21.55NZT
The Broncs look to pour more misery on to the Rabbitohs. After fans missed out on a Queensland win last Wednesday, they’ll want to see the home side put on plenty of points here.
The Rabbitohs will have to work out how to stem the flow. Brisbane are dangerous around the flanks, and will look to get back in the winners circle with a sharp performance on a typical Friday night match up.
TIP: Broncos 13+
In what is Ryan Hoffman’s 300th NRL match, the Warriors look on the brink of being decimated.
Despite having great players in the 1, 6, 7, and 9 jerseys – they have no guts up front to get the job done.
The Titans are looking to notch up win number 5 for the season, and despite their poor showing against the Warriors, they’re odds on to win this.
Gold Coast fans should be in for a treat by their team.
TIP: Titans 1-12
Penrith Panthers V Canberra Raiders – Carrington Park, Bathurst – 19.35NZT
The boys at the foot of the Blue Mountains are back. Two stunning comebacks and a shut out sees them three on the trot and looking to run up the table some more.
The Raiders stand in their way. Who have been strong this year without getting the desired results.
If Penrith can continue their offload and ball playing ways, they will give the Green Machine headaches.
A stronger start is needed for the Raiders who are in desperate need of an 80 minute performance.
TIP: Panthers 1-12
Parramatta Eels V North Queensland Cowboys – TIO Stadium, Darwin – 21.30NZT
With the Northern Territory being sponsors of the Eels, they’re taking this game to Darwin.
They battle the North Queenslanders in a match that will sure be a war of attrition.
Suffering some injury setbacks last week, the Eels are thin in numbers but still showing plenty of heart.
The Cowboys will have to bank on the experience of players in key positions to help them get up.
A good showing for the NT fans in this game. Should sell out at 15,000 capacity.
TIP: Cowboys 1-12
SUNDAY: Wests Tigers V Sydney Roosters – Campbelltown Stadium – 16.05NZT
The way the Roosters have been playing, this could get ugly quickly.
There’s just no telling how the Tigers will get on either.
The Origin stars for the Tigers need to turn up for their club. Tedesco, and Woods need to get this club out of their 2016 rut.
For the Roosters, more of the same will help. A sharp defensive game and quick line speed will soon shut down the Tigers plans.
Keary and Pearce should carve up Wests.
TIP: Roosters 13+
Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs V Saint George Illawarra Dragons – ANZ Stadium – 18.15NZT
If there’s a crisis meeting to be had, it’s at the Bulldogs.
The weakest month of performances shows that something’s gotta give.
With Saint George Illawarra performing strongly in the forwards and halves, they could really pour on the pain to the Doggies.
Traditionally however, these two teams play out really competitive games, so hopefully this one doesn’t end up being a cricket score.
TIP: Dragons 1-12
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