By Stephen Gallagher
THURSDAY: Melbourne Storm V Brisbane Broncos – AAMI Park – 22:05NZT
I imagine the Storm will be feeling pretty good about their chances. Notching up two road wins to kick off the season, and getting a big Thursday night match for their first home game.
The Broncos were on the wrong side of Golden Point last week, but not all bad.
Storm forwards are stepping up. Plenty of big names missing, but the work is still being done.
Broncos need to target this as a point of difference to win.
TIP: Storm 1-12
FRIDAY: Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs V New Zealand Warriors – Forsyth Barr Stadium – 20.05NZT
Dunedin gets its first NRL game. The Bulldogs will be welcomed by the crisp air and a gutsy Warriors side looking to improve their 1-1 record.
The Bulldogs have been poor this season. Starting well and truly slow out of the blocks.
A game like this is a game they could win. Their halves need to be good. Exploit the slow Warriors wingers.
Big game. Warriors have potential. Could be an interesting result!
TIP: Warriors 1-12
Gold Coast Titans V Parramatta Eels – CBUS Super Stadium – 22.05NZT
Titans winless, against the undefeated Eels in first place. There are many injuries surrounding the Gold Coast side, but they still have plenty of talent on the field.
Eels lose Corey Norman for a week through injury, but still should get the result here.
Parra going 3/3 to start the season would be awesome. Titans need to step up. They’ve been poor. Need more support from their bench, who seem to lose the momentum they build in the opening spell.
TIP: Eels 1-12
SATURDAY: Newcastle Knights V South Sydney Rabbitohs – McDonald Jones Stadium – 18.35NZT
The monkey is off the back of the Knights, after 336 winless days it’s over.
Now’s a real opportunity to show that it wasn’t a one-off, up against a really stern Rabbitohs team.
Souths themselves know they don’t want to show their win was a one-off last week either. Plenty to battle about.
Rabbitohs will be the stronger of the two I feel, but the result will still be close
They will want to sing that team song again for the second week in a row.
TIP: Rabbitohs 1-12
Penrith Panthers V Sydney Roosters – Pepper Stadium – 21.05NZT
Lots to be excited about in this game. The Roosters have been awesome two weeks in, and the way Penrith dispatched the Tigers last week will have their opponents on high alert.
Expect a fast, free-flowing game dictated by young halves. Keary has been stellar for the Roosters, with Cleary and Martin doing the same for Penrith.
Game of the round in my opinion, so make sure you watch it. There will be some amazing competitors out there working.
TIP: Panthers 1-12
North Queensland Cowboys V Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles – 1300 Smiles Stadium – 23.05NZT
This is a late one for the Kiwi fans.
Cowboys are decimated with injury. They’ve lost their best prop, fullback and a winger which will really test how good they can be.
The Sea Eagles will want to get away with another fast start, but be able to back it up. They’ve been weak so far in the second half.
As we all know, the Cowboys could punish them here. Even with a weakened team.
TIP: Cowboys 1-12
SUNDAY: Canberra Raiders V Wests Tigers – GIO Stadium – 18.05NZT
Raiders fans will definitely want to see better at home after being smashed by the Premiers.
They’ve got a hard one this week, a wounded Tigers side aiming to show up and play with the big boys.
Green Machine need to go back to their basics that work for them. Up the guts with great support play.
Tigers have to force some errors with a big defensive effort. Need some leadership on the park too.
TIP: Raiders 13+
Cronulla Sharks V Saint George Illawarra Dragons – Southern Cross Group Stadium – 20.35NZT
The last game to round out the week is a local derby worth watching.
Both sides 1-1, the Sharks have to defend their home ground against a hot n cold Dragons.
Both sides looking to starch up in the middle. They have been let down by some poor decisions on defence.
If the Sharks can contain the first forty of the Dragons effort, they may just come away with their second win in a row.
Dragons have to fire like they did against Penrith to stand a chance.
TIP: Sharks 1-12
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