By Stephen Gallagher
FRIDAY: Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs V South Sydney Rabbitohs – ANZ Stadium – 18.05NZT
Here’s your typical Easter battle. These two always seem to give it their all on the big day.
They love to hate each other, and after that “charge-down” incident a couple years ago will just add more spark to this affair.
Bulldogs might get the win in this one, the Rabbitohs have been a let down in 2017. Though I do think this game will be a close one.
TIP: Bulldogs 1-12
Newcastle Knights V Sydney Roosters – McDonald Jones Stadium – 20.05NZT
The Knights have won one game in the past year. That sucks. The Roosters have lost two on the trot, and look to bounce back.
The Knights are not really easy beats any more, despite lingering in 16th.
The Roosters definitely have more muscle than the Knights, but it depends on how well they’ll be able to flex against a stubborn Newcastle team who don’t go away.
TIP: Roosters 1-12
Brisbane Broncos V Gold Coast Titans – Suncorp Stadium – 22.00NZT
Big brother versus little brother, and despite the Titans getting a few more of their injured starts on the field at training, they are still understrength.
The Broncos I think are a class above in this one, however the Titans are going to try everything to get close.
No Ben Hunt is no problem, with the Broncos looking to shape how they will look next season without him.
Titans will have to try some really big tricks.
TIP: Broncos 13+
SATURDAY: Manly Warringah Sea Eagles V Melbourn Storm – Lottoland – 17.00NZT
Once staunch enemies, the Lottoland faithful would usually get good value out of these battles.
Now the Sea Eagles are looking average as, and the Storm have only dropped one game all season.
Storm are just a phenomenal observation of class. Every cog turns, and will turn up to beat the Sea Eagles.
Manly are lacking a little cohesion. Another slow start will cost them big time.
Storm should pull away in the last 30 minutes to win it.
TIP: Storm 13+
Both sides are unchanged from their wins the week before.
Warriors never seem to do well in Canberra, but almost pulled out a miracle last season from the fire.
The Raiders are just the sort of team who can easily be at their punishing best against quality opposition.
The Warriors will just have to continue to build over their past two results, but I just don’t see them getting a win against the Green Machine.
TIP: Raiders 1-12
Saint George Illawarra Dragons V North Queensland Cowboys – WIN Stadium – 21.35NZT
The Dragons sitting in first place, where the Cowboys are in fifth and have lost the best player in the world to a torn calf.
Advantage Dragons, it’s always hard when you lose such a pivitol player such as Thurston.
Dragons simple game-plan is working tremendously for them. A really easy approach to 80 minutes is the best thing this team has done in a long time.
Cowboys will have plenty of spirit, just not enough to win.
TIP: Dragons 1-12
SUNDAY: Penrith Panthers V Cronulla Sutherland Sharks – Pepper Stadium – 18.05NZT
Penrith will welcome back some bad boys after a week in the Intrust Super Premiership.
The Sharks are on cloud nine, after pulling off a massive victory in the grand final re-match against the previously undefeated Storm.
Panthers have to work on their ball security. Been a little sloppy which has cost them down the line.
Sharks are on the improve every week, and will look to take another victory in this match.
TIP: Sharks 1-12
MONDAY: Parramatta Eels V Wests Tigers – ANZ Stadium – 18.05NZT
Monday night returns for this Easter special.
The Eels have dropped four on the trot and are looking wary against a side who are undefeated with their third coach of the season.
If Cleary has worked wonders, the Tigers will play with the grit and confidence like last week and pour more misery on the Eels.
Parramatta are in a hole, and the only way out is an 80 minute performance.
It’ll be a close game.
TIP: Tigers 1-12
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