Reckon this will be a great round! 15 out of the 16 teams will be donning Indigenous jerseys. They look awesome.
THURSDAY: Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs V North Queensland Cowboys – ANZ Stadium – 22.00NZT
It’s a prime time for the Bulldogs to knock off the Cowboys. They’ve been battling a bit, the boys from North Queensland.
The Bulldogs sit just inside the eight, while their opponents are on the outside.
I’m banking on a fresh Bulldogs side to get the job done here. A week off always does wonders, and I think it’ll be too hard for the Cowboys to win it. This will be a competitive match. Tight 65 minutes. Bulldogs pull away.
TIP: Bulldogs 1-12
FRIDAY: Saint George Illawarra Dragons V Cronulla Sharks – UOW Jubilee Oval – 20.05NZT
Little brother Saint George will take on big brother Cronulla in a battle that weeks ago looked like a hot take.
The Dragons will go into this without their two best backs. Widdop and Dugam. It’ll be hard yakka.
Luckily their forwards have been incredibly powerful this season.
The Sharks will be licking their lips for this battle. They’re perfect away from home this season too. I reckon they should get the job done.
TIP: Sharks 1-12
Wests Tigers V South Sydney Rabbitohs – ANZ Stadium – 22.00NZT
Ivan’s Tigers are looking to continue their run up the ladder against the headless Bunnies.
I’m liking the cut throat approach to footy Ivan is taking with them. A lot more direct, and a bit more confidence despite players leaving left, right, and centre.
Rabbitohs need a decent performance though, they’ve been woeful. A win could spark a mid-season fight back. They just need to stick to the basics which they aren’t getting right.
TIP: Tigers 1-12
SATURDAY: Penrith Panthers V New Zealand Warriors – Pepper Stadium – 17.00NZT
Both teams disappointingly lingering at the bottom half of the table.
Panthers need something to spur them. Two wins and seven losses is ugly for a team I thought could go the whole way in 2017.
Warriors look to build on their best performance of the year defensively last round.
They can’t just rely on defence either, more direct lines and more offloads will pay dividends against a Panthers side which could mean business.
TIP: Warriors 1-12
Melbourne Storm V Gold Coast Titans – Suncorp Stadium – 19.35NZT
The Titans are in 12th spot, but should be well higher. The Storm are two wins clear at the top and looking unstoppable thus far.
On somewhat neutral ground, this will be a good match up on the field.
I feel plenty of players have to prove themselves, and the two Cocaine Kiwis won’t be crossing the white line in this one either.
Melbourne should be too smart and too controlling of this fixture for the Titans to win it.
TIP: Storm 1-12
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles V Brisbane Broncos – Suncorp Stadium – 21.35NZT
Why the hell do Manly get a “home game” at Suncorp against the Broncos? This is just stupid.
Anyway, The Broncos are gold at “home”. The Sea Eagles have been really good and tight this season, and this is their biggest test yet as we hit the middle of the season.
Manly will push them, but Brissy will show just how classy they are in comparison.
TIP: Broncos 1-12
SUNDAY: Newcastle Knights V Canberra Raiders – McDonald Jones Stadium – 16.05NZT
Come on the Knights. One win this year. Surely they’re due for a super human performance against one of the comp’s best?
The Raiders can’t be complacent. They’ve got to play just as hard as ever to get a good result out of this match.
The Newcastle players are good enough, and they pushed the Raiders twice last year.
Raiders should be too strong, but you never know what will be served up on the day.
TIP: Raiders 13+
Sydney Roosters V Parramatta Eels – Allianz Stadium – 18.05NZT
The last game of the round sees the Sydney-siders take on the Eels at their home ground.
The Roosters have been in the thick of it. The Eels have been too.
I reckon there’s plenty to play for here. Roosters are the sort of team who could really deliver big time here.
The Eels have to be strong through the middle. They’ve leaked some points there this season – and that’s where the Roosters are impressive.
TIP: Roosters 1-12
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