By Stephen Gallagher
FRIDAY: New Zealand Warriors V Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs – Mount Smart Stadium – 20.05NZT
This is yet another important clash for both sides. Sitting in the lowly part of the competition, a win could definitely help boost them to the cusp of the 8.
Foran out for the Warriors, and Klemmer missing for the Bulldogs, both sides will have to come together and fight even harder to get the result.
Slippery under foot, these two teams will have to pack their long sprigs.
Not much in it, the Warriors should get the win though.
TIP: Warriors 1-12
Wests Tigers V Gold Coast Titans – Campbelltown Stadium – 21.55NZT
The wonderful Wests Tigers are officially last in the competition. Not a good look. Up against the Titans they will be looking to move out of wooden spoon contention.
The Titans have a lot more to play for. With a spot in the eight up for grabs, they’ll have to try their best to beat the Tigers.
It’s been coming, but I feel the Tigers are due for a complete performance.
The Titans are going to have to be at their best physically.
TIP: Tigers 1-12
SATURDAY: North Queensland Cowboys V Penrith Panthers – 1300SMILES Stadium – 17.00NZT
Cowboys will be without kingpin JT, against a resurgent Panthers outfit who want to keep their win streak alive.
Penrith have been outstanding over the last month, and set to only get better with the finals in sight.
North Queensland have to be strong for 80 minutes. There’s a lot of pressure on them around this time of year. They’re so robust and mobile that they will be able to get the go-forward needed.
TIP: Panthers 1-12
Canberra Raiders V Brisbane Broncos – GIO Stadium – 19.35NZT
Here’s an important match up.
The Broncos sitting in fifth do have the upper hand, but are missing a couple from Origin 2.
The Raiders are overdue for a solid 80 minute performance. More than capable of scoring points, it’s conceding them that’s hindering their season.
If they can tidy up the poor mistakes, and hold their line with pride – they will be able to get a good result.
This is basically a finals match for them. They need to win.
TIP: Raiders 1-12
Sydney Roosters V Melbourne Storm – Adelaide Oval – 21.35NZT
The Roosters will have the leg up in this one, as Melbourne are resting their stars from Origin.
Also, very cool this game is taken to Adelaide Oval. Nice touch.
Still looking forward to this match. The Roosters are really hot right now, and when matched up against a strong Storm outfit – there’s going to be fireworks.
Roosters are one of the strongest starters in the NRL – if they get on a roll early, it could be curtains for the Storm.
TIP: Roosters 1-12
SUNDAY: Saint George Illawarra Dragons V Newcastle Knights– UOW Jubilee Oval – 16.00NZT
The Dragons have been on a downward slide over the last three weeks, and will want to rectify this against a side you need to play hard against.
The Knights only have two wins, but they’re really getting stronger with each performance.
The Dragons have to use their bulk wisely. A strong game is their game. The Knights need to man up, but if they don’t – they’re going to be in trouble.
If the Knights stick with the Dragons for 65 minutes, they might just win it.
TIP: Dragons 1-12
Cronulla Sharks V Manly Warringah Sea Eagles – Southern Cross Group Stadium – 18.00NZT
A strong match-up to round out the weekend of league.
Sharkies are looking to notch up another win, while the Sea Eagles will be ready to play after a week off.
I like both backlines in this match. They’re really good with ball in hand, they’re noted try scorers.
Cronulla need to be better at home, and this arm-wrestle against a brutal Manly side is going to be a great game.
TIP: Sharks 1-12
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