By Stephen Gallagher
THURSDAY: Sydney Roosters V Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs – Allianz Stadium – 22:05NZT
There was plenty to like about the Roosters performance last week, and I expect more of the same against the Bulldogs.
2016’s attacking frustrations rolled over in to another season for the Doggies, who were stale against the Storm.
There’s plenty happening in this one. The Roosters are fast starters, and the Bulldogs were let down last week by a slow start.
Sydney should get the result here, unless the Bankstowners learn to score some points.
TIP: Roosters 1-12
FRIDAY: New Zealand Warriors V Melbourne Storm – Mount Smart Stadium – 20.05 NZT
Both winners in round one, the Warriors get another home game to start the season.
The Storm are once again going to threaten with their forceful defence and skills on attack.
New Zealand need to be stronger than last week. They were scratchy. Let down by typical soft errors. In need of an 80 minute performance.
Melbourne should get the result here, but I do feel like this clash will be a good one.
TIP: Storm 1-12
Brisbane Broncos V North Queensland Cowboys – Suncorp Stadium – 22.05NZT
Another season of Friday night Broncos games, hurray.
Against their ultimate interstate-rival, things are going to get seriously heated in this one.
The Broncos were a little sloppy in parts last week, but mostly always in charge.
The Cowboys look like they’re going to be another physical side this year.
The main battle lies between the halves once again. JT will take on anyone and almost always win. Hunt and Milford will have to outshine their hero.
TIP: Cowboys 1-12
SATURDAY: Newcastle Knights V Gold Coast Titans – McDonald Jones Stadium – 17.00NZT
The Knights won’t repeat the last two seasons on the field, but they still have a lot to learn to get over the line and win close games.
The Titans were off the pace last week, but I do believe they will be fast learners.
This is a good test for both sides. The Knights showing plenty of heart, and the Titans with their roster don’t want to become under achievers.
A good afternoon battle in the sunshine in the Hunter Valley will bring the locals out for a good game.
TIP: Titans 1-12
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles V South Sydney Rabbitohs – Lottoland – 19.30NZT
Both sides were out played in round one and are looking for redemption.
A second home game in a row for the Sea Eagles means they want to have a better showing than last.
The Rabbitohs shit the bed in a woeful gig last week. They know they are capable of way more than that, but did not get it done.
Both teams have to step up in the forwards, try set a platform for momentum.
Could be a close one.
TIP: Rabbitohs 1-12
Canberra Raiders V Cronulla Sutherland Sharks – GIO Stadium – 21.30NZT
The bitter taste of missing the Grand Final will be on the Raiders mind.
Also, their first home game for 2017 means there will be a big crowd out, and will want to see the Raiders take blood of the Premiers.
Sharks with a long turn around will give them time to work on what went wrong the previous week.
Plenty on display for this game too. A nice rivalry brewing between these two clubs!
TIP: Raiders 1-12
SUNDAY: Wests Tigers V Penrith Panthers – Campbelltown Stadium – 18.00NZT
Tigers exceeded my round one expectations, and Penrith were well below my expectations.
The Tigers looked fit, strong, and played as one. The Panthers had lots of individuals running around trying to play hero.
Wests could well win this one too, if Penrith don’t sort out their shambles.
The young cubs need to go strong again this week, in what will be an even tougher clash than their last.
Panthers could get done if they’re not careful.
TIP: Tigers 1-12
Saint George Illawarra Dragons V Parramatta Eels – WIN Stadium – 20.30NZT
The Saints will want to march in to round three with another win. The Eels will be better than Penrith, so Dragons beware.
If the Red V can back up their scoring prowess from the week before, this could be interesting.
Both sides really haven’t been put under pressure after their first game. I do think the Eels will win this one. Knowing they are more of a rounded team than the Dragons will help.
TIP: Eels 1-12
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