By Stephen Gallagher
THUSRDAY: South Sydney Rabbitohs V Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs – ANZ Stadium – 21.50NZT
The Canterbury Bulldogs have lacked in the points scoring department this season. They’re down on confidence, and going up against a side that can score points and create multiple opportunities.
Both these sides are out of finals contention, but still want to finish the season off on a high with the remaining four games.
I’d back the Bunnies to get the treats in this one. The Bulldogs just don’t have enough confidence or points in them. Des might be saying ‘goodbye’ as well.
TIP: Rabbitohs 1-12
FRIDAY: Parramatta Eels V Newcastle Knights – ANZ Stadium – 20.00NZT
The Eels are on a run that is making other teams very wary. The Knights are also back to back winners for the first time in almost two years.
They’re very close to getting off the bottom of the table, this match will be a test of character for the club.
The Eels are good enough to get the result – they just have to keep their confidence up and their wins up. A top four spot beckons for them if they get this win.
TIP: Eels 1-12
Brisbane Broncos V Cronulla Sutherland Sharks – Suncorp Stadium – 21.50NZT
A really interesting match. The Broncos are fresh from trouncing the Titans last week, where as the Sharks lost their fourth straight game against Canberra on home soil.
Brisbane are always dangerous at this time of year, always getting their run right. The Sharks don’t have a great record against Brisbane either.
Broncos at home should be too strong, but bare in mind the Sharks rarely drop two games in a row.
TIP: Broncos 1-12
SATURDAY: Saint George Illawarra Dragons V Gold Coast Titans – UOW Jubilee Oval – 17.00NZT
The Dragons need something magical to bounce them back in to the eight. Their form slump has cost them dearly, as their season is slowly slipping away.
The Titans would love to add to the misery of the Saints, after being beaten by a record amount last week they owe it to themselves to perform.
Saint George have to play for the entire match and get the victory. Another loss could well and truly spell the end of their season.
TIP: Dragons 1-12
Melbourne Storm V Sydney Roosters – AAMI Park – 19.30NZT
One versus two! The Storm currently sit two points clear, and if they’re to be caught – the Roosters have to claim a famous victory here.
The Storm don’t look like being caught though. In fact, if they don’t win the competition I’d be very surprised.
Sydney Roosters need to rebound after a big loss last week. The Storm won’t show them any weaknesses. They’ll just have to take a scalp and run.
TIP: Storm 1-12
Penrith Panthers V North Queensland Cowboys – Pepper Stadium – 21.30NZT
Two similar sides battling it out. The Panthers looking really hot right now. I’d be backing them in to the finals for sure.
The Cowboys side have been delivering with stand-in troops, and will look to get over the line in a close one.
Not much really separates these two. Both have dominant kicking games, both have great ruck speed and both really need to win this match. A try will be in it.
TIP: Panthers 1-12
SUNDAY: New Zealand Warriors V Canberra Raiders – Mount Smart Stadium – 16.00NZT
The Raiders look to finish at the top of the bottom if they can get a win here.
The Warriors have to change something, because nothing has worked for them all season – with five straight losses the pressure is more than on.
Canberra have beaten the Warriors the last four meetings, and would love to make it five-in-a-row against the Auckland club.
Not sure how many fans will be at Mount Smart Stadium, but good on any of them who turn up. Can’t see a home side victory at all.
TIP: Raiders 13+
Wests Tigers V Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles – Leichhardt Oval – 18.10NZT
The Tigers would love an upset here, but I don’t see it happening. The Sea Eagles are just too good in games like this, especially at this time of year.
The Tigers are at their spiritual home however, and that could mean big things are on the cards. They’ve been so disappointing this season – that a win here could repay the faith.
Manly need a win to stay afloat in the eight. Should be interesting.
TIP: Sea Eagles 1-12
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