By Stephen Gallagher
THUSRDAY: Brisbane Broncos V Parramatta Eels – Suncorp Stadium – 21.50NZT
It wasn’t that long ago where the Eels ripped the Broncos in a major upset victory.
Parramatta are looking for a top four finish, and need to win both of their remaining matches with other results going their way.
The Broncos are going to be tough at home, just like always.
If Parramatta can spin another upset, then it’s going to make the final week interesting.
Just think Brisbane are too strong here.
TIP: Broncos 1-12
FRIDAY: Canberra Raiders V Newcastle Knights – GIO Stadium – 20.00NZT
The Raiders have had a disappointing year, and the Knights are destined to finish last for the third consecutive year.
Newcastle took the scalp of the Raiders earlier this year, and the Raiders would love to get one back.
There’s plenty still to play for I feel. The Green Machine have their last home game of 2017 and would love to give the fans something to cheer about.
Both sides love to throw the ball around, and both quality support sides. Should be a goodie.
TIP: Raiders 1-12
Wests Tigers V North Queensland Cowboys – Campbelltown Stadium – 21.50NZT
A win for Wests could spell the end of the Cowboys season. In 15th spot, the Tigers have most definitely failed on the field this season.
They’ve got the players to bring the heat – and going up against a competitive side like the Cowboys, it could bring the best out of them.
The Cowboys need to control the ruckspeed, and limit the offloads the Tigers can produce. Not much in it.
TIP: Tigers 1-12
SATURDAY: Gold Coast Titans V Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs – Cbus Super Stadium – 17.00NZT
The ugliest battle is heating up. The Titans haven’t had success in a wee while, where the Bulldogs surprised everyone with a big win last week. What I saw of the Bulldogs last week leads me to believe they can score the points.
The Titans though, the whole Henry/Hayne saga is a sad one. Player power proving the difference.
The Titans might pull a win here, who knows – I don’t think they do. Bulldogs are a more settled side.
TIP: Bulldogs 1-12
Melbourne Storm V South Sydney Rabbitohs – AAMI Park – 19.30NZT
At this time of year, the rumours do fly of the Storm resting their best – and with the Minor Premiership already wrapped up, who’d blame them?
The Rabbitohs would love to nail their biggest win of the season with an unlikely victory here.
They showed last week they’re capable to get points and get them fast – but when you play against the Storm, you need to use everything in your kit bag to win it.
Storm should be too strong.
TIP: Storm 13+
Cronulla Sharks V Sydney Roosters – Southern Cross Group Stadium – 21.30NZT
Whomever wins this match will cement themselves a spot in the top four, which means a second life in finals footy week one.
The Roosters form over the last month hasn’t been flash, but the Sharks have been.
The battle will be won in the middle of the field. Boasting big packs, they’ll be giving it to each other for 80 minutes.
Should be the most interesting match of the round. The Roosters desperately need a win to find some form.
TIP: Roosters 1-12
SUNDAY: New Zealand Warriors V Manly Warringah Sea Eagles – Mount Smart Stadium – 16.00NZT
The Warriors have dropped seven straight losses – going up against a side that they have a horrible record against.
Manly will come to New Zealand looking to prove a point, and continue their win streak against the club.
The Warriors will more than likely pin all hopes on Shaun Johnson, but as per their appalling effort this year, can’t see anything but another loss.
Manly win this, and they play finals footy. They don’t want to wait another week. They’re more than good enough.
TIP: Sea Eagles 13+
Penrith Panthers V Saint George Illawarra Dragons – Pepper Stadium – 18.10NZT
Penrith win, and they can finish in the top four. Dragons lose, and more than likely their finals run is over.
With knowledge of that, there’s going to be one competitive football match on the cards.
The Panthers are going strength to strength, penning their run perfectly.
The Red V look like they’re running on E. It will take a mammoth effort to win. They did maul Penrith in round one.
TIP: Panthers 1-12
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