By Stephen Gallagher
THURSDAY: Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs V Brisbane Broncos – ANZ Stadium – 22.05NZT
Bulldogs are in a whole lot of hurt. Their performances this season have been described as shabby, weak, and disinterested.
Then you go and pair them up against the Broncos, who could easily make these Bulldogs suffer even more.
So there’s a big fight needed, to back their back.
Debutante Matt Frawley pairs Josh Reynolds in the halves, lots of pressure in this situation.
I think Broncos are too powerful all over the park. Too well structured.
TIP: Broncos 13+
FRIDAY: Sydney Roosters V Manly Warringah Sea Eagles – Allianz Stadium – 20.05NZT
Looking for five wins in a row and to remain perfect, the Roosters are looking to knock the other birds out of the sky.
Manly have been better over the last fortnight; seemingly putting together a stronger base performance to help them up the field.
Roosters are taking no prisoners in their execution style game plan. There’s a lot of excitement building around this match up.
Sea Eagles will want to back themselves on defence to win.
TIP: Roosters 13+
North Queensland Cowboys V South Sydney Rabbitohs – 1300 SMILES Stadium – 22.05NZT
Cowboys were lucky with their thinner than usual roster last week, and can probably do better this week against a Rabbitohs team who have not been at their best.
With lots of great attacking players in the green and red, it looks like there are too many chef’s in the kitchen. The Cowboys will want to force Souths in to making some basic errors which have crept in to their game.
Cowboys should do it in a canter.
TIP: Cowboys 13+
SATURDAY: Cronulla Sutherland Sharks V Newcastle Knights – Southern Cross Group Stadium – 17.00NZT
Premiers sit 2-2 which is a lot better than the weak links of Newcastle.
Sharks will look better at the back with Valentine Holmes in the 1 jersey, and they’re starting to begin to look like the gritty side that got them the premiership last year.
A big game for Newcastle, as they want to at least stay competitive. It’s hard to see the floor not being wiped with them however. Good luck to them, they’ll need it.
TIP: Sharks 13+
Canberra Raiders V Parramatta Eels – GIO Stadium – 19.35NZT
I like this clash. The Raiders have not had their best start to the season, with some unlucky matchups, but they are still such a side to be wary of.
The Eels game plan this weekend should be to force the Raiders in to working off their own line time and time again. Perhaps a few early kicks in the set to work them down the end and work them over in the ruck also.
Raiders forwards will want to be sharper with ball in hand this week also. A few errors letting them down.
TIP: Raiders 1-12
Melbourne Storm V Penrith Panthers – AAMI Park – 21.35NZT
Melbourne are looking to stay on track with the Roosters too, undefeated in 2017. The Penrith Panthers will want to continue to create havoc against the Storm, a side they always battle to the 80th minute against.
I do feel an upset of some sorts coming along. Storm were not great as they could be last week, and Panthers increasingly looking better.
Won’t be much in it though, game of the round for me.
TIP: Panthers 1-12
SUNDAY: New Zealand Warriors V Gold Coast Titans – Mount Smart Stadium – 16.05NZT
Could be ugly this one. Two teams who have been shithouse in 2017 going up against each other.
Mount Smart was the venue of many tears during the Adele concerts last week, and another Warriors loss could see the weeping continue.
Titans could easily do this. Start strong, and get it done from there.
Warriors look to be a shambles organisation. No guts. If Foran plays, they may play like a team who wants to win.
TIP: Warriors 1-12
Wests Tigers V Saint George Illawarra Dragons – ANZ Stadium – 18.05NZT
Tigers shot themselves out of a cannon early to a 14-0 lead, but didn’t score again against the Storm.
Dragons looking like a very strong side this season. Their forwards look to be the force they used to be.
Tigers just have to score points, it’s as simple as that. Get on the board and keep scoring.
The Dragons are a big threat when they get a roll on though.
TIP: Dragons 1-12
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