By Stephen Gallagher
Brisbane Broncos V Sydney Roosters – Suncorp Stadium – 22.05NZT
Here’s a big game.
The Broncos will not be happy slipping up against the woeful Bulldogs. The Roosters also dropped a tight one last week.
Brisbane will need to cut out the bad errors which have held them back.
In enemy territory, the Roosters are the sort of side who love to get these upset wins.
Hopefully the Broncos are prepared for a tight one. The Roosters are a hard to beat side this year.
TIP: Roosters 1-12
FRIDAY: Newcastle Knights V Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs – McDonald Jones Stadium – 20.05NZT
I think the Knights will win this one.
They haven’t been that far off all season, and their win over the Titans came on the back of some really gutsy footy and smart plays.
The Bulldogs are the sort of team in this situation who will either roll over – or punish the Knights.
The Newcastle side have had tough times, and this game will go down to the wire. Four points either way.
TIP: Knights 1-12
Penrith Panthers V South Sydney Rabbitohs – Pepper Stadium – 22.00NZT
A few naughty Panthers will not be fronting up this week after getting on the booze – which gives the Rabbitohs their best chance at knocking over Penrith.
Penrith still have very important players in key positions, which will do battle against an under achieving Souths.
If the Rabbitohs can sneak a few tries in the first half, it might just be enough to throw the Panthers off their game. An interesting match up.
TIP: Panthers 1-12
SATURDAY: Manly Warringah Sea Eagles V Saint George Illawarra Dragons – Lottoland – 17.00NZT
Lottoland plays host to this lottery match up. The Sea Eagles performance in 2017 has been good. They’re a tough side who are leaving it all on the line every 80 minutes.
The Dragons, comfortably in second spot have been a revelation thus far.
A true forward battle this one. I feel like there’s going to be awesome to watch. Big tackles and hard runs.
TIP: Dragons 1-12
Gold Coast Titans V Canberra Raiders – Cbus Super Stadium – 19.35NZT
Titans are the most injury-ravaged side in the premiership at the moment, and it doesn’t get any easier when they play a battle-hardened side like Canberra.
A full-strength Raiders outfit spells danger for the Gold Coast. Hopefully they put up a courageous fight in front of their home fans or it may turn ugly.
Their halves need to lift this GC team.
TIP: Raiders 1-12
North Queensland Cowboys V Wests Tigers – 1300SMILES Park – 21.35NZT
Tigers fans, is Ivan the saviour? Probably not for this week, or this season – but they’ve had three coaches in five weeks and their season couldn’t get any worse.
Cowboys are the sort of team you don’t want to play against first week in the role. Not their best start to the season, but they’re looking a little sharper every week. I imagine they’ll tear up the Tigers.
TIP: Cowboys 1-12
SUNDAY: New Zealand Warriors V Parramatta Eels – Mount Smart Stadium – 16.05NZT
In Foran they trust. A big match up for this man against his old club.
The Warriors looked a helluva lot better with Foran amongst their ranks.
The Eels have dropped three in a row, and look desperate to get a big scalp on their hands.
The Warriors need more of the same last week, and improve their execution. If they can nail that, it might be a bloodbath.
TIP: Warriors 1-12
Melbourne Storm V Cronulla Sutherland Sharks – AAMI Park – 18.05NZT
The Storm are looking at winning 6 in a row to start the season. The news of losing Cooper Cronk from next season won’t affect them at all either. That’s how well they’re disciplined.
The Sharks have their backs against the wall. A poor finish lead to a luckbox win last week. This is the grand final rematch however. There’s a lot of pride on the line.
Cronulla have to play their best game of the season to get a win.
TIP: Storm 1-12
Follow Stephen Gallagher on Twitter