By Stephen Gallagher
Friday, June 8
Raiders v Panthers, GIO Stadium, 20.00NZT
Plenty rides on this game for the 10th placed Raiders. Win, and they’ll be able to stay in touch with the top eight, and a loss makes things a lot harder.
Penrith will want to retain their spot at the top with a win. If their Origin stars back up, they will most definitely get the job done.
Canberra have to be competitive, if they lack in spirit, they will get pantsed. Any early errors will get punished.
TIP: Panthers 1-12
Titans v Rabbitohs, CBus Super Stadium, 21.50NZT
The Titans are probably the weakest team in the NRL, barely holding together a 17 that would be competitive week in, week out.
It also doesn’t help when they come up against the competitions hottest side.
The Rabbitohs are expected to wipe the floor with the Titans, and there’s nothing else to tell me otherwise this won’t happen. Even if the Rabbitohs best Origin stars don’t back up.
There’s plenty of points on offer, and Souths will probably score them all.
TIP: Rabbitohs 13+
Saturday, June 9
Sea Eagles v Warriors, AMI Stadium Christchurch, 17.00NZT
Manly love playing the Warriors. They have a spectacular record against them. They take their home game from Brookvale to the cold depths of Christchurch where they have been warmly welcomed.
Warriors are almost at full strength. They struggled their way to the bye. All expectations are that they should get the result here, despite their poor history against Manly-Warringah.
Manly sitting in 13th isn’t a true reflection of their season, they’ve offered up some great football this year. Should be a tight match.
TIP: Warriors 1-12
Knights v Roosters, McDonald Jones Stadium, 19.30NZT
Newcastle have to really front up if they’re any chance of winning. Sydney’s forwards have finally started laying a platform that has given their halves a chance to perform.
The Knights best chances lie with their back 3. If Ponga, Kenny-Dowall, and Sio get some opportunities, they’ll be in with a grin to score some points.
The Roosters have to win the middle of the field, and get some decent territory and keep the pressure on the Knights if they want to get the win.
TIP: Roosters 1-12
Eels v Cowboys, TIO Stadium, Darwin, 21.30NZT
Some of the ugliest rugby league this season has been played by these two teams. Rumour has it, Brad Arthur has his last two weeks to try conjure up a win before he gets the sack.
Eels are close to full strength, but I don’t think that’ll be enough. The Cowboys have been playing more direct football, meaning they get up the field quicker, and threaten for points.
If Parramatta’s D leaks like a sieve like it has all season, it could be a cricket score.
TIP: Cowboys 13+
Sunday, June 10
Sharks v Tigers, Southern Cross Group Stadium, 16.00NZT
Dropping a game last week, the Sharks will be looking to get back in the winners circle after six straight before that. Wests have just dropped out of the top eight for the first time all season and will fight to get back in there.
Cronulla have relied a lot on Matt Moylan, and he’s been relishing the chance to shine. For the Tigers, they just have to keep their defence strong. Conceded the least tries this season, and will have to be their very best defensively to keep the Sharks out.
TIP: Sharks 1-12
Storm v Broncos, AAMI Park, 18.10NZT
A rare Sunday fixture for both sides, who I am sure will not know what that bright yellow sphere in the sky is.
Other than that, these two teams will really get to go at each other.
Melbourne’s clinical performances in big matches over recent weeks shows that they are still the same strong side that won the premiership last year.
Brisbane are lacking in the halves department, looking a little rudderless. Need to sharpen up or they will be cut up.
TIP: Storm 13+
Monday, June 11
Bulldogs v Dragons, ANZ Stadium, 18.00NZT
The Aussies are celebrating Queen Lizzie’s birthday, which means Monday football is back.
The Bulldogs could be mistaken for having a holiday all season long. They’ve been disappointing to watch.
The Dragons limped their way to the bye, dropping two games in a row.
Hopefully the bye has done them good, as they need to be strong to beat the Bulldogs.
Usually a tough match between these two, but I have faith the Dragons will get a big win.
TIP: Dragons 13+
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