By Stephen Gallagher
Thursday, June 28
Dragons v Eels, WIN Stadium, 21.50NZT
The Eels usually find a way to beat the Dragons, which is a promising sign for the Parramatta side.
What isn’t promising, is that they are dead last, and are going up against the best team in the competition.
The Dragons have a lot to prove to finish off this season strongly, and can’t afford to drop a game to the Eels with the top four being so close.
Saint George have to play the long game, and beat the Eels in an 80 minute performance.
TIP: Dragons 1-12
Friday, June 29
Warriors v Sharks, Mt Smart Stadium, 20.00NZT
Luckily for the Warriors, their best players didn’t go to Denver for the international test, otherwise they’d be a write off.
Cronulla are rolling out new prop Andrew Woods in his first outing for the club after sealing a deal on Tuesday.
The Warriors fall-off period usually starts here. They haven’t been incredibly convincing this season at home, and here’s a chance to prove all the haters wrong.
The Sharks are going to be very hard to beat though.
TIP: Warriors 1-12
Roosters v Storm, Allianz Stadium, 21.50NZT
Cooper Cronk has accepted the fact his old team mates are going to smash him. The best thing the Roosters can do to prevent that, is to get the two points at the end of the match.
One of the best clashes this season is on the cards, and will have a finals intensity about it.
The Roosters lose their captain to concussion, but still boast a strong side.
This match looks awesome on paper, and will only be better on field.
TIP: Roosters 1-12
Saturday, June 30
Panthers v Sea Eagles, Panthers Stadium, 17.00NZT
It’ll be hard work for the Sea Eagles to win this, but they are capable.
Penrith’s form this season has been sensational, which is why I think they’ll win this 13+.
At home too, and with their Origin stars returning, they have all of the talent to dispose of Manly.
The Sea Eagles best bet is to get niggly and try win the mind games.
TIP: Panthers 13+
Knights v Bulldogs, McDonald Jones Stadium, 19.30NZT
The Knights are deserved favourites here, with the Bulldogs season turning from a derailed train, to a giant trash fire.
The Bulldogs have had an abundance of changes for this match which isn’t surprising.
The Knights make just one change, in an otherwise solid side.
At home, they have to get the job done – if they can’t beat the Bulldogs, what hope is there for the rest of their season?
TIP: Knights 1-12
Broncos v Raiders, Suncorp Stadium, 21.30NZT
Brisbane are the only Queensland side with a chance of making the top eight. They’re really proving to be a thorn in the side of opponents, staying in games, and winning them late.
The Raiders looked like the team who made semi finals two years ago with Josh Hodgson back from his knee horrors.
If they can play like they did last week, they will do a job on the Broncos.
Brisbane have to try control the ruck. Otherwise the Raiders could really dominate.
TIP: Raiders 1-12
Sunday, July 1
Wests Tigers v Titans, Leichhardt Oval, 16.00NZT
Welcome back, Robbie Farah. Along with new recruit Moses Mbye, the Tigers may just have their missing pieces to make the eight.
The Titans resemble a team of park footballers. All a little out of their depth, with a lack of talent to rely on.
Wests at home should be able to put a good score on the Titans. Cleary will have them primed for this one.
TIP: Tigers 13+
Rabbitohs v Cowboys, Barlow Park, Cairns, 18.10NZT
Souths have named all their rep players in this Cairns fixture. That means they’re just going to continue their dominant ways.
North Queensland horror season is on one leg, with half a pulse.
I don’t see the Cowboys getting a win here at all. The Rabbitohs this season have displayed so many premiership qualities. Strength, desire, and they’re making the most of every opportunity in each game.
If the Rabbitohs put their foot down, I think the Cowboys could be on the wrong side of 60 points.
TIP: Rabbitohs 13+
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