By Stephen Gallagher
Thursday, April 5
Raiders v Bulldogs, GIO Stadium, 21.50NZT
Desperate times means desperate measures. The Raiders winless through their first four matches, playing some dire football – come up against another side who have underachieved thus far.
The Bulldogs at least have showed glimpses of hope over the last two weeks.
Stuart’s Green Machine are anything but, and really need to get on the board.
They’re at home, they’ve got to perform, or another loss here could spell a seriously poor season for the Raiders.
TIP: Bulldogs 1-12
Friday, April 6
Sharks v Roosters, Southern Cross Group Stadium, 20.00NZT
Cronulla are feeling a bit of pressure at the bottom half of the table. They come up against a Roosters side who were embarrassed last week.
It’s not often the Roosters string two poor performances together, so you have to look at Cronulla being incredibly sharp.
The Sharks have to be strong defensively, and wear out the Roosters. It seems to be the way to go.
For the Roosters, less errors and more pressure will create good chances here.
TIP: Roosters 1-12
Dragons v Rabbitohs, UOW Jubilee Stadium, 21.50NZT
An unbelievably strong start by the Red V means there’s a lot of pressure on them to continue their winning ways, without falling off the wagon like last year.
The Rabbitohs are good enough to squeeze the Dragons here, but it’s just whether or not the Dragons allow it.
Souths have lacked killer instinct, but did get the job done late last week.
They can’t save their best for last here, otherwise the Dragons are going to blow them off the park. Their forwards are unstoppable.
TIP: Dragons 13+
Wests Tigers v Storm, Mt Smart Stadium, 17.00NZT
The first of the Mount Smart Stadium double header. It makes absolutely no sense to me that these two teams square off again, after only meeting three weeks ago.
The Tigers are looking like the real deal, and that’ll be confirmed if they can beat the Storm again.
Melbourne are looking a little vulnerable at times, something we’re not used to seeing.
Wests have conceded the least amount of points so far, which means the Storm will really have to be on form to get points on the board.
Got to back the Tigers here. They look very strong.
TIP: Tigers 1-12
Warriors v Cowboys, Mt Smart Stadium, 19.30NZT
Going for five wins in a row, the Warriors are proving they truly are a developed side from 2017.
The Cowboys have not shown us their best at all this season, with only one win. They never stay down for too long. The Warriors will have to be ready to encounter anything.
The Warriors will no doubt be playing in front of their biggest home crowd for a very long time, and have to continue to back up for each other and win.
TIP: Warriors 1-12
Knights v Broncos, McDonald Jones Stadium, 21.30NZT
A big match here. Both sides 2 wins, 2 losses. The Knights will have a big crowd to perform in front of, while they do their best to buck Brisbane.
The Broncos haven’t quite got it 100% right on field just yet, but you know in the back of your mind they are always a threat.
If the Knights can get off to a strong start, they might just cause too many problems for Brisbane. The Broncos haven’t got too many points in them.
TIP: Knights 1-12
Sunday, April 8
Titans v Sea Eagles, Marley Brown Oval, Gladstone, 16.00NZT
Gladstone gets the privilege of this big match.
I believe Gold Coast have got something good in them, and it will have to be on display against Manly.
Rocked by some major injuries, the Sea Eagles will have to regroup , but no doubt they have faith in the players who have to get the job done.
The match up here is really in the forwards. The Titans have been getting great metres, and the Sea Eagles have been making light work up front too.
Should be a goodie.
TIP: Titans 1-12
Eels v Panthers, ANZ Stadium, 18.10NZT
Parramatta have been getting a little better. They managed to score their first second half points of the season last week.
The Panthers came from behind and gutted them in round one, but will look to lead from the front early in the battle of the west.
The Eels are lacking some leadership out there, and their forwards have been quite frankly, rubbish.
Penrith are taking bigger strides in every match, and should look to get some good points on the board here.
TIP: Panthers 1-12
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