By Stephen Gallagher
Thursday, March 29
Cowboys v Panthers, 1300SMILES Stadium, 21.50NZT
With the 10 week injury lay off to Nathan Cleary, there’s a lot of pressure on the Panthers to perform without him.
It gets quite tough as they go up against the Cowboys in Townsville.
The Cowboys are starting to look better, and with a weakened Panthers side, they’ll try storm the gates.
Penrith need to back themselves, because their side is more than capable to win this match. Should be a goodie.
TIP: Cowboys 1-12
Friday, March 30
Rabbitohs v Bulldogs, ANZ Stadium, 18.10 NZT
The usual Easter treat for these two. A lot of rivalry on Good Friday between them, and expect nothing short of fireworks here.
Both sides got on the board last week for the first time.
The Rabbitohs fast starts have improved, as has their defence.
For the Bulldogs, they need to rely on stability in the halves.
It’s going to be one of those physical matches, so expect plenty of good tackles.
Souths should pip the Doggies here.
TIP: Rabbitohs 1-12
Sharks v Storm, Southern Cross Group Stadium, 21,50NZT
The Sharks have a formidable task ahead of them, against the Storm.
Melbourne have plenty of shape to them now, and are getting stronger.
Cronulla’s forwards were good last week I thought, and that’s how they’re going to try and beat Melbourne.
For the Storm, early ball out wide, and let the backs do get involved. They look their best when inside their own half.
If the Sharks can compete for the majority of the match however, they will find themselves in the hunt.
TIP: Storm 1-12
Saturday, March 31
Roosters v Warriors, Allianz Stadium, 19.30NZT
There’s plenty of eyes on this one. The Roosters really put the Knights to the sword last week, and clicked in the way we’ve all been waiting.
The Warriors miracle win will only propel their confidence skyward, and they’ll have the belief alongside the fitness to rival the Roosters.
Cronk has added a lot of starch in the mid field for the Roosters, and he’s just got so much talent alongside him when it comes to attack.
Game of the round for me. Should be a goodie.
TIP: Roosters 1-12
Sea Eagles v Raiders, Lottoland, 21.30NZT
Manly were brought down a peg last week, which was not a good look after a hot win. They play the deflated Raiders who are incredibly desperate.
I feel like the Raiders have to win this one, otherwise this could be their season done.
The Sea Eagles though, just so tough at home. And with the news of them rorting the salary cap over the last couple of season will only fuel their drive on the field.
The forward match up is very even. Not much in it.
TIP: Sea Eagles 1-12
Sunday, April 1
Dragons v Knights, WIN Stadium, 18.10NZT
Dragons looking almost untouchable at the top of the table. Ben Hunt and Gareth Widdop are making a fantastic halves combination.
The Knights were on the wrong side of a hot Roosters side, but they’re still going to give the Dragons a run for their money.
The Saints can not afford to let slip, and the Knights know just how hard they’ll have to work on their defence this week.
If Newcastle can plug their holes in the mid field, they’ll be in with a chance, otherwise it could get ugly.
TIP: Dragons 1-12
Broncos v Titans, Suncorp Stadium, 20.30NZT
Two Queensland sides going at it to end Sunday football.
Brisbane are big brother, and with a lucky win last week, they’ll be wanting to build on that.
The Titans need to bounce back after they were torn apart at the edges. Brisbane have plenty of weapons in the backline to do the same as the Dragons did.
For the Titans, it’s about ball handling too, they let themselves down with too many dropped balls.
I do think Brisbane are too good here.
TIP: Broncos 13+
Monday, April 2
Wests Tigers v Eels, ANZ Stadium, 18.00NZT
The Tigers will most definitely want to add to the misery of the Eels. With injury problems lingering in their squad, it will be tough for Parramatta to win this.
But that could be the sort of grit they need to turn their winless season around.
The Tigers defence has been immense all season, and the Eels have some attacking flair which needs to be contained.
Parramatta have to think about keeping the ball in hand and building pressure, otherwise the Tigers will do the same to them.
TIP: Tigers 1-12
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