By Stephen Gallagher
Thursday, May 3
Broncos v Bulldogs, Suncorp Stadium, 21.50 NZT
Brisbane seem to be getting in to a bit of a groove now.
The Bulldogs, well, not so much.
Canterbury Bankstown are going to struggle here. The Broncos are looking close to full strength, and as they run out on Suncorp will look to cause havoc from the get go.
The Bulldogs are lacking cohesion. They’re clunky on attack, and are struggling to get going.
A challenge against a big side might bring out the best of them, but I can’t see anything other than a dominant Broncos performance.
TIP: Broncos 13+
Friday, May 4
Knights v Rabbitohs, McDonald Jones Stadium, 20.00NZT
Newcastle are unchanged after last weeks win, who go up against an up-and-down Bunnies side looking to come up with a win.
The Knights backline is fantastic. They’re a joy to watch when they’re on. The Rabbitohs have a bit more size and experience among their ranks which could prove the difference.
Newcastle’s fans will be out in force to see them play. South Sydney are getting some momentum going to. It should be a great spectacle.
TIP: Knights 1-12
Panthers v Cowboys, Carrington Park, Bathurst, 21.50NZT
Where to for North Queensland?
The only way is up, but I’m just not sure when that will be.
They look old, slow, and out of ideas.
Penrith are the total opposite. Every performance they put in is full of energy, elegance, and pop.
A couple of injuries over the last three weeks hasn’t stopped them running riot too much.
The Cowboys just have to turn up for each other. They’re lacking in go forward, and their hands have been horrible.
TIP: Panthers 13+
Saturday, May 5
Raiders v Titans, GIO Stadium, 17.00NZT
These two teams have not had the start they would have liked, but I’m sure they’ll both be up for it.
The Raiders have won three of their last four as they sit just one place above the Gold Coast.
Titans were very close last week, but just aren’t doing enough to get the win, which must be frustrating for them.
There’s a big forward pack battle on the cards in this one. The Raiders might just have the advantage of experience which nudges them ahead as favourites for me.
TIP: Raiders 1-12
Warriors will be disappointed by getting thrashed last week, but hopefully they use it as motivation.
The Tigers have dropped two in a row, and go back to Mount Smart to try beat the Warriors.
On a positive note, there’s plenty of Kiwis on display in this match, as well as just two really good teams looking to compete for the full 80.
There’s going to be a big play that will win it for one team. It’s going to be one of those tight physical clashes.
TIP: Warriors 1-12
Sharks v Eels, Southern Cross Group Stadium, 21.30NZT
Sharks and Eels both winners in their last two starts makes this game have a bit more interest in it.
The Eels have turned their attitude and their performances on the field around too. Their forwards were weaker than one-ply toilet paper for the first six weeks, but they’ve really gelled.
Cronulla haven’t been overly convincing in their last two victories, but they have had a lot of experience on the sidelines.
Two teams that can either turn up, or not turn up. Hard to predict how this will go. Back the home team.
TIP: Sharks 1-12
Sunday, May 6
Dragons v Storm, UOW Jubilee Stadium, 16.00NZT
An early grand final preview perhaps?
The Dragons were incredible on ANZAC day, and with only one loss to their name will want to keep it that way.
Melbourne with Canadian international Ryley Jacks at the helm have looked sharp. They’re really going to be hard to stop when they get a roll on.
The Dragons defence has been sublime all season. Melbourne’s attack is red hot. It’s an unmissable match for me. Storm in a tight one.
TIP: Storm 1-12
Roosters v Sea Eagles, Allianz Stadium, 18.10NZT
There’s a lot of talk about how poor Manly’s home ground is, with major knee injuries decimating their team.
I backed them big time a month ago, now they look like they’re going to have to limp through the remainder of the season.
The Roosters will be looking to bounce back from a poor showing on April 25th, and at home, I back them to do it convincingly.
I hope Manly can compete, but the Roosters look like they will march to another level.
TIP: Roosters 13+
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