By Stephen Gallagher
Thursday, April 19
Bulldogs v Roosters, ANZ Stadium, 21.50NZT
After an impressive victory in North Queensland last week, the Bulldogs are looking to give the Roosters a scare.
The Roosters up-and-down form doesn’t have me sold on them yet.
Canterbury Bankstown need another strong performance from their forwards, but they have been AWOL most of the season.
Cooper Cronk has to take some control of the Roosters. He’s the key to them getting greater field position, with smarter attacking options.
Should be a close game.
TIP: Roosters 1-12
First versus third on the table, the Warriors will really have to turn things around from last week.
The Dragons look near unbeatable. They’re so fluid across the park and hard to break down.
The Warriors have a poor record against the Red V too, which doesn’t help.
Saint George just have to continue what they’ve been doing to get a result, but with the Warriors poor last week – they’ll be desperate to rectify that.
If the Warriors do win, that helps their ways with a huge month of league ahead of them.
TIP: Dragons 1-12
Broncos v Storm, Suncorp Stadium, 21.50NZT
Brisbane built a solid performance of the back of two things last week. Completion rate, and go forward.
It was the best their forwards had been all season, and it was a recipe that worked a treat.
The Storm also seem to score points with ease out wide in their massive victory last week.
Brisbane at home will be hard, but I think the Storm should still be favourites. They’re both good sides here.
TIP: Storm 1-12
Saturday, April 21
Rabbitohs v Raiders, Central Coast Stadium, 17.00NZT
The Bunnies take a home game to the Central Coast, where they look to get a win over the Raiders from Canberra.
The Bunnies backs did a lot of work to get them the win last week, and they’ll have to be competitive once again to get it done.
The Raiders have got a little bit of momentum, but come up against a bit more of a challenge.
Lots of talent on display, but I have a feeling the Rabbits will snare this win.
TIP: Rabbitohs 1-12
Wests Tigers v Knights, Scully Park, Tamworth, 19.30NZT
The Tigers take this match to Tamworth, and battle the Knights.
Newcastle were well off the pace last week, and if they’re going to be like that again, except the Tigers to pack on the points.
Wests have been brilliant, and in the form they’re in – they should get this scalp.
Newcastle have had a rotating halves pairing which has disrupted them a bit I think, and this week is no difference.
Wests should get it done.
TIP: Tigers 1-12
Cowboys v Titans, 1300SMILES Stadium, 21.30NZT
What’s the go with the Cowboys? They’ve been poor. Has JT done his dash?
They look old and ugly, and that’s where the Titans could get them.
Gold Coast have a few injury worries in key positions which doesn’t help, and the Cowboys retain their same 17 from last week.
North Queensland’s form has come off the back of frustration. They’ve been poor on attack, and trying to push the envelope too much.
If they can build some pressure early, they should be able to get points on the board.
TIP: Cowboys 1-12
Sunday, April 22
Eels v Sea Eagles, ANZ Stadium, 16.00NZT
The Eels winless streak ends here. Yep! I’ve called it. The Eels will win.
Manly should be better than the atrocity they put on the park at home last week, but Parramatta are due.
Their forwards need to take it upon themselves to start strong, something that has been lacking.
A few returning from injury definitely helps.
Sea Eagles need to have better ball control, and better discipline to compete.
TIP: Eels 1-12
Sharks v Panthers, Southern Cross Group Stadium, 18.10NZT
Sharkies have a skeleton crew in this one. A few injuries to key players means they are really hurt up front.
However that can bring out the best in teams, when they are desperate.
The Panthers are just a force right now. They’re tough to break down as they’re full of confidence, full of running, and are just playing really smart football.
Penrith should get this game by a big margin. Sorry Cronulla.
TIP: Panthers 13+
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