Welcome to Indigenous round, where majority of the teams are sporting an Indigenous kit. A very cool concept, something league does a lot better than rugby.
THURSDAY: Parramatta Eels V Penrith Panthers, 22.00NZT – Bankwest Stadium
A small lull for the Eels looks set to end as they play the poor Panthers.
Bankswest Stadium has been the key to the Eels success, so they’ll be happy to be back there.
Penrith are chopping and changing every week, desperate for results and it shows. The lack of consistency this team has is really hindering their season.
There’s a lot of pressure to get a result – but I can’t see them getting up unless Parra have a howler.
TIP: Eels 1-12
FRIDAY: Manly Warringah Sea Eagles V Gold Coast Titans, 20.00NZT – Lottoland
This Manly side are incredibly resilient. Winning six of their last eight games and not changes from their win last week.
The Titans have made a couple of minor changes, but the pressure really lies on their halves.
The forwards are doing more than their fair share of work, so Taylor and Roberts have to step up.
Manly’s backline are flying. They’ve scored some great tries this year and are full of confidence. It will be hard for the Titans to upstage Manly at home.
TIP: Sea Eagles 13+
Newcastle Knights V Sydney Roosters, 22.00NZT – McDonald Jones Stadium
This is a tough game! The Knights are red hot at the moment, while the Roosters have suffered a minor setback after winning eight straight.
Newcastle have really found the right mixture to their 17. The bench provides a lot of variety, and get the job done.
The Roosters will be very tough. They’ve been the benchmark this season, and this test has come at the right time for both sides.
Should be a very close game.
TIP: Roosters 1-12
SATURDAY: Canberra Raiders V North Queensland Cowboys, 17.00NZT – GIO Stadium
The Raiders went so close to passing the Rabbitohs by last week in a very physical encounter.
The Cowboys got the W last week, and are looking to make the most of their winning form by taking on the Raiders head on.
Canberra’s bash and crash style football has done wonders this season, but that’s come off the back of being more stable and holding the ball while completing their sets.
Another physical clash in the works.
TIP: Raiders 1-12
New Zealand Warriors V Brisbane Broncos, 19.30NZT – Mount Smart Stadium
Both of these two sides are coming in to a little bit of form, winning their last two outings.
Kodi Nikorima could be the difference in this match, and that could really turn the season around for the Warriors.
I’m sure his inside knowledge will help, but the Broncos forwards will just try their best to run the little bloke over.
Brisbane’s forwards are slowly finding their feet, so the Warriors have to step up and match that intensity early.
TIP: Warriors 1-12
South Sydney Rabbitohs V Wests Tigers, 21.30NZT – ANZ Stadium
The Tigers almost toppled the Storm, and now have their sights on the table topping Bunnies.
The danger man is obviously Cody Walker, and it seems no side can contain him at the moment. Such a hot prospect.
If Wests can try slow the play down, stop the offloads, then they might have a chance.
They definitely back themselves defensively, which is all about confidence. The Rabbitohs should still get the job done.
TIP: Rabbitohs 1-12
SUNDAY: Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs V Melbourne Storm, 16.00NZT – Belmore Sports Ground
At opposite ends of the table, the Bulldogs have a huge game on their hands.
I can’t really see anything other than a Melbourne Storm victory, and one that will be a very convincing margin.
Can’t fault the effort of the Bulldogs this season. It’s definitely there, but they’re just lacking some really x-factor players in their ranks.
Should be a very fast game this one. The Storm by plenty.
TIP: Storm 13+
St George Illawarra Dragons V Cronulla Sharks , 18.05NZT – WIN Stadium
The Dragons return from Mudgee with a lack of fire in their bellies with a big loss against Newcastle.
The Sharks also dropped the ball last week, so here’s two rivals going head to head with a lot to play for.
The Dragons have made a few changes for form purposes, while the Sharks name the same 17.
Cronulla’s kicking game has been excellent this year, if they can keep turning the Dragons around – they’ll get the win.
TIP: Sharks 1-12
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