By Stephen Gallagher
THURSDAY: Wests Tigers V South Sydney Rabbitohs, 21.50NZT – Bankwest Stadium
In the two games the Tigers have played at this venue, they have been outscored 79-6 so will hope to do better.
The Rabbitohs sit in second, and will be raring to go to keep their wins rolling in to solidify a top four finish.
For the Tigers, every game from here on in is important.
A week off for both sides, so hard to know how either will go – but the Rabbits are a class above in 2019.
TIP: Rabbitohs 1-12
FRIDAY: St George Illawarra Dragons V North Queensland Cowboys, 20.00NZT – WIN Stadium
Much like the Tigers, both of these teams have to fight for a win every week to make the playoffs.
The Dragons are at home and have a near full strength side. The Cowboys have a few injury on suspension concerns, which won’t help their cause.
The Cowboys got the job done earlier this season when these two met, but I think the Dragons will get redemption in this Friday night clash.
TIP: Dragons 1-12
Sydney Roosters V Melbourne Storm, 22.00NZT, 22.00NZT – Adelaide Oval
Another thrilling clash on the cards between these two rivals.
It’s a steady ship for both sides that will have their full strength sides running out for this clash.
At this venue last year, the Storm got up by 1 – but it’s been the Roosters winning the last two games against the Storm.
Melbourne sit two wins ahead of the Roosters, so there’s plenty on the line here.
Expect a fired up Roosters side to get it done in a thriller.
TIP: Roosters 1-12
SATURDAY: Gold Coast Titans V Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, 17.00NZT – CBus Super Stadium
While the Titans sit comfortably in second to last place, the Sea Eagles are having a stellar season.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Gold Coast with this match up.
The halves paring of Cherry-Evans and Cust have been a breath of fresh air, and will fly these Sea Eagles high.
There’s a few Titans injuries which will again hinder their line-up. Should be an easy one for Manly.
TIP: Sea Eagles 13+
Newcastle Knights V Brisbane Broncos, 19.30NZT – McDonald Jones Stadium
Newcastle will have learnt a tough lesson from their towelling versus Melbourne, and will be better for it against this up-and-down Brisbane side.
The Knights have one of the best attendance records in the comp, and deserving of their cheers from the stands.
Brisbane have a tough ask, coming in to McDonald Jones Stadium to upset the Knights. I think this game will be close in the first half, but the Knights are too classy.
TIP: Knights 13+
Parramatta Eels V Canberra Raiders, 21.30NZT – TIO Stadium
This match in Darwin will surely see the locals out in force. Parramatta need a good result here, but will be tough against a very impressive Canberra side.
The Green Machine has repeatedly got the job done in the close ones, which they didn’t get last year. A big improvement.
The Eels have young half Dylan Brown back, and that’s a boost.
Canberra are too fit and fast through the middle, and should carve the Eels up there.
TIP: Raiders 13+
SUNDAY: New Zealand Warriors V Penrith Panthers, 16.00NZT – Mt Smart Stadium
The bye came for the right time for the Warriors, but potentially not for Penrith who won four on the trot after the last time these two played.
A home game will help the Warriors out, but the way Penrith have been playing – I can’t see them losing.
Penrith have been very sharp over the last month, where the Warriors have been patchy.
The injury to Cleary will hurt the Panthers, but I don’t think it will be bad enough to stop them winning.
TIP: Panthers 1-12
Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs V Cronulla Sharks, 18.00NZT – ANZ Stadium
The current wooden spooners look to try win another game this season, but it won’t be easy against a smart Sharks outfit.
It’s been a long season thus far, conceding 28 points a game on average, while only managing to put on 12 on average.
I back Cronulla to do a number on the Canterbury Bankstown folks. It might get quite ugly.
TIP: Sharks 13+
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