By Stephen Gallagher
FRIDAY: Penrith Panthers V Gold Coast Titans, 20.00NZT – Panthers Stadium
While Penrith’s surge up the ladder continues, the Titans still linger in 15th place.
All things have clicked at in the Blue Mountains, and it’s happening at the right end of the season.
The Titans have nothing to lose. They can come out all guns blazing and try upset the Panthers.
Penrith’s side is too good though. I can’t see them losing to the Titans.
TIP: Panthers 13+
Newcastle Knights V Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs, 22.00NZT – McDonald Jones Stadium
Newcastle will get a kick up the ass after a shock loss last week, and it comes at a dangerous time as the Bulldogs were winners in their last start.
Much like the earlier Friday game, the away team have nothing to lose in this one either. Players will be putting their best foot forward for 2020 contracts.
Newcastle can’t take the Bulldogs too lightly. They are good enough to get the job done, just need some composure.
TIP: Knights 13+
SATURDAY: South Sydney Rabbitohs V Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, 17.00NZT – ANZ Stadium
It’s a rut the Rabbitohs have got themselves in to. Losing their last four on the bounce. They come up against an always spirited Manly side who will run them to the 80th minute in what should be a physical affair.
Souths get Sam Burgess back from injury, where the Sea Eagles named the same 17 from the last win two weeks ago.
There’s not much in this. Souths will be desperate to get some winning form in. It is the business end of the season after all.
TIP: Rabbitohs 1-12
The Baby Broncos upstaged the Sharks last week, and are bolstered by the return of their Origin stars.
New Zealand Warriors have to start putting performances in back to back. That’s their biggest downfall this season.
Brisbane at home will be hard to beat, and after they were torn apart by the Warriors there last year- they’ll want to defend their home harder.
TIP: Broncos 1-12
Melbourne Storm V Cronulla Sharks, 21.30NZT – AAMI Park
If this is a close game, it’ll be Melbourne who win. The Sharks can’t kick goals to save their lives. Kicking 1/8 in their last two appearances, and losing by two in the last three weeks. Ouch.
Melbourne are also celebrating Cameron Smith’s 400th NRL game. An incredible feat. There’s no way the purple people eaters will go down to the Sharks.
Cronulla have some internal issues they need to work out quickly.
TIP: Storm 1-12
SUNDAY: Sydney Roosters V North Queensland Cowboys, 16.00NZT – Central Coast Stadium
The Central Coast fans have something to be excited about after their Hyundai A-League side finished last.
The Roosters are in town, and can put points on the board here.
North Queensland aren’t to be underestimated, however.
The Roosters have gone in to games like these over confident and have only just come away with the result.
I do expect them to be well drilled for this match. The Cowboys need to be at their competitive best.
TIP: Roosters 13+
Wests Tigers V Parramatta Eels, 18.00NZT – Bankwest Stadium
We’re getting ourselves in to that situation where two teams share a home ground and it frustrates me. Especially when they play each other.
The Tigers get this home game, but that only means they run out of the home dressing room.
A lot to play for, in Benji Marshall’s 300th game. A proud occasion.
Hopefully the Tigers bring their teeth. The Eels will be slippery. They put 50 on them last time they met at Easter. Wests will remember that.
TIP: Tigers 1-12
St George Illawarra Dragons V Canberra Raiders, 20.10 – WIN Stadium
The last game of the week sees two sides seeking some wins.
The Dragons are at home, which is always a benefit, but have struggled recently against Raiders.
All six Dragons Origin players are set to back up, which makes them stronger.
Canberra’s best assets are up front, and that’s where the big battle will take place. There’s not much in this.
TIP: Raiders 1-12
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