By Stephen Gallagher
THURSDAY: Brisbane Broncos V Canterbury Bulldogs, 21.50 – Suncorp Stadium.
After an agonising draw last week, the Broncos will look to get a win on home soil.
The Bulldogs have won two in a row. They’re currently in season best form, and looking to get their third in three.
They do have some injury concerns, but their spirit has been awesome.
Brisbane’s fight for the eight is on. They are at full strength, and need to make
TIP: Broncos 1-12
FRIDAY: New Zealand Warriors V Cronulla Sharks, 20.00NZT – Westpac Stadium
New Zealand’s capital hosts this one, in what looks to be like wet and windy conditions. No doubt Shaun Johnson will get a frosty reception too.
The Warriors are unchanged from their draw, but a couple of returns for the Sharks will help.
Cronulla have the worst streak at the moment, with four losses in a row. They’re downward slide is worrying.
The Warriors have a slim finals chance, so a win in Wellington would work wonders.
TIP: Sharks 1-12
Penrith Panthers V St George Illawarra Dragons, 22.00NZT – Panthers Stadium
On a massive win streak, the Panthers have well and truly turned their season around.
Chasing seven consecutive wins, the Dragons are well and truly cannon fodder if they can’t sort themselves out.
The belief seems to be there, and as desperate times come for desperate measures – the Red V have to find something special to upset the apple cart here.
Penrith should still get the result.
TIP: Panthers 1-12
SATURDAY: Sydney Roosters V Newcastle Knights, 17.00NZT – Sydney Cricket Ground
The Roosters get back to full strength for the run home, and it’s timely as they come up against the Knights.
Newcastle get Ponga back which is a big plus, but he won’t solve all of their disjointed issues they’ve had over the past fortnight.
The Roosters look like they’ll finish in second spot to the Storm, but they have to continue to play well. Their form over Origin hasn’t been amazing.
Newcastle have run the least metres as a side in the competition, which needs to change heading in to August.
TIP: Roosters 1-12
Canberra Raiders V Wests Tigers, 19.30NZT – GIO Stadium
Canberra hit some hot form, even with 12 men for 25 minutes last week. The Tigers didn’t quite do enough in Benji’s big occasion last week, and if they’re to play finals footy they will have to dig deep in Canberra.
With just one forced change for each side – you’d be safe to say there’s going to be some very good football on display.
The Raiders are very good on their feet, if they can string together some offloads they will tire the Tigers out and get a result.
TIP: Raiders 13+
North Queensland Cowboys V South Sydney Rabbitohs, 21.30NZT – 1300SMILES Stadium
It was Jake Clifford the hero last week, with the field goal winner. Now they need him to back up and deliver an all-round performance against the Rabbitohs who snapped their losing streak last week.
Souths are hard to stop when they get a roll on, so that means the North Queensland forward pack have a big task ahead of them.
I think this game will be closer than what most people will think. Hard to separate.
TIP: Rabbitohs 1-12
SUNDAY: Gold Coast Titans V Melbourne Storm, 16.00NZT – CBus Super Stadium
The post-Brennan era begins for the Titans, who are out to salvage some sort of pride and try avoid the spoon.
The tough thing is that they come up against the best team in the competition.
I’m thinking this game could get really, really ugly. The Storm are good enough to put 80 on the hapless Titans.
I hope their fans are still in the stands supporting the Gold Coast. They need it in such a tough time.
TIP: Storm 13+
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles V Parramatta Eels, 18.00NZT – Lottoland
I reckon this could be good enough to be game of the round.
The Sea Eagles and the Eels have done very well in 2019, and they’re both putting in their best football 18 weeks in.
Manly bring back rested Tom Trbojevic, but the Eels haven’t made a single change to their winning formula from last Sunday.
There’s a lot of positive, attacking football that these two teams promote.
I think there’s going to be some very good tries scored. A tough game to predict a winner of.
TIP: Eels 1-12
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