By Stephen Gallagher
Sydney Roosters V Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs – Allianz Stadium – 21.50NZT
The Sydney Roosters need this win. If their season is to remain alive, this is the big finals game for them.
After demolishing the Bulldogs did of the Broncos last week, the Roosters will have to bring their best performance and more.
This all starts up front. The physicality needs to be right from the get go.
Any sign of weakness, the Bulldogs will sniff it out and destroy it.
TIP: The Bulldogs are too hot right now. 1-12
Brisbane Broncos V Melbourne Storm – Suncorp Stadium – 21.50NZT
Back on their beloved Friday night, can they get back in to the winners circle?
Melbourne will have been tuned up at training from their unacceptable second half showing last week.
Brisbane have slowly tinkered down the ladder over the last six weeks in an origin period which has not been good to them.
If they can bring out the mental toughness we all know they have, they’ll be able to match it with the Storm.
TIP: Broncos get a win, just. Broncos 1-12.
New Zealand Warriors V Gold Coast Titans – Mount Smart Stadium – 17.00NZT
Simon Mannering’s 250th game. A big one for the club. So they have to bring the intensity they have done over the last three weeks to this one if they want to stay in touch of the top eight.
The Titans will come over with a strong side, who will want to come away with a win.
The Warriors need to focus on playing their own game, rather than worrying about the opposition.
The Titans need to play strong and surprise the Warriors early.
TIP: Warriors to get home in a decent showing. 13+
Wests Tigers V Penrith Panthers – ANZ Stadium – 21.50NZT
The Tigers can take some heart away from their second half comeback loss, but the Panthers are going to try stop them in their tracks.
Penrith’s season is forming solidly – and if they can continue their winning ways they are a team who could go on and win the competition.
The Tigers just need to play smart. They let their opposition get too far ahead and always play catch up footy.
Would like to see them get some early points on the board and try maintain the match this way.
TIP: Panthers 1-12.
Cronulla Sharks V Parramatta Eels – Southern Cross Group Stadium – 21.30NZT
Gunning for 11 in a row, the sharpest team this season will be happy to be at home again for another big clash.
Parramatta have had a disastrous season off the field, and if it wasn’t for the front room bullshit, they’d be a hope.
They will have the mammoth task of trying to beat the Sharks, who have formed a formidable side that is winning every way possible.
I think the Eels style of play is something that could upset the Cronulla Sharks, but they will have to be critical when it counts.
TIP: Sharks 1-12. It’s going to be a helluva game.
Canberra Raiders V Newcastle Knights – GIO Stadium – 16.00NZT
Another win incoming for Canberra.
They’re too sharp, too good, too clinical and too powerful all over the field, where as the Knight have only delivered in patches this season.
They’re hard to watch Newcastle. It’s going to be a big Raiders win.
TIP: Raiders 13+ easy.
South Sydney Rabbitohs V North Queensland Cowboys – Barlow Park, Cairns – 18.00NZT
Credit to Souths, bringing footy to the regions, but they’ve been playing so poorly I doubt anyone would want to see them play.
The opposition is the Cowboys, who sit 3rd on the points table.
The Cowboys are toiling away, and can’t afford to drop this game to a weaker side.
The Rabbitohs in my opinion need a clean-out, and start again. A few guys on big pay checks don’t seem to be earning them every week.
If the Cowboys can light them up early, it could be over before the half an hour mark.
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles V Saint George Illawarra Dragons – Brookvale Oval – 21.00
The Sea Eagles have lost six matches in a row. Ouch. Gone are the days when they were strong at home. They’ve only won one at Brookie this year.
The Dragons have been poor on the road, but are in better form than the Manly lads.
Plus, take in to account the strong record the Sea Eagles have over the Red V – this game could throw up a surprise.
Manly have been weak up front. I would like to see them have more impact off the bench too, like they were doing last week.
The Dragons need another big game from Mr. Benji Marshall. Who really is playing for his career.
TIP: Sea Eagles, just. 1-12.
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