By Stephen Gallagher
Saint George Illawarra Dragons V Gold Coast Titans – UOW Jubilee Oval – 21.50NZT
As the NRL competition draws closer to a close, these match-ups are incredibly important.
Both these sides sit and 8th and 9th respectively, so a win here goes a long way in to finalising a spot in the playoffs.
The Dragons draw home advantage for this important match.
Both fresh from a bye – these two will have to lay it all on the line.
I feel the Titans are better on the park, but the Dragons have a way for getting over the line in close matches.
If the Dragons can repel the Titans a few times early on – they will gain confidence and take it on attack and turn it in to points.
TIP: Dragons 1-12.
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles V New Zealand Warriors – NIB Stadium, Perth – 19.30NZT
It’s time for the longest road trip in the NRL. Auckland to Perth is a helluva lot of K’s to cover with the stopovers in between.
Both with the bye, the Sea Eagles form coming in to this one is rather poor and are lacking key players due to injury – but they have a phenomenal record against the Warriors.
The Warriors also have a horrendous record at this ground – they are winless.
There comes a time in every teams life when they need to get over these hoodoo’s – and this is it for the Warriors.
Manly are vulnerable and they need to exploit it. Warriors have the players to do so.
The Sea Eagles will have a slight confidence about them due to their success against their opponents.
TIP: Warriors have to do it. 1-12.
South Sydney Rabbitohs V Brisbane Broncos – ANZ Stadium – 21.30NZT
The Rabbitohs season is over! And this game against the Broncos means that they will want to inflict some pain on teams still in the hunt.
The Broncos have fallen by the wayside over the Origin weeks – but with that now over, they have to get their confidence and form back for the finals. Brisbane could do a complete demolition job on this Souths team.
I do think the Rabbitohs still have some quality performances left in them this season – and I do think they can beat the Broncos.
They will have to give it their all though.
TIP: Rabbitohs 1-12.
Newcastle Knights V Melbourne Storm – Hunter Stadium – 16.00NZT
Eek – watch out Knights fans – this one could be historic, and not in the good way.
I do hope that it’s not an embarrassment. They have been hard to watch this year because they are still trying.
The Storm however, too good, too strong, too experienced. I think they’ve got at least 80 points in them if they want to crush the hopes and dreams of Newcastle who only have one win and one draw this season.
TIP: Storm, raining tries. 13+
Penrith Panthers V Parramatta Eels – Pepper Stadium – 18.00NZT
The Eels just love to win – but with their season over, how will they cope?
Through all the bullshit – they’ve been quite good on field.
Penrith’s season has gone through the washer a bit too. Lots of results that have gone down to a flip of the coin it seems, which goes the Panthers way half the time.
They do need to deliver up front. Their forwards are mongrels, but they need to bring the meanness.
Pound for pound they match Parramatta. Not many teams can.
TIP: Panthers 1-12.
Sydney Roosters V Cronulla Sharks – Allianz Stadium – 21.00NZT
Cronulla are on for 14 wins in a row.
The Roosters like losing this season. Despite the healthy positions they have been in through matches, they still manage to lose.
Cronulla are a team that are awesome to watch. There’s depth galore and plenty of guys stepping up each game that make this team incredibly deadly.
A stacked back-line and a forward pack of guys who could play 80 minutes every day – it’s going to be hard work if the lads from Bondi can bowl them over.
TIP: Cronulla 1-12
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