By Stephen Gallagher
South Sydney Rabbitohs V Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs – ANZ Stadium – 18.00NZT
Cast your minds back to this exact match last year. A committed James Graham dove to stop Adam Reynolds kicking a game winning field goal – and boy oh boy that was just the beginning!
Both sides are 2-1 this season, but the Rabbitohs have been the better of the two sides, putting on points at will on attack. Their back five have been the best in the competition by far.
The Bulldogs and Rabbitohs always go pound for pound up front. Their forward packs are relentless when it comes to trench warfare.
Bring this game on!
TIP: Less drama (of the bad kind) hopefully. Rabbitohs Hymel Hunt will score first. Bulldogs to lead at half time, Rabbitohs to lead at full time 1-12.
Brisbane Broncos V North Queensland Cowboys – Suncorp Stadium – 22.05NZT
The first Queensland derby of the season! Also marketed as the Grand Final rematch which will also add some venom to this already fierce matchup.
The Broncos will want revenge for the GF loss, but that won’t be their mindset for the match. They will be focused on sticking to the game plan and coming away with a win.
The Cowboys bounced back majorly last week, and will want to continue their glorious form with ball in hand.
This game is worth watching, whatever your Friday plans are.
TIP: The Cowboys will lead early and will get away with a win. This game will go down to the fire. Cowboys 1-12.
Canberra Raiders V Gold Coast Titans – GIO Stadium – 19.30NZT
I got a good feeling about this game. It’s going to be a thriller. Both sides have been great so far this season.
The Raiders are going to approach this with game with the same attitude they have all season. I expect them to start strong and do everything they can to run over the Titans early. If they can, this game may open up.
The Titans are the kind of side who will hang in there, no matter the scoreline. Give them a chance to snatch victory and they may just do it.
TIP: Raiders 1-12. Josh Hodgson to score the last try.
Sydney Roosters v Manly Warringah Sea Eagles – Allianz Stadium – 21.30NZT
Here we go! The winless against one game winners! And if you thought between the Roosters and Manly that they would only have one win, you would be like me thinking “whaaaat!?”
Both sides are just going to have to go for it – both lots of defence have been abysmal but not short on attacking flair. So it’s almost that ‘last try wins’ style of play we all knew of growing up.
I think this will be a high scoring game, about 70 points scored in total.
TIP: Roosters will get up for their first win, but this game will have plenty of tries scored. Roosters 1-12.
Saint George Illawarra Dragons V Penrith Panthers – WIN Stadium – 18.00NZT
Both sides picked up their first wins of the season in Round 3, and after this match one side will be 2 and 2.
This will be a close one.
The Panthers are struggling on defence, while the Dragons have been reluctant in scoring points – so take from that what you will.
This game will have its moments, but won’t be the best game of NRL you’ll watch this year.
TIP: The Dragons to take a 1-12 win.
New Zealand Warriors V Newcastle Knights – Mount Smart Stadium – 16.00NZT
Two teams. If this was played in the wild west, you’d call them desperados.
Who will get their first win of the season? Since the beginning of the year they have both been getting better. Will fans finally get their team to perform at their finest?
I honestly think the Warriors will run riot. They’re due. The Knights played so well last week and only managed a draw.
Things are close for both sides to click – but the Warriors at home will make it happen.
TIP: Shaun Johnson will stand up and be counted. Warriors 13+
Wests Tigers V Parramatta Eels – ANZ Stadium – 18.00NZT
The Tigers. The Eels. Two teams that are punching above their weight this season going head to head on Easter Monday. Save your choccy bunnies for this one team, this game is going to be entertaining!
The Tigers support play this season has astounded me. The best I’ve seen by any team in a while. That’s a feat!
The Eels with K Foran have risen above, trying to prove most naysayers that they’re the real deal.
Put this game in the hands of the superstars. Radradra, Norman, Foran. Tedesco, Brooks, Moses.
Let the forwards run riot, but the backs will shine once again.
TIP: Tigers will get this one. Brooks to score the first try and the Tigers to win 1-12.
Cronulla Sharks V Melbourne Storm – Shark Park – 21.00
This round finishes off with a blockbuster. The Cronulla Sharks have impressed me this year despite having just one win, but the Melbourne Storm have been the team to beat on the down low I think.
The Storm have yet to put on one amazing performance, but when you sit undefeated atop of the NRL Premiership table you can take plenty of pride out of that.
The Sharks are the team that will get under the skin of the Storm. They will do everything they can. They will start strong, they will tackle their hearts out – and the Storm will have to remain calm and wait for their chance to come.
The Sharks need to eliminate their mistakes in order to get this game to go their way.
TIP: The Sharks will do the half time/full time double and get the points 1-12.
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