By Stephen Gallagher
Broncos 22 Roosters 18
The Broncos got up in a nail biter to go top of the comp six rounds in. There was plenty of niggle throughout, mainly between Thaiday and Waerea-Hargreaves. The Broncos looking very good, and the Roosters have fallen by the wayside. Was a thrilling game to watch.
Sharks 22 Knights 6
The Sharks won two in a row, and the Knights lose two in a row. They never showed much resistence. Jack Bird led the way in only his third NRL game for Cronulla. It was a very intense game but it looked like Cronulla have gotten back on the horse.
Titans 38 Eels 16
The Titans blew Parramatta off the park. The Eels have had a few injuries but it was no excuse for their poor form. The Titans gelled properly for the first time this season and looked deadly. This was a tough match for Parramatta – but they still have time to get back to their best.
Warriors 32 Tigers 22
In Manu Vatuvei’s 200th game, he dotted down twice and equalled the top try scoring list on 140 tries with Nigel Vagana. The Warriors went hard for 25 minutes in the first half which won them the game. They showed glimpses of goodness but their defence still leaked four soft tries. The Tigers first half nap cost them.
Panthers 22 Sea Eagles 12
The Sea Eagles are really in dire straights. Penrith didn’t play anywhere near their best and were rocked by injuries but still did enough to get passed Manly. The Sea Eagles were tough in the first half, but lacked in everything and couldn’t hold out a fast Panthers outfit.
Storm 14 Raiders 10
The Raiders have been really disappointing at home this year. The Storm go back to back with wins in a scrappy affair but it was a second half that offered nothing that cost Canberra big time. A game were in a healthy position to win and they blew it. Storm looked good.
Dragons 31 Bulldogs 6
In three games of league, the Dragons have only leaked twelve points. That’s pretty bloody good from a team who looked pretty average two games in. The Bulldogs had plenty missing through injury and suspension, but it was still a pretty poor performance on defence. The Red V are looking very tough, and that’s a good sign.
Cowboys 30 Rabbitohs 12
The Rabbitohs were kept scoreless in the second stanza and the Cowboys piled on 24 points to blow the premiers away. Three wins in a row, all on a Monday – is that their secret? It was an awesome game, both sides were competitive but the Cowboys showed some steel to get a much welcomed win.
FRIDAY: • Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs v Manly Warringah Sea Eagles – ANZ Stadium 21.35NZT
The Bulldogs and the Sea Eagles of late have had plenty of good physical match ups. This game isn’t exactly starting many fires, but I am sure there will be plenty of niggle too! The Bulldogs have been up and down so far, and Manly really need to prove they are better than their 16th position suggests.
• Saint George Illawarra Dragons V Brisbane Broncos – Win Jubilee Oval 21.35NZT
The Dragons are flying high, but not as high as the table topping Broncos. This game is a team banked on defence and team who have an attacking arsenal. So already you know this game is going to be a classic. The Dragons at home will want to keep their fortress safe.
SATURDAY: • Gold Coast Titans V Penrith Panthers – CBUS Super Stadium 17.00NZT
The Titans looked really good last weekend, but maybe it’s just because they played a poor team. The Panthers have been lashed with injury but will still go in to this favourites in my eyes. The Titans will have to be very sharp in the first half. Remember it was only a month ago when the Panthers beat them 40-0.
• North Queensland Cowboys V New Zealand Warriors – 1300 Smiles Stadium 19.30NZT
Three tough wins in a row, and the Cowboys went from having their season on the brink of written off, to being written on a ‘premiership favourites’ card. The Warriors went alright with a win but their defence is still a major problem. They got up in Townsville for the first time in a long time last year, but the Cowboys are looking really good, and I don’t see them going down to the Warriors.
• Melbourne Storm V Sydney Roosters – AAMI Park 21.30NZT
I think this will be the game of the round for sure. The Roosters have been out of sorts, and the Storm have been there or there abouts without being perfect. So if these two sides can bring their A game to AAMI, then we are all in for a treat as spectators. The Roosters might just get the business done.
SUNDAY: • Wests Tigers V Canberra Raiders – Leichhardt Oval 16.00NZT
This will be an interesting one. The Tigers should get up, but the Raiders are so hard to pick that there is no real gimmies in the NRL. Leichhardt Oval is the spiritual home of rugby league, and the Tigers always play their best footy there.
• Newcastle Knights V Parramatta Eels – Hunter Stadium 18.00NZT
The Knights need toget back in to the winners circle, and it could be at the Eels expense. However, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Eels put on an amazing performance and get up and win – because that’s just how they roll. The Knights will be looking within themselves after a couple of losses – but this could be the game to boost some confidence.
MONDAY: • Cronulla Sharks V South Sydney Rabbitohs – Remondis Stadium 21.00NZT
The Sharks have been good, and the Rabbitohs not really. The Sharks at home could be tough to beat, but with the Rabbitohs being flogged last Monday I am sure they will have to win this one. It’s should have plenty of intensity.
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