By Stephen Gallagher
Bulldogs 28 Sea Eagles 16
This was a weird one, the Sea Eagles were trailing by plenty early, came back, then the Doggies piled on more misery to cement the sea birds to being the kings of the rubbish dump. The Bulldogs are fairing well, and never really looked in doubt in this fixture. The Sea Eagles can’t buy a trick.
Dragons 12 Broncos 10
This was an absolute classic that wound back the clock. Physicality was the main attribute, as the Dragons defence was absolutely phenomenal. They were relentless on their own line once again – and this is the common factor in all their wins. Defensively amazing. Broncos lost their first in 5 matches, but were pretty competitive for all of it. Came down to desperate defence and the Dragons won out.
Titans 32 Panthers 6
Penrith’s lack of halves really hurting them. They were directionless and abysmal on attack, and a late flurry of Titan goodness was the decider. The Panthers are in a bit of an injury crisis, however their depth is good, so I doubt they will panic. The Titans looked very sharp in patches, and that’s how they pounced.
Cowboys 28 Warriors 24
The Cowboys used their ‘Get Out Of Jail Free’ card as Jake Granville roped in a hattrick. The Warriors errors were hurrendous. They were even lucky to be leading with two minutes to go. The Cowboys go four straight and had a few errors in their game. The Warriors forwards handled their big guys well, but still got over the line in the end.
Storm 17 Roosters 16
Cooper Cronk’s boot sent the Storm in to another win, adding to the Roosters terrible run of form of late. This game was a see-saw battle, and the second half was tough. The Storm really know how to win those tough, close games.
Raiders 30 Wests Tigers 22
The Tigers threw up the choke of the year, after leading 22-0 after 24 minutes – threw it all away. However the Raiders were really good, they played hard – after their first 20 minute slumber. They chipped away, took all the Tigers options away and put points on the board when they were put on offer. It was great viewing, too. Though – the Leichhardt faithful wouldn’t say that.
Eels 28 Knights 22
The Eels continue to upset. They got up over the Knights at Hunter Stadium in a bruising encounter that saw plenty of big guns going hard for the full 80. The Eels did enough in the second half to fight off the Knights.
Sharks 18 Rabbitohs 10
Remember when the Rabbitohs forgot how to lose? Three on the trot sees them far from perfect – but credit where credit is due to both teams in this Monday Night fight. The conditions were atrocious. Wind lose to hurricane category, and handling that was fantastic in a game that was played more in a Shark Tank than a Shark Park. Michael Ennis stood tall in a high quality game in poor conditions.
FRIDAY: • Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs v Wests Tigers – ANZ Stadium 21.45NZT
The Bulldogs will be in for a tough one. They ran down the Tigers a few weeks ago with ease, and after the Tigers massive choke last weekend they will not want to be embarrassed once again. The Bulldogs will need to put their best foot forward to win.
SATURDAY: • New Zealand Warriors V Gold Coast TItans – Mount Smart Stadium 13.45NZT
The Warriors hopefully have sorted their hands out – because they couldn’t catch a cold last week. The Titans have been slowly improving over the season and will be up for a fight. They are usually the bunnies for the Warriors. As the New Zealand side have won 8 straight against the GC. This ANZAC day thriller will have it all.
* Newcastle Knights V North Queensland Cowboys – Hunter Stadium 16.00NZT
The Knights are desperate to get back in the the winners circle, and the Cowboys are red hot. So you know already there’s plenty on the line in this fixture. The Knights forwards will need to work hard, to give time and space to the glory hogs in the backline – however the Cowboys won’t exactly let them do it with ease.
• Sydney Roosters V Saint George Illawarra Dragons – Allianz Stadium 18.00NZT
This is the traditional ANZAC fixture, and much likethe Knights, the Roosters are desperate for a win. They go up against the table topping Dragons who have won five straight and have done it with their defence. It will have to be a superior attacking display by the Roosters to get over the line against the Red V.
• Melbourne Storm V Manly Warringah Sea Eagles – AAMI Park 20.00NZT
These two rivals will lay it all on the line. Manly Warringah, will throw it all out there. They will need to win this. They are at the bottom of the table and are looking up. The Storm will want to look down on them and crush them. Give them a hiding. The Storm will have to fight though. The Sea Eagles will need to be at their very, very best.
• Brisbane Broncos V Parramatta Eels – Suncorp Stadium 22.00NZT
Brisbane and Parra are going to put on a great game. I just feel like this is going to be one of those games where there’s plenty going right, and nothing goes wrong. Two sides putting on an attacking and flairful football clinic. The Broncos will win though, will be close.
SUNDAY: • Penrith Panthers V Cronulla Sharks – Pepper Stadium 16.00NZT
The Panthers need some direction. They lacked it big time last week. The Sharks are three in a row and looking to knock another contender off their list. Will they though? I feel the Panthers will get it together and win.
• South Sydney Rabbitohs V Canberra Raiders – ANZ Stadium 18.00NZT
The Rabbitohs will have to get up in this one, could they really lose four in a row? The Raiders are looking like a steady young side who are wanting to get up to show just how tough they can be. The Rabbitohs are an expeienced side, and I think this will shine through.
There is no Monday game this round, as on Sunday – the test sides for the ANZAC Test are named, and this game will be played on Friday, and the NRL will take a week off and watch.
Follow Stephen Gallagher on Twitter