By Stephen Gallagher
FRIDAY: • Penrith Panthers v Parramatta Eels – Pepper Stadium 21.45NZT
Penrith are desperate to get back in to some sort of form. So are Parramatta really, since they’ve been so poor lately. The Panthers at home on a Friday night should be the goods. Parramatta have been so weak this season.
SATURDAY: • Gold Coast Titans V South Sydney Rabbitohs – CBUS Super Stadium 17.00NZT
The Titans and the Rabbitohs seasons have played out rather similar this year. The Titans have been gutsy but shy of important victories – and the Rabbitohs started with a hiss and a roar and have fallen away of late. The Titans will show plenty of heart in this one.
• Canberra Raiders V Brisbane Broncos – GIO Stadium 19.30NZT
Raiders are a solid side this year, but not at the level of the Broncos just yet. Broncos are on another level – and have such a depth in their squad it is impressive. The Raiders need to prove they’re a top eight side – and no better test than going up against the best.
• North Queensland Cowboys V Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles – 1300 SMILES Stadium 21.30NZT
This is going to be one way traffic – let’s be honest. I have no other thoughts on this game. Sure, the Sea Eagles have been better recently – but they’ve got nothing on the Cowboys. They are red hot and the most likely candidate to be minor premiers this season. Love watching them attack.
SUNDAY: • New Zealand Warriors V Newcastle Knights – Mount Smart Stadium 16.00NZT
This is going to be a crucial game for the Warriors – with the week off last week, how will they go? The Knights have been absolutely terrible for the last two months and will be dreading a trip to Mount Smart – if they don’t bring their ‘A Game’ they might get flogged.
• Saint George Illawarra Dragons V Cronulla Sharks – WIN Jubilee Oval 18.00NZT
These two are the closest of rivals – the Dragons and Sharks always go hard when they’re up against each other. The Dragons have been really good so far, and will need to stay strong against Cronulla who have knocked off a few big contenders this season.
MONDAY: • Sydney Roosters V Melbourne Storm – Allianz Stadium 21.00NZT
This is the game of the round for me. The Roosters have been indifferent of late – and if they don’t get a good start, the Storm will run over the top of them. These two have put on some really good battles in the last few years – and this one will be no exception. Two big forward packs going hard.
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