By Stephen Gallagher
THURSDAY: Saint George Illawarra Dragons V South Sydney Rabbitohs – Netstrata Jubilee Stadium – 21.50NZT
The Dragons were hard done by last week, and with a couple of injuries they’re under pressure to perform.
Souths have been frustrating to watch. Not completing their sets, and not building any pressure.
Rabbitohs sit one place above the Dragons, and any win from here on in is vital for a top eight finish.
The Dragons have looked the better of the two over the last month, so I think they’ll get up.
TIP: Dragons 1-12
FRIDAY: Wests Tigers V New Zealand Warriors – Sydney Cricket Ground – 20.00NZT
While this match is being played at a cricket ground, I don’t think it’ll necessarily be a cricket score.
The Warriors two new recruits Jennings and Alvaro from Parramatta will add some class which is much needed.
Wests look to be close to having their best side on the field which will give them some confidence heading in to this clash.
Sitting in ninth, I expect the Tigers to get the result.
TIP: Tigers 1-12
Brisbane Broncos V Cronulla Sharks – Suncorp Stadium – 21.55NZT
It doesn’t get any easier for the injury ravaged and poorly performing Broncos, the Sharks have been hitting their strides of late, and look like a well-balanced team.
The Broncos have another reshuffle in their spine, and that’s just going to cause more headaches.
Cronulla’s forward pack have definitely found their feet, and I expect them to demolish the Broncos up front with the experience they have.
TIP: Sharks 13+
SATURDAY: Sydney Roosters V Gold Coast Titans – Sydney Cricket Ground – 17.00NZT
The Titans are competing, but they’ll have to compete out of their skins to get a W against the Roosters.
Roosters have been struck with many injuries of late, so that’s a good opportunity for the Gold Coast to slip in an upset.
Though the Roosters side are too classy to drop this match as they continue on their hunt for a third straight premiership.
It should be quite a good clash, and won’t be too one-sided that it makes it unbearable.
TIP: Roosters 13+
North Queensland Cowboys V Canberra Raiders – Queensland Country Bank Stadium – 19.30NZT
The Cowboys are struggling to get a result in 2020, and as they come up against the Raiders, they’ll have to be on their game.
North Queensland are definitely competing, but it’s those close games they can’t get over the line and win.
Canberra’s steely defence and strong mentality will be decisive factor in this match-up.
They’ve got a lot of classy players in key positions.
TIP: Raiders 1-12
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles V Penrith Panthers – Lottoland – 21.30NZT
A lot of eyes will on this game. Manly have surged back in a way only they can, and the Panthers are having their greatest season in the clubs history.
Manly are always going to give it their all, but how much more can they give with the injuries they have?
Penrith haven’t put on a clinical performance in awhile, so they’re due, and they always do their best in a big game.
Game of the round material.
TIP: Panthers 1-12
SUNDAY: Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs V Parramatta Eels – ANZ Stadium – 16.00NZT
After their second win of the season, the Bulldogs have their work cut out for them.
The Eels have been impressive so far, but as we near the crunch end of the season, they have to continue to impress and get some good results go their way.
This is a game they shouldn’t lose, and their forwards need to stamp authority on it from the get go.
Bulldogs have nothing to lose, so they should be throwing the ball around and looking for points.
TIP: Eels 13+
Melbourne Storm V Newcastle Knights – Sunshine Coast Stadium – 18.00NZT
The Knights lost two of their best players last week, but a strong squad has been built, and the guys coming in know what’s expected of them.
Melbourne’s always going to be tough, and at their new adopted home on the Sunshine Coast, on a Sunday afternoon, will be good value.
I see this game playing out quite tight in the first 40, but whoever is able to make the most of that first ten mins after half time will go the distance.
TIP: Storm 1-12
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