By Stephen Gallagher
FRIDAY: • Brisbane Broncos v Manly Warringah Sea Eagles – Suncorp Stadium 21.35NZT
Brisbane are going to win this one. Manly are so far off their best that it’d take a mammoth effort to get up against the Broncos. I think Brisbane have them covered up front and in the backs. Going to be a tough night for Manly at Suncorp.
• Wests Tigers V Gold Coast Titans – Leichhardt Oval 22.35NZT
Both sides have been disappointing this year – and this round marks the half way mark of the season. Both sides need to win just as the other, so it all comes down to who will be more desperate. Will the Titans get up away from home? I see the Tigers getting the job done.
SATURDAY: • Newcastle Knights V Canberra Raiders – Hunter Stadium 17.00NZT
The Knights are in dire need of a victory. Their squad has underperformed – I personally believe that they need to blood some youngsters. The Raiders have been stronger away from home this season, so they’ll be up for the trip to the Hunter Valley.
• South Sydney Rabbitohs V New Zealand Warriors – NIB Stadium 19.30NZT
Perth is a long way away from Redfern….. and even further away from Auckland. This is a long trip for both sides and the Warriors always fall short in Perth, a place they’re yet to win at. Both sides are getting some wins, but nowhere near their best. How will the Warriors try get up and win this one? With a solid 80 minute performance, something they’ve lacked all season.
• Penrith Panthers V Melbourne Storm – Pepper Stadium 21.30NZT
Penrith could have their season wrecked if they can’t pick up a win here. Their injuries have decimated them in 2015 and have tested their depth truly. The Storm will want to get up after a poor showing the week before where they only netted two points. Panthers are desperate.
SUNDAY: • Cronulla Sharks V Sydney Roosters – Remondis Stadium 18.00NZT
Cronulla are going to be in for a long 80 minutes if they perform like they did from the previous week. The Roosters are going to be a tough nut to crack, and they are so solid all over the park – I can’t see how the Sharks will get the job done.
• Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs V Saint George Illawarra Dragons – ANZ Stadium 18.00NZT
This is going to be a thrilling game. Two forward packs that will be more than up for the challenge. The Dragons have been so strong defensively all season, and the Bulldogs youngsters have led the way on attack through 12 rounds. This is going to be a tough match.
MONDAY: • Parramatta Eels V North Queensland Cowboys – Pirtek Stadium 21.00NZT
Well, call me crazy but I am tipping this game as the upset of the year. I don’t know why, I don’t know how – but the Eels WILL win this game. Call it banana-peel match for the Cowboys who have gone nine wins in a row, but the Eels unpredictability will get them.
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