THURSDAY: Brisbane Broncos V North Queensland Cowboys – Suncorp Stadium – 21.50NZT
It’s a chance to avoid the spoon for the Broncos, but they definitely deserve it.
The Cowboys will farewell Gavin Cooper in his last NRL game, and they’d want to send him out a winner, much like Boyd for the Broncos.
There’s really nothing between these two sides, both had horrible seasons, both playing terribly, and it’s probably a good thing this game is on Thursday so we can get it out of the way early.
TIP: Cowboys 1-12
FRIDAY: Gold Coast Titans V Newcastle Knights – Cbus Super Stadium – 20.00NZT
For the first time in seven years, the Titans have won four games in a row. Sitting in ninth position, they’ve had their best season in recent memory.
Newcastle will want to run in to the finals with back to back wins, so I think it’s important for them to find their feet early against this solid Titans side.
The Knights will look to use their centres to create space out wide, something they’ve done well this year.
For the Gold Coast, they’re already on the way up for 2021, and a win to finish the season would be deserved.
TIP: Knights 1-12
– South Sydney Rabbitohs V Sydney Roosters – ANZ Stadium – 21.55NZT
These two teams always put on a great footballing spectacle.
With the Roosters resting a few of their stars, it’s almost unfathomable that they still have a ridiculously talented side on the field for this one.
Souths need to play well, with the finals next week. If they’re poor once again, that’s them almost signalling they’re going to bow out in week one.
It’s simple for Souths. Complete your sets! When they do, they do so much better. Roosters are almost on another level from last year, so it will be tough to upset the Chooks.
TIP: Roosters 13+
SATURDAY: Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs V Penrith Panthers – ANZ Stadium – 17.00NZT
It’s 15th V 1st to kick off the first Saturday fixture of the round, and the Bulldogs will be fare welling eight of their players who have been told they’re surplus to requirements in 2021.
Penrith have sewn up the minor premiership, and are only resting three of their players this week.
I believe the Bulldogs could be good enough to get a win, but the Panthers this season will only want to have one loss against their name in the regular round-robin.
Plenty of tries to be scored in this game.
TIP: Panthers 13+
– Cronulla Sharks V Canberra Raiders – Netstrata Jubilee Stadium – 19.30NZT
Raiders are resting a lot of their players against Cronulla.
The Sharks will be donning three-quarter sleeve kits this week for their ‘heritage jerseys’, that’ll be interesting.
Cronulla have lost all their games against top-eight opposition this year, and they will want to at least win this one, despite their injury concerns.
Raiders make-shift side might still throw caution to the wind and try do their bit to beat Cronulla, but surely you’d say the Sharks will get this win.
TIP: Sharks 1-12
– Wests Tigers V Parramatta Eels – Bankwest Stadium – 21.30NZT
The last regular season battle of Western Sydney for the year, and it’s the last game Benji Marshall will play for the Tigers.
If that’s not enough motivation for the Tigers to at least win their last game of their poor season, then they’ll be forever doomed.
Parramatta have to put the Tigers to the sword, there’s no doubts they haven’t been as prolific in the second half of the season, but they still have been good enough to keep in the top four.
Hard to know how the Tigers will respond, but surely they have enough in the tank to beat the Eels.
TIP: Tigers 1-12
SUNDAY: New Zealand Warriors V Manly Warringah Sea Eagles – Central Coast Stadium 17.00NZT
The Warriors have won three of their last four against Manly, and will want to finish the season strong after all their incredible sacrifices they’ve made.
Manly just want this season to be done. They’re just run out of steam, injuries have been too much to overcome, and they’re just a shell of their 2019 selves.
I think the Warriors are good enough to get the win, with how they’ve played under Todd Payten this season, they’ve got great building blocks for 2021.
The Sea Eagles just need to have some fun. Try some new things, work new combinations, and just play eyes up footy.
TIP: Warriors 13+
– Saint George Illawarra Dragons V Melbourne Storm – Netsrtata Jubilee Stadium – 19.05NZT
An incredible amount of changes for the Melbourne Storm, but you have to think their second string side is still incredibly dangerous.
The Dragons have named an entire backline of juniors, which is a lovely feat for this club.
Keep an eye on debutant’s Jayden Sullivan and Eddie Blackler for the Red V. Two young guys with plenty of talent to show-off.
Melbourne will be captained by Ryan Papenhuyzen, who only made his debut last year.
Cooper Johns gets his second start of the season in the halves.
This game could throw up anything, but the Storm will back themselves to get the result for sure.
I hope the Dragons can finish on a high, however.
TIP: Dragons 1-12
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