By Stephen Gallagher
THURSDAY: • Saint George Illawarra Dragons V Penrith Panthers – WIN Stadium 21.45NZT
The Dragons needa prove that they are worthy of a finals birth by putting the Penny Panthers away in a solid performance. With a close to full roster for this time of the year, the Dragons will want to display a great attacking display which they have done on plenty of occasions this season.
Penrith won’t take it lying down, they might have found some sort of form after a win last week – if they are to build on it, they’ll earn it.
FRIDAY: • South Sydney Rabbitohs v Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs – ANZ Stadium 21.45NZT
Rabbitohs and Bulldogs going head to head, grand final rematch with just that much feeling in it! Both of these Sydney sides are building nicely for the finals – and if the Rabbitohs stringing some wins together of late, they will look to repeat the Grand Final result. Bulldogs are so physical that if they stick it to Souths early, it might be very interesting viewing.
SATURDAY: • Cronulla Sharks V Wests Tigers – Remondis Stadium 17.00NZT
The Sharkies want to prove they are worthy, and they should be able to put away Wests. The Tigers have blown their season with poor form and lack of patience all year. The Sharks suffered a big blow on Monday, so in order to redeem themselves and their home fans – they need to put in a massive performance and blow the opposition away.
• New Zealand Warriors V North Queensland Cowboys – Mount Smart Stadium 19.30NZT
Can a miracle happen? Five woeful losses in a row, last home game of the season – will they give the fans something to cheer about? The Cowboys have lost a couple in a row, and damned if they lose three in a row. This is going to be so tough for the Warriors to win, it is hard to see them get up. The Cowboys are just too classy all over the field.
• Sydney Roosters V Brisbane Broncos – Allianz Stadium 21.30NZT
This is the game of the round for me. This could prove who will win the minor premiership. The Roosters are home will be tough to move. The Bronccos are just flying so high at the moment, that this match is going to be worth watching for sure. The Roosters have been a little sloppy of late but still getting the gold – so I feel if they tighten up through the second half, they will get the result in this much anticipated battle.
SUNDAY: • Gold Coast Titans V Canberra Raiders – CBUS Super Stadium 16.00NZT
With both sides seasons over, there’s not too much on offer except for finishing the season with their heads held high. The Titans are going to have to be up for it, as the Raiders have been one of the most competitive sides all season long. I can’t see the Titans putting on a much needed 80 minute show, so that’s why I am backing the Raiders to get the job done.
• Manly Warringah Sea Eagles V Parramatta Eels – Brookvale Oval 18.00NZT
How are Parramatta going to win this? They came within 20 minutes of beating the Roosters last weekend, but Manly are a different kettle of fish – or bird. Manly at Brookie are going to get the job done, there’s no doubt about it. Parramatta are done, and another season wasted.
Sea Eagles 13+
MONDAY: • Melbourne Storm V Newcastle Knights – AAMI Park 21.00NZT
There’s a storm rolling, and it’s at AAMI Park. The Knights have no castle to defend, and will be brought back down to earth after a hearty win last weekend. There is just so many positives and good about this Storm side, that if they lost this – there would be serious questions asked about their worthyness of a top eight finish. Sorry Knights fans, your team is going to get done.
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