By Stephen Gallager
THURSDAY: • South Sydney Rabbitohs V Brisbane Broncos – ANZ Stadium 21.45NZT
Well this is going to be an absolute doozy. The Rabbitohs and the Broncos going toe to toe. What a great treat two weeks out from the finals. Souths have been a little soft of late, and the Broncos have been pretty consistent this year – so it’s all about just how much the Rabbitohs can handle. They went down with ease last week. The bounceback factor comes in to play.
FRIDAY: • Manly Warringah Sea Eagles v Sydney Roosters – Brookvale Stadium 21.45NZT
Manly are on the ropes, and the Roosters can deliver the killer blow. With a massive upset loss last weekend on home soil, they need this game more than ever. The Minor Premiership is at stake for the Roosters, for the third straight year they can take it. This game is a victory for them, they are not pretenders. Manly’s season will end.
SATURDAY: • Parramatta Eels V Cronulla Sharks – Pirtek Stadium 17.00NZT
The giant killers looking to knock off another team back to back, however – the Sharks are going to stand up to the fight. Parramatta have nothing to lose, and will lay it all on the line to try upset Cronulla. There is too much grunt and too much speed in the Sharks line-up. Up Up Cronulla.
• Newcastle Knights V Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs – Hunter Stadium 19.30NZT
The Knights with the upset of the season on Monday, looking to throw the Bulldogs under the bus too. Des Hasler will be well aware of the Newcastle ambush awaiting them at Hunter Stadium, however the Bulldogs finals run yet again is being timed to absolute perfection. Hard to see them lose this one.
• Melbourne Storm V North Queensland Cowboys – AAMI Park 21.30NZT
Ooooh yes. These foes are going to make this game very interesting. An 80 minute onslaught by both. The Storm will be embarrassed for losing to a bottle of the table side for the third time this season – which is why I am backing them to get up over the Cowboys. They won’t be written off early though, the Cowboys are the kings of cool heads. This game is going to be big.
SUNDAY: • Wests Tigers V New Zealand Warriors – Campbelltown Sports Stadium 16.00NZT
Battle of the boohoo’s. Both sides running on empty, and the bandwagon is empty. Who is going to show up for this match? Especially with the news mid-week of Robbie Farah being told he is free to look around for another club next season. There will be plenty of attack, and bugger all defence. Tigers to get up at home.
• Gold Coast Titans V Saint George Illawarra Dragons – CBUS Super Stadium 18.00NZT
The Titans are the whipping boys for the Dragons. Saint George have a great record over the Gold Coast side. This game should continue this theme too, as the Dragons really want to cement their top eight spot with a good win. The Titans injury ravaged, the Dragons will make the most of it.
MONDAY: • Canberra Raiders V Penrith Panthers – GIO Stadium 21.00NZT
Well, a slight underwhelming match for the last Monday Night Football match of the season – but I am sure both sides will stand up since their season has fallen down.
The Raiders want to get up because they have a fantastic roster and should have succeeded better – and Penrith will try and ruffle some feathers.
Follow Stephen Gallagher on Twitter