By Stephen Gallagher
THURSDAY: Manly Warringah Sea Eagles V Brisbane Broncos – Central Coast Stadium – 21.50NZT
Brisbane are in the danger zone. They’ve been decimated twice since the return, and they look all sorts.
Yes, they’re a young side with plenty of injuries, but they are better than that.
No harder task than a Manly side scorned, either. After the NRL saying the forward pass ruling which cost them the match was wrong.
Auckland born Queensland Origin representitive and English rugby international Ben Te’o joins Brisbane’s much changed side.
Manly should get the choccies here.
TIP: Sea Eagles 13+
FRIDAY: New Zealand Warriors V North Queensland Cowboys – Central Coast Stadium – 20.00NZT
A challenging match again for the Warriors, who average six points per game.
Their backline is thinner than a roll-your-own paper, and mixed bag of forwards means they will be up against it against a strong Cowboys outfit.
It’s about the start, Warriors need confidence in their ability, but the Cowboys are stubborn, and will be there to fight every minute.
Keep an eye on debutante Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow for the Cowboys.
TIP: Cowboys 13+
– Parramatta Eels V Penrith Panthers – Bankwest Stadium – 21.55NZT
A top of the table clash is very exciting.Both sides are pretty much bringing their top teams to Bankwest, and that’s going to be another interesting element of this match.
Lots of similarities between these two teams in terms of play, but I think what separates the two is that Parramatta are able to score points and not frustrate themselves when times are tough.
Should be a juicy game, so get amongst it if you can.
TIP: Eels 1-12
SATURDAY: South Sydney Rabbitohs V Gold Coast Titans – Bankwest Stadium – 17.00NZT
The Titans got the winless monkey off their backs, which is a sigh of relief for this young side.Souths have work to do, as their forwards have gone MIA in the clutch points of matches.
The Titans showed a lack of fear with their young side last week, and that’s something they can cling to for this week to help them get another good performance under their belt.
Souths will be stronger with the return of Cody Walker, and they will be able to execute a bit better.
TIP: Rabbitohs 1-12
– Newcastle Knights V Melbourne Storm – Central Coast Stadium – 19.30NZT
This is going to be my game of the round, and I can’t wait for it. Newcastle have been sensational this year. It’s not just their ability to score points, but it’s also the grit and determination to dig their heels in when it gets tough.
Melbourne have a big task on their hands, but their form last week was solid.
We’re used to seeing the Storm prevail in tight games, so I really wonder how this will work out.
TIP: Knights 1-12
– Wests Tigers V Canberra Raiders – Campbelltown Stadium – 21.30NZT
The Tigers drop Benj Marshall, amongst others, and the Raiders will be fired up after playing sloppily in round four.
Wests paying the price from their shock loss have to do better this week with their urgency. After scoring a couple of early tries, they let the Titans back in, and win.
The Raiders just tired too hard, and if they can play more patiently, they will reap the benefits and get the win.
TIP: Raiders 1-12
SUNDAY: Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs V Sydney Roosters – Bankwest Stadium – 18.00NZT
Despite the big win on Monday, the Bulldogs will have a reality check against the Roosters.
The Bondi boys are looking very dangerous, and I wouldn’t like to be the team playing them this week as they go strength to strength.
The Bulldogs will look to unsettle the Roosters in and around the ruck, but it’s going to be a very tough game for them to win.
Roosters should still get it done comfortably.
TIP: Roosters 13+
– Saint George Illawarra Dragons V Cronulla Sutherland Sharks – Campbelltown Stadium – 20.30NZT
Things are looking very abysmal for the Dragons, despite their representitive roster.
The Sharks get their elisive first win, and look to make it a second agaisnt the hapless Dragons.
St George Illawarra have no answers, and look very directionless and lacking oomph.
The Sharks just need to get a few back to back penalties to control the match, and take it away from the Dragons.
TIP: Sharks 13+
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