Both games right last week. 130/196 for the season!
FRIDAY: Rabbitohs (3) V Sea Eagles (4) – Suncorp Stadium – 21.50NZT
With a week off, the Rabbitohs would have been fine-tuning their game with a fair idea that the Sea Eagles will be waiting for them this week.
A lot of people wrote off Souths sans Latrell Mitchell, but they have proven they are not that one dimensional.
Cody Walker with 55 try assists to his name will want his forwards to set him up one more time.
The Rabbitohs are really good at quick play the balls and winning the ruck, that’s something they will rely on against Manly.
However, it’s no fluke that the Sea Eagles are here.
While a lot of talk has been focussed around Tom Trbojevic, don’t count out the relationship of Foran and Cherry-Evans back again. They’ve won a premiership before, and have the men around them to do it again.
Patience is key for both sides. We’re all aware of just what they can bring to the table, but they have to earn it first.
I really think this will be a low scoring, physical game. Rabbitohs haven’t made it past this stage since their 2014 Grand Final win. 2013 was the last time Manly made the GF.
TIP: Sea Eagles 1-12
SATURDAY: Storm (1) V Panthers (2) – Suncorp Stadium – 18.00NZT
Note the kickoff time.
Melbourne are a very, very good side. They have a good record at a lot of grounds. They have a superb record at Suncorp Stadium.
There are two factors that play into this game for me.
One is that the Storm will have licked their lips to see the winner of Penrith V Parramatta smash the daylights out of each other in a physically draining game while they were on the couch.
To beat Melbourne, you have to be full strength and playing your best. We know Penrith can match them physically, but can they do so after last week?
The other factor that plays into this game for me is the hurt the Panthers felt after their grand final loss last year.
If they can channel that in a way that will motivate them to overcome this massive obstacle, it will put them in great stead to go the whole way.
No To’o will hurt, but the Panthers have a good enough side on paper.
Melbourne is producing their best side of the year, and right on cue. What a team.
TIP: Storm 1-12
Follow Stephen Gallagher on Twitter