NRL Preview - Round 18

Updated: Sep 10, 2020

3 rounds remain, some teams jostling for position but the Top 8 and indeed the Top 4 look pretty well set in concrete.

A couple of competitive games in Round 18, but there might be some cricket scores as well. Let's make some money.

Tigers ($3.05) Vs Rabbitohs ($1.37)

The Tigers sit in 9th after a stunning come back last week. They'll need to win their next 3 and rely on a couple of results to go their way to be playing in October.

However, it was a case of one step forward, two steps back last week. What are Josh Reynolds and Russell Packer doing? Pissing off at half-time because they were cold? Seriously.

Clearly division in the side, this week they take on a Rabbitohs side that stuck it to the Storm last week. Bunnies coming good at the right time of the year, they'll win this and move into 6th by the end of the weekend. Souths by 20.

Bulldogs ($2.80) Vs Sea Eagles ($1.43)

Hate to alarm Bulldogs fans, but this might be their last chance to get a win in 2020. Their last two rounds they have the Rabbitohs and then the likely minor premiers, Penrith. Unless Penrith rest everyone and run out a third grade side, then Canterbury is going to have their work cut out.

We were heavily in their corner last week when, again, they went down swinging at the hands of the Titans. Manly on the other hand, I am still not sure how they lost, allowing the Tigers to come back and stun them in the finals minutes.

There's a million changes for both sides in this one, some young fellas getting some opportunities and some big outs, including Napa and Foran for the Dogs and Jorge Taufua for Manly.

You know what's going to happen, we'll tip Manly and because we went hard at the Dogs last week, they'll get the chocolates this week. Murphy's law? Manly by 14.

Panthers ($1.36) Vs Eels ($3.10)

The show rolls on for Penrith, Ivan Cleary has a full deck to choose from. A win here all but seals up the minor premiership when you factor in their last two rounds are against the Cowboys and Bulldogs respectively. You'd think they'd win both of those, if not, at least one. 1 out of 2 will be all they'll need to be minor premiers should they win here.

Perhaps a really easy run home might be their undoing come the finals? Who knows.

Parramatta haven't been their best in the past month and appear to be running out of steam. Not expecting them to cause any upsets here, albeit the Panthers weren't comprehensive against the Broncos last week. Penrith by 12.

Dragons ($2.95) Vs Raiders ($1.40)

On paper, Canberra should win and win easy. But this smells of a danger game for the green machine. However, if they're fair dinkum premiership contenders, which admittedly, they are probably are not at this point, then they should be winning this well, very well.

Expecting a tight tussle for the first 60 mins before Canberra assert their dominance to keep a hope of a Top 4 finish alive, Canberra by 10.

Titans ($1.68) Vs Broncos ($2.18)

Brisbane weren't awful last week against Penrith, albeit the Panthers looked to be in 3rd or 4th gear. They've definitely got another win or two in them this year, you've heard it here first.

Some big inclusions this week for Brisbane with skipper Alex Glenn, Joe Ofahengaue & Xavier Coates all returning to the 17.

Expecting David Fifita to give his future club a taste of what he's going to bring in 2021. This is the game, get excited Broncos fans, they'll do it this weekend. Broncos by 12.

Roosters ($1.09) Vs Knights ($7.30)

This'll be nasty. Knights without Ponga, patchy form at best in recent weeks and the Roosters are back to near full strength aside from their long-term injuries. Sydney City clear premiership favourites for mine and will be winning this very easily. Roosters by plenty, let's say 32.

Storm ($1.08) Vs Cowboys ($7.90)

Great win for the Cowboys last week but this is a different ball game altogether!

The Storm get back Nelson Asofa-Solomona and Suliasi Vunivalu but will be missing Christian Welch and Ryan Papenhuyzen, two big outs! Papenhuyzen sidelined by an Achilles injury, with the Storm resting their star fullback, labelling it a 'minor issue'. Those things can get nasty real quick, let's hope he's right to go come finals time.

Too many headline acts missing for the Cowboys, the Storm will be too classy in this, albeit expecting the Cowboys to show some fight. Storm by 14.

Cronulla ($1.55) Vs Warriors ($2.44)

Absolute D-Day for the Warriors. Lose here and the Top 8 is definitely settled for season 2020. Cronulla will be without the shoulder charger, Chad Townsend and skipper Wade Graham, but do welcome back halfback Shaun Johnson and the enforcer, Andrew Fifita.

Desperate here, the Warriors have played good footy in the past few weeks and were arguably hard done by against Parra. Tipping a high scoring, golden point thriller here. Kodi Nikorima to slot a field goal in extra time and keep the season alive for the men from across the ditch.

Warriors by 1.