Broadly, as my loyal followers will attest, I am finding some of the league games harder to pick than a broken nose. I thought the Cowboys were a good bet last week and Taumalolo got kept very quiet, I took the Panthers in somewhat of an upset and they shat the bed in the second half and the Dragons won a game, who would have thought? I was happy for Paul McGregor, nice to see him get a W on the board after no doubt a tough couple of weeks, perhaps even months.
Having said, it's a new week and I enter it with renewed confidence. Here’s the Round 6 preview of the National Rugby League, thank you again to Peter V’Landys for making this all possible.
Knights Vs Broncos (Thursday Night)
The Broncos better last week against Manly but still couldn’t come away with the points. Skipper Alex Glenn returns and we may see the club debut from new arrival Issac Luke, who literally signed this week. Regardless, I don’t think the Broncs can trouble the Knights, as much as I’d like to see it happen, I should mention as well that Kotoni Staggs will miss for Brisbane as well after injuring his hamstring at training during the week. But I think the Knights have too much for the Broncos, particularly down the left edge and expect Andrew McCullough to be keen for a big game against his old club. Knights to win by 10 or more.
Rabbitohs Vs Warriors (Friday Night)
I can’t catch the Warriors, two excellent post-COVID performances and one shocker (when I tipped them) wedged in between against the Panthers. So what do you do? The Warriors and I just can’t seem to get along. They were good last week, Kodi Nikorima was really good behind a strong pack and Peta Hiku claimed a wonderful hat-trick.
The Rabbitohs are looking a little dangerous.
That said, the Rabbitohs look hard to beat, yes they only beat the Titans, but I think they’re working things out, Latrell finding form, Cody Walker back in the fold and Damien Cook getting nearer his best. Souths too strong, maybe 21-30 point win?
Panthers Vs Storm (Friday Night)
Second game of Friday night looks a cracker. The Storm just controlled things too well against the Knights whilst the Panthers were very competitive, and indeed let a half-time lead slip, against the all conquering Eels. Tough one, the market suggests the Storm will be hard to beat, and I agree with the market, but I don’t think it is that clear cut. Panthers just need to string a 80 minutes together. I’ll tip the Storm, in a close game, Cameron Smith to control the game and maybe even referee.
Titans Vs Dragons (Saturday Afternoon)
If you’ve got to get some brownie points up with the misses, Saturday afternoon @ 3pm might be the time to take her down to the park for a picnic. I doubt you’ll miss much. Who knows here, there are still no crowds allowed but I doubt they’d be filing into Suncorp Stadium for this one. Let’s go with the Titans, but with no confidence and I'll have to force myself to watch this one.
Tigers Vs Cowboys (Saturday Night)
Tight one this one, Cowboys lose Val Holmes and Jordan McLean, two big outs. Whilst Benji Marshall appears set for another week on the sidelines, being omitted once again from the Tigers line-up. I was impressed with the Tigers defense last week against the Raiders, they showed a lot of fight, I’ll lean to them at Campbelltown Stadium albeit, empty. The Cowboys are missing a few too many to give them a chance I fear. Tigers to win, probably in a high scoring match, maybe take the overs.
Roosters Vs Eels (Saturday Night)
Bankwest Stadium, 7:35pm. Lock it in. Very rare you have a top of the table (and undefeated!) side coming in as rank outsiders, but such is the dominance of the Roosters over the past few years, they are going to go around as favourites here.
JWH is back for the Chooks. Photo credit: Cessnock Advertiser
The Roosters haven’t beaten a great deal of late but jeez they are just too good, they might not lose again this year they are that good (big call alert). James Tedesco, heard of him? He’s pretty good and they welcome back the enforcer, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves. I actually think the market has it right, the Roosters will win this well and the Eels might come crashing back to earth!
Canberra Vs Manly (Sunday Afternoon)
Another belter on Sunday afternoon with a couple of Top 4 candidates doing battle at Campbelltown. I’ve said before that I think the Raiders are likely to find themselves back in the Grand Final this year, but Manly aren’t far behind them. This is going to be a great match-up and I can see it being a low scoring, tight tussle. I am not sure which way to go here, so I am going to tip a dead heat, a draw. Just sit back, relax and enjoy this one, both these teams are going great and are sure to put on a great show.
Sharks Vs Bulldogs (Sunday Night)
Another one we probably won’t get too excited about, I’ll likely be watching the Voice during the second half. Both teams not good last week, if the Sharks lose this, pressure mounts on John Morris, if the Bulldogs lose this, Dean Pay could be gone. Take your pick, not sure, for what is worth, I’ll go with the Bulldogs.
Some cracking games to look forward to and some others that we might let go through to the keeper, but it's heating up and I love it.