Can you believe we’re already at Round 7? That was quick! The soap opera that is Rugby League rolls on with Stephen Kearney off to Centrelink, I don’t think he’ll be alone as the pressure mounts on a number of coaches.
Let’s dive into it and find that perfect 8-leg multi that has previously eluded us, could this be the weekend!?
Panthers Vs Rabbitohs (Thursday Night)
Good win for the Panthers last week against the Storm and the Rabbitohs were far too classy against the Warriors. I think this is a crucial game for the Bunnies, they’ve got back into some form with some wins against likely bottom 8 sides, but now they take on a Penrith side sitting 3rd on the ladder and fresh off a nice win. This is almost game of the round potential and I am going to back the Bunnies to make a statement here in a tight one.
Storm Vs Warriors (Friday Night)
If there’s ever been a danger game, ever, this is it. The Warriors have a terrific record against the Storm and Melbourne have had a wild old week with having to move themselves north of the border due to COVID. Not only that, but what about the old adage of changing the coach and winning the next week? It all points towards the Warriors, doesn’t it? The Storm are ridiculously short price favourites and maybe they’ll just be too good but I’ll take the Warriors at the line, I think if you shop around you can get +15.5 start, that’ll do me.
Roosters Vs Dragons (Friday Night)
Dear oh dear, this could be nasty. If the Dragons win this it’s near enough to the biggest upset in the history of sport, surely. Unless the Roosters bus is late to the stadium or they are restricted to 9 men on the field at any one time in some unprecedented new rule, I think the Dragons are going to struggle. Roosters by 44.
Cowboys Vs Knights (Saturday Afternoon)
Hmmm, everything points towards a Knights victory and likely the pressure intensifies on Paul Green. I think that’s what will happen but I am not entirely convinced. The Cowboys were terrible in the first half last week against the Tigers, second-half performance was better but the game was over. The Knights are contenders and if they want to be just that, they need to be winning this. I’ll take them, but wouldn’t be betting the house on them.
Broncos Vs Titans (Saturday Night)
10,000 fans welcomed back into Suncorp for the local derby, sadly both teams are going shithouse. Anthony Seibold made some changes, remarkably, Milford remains at 6 but Jamayne Isaako wasn’t so lucky, dropped to the bench with Tesi Niu set to start at fullback. Jarrod Wallace back in for the Titans will give them some nice go forward from the bench, but in a match that is 14th vs 16th, whichever team is to lose this is going to be facing the music in the days that follow. I think the Broncos, just, but I am not confident, maybe take the overs in a high scoring game as both teams are struggling to tackle.
Blake Ferguson having some fun last week with the 'crowd'.
Eels Vs Raiders (Saturday Night)
Now this is the other contender for match of the round, albeit both sides coming off a loss and I think the Raiders are struggling for form. Manly continued to repel them last week at every challenge, whilst the Eels fought well but were ultimately outclassed by the all-conquering Roosters. I’m waiting for the Raiders to kick into gear, I just don’t know if it’s going to be this weekend, so I’ll lean to Parra, but then my heart reminds me that I hate Parramatta. Big dilemma this, I think this will be a narrow win to the Eels but I’d actually like to be wrong and see the Raiders get up. Tough!
Manly Vs Sharks (Sunday Afternoon)
On form it looks fairly straight forward, Manly win. That’s despite Dylan Walker and Tom Trbojevic being out with injuries. Manly were unbelievable against the Raiders but I wonder how much that took out of them? Another one I am not convinced on here, this is like the racehorse that backs up the week after a tough run, Manly could be flat and if they are, the Sharks might gobble them up. Not convinced either way, slight lean to Manly but very wary, if Shaun Johnson and Matt Moylan could find some of their best form, the Sharks would be great value.
Bulldogs Vs Tigers (Sunday Night)
Another big danger game because you’d think the Tigers would be winning. The Dogs were close last week and fought hard, I think they’re actually improving and despite being 15th on the ladder, they have some upside. Dean Pay under serious pressure, I think his boys could turn up for him here. Having said that, on just about every key stat-line, the Tigers out-do the Dogs, completion rate, tackle efficiency, quicker play the balls, it does all point to the Tigers but the margins between the two teams aren’t as big as the betting market would suggest. Backing an upset here, Dogs by 4 points.
This weekend, absolutely D-Day for a number of teams and in turn, a few coaches as well. I think the post-weekend storyline might be the resurgence of the Bunnies and maybe the upset win of the Dogs. Or, I could be wrong on both of those, sadly, it’s happened before!