We’re already up to Round 8, can you believe it? Match of the Round is tonight, it hits us nice and early, let’s get stuck in.
Storm Vs Roosters (Thursday Night)
Well this is a clash of the two dominant teams in recent history, set to battle it out at Suncorp Stadium. The Storm have been dealt a difficult hand in recent days, relocated to QLD’s Sunshine Coast (albeit, not a bad place to set up camp!) and Cameron Munster on the sidelines. The Roosters haven’t faired much better, Victor Radley and Sam Verrills both gone for the year with ACL injuries. That said, the defending premiers welcome back Josh Morris and a bloke called Tedesco. Look for Cameron Smith to play a big hand in this one, but regardless, the Roosters will be too big and too strong. Roosters by 12 or more.
Raiders Vs Dragons (Friday Night)
Back at home, the Raiders come off a heart-breaking golden point loss to the Eels. Whilst the Dragons, 2 wins from their last 3 and not a bad showing against the Roosters last week. Corey Horsburgh, what about his passion, he will be missing for the Raiders, so too is Jordan Rapana.
Corey Horsburgh was a bit fired up, wasn't he?
The Raiders need a win here, bit of a danger game, but this should go according to the script, I can see it being a decent tussle early but the class of Wighton, Williams and Hodgson will shine late and the Raiders will pull away for a good win.
Eels Vs Cowboys (Friday Night)
What about the Cowboys last week? Crikey. Had the game all parcelled up against the Knights before half-time. That was more like it. Val Holmes likely comes back into the fold as well. It’s getting near to the point where I have to concede that the Eels might be the real deal in 2020, but they will miss Mitch Moses, sidelined for 2-3 weeks with a calf strain. Another one at Bankwest Stadium for Parra, but I think this game spells danger off the back of a tough golden point stoush with the Raiders. I am going to tip the upset and give strength to the boys from North Queensland in a tight one.
Titans Vs Sharks (Saturday Afternoon)
I’ll probably be watching the racing or maybe go for a fish on Saturday afternoon to be fair. I can’t see the Titans troubling the scorers in 2020, I think they could provide some nuisance factor at the back end of the year. They get one on home turf here, but the Sharks coming off a stylish win against Manly should be too strong. It’s a big game for the Sharks, win here and you’re either in or sitting just outside the Top 8 depending on other results from the weekend. It will be close, but I’ll take the Sharks in a high scoring cliffhanger.
Warriors Vs Broncos (Saturday Night)
Um, not sure. The Broncos are $1.47 favourites having lost 5 on the trot since the COVID enforced shutdown. Are you kidding me? Well no, because the Warriors aren’t going much better. Corey Oates dropped from the Broncos side, bit harsh? Don’t know if the bloke standing on the wing has had too much influence on their horrific attack, yet Milford stays at 6 and Boyd is still cashing his cheques in the centres. I don’t get it.
Broncos skipper Alex Glenn posted on Instagram after the club's 5th straight loss
Regardless of the result, I am sure the Broncos boys will be smiling after the game. I am a Broncos fan, but sadly, the Warriors will be winning this and the pressure on Anthony Seibold will intensify.
Tigers vs Panthers (Saturday Night)
Another one at Bankwest Stadium. Good match this, Panthers are flying, the Tigers aren’t going too bad themselves. Panthers seem to have nailed the formula of grinding out wins, but I think the Tigers present as a great challenge on Saturday Night. If there was a Match of the Round 2.0, this is it. The Tigers dismantled the Bulldogs last week, nothing unique about that, whilst the Panthers held off the Rabbitohs, but probably should have won by more. I am going to tip an upset here and take the Tigers, they are Saturday Night specials (no stats to back that up, I just feel as though I’ve watched them play good footy on Super Saturday). Tigers by 10, go you good things.
Manly Vs Newcastle (Sunday Afternoon)
Two sides that absolutely stunk up the joint last week. Manly were flat from the huge win against the Raiders the week prior and got handed a hiding by the Sharks, whilst the Knights never got into gear against the Cowboys until it was all too late. If these two sides are indeed Top 4 candidates like most believe, they need to turn it around this week. This will be close, Bradman Best comes back in for the Knights after his 1-match ban for not following COVID rules, I’ll take the Knights to turn things around here and topple the Sea Eagles who are better than what they showed last week, but are still missing Turbo Tom and Dylan Walker. Knights by, say, 6.
Bulldogs vs Rabbitohs (Sunday Night)
Can we get the Bulldogs off Sunday Night? They are a hard watch. Traditionally this is a great rivalry, this week, the Rabbitohs will win by 32. Enough said.
Last week I suggested the Rabbitohs upset might be the storyline of the weekend, sadly, I was wrong. So this week, let’s say that the Roosters continue on their merry way, the Cowboys shock the Eels and Anthony Seibold and Dean Pay are face-timing on Monday morning to console one another.