After a cracking return to action last week, we saddle up again for another weekend of NRL. There’s a couple of cracking games to feast our eyes on and potentially a couple of very nervous coaches trying to get the very best out of their squad to avoid a trip to Centrelink.
Let’s have a quick look at the games ahead for this weekend, find a couple of winners and the talking points that might eventuate come Tuesday morning.
Broncos Vs Roosters (Thursday Night)
Broncos weren’t great last week but I don’t think they were as bad as everyone is saying. Having said that, they have to travel to Sydney and take on the defending premiers who are coming off a fair old touch up of the Bunnies. I can’t see the Broncos springing any surprises here and think it’s likely to be competitive for the first half before the Roosters pull away late.
Panthers Vs Warriors (Friday Night)
Now this is tough. Nathan Cleary is still serving his TikTok imposed suspension and the Panthers were fairly poor to be fair, they couldn’t beat the Knights after half the Knights' team had been knocked out and the Panthers held a 14-point lead. They also had to play 90 minutes first up from a spell, I reckon there is bound to be some second up syndrome here.
The Warriors would be doing well to repeat their performance from last week with the 46/48 completed sets. Granted they were only playing the Dragons who would likely be facing relegation if such a thing existed, I am going to go with my heart here and back the Warriors, they are $2.75 in the market which is good odds for what I deem a pretty even contest.
Storms Vs Rabbitohs (Friday Night)
Again, tough. Both teams fairly disappointing last week and missing key pieces of the puzzle for mine. Thought the Storm really lacked a good halfback with Hughes, not sure Craig Bellamy can waive the magic wand in a week and get it right. I note that Nelson Asofa-Solomona has been suspended, I reckon Bellamy might have had a word to the match review committee and his suspension is actually for a shit grubber kick.
I believe Souths may have never actually beaten the Storm in Melbourne, I think they get a good opportunity to do it this Friday night. Rabbitohs are paying $3 with some bookmakers, looks good value again in a close one.
Eels Vs Sea Eagles (Saturday Night)
Arguably the match of the round, both teams super impressive last week and both sides are unchanged. For no other reason than the fact I don’t like Parramatta, I am leaning toward Manly, but then I realise, I don’t really like them either. So the heart is not giving me anything on this one. I am going to lean slightly to the Sea Eagles, I am backing DCE and the Trbojevic brothers to have big games here and steer the Maroon and White to a narrow victory.
Cowboys Vs Sharks (Saturday Night)
Another tough one, huge out with Jason Taumalolo missing for the Cowboys with bruising on the knee. The Cowboys do welcome back Gavin Cooper who will start from the bench but losing Taumalolo is obviously a big loss. Sharks lose Chad Townsend but put Matt Moylan in his place with Shaun Johnson sliding into halfback, whilst I think Moylan is one of the most overrated players in the competition, he’s not a bad substitute. The Sharks have to travel but after being locked down for 2 months they might actually be keen to get away from their partners, I’ll back the Sharks in another upset.
Raiders Vs Knights (Sunday Afternoon)
I might have gone off early suggesting that the Eels Vs Sea Eagles was the match of the round. Two big inclusions for the Knights with Kalyn Ponga returning from suspension and Andrew McCullough making his debut for the blue, red and white. This one is being played at Campbelltown Stadium so the Raiders don’t get things on their terms, which would be cold, but I still think they will be too powerful for the Knights who had a tough (but very gritty) draw with the Panthers last week.
Kalyn Ponga returns for the Knights this weekend. (Photo credit: Newcastle Herald)
I think the Raiders win the comp and whilst the Knights will be competitive and Ponga will be bursting at the seams to show us his customary razzle dazzle, the green machine will get the job done here and Sticky Ricky will be dancing on the sidelines.
Titans Vs Tigers (Sunday Night)
Bulldogs Vs Dragons (Monday Afternoon)
Normally this it’d be something to look forward to on a Monday but jeez, they’re making it hard for us. I’ll say Bulldogs but whether I watch it or not, I’m not sure. #prayforpaulmcgregor may be trending by the time the 6pm news hits us on Monday evening.
Let’s square away a multi for the weekend, I'll go with the Warriors, Sea Eagles, Raiders and Tigers, all-up at about $12. Gamble responsibly!!