Wednesday 4pm (AEST) St George Illawarra Dragons $1.46 v Sydney Roosters $2.80 – Allianz Stadium
The annual ANZAC Day clash between the Dragons and the Roosters is always a special occasion and a match filled with plenty of passion.
Expect this clash to be no different with both sides trying to find some consistency and push for a position in the top four.
The Roosters were very ordinary against the Cowboys in Darwin last round while the Dragons got the job done against the Knights for a second time this season.
I’m expecting the Roosters to come out fired up and the bounce back factor sees me leaning towards them.
Wednesday 7pm (AEST) Melbourne Storm $1.40 v New Zealand Warriors $3.05 – AAMI Park
The Storm has won seven from seven and it’s hard to see anything but an eighth consecutive victory for the season.
The Warriors will remember their trip to Melbourne in 2008 when they beat the Storm in a qualifying final as huge underdogs and will be hoping for another boilover on ANZAC Day.
The Storm doesn’t look like losing anytime soon and while the Warriors will be competitive, I doubt they can go with the Storm for 80 minutes.
Friday 7:35pm (AEST) Canterbury Bulldogs $2.15 v Manly Sea Eagles $1.73 – ANZ Stadium
What an outstanding match this should be!
Plenty has been said about Des Hasler’s move to Belmore and no doubt the Sea Eagles’ players have a point to prove to their former coach.
At the same time the Bulldogs will be fired up and realise what the match means with rumours of Manly players defecting to the Dogs next season.
It should be a fiery contest with Manly to get home in a close one.
Friday 7:35pm (AEST) Brisbane Broncos $1.28 v Gold Coast Titans $3.85 – Suncorp Stadium
Last time the Broncos played at Suncorp they gave the Raiders a touch up and the Titans could suffer the same fate on Friday night.
The Titans did cause the upset of the season when they beat Manly at Brookvale Oval but the Broncos are in a different class at the moment.
The Broncos will welcome back half-back Peter Wallace in a further boost to the Broncos chances.
Brisbane is my best bet of the round and they will cover the line with ease.
Saturday 7:30pm (AEST) South Sydney Rabbitohs $1.91 v North Queensland Cowboys $1.91 – ANZ Stadium
The Rabbitohs were comfortably beaten by the Warriors in New Zealand last round, so they will enjoy returning to ANZ to play the Cowboys.
Nathan Merritt is expected to return and bolster the Rabbitohs side after a stint with the North Sydney Bears and will be keen to make up for lost time.
The Cowboys thumped the Roosters in Darwin and are starting to look very dangerous with Thurston and the Sims brothers firing on all cylinders.
Expect a very competitive match but the class of Thurston to shine through and get the Cowboys across the line.
Sunday 2pm (AEST) Canberra Raiders $1.87 v Cronulla Sharks $1.95 – Canberra Stadium
The big question surrounding the Raiders is how will they go without Terry Campese?
It could give young Sam Williams an opportunity back in the top grade after an impressive debut last season or Jack Wighton could be moved from the wing to five-eighth. Either player will have a huge void to fill.
The Sharks are in great form and will be aiming for six wins in a row when they take on the Raiders.
Plenty to like about the Sharks and expect them to continue their winning run.
Sunday 3pm (AEST) Parramatta Eels $2.65 v Wests Tigers $1.50 – Parramatta Stadium
Are the Tigers starting to get their mojo back?
I’m not sure but they are building in the right direction after their 30-0 win over the Panthers last round.
The Eels are desperate and with Chris Sandow under immense pressure, it’s up to Jarryd Hayne to lift the club.
Always a tough game between these two sides but think the Tigers can make it back to back wins for the first time this season.
Monday 7pm (AEST) Newcastle Knights $1.40 v Penrith Panthers $3.05 – Hunter Stadium
The Knights have been one of the surprise disappointments so far this season.
They are struggling to find consistency but are playing a Panthers side that has its own concerns.
This clash also sees the return of “Big Willie” to the NRL when he runs out for the Knights on Monday night.
The Panthers have failed to score a point in their last two outings and face an uphill battle against a Knights side that will be fired up for this clash.
The Knights will cover the line and are my next best bet after the Broncos.
Best Bet – Broncos to cover the line against the Titans