Origin is done and dusted as all eyes now turn to the NRL premiership as the race to the finals heats up.
Warriors v Panthers
Two sides looking up at the top eight clash at Mount Smart on Friday night.
The Warriors threw away a 16-0 lead against Manly over in Perth two weeks ago, while the Panthers erased the memory of a Rabbitohs hammering in round 17 by defeating a red hot Sea Eagles outfit last weekend.
There’s no doubt the Warriors are a much better side at home but the Panthers have had the wood over Shaun Johnson and Co in recent years, winning four of the past five clashes. We’re confident the men from the mountains will put on a strong peformance and cover the start if not emerge with the two points.
Prediction: Panthers +4.5 @ $1.90
Titans v Sharks
The Sharks were absolutely awful against the Sea Eagles back in round 16 but a week is certainly a long time in footy and in round 17 the premiers turned in arguably the most impressive 80 minutes of the season when they crushed the Roosters 44-12 up on the Central Coast.
As for the Titans, well they’re stuck in 14th position but they are riding a two game winning streak despite a monster run of injuries. Neil Henry’s side upset the Sharks on the road back in round eight and with a number of Cronulla players having to back up from Origin, you’d imagine the boys from the Glitter Strip will fancy their chances once again. However, we just can’t go past the Sharks in this one and we expect them to control the game from the get go.
Prediction: Sharks – 3.5 @ $1.90
Rabbitohs v Cowboys
It’s certainly a frustrating time to be a Rabbitohs supporter right now. One week they’re smashing the Panthers the next they’re being beaten by a Roosters side without their Origin stars.
The Cowboys are shocking everyone right now with their sensational level of play without their general in Johnathan Thurston. Michael Morgan and Jason Taumalolo have taken it upon themselves to push this side when the going gets tough. And who’s to say they can’t be a force come finals time.
Had this game been scheduled to take place in Sydney, we would have been confident taking the Bunnies with the start but the boys from Redfern will likely do it tough up in the tropics of Cairns despite the number of Cowboys players backing up from Wednesday night.
Prediction: Cowboys -4.5 @ $1.90
Sea Eagles v Tigers
The Tigers have been awful in 2017 but they did manage to put distance between them and the last-placed Knights with arguably their best performance of the season last start.
Manly have been riding-high and a lopsided penalty count against the Panthers last week heavily contributed to snapping their winning streak.
Quite simply, the Tigers leak points like a tap, particularly on the flanks and a red hot Dylan Walker will be licking his lips. The star centre has scored in his last three matches and we’re backing him to make it four.
Prediction: Walker to score anytime @ $1.85