Every game from here on in is elimination and we’ve got two cracking matches this weekend.
Here’s our best picks for Week Two of the NRL Finals.
Broncos v Panthers
The Broncos were nothing short of awful for the majority of their finals clash with the Roosters. However, Wayne Bennett’s side somehow found themselves just a few minutes away from winning the match and earning the week off.
Their opponents, Penrith, seemingly wanted it more than Manly in their elimination clash last week. However, the performance was not a polished one. Errors invited the Sea Eagles back into the contest and a similar display against the Broncos at Suncorp could be catastrophic for the men from the foot of the mountains.
Brisbane have more players with finals experience, the home crowd on their side and easily accounted for the Panthers back in round nine this year. We expect a more aggressive approach in defence and if they can limit Nathan Cleary’s time, the Broncos should book themselves a meeting with Melbourne.
Prediction: Broncos -6.5 @ $1.95
Eels v Cowboys
Not many fans or pundits gave the Cowboys, who had lost four of their past five matches, a chance of knocking off the defending premiers in Sydney, but that’s exactly what they did. Desire and Taumalolo’s power and Michael Morgan’s poise pushed them through and they certainly earned the right to make it to week two of the finals.
The Eels were similarly given little to no chance of beating the Storm in Melbourne, but they came extremely close and despite the loss, should take a tremendous amount of confidence from the performance.
Like them or not, Parramatta is a quality footy side who have proven in the past few months that they can match it and beat the elite teams in the competition. The Cowboys showed tremendous heart to upstage the Sharks, but you get the feeling that was their last stand for the year. We expect the lethal Eels attack to get the better of the Cowboys particularly late on in the match.
Prediction: Eels – 8.0 @ $1.90