The top eight is far from settled and the stakes couldn’t be higher in what looks a cracking Round 22 of NRL action.
Titans v Broncos
Both sides come into this clash on the back of very disappointing performances last weekend. For the Titans, the loss signalled the the end of their finals aspirations, while for the Broncos, it was dent to their hopes for a top four finish.
The Broncos will have to contend for the premiership without their workhorse No.9, Andrew McCullough, who has sustained a ruptured ACL. Halfback Ben Hunt will be forced to shift to hooker with Kodi Nikorima coming in to partner Anthony Milford in the halves.
The Broncos rarely turn in two poor performances in consecutive weeks and with so much more to play for than ‘little brother’, we expect them to take care of business.
Prediction: Broncos -5.5 @ $1.85
Sea Eagles v Roosters
To say Manly’s past two results have been disappointing is an understatement. Trent Barrett’s side have conceded a whopping 92 points in two games and have tumbled down to the bottom of the top eight.
The Roosters are riding a three-game winning streak and could have co-captain Nathan Friend back from injury in what would be a huge boost.
Back at home after a fortnight on the road, Manly will put in a better performance then what we’ve seen lately but it likely won’t be enough against a red-hot Chooks outfit that is eyeing off the minor premiership.
Prediction: Roosters -2.5 @ $1.90
Knights v Warriors
It’s been a long time since we’ve seen the Knights win consecutive matches, in fact, it was back in round four 2015. But we feel this is their time to break that drought and you get the feeling the Novacatrians will certainly fancy their chances against a down and out Warriors side. The Knights can consider themselves lucky to get the win over the Dragons last week but they muscled up and produced a strong 80 minutes their fans can be proud of.
The Warriors look finished for the year and without Shaun Johnson steering the ship, well, they look horribly disjointed in attack. The Warriors will look to out-muscle the Knights up the middle but the Saifiti brothers have been outstanding of late and will certainly be up for the challenge.
Prediction: Knights +2.5 @ $1.90
Dragons v Rabbitohs
The Dragons can’t afford to let this one slip and will certainly look to blow the out of sorts Rabbitohs off the park early. The Dragons have the edge out wide as well as up front and if they get a roll on, the dangerous outside backs will get plenty of chances.
He was unfairly denied last week but we love powerhouse winger Nene Macdonald to get the better of Robert Jennings and grab himself a meat pie or two.
Prediction: Macdonald to score anytime @ $2.00