A Grand Final rematch between Melbourne Storm and Sydney Roosters is the pick on the NRL Round 6 action.
Eight games take place across five days of the long Easter weekend with some the Friday night showdown between the Storm and the Roosters the one most anticipated.
We preview each of the games below:
Cronulla Sharks v Penrith Panthers
Thursday, April 18
Cronulla target their seventh straight win over Penrith as the two sides kick off the Easter weekend of footy. Both sides come into this encounter on the back of 2-3 records and last-start defeats, although the Sharks have certainly been the more impressive of of the two clubs when you consider their injury problems. The Panthers have to snap a six-match losing run against the Sharks. Both teams aren’t playing well at the moment and have yet to conjure up any sort of momentum, but considering their recent record against Penrith and their home ground advantage, you’ve got to give the edge to Cronulla.
Prediction: Sharks win ($1.64 TopBetta)
Canterbury Bulldogs v South Sydney Rabbitohs
Friday, April 19
South Sydney Rabbitohs go in search of their fourth straight win over the last-placed Canterbury Bulldogs when they two sides meet in their traditional Good Friday clash. The Bulldogs have proven they can bounce back from heavy losses to match it with the best already this season, but regardless, the Souths are set for a routine victory. They will want to win for ‘GI’ after he announced his retirement and have the attack to carve up a leaky Bulldogs defence. I’d be shocked if the Dogs come away with the win.
Prediction: Souths by 13+ ($2.30 TopBetta)
Melbourne Storm v Sydney Roosters
Friday, April 19
Melbourne Storm and Sydney Roosters collide in a Good Friday blockbuster as the top two teams square off in a repeat of last season’s Grand Final. The Roosters and Storm have combined for seven of the last eight minor premierships and have won the last two Grand Finals. The last three regular season games between these teams have been decided by three points or less, and it wouldn’t surprise if we see another close one on Good Friday. There’s barely anything separating these teams, but the Roosters have been operating at a higher level over the last few weeks, while Melbourne’s unbeaten streak has to end sometime. Confident from their Grand Final triumph, the Roosters are solid value for the win.
Prediction: Roosters win ($1.90 TopBetta)
New Zealand Warriors v North Queensland Cowboys
Saturday, April 20
It’s almost do-or-die for the out-of-form Cowboys as they sit equal-last on the ladder with just one win this season. The Cowboys seem to be playing without confidence at the moment. The Warriors are a 10-point better side when playing at Mt.Smart Stadium and if they can dominate field position with just an even share of possession, it should be an easy day for them.
Prediction: Warriors by 1-12 ($3.00 TopBetta)
St George Illawarra Dragons vs Manly Sea Eagles
Saturday, April 20
After losing their first two games, both the Dragons and Sea Eagles have rebounded strongly to win their next three. The Dragons charged into the top eight as a result, and they will now be hoping to stay their all season. St George Illawarra have won their last three meetings by a margin of 24 points or more, but with both sides in great form, this match should be much closer. It’s hard to split them, but I give the edge to the Dragons.
Prediction: Dragons by 1-12 ($3.10 TopBetta)
Gold Coast Titans v Newcastle Knights
Sunday, April 21
It’s crunch time for both sides here as they sit together in equal last place on the ladder with just one win this season. While it isn’t panic stations just yet, a loss here would make it very difficult to secure a top four spot come finals time. Both sides will be anxious to grab the two points which could see this game turning into an entertaining battle. In a cliff-hanger, I favour the home side, just with Newcastle once again left to try to work out where they are falling short in matches having not a lost a game by more than eight points to date.
Prediction: Titans win ($1.89 TopBetta)
Canberra Raiders v Brisbane Broncos
Sunday, April 21
The Raiders will no doubt remember their last clash with the Broncos where they had the game won and threw it away in last 10 minutes. Coach Ricky Stuart will no doubt be reminding them of that lapse in concentration and will have them focused on playing the full 80 minutes here. The Broncos really need to land their second win of the season if they hope to keep in touch with the top four. They haven’t won away from Suncorp this season and need an away win to boost their confidence. This looks like another nail-biter but I fancy the home side scraping over the line here.
Prediction: Raiders win ($1.58 TopBetta)
Parramatta Eels v Wests Tigers
Monday, April 22
Equal on points but separated by four spots on the ladder due to points differential, Easter Monday’s blockbuster at a sold out Bankwest Stadium between the Eels and Tigers promises to be a blockbuster. The Eels have won three of the last four meetings between the teams, but Monday’s clash is as even as it gets. Both sides are even on points and playing much improved football in 2019 than last season, while a sell-out crowd will provide an electrifying atmosphere. I’m backing the Eels home in a thriller.
Prediction: Eels win ($1.89 TopBetta)