We put our reputation on the line with predictions for every game in the weekend's NRL action.
South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs @ANZ Stadium, Thursday 7:50pm
Stat Fact: Alex Johnston has 17 tries and 3 try assists from only 20 games this season.
Big Talking Point: South Sydney captain and England international Sam Burgess is currently suffering a rib injury. He needs needles for it and can barely train at all. But despite this he is still being the courageous player that he is and will be taking to the field in tonight's match up. Despite being out of finals contention, Souths won their game last week and Burgess will look to defy the odds and give his team back-to-back victories and try to end their season on a more positive note.
What Will Happen: A repeat of the last three rounds. Over their last three games, Canterbury have put up a pathetic 24 points and their attacking woes have been well known this year. Nothing in this clash has indicated that this will change and so their offensive problems should continue.
What Won’t Happen: Souths letting up. If Souths win this game, it’ll be only the third time this season that they’ve stringed consecutive wins together. Based on their 26-24 comeback win last week they still have a lot left in them and that should be on full display in Homebush.
Our Tip: South Sydney by 16.
Parramatta Eels vs Newcastle Knights @ANZ Stadium, Friday 6:00pm
Stat Fact: Mitchell Barnett who plays lock for Newcastle has as many tries this season as their fullback Dane Gagai (2).
Big Talking Point: Newcastle have finally been sold by the NRL to The Wests Group. This is great news for fans all across the Hunter as it is a crucial step in the re-build of the once proud club and it finally draws to an end Nathan Tinkler’s ownership regime of the club and the horrible mess he left them in. The Wests Group have promised to match a maximum of $10million AUD from the state government in order to build a centre of excellence and a home base for Newcastle. They have also promised to spend at least $500,000 on grassroots football per year for the next five years.
What Will Happen: A Parramatta win. Despite all the recent positivity surrounding Newcastle’s takeover and their back-to-back wins, they will still be handed a reality check by the resurgent opposition team. Parramatta have won their past six games in a row to show that their not messing about when it comes to making the top four. Unfortunately for the ever valiant Newcastle, they’ll become yet another victim for the Blue & Gold.
What Won’t Happen: A bad shift from Corey Norman and Mitchell Moses. They’ve been among the key players during Parramatta’s recent hot streak and that should continue into Friday nights game.
Our Tip: Parramatta by 14.