We put our reputation on the line with predictions for every game in the weekend's NRL action.
Melbourne Storm vs Sydney Roosters @AAMI Park, Saturday 5:30pm
Stat Fact: Latrell Mitchell has a combined 18 tries/try assists from only 17 games this season.
Big Talking Point: Ex-Melbourne player and now New Zealand Warrior Ryan Hoffman has been linked with a return to the club. Hoffman was a part of the club from 2003-2010 and played for Melbourne the season they weren’t allowed to play for competition points. He was there with them for the rough times and a return to them next season while they are fairly fighting for the Premiership would be a nice touch to the career of the former Origin player.
What Will Happen: One of the games of the season and a very close & entertaining clash. Melbourne sit in first while Sydney are in second on the table. The last time these two teams played it was a one point Sydney victory and something similar should be happening in this game. A win here for Melbourne and it’s safe to assume they’ve won the Minor Premiership but a win for Sydney and the gap is now only one game.
What Won’t Happen: A boring style of play. Melbourne have some of the most entertaining players in the game to watch on their team including Billy Slater, Josh Addo-Carr and Cooper Cronk. While Sydney possess the likes of try scoring freaks Latrell Mitchell and Blake Ferguson. This game will be fast and very fun to watch.
Our Tip: Melbourne by four.
Penrith Panthers vs North Queensland Cowboys @Pepper Stadium, Saturday 7:30pm
Stat Fact: The past three games between these two sides have been decided by a combined eleven points.
Big Talking Point: Phil Gould the current General Manager of Penrith recently said that he would be concerned about exposing his players to the NSW Blues setup. Penrith have plenty of young talent including Matt Moylan and Nathan Cleary who could be considered an integral part of NSW’s future so his comments were quite concerning. But of course given all that NSW did both on and off the field this series they certainly weren’t without merit. Do these comments affect Penrith’s young players at all?
What Will Happen: Penrith pretty much assure themselves of a finals spot. If they win this (and provided St George lose their game), with only three games left Penrith will be two wins ahead of both St George and Canberra (if they win). Penrith have all the motivation in the world to win this one and they won’t let the chance slip.
What Won’t Happen: A MMMC (Michael Morgan Master Class). Against Melbourne last week he knows he could’ve performed a lot better. His game should improve this week but not enough to lead his team over the line against an almightily desperate Penrith side.
Our Tip: Penrith by 10.