NRL ROUND 22
Eels v Sea Eagles
The Eels return to their beloved Pirtek Stadium where they've enjoyed good success this season and they're bolstered by the return of some heavy firepower in the form of Jennings, Scott and Ma'u - all players likely to have a big impact.
The Sea Eagles will be confident going into this clash off the back of four wins on the trot but three of those wins were against sides well outside the top eight - Knights, Rabbitohs and Dragons, whilst their golden point victory over the 8th placed Warriors was hardly convincing.
This is a bit of a grudge match for Eels coach Brad Arthur against his old club and he'd love to get one over them which he has every chance of doing given the spirit this team has shown all season. This will be the Sea Eagles toughest test they've had for a while as the Eels forward pack could well have the measure of their opposites and there's enough firepower out wide to capitalise which makes the generous start on offer hard to go past. Pick - 4 units on Eels +7.5 point start
Storm v Rabbitohs
The Bunnies were disgraceful last week in losing by 50 points to the Raiders at home and further highlighted just how far this side has plummeted in all regards, their attitude on defence in particular was laughable and a slap in the face to all their fans.
Whether or not the Rabbitohs actually turn up and show some ticker has been the question asked each week of this team in 2016 and invariably the answer has been no, so nobody is expecting much from them here especially the bookies who are giving them a very large start.
Given the Bunnies lack of appetite to commit on defence for most of the season an avalanche of points looks likely against this well-oiled Storm machine; I do see them at least firing a few salvos of their own though with Inglis back and a capable enough looking offence who are due. I like the total combined points to go 'overs' here as I see the scoreboard getting a good work out, particularly from the Storm. Pick – 3 units on total combined points 'over' 42.5
Titans v Warriors
This match got a whole lot more interesting mid-week with the prospect of Hayne making his return to the NRL for the Titans, throw in Hurrell's reunion with the club that cut him loose earlier in the season and you've got a recipe for entertainment.
The Titans have been the surprise package this season with a consistency that's been lacking in recent times and sit one place ahead of the Warriors on the ladder at 7th, with their last loss being against the visiting Kiwi side in round 17.
The maturity of the young Titans halves - Roberts and Taylor - has been a major factor in their success this season but it's been the forwards that have laid the foundation with a steely grit to their play week in and week out that's been missing in past Titans sides.
Their Monday night draw with the top of the table Sharks was a real statement from the Titans and with the addition of Hayne and Peats this week they should have too much to offer for the stuttering Warriors. Pick - 3 units on Titans -4.5 or better point start
Tigers v Cowboys
This is another match where I can see the scoreboard being lit up with two very good offences and a returning Thurston who will be hungry for action which is not good news for the Tigers.
One has to take their hat off to the Tigers given how they were written off by all and sundry at the start of the season but now find themselves with a very realistic chance of making the finals. The loss of Brooks for this clash is a blow but Littlejohn is a capable replacement in the halves for the Tigers, they still have the impact of Tedesco at the back and an unchanged forward pack who will be in for a huge battle here.
As capable as the Tigers are of scoring points they're even more proficient at giving them up having conceded 458 points (4th worst in the competition) so if the Cowboys are in the mood, which they should be on the bounce from their loss to the Storm, then it could be a long day. Pick - 3 units on total combined points 'over' 44.5 or better
WEEK RESULTS STAKES ROI BEST BET Grand Final
Week Three Finals
Week Two Finals
Week One Finals