NRL ROUND 6
Broncos v Roosters
The Broncos came within a whisker of getting the win last week over the Bulldogs but conditions and great defence transpired against them, this week they’re back at home and will have added motivation given their standing on the table.
The loss of Napa is a decent blow to the Roosters who will be challenged up front against the fired up Broncos pack; it’s up front that the home side will look to gain the ascendancy too given they were a tad soft (by their standards) last week and Bennett will be demanding improvement.
Man for man there’s not a lot between the sides and there’s no doubt there won’t be a lot in this; tempted as I am to back either side six and under I’m more convinced with the Broncos win in the margin – which is what we’ll take. Pick – 2 units on Broncos to win by 12 points and under.
Knights v Bulldogs
The Knights very nearly pulled off the upset of the season last week against the Sharks but a 78th minute Maloney field goal sealed their fate; the encouraging sign for Knights fans though was the grit their side showed on defence as they battled a lop-sided possession count to still give themselves a chance of winning. If they can show up with the same intensity this week they’ll give themselves every chance of getting the win here against a less accomplished attacking unit in the Bulldogs.
It was like a flash-back to the 80’s watching the Bulldogs grind out a 10-7 win over the Broncos last Thursday in terrible conditions and whilst they’ll take heart from the win it still does little to alleviate the concern around their lack of attacking prowess.
The return of Mbye to the halves won’t have Bulldogs fans celebrating too much given how ineffective him and Reynolds have been with their kicking game and general marshalling of the attack; meanwhile the Knights starting Levi at hooker and moving Buhrer to the second row is a good move as Levi can be explosive and Buhrer will get more of a chance to attack the edges where he’s best.
I like the Knights for the upset here, they’ll muscle up against the Bulldogs forwards and Mbye/Reynolds will once again struggle – there won’t be much in it so we’ll take the value in the margins. Pick – 2 units on Knights to win by 12 points and under
Panthers v Rabbitohs
The Rabbitohs have been handed a great opportunity here to beat the Panthers given their injury/suspension toll with regulars Peachey, Moylan, Blake and Hiku all out which is a big chunk of talent to have on the side lines.
I do like the Bunnies to take this out, they showed some good fight last week in Townsville against the Cowboys and even though their attack has faltered this season I can’t help but feel it’s ready to click off the back of some Reynolds brilliance and a big effort from their forwards who are welcoming back George Burgess from suspension.
I’m not convinced the Panthers attitude will be right for this game following an internal shake-up and subsequent absences - we’ll take the underdog Bunnies to get the win at decent value. Pick – 3 units on Rabbitohs to win
Sea Eagles v Dragons
Both these sides are performing well above expectations, especially Manly who have beaten two of the premiership favourites (Cowboys and Roosters) in the past two weeks. The run of Manly has been off the back of some very determined defence, no-nonsense forward play and DCE playing out of his skin – there’s no reason they shouldn’t continue that here.
Short and sweet, both sides deserve a round of applause but the Dragons have had the softer opposition, are without Dugan and away from home against a red-hot Sea Eagles – it adds up to a relatively comfortable Sea Eagles win. Pick – 4 units on Sea Eagles -5.5 point start (BEST BET)
Warriors v Eels
The much awaited debut of Foran finally happened last week and the Warriors won……..let’s not gloss over the fact though they were down by 10 points at half time against an injury hit Titans side who even at full strength are going to battle to make the top eight this season.
The Eels are a side that’s very well coached by Brad Arthur and they have the star-power, attitude and brains to run over this Warriors side who currently sit at two wins from two very dodgy performances.
Short and sweet – if the Eels turn up and take it to the Warriors the home side will have no answer, good value on the Eels to lead from the start and kick on. Pick – 2 units on Eels/Eels half and fulltime double
Storm v Sharks
The Storm are far and away the best side to date in 2017 and they put an exclamation mark on that last week in thrashing the Panthers.
With a lot of sides that have an undefeated record you'd be naturally asking when they're going to have their off-game; that won't be this week for the Storm though as they look to exact revenge for last season’s grand final heartbreak.
The Sharks struggled past the Knights last week at home, leaving it late with a Maloney field goal, and I'm not convinced they are a top four side this season.
Everything points to this being yet another very clinical performance by the Storm; with their world-beating spine intact they are close to unbeatable at home, especially with a wrong to right! The line is too skinny and we'll cash in on the Storm to cover. Pick - 4 units on Storm -6.5 or better point start