Friday night: NZ Warriors v Canterbury, Auckland
The Warriors will be rested and confident after their breakthrough win against Gold Coast. Canterbury had a surprise Queen’s Birthday Monday win against the Dragons and beat the Warriors in NZ in round three. With light Origin representation, the Warriors should win this.
NZ WARRIORS BY FOUR
Friday night: Wests Tigers v Gold Coast, Campbelltown
Another uninspiring Friday night game between 16th and 14th. The Tigers’ season is just about gone after collapsing against Cronulla while the Titans struggled against the Warriors. If the Titans show their usual fight, they should get home.
GOLD COAST BY EIGHT
Saturday afternoon: North Qld v Penrith, Townsville
Any hype over Johnathan Thurston’s 300th game is on hold with JT rested after his Origin heroics. Despite this, the unusual Saturday afternoon timeslot in Townsville should be enough for the Cowboys, as Penrith will likely struggle in the daytime heat.
NORTH QLD BY 10
Saturday night: Canberra v Brisbane, Bruce Stadium
A vital game for Canberra with a tough month ahead. How will Brisbane recover from the big Origin win? Having two weeks to stew on their embarrassing Penrith loss should give Canberra enough momentum. While Brisbane are comfortably in the eight, Canberra NEED to win.
CANBERRA BY TWO
Saturday night: Sydney Roosters v Melbourne Storm, Adelaide Oval
Once again the NRL ventures to unfamiliar territory. This could be a cracker, with both team’s Origin stars back. Adelaide’s hate of all things Victoria should give the Roosters an advantage, but the Storm machine should keep on rolling in a close game, especially with Boyd Cordner out.
MELBOURNE BY SIX
Sunday afternoon: St. George-Illawarra v Newcastle
The Dragons will be desperate for redemption after losing to Canterbury. Back at Kogarah, they’ll take their frustration out on poor old Newcastle.
ST. GEORGE-ILLAWARRA BY 20
Sunday afternoon: Cronulla v Manly, Shark Park
After their comeback win against Wests Tigers, Cronulla should enjoy another home win, especially with Cronulla’s NSW contingent keen for revenge after Wednesday night.
CRONULLA BY 12