Friday night: NZ Warriors v Penrith, Auckland
A vital game, with the winner to edge two points closer to the top eight. The Warriors are 6-2 at home while Penrith are starting to get the wobbles, though the win over Manly helped. The Warriors’ home advantage could be enough.
NZ WARRIORS BY SIX
Friday night: Canberra v St. George-Illawarra, Bruce Stadium
Another must-win game for Canberra. They’ve had a fortnight to reflect on the disappointing Cowboys loss. The Dragons come off a bad loss to Gold Coast after barely beating Newcastle, suggesting their form is slipping. If Canberra find the right attitude, they should win.
CANBERRA BY FOUR
Saturday night: Newcastle v Brisbane, Newcastle
Poor old Newcastle, the unlucky losers to Canterbury last week and seemingly destined for a third straight wooden spoon. Expect Brisbane to pile on the pain for the hardy home fans. Brisbane were outclassed against Melbourne, but with their Origin stars back, they should be too good here.
BRISBANE BY 20
Saturday night: Gold Coast v Cronulla, Robina
Cronulla are looking comfortable in second place and will want to avoid another shock loss to the Titans. Gold Coast will be competitive after a great last start win over the Dragons, but Cronulla will have too much class.
CRONULLA BY 10
Sunday afternoon: Manly v Wests Tigers, Brookvale Oval
Despite the controversial loss to Penrith, Manly can cement their top four spot with a big win against the horrible Tigers. Should be a joyous Brooky arvo for Manly fans.
MANLY BY 24
Sunday afternoon: Souths v North Qld, Barlow Park, Cairns
Souths may regret taking this game to Cairns, as North Qld will feel more at home in the conditions. The Cowboys are proving they can win without JT and can stay in touch with the top four by comfortably beating Souths.
NORTH QLD BY 18