Thursday night: Penrith v Canterbury, Penrith Park
After three straight wins, Penrith are back in finals contention, while Canterbury can say goodbye to 2017 with a loss here. Expect an easy win for Penrith, as they have far more to play for.
PENRITH BY 20
Friday night: NZ Warriors v Cronulla, Auckland
The Warriors continue to be one of the most disappointing teams in the NRL. They have the talent to go deep into September but rarely do. Cronulla rebounded from their soggy Gold Coast trip and – keen to stay in the top four – should return to Sydney with the two points.
CRONULLA BY SIX
Friday night: Parramatta v Brisbane, Homebush
Brisbane are looking good for a double chance and can cement it with a win over Parramatta. The Eels have won four straight (with two byes), but Brisbane are in good touch after belting Canterbury and should win a close one here.
BRISBANE BY FOUR
Saturday afternoon: Newcastle v St. George-Illawarra, Newcastle
Dragons to win this by plenty. Newcastle can’t catch a break while the Dragons kept their finals hopes alive by pummeling Manly. Expect the Dragons to do likewise to Newcastle.
ST. GEORGE-ILLAWARRA BY 24
Saturday night: Souths v Canberra, Homebush
After a controversial loss to Melbourne (and a dramatic week with Sia Soliola’s suspension), Canberra will be itching to take their frustration out on Souths. The Rabbitohs have little to play for while Canberra can keep their slim finals hopes alive for another week.
CANBERRA BY 16
Saturday night: Sydney Roosters v North Qld, SFS
This is a big game. The Roosters are on Melbourne’s tail for the minor premiership and North Qld are on the edge of the top four. The Cowboys have found life after JT but the Roosters’ home ground advantage should be enough.
SYDNEY ROOSTERS BY TWO
Sunday afternoon: Melbourne v Manly, AAMI Park
The big question: can Manly recover after the heavy loss to the Dragons? Melbourne keep churning out wins robotically and should keep the machine going against Manly.
MELBOURNE BY SIX
Sunday afternoon: Gold Coast v Wests Tigers, Robina
They may have lost to Penrith, but the Titans should be way too strong for the terrible Tigers. The Titans are still a small finals hope, so expect a cricket score at home.
GOLD COAST BY 20