Thursday night: Canterbury v Parramatta, Homebush
While Canterbury’s season is almost over, Parramatta are heading to the finals. A big win over the Doggies – distracted by off-field drama – will strengthen their claim. The fans who put up with last year’s nonsense deserve to see September footy again.
PARRAMATTA BY 12
Friday night: St. George-Illawarra v Souths, SCG
Footy’s back at the SCG for retro round and the Dragons should celebrate with a big win. They will be hungry after the controversial loss to Newcastle while Souths will start building for 2018.
ST. GEORGE-ILLAWARRA BY 18
Friday night: North Qld v Melbourne, Townsville
The Broncos timeslot is vacated for a tantalisting game in Townsville. The Cowboys are still a top four hope despite last week’s loss, while Melbourne will be full of confidence after destroying Manly. Melbourne to squeak out a close one here.
MELBOURNE BY ONE
Saturday afternoon: Newcastle v NZ Warriors, Newcastle
After two horror seasons, Newcastle are on the verge of consecutive wins. Dare to dream Knights fans as the Warriors are a basket case.
NEWCASTLE BY SIX
Saturday night: Gold Coast v Brisbane, Robina
While it’s a rare Friday night off for Brisbane, they should be too good for the Titans, who were embarrassed by the Tigers last Sunday. Expect Brisbane to solidify their top four spot.
BRISBANE BY 12
Saturday night: Cronulla v Canberra, Shark Park
Canberra have fond memories of Shark Park, winning there last year during their big run to second place. This time Canberra are clinging to faint finals hopes, which Cronulla could end Saturday night. The Sharks are one win from second spot and will want to make the Sydney Roosters nervous. That should be enough.
CRONULLA BY FOUR
Sunday afternoon: Manly v Sydney Roosters, Brookvale
Manly – after conceding 92 points in two games – will likely be no match for a hot Roosters side eyeing off Melbourne for the minor premiership. This could get ugly Manly fans.
SYDNEY ROOSTERS BY 24
Sunday afternoon: Penrith v Wests Tigers, Penrith Park
Riding a four-game winning streak, Penrith will inch closer to the top eight after beating Wests Tigers. The Tigers had a surprise win last week, but will find a fired up Panthers team at home too tough an ask.
PENRITH BY 24