Friday night: Sydney Roosters v Brisbane, SFS
With the home ground advantage, the Roosters should earn a preliminary final spot, especially with Darius Boyd injured. Brisbane have the safety net of a Lang Park semi-final if they lose. Last time they played at the SFS, the Roosters won a tight one.
SYDNEY ROOSTERS BY TWO
Saturday afternoon: Melbourne v Parramatta, AAMI Park
A big game for Parramatta, but will they be overwhelmed by finals footy after so long and infront of a hostile crowd? After being so dominant in the regular season, Melbourne must convert this form in the finals. They should have too much for a game Parramatta and earn a week off.
MELBOURNE BY SIX
Saturday night: Manly v Penrith, SFS
Contrasting fortunes for these teams. Manly beat Penrith for their second straight win while the Panthers – on the verge of a top four place – crashed. Expect Manly to continue their ascent to the semi finals.
MANLY BY 10
Sunday afternoon: Cronulla v North Qld, SFS
Is this the first step of Cronulla’s premiership defence or can North Qld spring an unlikely win? Cronulla tuned up with a win in Newcastle and beat North Qld in Townsville two weeks ago, so they’ll use that memory to motivate themselves to the semi finals. The Cowboys are like the poor old Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, barely alive but stubbornly fighting on. Cronulla should still have too much class here.
CRONULLA BY FOUR