A disappointing result in the predictions last week. Matt Pritchard is back to make amends in Round 20.
Brisbane Broncos vs Cronulla Sharks (Thu 7:50pm, Suncorp)
Last Five: Brisbane 4 wins, Cronulla 1 win
What a way to start Round 20 with the Broncos taking on Cronulla. Brisbane were way too strong for the Panthers last Friday night, with an excellent opening quarter. The Sharks once again got the better of ref decision with victory over Canberra. Just recently remember that forward pass to the match winning try in Auckland recently which got the Sharks home? Some excellent battles over the park. It will be interesting to see if Kodi Nikorima and Wade Graham can overcome groin problems and take their place in their respective sides. How Brisbane start the game will determine who wins, that’s kind of how it played out last time these two sides met.
PREDICTION: Broncos 24 Sharks 18
North Queensland Cowboys vs Newcastle Knights (Fri 6pm, 1300 Smiles)
Last Five: North Queensland 3 wins, Newcastle 2 wins
Kalyn Ponga is set to return to Townsville where it all began as he makes his comeback from injury for the Knights. They’ll go in on a high having found their groove with the return of Mitchell Pearce at half-back. Wins over Parramatta and the Gold Coast would indicate North Queensland should be within reach despite playing away. North Queensland lacked creativity inside the Dragons red-zone last weekend, but it could be said that the Red V were willing to stifle any momentum, resulting in Jack de Belin’s stint in the sin bin. Cowboys fans will welcome back Jordan McLean after a lengthy stint on the sidelines, named on the reserves bench along with Matt Scott. Both returns will be a welcome relief for the home side.
PREDICTION: Knights 30 Cowboys 16
Canterbury Bulldogs vs Wests Tigers (Fri 7:55pm, ANZ)
Last Five: Wests Tigers 3 wins, Canterbury 2 wins
It’s an all-Sydney affair in the feature Friday night game. I have one word for the Wests Tigers out of last weekend – WOW! That’s one way to beat one of the high flyers in the competition. They continue to build on the Benji Marshall and Robbie Farah connection. At the other end of the scale is Canterbury with morale low following a third straight loss, this time to bottom placed Parramatta. The Dogs are quickly becoming potential wooden spooners. Brett Morris adds his name to the departures from Belmore after the announcement he will join the Sydney Roosters. Very hard to pick the Bulldogs based on the Tigers last fortnight.
PREDICTION: Tigers 34 Bulldogs 12