Finals footy is just around the corner as we look at the predictions for round 21 of the National Rugby League.
Canterbury Bulldogs vs Brisbane Broncos (Thurs 7:50pm, ANZ)
Last Five: Broncos 3 wins, Bulldogs 2 wins
An impressive win for the Bulldogs last week in snapping a three game losing streak against Wests Tigers who had beaten two of the top four sides in previous weeks. Brisbane got into a good dogfight against Cronulla and managed to get the two points. Those types of scores often swing the way of the Sharks in recent history. What will be a good motivation for the home side will be the controversial loss at Suncorp back in May. Will Hopoate and David Klemmer were very good on that night. A suspended Klemmer won’t help the Dogs cause. Expect a close one, but I think the Broncos can just sneak home again with a little too more to play for.
PREDICTION: Broncos 28 Bulldogs 20
Newcastle Knights vs Wests Tigers (Fri 6pm, McDonald Jones)
Last Five: Knights 3 wins, Tigers 2 wins
Both sides have plenty of improvement after losing last weekend. Newcastle looked the goods at half-time against North Queensland. For the result to go against them considering the Cowboys hadn’t beaten a side all year coming from behind, would have been bitterly disappointing for Nathan Brown. Wests Tigers suffered from two heavy weeks of exceptional football and couldn’t get in the right mindset against the Bulldogs. Not much between them at Scully Park when these two sides met in April. Newcastle can improve on their home record and record win number 9 if they learn from last week’s mistakes. Tigers on the road are three from nine in 2018.
PREDICTION: Knights 26 Tigers 14
South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Melbourne Storm (Fri 7:55pm, ANZ)
Last Five: Storm 5 wins, Rabbitohs 0 wins
One of the two blockbuster games this weekend where South Sydney will be out to prove that they can beat the Melbourne Storm and be a genuine premiership threat. They’ve gone off the boil lately and looked doomed at 6-20 down against Parramatta with twenty-six to go. Previous week out-enthused by the Tigers. Melbourne’s professional performance against a rattled Raiders to make it eight straight makes them premiership favourites. Jahrome Hughes’ move to number seven might settle the Storm’s halves pairing for now. I think going forward Brodie Croft is the long-term solution. Storm to fine tune here for finals footy, muscle up in the pack and unsettle Sam Burgess.
PREDICTION: Storm 16 Rabbitohs 6