It’s final round of the National Rugby League Premiership for 2018. This week’s predictions come from Rowan Harrip.
South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Wests Tigers (Thurs 7:50pm, ANZ)
Last Five: Wests Tigers 4 wins, South Sydney 1 win
I had this Bunnies outfit taking the minor premiership but on the back of three straight losses this is falling from their grasp. The Tigers started their roll on and heavily relied on results to go their way and those final chances have no evaporated completed to make for another lonely post season. I am predicting a high scoring affair here but if Siebold’s men are given the opportunity it may become a one-way clinic.
PREDICTION: South Sydney by 8+
New Zealand Warriors vs Canberra Raiders (Fri 8pm NZT, 6pm AEST, Mt Smart)
Last Five: Canberra 4 wins, New Zealand Warriors 1 win
The Warriors are coming into form as shown against Penrith last round but I can see the Raiders taking their third straight win at Mt Smart here. Against this Warriors outfit performing so well the Raiders bench must repeat the run metre numbers they achieved against the Rabbitohs last week, to stand any chance. Emre Guler (117m), Junior Paulo (191m), Saliva Havili (71m) and Luke Bateman (71m) all contributing last round.
PREDICTION: The Green Machine to roll on in a close one by 1-4pts
Melbourne Storm vs Penrith Panthers (Fri 7:50pm, AAMI Park)
Last Five: Melbourne 5 wins, Penrith 0 wins
Maloney returns this week after so much chatter that he is being shown the door. This Panthers pack is best when fighting back from a deficit but leading into finals they need to rediscover the form they were peaking with mid-season. They no longer can blame this on the sacking of Hook. This week they take on a Storm pack who will also be playing finals and farewell two of their greatest players in their club history – Billy Slater and Ryan Hoffman. Makes for a great clash!
PREDICTION: Emotion to impact intensity! Melbourne by 18+