Gold Coast Titans v Wests Tigers
Thursday 31st March at Cbus Super Stadium, 8:05pm
The Titans lose Campbell and Sami to injury but they will be covered by Isaako making his club debut and Thompson returning from injury. The Tigers are the only side in the competition yet to register a win and they have lacked the footy IQ to close out games. It is hard to see where the improvement is going to come from. The Titans need to find some resilience in defence, but their fast, slick attacking game should be way too much for the Tigers to handle.
Titans by 14
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks v Newcastle Knights
Friday 1st April at PointsBet Stadium, 6pm
This might be the hardest game to predict this round. The Sharks were super impressive in wet conditions last round against the Dragons and the Knights have shown good form in their start to the season. Ponga returns for the Knights to give them X-factor in attack while the Sharks spine combinations continue to gel nicely. Sharks playing at home in front of their rowdy fans may give them the edge.
Sharks by 4
Penrith Panthers v South Sydney Rabbitohs
Friday 1st April at BlueBet Stadium, 8:05pm
Grand Final rematch! The Panthers welcome back their co-captain Nathan Cleary from injury. Souths have found some form in their intense victory against the Roosters last round. Their attack clicked for the first time post-Adam Reynolds, and they will be looking to continue building momentum into their season. Despite missing Fisher-Harris up front, the Panthers will have the edge with Cleary’s kicking game and their relentless defence in what might be cold and wet conditions.
Panthers by 10
New Zealand Warriors v Brisbane Broncos
Saturday 2nd April at Moreton Daily Stadium, 3pm
Second day game in-a-row for the Broncos as they look to bounce back from their comprehensive defeat to the Cowboys last round. The Warriors will be looking to build on their first win of the season and will be hoping Shaun Johnson is fit to play by kickoff. This game will be won in the middle-third part of the field and if the Broncos Haas-led forwards get on top, they have plenty of strike in their outside backs to outgun the Warriors, but they really need to get Staggs more involved.
Broncos by 6
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles v Canberra Raiders
Saturday 2nd April at Glen Willow Oval, 5:30pm
Manly have been underwhelming to start the season, despite escaping with their first win over the Bulldogs last round, while the Raiders will be buoyed by their 22-point comeback win over the Titans. On paper, Manly look the better side, but if Wighton can continue producing his best footy, the Raiders can match it with any side. This should be a close game, but Manly’s marquee matchwinners will be confident after a win.
Sea Eagles by 2
North Queensland Cowboys v Sydney Roosters
Saturday 2nd April at QCB Stadium, 7:35pm
The Cowboys have improved significantly compared to recent seasons and have conceded the least amount of points of any club in the opening three rounds. The Roosters look clunky and out of sync with their attack and their new spine combinations have not gelled as well as their fans had hoped. Coach Trent Robinson will miss their trip to Townsville due to Covid. If the Cowboys newly-found grit and resolve in defence can hold, they have enough points in their backline, and edge back rowers, to cause an upset at home.
Cowboys by 4
Melbourne Storm v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Sunday 3rd April at AAMI Park, 4:05pm
The Bulldogs have shown improvement this season despite narrowly losing their last two games, but this will be a huge test as no club wants to play the Storm after they have suffered a loss, particularly in Melbourne. The Bulldogs have conceded the second-least amount of points this season and if they show up with the same attitude, they may have a chance, but it is hard to tip against the Storm at home, especially with the return of Harry Grant.
Storm by 18
Parramatta Eels v St George Illawarra Dragons
Sunday 3rd April at CommBank Stadium, 6:15pm
The Eels continue to improve after travelling to Melbourne and picking up the two points. The Dragons however, took a giant step backwards after being soundly beaten by the Sharks last round. The Dragons have a well balanced side and will be looking to bounce back, but the Eels at home will be hard to beat. The Eels look to have the superior forward pack though, expect them to lay the platform for Moses and a back-in-form Dylan Brown to guide their team to another win.
Eels by 8