Melbourne Storm v Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
Thursday 26th May at AAMI Park, 7:50pm
If the Storm rarely lose two in-a-row, losing three in-a-row is almost impossible. Manly lose Tom Trbojevic for the remainder of the season which sees their premiership chances just about evaporate. Melbourne at home, it is hard not to see them blast out of the rut they are currently in, regardless of the players they have missing.
Storm by 14
Penrith Panthers v North Queensland Cowboys
Friday 27th May at BlueBet Stadium, 6pm
A resurgent Cowboys were not considered a premiership contender until they toppled a few of the top sides. Well, they flogged the Eels, trounced the Storm and they now have the Panthers in their sights. The loss of Taumalolo and Feldt to injury is a tough break, but their first trip to Sydney this season could a season-defining experience if they compete well against a ruthless Panthers side. But the reigning premiers are simply on another level compared to the rest of the competition.
Panthers by 8
Brisbane Broncos v Gold Coast Titans
Friday 27th May at Suncorp Stadium, 7:55pm
The Broncos are cruising on a five-game winning streak heading into their local derby clash against a struggling Titans. On their day, the Titans can pile on the points but they have simply lacked the discipline and resilience, especially in defence to trouble most of their opposition this season. The Broncos however, continue to improve by building their game on discipline and resilience and will be eying off a spot in the top four.
Broncos by 16
New Zealand Warriors v Newcastle Knights
Saturday 28th May at Moreton Daily Stadium, 3pm
One would think this game could be a bit of a bludger between two struggling sides. The highlight is the battle between the two fullbacks, Ponga and Walsh. On paper, the Warriors and Knights look relatively even, but the Warriors might have the slight advantage in the halves. This game may come down to which sides fragile defence can hold out long enough to escape with a win. Absolute toss of the coin game.
Warriors by 2
South Sydney Rabbitohs v Wests Tigers
Saturday 28th May at Accor Stadium, 5:30pm
Although the Rabbitohs are still fortunate enough to be clinging on to eighth position, they have been underwhelming and inspire little confidence to their supporters. The Tigers on the other hand, continue to show plenty of fight and have simply lacked the cattle to secure more wins. This could be the upset of the round, but an upset that would hardly be a surprise against a team that looks frustrated and quite frankly, disinterested.
Tigers by 1
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks v Sydney Roosters
Saturday 28th May at PointsBet Stadium, 7:35pm
This could be the most entertaining match of the round as both the Sharks and Roosters are well entrenched in the battle to secure a top four position. It is fair to say that both sides are still a work in progress, but this will be another solid test for the Sharks coming up against a side stacked with world class players. Another game that could go either way, but perhaps the Sharks in front of their rowdy home fans will be enough to get them over the line.
Sharks by 2
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v St George Illawarra Dragons
Sunday 29th May at Belmore Sports Ground, 2pm
It has been a tough year for a Bulldogs side who were widely tipped to improve this season. They return to Belmore Sports Ground in front of their local supporters, but there has to be doubts as to whether that will even be enough to get this side going. Dragons have been inconsistent at best this season, but they are well lead by their captain Ben Hunt and they should be good enough to get the points, as they push for a spot in the top eight.
Dragons by 18
Canberra Raiders v Parramatta Eels
Sunday 29th May at GIO Stadium, 4:05pm
The Raiders have hit some form with three-straight wins and they will be confident of knocking off an inconsistent Parramatta side at home. It is hard to get a gauge of where the Eels are at. This is another game they are expected to win, but these are the games they have struggled. The Raiders are a real chance if they keep up their good form, but it is hard to tip against the Eels who are expected to make a run for the premiership.
Eels by 4