Sacked coaches, Injuries and not long till finals time. Welcome to another week of MR TAB’S round preview; Round 16
EELS v RABBITOHS Thursday, 7.50pm, Bankwest Stadium, Sydney
Eels v Bunnies, what a blockbuster to kickstart round 16! The home team are coming off a 14-0 victory over the injury depleted Melbourne Storm and expect them to come out firing against a Bunnies outfit that’s out to make it five wins in a row after giving the Sea Eagles a 56-16 flogging last round. The Eels are full strength and are always a hard outfit to beat at home but don’t think the Bunnies will be a pushover especially the way half Adam Reynolds has been playing of late. Expect to see plenty of fireworks tonight but the forward pack of the Eels should be too strong for Bennet’s Bunnies and we like them by less than two converted tries!
First Try Blake Ferguson $10 (His due)
DRAGONS v TITANS Friday, 6pm, Jubilee Stadium, Sydney
After defeating the Eels and the Broncos, the Dragons sit just four points outside the top eight in a late bid to make the finals. The team seems to be playing with plenty of confidence and how good is young Zac McInnes looking in the number thirteen jersey. With Ben Hunt at Hooker they look better in attack and will be seeking to rack up some points here tonight against a Titans outfit coming off a 36-16 loss to the Raiders. The Dragons won this corresponding game 20-8 back in round 6 and should be too classy for a team that’s only won from its past five games. Dragons to win in a high scoring game!
First Try Scorer: Matt Duffy $8
ROOSTERS v BRONCOS: Friday, 7.55pm, S.C.G, Sydney
This game is being played at the famous S.C.G where the likes of Bradman, Waughs, Smiths, Pontings, Tendulkar’s Clarkes have all scored Centuries, can the Rooster rack up 100 points against a Broncos outfit that’s having a season to forgot. Yes it would be good to see but is it likely to happen… most probably not! Great to see captain Boyd Cordner back for the boy’s from Bondi. The Broncos finally parted ways with Anthony Seibold and will be without Anthony Milford for tonight’s clash. Rookie Sean O’Sullivan will play his first NRL match in five-eighth. Hooker Issac Luke is suspended replaced by Cory Paix. Roosters by 30+?
First Try Scorer Brett Morris $7
WARRIORS v KNIGHTS Saturday, 3pm, Scully Park.
The WARRIORS turned it on in the second half last Sunday to defeat to Bulldogs 20-14 and now have won six games including three from there past four. Halfback Tavita returns for the teams from across the Tasman with Eliesa Katoa back in the second row for this encounter. The Knights have made a few changes with Mason Lino replacing Blake Green who suffered an ACL injury in last week 12-0 victory over the Cowboys. Tough game to pick but we expect the Knights to want it more and leave with two valuable competition points.
First Try Scorer: ENARI TUALA $12
SHARKS v COWBOYS: Saturday, 5.30pm, Jubilee Oval, Sydney
The Sharks were no match for the high flying Panthers last week beaten 38-12 but the return of prop Andrew Fafita should bring some firepower back to the team. He hasn’t played since round nine, so look for him to have a huge role in this game. Connor Tracey replaces Matt Moylan in the number six with Shaun Johnston returning at halfback for the Shire boys. The Cowboys will hope the return of Valentine Holmes will give them the spark they need having lost there past five games. the team from Townsville will be without wrecking ball Jason Taumalolo replaced by Josh McGuire. The Cowboys have not won here since 2003 and we don’t see them it happening 2020, Sharks by over two converted try’s!
First Try Scorer Sione Katoa $9
PANTHERS v TIGERS Saturday, 7.35pm, Panthers Stadium, Sydney
The top of the table Panther are on fire and look the real deal as we head closer to the finals. The men from the mountains were too classy for the Sharks last week winning 38-12 to remain three points clear at the top. Coach Cleary brings in Mitch Kenny to dummy half replacing the injured Api Koroisau and Brian To’o returns from ankle injury on the wing shifting Brent Naden to the centres. The Tigers tried valiantly against the premiers Roosters but once the boys from Bondi kicked into gear in the second half the game was over. They welcome back Harry Grant from knee injury but it won’t be enough to defeat the Panthers in Penrith. Last time they did was back in 2013. Panthers to run riot!
First Try Scorer: Josh Mansour $9
STORM v SEA EAGLES Sunday, 2pm, Sunshine Coast Stadium, Sunshine Coast
Future immortal Cameron Smith, Superstar Cameron Munster and Jahrome Hughes all return for the Storm this week in what’s a much needed boost. Its rare to see a Storm outfit not score any points but the Eels did a great job keeping them scoreless in the 14-0 defeat last Thursday night. Look for Bellemy to have the boys fired in what’s always a great battle between these two sides. The Sea Eagles are having a season to forget with injuries and star fullback turbo Tom still a month away. It’s a going to be a tough task for Des Hasler’s men to leave the Sunshine Coast with the two points. Storm with Smith back by over two converted try’s!
First Try Scorer: BRANKO LEE $11
RAIDERS v BULLDOGS Sunday, 4pm, GIO Stadium, Canberra
The Raiders welcome back to the starting side prop Josh Papalli and Dunamis Lui after coming off the bench in last weeks 36-16 victory over the Titans. Ricky’s men currently sit in fifth position and have the Knights & Bunnies stalking them so they wouldn’t want to slip up against the bottom of the table Bulldogs that will be without British import Luke Thompson who is being rested in what we see a very strange decision. Lets hope there’s no more to the story as he has been one of the Doggies best since his arrival at Belmore. Lachlan Lewis returns in the half’s with prop Dylan Napa back from his suspension. The Raiders at home is like a sure bet and against the Dogs, its safe to say the will be winning this, question is by how much?
First Try Scorer: Nick Cotric $7
PANTHERS -11.5 @2.00 vs TIGERS