If the Storm can get back to their A game after losing last week to the Warriors in golden point they will make finals. The Roosters are depleted & will struggle to get the points on the road to Melbourne.
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Sharks v Broncos
Last season the Sharks looked a team on the rise but after a tough State of Origin period they got to know exactly how much it takes to play finals football. They have a few returning stars with Coates, Brandon Smith and the addition of David Nofoaluma in round 14 and if they can get everyone fit and firing they will cause many teams problems at home.
Brisbane have a poor record in Sydney and will look to make amends in 2023. They have a lot of work to do, especially with the road trip to New Zealand, Manly and Souths in the next few weeks. They have also lost to the Panthers, Raiders and Dolphins this year, showing they are not the side that were expected on paper.
Panthers v Eels
A late two-point field goal from Nathan Cleary – with less than 10 seconds remaining in regular time – sends this game to golden point. It’s a fitting end to a match which felt more like an Origin encounter than an elimination final.
It’s a huge test for the Eels, who need to win this and pray that some other results go their way to have any chance of playing finals football. They have a big forward pack led by Liam Martin, James Fisher-Harris and Kiikau. They also have a good backline with Junior Paulo, RCG and Penisini all hard runners and strong defensively.
The Panthers have a one-sided record against the Eels but that’s not enough to make them the favourites. The Eels need to play their best football to stand any chance of winning this one. This is another one that could be decided in the first half.
Titans v Tigers
Titans NRLW coach Karyn Murphy is looking for her team to put together a complete performance and this game at the Tigers’ spiritual home ground could be their chance.
The Titans need to start fast and if they can stick with it through the second half they will be too good for the injury-ravaged Wests Tigers, who are bottom of the table with one win from their past six games.
John Bateman and Api Koroisau are both set to return for the Tigers, but young fullback Jahream Bula will be a big risk to take on the Titans after his two-try effort against the Dragons. Shawn Blore starts at lock, with Fonua Pole shifting to the bench and Alex Seyfarth out of action. AJ Brimson will start at fullback, with Jeremy Smith on the bench in a boost for the Titans’ backline, while Sam Verrills will replace David Fifita. The home side are slight favourites.
Bulldogs v Sea Eagles
Two of the best teams in the NRL will go head-to-head this weekend in Sydney. Both sides are on the verge of a top four finish and this game could be a real thriller.
The Bulldogs were thrashed by Canterbury in Round 1 but have regrouped since and will be out to end their season on a high. Manly, meanwhile, have only been beaten twice this year and look to have recovered from a disastrous start to 2022.
Both teams have key players returning this week so expect a good contest. The home advantage should give the Sea Eagles the edge though and if they can improve on their defensive performances this week, they’ll take the win.