The New Zealand side find themselves with a rare Friday night match, up against a Panthers outfit on cloud nine after defeating the in-form Sea Eagles. The Warriors are boosted by the return of hooker Isaac Luke & centre Solomone Kata while backrower James Fisher-Harris returns for Penrith via the bench.
The Panthers have won 4 of the last 5 against the Warriors, however all those victories came at home. Meanwhile, the Warriors have won 5 of their last 6 home matches and go in as favourites with the players well rested after their bye.
Both sides capable of scoring plenty and I’m backing Over 39.5 @ 1.91
Raiders v Dragons
The Raiders are in a terrible form slump having dropped their last 4 matches. The news doesn’t get any better as they’ve lost their last 4 clashes against St George-Illawarra.
However, the Dragons could be missing Josh Dugan (injury/rested) & Paul Vaughan still remains in some doubt with his calf issue. The Raiders are boosted with the sorely missed Josh Hodgson returning at hooker which pushes Baptiste to the bench.
I think Hodgson will make the difference here with the Dragons also on the way down, I’m tipping Raiders -6 @ 1.93
Knights v Broncos
The poor old Knights should’ve won 2 of their last 3 but can’t take a trick at the moment, throwing away the match against the Bulldogs in the dying minutes. The Broncos are coming off a rest & have a very dominant record against the Newcastle side.
The Broncos look to be missing origin duo Gillett & McGuire, with Oates, Mead & Ese’ese still sidelined. Anthony Milford could make his return from injury. The Knights will get back origin MOTS Dane Gagai for this week.
With so many players missing, the Broncos look a shadow of themselves – however their back up options are quite solid. I like the Broncos 1-12 @ 3.10
Titans v Sharks
A host of origin stars return for both sides after Wednesday’s origin decider. While the Titans won the latest clash between the teams in April, the Sharks haven’t lost an away match this year and start as deservedly as 1.60 favourites.
James Segeyaro finds himself named in the preliminary 21 as he makes his way back from injury. The Titans have won their last 2 but those have been against average opposition in the Dragons and Tigers
The Sharks will be too good this weekend and the start seems more than generous. Sharks -4 @ 1.93
Sea Eagles v Tigers
Just when you think the Sea Eagles are a top class side, they produce one of the more awful performances last weekend against the Panthers. The Tigers come off a bye and a last start thrashing of the Knights.
The return of Tedesco & Lawrence gives the Tigers a huge boost. Manly have been unpredictable this season and this match is a hard one to pick.
I think the Tigers can keep it relatively close at worst with Manly struggling to put sides away in the last few months. Tigers +15.5 @ 1.93
Rabbitohs v Cowboys
The Rabbitohs only have one change with Robert Jennings replacing Braidon Burns. The Cowboys welcome back their origin stars.
The Rabbitohs are fighting to stay relevant while the Cowboys have been trotting along nicely after chief playmaker Johnathon Thurston was ruled out for the year. However, the Rabbitohs have shown signs of brilliant in the last few weeks and this looms as a danger game for the boys from Townsville.