STGEORGE ILLAWARRA V BRISBANE Thursday night, WIN Stadium

What a game from a punters perspective – two teams playing dreadfully going head-to-head on a wet Thursday night in Sydney. Will no doubt end up a cracker now. Neither side are in any type of form, I must admit I find it hard to tip Brisbane but I just can’t tip the Dragons!

Brisbane have a few decent players coming back so will be near full strength against a team going through the horrors, the Broncos look the winner of the game but with no confidence. The best way to go investing your hard earned is taking the Dragons with the +11.5 start ($1.92 LuxBet). The ground will be sodden after plenty of rain in the Gong and it will be windy, so not ideal Rugby League conditions. This plays into the arms of those taking the start so let’s roll with that.

First Tryscorer - where we have had plenty of success in recent weeks – lets back that tall lanky thing on the wing for Brisbane (Corey Oates - $7.60 LuxBet) to sluice through the mud and score the first try of the game.
St George +11.5 - 1pt @ 1.92
Oates First TS - 1pt @ 7.60

PARRAMATTA V MANLY Friday night, Pirtek Stadium

Parramatta showed a few signs that the cue might have been put in the rack last week, their tumultuous season both on and off the field has taken its toll and Hayne didn’t mind digging the slipper in this week as well. It has to factor in the effect it has had. They have tried hard, injuries and suspensions really hurt them but they do get back Jennings, Scott and Ma’u so there are some positives.

Manly are on a decent roll although against some of the weaker teams. They were fantastic in the first half last week against the Knights before taking the foot off the throttle. Things are clicking for the often despised men in maroon with their big boys stepping up and DCE finally finding some semblance of form that had the Gold Coast waving the national debt at him to join them a season or so back.

I am tipping Manly to win this and win it easily, they just look the better side. I am going for 13+ ($2.65 William Hill). When Trent Barrett opened the door for Dylan Walker to come back into the side, Dylan didn’t have to knock, grasping the opportunity with both hands (one still sore no doubt), so let’s go with him to be First Try Scorer ($17 Sportsbet).
Manly 13+ - 1pt @ 2.65
Walker First TS - 1pt @ 17.00

NEWCASTLE V CANTERBURY BANKSTOWN Saturday afternoon, Hunter Stadium

The poor old Knights have lost what – thirteen in a row? They square up against a Dogs side who was thumped a few weeks ago and then made a real hash of toppling the Dragons, who can’t score a point but surely they can’t lose this one. Despite being so average last week the Bulldogs just have far too much firepower and the reality is, Hasler’s boys should account for the Knights easily.

The Dogs have to improve here and win 13+ ($1.62 Bet365), I expect them to cover the -16.5 line $1.91 Sportsbet). Added to that, I expect them to win by more than 20, so back them -20.5 ($2.25 LuxBet). The Knights just aren’t good enough.

Sam Perrett ($10 Bet365) has been around a lot of football paddocks, he knows exactly where the try line is and I expect him to be the beneficiary of some expansive early Bulldogs play, so go with him to score the First Try.
Bulldogs 13+ - 1pt @ 1.62
Bulldogs -16.5 - 1pt @ 1.91
Bulldogs -20.5 - 1pt @ 2.25
Perrett First TS - 1pt @ 10.00

CRONULLA V CANBERRA Saturday twilight, Southern Cross Group Stadium

Wasn’t Monday night’s game between the Sharks and Titans a belter? It had everything in the draw, and plenty of noise after the game from coin toss controversy to this and that. It’s all happening.

The Sharks seemed to lose some of their spark on Monday and maybe they have become a victim of their success, piling on win after win. They just seemed to lose some edge there – not their usual top shelf footy. The Sharks bump into a red hot side in Canberra, who unceremoniously smacked the Bunnies on the weekend. Canberra have the advantage of an extra days rest vs the Sharks 5 day turnaround, but a key point is the game is back at Shark Park and they need to show some intent.

I have to stick with the Sharks ($1.48 Palmerbet) though, it will be close, very close. As such I think Cronulla 1-12 ($3.10 Bet365) is the way to go, and we are sticking with Sosaia Feki ($10 Sportsbet) as the chosen one to take away some of that early match glory from Val Holmes as First Try Scorer.

A belter of a game is in store, I cannot wait.
Sharks - 1pt @ 1.48
Sharks 1-12 - 1pt @ 3.10
Feki First TS - 1pt @ 10.00

MELBOURNE V SOUTH SYDNEY Saturday night, AAMI Park

How far? I mean really? By how far the Storm?

This game is simple: Storm conceding the 18.5 start ($1.91 Sportsbet). They just win. Souths are a shot duck this season.

Do I need to say anything else? Yeah I do: Will Chambers ($12 Bet365) to score the first of many Storm tries. This could be a cricket score.
Storm -18.5 - 1pt @ 1.91
Chambers First TS - 1pt @ 12.00

GOLD COAST V NEW ZEALAND Sunday afternoon, Cbus Super Stadium

They call it the ‘Coast with the most’ and after the signing of Jarryd Hayne yesterday, it might well be. From San Fran via Fijian sevens, the Hayne Plane landed at Coolangatta and has found itself a hangar for the next two-and-a-half seasons.

The Gold Coast had a tough, bruising game against the sharks but showed what they could do, matching it with the best. Greg Bird played the best game I have seen him have in Titans colours but I feel the Warriors ($2.55 UNIBET) are up for this game, and an upset is on the cards.

I am not a Warriors man generally but they have a very good record against the Gold Coast, whom might be a little flat after Monday night’s exertions. This more of a hunch, and am looking at the Warriors 1-12 ($4.05 Centrebet), with Solomone Kata ($13 Bet365) the key man to cross the chalk first.
Warriors - 1pt @ 2.55
Warriors 1-12 - 1pt @ 4.05
Kata First TS - 1pt @ 13.00

WESTS TIGERS V NORTH QUEENSLAND Sunday afternoon, Leichhardt Oval

Good game coming up, Sunday arvo footy, suburban ground steeped in tradition, the Tigers supporters will pack the joint and it will be a tough environment for the Cowboys to be immersed in.

Thurston isn’t down to play at this stage but rumours are he might be good to go. The Cowboys were good against the Storm last week without him, Tigers lose Brooks so I am sticking with the Cowboys here but only the 1-12 ($3.30 Bet365) winning margin.

Old mate Gav Cooper – who landed the spoils for us this season – will be sniffing around close to the ruck, expect Morgan or Granville to flick him a sharp pass close to the line, take him to score first try ($14 Sportsbet).
Cowboys 1-12 - 1pt @ 3.30
Cooper First TS - 1pt @ 14.00

PENRITH V SYDNEY ROOSTERS Monday night, Pepper Stadium

The Roosters were better last week but I don’t think they were as good as everyone is saying they were. They looked flat for periods during the match against an outfit going like busteds and they take on a Penrith side with so much more to play for. As such, we cannot go past the Panthers ($1.67 Bet365). In fact, I reckon the Panthers might give them a decent touch up here and am going to have something on 13+ ($3.50 Bet365).

As for First Tryscorer – I am looking to a big bopper whom I rate very highly. He has size, power, athleticism, aggression and has been a revelation at the foot of the mountains this season: Leilani Latu ($31 Bet365). Strong player this bloke.

Good punting!!
Panthers - 1pt @ 1.67
Panthers 13+ - 1pt @ 3.50
Latu First TS - 1pt @ 31.00