Paul runs his eye over the two semi finals coming up this weekend, providing his insight and tips on who's set to advance to Week 3.
Twitter: Follow @LeagueUnlimited
TEAMLISTS: Week 2 Finals
Friday night from Allianz Stadium and a chance to progress in this year’s title race. The resurgent, resilient and very fortunate Cronulla Sharks travel to the home of Sydney Rugby League to face what will be a very angry Manly squad. They failed to trouble the scorers last week against the chooks and if they think things might open up this week, they'll be in for a rude shock. The sharks will likely be without Todd Carney and this will see them surge even further towards the grind.
Get ready for a dour 80 minutes; this will go down to the wire. The Sharks will play bash-up footy and will try to win this with sheer aggression. Their forward pack is built for such times and with the loss of Todd Carney, will rely even more than usual on their big men. Manly will counter act this with their own version of toughness, but eventually will have more class out wide. DCE and Kieran Foran step up and the Eagles win behind their halves and skipper Jamie Lyon. A ripper.
My tip: Manly 18-12
Semi Final 2 comes to you from AAMI Park in Melbourne as the Knights travel south to face the Storm. If you thought the Roosters v Manly match in week 1 was a defensive battle, there may not even be a line break to speak of in this one. Newcastle suffocated the Bulldogs out of existence last week and whilst the Storm may offer more in attack to test the visitors this week, the Knights are proud of their identity and will stick strong.
If the Premiership winning combinations forged by Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater are to crack this Knights defence, they'll need some help from Gareth Widdop. Melbourne struggled to finish in the red zone last week and they'll be tested in this area again with Widdop still working on his cohesion with the storm three quarter line. Craig Bellamy will ensure they have it all worked out this week, especially against his old mentor in Wayne Bennett. A beauty.
My tip: Melbourne 13-6