With two rounds left, can you remember a better competition? I have dug deep for these last two weeks, so invest my time by beating your bookie to death, just run with it!
COWBOYS v. BRONCOS. Can the under manned Cowboys tame the wild bucking Broncos. If Bowen was not out injured there would have been every chance of this happening at Dairy Farmers, where the Cowboys have a great record but alas no "Mango" no victory. The Broncos have turned the corner big time and had a very solid win against the Dragons at the 'Gong' last round and although there will not be any fancy winning margin, the Broncos courtesy of their very pacey backline should just do enough to get over a Thurston led Cowboys. This is the 'Last Chance Saloon' for the Cowboys and they will roll the dice but unfortunately come up snake eyes!
Ratings.....Broncos by 1.5. For the margins, Broncos 1-12.
EELS v. PANTHERS. Another battle of the wild, wild west. The Electric Eels, have carried all before them over the last six weeks but still have to keep winning to make the 8! The Eels rate better than the Panthers in the backs and off the bench but there is a slight leaning to the Big Black Panther pack. This is the moment of truth for the small Eels pack but if they stand up to the big Panther Six, they will go on to have a comfortable win in this game. The Panthers have a great record at Parra Park and will be up for the game but there overall away record is very, very poor. Not only are the big Eels backs out scoring teams they are monstering them in defence and they have the defence to keep Jennings and co. quieter than most. A comfortable home win to the eels as they march on their way to the 8 and curtains for the mountain men.
Ratings.....Eels by 10.5. For the margins, Eels 1-12 and 13+.
TITANS v. TIGERS. The Tigers started outsiders against the Titans in the last game of 2008 and got the chocolates at Skilled Park but with all their injuries they face an up hill battle to repeat the deeds this round. The Tigers were very brave against the 'Hayne Train' last round but came up short after suffering to many injuries and an out of sorts goal kicking display by Benji. Anyway back to this game and the Titans have a rating advantage all over the park and the Tigers will have to be at their bravest to keep themselves in the game. The Tigers have attacking options with their ball playing forwards and will not lay down but the titans courtesy of their home ground and the professionalism of the Titans spine, 1-6-7-9, they will have enough to get them home in a close one.
Ratings.....Titans by 3.5. For the margins, Titans 1-12.
RABBITS v. DRAGONS. A huge player rating advantage to the out of sorts Dragons over the Redfern Boys and if the Saints are going to be marching in to ANZ in October, this is a game they will have to win comfortably. The Rabbits squad for this game has rated the equal lowest of the season and if they were to trouble the Dragons in this game, alarm bells will be heard as far away as the Gong. The one worry for the Dragons is their lack of try scoring away from home and this game will give them a chance to blow out those cobwebs also. Anyway you look at this game it just points to the Dragons getting the cash against the Bunnies.
Ratings.....Dragons by 12. For the margins, Dragons 1-12 and 13+.
STORM v. ROOSTERS. Nothing in the player ratings for this game and if the Storm were playing anyone but the chooks, their gooses may have been cooked. The Storm has enough game breakers to still get home against the Roosters and by a healthy margin. The Storm will be game in defence and if GI happens to beat the rap, the Roosters may as well stay in Sydney. The Roosters have a very strong pack and if Freddy would start with young Jones, so that him and Junior could play both sides of the ruck, maybe they could score some points but with all the playmaking left up to Junior he is easily marked in defence. Anyway this will be a comfortable win to the Storm because you know that they will play up to their best, even if they are down on personnel. Sadly the same cannot be said for all the players in the Chooks team.
Ratings.....Storm by 12.5. For the margins, Storm 1-12 and 13+.
MANLY v. SHARKS. No surprise that the Manly side has the biggest playing rating advantage of the round over the injury ravaged Sharks. The Sharks have a good record at Brooky and they will be game but with Manly winding up for a tilt at defending their belt in October, there is only one result available in this game, Manly by plenty. Rary the Lyon, certainly put Covell on show last weekend when he was not game to tell Gallen to pull his head in and flicked it onto Covell, who didn't look interested in the task either, who can blame him. But for this matter, should not Stuart show some nuts and name Gallen captain if he is the best man for the job, instead of the subterfuge of naming a lame winger captain. If not Gallen, why not Hughes, who busts his butt every week for the Gummies. Or if they were after a long termer, what is wrong with Luke Douglas, anyway not my problem, I just want to back the winners.
Ratings.....Manly by 16.5. For the margins Manly 13+.
BULLDOGS v. WARRIORS. A clear rating advantage to the new premiership favourites. The Doggies are not only the pick on form but also will play nearly all their remaining games at home at ANZ Stadium, even the GF if they make it, a big, big advantage on GF night. Anyway back to this weekend and the Doggies have a clear player advantage over the Gay Deceivers, who will be without Price and Mannering for the clash. The Warriors threw the ball around last weekend, like they were free wheeling at Mardi Gras and this will be their approach on Sunday but the Doggies will muscle up against the men in black and snap them back to reality.
Ratings.....Bulldogs by 15.5. For the margins, Bulldogs 13+.
RAIDERS v. KNIGHTS. The Raiders were very disappointing against the Gay Deceivers across the ditch last round and meet a desperate Knights who have a healthy player rating advantage over the stalled Green Machine. But Monday Night at home is such a massive advantage and along with the Knights poor record in Canberra, the overall ratings favour the Canberra side. Campese is showing signs of not wanting to run the ball anywhere else but home and he must be a source of frustration to his Coach and his fellow players. Everytime something goes wrong in a game he is pointing the finger at others but it should be him stepping up to the mark and running the ball more to get his outside backs going forward, he demands the ball but does precious little with it. Furner was a no nonsense player and his old man a no nonsense coach, it is about time he took young Campese around the back of the sheds for a little chat!
Ratings.....Raiders by 4.5. For the margins, Raiders 1-12.