Round two preview of NRL matches
South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Parramatta Eels
The Rabbits were on fire last weekend. Sutton was good for them and will again be instrumental in attack. Parramatta on the other hand, despite being up against a tough warriors outfit, were appalling at times. And it is hard to see them coming right anytime soon. Rabbits with home ground advantage will get them.
Rabbits by 10
Brisbane Broncos vs Melbourne Storm
Brisbane lost here at Suncorp in the final minute of the penultimate week of the finals last year. Revenge will be on their minds here. They were good last week against the cowboys and face a Storm side that is rebuilding. Storm are still looking for a stand-off so that Inglis can go back to his preferred position of centre. They are better when he is at centre. Storm struggled last week at home and Brisbane will win here with Lockyer the difference.
Brisbane by 6
St George Dragons vs Gold Coast
St George looked sharp last week, especially in the opening twenty, in their one point loss to the Storm. Their forwards went up the middle of the ruck. Cooper was good, but like Inglis for the Storm, he is better suited to the centres. Look a much tougher proposition mentally under Wayne Bennett. This alone will make them competitive.
St George by 8
Penrith Panthers vs Bulldogs
Whatever you say about the Panthers as a team, they have a star in Michael Jennings. Speed to burn and an elusive runner. Conditions were not great for them against the Sharks, but they were still well off the pace. And, despite home ground advantage, they will struggle here against the major surprise of round one, the Bulldogs. The doggies were awesome last week and even allowing for Manly's problems, they appear far too strong for Penrith. Kimmorley directed them around the park supperbly and expect him to be influential once again.
Bulldogs by 12
North Queensland Cowboys vs Wests Tigers
Despite last years poor form, the cowboys will be nigh on impossible to beat at home this year. One of the best in the game in Thurston and watch for Bowen to run off him. They appear to be a better team this year already with neil henry at the helm.
I said last week that Wests had a small pack and compared to some of the others, they do. However, they have found a couple of giants in Ellis and Daine Laurie. Laurie is a star in waiting. Can't play big minutes yet, but when he was on the field against Canberra, he ripped them open on a couple of occasions.
Cowboys by 15
Canberra vs Sydney Roosters
Canberra were respectable last week and playing at home should get them a win. Campese was superb and broke the line at will. The Roosters were not even remotely in the game against the rabbits. And they have been embroiled in off field incidents since. When will some of these guys learn? Roosters in a mess and Canberrs will put them to the sword.
Canberra by 18
Manly vs Warriors
Manly were not good last week and no one believes it was for any other reason than the off field dramas they have been through. They are without Brett Stewart again and this affects their attack immensely. They will appreciate being at home, but may be some weeks off getting their minds back on the job at hand. Will have to shut down the Warriors ability to off-load in the tackle.
The Warriors were brilliant in the first half last week. Will need to play for eighty minutes though against better opposition. They have lost Mautilino and Hohaia. Hohaia in particular will be a huge loss, coming off the bench. Stacey Jones comes onto the bench in his first match back. The forwards were good last week, going up the middle of the park. More of the same is needed on Sunday. Moon looks promising at stand-off and will get the chance to play outside Jones for the first time.
Warriors by two
Cronulla Sharks vs Newcastle Knights
Cronulla lack attacking talent and creativity, thus making scoring points somewhat difficult. Good defence though and this will get them through in many a tight game this year. Loss of Ben ross will hurt but will still be too good for Newcastle who appear to be relying on Gidley to do it all.
Sharks by 10