The 2019 NRL season has been packed full of action so far and we are only at Round 3! This weekend's action get's underway on Thursday night with the Broncos taking on the Dragons and continues on Friday with a big double header leading into the weekend. See our preview and tips for every game in Round 3 here!
Round 3 begins at Suncorp Stadium with the 1-1 Broncos taking on the desperate 0-2 Dragons. Brisbane is coming off a comfortable 29-10 win over the Cowboys at this venue and will be confident on their home deck again. St. George will need to improve defensively after two poor showings in the early rounds. But they will have a 48-18 finals victory in 2018 at this venue in their minds. However, at this stage the Dragons have a few key players missing in the forward pack and this is their 2nd trip to QLD in 3 games. So the Broncos should win this again at home but the line is fairly risky at 8 points.
With both the Raiders and Knights sitting 1-1 on the season, this is an interesting clash at GIO Stadium. Canberra was outclassed by Melbourne in their first home game of the season but should enjoy a better chance against the Knights. Both of Newcastle games have been close thus far as they've beaten the Sharks and just lost to the Panthers. The trend between these sides in Canberra has been high scoring battles with the Over going 6-3 since 2010. Last season, the Knights beat the Raiders 30-28 here in mid-March so I can see a similar type of game.
A huge test awaits the 2-0 Eels as they face the Roosters at ANZ Stadium on Friday night. Parramatta is looking a better side compared to last year but they can't afford to start slowing in Round 3. They were down 10-0 against the Bulldogs last week but roared back with a 36-6 turnaround. Sydney welcome back Cronk and Friend in Round 3 and this should improve their attack even more. In the last 2 meetings, the trend has been beltings for the Eels as they're lost 44-10 and 48-10. On this occasion, Parramatta should be able to score a few more points and that should see a high scoring affair at ANZ.
Saturday afternoon football will be emotional at Christchurch Stadium as the Warriors take on the Sea Eagles. The Warriors will try and use the emotion after they were handled by the Tigers last week, 34-6. So hopefully they can return to the side that beat the Bulldogs 40-6 in Round 1. Manly have faced the Roosters and Tigers in back to back weeks and now sit 0-2. But the return of Tommy Turbo should improve their attack (12 ppg). However, with the Sea Eagles taking this home game across the ditch, it just favours the Warriors - especially this week. They beat them 34-14 here last year and I'll back them to win this.
Super Saturday heads to Townsville as the 1-1 Cowboys face the 1-1 Sharks. North QLD is looking to rebound after a poor effort at Suncorp and the task will not be easy without Jason Taumalolo. A knee injury sees him out for 6-10 weeks. Cronulla earned their first victory of the season in Round 2 as they accounted for the Titans. It's a big occasion for the Sharks as Paul Gallen breaks the club record for games played. As usual, the Sharks defence has been solid in 2019 with just 10 points allowed per game. So this should be a fairly low scoring affair once again involving the Sharks. Under is 7-3 at this venue when the Sharks travel here and both sides are 2-0 against the Under thus far in 2019.
Carrington Park hosts an intriguing clash between the Storm and Panthers on Saturday night. Melbourne have been clinical with their 2-0 start and show no signs of a losing Premiership hangover. Penrith hasn't been at their 100% best as yet with a 1-1 record and they'll need to be at their very best against Melbourne. The Storm have dominated the head to head with a 12-2 SU record but the Panthers did beat them 22-16 in Melbourne last season. At this venue, Penrith is 3-1 and I think they'll be able to keep this one close or surprise with an upset.
Wests Tigers are sitting pretty on top of the ladder and they'll aim for a 3-0 start as they host the Bulldogs on Sunday afternoon. The Tigers are coming off two dominant victories where they've allowed just 6 points per game. While in attack, they're number 3 in the NRL with 27 points scored. On the other hand, Canterbury has been woefully bad in defence during their 0-2 start. They've given up 38 points per game and rank 15th for points scored. So on form, the Tigers should win this very comfortably.
South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Gold Coast Titans (Sunday, Mar 31 6:10pm AEDT)
Round 3 concludes at ANZ Stadium with the 2-0 Rabbitohs heavily favoured to continue the 0-2 Titans misery. Souths have looked like one of the best teams in the competition after comfortable wins over the Roosters and Dragons. Meanwhile, the Titans have managed to score just 6 total points in their 2 losses thus far. Without Ash Taylor at halfback, it's hard to see their attack improving against Souths this week. That should see the Titans aim up defensively and hopefully keep the Souths attack quiet. The trend has been the Unders with these two sides in night matches as it's 4-2. At this venue last season, games involving Souths went 8-5 as well.
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