Super Saturday in the NRL will see all 3 games played at neutral venues as the Warriors “host” the Raiders on the Gold Coast to kick things off. Then, we’ll have a few rivalry matchups between the Roosters and Sea Eagles at Leichhardt and the Storm/Sharks from Jubilee Stadium.
Saturday, March 21 3:00pm
Super Saturday begins on the Gold Coast with a very interesting clash between the Warriors and Raiders. Not only are the Warriors reeling after a 20-0 loss in Round 1 but now, they can’t even travel back to New Zealand due to the virus. But on the flip-side, it could help them bond together and take down the Raiders. They do enjoy playing on the Gold Coast against the Titans as they’ve won 8 of their last 9 at the venue. While the Raiders are a much different outfit, there’s some hope of an upset on Saturday. They will miss Herbert and Hiku as they’ve returned to NZ for family reasons which will see them pretty inexperienced in the centres/wing position.
The Raiders kicked off their 2020 campaign with another impressive defensive outing as they beat the Titans 24-6. Jack Wighton took advantage of some soft defence with a first-half double and will be dangerous in this clash as the Warriors put out a reshuffled backline. They also didn’t concede a first-half point, continuing their great defensive record of last season. It’s a big game for Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad as he takes on his former side and his battle with RTS will be an interesting storyline.
Considering the Raiders conceded just 6 points in Round 1 and the Warriors were shutout by the Knights, this has the feeling of a low scoring clash. The Raiders pride themselves on defence and NZ will likely struggle to put them under much pressure throughout the 80 minutes. Canberra also holds an 8-0 record against the Under.
Saturday, March 21 5:30pm
The Roosters and Sea Eagles meet at Leichhardt Oval this Saturday as they both look to rebound from first-round defeats. Sydney was rundown by the Panthers in Penrith after leading at half-time. So missing the on-field leadership of Cooper Cronk and Cordner looks like being a tough challenge for the defending champs. The good news though will see Angus Crichton back in the lineup and he’ll slot into the forward pack. Despite last week’s loss, they have won 3 on the trot against Manly so the Sydneysiders won’t be panicking just yet.
The Sea Eagles held with the Storm for around 60 minutes last week but ultimately, they just made too many errors in the 18-4 defeat. So after a try-less effort, Manly will be working hard at their attack on the training track this week. The positive for Des Hasler will be the fact they’ll be unchanged for this game and he’ll have them ready for the challenge. In an interesting fact, only 2 of Manly’s current 17 has won an NRL game at Leichhardt (Martin Taupau and Curtis Sironen)
The fact that the Roosters were run-down in the second half last week has us believing that the Sea Eagles forward pack can lead them to victory. They have two of the best props in the game at the moment and if they can control field position, DCE and Tom Trbojevic will be dangerous. The Sea Eagles also have a good Saturday ATS record as they’ve covered in 11 of the last 12. So we’re keen on the underdogs here.
Saturday, March 21 7:35pm
The Sharks begin life away from Shark Park in Round 2 as they take on the Storm at Jubilee Stadium. The venue hasn’t been kind to them either as they’ve lost 7 of their last 9. They’ll be coming off an inconsistent display against the Rabbitohs as well. They started slowly with just 2 points after 30 minutes. However, they did come alive in the second half to make things interesting in the 22-18 loss. The good sign was their forward pack dominated Souths but the team was let down by 14 errors. So they’ll need to clean that up if they’re after an upset over the Storm.
Melbourne continued their amazing Round 1 winning streak with an 18-4 victory over the Sea Eagles at Brookvale Oval. Bellamy will be happy with their defence after keeping the home side try-less. But similarly to last season, their attack is just struggling at the moment. After 60 minutes, they were down 4-2 before 3 late tries sealed the deal. The status of Dale Finucane will be one to watch in the lead-up after he suffered a few head knocks in the win.
Melbourne and Cronulla enjoy a fierce rivalry mainly since the 2016 Grand Final with a number of close finishes. So we like the chances of either team winning this by under 10.5 points. The Sharks showed good signs in the second half against the Rabbitohs which they can use as momentum against Melbourne. Meanwhile, you can always count the Storm’s defence to keep them in the contest but there are concerns about their points scoring ability at the moment.
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