Super Saturday begins at ANZ Stadium with the Bulldogs and Titans looking to build chemistry for 2021. Who knows what will happen with the out of form Sea Eagles taking on the struggling Tigers. On Saturday night, we’ll be treated to a Grand Final rematch as the Raiders host the Roosters in Canberra.
Sat, Sep 5 3:00pm
The poor old Bulldogs just can't get off the bottom of the ladder! With a 20-12 lead in Canberra last Sunday, they conceded 22 points in the 2nd half for another disappointing loss. It's basically the story of their 2020 season but they do get another a good opportunity for a win against the inconsistent Titans. In team news, Luke Thompson and Jake Averillo have been recalled to the side for Katoa/Britt.
What a win by the Titans last week! After trailing 10-4 with 6 minutes remaining, the Gold Coast scored the last 2 tries to cap off an amazing win. That should give them confidence going into next season and they'll be aiming for that winning feeling once again on Saturday. There's more good news in team selections with impressive forward Moeiaki Fotuaika returning from suspension. They could also get Jai Arrow back from injury as a late change.
This should be a fairly interesting game despite no relevance in terms of finals. If the Bulldogs can recapture their first-half form of last week, they'll be hard to beat. Especially if the combination between Foran and Faitala-Mariner continues. But the Titans are always in the contest against fellow bottom 8 sides as they showed last week. So with the odds expecting a close finish, we can't disagree and like the chances of a tight margin for the 80 minutes.
Sat, Sep 5 5:30pm
Manly's horror 2020 season continued on Sunday as they comfortably lost to the Storm 30-6. They've now lost 5 games on the trot and their defence just continues to struggle. In those 5 losses, they've conceded an average of 36 points per game. With an attack that's missing the likes of Tom Trbojevic, it's obviously hard for Manly to compete. So they'll need to find a gameplan for the Tigers attack, which can be dangerous. In team news, the injury bug continues with Garrick hurting his shoulder and Thompson is out with an ankle complaint.
The Tigers have obviously struggled in back to back games against the Panthers and Roosters as heavy defeats have ended their 2020 campaign. It looks like Benji Marshall will end his career at another club as well. So it's all about 2021 for the Tigers now and they'll look to end a 2 game losing streak in Manly this weekend. Michael Maguire has made a few structural team changes with Douehi moving to the centres and Mbye to fullback. Talau has been dropped and AJ Kepaoa will come onto the wing. Josh Aloiai is back in the front row and that pushes Eisenhuth to the bench.
It's hard to get excited about the very inconsistent form of either side in this clash so we'll be steering clear of any bets here.
TIP: No Bet
Sat, Sep 5 7:35pm
Canberra have enjoyed an easy run over the last 3 weeks with wins over the Bulldogs, Titans and Broncos. Which probably won't be an ideal preparation for a mouthwatering clash with the Roosters. In saying that, Canberra did beat the Roosters earlier this season so they do seem to match up well together. But Ricky Stuart will be looking for a better first-half performance after they struggled against the Bulldogs last week and he continues to make interesting forward changes before the game. Such as starting Papalii from the bench. He's named to start at prop at this stage but you never know with Ricky! Other changes will see Corey Harawira-Naera come back into the 17 and Tom Starling is back on the bench (could start again though).
Similarly to the Raiders, the Roosters have crushed easy competition over the last few weeks. As we all pretty much expected, they hammered the Broncos 58-12 last week in a 10 try performance. Once again, the Morris brothers enjoyed 3 tries and Sitili Tupouniua scored an early double. After struggling with injuries over the last few months, the Roosters are starting to get their troops back, highlighted by the return of Luke Keary this week. But the huge inclusion is Sonny Bill Williams as he makes his return to the NRL for the first time since 2014. There's also a chance Crichton and Aubusson could be selected after joining the reserves as they return from injury.
Simply can't wait for this clash on Saturday night between two sides that love playing each other at the moment. As mentioned, Canberra produced one of the upsets of the season in mid-July with a 24-20 victory over the Roosters at the SCG. Overall, in the last 5 meetings, the average winning margin is just 3.2 points so we just can't see this Grand Final rematch being a blowout in either direction.
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