The Bulldogs will aim for another upset as they tackle the Panthers to kick off Super Saturday. In a preview of next week’s elimination final, the Sharks host the Raiders. At Bankwest, the Eels will look to continue the Tigers woes with plenty of points expected.
Sat, Sep 26 3:00pm
A 7 game losing streak is over for the Bulldogs after a huge upset over South Sydney last week in the 26-16 result. In even better news, the Dogs are off the bottom of the table and could give the resting Panthers a run for their money. The key in last week's victory was an impressive 92% completion rate along with just 4 errors. So that kind of consistency will be needed against Penrith. In a rare sight, the Bulldogs are unchanged in team news.
With the Panthers locking up the minor premiership with a 32-12 victory over North Queensland, this clash is all about getting through the 80 minutes with no injuries. As such, they have opted to rest Edwards, Kikau and Crichton. So we'll get to see the exciting Charlie Staines at fullback. Meanwhile, Tamou and Koroisau are back in the front row / hooker positions.
We're interested in a Bulldogs upset with nothing to gain for the Panthers but the Under does look more enticing. The last meeting saw just 24 total points and the total has not reached 45.5 points in all of the last 5 meetings. The Panthers are the best defensive team in the NRL and we can't see them conceding too many points here.
Sat, Sep 26 5:30pm
The Sharks and Raiders will provide a finals preview a week early as the two sides will meet in week 1 of the finals. For Cronulla, they'll look to bounce back after a 34-18 defeat against the Roosters. But the major storyline was an awful ankle injury for Shaun Johnson that will rule him out for the season. As a result, the talented Connor Tracey will play halfback and the versatile Wade Graham will lineup at 5/8th.
Canberra have locked up 5th spot and judging by their team lineup, they won't be taking this game too seriously. At this stage, they've rested Nicoll-Klokstad, Williams, Croker, Bateman, Rapana and Papalii. So their younger brigade will get a chance to prove themselves before the finals.
The Raiders have shown their intentions by resting their star players. So we can't really see how the Sharks don't win this by a couple of tries.
Sat, Sep 26 7:35pm
Saturday night will end another disappointing season for the Wests Tigers as they miss the finals once again. They're coming off another awful defensive effort as the Storm piled on 9 tries in the 50-22 victory. So we can't see them being too motivated against a finals bound Eels team that wants to get their attack going. There's more bad news on the injury front with Aloiai suffering a serious knee injury. But they will get Luke Brooks back and Alex Twal returns from illness.
For the Eels, Saturday night's performance will likely depend on the Roosters result as Parramatta can finish 3rd if Sydney lose. Regardless, the Eels will be dangerous throughout the 80 minutes against this Tigers team which leaks plenty of points around the park. So the likes of Gutherson / Moses will be the major keys for the Eels. Parra should also be wanting to find some consistency before finals after 2 wins / 2 losses in their last 4 games.
This game has Over written all over it considering the Tigers defensive woes and the Eels can take full advantage. On the flip-side, the Tigers love to throw the ball around and that should see a high scoring clash at Bankwest.
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