2019 NRL season: Spherical 6 preview

Spherical 6 is within the books. Right here is the complete preview of every match-up that takes place. Are you able to consider it? A fifth of the season has already handed and, whereas the Sydney Roosters are nonetheless up there among the many premiership contenders, it's the Melbourne Storm who're setting the tempo, being the one undefeated aspect after 5 rounds. This units the scene for what guarantees to be a blockbuster of a grand remaining rematch at AAMI Park on Friday night time. This may even double because the return to the AFL capital for ex-Storm halfback Cooper Cronk, who helped his Chooks to glory at ANZ Stadium final September. It is going to be the second match of an enormous Good Friday doubleheader, with the sooner match seeing the Bulldogs host the Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium. In different choose matches, the Cowboys will try to rediscover their kind once they cross the ditch to face the Warriors, whereas the Dragons will look to make it 4 in a row in opposition to the Sea Eagles in Wollongong. Extra League As Clint Gutherson's future hangs within the steadiness, there is a silver lining for Parramatta NRL Spherical 6: The 2 groups in determined want of a win Cronulla Sharks vs Penrith Panthers: NRL Thursday night time forecast Dragons re-sign coach McGregor till 2021 Sport of Codes, Episode 2: Hearken to the second instalment of The Roar's new podcast League The spherical concludes with the Parramatta Eels returning to their religious house after two years on the street, with a model new thrilling stadium awaiting them and their followers once they tackle the Wests Tigers within the annual Easter Monday showdown. Right here is your preview to Spherical 6. Sharks vs Panthers Spherical 6 kicks off on Thursday night time with a conflict between two sides coming off disappointing defeats. Regardless of having the help of the house crowd final Saturday night time, the Sharks proved to be no match for the Roosters, failing to attain some extent for over a half and solely getting began when the harm had already been completed. What didn’t assist was the absence of each co-captains in Paul Gallen and Wade Graham, in addition to fullback Matt Moylan, attributable to accidents. None of that journey are sure to return in opposition to the Panthers, who're smarting from being the primary group to be overwhelmed by the Gold Coast Titans this season. Ivan Cleary’s males had led 24-18 and have been on observe to report consecutive victories for the primary time in 2019, solely to concede two late tries and crash to their third loss in 5 video games – leaving questions on their premiership credentials. Historical past is in opposition to the mountain males, who've misplaced 11 of their final 13 matches in opposition to the lads from the Shire courting again to 2011, together with final September’s season-ending 21-10 loss at Allianz Stadium. At house, the Sharks ought to bounce again. Prediction: Sharks by ten factors. Bulldogs vs Rabbitohs The primary match of the Good Friday doubleheader will see the Bulldogs try to bounce again from a poor exhibiting in opposition to the Dragons once they host the Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium. Returning to Kogarah Oval, the scene of their 38-Zero triumph final August, it was almost the precise reverse because the Canines didn't counter a robust Dragons aspect, trailing 18-Zero at half-time and at one stage being down 34-Zero earlier than Reimis Smith pegged again a late attempt to keep away from an much more embarrassing scoreline. The return house to ANZ Stadium after three consecutive matches on the street is likely to be what they want once they face the Rabbitohs. Led by 4 tries by Cody Walker, Wayne Bennett’s males got here from behind to beat the New Zealand Warriors 24-20 and show themselves as real premiership contenders this season. Cody Walker of the Rabbitohs. (AAP Picture/Daniel Munoz) This was preceded by the information that fullback and captain Greg Inglis would retire with speedy impact, believing the time is true. Whereas they'll begin favourites in opposition to the Bulldogs on Friday, they won't need to underestimate an opposition eager to bounce again from such a heavy defeat and show the doubters improper. Nonetheless, I can't see the Bunnies being overwhelmed right here. Prediction: Rabbitohs by 18 factors. Storm vs Roosters The second match of the Good Friday doubleheader brings the Storm and Roosters collectively for the primary time since final 12 months’s grand remaining, which was received by the Chooks 21-6. The Storm might be out to avenge that defeat, which was clearly their worst efficiency of the 12 months. Their probabilities might be boosted by having house floor benefit in opposition to the Roosters for the primary time since 2016. After 5 rounds, Craig Bellamy’s males stay the one unbeaten group, profitable their first 5 matches to show that there's certainly life after Billy Slater. Final week they survived an almighty scare from the North Queensland Cowboys, rising with an 18-12 win in Townsville. Whereas the Storm could also be unbeaten, it’s the Roosters who proceed to set the usual, as evident of their win over the Sharks final Saturday night time. They led by 12-Zero after a primary half which ended with a wonderfully executed kick from Luke Keary to arrange a 60-metre attempt on the run for Latrell Mitchell, who's strongly favoured to retain his Blues guernsey for the upcoming State of Origin sequence. Luke Keary has been elegant to date. (Photograph by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Photos) Trent Robinson’s males then claimed a 30-Zero lead on the hour mark earlier than permitting the Sharks to attain 16 factors and make the rating look extra respectable. Nonetheless, I don’t suppose he would’ve been too completely satisfied about that and the same lapse might be closely punished by the Storm, who will begin favourites on their house turf this Friday night time. Prediction: Storm by 12 factors. Warriors vs Cowboys The primary of two matches on Saturday night time sees the Cowboys go away Queensland for the primary time this season, crossing the ditch to face the New Zealand Warriors. Life after Johnathan Thurston appeared to get off to a superb begin once they defeated the Dragons by 24-12 within the opening spherical. Sadly, they've since misplaced one other JT in Jason Taumalolo in addition to Nene Macdonald to damage. (Photograph by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Photos) They've additionally misplaced their final 4 matches, the worst of them a 42-16 spanking by the Cronulla Sharks at house. It won't get any simpler once they face the New Zealand Warriors, who're two from two at Mt Sensible Stadium to date. That mentioned, each of the Warriors’ wins got here in opposition to doubtless strugglers within the Bulldogs and Titans they usually have in any other case been poor in opposition to high quality groups, dropping to the Tigers, Sea Eagles and Rabbitohs – who're all within the eight. They did lead the Bunnies 24-12 within the second half earlier than coughing up 16 factors within the remaining quarter to go down 28-24. Again at house this Saturday night time, they won't need to take the wounded Cowboys evenly in what might be their solely assembly this season. Prediction: Warriors by ten factors. Dragons vs Sea Eagles The second match on Saturday night time sees two in-form groups come collectively when the Dragons play host to the Sea Eagles in Wollongong. After dropping their opening two matches, the Dragons have clicked into gear in latest weeks, the boot of Corey Norman getting them house in opposition to the Broncos and Knights earlier than they produced simply their greatest efficiency since spherical one final 12 months, thrashing the Bulldogs 40-Four at Kogarah Oval. Halfback Ben Hunt performed simply his greatest recreation for the membership, organising a number of tries and scoring two of his personal to stake his declare for the Maroons’ quantity seven guernsey forward of Origin. The outcome went a good distance in direction of erasing the demons of final August’s 38-Zero humiliation on the identical venue, after which their very own followers jeered them off the sector and police needed to intervene. The recruitment of Norman, who kicked the match-winning area targets in opposition to the Broncos and the Knights on the street, has come at a superb time for the Dragons, whose captain Gareth Widdop isn’t due again till mid-August on the earliest attributable to a shoulder damage. It has allowed coach Paul McGregor to lastly choose a backbone which got here underneath heavy criticism within the opening fortnight of the season. Corey Norman and the Dragons have come good. (Photograph by Mark Kolbe/Getty Photos) Just like the Dragons, the Sea Eagles additionally misplaced their first two matches of the season, however subsequent wins over the Warriors, Rabbitohs and Knights have catapulted them into the eight. The win over the Knights on the street, in what was captain Daly Cherry-Evans’ 200th NRL recreation, was made all of the extra spectacular given they have been with out backman Tom Trbojevic attributable to a hamstring damage which is able to hold him sidelined for not less than a month. It is usually proof the Sea Eagles are beginning to observe nicely underneath Des Hasler who, in his first stint on the membership, delivered premierships in 2008 and 2011. They are going to face a far sterner take a look at of their credentials once they face the Dragons in Wollongong, the place they haven't received since 2003. At house, the Dragons ought to proceed on their purple sizzling kind and proceed their surge up the ladder. Prediction: Dragons by 18 factors. Titans vs Knights Crunch time arrives for the Gold Coast Titans and Newcastle Knights this Sunday, with each groups on only one win to date for the season. Final Friday night time, the Titans opened their 2019 account with a stirring come-from-behind win over the Panthers, which lifted them off the underside of the desk after a tough opening 4 rounds, which included spending three consecutive weeks on the street. Titans coach Garth Brennan. (AAP Picture/Michael Chambers) Garth Brennan’s aspect will once more benefit from the comforts of house for one more week once they host the Knights who, regardless of being touted as potential improvers this season, have misplaced their final 4 matches after beating the Sharks in Spherical 1. Three of these losses have been at house, together with by one level to the Dragons and final week’s inept show in opposition to the Sea Eagles, by which they trailed 18-Zero after 20 minutes and by no means obtained again into the match. Maybe getting away from the Metal Metropolis is what they want as they try to revive their season. If they're to take action they’ll want the likes of Kalyn Ponga and Mitchell Pearce firing on all cylinders. Prediction: Knights by 4 factors. Raiders vs Broncos After 4 losses of their first 5 matches, the very last thing Brisbane would need is what’s beginning to turn into the NRL’s hardest street journey – going through the Raiders within the nation’s capital. Anthony Seibold’s powerful teaching initiation at Pink Hill continued when his aspect crashed to a 22-16 defeat in opposition to the Tigers at house final Thursday night time, with poor determination making underneath stress from maligned halves Anthony Milford and Kodi Nikorima once more proving deadly. Prop Tevita Pangai Jr should wait one other week to make his comeback, with this being the final of a two-match suspension he should serve for flooring the Roosters’ Cooper Cronk in Spherical Four. Against this, the Raiders have loved their greatest begin to a season for 15 years, being Four-1 after 5 rounds and their defence being the very best it has been for almost three many years. Ricky Stuart’s aspect recorded the second shutout of the season once they defeated the Eels 19-Zero and, even after the match, he was throwing warning to the wind, saying that the Broncos would come to Canberra on a mission after their dismal begin to the season. They’ll additionally need to guarantee historical past doesn't repeat – the final time they began a season so impressively, they'd solely win 5 extra matches to complete second-last with 9 wins and a factors differential of -141. The Raiders might be eager to maintain their sizzling begin going. (AAP Picture/Rohan Thomson) Their match in opposition to the Broncos will mark a decade since they recorded a 56-Zero win at Canberra Stadium, which stays the Broncos’ worst ever defeat. At house, the present crop of Raiders will begin favourites to increase their spectacular begin to the season, and that of Brisbane’s woes. Prediction: Raiders by 20 factors. Eels vs Tigers Easter Monday will see a homecoming for the Parramatta Eels who, after two years of taking part in at ANZ Stadium, will return house to the model new BankWest Stadium. Throughout their time away from house, the Eels managed to complete fourth in 2017, however would crash out of the finals in straight units earlier than plummeting all the way down to the underside of the ladder final season. Whereas the ending touches to the brand new stadium have been being utilized, they’ve needed to play their first 5 matches away from house, throughout which they received three and misplaced two, the losses being in opposition to the Roosters and Raiders. Within the latter match, the place they have been stored scoreless, winger Blake Ferguson copped two separate accidents to his nostril, which was partially dislocated, as nicely to his ribs, which is all however sure to see him sidelined for a while. Then again, Wests Tigers rebounded from two defeats to the Bulldogs and Panthers to upset the Broncos in Brisbane, with Michael Chee Kam scoring the match-winning attempt on the dying.
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The response from coach Michael Maguire was one for the books, as he exacted some revenge on Anthony Seibold – the person who changed him as Rabbitohs boss on the finish of the 2017 season. Whereas the Eels count on to play most (if not all) of their house video games at BankWest Stadium going ahead, the Tigers will use the bottom intermittently within the years to come back, together with whereas ANZ Stadium undergoes a refurbishment between 2019-21. Meaning the Tigers may even host the return fixture at BankWest Stadium in Spherical 17, whereas they may even play the Rabbitohs and Raiders on the venue later this season. So, will it's a case of house candy house for Parramatta, or will the Tigers crash the occasion? Prediction: Eels by two factors.