The Newsroom previews Round 8 of the NRL.
Brisbane Broncos v South Sydney Rabbitohs
Competition leaders Brisbane will look to continue their momentum tonight at Suncorp Stadium against the Rabbitohs, after they demolished the Newcastle Knights 53-0 last week. The Souths, on the other hand, are desperate for a win after their 44-18 loss at the hands of the North Queensland Cowboys. Broncos five-eighth Anthony Milford will be the player to watch for the Broncos, Milford scored a double against the Knights and currently sits level with Wests Tigers fullback James Tedesco on the NRL leading try scorers with eight. For Souths, the player to watch is Greg Inglis. In recent weeks Inglis has been looking to find his form, and with the bright lights on him tonight, he needs to put in a big one for his team.
North Queensland Cowboys v Parramatta Eels
This is the biggest test for the Eels to date to find out if they belong with playing the top teams in the NRL, when they tackle the Cowboys. The Eels have not made a finals appearance since 2009, and with the way they have recruited this season, they sit third on the competition ladder. The key match up will be Jonathan Thurston and Kieran Foran – it is a rugby league fans dream to see these two play. These players can control a game and decide how fast it should go. Both sides come off big wins and will be looking to continue their charge for a final four finish, on Saturday 7:30pm at 1300 Smiles Stadium.
Cronulla Sharks v Penrith Panthers
The Sharks sit fourth on the ladder, and with the win Penrith produced over the Roosters, it catapulted them into 10th position. It’s expected to be a sell out with both sides providing an exciting rugby league game. Luke Lewis will make his return from suspension for the Sharks, while the Panthers will be missing forward Sam McKendry, after he was found guilty for making contact with a referee. The Sharks will be looking for their fourth consecutive win and Penrith will be looking to win back-to-back games for the first time this season. The key match up will be between the two experienced lock forwards Paul Gallen and Trent Merrin. Gallen and Merrin have incredibly high work rates and provide inspiration for their teams, with both pushing their cases for NSW and Australian selection. The battle is set for Sunday 4pm at Southern Cross Group Stadium.
Sydney Roosters v St George Illawarra Dragons
The Sydney Roosters and the St George Illawarra Dragons will battle in the traditional ANZAC Day clash on Monday afternoon at Allianz Stadium. Tanks, veterans, parachuters, and the last post will feature in the heartfelt ceremony. Roosters second rower Boyd Cordner is expected to make his return from a pectoral injury, while the Dragons snapped their losing streak last week when they defeated the Gold Coast Titans 19-12. The Roosters lost their home game 20-16 to the Panthers last Monday night. The battle of the fullbacks will see NSW fullback Josh Dugan face-off with Roosters youngster Latrell Mitchell. Mitchell is only 18-years-old, and so far has been the shining light for the Roosters, and for the Dragons Josh Dugan has been dominant with his kick returns and defence. – Jesse Mullens
Canterbury Bulldogs v Gold Coast Titans, Saturday 3pm (ANZ Stadium)
Canberra Raiders v Wests Tigers, Saturday 5.30pm (Canberra Stadium)
Newcastle Knights v Manly Sea Eagles, Monday 2pm (Hunter Stadium)
Melbourne Storm v New Zealand Warriors, Monday 7pm (AAMI Park)
Photo of Brisbane Bronco Anthony Milford from the NRL’s official Twitter feed.