Six weeks to go, 11 groups nonetheless in finals competition – there isn’t any crystal ball that we will use to work out precisely which matches could have the very best stakes, however here is a pair from every week which are shaping as much as be huge video games:
Sea Eagles (present ladder place: ninth) vs Roosters (eighth) – Thursday, 7.50pm
Forgetting all the pieces in regards to the jersey controversy that has derailed the rugby league world for the previous two days, the ramifications of this sport are gigantic – every crew at the moment sits on 9 wins and 9 losses, 4 competitors factors adrift of the seventh-placed Eels.
A loss right here would not finish both crew’s season, nevertheless it will get an entire lot more durable.
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Sharks (third) vs Rabbitohs (sixth) – Saturday, 5.30pm
The Rabbitohs have possibly the worst run home of any team, however are but to lose a sport since Latrell Mitchell’s return. A win over Melbourne, regardless of what number of accidents the Storm have, is as uncommon as hen’s tooth for Souths and can give them confidence going right into a brutal final six weeks.
A win right here by a wholesome margin would see them leapfrog Cronulla, who do not face one other crew that is at the moment within the prime eight for the remainder of the season following this conflict.
Roosters (eighth) vs Broncos (4th) – Thursday, 7.50pm
Brisbane’s unimaginable season has catapulted all of them the best way as much as fourth place, however they’re going to need to face a number of extra robust opponents within the remaining few weeks, together with the Roosters. With the Storm, Eels, and Dragons nonetheless to come back for Kevin Walters’ males as nicely, in the event that they do find yourself with that second probability within the finals, they’re going to positively have earned it.
Sea Eagles (ninth) vs Eels (seventh) – Friday, 7.55pm
Each groups face stern checks this coming spherical, and can then lock horns at Brookvale per week later. The Eels’ season has been wildly inconsistent and may they fail to defeat Penrith for the second time this 12 months, there is a world the place a loss right here would put them out of the highest eight with 4 video games to go.
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Panthers (1st) vs Storm (fifth) – Thursday, 7.50pm
There is not a whole lot of intrigue in Penrith’s run dwelling as first place is actually sewn up already, however it might be remiss to not point out them a minimum of as soon as, and so they do have a number of intriguing clashes arising within the subsequent six weeks as they tackle 5 groups that also harbour finals hopes, together with a Storm aspect that appears more and more determined every week.
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Raiders (tenth) vs Dragons (eleventh) – Sunday, 2pm
Relying on how issues shake out over the subsequent fortnight, this fixture is a possible prime eight eliminator. Each are at the moment equal on factors with the eighth-placed Roosters, and the loser of this one can most likely begin planning their Mad Monday.
Broncos (4th) vs Storm (fifth) – Friday, 7.55pm
Like two ships passing within the night time, Brisbane’s fortunes have quickly improved since their defeat to Melbourne in mid-June, whereas the Storm have not received a sport since. Melbourne might be heavily-favoured of their subsequent two matches in opposition to the Warriors and Titans, however then end with 4 robust clashes – together with this one which might be a battle for fourth.
Sea Eagles (ninth) vs Sharks (third) – Saturday, 5.30pm
You would virtually put Manly on this record each week, however this Saturday afternoon fixture in opposition to a Cronulla aspect that’s nonetheless hoping to complete within the prime 4 goes to have loads using on it.
Broncos (4th) vs Eels (seventh) – Thursday, 7.50pm
A re-match of final week’s demolition job, Brisbane will welcome the Eels as much as Lang Park for the return fixture, with the Eels determined for revenge.
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Rabbitohs (sixth) vs Cowboys (2nd) – Saturday, 7.35pm
North Queensland have a little bit of respiratory room within the prime 4 because it stands – following their controversial win over the Tigers – nevertheless it might be a barely completely different image by the point they play each of final 12 months’s grand finalists within the remaining two rounds.
Eels (seventh) vs Storm (fifth) – Thursday, 7.50pm
Parramatta’s horror run to finish the season concludes with a Thursday night time sport in opposition to Melbourne – and the best way each of those groups are travelling for the time being, there is a world the place one, or each, might be preventing for his or her prime eight lives.
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Roosters (eighth) vs Rabbitohs (sixth) – Friday, 7.55pm
No matter what’s on the road, the primary sport on the new Sydney Soccer Stadium might be completely field workplace, as matches between the Roosters and Rabbitohs usually are. However this 12 months, there might be prime eight or prime 4 implications on the road, relying on how the previous 5 weeks go.
Regardless, there will be fireworks.
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