Brisbane Broncos vs. Penrith Panthers

Suncorp Stadium, 7:50pm, Thursday April 15

Team News: Anthony Milford and Tesi Niu have been dropped, with Brodie Croft starting at six and Jesse Arthars coming into the centres. Pat Carrigan's return from suspension moves Tevita Pangai Jnr to the second-row and Jordan Riki to the bench. Ben Te'o has a bicep injury, and is replaced by Ethan Bullemor on the pine.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 19: Anthony Milford of the Broncos looks dejected during the round two NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Brisbane Broncos at Cbus Super Stadium on March 19, 2021, in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

Penrith are again unchanged, with Api Koroisau and Dylan Edwards a fortnight away.

Prediction: Could you find teams that are more polar opposites than each other? The 2020 minor premiers against the 2020 wooden spooners - this game could get well and truly ugly. Kevin Walters has pulled the trigger, but has he made the right call? Tesi Niu certainly isn't their biggest issue, and he praised Milford before dropping him. Penrith on the other hand, despite copping some bad press for arrogance, are a team on fire. Untouchable.

There's only one way this game goes. The Panthers have the best halves combination in the competition and the next man up mentality is working a charm. Matt Burton at centre, Mitch Kenny at hooker, they haven't missed a beat. Their left edge attack will terrorise Brisbane, the likes of Jarome Luai and Viliame Kikau will have a field day. It's going to be another bleak night at Suncorp Stadium. Panthers by 38.

Newcastle Knights vs. Cronulla Sharks

McDonald Jones Stadium, 6:00pm, Friday April 16

Team News: Kurt Mann has passed concussion protocols, starting at five-eighth, shifting Connor Watson to lock with Chris Randall out injured. Bradman Best replaces Gehamat Shibasaki in the centres, while Brayden Musgrove debuts on the wing in place of Starford To'a. Jacob Saifiti replaces Pasami Saulo on the bench.

Wade Graham is out following another concussion, replaced by the returning Briton Nikora. Josh Dugan will also miss the match, promoting Connor Tracey to the centres and Siosifa Talakai finally returning via the interchange.

Prediction: If John Morris hadn't been sacked before this game, I would've tipped Cronulla. Similarly to Paul McGregor last year, who coached one more game after being told he was sacked, the players can turn it on for their coach. But with Josh Hannay taking over effective immediately, there'll be some wind out of their sails. Enter a recently trounced Newcastle.

They were nothing short of shocking against the Titans, but back at home, they'll be disappointed about dropping three straight, especially two of them at home. Kurt Mann, Bradman Best and Jacob Saifiti are all massive boosts, and will certainly be required on Friday night. Kalyn Ponga is also sitting on five straight home wins, there's a local product on debut in Brayden Musgrove, Wade Graham is out, all signs point to a gritty, Knights victory. Knights by 8.

Melbourne Storm vs. Sydney Roosters

AAMI Park, 7:55pm, Friday April 16

Team News: Melbourne have named the same 17 that dismantled the Bulldogs.

Freddy Lussick misses the match with an arm injury, handing Ben Marschke his first start in the NRL. Adam Keighran and Lindsay Collins return from injury on the bench, with Fletcher Baker dropping to the reserves.

Prediction: The two most dominant sides of recent years, you have to stretch back to 2015 to find the last Grand Final that didn't feature one of these teams. Bar Dale Finucane, Melbourne are practically full strength, unlike the ravaged Roosters, missing a host of superstars and tipping the scales in the Storm's favour.

Ryan Papenhuyzen has scored 46 points in two games. Two games. He's outscored both of Melbourne's last two opponents, and is quickly making a name as one of the league's best support players. The Roosters still have James Tedesco, a handy set of twins and a youngster named Sam Walker, who has shone in his first two games. But no one exploits weakness like Craig Bellamy, his big men, mainly Felise Kaufusi, will be running traffic at him all game. The Chooks will be competitive in this one, but facing their first truly quality side since Luke Keary's ACL tear, they'll be exposed. Storm by 14.

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles vs. Gold Coast Titans

Glen Willow Park, 3:00pm, Saturday April 17

Team News: Finally, Tom Trbojevic is back from injury, and returns at fullback in lieu of the injured Dylan Walker. Cade Cust returns from illness on the bench in place of Tevita Funa, while Jack Gosiewski's foot injury hands Haumole Olakau'atu his first game of the season, starting in the back-row.

The Titans are unchanged.

Prediction: Thank the lord Manly fans, Turbo is back in action. Rumours of him returning in the centres have been dashed, with his hamstring ready to go for their clash in Mudgee this weekend. David Fifita will be licking his lips, with the Sea Eagles conceding a tick over 33 points a game, and having conceded three tries in five games to left edge back-rowers. In fact, Olakau'atu is the sixth different player to start in Manly's back-row this season.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 12: Tom Trbojevic of the Sea Eagles celebrates his team's victory during the round ten NRL match between the Manly Sea Eagles and the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium on May 12, 2018 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

The Titans are running hot and will be brimming with confidence. They're a daytime footy team, and will be happy to throw the footy around at Glen Willow Park. It's the kind of track that AJ Brimson should fire on. They got the win last round against a depleted Warriors side, but it'll be back to square one for Manly as the Gold Coast score another good win. Titans by 16.

South Sydney Rabbitohs vs. Wests Tigers

Stadium Australia, 5:30pm, Saturday April 17

Team News: Cody Walker returns at five-eighth, pushing Benji Marshall to the bench and last week's debutant, Dean Hawkins, out of the team. Liam Knight is on the reserves.

Jacob Liddle has been dropped, handing Jake Simpkin his debut. Joey Leilua misses out following his concussion, giving Asu Kepaoa a reprieve in the centres. Stefano Utoikamanu starts as Zane Musgrove shifts back to the bench.

Prediction: Despite starting raging favourites, it's not the easiest game to tip South Sydney in. The Tigers are a massive bogey side for those in the red and green, and the Tigers will be keen to avenge a Leichardt loss, getting booed off by their own fans at halftime. However, if you look at Wests' right edge defence, and South Sydney's left side attack, this could be a massacre.

Benji Marshall is back on the bench, but will be keen to get on the pitch and face his former club after being forced out. Latrell Mitchell has been one of the best players so far this season, while Cody Walker's return can't be understated. The Tigers came back well last week, but they won't have the same opportunities against a top side like the Rabbitohs. If Wests can control that first 20 minutes and score first, an ambush is on the cards, but the Bunnies should win this game and win it well. Rabbitohs by 26.

Canberra Raiders vs. Parramatta Eels

GIO Stadium, 7:35pm, Saturday April 16

Team News: Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad is out indefinitely with a neck injury, Caleb Aekins makes his Raiders debut at fullback. Curtis Scott has overcome his rib injury, replacing Sebastian Kris in the centres. Ryan James is being rested, with Joseph Tapine returning to the starting side at lock, and Emre Guler playing his first NRL game this season off the bench.

Dylan Brown is suspended, pushing Will Smith into the halves, and Keegan Hipgrave recalled on the bench. Ryan Matterson has been named, with Isaiah Papali'i moving to the bench, and Ray Stone out of the 21.

NRL Rd 5 - Eels v Panthers
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 12: Blake Ferguson and Ryan Matterson of the Eels celebrate Ryan Matterson scoring a try during the round five NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Penrith Panthers at Bankwest Stadium on June 12, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Prediction: Two top six sides missing a player in the spine, this should be one of the best clashes of the round. The Eels haven't scored a try in their past 189 minutes at GIO Stadium, and will need to be at their best to break their ACT hoodoo. The Raider's forward depth is so strong they can rest players like Ryan James, and the likes of Corey Harawira-Naira, Dunamis Lui and Corey Horsburgh still miss out.

The Eels looked flat against the Dragons, while Canberra were simply outdone by a better team last Friday night. This should be a cracker contest, with their only meeting last season being decided by a point. Both teams will be itching to avenge last week's loss, but back at GIO Stadium, the Raiders have a little extra class in the halves while Josh Hodgson outpoints Reed Mahoney, Canberra to squeak home in a thriller. Raiders by 2.

St. George Illawarra Dragons vs. New Zealand Warriors

Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, 2:00pm, Sunday April 18

Team News: The Dragons are unchanged after their win over Parramatta, though recruits Josh McGuire and Billy Burns are in the reserves.

Eli Katoa has been dropped, with Josh Curran coming straight into the back-row. David Fusitu'a is injured, with Peta Hiku returning on the wing. Bunty Afoa's suspension is over, replacing Tom Ale on the bench.

Prediction: Haven't the Dragons been surprise packets so far in 2021? They've won four straight, while the Warriors are hot and cold, and depend heavily on which squad is available to them. Matt Dufty certainly knows how to sniff out a four-pointer at Netstrata Jubilee, and they can only get stronger with Josh McGuire in the reserves.

The Warriors are so unpredictable, and were average against the Sea Eagles last round, they lost that game as much as Manly won it. Don't be surprised if Montoya and Hiku swap positions last minute either. Expect a fast start from New Zealand, but the Dragons have too many points in them, and will runaway with this contest in the final quarter. Dragons by 12.

North Queensland Cowboys vs. Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs

Queensland Country Bank Stadium, 4:05pm, Sunday April 18

Team News: Justin O'Neill is in for speedster Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, who injured an ankle last week. Reuben Cotter also has a foot problem, with Jason Taumalolo returning at lock. Coen Hess moves to prop and Francis Molo to the bench.

Josh Jackson suffered a torn calf at training, with Luke Thompson moving to lock and Chris Smith joining the bench.

Prediction: Hooray for both sides, one finally secured their first win of the season, the other troubled the scoreboard attendant for the first time in four weeks. The Cowboys were electric in that first-half but really fell away in the backend of the contest, they led by 22 at halftime and managed to secure a four point win by the fulltime siren. The Bulldogs were better, which is hard to stay for a side that conceded nine tries.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 31: Jason Taumalolo of the Cowboys is tackled during the round 13 NRL match between the Manly Sea Eagles and the North Queensland Cowboys at Lottoland on May 31, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

There was almost an urge to tip an upset win for the Bulldogs here, but Josh Jackson is a massive out for the club, he's their leader, as well as shifting Luke Thompson to lock. He was strong in his first game of the season last week, but is really better suited to prop. If the Bulldogs' forwards get a good roll on to start, they could trouble the Cowboys middle, especially if Jason Taumalolo does get ruled out again. But provided he plays, North Queensland will have newfound confidence after last round, and will get their first win on home soil for 2021. Cowboys by 10.