With the Preliminary finals fast approaching, we preview each game and give a prediction on who will make it through to the Grand Final on Sunday 30th of September.
Melbourne Storm vs Cronulla Sharks
Friday 21st of September @ AAMI Park 7:40pm
What a game this is going to be! The two grand finalists of 2016 coming head to head once again in a finals series.
The Sharks will take a lot of confidence into this game as they have beaten the Storm twice this season. Most recently in a hard fought victory 17-14 at AAMI Park.
Although the Storm have had the week off and will be ready to beat their short term rivals on Friday night. After a miracle one point win over Souths over a week ago, the Storm will also take confidence into this game with Will Chambers and Nelson Asofa-Solomona coming back into the side after lengthy lay offs.
Although the Sharks have had recent success over against the Storm, I still believe that the week off will provide Melbourne the strength and energy they need to beat the Sharks. In this game, the Sharks will be without Wade Graham and Paul Gallen, two big experienced names that will be sorely missed. It’ll be to much for the Sharks to overcome.
Melbourne by 4
Sydney Roosters vs South Sydney Rabbitohs
Saturday 22nd of September @ Allianz Stadium 7:40pm
Comprehensively the game of the year, two old foes coming head to head in one of the clashes of the last decade. The Roosters and Rabbitohs rivalry is expected to attract a sell out crowd at Allianz Stadium.
The Rabbitohs will take a lot of confidence into this game with a trilling victory over the Dragons last start. Although they will need to be a lot better if they want to beat the Roosters on Saturday night.
Both these teams share the season series 1-1, with the Roosters winning the last game 18-14 at ANZ stadium. The Rabbitohs are unchanged, although the Roosters have moved Mitch Aubusson into the centres replacing Latrell Mitchell.
This game will definitely big a battle of the middle which the Rabbitohs should win but they’re coming off two straight hard fought wins. The Roosters will be rested but don’t have prop Dylan Napa or centre Latrell Mitchell, two big names that would make an massive impact if they played.
In this game, I expect a back and fourth contest with game to be decided in the last 10 minutes. Even though Souths have played two straight games, I expect them to come away with the win here behind an Adam Reynolds clutch field goal.
The loss of Dylan Napa through the middle is a big loss for the Roosters as they will struggle to contain the Burgess boys. Latrell Mitchell’s absence also limits the Roosters strike power. Damien Cook will have blinder and Sam Burgess will be back to his best with Souths to show no signs of fatigue.
Souths by 1