It's been the most closely-contested start to an NRL season for some time, with margins of more than 13 points few and far between.

Off the back of some nail-biting spectacles in Round 4, the entire NRL community is eagerly anticipating what Round 5 will toss up.

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Round 5: Tips and SuperCoach Notes

Sydney Roosters vs Parramatta Eels
Thursday 30th March 8:00pm | Allianz Stadium, Sydney

Why the Roosters will win: The Eels have lost Junior Paulo for this match-up, and he's been one of the Eels' best over the first four rounds. Punters are still surprised to see veteran Josh Hodgson as the sole hooker in the Eels' lineup, and in an intense match-up like this, the hooker rotation could be pivotal. This will be a nail-biter, but the Roosters will relish the home-ground advantage.

Why the Eels will win: The Roosters have also lost a key star in Joey Manu, and Parramatta will be riding a high after last week's golden point victory over the defending premiers. While there's not a lot in it, the Eels have the slightly superior bench. With all other factors so evenly matched, that could prove to be the difference.

Fansided tip: Roosters by 4

SuperCoach notes: Dylan Brown had a quieter week last round, but all eyes were on Mitchell Moses after he settled his contract and his future at Parramatta. This could be the game that Brown steps up. J'Maine Hopgood has a breakeven of 43, so he will likely continue to generate cash after setting a new record of the highest price rise in NRLSC history. Those who held Brandon Smith might have made a good decision. Joseph Suaalii will be out to make a statement after the spotlight has shone on him all week with regard to his decision to move to Rugby Union in 2025.

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Canberra Raiders vs Penrith Panthers
Friday 31st March 6:00pm | GIO Stadium, Canberra

Why the Raiders will win: The Panthers will be missing the impact off the bench from Soni Luke as he serves a mandatory 11 day resting after his Grade One HIA fail last week. Ricky Stuart would have been a drill sergeant all week after his side's surprising defeat at the hands of the undermanned Newcastle Knights, and it seems the Raiders put up their best efforts when everyone has written them off. Home ground advantage could be the edge that counts.

Why the Panthers will win: The Raiders will be missing arguably their best player Jack Wighton this week, and this weakens a spine that was already inferior to the Panthers'. Nathan Cleary's clutch play against the Eels would have given him a lot of confidence after some quieter showings in the opening rounds. Tyrone Peachey will be pumped to make his return to Penrith and could be a game-breaker. Having Jordan Rapana or Sebastian Kris in the fullback position will hurt The Raiders.

Fansided tip: Panthers by 13

SuperCoach notes: While many are breaking their teams apart to get Nicho Hynes in, many are forgetting the consistent dominance of Nathan Cleary who is slightly better priced. Zac Hosking was excellent last week but punters will get another free look at him this week and should be careful not to go early on him. Sunia Turuva and Brian To'o produced decent scores last week almost completely comprising of base stats. If they get some attacking stats this week, they could both go big.

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South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Melbourne Storm
Friday 31st March 8:00pm | Accor Stadium, Sydney

Why the Rabbitohs will win: The Rabbitohs produced a stunning one-point win against the high-flying Sea Eagles in Round 4 and the team would have taken a lot of positives out of that, particularly with the step-up performances of Cody Walker and Lachlan Ilias. Jahrome Hughes is missing again this week through suspension. The Storm were hardly at their best despite getting Cameron Munster back, getting the job done against the last-placed Wests Tigers in what would have been a 40+ win in recent seasons. The Bunnies are starting to click, while the Storm are looking for rhythm.

Why the Storm will win: The return of Cameron Munster was of vital significance last week, and his presence seemed to unlock better performances from the Storm back-line. Ever the perfectionist, Craig Bellamy cut a dark, seething figure last week as the team bounced around singing the team song, and it's evident that he will be cooking the Melbourne team at training every day this week. While Jahrome Hughes is a big out, Jonah Pezet has showed just what a talent his is and will not miss a beat this week.

Fansided tip: Rabbitohs by 6

SuperCoach notes: Nick Meaney still has cash to make with a BE of 29 and for those looking for a path to someone like Reuben Garrick, it might be worth holding on for a little longer, even though the Storm's run is not easy. Jonah Pezet is a talent for sure, but he likely makes way quickly when Hughes returns. There are rumours that Souths' winger Izaac Thompson is carrying a foot injury which might explain his mid-range performances this year. He could be on the chopping block. Latrell Mitchell doesn't have a history of big involvement but is the type of player who could break this match-up apart. Don't listen to the antagonists, Cameron Murray is a hold, always.

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Manly Sea Eagles vs Newcastle Knights
Saturday 1st April 3:00pm | Glen Willow Oval, Mudgee

Why the Sea Eagles will win: Hurting from a one-point loss to Souths last week, Manly are still in good form and will be fired up to put on a lot of points on a dry track in Mudgee. Kalyn Ponga is still missing. The combination between Tom Trbojevic and Reuben Garrick is damaging, while Haumole Olakau'atu continues to promote his credentials for State of Origin. Ethan Bullemor and Sean Keppie have been powerful off the bench, and Manly should have too much strike for the Knights.

Why the Knights will win: There are rumblings that star five-eighth Josh Schuster may miss this match with a corked thigh, and this could mean that Manly would still be looking for consistency in their spine. Lachlan Miller has been one of the NRL's best fullbacks in a struggling side, while Greg Marzhew made a sensational return in last week's upset win against the Raiders. Jayden Brailey and Jackson Hastings have a calm and measured approach and have given the Knights some structure.

Fansided tip: Sea Eagles by 20

SuperCoach notes: Having only played one game so far, Greg Marzhew is worth another look. But beware of FOMO, as he could easily go 100+ this week against the Knights. Jake Trbojevic has flown under the radar this season and looks to be running the ball more this year, boosting his base stats. Reuben Garrick is expensive but almost a must-have in the CTW. It's high-time he becomes a priority purchase.

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St George Illawarra Dragons vs The Dolphins
Saturday 1st April 5:30pm | WIN Stadium, Wollongong

Why the Dragons will win: The Dolphins will have their depth tested with the disappointing news that halfback Sean O'Sullivan is likely to miss around 16 weeks through injury. This gives better balance in the halves to the Dragons, with Ben Hunt steering the ship. The Dragons have been competitive in their last encounters - but for only half of the game. Coach Anthony Griffin is now on thin ice and it's expected that the players will respond, lifting to aim for an 80 minute showing at their favoured home ground, WIN Stadium.

Why the Dolphins will win: Despite losing Sean O'Sullivan, The Dolphins will welcome back Anthony Milford who has the potential to just about win games individually. A lot will depend on his fitness and involvement. Jeremy Marshall-King returns this week, adding plenty to a depleted spine, and on paper, the Dolphins have the edge in the forwards and on the interchange.

Fansided tip: Dragons by 4

SuperCoach notes: Toby Couchman gets another run this week, one of the small handful of bargain-basement players available. For those looking to free up cash, you could go worse. Ben Murdoch-Masila and Tyrell Sloan have disappointed their owners, even though they have not traditionally been hugely NRLSC relevant. They are just about top priority sells. Isaiya Katoa will likely be the most watched this week, particularly for owners who have held him long-term. With Milford traditionally an eyes-up number 6, Katoa could be given more responsibility for end-of-set plays.

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Brisbane Broncos vs Wests Tigers
Saturday 1st April 7:35pm | Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Why the Broncos will win: They're arguably the form team in the competition and are brimming with strike power, a balanced halves combination and some of the most consistent big men in the game. Adding the fact that this match is at their spiritual home ground against a team that is absolutely on the ropes makes them almost a sure-thing.

Why the Tigers will win: With Adam Doueihi likely starting to get past his foot injury, having him at fullback can only mean more touches of the ball. The Tigers will need him highly involved if they are to have a chance. Brandon Wakeham breathed fresh air into the side over the past two rounds, and has taken a sliver of pressure off the embattled Luke Brooks. Look for Apisai Koroisau, Isaiah Papali'i and John Bateman to lift for this one.

Fansided tip: Broncos by 22

SuperCoach notes: Reece Walsh could have a field day in this one, likewise Kotoni Staggs and Herbie Farnworth with some flimsy edge defense from the Tigers on both wings. Payne Haas is just about a season-long keeper after many were speculating a quieter season with regard to some pre-season off-field dramas. This may be a game that Adam Reynolds goes big in, but keep in mind that he is traditionally a low NRLSC scorer, so don't get trapped.

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Cronulla Sharks vs New Zealand Warriors
Sunday 2nd April 4:05pm | PointsBet Stadium, Sydney

Why the Sharks will win: At their home ground and at near full-strength, the Sharks are looking even better than last year. Last week showed that the return of Nicho Hynes simply takes them to the next level, and their bench is absolutely refined, with Cameron McInnes offering coverage all across the forwards and at hooker, and Braydon Trindall providing coverage for the halves. Te Maire Martin is a big out for the Warriors.

Why the Warriors will win: Written off by many to start the year, the Warriors are somehow still flying under the radar despite sitting in fourth place. A lot has to do with the stellar return to form of Shaun Johnson, while it is their unsung heroes who are shouldering a lot of the load. Jackson Ford, Wayde Egan, Marata Niukore and Viliami Vailea are names that spring to mind. The things that can drive a Warriors team to success are confidence and belief. They currently have both.

Fansided tip: Sharks by 8

SuperCoach notes: He's the most traded in this week, and the most expensive non-injured player. He's also got the bye next week, but non-owners of Nicho Hynes were left sliding down the ranks last week as he put on a clinic. Jackson Ford is the second most traded in, however it's unusual to see Tohu Harris named after it was originally suggested that he was injured. If he plays, he's just a pure machine. The outside backs are all reaping the benefits of running off Hynes, however Briton Nikora is the surprise package at the moment as he is not historically NRLSC relevant. Those thinking of selling Teig Wilton probably shouldn't!

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Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs vs North Queensland Cowboys
Sunday 2nd April 6:15pm | Accor Stadium, Sydney

Why the Bulldogs will win: The Bulldogs have looked impressive both in attack and defense (since Round 2 anyway), however their biggest failing appears to be fitness, falling away in the last 20 or so minutes of games. They would be reeling from losing a winnable game against the Warriors last week - a top four side at Mount Smart Stadium. The addition of Josh Reynolds cannot be understated either. While he's now a veteran of the game, he has the ability to lift those around him and will also bring the crowd into the match. The Cowboys have lost James Tamou, Jeremiah Nanai and Murray Taulagi, two of whom are prolific try-scorers in the team.

Why the Cowboys will win: Despite looking far better than in 2022, the Bulldogs still have one of the weaker, more under-performing spines in the competition. Kyle Flanagan acknowledges that he hasn't been at his best, and Matt Burton needs a good 7 to be at his best. The Cowboys also present a superior forward pack with the 'Dogs still missing Tevita Pangai-Junior, Chris Patolo and Luke Thompson.

Fansided tip: Bulldogs by 2

SuperCoach notes: With both teams a bit leaky in defense, and both having had at least 7 days turnaround since their last match, this could be a high-scoring encounter. Is this the week that Valentine Holmes goes 100+? For those who held onto Franklin Pele, you'll be pleased to know he's made his way back onto the bench. Jacob Kiraz continues to have high involvement and is pumping out some solid scores.

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