Souths vs Roosters, Round 3, ANZ Stadium

These two teams already hate each other. Which is good, because most of the rest of NRL fans hate them both anyway. There’s that old argument of the Roosters poaching some of Souths great players such as superstars Ron Coote, Craig Wing and Luke Keary.

This game will be all about Latrell Mitchell. He’s obviously a star of the game and has shown his skills and talent on rugby league’s biggest stages. If Mitchell doesn’t throw that flick pass in the lead up, Tedesco doesn’t score his try in last year’s Grand Final. However, can he play fullback?

I think that he will have a great season. He’s at a club that he wants to be at, and working with Wayne Bennett and Greg Inglis can only be a good thing for his game.

The crowd, well the Rabbitohs fans and the seven Roosters fans that turn up, will be going crazy in the stands. This will be the first grudge match of the season and both teams will be looking to get the wood over their mortal enemy early in the season.

Predicted winner: Souths by 14

Knights vs Manly, Round 5, Lottoland

These two teams have history with each other going back to the 90s. Chief Harragon and Spud Carroll had fierce battles, culminating with that huge hit at Marathon Stadium in 1995. Then Knights knocked off Manly in the 1997 Grand Final.

However, this game is a battle between Daly Cherry-Evans and Mitchell Pearce on the eve of State of Origin. Both players are the current starting halfbacks for their respective states. This looms as an audition for their State of Origin spots. You’d think that Cherry-Evans would be a lock, but Pearce may have a few players to contend with. By round five, both teams should have hit their straps and this game will be a close one.

With both teams having strong forward packs and with two of the most explosive fullbacks of the last 10 year, Trbojevic and Ponga, this looks like a cracker of a game.

Predicted winner: Manly by 4

Cowboys vs Sharks, Round 10, Sunshine Coast Stadium

Valentine Holmes left the sharks to peruse his NFL dream. It left the Sharks in a bit of a hole and they needed to juggle around their salary cap to try and fill the void. Cronulla fought on gallantly last year, with a range of players filling in for fullback, and their season ended in the first week of the finals. They’ll still have their hard edge, but may be crippled by injuries again.

The Cowboys had a poor season after the departure of Jonathon Thurston. They too were down with some injuries, but are looking to have a strong year. They still have an ace up their sleeve with the wrecking ball that is Jason Taumalolo. Paul Green will be looking to put the spark back into his team and Michael Morgan, a current Australian star, will be looking to be back to his best.

But this game will be all about Valentine Homes and the way that he will perform against his old club. It’s a shame that it’s not at Shark Park, but at the Sunshine Coast. It’s virtually a home game for the Cowboys as it’s in Queensland, and only down the road (if down the road is a 13-hour drive). Could Val Homes have a man of the match performance, and remind the Sharks of what they lost?

Predicted winner: Cowboys by 8


Raiders vs Roosters, Round 11, HBF Park

It’s the 2019 Grand Final replay. I heard a quote a long time ago from Wayne Bennett that there are no grand final replays the following year, and it’s just another game. And sure, the Raiders can’t take the trophy away from the Roosters, but they can get some revenge. They’ll want redemption and prove that if not for a few dodgy refereeing decisions, they would have won the game.

The Roosters have started the year with a good win in the World Club Challenge and in the first 11 rounds only play four teams that made the top eight last year. They should come into the game with a few easy wins and maybe put a cricket score on few of these teams. Listening to Boyd Cordner, he has suggested that the team has not lost any of its hunger and are working to make history with a three-peat.

Finally, it’s great that this game is being played in Perth. A team from the West would be brilliant to take the game truly national and the Western Reds would be a great re-addition to the competition. And with the game in Perth, who knows you might just see some old Reds such as Brett Goldspink, James Grant or Greg Fleming walking around for old times’ sake.

Predicted winner: Raiders by 2

Dragons vs Titans, Round 11, Jubilee Stadium

If you like mediocre football this might just be it. This game could simply be a blockbuster by default. The reason being, that although it’s round 11, neither team may have won a game yet. Last year these two teams had a combined differential of –429. So, it’s not such a distant thought.

I like Ben Hunt and think that Corey Norman has a bag full of tricks. Equally, with the Gold Coast, Justin Holbrook seems like a coach that knows what he wants, and they have some grunt up front with Jai Arrow and Jarrod Wallace. However, I don’t think that either team have recruited particularly well, and it may be just the same old from both teams.

If nothing more, it’s likely to be a huge scoring game, with lots of tries and not much tackling. With that in mind, maybe take the 50+ combined points and watch the money roll in.

Predicted winner: Dragons by 8

Parramatta vs Storm, Round 22, Bankwest Stadium

There are hordes of Eels tragics out there who have been saying that it’s going to be ‘their year’ since they won the 1997 double (The Sevens tournament and Reserve Grade). And maybe this year will be their year. However, the Eels have a horrible record against the Storm and were belted in the two times they met last year.

Melbourne just keep turning up and grinding out win after win. They continue to unearth young players, such as Ryan Papenhuijzen and Justin Olam, that produce the goods instantly when thrown into first grade. In addition, Cam Smith and Cameron Munster add their class and steer the team around the park.

They didn’t play each other at Bankwest Stadium last year, and the Eels proved hard to beat at home, with their fans calling it ‘their fortress’. The game will be at the business end of the season, with both teams hoping to be hitting their strides in the few weeks before finals time. This match is likely to have a strong bearing on the top eight and could be a prelude to a semi-final game only a few weeks later.

Predicted winner: Parramatta by 7


  1. I think you are jumping the gun with this article.
    The season will be scratched within one month due to COVID19.

  2. I’m hoping the season goes at least to round three with no spectators.
    That way those Soufth rabbits will break the their own old record of the lowest crowd between the current Worlds best club and current Premiers the mighty Sydney Roosters.

    Soufths attracting nobody to their game against us champs will further prove the fact Soufths transit.lounge members prefer to stay home.

  3. After 1 round and a positively insipid performance by Parra how can you possibly predict them upsetting Melbourne at the other end of the season ? Defies logic.

  4. Ermm surely you must be joking Adamhoward. Souths have a huge fan base and Roosters fan base is comparably quite small. That’s just a fact.

  5. @Panthers18.
    It will happen. No one thought the NBA or NHL would pull the plug either.

    That’s easy.
    Parra put on the best defensive display they have in years and Melbourne only just beat a bog average manly side.
    If the comp goes ahead, Parra will beat Melbourne at the Eels fortress quite easily.

  6. …..Soufths Home Crowds……

    The Soufth rabbits lowest home crowd ever was 1295. Against Newtown at Redfern in 1974.😁🤣

    The lowest home crowd between Soufths vs Roosters at either teams home ground was at Redfern in 1963 with a 3054 crowd.😁😂🤣😁😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣

    Buttercake…..Facts only with Adam buddy.


  7. ……..I should add this also.
    That shockingly appalling home crowd attendence for the Rabbits at Redfern against The Roosters, was the 9th smallest crowd in Soufths history…….🤣😂🤣😂🤣

  8. ………I should add this also Soufths highest home game was against the Roosters in 2013 ahen 59708 turned up and mostly Rooster fans, when in the last round the Roosters fans came out in massive numbers to cheer them on their way to the Minor Premiershop before the Mighty Sydney Roosters went on to claim the premiership.

    Whilst The Roosters highest crowd was against Parra of 62255 in 2000.

    Which therefore proves that the Roosters are a massive draw card wheather they play away being Soufths record crowd apponnents or at a home game.

  9. Kev, just remind me of the score the last time these two met, 36 – 0 was it plus winning 8-2 against the side some predict will win the wooden spoon this year is hardly impressive. As for your only just won against Manly, 18-4 is not only just won.

    That is a very silly prediction with no sensible premise for making it.

  10. Game looking forward to?
    R3 Souths bashing of the sombreros unless Nick Devito can beg the NRL to suspend all games.

  11. Adamhoward
    March 16, 2020 at 12:53 pm
    “I’m hoping the season goes at least to round three with no spectators.”

    Do you honestly believe a familiar atmosphere will help your sombreros?

  12. TwentyOne March 16, 2020 At 5:57 pm
    Game looking forward to?
    R3 Souths bashing of the sombreros

    You have a WILD imagination young man
    I Think it was the Roosters that bashed the Souths Sombreros 36 – 6 in last years finals series.

    That was one of the best games I have ever watched

  13. This columnist is an amateur writer
    He isn’t aware that Russell didn’t want Keary and in front of the rest of the team blamed him for his teams poor seasons embarrassing him .
    so what does keary do.. he leaves and helps Roosters win back to back comp
    Thank you Russell 🙂

  14. Yes I am still very sour about Crowe carrying on like a twerp. Keary is a superb five eighth whom Soufths should never have lost. Walker in comparison is not worthy to even tie Keary’s boot laces.

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