SIX weeks into the season and the Storm stand above every other team as the only undefeated club in the NRL.
Outside the perpetual motion which is the Storm’s success, the ladder has a new-age look to it.
The Dragons, Roosters and Sea Eagles all occupy positions inside the top-five, and look destined for finals football.
While it is a bit early to hit the panic button, the Broncos, Bulldogs and Titans will need to get themselves into gear if they are to replicate last year’s finals finish.
The pace is starting to ramp up in what looks like the most important weekend of league action so far in 2017.
All odds for the six week of the NRL Season were provided by Sportsbet.com.au.
Selections for the Round 6 NRL multi of the week:
South Sydney Rabbitohs to beat Penrith Panthers ($2.30)
Canberra Raiders to beat Gold Coast Titans ($1.38)
New Zealand Warriors to win against the Parramatta Eels ($1.75)
Melbourne Storm to defeat Cronulla Sharks ($1.45)
Penrith Panthers vs. South Sydney Rabbitohs
Friday, April 7 from 6 pm AEST, Pepper Stadium, Penrith
The Penrith Panthers host the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the opening game of our NRL multi, and we’re expecting an upset after the home side’s hard-line stance during the week.
Superstar captain Matt Moylan alongside back pairing Peta Hiku and Waqa Blake were dropped for breaching team protocols, which leaves a gaping hole of experience and class in the Panthers line up.
The Rabbits play a team down on personnel, but to further strengthen their claims going into Friday their recent record against the Panthers is spectacular.
The Bunnies have won five of the last seven against the Panthers, and while they are not in top notch form this season they should have enough in reserve to defeat the depleted home side.
South Sydney Rabbitohs to win – $2.30
Gold Coast Titans vs. Canberra Raiders
Saturday, April 8 from 5.30 pm AEST, CBUS Super Stadium, Gold Coast
After a disappointing start to the season the Raiders are rolling, while the Titans are in a state of free fall.
It looks like a foregone conclusion on paper that the Raiders will win, but in sport nothing is ever that simple, but after seeing the power couple ‘Leipana’ starting to hits straps again in 2017 we are fearful for what is to come on Saturday afternoon for the home side.
Not only are the superstar pairing hitting top gear, but the Raiders also have a spectacular record at CBUS Super Stadium. The Green Machine has won four of the last six matches on the Gold Coast.
We do not see that trend ending Saturday. Raiders should do it comfortably for us to keep the momentum going.
Canberra Raiders to win – $1.38
New Zealand Warriors vs. Parramatta Eels
Sunday, April 9 from 2 pm AEST, Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand
Two teams on the opposite end of the form spectrum meet across the Tasman on Sunday as the Warriors host the Eels in Auckland.
The Warriors came from behind to topple the Titans last week away from home, and coach Stephen Kearney has elected to take the same line up into Sunday’s match.
The Eels were comprehensively outplayed by the Raiders last week, but will be boosted on Sunday by the return of Tepai Moeroa.
The Warriors are looking to continue a sparkling run of form against their opponents.
Not only have the Eels only won once since 2007 at the New Zealand venue, the Kiwis have won three of the past four meetings between the two sides.
We are backing the Warriors to keep it going and push us through until to the final leg.
New Zealand Warriors to win – $1.40
Melbourne Storm vs. Cronulla Sharks
Sunday, April 9 from 4 pm AEST, AAMI Park, Melbourne
The grand final rematch rounds out the weekend of league action in the sporting capital of Australia as the Storm host the Sharks at AAMI Park.
Melbourne is undefeated so far in 2017 and is the worthy $4.80 standalone premiership favourites at Sportsbet.com.au. The Storm’s 22 point win over one-time title favourites Penrith last week was testament to just how dominant the men in purple continue to be.
For the Sharks, their title defence hopes could be a lot clearer at the conclusion of the match. The premiers have been exhilarating at times and dismal at others. Bridging that gap is the key for Paul Gallan and his troops.
We are backing the Storm to maintain their unbeaten run this season. They are a disciplined and confident team who very seldom lose at the fortress which is AAMI Park.
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