Round 5 wasn’t too terrible for me but Archimedes was all over it. In a season where the results have gone a bit all over the place and some big teams can’t stick to a form guide, maybe it’s not surprising that the best of the jury is only on 57.5% and the worst only just better than a coin toss. A few more steadier rounds should see that tick upwards a bit.
South Sydney at Sydney
Sydney rugby league’s original rivalry kicks off round 6 at Allianz. Souths did a statistics-confounding-ly good job of holding the Dragons to only sixteen points and scoring twelve of their own last week. That’s as close as any team has come to beating St George this year and this was despite a first half that had almost every viewer feeling like a resident of a coastal Japanese town after an earthquake, wondering when the tsunami was going to come.
We don’t have the Roosters in the top four rated teams on form but, like their fellow members of the premiership triumvirate, it feels like it’s only a matter of time until they get going and start racking up wins. Sydney’s offence ripped through Cronulla’s supposedly premiership quality defence last week without too much effort and had no trouble keeping the Sharks away from the goal line.
The jury has the Roosters at 70% but I don’t feel that confident. I’m still tipping Sydney but it will be closer than that.
Canterbury at North Queensland
Ugh, can we please stop talking about the Bulldogs? They suck and it makes me sad watching them. They can defend against bottom eight teams and can’t attack at all. That’s a funeral waiting to happen. Like a plant with a lack of sunlight, Canterbury’s season is wilting and will eventually die.
I think this has been picked as a highly viewable by MVR because the teams are comparatively closely rated but the reality is that North Queensland have more or less assembled a team that is looking good for a mid-table finish, if not higher. They didn’t beat the Warriors last weekend but no one has and they’re still struggling to find some momentum in 2018 but they will find it sooner or later.
Cowboys will be all over this.
Wests at Manly
Manly’s two wins have come while at home and they’ve been big ones. Wests are winning all over the place but only by the barest of margins.
The Tigers were a dodgy call in golden point away from being undefeated. The Sea Eagles have lost three times.
They’re both coached by ex-players, neither of which played for the clubs that they coach now. Although, Cleary did play for Manly, it seems unlikely that he would go easy because of that, especially when he doesn’t even do that for his own son.
No one likes Manly. Everyone thinks the Tigers are the plucky underdogs.
In what is becoming a habit, I’m on the bus and the Tigers to win this.
There’s actually a couple of games this round that would have been also interesting to talk about. I was this close to tipping the Sharks over the Dragons because the streak will end and Cronulla feel like a streak-ending team but self-preservation prevailed. Titans are my roughie over the Panthers, just because there will be an upset and this feels more likely than the others. Warriors to take it to 6-0 over the hapless Broncos. Raiders to clean up the Eels in the Spoon Cup. Storm to out-metre and out-point the Knights.
Easts at Northern Pride
Last year, this would have been an easy one for the Tigers. A slack 2-3 start to the season compared a relatively surprising 3-2 start for the Pride makes this a trickier one to call than usual. Making things more complex is that Brodie Croft has been dropped from the Storm side for this week and may return to the black-and-orange (
team list unavailable at the time of writing he not playin fam). This will be my first chance to get an eyeful of the Pride and while the Tigers put forward a pretty convincing argument in flogging the Falcons in round 4, it was of course completely undone by their rubbish round 5 performance against Redcliffe, both at home. I don’t have anything definitive but the Pride do seem to be in better form.
I nearly changed my mind but I’m sticking by the Pride.
Townsville are a touch inconsistent so I’m expecting the Falcons get over the line. Jets seem to have a strong home ground advantage, so Ipswich over Mackay. The Hunters are no longer unbackable favourites but the Dolphins remain as strong as ever, so Redcliffe for me. Wynnum-Manly to waltz over their struggling seagull brethren. Running with form and tipping the Bears over the Devils in the top of the table clash. Despite a small uptick in form, the Capras still suck so Magpies for me.