Melbourne suffered their second straight defeat as their bid for the minor Premiership falters but they host lowly Parramatta in a game that could see the Storm return to the top of the NRL ladder. However, the Eels have won back-to-back games and are finally off the foot of the table.
Manly will be hoping to put this week’s off the field drama behind them as Trent Barrett’s future continues to be under scrutiny. He’s apparently been told he will be relieved of his duties at the end of the year and it will be interesting to see how the Sea Eagles react in this game against the Titans.
St Helens didn’t overcome their Challenge Cup exit last week and now travel to Wakefield who will smell blood. Trinity have already beaten Saints at home this season and only lost by four points when the two met in Round 19. Wakefield were on the end of some controversial decisions that night and will be out for revenge.
Brisbane’s position in the top 8 is looking precarious at the moment with just two points now separating the Broncos and the ninth-placed Tigers. They now host second-placed South Sydney in what should be a difficult encounter to win but may be able to take advantage of the Bunnies’ injury crisis.
Melbourne were outplayed by South Sydney in their top of the table clash last week but can regain first place on the ladder with a win here. They host a Cronulla side that have lost their last two and could find their place in the top 8 under threat if other results go against them this weekend.
Wests Tigers season looked dead and buried a month ago whilst Canberra looked like the team most likely to break into the top 8 but their fortunes have changed dramatically since then. The Tigers sit just four points outside of the play-off spots whilst the Raiders are too far back with an eight point gap.
St George head to bottom-placed Parramatta in desperate need of a win after a string of poor results. The Dragons have won just one of their last five games and their position in the top 4 is now under serious threat with four teams within two points of them.
Both of these teams had impressive wins last week against in-form teams that are in the top 8 and the challenge will be for both of them to back that up this week. The Sea Eagles were golden point winners away at the Sharks whilst the Bulldogs dominated the Broncos.
Penrith will relish this trip to Gold Coast as they aim for a third straight win to solidify their place in the play-off spots whilst keeping pace with the top 4. The Titans failed to back up their impressive win over the Warriors in the previous week as the Eels had too much for them, dragging them into wooden spoon contention.
In a dress rehearsal for the Challenge Cup final at the end of the month, Warrington face Catalans with both teams choosing to rest some of their stars. The Dragons have rested significantly more following their sensational win last week but will travel to Warrington with nothing to lose.
All eyes will be on league leaders St Helens this week to see how they react to last weekend’s shock defeat in their Challenge Cup semi-final against Catalans. They now come up against the team directly below them in the form table with Huddersfield also coming into the game as the fresher side.
Wigan have grabbed all of the headlines off the pitch last week as they announced their new coaching set up for next year and beyond but now matters turn back to the pitch as they host Castleford in an important game that could shape the Super 8s for both teams.
Hull and Wakefield meet for the second time in quick succession with their previous meeting still fresh in the memory for all of the wrong reasons for FC. The Black and Whites were embarrassed 72-10 when the teams met at the end of July and they will want to go some way towards making up for that scoreline.
The big Sydney derby takes on even more importance in this game in this huge encounter between the Rabbitohs and Roosters. Souths produced a superb performance to topple Melbourne last week and take their place at the top of the NRL ladder whilst the Roosters claimed a win against the Cowboys.