Get ready for another jam-packed weekend of Rugby League as the NRL enters Round 6!
Only one club remains undefeated in 2021 and only one remains winless – the first is in action on Thursday night, and it would take a genuine lolly spill for the Panthers not to extend their winning streak past the wildly mediocre Broncos.
In terms of the winless wonders, Trent Barrett’s men saddle up against the Cowboys on Sunday afternoon and will surely face plenty of resistance once more.
The Broncos have hardly fired a shot in 2021 and realistically, their second win of the season won’t be coming at the expense of the Panthers.
The exciting sheen that came with a new season and a new coach has quickly dulled, and they are now staring down the barrel of another losing campaign.
The Panthers meanwhile couldn’t have been more impressive, and they fittingly enter this contest on top of the table and seemingly, in complete control of the league.
The line is currently set at 26.5 points, and I can’t find a reason why the Panthers won’t be covering again.
Betting suggests that it might be an ok contest, but I’m confident that Friday’s match between the Knights and the Sharks looms as another very winnable one for the latter.
The Knights’ loss of form was compounded in Round 5 when they suffered a heavy defeat to the Neds Titans, and with several key injuries to deal with, things don’t look like getting a whole lot better this week.
The Sharks have probably overachieved on what a lot of people expected of them in 2021, and they arrive in Round 6 with a 2-3 record, perched ninth in overall standings.
They returned a tough effort against a good Roosters side last week, and a repeat of that effort would see them winning this comfortably.
The match of the round at an absolute canter will take place in Melbourne on Friday night, and will see the Storm and the Roosters reignite their rivalry.
It’s lacking the Smith and Cronk factors in 2021, but it does have a nice youthful feel to it, and features some of the stars of tomorrow trading blows for the first time.
Ryan Papenhuyzen might just be the best player in the league at the moment (he’s certainly the best to watch), and he’ll be looking to take the game for himself in the first forty.
I personally knew A LOT of Roosters fans who went to water when Luke Keary went down, and all but declared their own side were no hope in 2021.
Enter Sam Walker and his seemingly insane ability, and suddenly the Roosters ARE BACK.
Any way you look at it, this shapes as a mouth-watering contest and I’m sticking with Pap to score.
What a terrific little game this shapes to be.
The Sea Eagles were just awful prior to Round 5, but they returned what was easily their best performance of the season to sink the Warriors and record their first win.
Couple the confidence that they’ve gained from that result with the return of Tommy Turbo, and this shapes as a serious danger game for our Neds Titans.
In saying that, the Titans also enter this match off the back of their most impressive performance of the season: an utter domination and thrashing of the Knights.
It really was something to behold and wowee, is David Fifita justifying his price tag already.
I’m confident that both sides are good for points, and I’m going to back over the Total Match Points line.
Souths will look to consolidate their position in the top four when they face Wests Tigers on Saturday evening.
Souths lost to the Storm in Round 1 and simply haven’t looked back, winning each of their four subsequent matches in impressive fashion.
With the exception of the Adam Reynolds signing debacle, everything seems to be going right at Redfern, and they are justifiable favourites to win again.
They fought back into the contest late but unfortunately for Wests Tigers (proudly sponsored by Neds), they weren’t unable to beat the Cowboys in Round 5.
With the new week, so too comes new hope, but I’m concerned they just don’t have the fire power, nor the rock-solid defence that is required to beat a multi-dimensional side like South Sydney.
One of the more intriguing matches of the round will take place between the Raiders and the Eels in the nation’s capital on Saturday night.
While I do still rate the Raiders, at first glance I didn’t understand why they were priced as such firm favourites to beat a side who only suffered their first defeat of the season in Round 5.
I then realised this is a Saturday night game in one of the coldest parts of the country, and that has absolutely skewed the market in favour of the home side.
Down to the real business now and neither side was able to account for a classy opponent in Round 5: for Canberra, it was the undefeated Panthers and for Parra, it was the incredible overachieving Dragons.
Both will be eager to atone and given I really cannot split them, I’m eager to take the value around the Eels as outsiders.
The league’s surprise packets look well placed to record another win in Round 6 of the 2021 NRL Premiership season, this time at the expense of the inconsistent Warriors.
Both teams experienced new feeling in Round 5.
For the Dragons, it was the elation of beating a genuine top four side, and handsomely, and ultimately delivering that side their first defeat of the year.
For the Warriors, it was almost the complete opposite – a very disappointing defeat, which handed the Sea Eagles their first win of the season.
Those two performances probably sum up how these sides have gone so far in 2021, and I can’t see too much changing for either on Sunday.
There is every chance that the Cowboys and the Bulldogs will finish fifteenth and sixteenth in the 2021 NRL Premiership season and for that reason, we could be treated to an even contest on Sunday afternoon.
The Cows returned home with a wet sail, having held on to beat the Tigers and ultimately record their first win of the season in Round 5.
This is obviously their best shot at winning another game, and I think they’ll get it.
I’m reasonably convinced that the 2021 Bulldogs might be a completely new type of bad, though, and that might be exposed again on Sunday.