The tenth week of the 2021 NRL Premiership season is Magic Round, and all eight games will be contested at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium from Friday through Sunday!
The atmosphere at Magic Round is always electric, every side is desperate to win, and the spectacle never fails to live up to the hype.
On top of that, there’s always plenty of value to be extracted in the market and you can find a preview of the entire round and my complete NRL Round 10 tips below.
The first fixture of Magic Round will see Wests Tigers (proudly sponsored by Neds) suit up against Round 9 winners, the Newcastle Knights.
They didn’t get the W in last weekend’s Neds Derby, but there was still a lot to like about the Tigers performance against the Titans, and I genuinely think that this looms as an easier task for them.
The heart is well and truly still there, the Tigers unfortunately just do not boast the depth and experience of a lot of their rivals in 2021, and it has been telling in their results.
The Knights became the latest side to continue Canberra’s horrid run of form, recording a tough and well-deserved 24-16 win in the nation’s capital.
Ladder positioning, results and depth justify their favouritism, but I’m confident that the Tigers can and will make a game of this.
How well are the Sea Eagles going?
As sickening of a situation as a one-man team can be, there is absolutely no denying that creates an effective game plan for Des Hasler, and as long as Tommy Turbo stays fit, the Sea Eagles look to be a genuine Top 6 side.
To be fair, a lot of other players have stepped up in the last few weeks, but I’m confident in saying that it’s Turbo’s presence that can be thanked for that, as well.
They ‘host’ a Broncos side who simply do not know how to win.
Despite being in the contest with the Cowboys all the way in Round 9, they lost on a field goal and therefore took nothing at all from the match.
It has been another tumultuous week in the Broncos’ office and locker room, and I think that will translate into another loss.
What is sure to be an enormous day for plenty of punters in the stands will begin with the league’s worst side, the Bulldogs, taking on one of the league’s out of form sides, the Raiders.
While that sounds awful on face value, it will probably mean that we’ll be treated to a decent contest.
The Dogs are lucky to have recorded one win this year, and their Round 8 heroics look to be well and truly in the rear-view mirror.
It is a side that is young and inexperienced, but a lot of blokes also just look like they don’t want to be there, and it has resulted in a real horror show.
The Raiders, one of the NRL’s better sides of the last five years, appear to be dropping out of the race for the 2021 Premiership, and that is a real concern given their window is probably closing.
Some big names are confirmed to leave at season’s end, others reportedly want to as well, and it’s translating into some amateur footy each week.
The Bulldogs are simply too bad to tip, however, and I’m going to give the Raiders an opportunity to bounce back.
Are the Sharks catching the Rabbitohs at the perfect moment?
I don’t think so.
The Rabbitohs returned a ghastly performance against the Storm in Round 9 and limped away on the wrong end of a 50-0 score line.
Given how bad that was and for the most part, how reasonable Wayne Bennett’s men have been in 2021, I’m happy to put a line through it, as I’m sure they are, forget about it and move on.
The Sharks too were just awful in going down 48-0, albeit to the undefeated competition leaders.
I’m happy to revert back to how I thought these sides were both going prior to Round 9, and that means I’m putting Souths on top for a comfortable win.
Are the Cowboys a Top 8 chance after all?
I don’t think so.
Regardless, there is absolutely no taking away from their recent form and their ability to get a few wins on the board, and with a few positive signings already made for the 2022 season, Cows fans can rightfully be excited for what might be on the horizon.
They face a serious acid test this week in the Sydney Roosters who, were outclassed by the Eels last week, but who still represent a genuine Top 4 prospect.
I think that the bookies have just about nailed this one in match betting and at the line, and I’m instead going to load up on a Same Game Multi.
One of the more intriguing battles of Magic Round comes up first thing on Sunday, when the Warriors take on the Eels.
The Warriors have once again proven to be the toughest team to predict and the toughest to trust from a betting perspective as they often return competitive performances, beating sides that they probably shouldn’t while losing to those that they should beat.
They were blown off the park by Manly in the first 20 minutes of the second half of their Round 9 clash, but fought back into the contest to keep fans on the edge of their seats.
The Eels returned another gutsy performance to ultimately sink the Roosters rather comfortably, and a repeat of that effort would surely just see them winning again.
I’m wary of the Warriors returning another competitive effort and while I don’t think they will win, I think they could make something of a game of it. Regardless, I’m staying away from the top markets again.
The Storm went to another level in Round 9, and they should just win again at the expense of the Dragons in Round 10.
It was an all-round impressive performance by Craig Bellamy’s men, not only highlighted by Josh Addo-Carr’s unprecedented 6 tries, but also that they did it without several key players, and against another good side.
The Dragons’ fast start to the season has come to something of a halt throughout the last few weeks, but they did make the most of last week’s soft kill of the Bulldogs.
This is an entirely different kettle of fish though, and I don’t think there’s much more to say.
Magic Round draws to a close on Sunday evening with a match close to our hearts – the Neds Titans, Queensland’s best side, taking on the undefeated Penrith Panthers.
Signs have been good from the Titans this season. The terrific squad is really starting to gel, they’ve returned several good performances and they enter this match in winning form, having accounted for Wests Tigers.
The process was always going to take some time, but Justin Holbrook is clearly one of the league’s great football minds, and trust in the process is beginning to pay dividends.
The Panthers have been all but faultless this season, their record is exactly that, and they are fitting favourites week in, week out.
I think in Queensland, at the end of this massive weekend of Rugby League, the Titans can be competitive.