It's the penultimate round of the 2020 NRL season and with the Top 8 locked in, there seems to be little left for the bottom eight teams to play for other than pride and the hope of avoiding the wooden spoon.
The only clash between two finals-bound teams this weekend is the one between the Roosters and the Sharks.
Good luck with your tips.
Thursday, September 17
Rabbitohs: 1. Corey Allan 2. Alex Johnston 3. Campbell Graham 4. Steven Marsters 5. Jaxson Paulo 6. Cody Walker 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Liam Knight 9. Damien Cook 10. Thomas Burgess 11. Jaydn Su'A 12. Bayley Sironen 13. Cameron Murray
Reserves: 14. Mark Nicholls 15. Jed Cartwright 16. Hame Sele 17. Keaon Koloamatangi 18. Tevita Tatola 19. Patrick Mago 20. Troy Dargan 21. Cory Denniss
Bulldogs: 1. Will Hopoate 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Reimis Smith 4. Tim Lafai 5. Jayden Okunbor 6. Jake Averillo 7. Lachlan Lewis 8. Aiden Tolman 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Luke Thompson 11. Josh Jackson 12. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 13. Chris Smith
Reserves: 14. Brandon Wakeham 15. Renouf To'omaga 16. Sione Katoa 17. Sauaso Sue 19. Dean Britt 20. Tuipulotu Katoa 21. Nick Meaney 23. James Roumanos
Verdict: Each week, the Bulldogs go through short periods of the game where spectators are bemused by the fact they sit dead last on the ladder. By the end of the game, you understand why. Simply put, their attack is toothless and their defence looks unwilling or unable to turn away opposition raids. The Rabbitohs, meanwhile, are going from strength to strength in spite of the season-ending injury to superstar Latrell Mitchell and are beginning to shape as genuine dark horse contenders for the premiership. They should win this game comfortably.
Tip: Rabbitohs by 14
Score: Rabbitohs 16 def. by Bulldogs 26
Friday, September 18
Cowboys: 1. Valentine Holmes 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Murray Taulagi 4. Esan Marsters 5. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 6. Scott Drinkwater 7. Jake Clifford 8. Corey Jensen 9. Reuben Cotter 10. Jordan McLean 11. Gavin Cooper 12. Mitchell Dunn 13. Francis Molo
Reserves: 14. Daejarn Asi 15. Emry Pere 16. Tom Gilbert 17. Ben Condon 18. Jason Taumalolo 19. Jake Granville 20. Peter Hola 21. Ben Hampton
Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Josh Mansour 3. Brent Naden 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To'o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Mitch Kenny 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo
Reserves: 14. Tyrone May 15. Spencer Leniu 16. Kurt Capewell 17. Jack Hetherington 18. Dean Whare 19. Billy Burns 20. Matt Burton 21. Charlie Staines
Verdict: The Cowboys were poor last week, with the Storm picking them apart at every turn. They did manage to score a flurry of tries midway through the second half, but it was their defence that truly let them down against the class of Cameron Smith and Cameron Munster. Conversely, the Panthers have won 13 games straight after comfortably taking down the top four-bound Eels and have quite rightly claimed premiership favouritism. With every win, however, a loss comes closer, but it won't happen this week against the Cowboys.
Tip: Panthers by 12
Score: Cowboys 12 def. by Panthers 32
Eels: 1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Michael Jennings 4. Waqa Blake 5. Blake Ferguson 6. Jai Field 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Ryan Matterson 12. Shaun Lane 13. Nathan Brown
Reserves: 14. Will Smith 15. Andrew Davey 16. Kane Evans 17. Oregon Kaufusi 18. Haze Dunster 19. Stefano Utoikamanu 20. George Jennings 21. Daniel Alvaro
Broncos: 1. Darius Boyd 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Herbie Farnworth 5. Richard Kennar 6. Tyson Gamble 7. Tom Dearden 8. Joe Ofahengaue 9. Issac Luke 10. Ben Te'o 11. David Fifita 12. Alex Glenn 13. Patrick Carrigan
Reserves: 14. Cory Paix 15. Jamil Hopoate 16. Xavier Coates 17. Ethan Bullemor 18. Kobe Hetherington 19. Pride Petterson-Robati 20. Sean O'Sullivan 21. Jesse Arthars
Verdict: Many are questioning Parramatta's premiership credentials, especially after failing to score a try against the red-hot Panthers last week. That won't sit well with coach Brad Arthur who will certainly have his team primed for a chance at redemption against a Brisbane side that was just embarrassed by the Titans and has been unable to find its way all year. If the Eels are to stand any chance of winning the title this year, they will have to make light work of the Broncos.
Tip: Eels by 10
Score: Eels 26 def. Broncos 12
Saturday, September 19
Sea Eagles: 1. Tevita Funa 2. Albert Hopoate 3. Brad Parker 4. Morgan Harper 5. Abbas Miski 6. Lachlan Croker 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Danny Levi 10. Martin Taupau 11. Jack Gosiewski 12. Curtis Sironen 13. Jake Trbojevic
Reserves: 14. Morgan Boyle 15. Corey Waddell 16. Sean Keppie 17. Taniela Paseka 18. Haumole Olakau'atu 19. Reuben Garrick 20. Ben Trbojevic 21. Tom Trbojevic
Titans: 1. AJ Brimson 2. Anthony Don 3. Treymain Spry 4. Young Tonumaipea 5. Corey Thompson 6. Ashley Taylor 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Mitch Rein 10. Moeaki Fotuaika 11. Kevin Proctor 12. Sam Stone 13. Tyrone Peachey
Reserves: 14. Tanah Boyd 15. Jai Arrow 16. Sam Lisone 17. Jai Whitbread 18. Darius Farmer 19. Brian Kelly 20. Toby Sexton 21. Nathan Peats
Verdict: The Gold Coast Titans shed their 'little brother' moniker once and for all when they defeated the Broncos for the second time in a season - a first in NRL history. They have been playing out of their skin lately, winning their last three games in a row and exceeding all expectations anyone had set for them in the process. Expect them to continue this trend when they take down a Manly side who had lost six-straight before their last start win against the Bulldogs.
Tip: Titans by 4
Storm: 1. Nicholas Hynes 2. Suliasi Vunivalu 3. Brenko Lee 4. Justin Olam 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Cameron Smith 10. Christian Welch 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenneath Bromwich 13. Nelson Asofa-Solomona
Reserves: 14. Ryley Jacks 15. Tino Fa'asuamaleaui 16. Tom Eisenhuth 17. Tui Kamikamica 18. Brandon Smith 19. Isaac Lumelume 20. Max King 21. Paul Momirovski
Tigers: 1. Adam Doueihi 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Joseph Leilua 4. Chris Lawrence 5. Asu Kepaoa 6. Josh Reynolds 7. Benji Marshall 8. Josh Aloiai 9. Harry Grant 10. Thomas Mikaele 11. Sam McIntyre 12. Luciano Leilua 13. Alex Twa
Reserves: 14. Zane Musgrove 15. Matt Eisenhuth 16. Russell Packer 17. Luke Garner 18. Tommy Talau 19. Michael Chee-Kam 20. Jock Madden 21. Jacob Liddle
Verdict: By the time this game is played, the Storm will know whether they still have a chance of leapfrogging the Panthers to win the minor premiership right at the death. Regardless, any team that has come up against Melbourne in recent years has been hard-pressed for securing an upset and the Tigers will be no exception. The Storm just doesn't do upsets. Wests have been much improved in the last fortnight, but with little to play for, should fall short in this one.
Tip: Storm by 8
Roosters: 1. Joseph Manu 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Josh Morris 4. Mitchell Aubusson 5. Brett Morris 6. Luke Keary 7. Kyle Flanagan 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Jake Friend 10. Lindsay Collins 11. Boyd Cordner 12. Sitili Tupouniua 13. Isaac Liu
Reserves: 14. Freddy Lussick 15. Angus Crichton 16. Nat Butcher 17. Sonny Bill Williams 18. Poasa Faamausili 19. Drew Hutchison 20. Daniel Fifita 21. Matt Ikuvalu
Sharks: 1. Will Kennedy 2. Sione Katoa 3. Josh Dugan 4. Jesse Ramien 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Connor Tracey 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Braden Hamlin-Uele 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Aaron Woods 11. Briton Nikora 12. Siosifa Talakai 13. Toby Rudolf
Reserves: 14. Teig Wilton 15. Jack Williams 16. Andrew Fifita 17. Royce Hunt 18. Scott Sorensen 19. Bryson Goodwin 20. Braydon Trindall 21. Billy Magoulias
Verdict: The Roosters are gathering steam at just the right point of the season, with several key players returning from injury and hitting some strong veins of form. Losing Boyd Cordner to yet another head knock against the Knights is certainly cause for concern, but even without the inspirational captain, Luke Keary and James Tedesco dominated the game. There is too much class in this team to lose to a Sharks side that only just got by the Warriors to secure a finals berth.
Tip: Roosters by 14
Sunday, September 20
Raiders: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Semi Valemei 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Jordan Rapana 5. Nick Cotric 6. Jack Wighton 7. George Williams 8. Josh Papalii 9. Siliva Havili 10. Dunamis Lui 11. John Bateman 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Joseph Tapine
Reserves: 14. Tom Starling 15. Ryan Sutton 16. Hudson Young 17. Corey Harawira-Naera 18. Sam Williams 19. Matt Frawley 20. Matthew Timoko 21. Iosia Soliola
Warriors: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 2. Adam Pompey 3. Adam Keighran 4. Peta Hiku 5. Hayze Perham 6. Kodi Nikorima 7. Chanel Harris-Tavita 8. Lachlan Burr 9. Karl Lawton 10. Isaiah Papali'i 11. Jack Murchie 12. Tohu Harris 13. Jazz Tevaga
Reserves: 14. Wayde Egan 15. Adam Blair 16. Eliesa Katoa 17. Tom Ale 18. Josh Curran 20. Paul Turner 21. Gerard Beale 22. Rocco Berry
Verdict: The Warriors will be crushed by their close loss to the Sharks last week as it ruled them out of finals contention and put an end to their miraculous late-season run of form. Their efforts were amazing while being away from family and friends in New Zealand for so long and there is every chance this latest defeat has deflated them. The Raiders are still a strong chance of reaching the top four, meanwhile, and should prove far too strong after demolishing the Dragons.
Tip: Raiders by 16
Knights: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Edrick Lee 3. Enari Tuala 4. Hymel Hunt 5. Starford To'a 6. Tex Hoy 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. David Klemmer 9. Chris Randall 10. Daniel Saifiti 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 12. Aidan Guerra 13. Mitchell Barnett
Reserves: 14. Phoenix Crossland 15. Jacob Saifiti 16. Herman Ese'ese 17. Sione Mata'utia 18. Josh King 19. Pasami Saulo 20. Mason Lino 21. Tautau Moga
Dragons: 1. Matthew Dufty 2. Jordan Pereira 3. Euan Aitken 4. Zac Lomax 5. Cody Ramsey 6. Corey Norman 7. Adam Clune 8. Kaide Ellis 9. Ben Hunt 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Jackson Ford 13. Cameron McInnes
Reserves: 14. Tariq Sims 15. Josh Kerr 16. Blake Lawrie 17. Max Feagai 18. Eddie Blacker 19. Tyrell Fuimaono 20. Brayden Wiliame 21. Jayden Sullivan
Verdict: The Knights may have been crushed by the Roosters, but they will certainly be buoyed by the return of star fullback Kalyn Ponga after he was given a well-earned rest. The Dragons, meanwhile, will be down on confidence after their destruction at the hands of the Raiders despite the two-try heroics of debutant winger Cody Ramsey. Given the Knights are still playing for a home semi-final, while the Dragons are only looking to impress incoming coach Anthony Griffin, expect Newcastle to win this one.
Tip: Knights by 6