Here we go, after an enthralling first week of finals action that saw some surprising games and controversial decisions we now shift into another gear. From now on for every team involved the heat is on as from here on out it is win or go home and time to step up and show that you and your team mates deserve the right to be here at this time of the season.
But now is the time to go ahead and look at the games that are happening this weekend. And for me to give my predictions, which will hopefully go a hole hell of a lot better than last weekend. So let’s get stuck in and see who I think will join Melbourne and South Sydney next week in the preliminary finals.
1ST SEMI-FINAL MANLY VS ROOSTERS
Sea Eagles team: 1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Jason Saab 3. Brad Parker 4. Morgan Harper 5. Reuben Garrick 6. Kieran Foran 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Josh Aloiai 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Martin Taupau 11. Haumole Olakau’atu 12. Josh Schuster 13. Jake Trbojevic 14. Dylan Walker 15. Karl Lawton 16. Sean Keppie 17. Taniela Paseka 18. Toafofoa Sipley 19. Moses Suli 20. Curtis Sironen 21. Tevita Funa
Roosters team: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Josh Morris 4. Adam Keighran 5. Matt Ikuvalu 6. Lachlan Lam 7. Drew Hutchison 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Sam Verrills 10. Isaac Liu 11. Angus Crichton 12. Sitili Tupouniua 13. Victor Radley 14. Sam Walker 15. Nat Butcher 16. Egan Butcher 17. Fletcher Baker 18. Dale Copley 19. Ben Thomas 20. Ben Marschke 21. Naufahu Whyte
In the first of the 2 semifinals this weekend we have “Battle of The Beach’s as Manly take on the Roosters in what will and should be a hotly contested match. I feel like the biggest question mark surrounding this game is if the Manly team can got out and prove Des Hasler’s comment’s right that the result last week against the Storm was just a one off.
On the other hand, you have a Roosters team who will be out to improve on their display from last week in which they only just got past the Titans. In what was an extremely tight tussle that could have gone the other way, if not for an errant pass in the dying embers of the game that ended the Titans season. This game much like the next game I’m about to talk about is a toss of the coin affair but in finals that is what we want.
Prediction Manly 24 – Roosters 16
2ND SEMI-FINAL PENRITH PANTHERS’ VS PARRAMATTA EELS
Panthers team: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Stephen Crichton 3. Paul Momirovski 4. Matt Burton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Kurt Capewell 13. Isaah Yeo 14. Mitch Kenny 15. Scott Sorensen 16. Tevita Pangai Junior 17. Liam Martin 18. Spencer Leniu 19. Izack Tago 20. Brent Naden 21. Tyrone May
Eels team: 1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Haze Dunster 3. Viliami Penisini 4. Waqa Blake 5. Blake Ferguson 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Ray Stone 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Marata Niukore 13. Nathan Brown 14. Will Smith 15. Isaiah Papali’i 16. Bryce Cartwright 17. Ryan Matterson 18. Makahesi Makatoa 19. Oregon Kaufusi 20. Tom Opacic 21. Jakob Arthur
Now this is one of the games that is always immensely heated normally let alone when the stakes are this high with a preliminary final spot on the line. This time though, not just because it’s a final will it be super fiery but because the Panthers are trying to cash in on their dominant last 2 seasons while the Eels are attempting to arrest 35 years of pain and win their first premiership since 1986. What better way to push on for either side then to push ahead to claim the premiership then knocking out your biggest rivals and arch enemy.
The Panthers come into this game on the back of a shock loss to South Sydney in game where they seemingly just could not complete any of their plays which was very un-Penrith like compared to this season and last. Parramatta on the other hand are heading into the game on the back of an elimination final win against Newcastle that ended in a controversial way with the game being decided by a penalty try. For opinions sake I believe that the ball was knocked on but if that was ok the penalty try was the correct call. And they will be wanting to show that they aren’t here on a technicality.
Prediction Panthers 14 – Parramatta 18
There we go that is my predictions for this weekend, if my predictions are right, I told you so but if they are wrong don’t come at me as I said they are my predictions. Either way all we can hope for is some excellent games, tough plays and no more controversial decisions to talk about next week.