Already six rounds in and it feels like Rugby League has been around all year. That’s a good thing and we’d love year-round Rugby League (who wouldn’t), but it won’t be long before the annual griping from players commences about far too much football. As will be the term – Origin Bolter. A fun game to play over the next few weeks is identifying the potential Origin bolters, and then dropping them out of Dream Teams ASAP when they don’t make the side.
On paper it looks like a bunch of easy games to tip this weekend, almost too good to be true. Not that level of difficulty matters for our tips, they can be awful in any conditions, but there may be an upset or two hiding this week if you’re brave enough to pick them. We’ve simply chickened out and taken the points start for the outsiders in a bunch of games.
Here’s our thoughts on the games.
THURSDAY – BRONCOS v DRAGONS
Playing in the unfamiliar territory of a night game at Suncorp Stadium on a night other than Friday, the Broncos look like they have an easy one here on paper.
The Dragons have scored just six tries in 6 games, at one point every 10 minutes. They are 2-0 at home, however the 0-3 away record looks like being extended this week.
GURGLER TIP – BRONCOS WIN
FRIDAY – SOUTHS v ROOSTERS
What would have been a blockbuster last season and before, or even at the start of the season, but with the Roosters 0-5 there’s just the smugness of Souths fans and Roosters haters leading into this game. Souths would sure enjoy handing a sixth straight loss.
Maybe the Roosters (and Queensland supporters) are sweating on the return of Mitchell Pearce to turn it all around, and in time for Origin. Otherwise some the Roosters will get the heart Foundation rick of approval for leanness this season.
GURGLER TIP – SOUTHS WIN
SATURDAY – PARRAMATTA v CANBERRA
After a hear breaking last second loss on Sunday, hopefully the Eels will revert to the simple formula. Semi + Ball = Tries & Wins. We’re hoping that it happens every third game like against the Bulldogs.
Canberra were great against the Bulldogs, almost the performance of the weekend, and with their halves back in action will be a great chance again this weekend to surprise. Whilst the Catering won’t be as good on the Canberra bench this weekend as it was at Belmore on Monday night, it should be a bit safer.
GURGLER TIP – CANBERRA +6.5 START
SATURDAY – NZ v MANLY
Is the very rare early season win in NSW a sign that the inevitable turn around in form is about to start for the New Zealand side. Not before time for the fans with the quality in their side, and for general Rugby League fans as the Warriors provide great entertainment when they’re on.
Manly had enough ball to win several matches last weekend, and despite Souths doing extremely well to hang on, it showed how weak their attack can be. Was it because of DCE’s absence? Hard to justify that after Koroisau’s great performance.
GURGLER TIP – NZ WINS
SATURDAY – PENRITH V NORTH QLD
North Queensland head to Penrith on the back of a pantsing of the Dragons, however the last time they came to Sydney they were beaten by Parramatta, and Penrith have already seen off one of the Queensland sides at home this season, so this is a game which may appear an easy one to tip Cowboys, but Penrith are rarely far away, and we’ll take our usual 8.5 start for Penrith.
GURGLER TIP – PENRITH +8.5 START
SUNDAY – SHARKS v TITANS
A few things in common with these sides – a lot of rebranding. The Sharks have had plenty of names for their Stadium – Southern Cross Stadium being the latest in a long line of naming rights. The Gold Coast have had some rebranding of their own – except their revolves around the actual name of the team. Originally the Giants, then Seagulls, then Chargers, before a little time off saw them rebirth as the Titans. There’s been talk of another rebranding on the Gold Coast, which will probably make little inroads in getting more people interested. Pity the Gold Coast have turned themselves into a good side despite early season worries of wooden spoon.
GURGLER TIP – GOLD COAST +11.5 START
SUNDAY – NEWCASTLE v WESTS TIGERS
Funny, a game not in Sydney between two Sydney sides. Ray must want a little road trip. Hopefully Fox Sports get more of a say next year on the draw, so we can get more variety on a Sunday afternoon. As Gus continually states, people love Sunday Footy. Well, how about sharing it around Gus?
GURGLER TIP – NEWCASTLE +8.5 start
MONDAY – MELBOURNE v BULLDOGS
This last entry is a little like the NRL week itself. It all starts off with enthusiasm, but by the time the last match of the round is here, one is usually over rugby league. The proposed move next year from 7pm Monday night games to 6pm on Friday night is a good step forward to remove Mundane Night Football.
GURGLER TIP – FIRST HALF SCORES MOST POINTS IN TOTAL combined sides.