The second last week of the 2018 National Rugby League season kicks off this weekend with only 4 teams remaining in the competition.
The Melbourne Storm are set to host arch rivals Cronulla, whilst the Roosters will meet the Rabbitohs in all-Sydney showdown.
These teams are the top four finishers in the regular 2018 season, all finishing with 16 wins a piece, the only difference being points differential, so it’s fitting to see them all playing off for a spot in the 2018 Grand Final.
With what’s set to be two huge matches of rugby league, we can’t wait to see what we have in store!
7:40pm Melbourne Storm v Cronulla Sharks @ AAMI PARK
The hatred these two sides have for each other is unbelievable. The Sharks pipped the Storm at the post in the 2016 Grand Final to deliver their club their maiden premiership.
The Cronulla Sharks took on the Penrith Panthers in their knock out clash last weekend and got off to a flying start. The Sharks absolutely dominated the first half scoring three unanswered tries, going into the half time break 16 points ahead.
However, it was all the Panthers in the second half with scores locked at 20 all with minutes remaining. Star half Chad Townsend remained composed and slotted a field goal in the 73rd minute to hand the Sharks victory.
The Sharks could possibly be without veterans Paul Gallen, Luke Lewis and Josh Dugan, with an injury cloud cast over all three players.
The Storm will head into this match fresh from a well-earned week off. In the first week of finals the Storm clashed with the Rabbitohs in a physical, high-scoring affair. The Storm took out the win with a Cameron Munster field goal in the 76th Minute.
The Melbourne Storm are the current reigning premiers and are favourites with the bookmakers to go back-to-back. With Melbourne set to further bolster their side this week with the return Will Chambers and Nelson Asofa Solomona, the Sharks are facing an uphill battle.
The Storm are currently short-priced favourites to win this game, however, last time these two sides met in round 22, the Sharks won 14–17.
When these team do battle it is always a tough, brutal clash. With nothing to lose and everything to play for, we expect a tight, hard-fought match.
Melbourne 1–12 @ $2.75 (BET NOW)
Sulasi Vunivalu First Try Scorer @ $7.50 (BET NOW)
Felise Kaufusi Anytime Try Scorer @ $7.00 (BET NOW)
Melbourne by 4
7:40pm Sydney Roosters v South Sydney Rabbitohs @ Allianz Stadium
The Rabbitohs pathway to week 3 of the 2018 finals series has not been an easy one to say the least, with a heartbreaking 1-point loss in week 1 to the Storm and a 1-point victory last week against a relentless Dragons side.
Adam Reynolds scored all 13 points for the Rabbitohs last week, including three field goals in the final 10 minutes of the match to secure his side a preliminary final birth to play off for a spot in the 2018 Grand Final.
It has been reported that Greg Inglis has taken the early guilty plea at the judiciary and will be available to line up for the Rabbitohs.
These two sides last faced each other in Round 22 with the Roosters taking out the match 18–14.
The Rooster will be raring to go after a week off and have been the team to beat this year. Finishing Minor Premiers, the Roosters are currently 2nd Favorites behind the Melbourne Storm to take out the competition in 2018.
Latrell Mitchell will be missing for the Roosters this week, which will be a massive loss. Halfback Cooper Cronk has been a massive addition in 2018 for the Roosters and he has done an outstanding job leading the young side around the park. The role Cronk will play in this game will be crucial to his sides chance of success.
We think it will be a battle of the big men this weekend, as both side’s mammoth forward packs will be hitting the line at full force. Whoever can win the battle in the middle will go along way to booking their side a place in the 2018 National Rugby League Grand Final.
Roosters 1 – 12 @ $2.75 (BET NOW)
First Try Scorer James Tedesco @ $11.00 (BET NOW)
Roosters By 2