The first week of the 2018 NRL finals saw the shock departure of the Brisbane Broncos and the New Zealand Warriors. Now with only six teams remaining, week two of the 2018 Finals Series sees the Cronulla Sharks take on the Penrith Panthers and the South Sydney Rabbitohs take on the St. George Illawarra Dragons.
With only two sides to progress through to the Grand Final qualifiers, another red hot weekend of footy is on the cards and things kick-off this Friday night with the Sharks vs. Panthers at Allianz Stadium.
7:40pm Cronulla Sharks vs. Penrith Panthers @ Allianz Stadium
The Penrith Panthers shocked everyone by beating the Warriors last weekend with the young Penrith side, lead by James Maloney, showing glimpses of their earlier season form.
The Panthers started slow allowing the Warriors to cross for the first two tries, but in a 10-minute period shortly after, the Panthers crossed for 3 tries and went in to the halftime break 6 points ahead.
Penrith’s defence was too strong in the second half, keeping the Warriors scoreless and raced away to a 15-point victory.
The Sharks scored first in their battle with the Roosters, though eventually went down by 9 points. Thankfully for the Sharks a top-4 finish gives them a second chance.
The last time these two sides met was in round 19 with the Sharks taking out that battle 24–12. The difference being this time around the Panthers will have a full-strength side, including the experience of their origin halves pairing back.
Finals footy is any ones game and everything will be on the line this weekend. Penrith are the strong outsiders in the game, but we will back them in for the win.
Penrith 1–12 @ $3.40 (BET NOW)
Total game points over 38 @ $1.90 (BET NOW)
Waqa Blake Anytime Try Scorer @ $3.10 (BET NOW)
Penrith by 4
7:40pm South Sydney Rabbitohs vs. St. George Illawarra Dragons @ ANZ Stadium
The Rabbitohs played out a growling encounter with the Melbourne Storm on Friday night, going down by 1 point. The Rabbitoh’s bruising forward pack lead from the front in a match that saw the scoreboard seesaw.
Greg Inglis had a blinder against his old club, scoring a double and setting up winger Robert Jennings in the 61st minute. The Rabbitohs top 4 finish has gifted them a second chance in the finals series.
The Dragons have surprised everyone flogging the Broncos at a packed Suncorp Stadium on Sunday. Tariq Sims scored a 17-minute hat-trick as the Dragons ran in 7 tries and 10 Goals to end the Broncos season 48-18. However, the victory was bitter-sweet for the Dragons as star play maker Gareth Widdop went down with a dislocated shoulder, Lock Jack De Bellin left the field with a leg injury, and forward James Graham failed a HIA and was not allowed back for the match.
All 3 players will be a big loss for the Dragons if they are unable to play this week.
The last time these two teams met the Rabbitohs won comfortably 24–10. This game will be a tough task for the Dragons, though in their favour, the Rabbitohs will be battered and bruised after their finals clash, too.
The Rabbitohs have been a class outfit all year and they will be striving to get back into the winners circle again this weekend.
Rabbitohs 13+ @ $1.91 (BET NOW)
Total game points under 42.5 @ $1.91 (BET NOW)
Greg Inglis Anytime Try Scorer @ $2.10 (BET NOW)
Rabbitohs By 22