NRL Finals Week 1 Preview: Roosters Kickstart Finals Campaign Against Undermanned Broncos


Sydney Roosters v Brisbane | Friday, September 8, 8pm (AEST), Allianz Stadium 

It’s a massive advantage for the Roosters to have a home final in the opening week of the finals especially when the team they’re playing has to travel interstate.

If the Roosters fans don’t get out and support their team, they’ll lose that advantage.

Dylan Napa (pictured below) comes back for the Roosters after being rested last week  and he has been in incredible form this year and will want to make a statement as we get closer to the Grand Final and World Cup.

The Broncos have lost a few players in Darius Boyd and Andrew McCullough and that will hurt them when the Roosters are attacking their line.

Boyd has been in great form at fullback running the ball back from the opposition’s kicks.

Benji Marshall (pictured below) will shine in this game.

He has been praised for building up the younger players this year and they will back him up in this game.

The Verdict 

It’s a hard one to pick.

I’m in two minds about this game and if the Broncos score first, they’ll run away with it as the Roosters aren’t chasers.

But my head is saying the Roosters will win in a tight one.

Unibet Odds: Sydney Roosters 1.60 Brisbane 2.40

Tip: Sydney Roosters

Line tip: Sydney Roosters -4.5

Melbourne v Parramatta | Saturday, September 9, 4.10pm (AEST), AAMI Park

Storm coach Craig Bellamy would be telling the players not to underestimate the Eels.

Brad Arthur has come out and said that no-one gives them a chance but I do.

They play a different style of football and with Corey Norman and Mitchell Moses (pictured below) playing off each other, they’re creating so many options in attack.

Parramatta are the real deal and they will be sharp in this game.

Each week they’re getting stronger and have timed their run perfectly hitting form on the eve of the finals.

Key battle looming between the team’s respective spines, but it’s hard to steer away from the Storm’s spine.

When they get tired or injured, they just keep playing and the Eels don’t have that yet.

The Verdict 

It’s really hard to go against the Storm.

This will come down to the final minute but the Storm stars will prevail.

Unibet Odds: Melbourne 1.20 Parramatta 4.75 

Tip: Melbourne 

Line tip: Parramatta +12.5  

Manly v Penrith | Saturday, September 9, 8pm (AEST), Allianz Stadium

It doesn’t happen often when the same two teams play each other two weeks in a row.

Manly though won't be too concerned regarding where they play and their fans will travel and come out in force.

Tom and Jake Trbojevic (pictured above) will definitely play a major role in this game.

Penrith will be building a plan to stop the combination of these guys. 

After last week’s loss to the Sea Eagles, the Panthers need to work on their final options.

When they get down to the try line, they didn’t have a backline set and it seemed like certain players didn’t know where the ball was going.

The Verdict 

This is an easy one for me as the Panthers have lost Matt Moylan for personal reasons and it seems the Panthers have other issues and this will be chewing up some of the players’ energy.

Unibet Odds: Manly 1.60 Penrith 2.40

Tip: Manly 

Line tip: Manly -4.5 

Cronulla v North Queensland | Sunday, September 10, 4.15pm (AEST), Allianz Stadium

The Sharks are still a huge chance of going back-to-back despite being in 5th spot.

They have a full team this week and if they don’t get any injuries, they’ll be a hard team to beat.

Wade Graham (pictured above) needs to be the star for the Sharks.

The Cowboys are missing a lot of stars and they'll try and take it up the middle to the Sharks.

They’ve lost six out of their last seven and haven’t beaten any of the big teams in the top four.

Michael Morgan (pictured below) needs to be the standout as he holds the key when running the ball.

If he has an out of body game, the Cowboys have a small chance. 

Sharks will be winning this game.

They have a full team and are just about to hit top form.

The Cowboys have tried hard this season but this will be the end of the road.

Unibet Odds: Cronulla 1.36 North Queensland 3.25

Tip: Cronulla 

Line tip: Cronulla -7.5

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