Holden Cup Round 6 previews
The players to watch and predicted results from Round 6 of the National Youth Competition.
Broncos v Roosters
Round 6 kicks off with the seventh-placed Broncos hosting the sixth-placed Roosters in a blockbuster battle at Suncorp Stadium.
Brisbane are coming off a comfortable win over the Bulldogs highlighted by a barnstorming performance from lock Patrick Carrigan who ran for 284 metres and had nine tackle breaks.
The Roosters were unstoppable last week, piling on 12 tries against Manly in their best performance of the season. Nat Butcher has been ruled out after injuring his shoulder in what was his comeback from a lengthy lay-off, but the Tricolours should welcome back Auckland Nines hero Bernard Lewis on the wing.
Tip: Roosters by 6
Knights v Bulldogs
Only for and against separates these sides, with the Knights clinging onto a spot in the top eight courtesy of a positive points differential. Newcastle were brave against the Sharks and were in the contest for most of the afternoon. Matt Cooper continues to impress at fullback in both attack and defence.
The Bulldogs will be looking for an improved showing in attack after being held to just two tries at home against the Broncos. Ben Cassell replaces Jayden el-Jalkh in the No.1 jersey in a game the blue and whites need to win.
Tip: Knights by 14
Panthers v Rabbitohs
The Panthers confirmed their status as one of the teams to beat in 2017 after downing the previously unbeaten Storm on the Sunshine Coast. They should make it five wins in a row against a Rabbitohs side that has managed just one victory.
The Bunnies are coming off a heavy loss in Townsville and it will be interesting to see how they back up from the tough conditions up north.
Tip: Panthers by 22
Storm v Sharks
The Thunderbolts had their four-game winning streak snapped by the Panthers and things won't get any easier against the Sharks who boast the best attack in the NYC. Scott Drinkwater has moved to halfback, with Jesse Arthars returning to his preferred spot at the back.
Cronulla's right edge was the difference in their 10-point win over the Knights with five of their six tries coming down that flank. Expect Blayke Brailey to ask plenty of questions around Melbourne's ruck.
Tip: Sharks by 8
Titans v Raiders
Gold Coast's spine continued to fire with three tries and just as many assists against the Warriors. The scoreline probably flattered the Kiwis who were able to score a few late tries last week.
The Raiders showed they can be a force at home with a big 20-point win over the Eels. Eight players got on the scoreboard, and the next challenge for Brett White's side is to take that form with them on the road.
Tip: Titans by 10
Cowboys v Wests Tigers
This looks like a mismatch on paper. The Cowboys are yet to lose in 2017 while the Tigers have managed just one win from five games.
North Queensland have included Kalyn Ponga at fullback, but he is on standby for the NRL side with Lachlan Coote in doubt. Their backline already looks different to the one that thrashed the Rabbitohs, but their impressive forward pack remains intact.
Wests Tigers were gallant last week but couldn't keep up with the Dragons when it mattered most. They have scored the fewest points and conceded the most in 2017 which doesn't augur well against one of the most professional sides in the NYC.
Tip: Cowboys by 32
Sea Eagles v Dragons
The wheels have well and truly fallen off for the Sea Eagles who are coming off a huge loss at the hands of the Roosters. Back-to-back wins to start the season are a distant memory for a side that has lost its past three.
The Dragons have had no such troubles and are sitting pretty in the top four with just one loss from the opening five rounds. Tristan Sailor is living up to his reputation with a team-high six tries this season.
Tip: Dragons by 26
Warriors v Eels
The Warriors looked good in patches last week with Chanel Harris-Tavita providing plenty of spark at five-eighth while Soane Hufanga gave them some punch off the bench, but it wasn't enough as they slipped to their fifth loss in a row.
The Eels were disappointing against Canberra but should be drastically improved with halfback Troy Dragan back in the side.
Tip: Eels by 12
Last week's tipping results: 6/8
Season results: 24/39