Holden Cup Round 25 previews
The players to watch and predicted results for Round 25 of the National Youth Competition.
Broncos v Eels
According to all sources, this is going to be huge. Brisbane's hefty win over the Dragons last week saw them jump into eighth spot but they can ill-afford a slip up at home against a Parramatta side that has worked its way into third with two rounds remaining.
The Eels won the reverse fixture a month ago and are currently riding a six-match winning streak but there's no denying Brisbane's speedsters will trouble them on a fast track at Suncorp Stadium.
Tip: Broncos by 8
Raiders v Knights
Having smashed the Raiders earlier in the year, and with a finals spot on the line, everything points to a comfortable Newcastle win. However, things rarely go to script in the NYC.
The Knights were smashed by the Storm last week and as a result dropped to ninth spot on the Holden Cup ladder, and while the Raiders also lost, their right edge of Mikaele Ravalawa and Andre Niko should run riot against Newcastle.
Tip: Raiders by 10
Wests Tigers v Cowboys
The Tigers pulled off one of the upsets of the season when they claimed a 26-20 win in Townsville back in Round 6 but you'd be a brave man to tip them again this weekend.
The black and golds were smashed by the Roosters and they won't get any sympathy from a Cowboys side that fell out of the top four after going down to the table-topping Sharks.
Tip: Cowboys by 16
Titans v Bulldogs
It would take a miracle for the Titans to feature in the playoffs so you can expect them to come out all guns blazing against a Bulldogs side that is simply playing for pride.
The Titans are currently three points outside the top eight but would finish on 29 competition points if they were to beat the Bulldogs and Roosters in the coming weeks. It's a stretch, but stranger things have happened.
Tip: Titans by 16
Storm v Rabbitohs
The Storm showed last week that they are more than capable of playing the role of spoilers after they thrashed the Knights to send the Novocastrians spiralling out of the top eight.
History could repeat when they host the red-hot Rabbitohs on Saturday although they've left danger man Scott Drinkwater out of the side which opens the door for the Bunnies to solidify their place in the eight with another big win.
Tip: Rabbitohs by 12
Sharks v Roosters
They had their season ended by the Roosters in Week Two of the 2016 finals series and now the Sharks have the chance to bring an end to the Tricolours' premiership defence when the sides go head-to-head on Saturday night.
Cronulla's winning streak ticked over to 15 games courtesy of another big win over the Cowboys but they can expect a proper challenge against a Roosters side that simply must win if they want to keep their finals hopes alive.
The Roosters have scored 140 points in three weeks but they won't be afforded the same opportunities by a Sharks side that might go down as the greatest team in NYC history.
Tip: Sharks by 10
Warriors v Sea Eagles
Manly will win, and win well.
Tip: Sea Eagles by 36
Panthers v Dragons
Their NRL clash is being touted as one of the most significant games of the season and the same could be said about the NYC clash. Separated by just two points on the ladder, the Panthers would virtually secure second spot with a win while the Dragons could drop out of the top four with another loss.
The Red V claimed a thrilling win over Penrith in Round 1 but the wheels are threatening to fall off after a couple of tough weeks. It's interesting to note that Dragons halfback Jackson Willis has been named 18th man.
Tip: Panthers by 12
Last week's results: 6/8
Season results: 124/176