NRL Tipping: Round 18 - what the experts are saying
With State of Origin now in the rear-view mirror, the Telstra Premiership ramps up again. Read Petero Civoniceva's previews of each match and take a look at what the experts at NRL.com have to say.
Panthers v Sharks
Petero's prediction: Penrith will be buoyed by their impressive win over the Warriors last Friday where a number of their young guys stood up and announced themselves as future NRL stars. It should be an absolute cracker, with Cronulla fresh after the bye last weekend and Matt Moylan returning to his old stomping ground.
Tip: Panthers by 8
Knights v Eels
Petero's prediction: Both teams are playing for pride, but I think the return of Mitchell Pearce will be the catalyst behind a Newcastle win at home. The Eels just don't seem to know how to win at the moment, losing has become almost a weekly habit.
Tip: Knights by 6
Bulldogs v Rabbitohs
Petero's prediction: The manner in which the Bulldogs were run down against the Raiders was unbelievable. I think they will still be deflated by that result, their confidence is shot. South Sydney are full of confidence, they are a definite grand final contender this year.
Tip: Rabbitohs by 14
Sea Eagles v Storm
Petero's prediction: It has been a season to forget for Manly, but no doubt they will rise when Melbourne make their way to Lottoland. It will have plenty of feeling, but the Storm should have too much class, especially after how well they played against the Dragons last round, minus their Origin players.
Tip: Storm by 10
Raiders v Cowboys
Petero's prediction: Anyone can see North Queensland are down on confidence, they are a team which is used to winning, especially in the last five years. Canberra need the two points to keep their faint finals hopes alive, so their level of desperation on a cold night should get them the chocolates.
Tip: Raiders by 8
Broncos v Warriors
Petero's prediction: Brisbane were at their attacking best versus the Titans, and I sense they are building towards something big ahead of the finals. They can look to climb up the ladder now that their place in the top eight is basically assured. The Warriors were awful last week, and I can't see much improving at Suncorp Stadium.
Tip: Broncos by 12
Dragons v Tigers
Petero's prediction: The Dragons will be keen to bounce back after the heavy Melbourne defeat, and in front of their loyal fans at Kogarah should be too hard to stop. The Tigers may provide some resistance, but I can't see them maintaining it for 80 minutes.
Tip: Dragons by 8
Titans v Roosters
Petero's prediction: I thought the Roosters were very unlucky in Adelaide, and should be raring to go after the bye. Gold Coast have a few blokes backing up from Origin in key positions, it is too big a mountain to climb, even though they are at home again.
Tip: Roosters by 4