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It's the final full week of matches before the first split round of the season, with the game's stars having one last chance to impress State of Origin selectors.

The round begins with the battle of the west as Parramatta face Penrith at Bankwest Stadium, before the impressive Sea Eagles take on the Titans and the in-form Knights look to extend their winning streak to five against a Roosters team coming off a rare defeat.

Before you enter your tips for round nine, see who the NRL.com experts are backing and read Brett Kimmorley's previews.

Round 11 tips and previews

Eels v Panthers, Thursday 7.50pm at Bankwests Stadium

The Penrith Panthers have probably hit rock bottom and it'll be interesting to see what team Ivan Cleary puts together and how they perform. The battle of the west should inspire them this week. It'll be interesting to see how Nathan Cleary plays with the NSW No.7 jersey up for grabs. Parramatta have to learn to play a little smarter. They played well last week but couldn't get the result, and there will be pressure on Mitchell Moses to manage the gameplan when the contest is on the line. Eels by 6.

Sea Eagles v Titans, Friday 6pm at Lottoland

The Titans led by 16 last week but couldn't go on with it, so there will be pressure again on Ash Taylor to guide them home this week. Manly are flying massively under the radar, with Des Hasler getting the best out of his players. Addin Fonua-Blake was unbelievable last week and if he has another performance like that and creates quick play-the-balls I expect the Manly side to win this game pretty comfortably. Sea Eagles by 10.

Knights v Roosters, Friday 7.55pm at McDonald Jones Stadium

The Roosters don't lose too many games in a row and have the extra motivation of Cooper Cronk's retirement announcement this round. Newcastle are flying now, they're playing direct and energised football. It's a big clash for Mitchell Pearce, coming up against his old club. This has got some great clashes individually all across the park. I think the Roosters will win but it'll be a close game. Roosters by 4.

Raiders v Cowboys, Saturday 3pm at GIO Stadium

Sometimes you can take confidence from losses and I think Canberra will do that. Their big danger right now is through the middle – Josh Hodgson is the key man at dummy-half and Josh Papalii is playing big minutes at the moment. The Cowboys have got a bit of groove back – that forward pack we've been so excited about all year is starting to show what they can do. Matt Scott impressed last week and will be looking for another big game to push his Origin chances and win his Queensland jersey back. Cowboys by 4.

Warriors v Broncos, Saturday 5.30pm at Mt Smart Stadium

Kodi Nikorima goes up against his old club only a couple of weeks after he was told to leave. I thought he was wonderful last week – his support play was strong and his individual try was amazing. This will be a good clash, and the forward battle will be crucial. Agnatius Paasi led the Warriors big men last week and Payne Haas was so good for the Broncos, and is on the verge of an Origin jersey. If both teams play to their ability Brisbane should win a close one. Broncos by 2.

Rabbitohs v Wests Tigers, Saturday 7.35pm at ANZ Stadium

Souths are top of the ladder and are flying now. I'm looking forward to seeing Damien Cook come up against Robbie Farah – two great running dummy-halves. Both dummy-halves are really important to their sides but they can only run if their forwards win some play-the-balls and create some havoc, so I think the forwards will be where this game will be decided. Rabbitohs by 6.

Bulldogs v Storm, Sunday 2pm at Belmore Sports Ground

The Bulldogs are coming off a victory and should feel they have the blueprint to beat the Storm after almost beating them in Melbourne in round 4. They spread the ball a lot against the Storm in that first clash, got them to spread sideways, and then crashed through them. They're going to have to start the game a lot better than they did last week – you can't afford to gift Melbourne early points. The Storm are coping with a new fullback and new centre combinations recently, but they're such a disciplined side that I expect them to win what could be a close encounter. Storm by 4.

Dragons v Sharks, Sunday 4.05pm at WIN Stadium

The Dragons are coming off a massive loss in Mudgee and have slipped down the pecking order from a few weeks ago when I thought they could win the premiership. It's a big day for Ben Hunt: he can build pressure with a good kicking game, and when he runs the ball he's at his best. For the Sharks I thought Jayden Brailey was great for them last week, but they probably just made too many errors against Manly. I expect them to respond this week. Sharks by 6.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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