NRL Round 15

Cowboys v Broncos - It’s always difficult to pick winners in the aftermath of State of Origin matches and that applies to most matches this weekend. Certainly Friday night’s Queensland derby in Townsville falls into that category with both North Queensland and Brisbane having big Origin commitments. Brisbane had already made the decision to rest key players which made the two points from last Sunday’s win over the Roosters so valuable. How the players backing up cope is the unknown factor. Maybe the home side. North Queensland Cowboys 1-12


Dragons v Bulldogs - The Dragons desperately need a win in their home clash with the Bulldogs. Another loss and the Dragons will find themselves quickly losing contact with the top eight. Canterbury are travelling under the radar for coach Des Hasler and a win here keeps them safely in the top four. Origin commitments could have a bearing but no as much as for some other games so there should be no excuses. A desperate game for the Dragons and that might just make a difference. St George-Illawarra 1-12


Warriors v Sharks - The New Zealand Warriors showed the value of not having Origin players missing as they stamped their authority late in Monday night’s win over Penrith. Against a Sharks’ side that has just gone off the boil a touch and with key players hoping to back up from Origin, everything points to a Warriors’ win at Toyota Stadium in the early Saturday game. When they get on a roll, the power and size of the Warriors is a real handful and at their best, the New Zealanders are a threat to any team. New Zealand Warriors 1-12


Rabbitohs v Eels - South Sydney should have too many big guns for Parramatta at ANZ Stadium on Saturday, even though Parra’s come from behind effort to beat Cronulla showed that there may be some light at the end of the tunnel. Interest will be in Chris Sandow’s performance for the Eels against his old club, while David Taylor needs a big game for the Bunnies to cement his Origin spot as he had a very poor game for the Maroons. South Sydney Rabbitohs 1-12


Titans v Panthers - The Titans and Panthers at Skilled Park might very much depend on how many Origin players back up and what shape they are in come Sunday when the knocks from Wednesday night can be at the sorest. Greg Bird deservedly won the Man of the Match in Origin 2 an even though he is a real warrior, it will be a big task to produce another top game for his club. The Gold Coast probably have done enough lately to start favourites against the Panthers. Gold Coast Titans 1-12


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