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NRL PRedictions Round 3 2024

NRL Predictions & Tips - Round 3 2024

After a weekend of incredible tries (we’re looking at you Xavier Coates), big hits, and an unusual number of obstructions via the referees, Round 2 of Season 2024 is officially in the books. We now turn our attention to the upcoming games this weekend, in a blockbuster round that is set to be the hardest to pick so far.

Thursday night will kick off the weekend of Rugby League as the Brisbane Broncos travel to the foot of the mountain to take on the reigning, defending, three-peat premiers in the Penrith Panthers. A Grand Final rematch with one very important question looming over it… who is the bigger loss- James Fisher-Harris or Adam Reynolds? Two elite players, operating week in and week out as the heart and soul of the competition’s two best sides, will be missing on Thursday night. Penrith looked to be dusting off the cobwebs last week against Parramatta, as Brisbane proved to be too good for South Sydney. In what will be a great game of football, it's hard to go past Penrith at Bluebet Stadium. For that reason, I’m taking Penrith by 10 points.

Friday night’s curtain raiser will see our Canberra Raiders head across the ditch to take on the New Zealand Warriors. The Wahs did well to hang on against Melbourne for as long as they did last week, going down in the last 20 seconds. However, this new “us against the world” mentality, combined with a back to basics model of football that Ricky Stuart has instilled in the Raiders looks very hard to beat. Newton’s Laws of Motion tell us an object in motion will stay in motion, and it’s unlikely this New Zealand line up will stop the Green Machine. Apollo Projects Stadium looks set to become Big Papa’s house, with the Raiders winning by 12.

Friday’s main event is due to be the game of the round, as the Sydney Roosters take on the South Sydney Rabbitohs. Are there any two sides that hate each other more in club land than these two? Jared Waerea-Hargreaves is back from suspension and will play his 300th NRL game and will no doubt look to make an impact early; but can he stay on the field? South Sydney are yet to win a game this year, but still remain experts at getting under the skin of their opposition. With so much to play for, will we see a repeat of Sin-Bin Sunday or will these two sides keep their cool? As good as the Chooks have been playing this season, with the new addition of Jack Wighton it is just too big of a stretch to predict Souths losing three in a row. For that reason I’ve got South Sydney by 8 points.

Saturday afternoon football in suburbia is what the NRL was built on, and 3:00pm Saturday will see the Gold Coast Titans travel to Belmore for just that, in their clash against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. The Titans looked lackluster at best in their opening round game against the Dragons, and the Dogs have looked competitive for long periods against two top eight favourites despite two loses. As Matt Burton continues to develop his running game in the halves, Canterbury’s left edge is going to be hard to stop. Ciraldo’s defense systems seem to be taking effect and I’d expect a long afternoon for the Gold Coast in front of the Bulldogs faithful as they look to chalk up their first win. Canterbury-Bankstown by 14 points.

The two evening games on Saturday night I would expect to be fairly one sided. The North-Queensland Cowboys travel down to Sydney to take on the St George Illawarra Dragons. Tom Dearden and his men have looked too strong in the opening couple of rounds and a 38 point shut-out at the hands of the Dolphins last week looked to put a significant roadblock in the way of the Dragons rebuild. Luciano Leilua will bring a driving force to the Dragons forward pack, providing a chance for Ben Hunt and his edge backs to look to work some sort of sorcery, but I suspect North Queensland will just be too good on Saturday. Cowboys by 16 points.

There has been a lot of criticism in Tigertown in recent memory, and the Wests Tigers will look to build on the positives that they can take from last week as they come up against the Cronulla Sharks at Leichardt Oval on Saturday night. I’d expect the Tigers to put up a fight in front of their first home crowd for the year, and put on a show to reflect the hard work they have done under new coach Benji Marshall in the off season. However Nicho Hynes and the Cronulla attack look to be firing on all cylinders right now, and it would be surprising if this were the first game they dropped for the year. Cronulla by 20+ points.

There is another absolute game of the round contender taking place on Sunday afternoon between the Parramatta Eels and the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles at Commbank Stadium. Both are two of the in-form sides in the competition, with many tipping them both to be genuine top four contenders. This is set to be a blockbuster match-up. The Sea Eagles are flying high after back to back wins against fellow Vegas venturing sides, but after a strong performance last week against Penrith, I suspect an at-home Parramatta line-up may get the chocolates this weekend. Parramatta by 13 points.

Closing out the weekend will be the Newcastle Knights playing host to the Melbourne Storm. Newcastle announced this morning they will be dropping halfback Jackson Hastings for this weekend, and after two disappointing starts to the season, I just cannot see them getting over a Melbourne outfit who just continue to find a way to win. I’m taking Melbourne by 18 points.

We’re set for a tremendous weekend of Rugby League, with Penrith, Canberra, South Sydney, the Bulldogs, Cowboys, Sharks, Parra and Storm all expected to walk away with W’s. What do you think of our tips? Let us know and remember if you haven’t got your fan gear for 2024 yet, head into Jerseys Megastore for All Thing’s Footy.