It’s officially Week 3 of the 2020 NRL Finals series and fans will see two mouth-watering clashes that promise to be high-scoring and entertaining, with some of the most dominating attacking players on show this week.
It all starts on Friday night as the Storm and Raiders play at Suncorp Stadium, followed by the Panthers and Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night. We have not yet had any team outside of the top four actually win the premiership in the modern era, so can either the Raiders or the Rabbitohs be the first team to do so?
Here are my own tips and predictions for this week’s matches, where I also provide a margin, either 12 or less or 13 or more. Good luck to everyone with your tipping!
Melbourne Storm vs Canberra Raiders
The Storm were obviously rested last week due to their win against Parramatta, where the Raiders found their best form against the two-time reigning premiers, the Roosters. The Storm bring a lot to the table on Friday night, with a wide range of experience coming from various players including Cameron Smith. If Melbourne win, it will be based on his form and Cameron Munster’s contributions.
This will be a huge battle between the halves as well as the two fullbacks, but I’ll tip an upset here and back the Raiders. Their forwards will do some damage to Melbourne’s pack, while Jack Wighton and George Williams should also shine like they did last week. After all, Canberra are more than determined to improve their finish from last year and have a chance to be the first team to win the premiership outside the top four.
Penrith Panthers vs South Sydney Rabbitohs
The Panthers have enjoyed a week off from their win against the Roosters in Week 1 of the finals. Penrith have been the team to beat this year, winning an extraordinary 16 games in a row. On the other hand, the Bunnies ended Parramatta’s finals hopes with a win last week. The Rabbitohs have pretty much been in electrifying form since the Bulldogs surprisingly got the upper hand back in Round 19. Their attack has just been absolutely unstoppable, so this will be a huge challenge coming up for the Panthers.
Rabbitohs centre Campbell Graham will be ruled out with a groin injury – a crucial blow as he’s been really inspirational for the Bunnies this year. I can’t wait for some of these match-ups that are about to take place; the battle of the spines and the damaging forward packs that these two teams showcase. However, I’m going to tip the Panthers by a close margin here as they just have too much momentum and the loss Graham will really hurt the Bunnies.