Lang on League: Round 7

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Peter Lang looks at Round 7’s NRL matches…

Sydney Roosters v St George Illawarra Dragons
This traditional Anzac Day clash has always been keenly fought between these two sides no matter what their position is on the table and this year won’t be any different. The Chooks are without doubt the form side in the competition and I’m running out of superlatives to describe the type of season they’re having. The Dragons on the other hand are only winning their games in the last few minutes of the match but winning nonetheless. On the surface this one looks easy to pick, the Roosters is the obvious choice. Still one has to ask themselves, can the Chooks keep on winning? Or will a plucky…no wrong word….or will the fire breathing Dragons topple the titanic power of the robust Roosters? I’m going out on a limb in this one. I can smell an upset! Tip: Dragons by 2

Melbourne Storm v New Zealand Warriors
The mighty Storm lost their first game of the season against the Roosters last weekend but there’s certainly no shame in that. The Warriors on the other hand showed some worrying signs going down to the Cowboys at home in a game they would have had marked down as a win. Melbourne at home should win this in a canter, I mean they’d be smarting after their one point loss and coach Bellamy would have given them such an almighty spray that they’d still be trying to wipe the spit from their eyes. Problem is, the Warriors are the Storm’s bogey side and have had some famous victories down in Victoria over the last decade. There is no reason why Stephen Kearney’s men can’t do it again. Oh who am I kidding, that’s not going to happen, the Warriors are a blithering basket case. Tip: Storm by 10

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v North Queensland Cowboys
Last week against the Bunnies the Dogs showed it was the size of the fight in the dog not the size of the dog in the fight by pushing the Rabbitohs all the way and making them work hard for their victory. Now if the Dogs can only replicate that fighting spirit against a less formidable opponent like the Cowboys they will come up with a vital two competition points. North Queensland on the other hand actually played with some conviction and spirit with several of their high profile players finally shining in a somewhat dour contest. I like the look of Dean Pay’s men in this game however which means they’ll probably get flogged. Hey they don’t call me the kiss of death for nothing. Tip: Canterbury by 4

Wests Tigers v Gold Coast Titans
What in the name of all that is holy happened to the Wests Tigers last Monday? They made the Eels look like the Harlem globetrotters of rugby league conceding a season high 51 points while their attack was so bad I thought Madge had only sent 10 players out onto the field instead of the regulation 13. The Titans on the other hand were the exact opposite scoring 38 points and surviving a second half Knights fightback to record a convincing victory. Newcastle are dreadful at the moment and no real yardstick to measure yourself by so despite the pasting the Tigers received last round I’m actually going to tip them to turn things around at home and defeat a Gold Coast side searching for their third win on the trot. Tip: Wests Tigers by 6

Brisbane Broncos v Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
The Broncos showed signs of life against the Raiders despite going down last weekend while the Sharks took advantage of some sloppy Penrith errors in the second half to swim home with a win when they looked dead in the water. Cronulla coach John Morris is sure to send Panthers coach Ivan Cleary a Christmas card for putting second-rower Isaah Yeo in the centres when Dean Whare left the field injured, opening up a world of opportunities for the hungry Sharks. He’ll have two ‘real’ centres up against his boys this week though as Seibold is not likely to be so generous with his team selections. I jumped off the Brisbane bandwagon last game but I’m back in the saddle this week and tipping those ‘Bucking Broncos’ to snap their long losing streak this year and beat the Sharks up at Suncorp Stadium. Tip: Broncos by 8

Manly Sea Eagles v Canberra Raiders
The Sea Eagles return to Lottoland, oh you know what, I’m going back to calling it Brookvale Oval, Lottoland just sounds wrong. Anyway, the Manly faithful are sure to turn up in great numbers to see if their side can turn a nail biting last minute loss into a comfortable victory against one of the real premiership contenders of 2019, the revitalised and reborn Canberra Raiders. What a pleasure it is to watch this team play rugby league, I never really rated Ricky Stuart as a coach before and always found him to be an annoying &*%$ but you have to give him credit, his forwards are mobile and skilful, while his backs are fast, strong and exciting to watch. The Sea Eagles are going to have to play at their peak to win this encounter. Tip: Raiders by 6

Newcastle Knights v Parramatta Eels
You’ve got to think that the thin ice that Newcastle coach Nathan Brown is standing on is beginning to crack big time under his feet following five losses in a row. The Knights are actually getting worse with each game they play while the Eels are going in the complete opposite direction. I actually don’t enjoy putting the boot into a side when their down, well maybe a little, but the dribble Newcastle dish up every week is beginning to get boring and not only for their long suffering fans who deserve better. Parra fans on the other hand, rejoice, after watching your side win the wooden spoon last year, a more sparkly form of silverware could be headed your direction if you can keep this early season form going.  Tip: Eels by 12

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