Round 6 has already arrived and what a ride the first five rounds have been! In round 5 we saw some incredibly unfortunate injury's, we saw Shaun Johnson turning back the clock to be the highest scoring half in the round! And we saw some big guns let a few coaches down with some disappointing scores. So what will round 6 bring? In this blog we'll be previewing every game of the round and providing some insight into what we might expect in the week ahead. What do you think round 3 hold for us? let us know who you agree with and who else you might have selected down below on all of our social channels twitter, facebook, instagram, discord.
Melbourne Storm V Sydney Roosters
Thursday 6th of April - 7:50pm AEST
A gargantuan matchup between two powerhouses of the league to start off a round full of juicy match ups! Melbourne who currently sit 6th on the NRL ladder, take on the Sydney Roosters who have climbed all the way to 3rd on the ladder. There is some massive lineup news surrounding both teams, the biggest being that James Tedesco will miss this matchup as he enters concussion protocols. However, superstar Joey Manu will slot into that fullback role given he has served his suspension and is available for selection. On Melbourne's end, playmaker Jahrome Hughes will also return from suspension, young gun Jonah Pezet will make way for the star.
If Joey Manu does take on the #1 jersey from James Tedesco how will he fare? The Roosters have won seven of their past eight games with Joseph Manu at fullback. Will that trend continue?
Melbourne 22 - 18 Sydney Harry Grant - 60 GDS fantasy points
Canterbury Bulldogs V South Sydney Rabbitohs
Friday 7th of April - 4:05pm AEST
Canterbury's star playmaker Matt Burton has been steering his men well in recent weeks, notching up 3 wins out of 5 games and sitting 8th on the NRL ladder. South Sydney however will be pondering how on earth they are 13th given the star power they have all over the park.
The big out for South Sydney will be their veteran winger and club leading try scorer Alex Johnston will miss this clash on Friday afternoon after copping a head knock last week. Taane Milne will be awarded with his first 2023 game of the season in place of Johnston. Prop Tevita Tatola has been named to return from a knee injury, in a big boost for the bunnies.
The Canterbury Bulldogs will be without Raymond Faitala-Mariner, Franklin Pele (broken arm) and Jayden Okunbor (suspension) but will welcome back Max King and Jacob Preston.
In his 150th game, can Latrell Mitchell go ballistic like we know he can? He's been good without setting the world alight, averaging 522 GDS fantasy points per game. Latrell is a due a monster game, will it be Friday afternoon when the hammer drops? Predictions! Canterbury 10 - 28 South Sydney Cameron Murray - 60 GDS fantasy points
North Queensland Cowboys V Dolphins
Friday 7th of April - 8:00pm AEST
After starting out hot with three straight wins, the Dolphins have been humbled a touch in recent weeks, showing that they do have some weak areas. The Cowboys have found it hard to find any consistency in both their play on-field and their lineups. It gets no easier with the Cowboys lineup shakeups with Jeremiah Nanai getting suspended, while Heilum Luki and Jordan McLean have both suffered suspected hamstring injuries. The Cowboys will be welcoming back stud fullback Scott Drinkwater which will be a more than welcome inclusion for the side and many fantasy teams. The Dolphins are no better, losing another half in Anthony Milford for up to four weeks with a hamstring injury. Herman Ese'ese will be free to play after serving his suspension and Kodi Nikorima will be available for selection at the half-back position.
How will Scott Drinkwater score after serving his suspension? In round one Drinkwater put up a respectable score of 50 GDS fantasy points, will we see more of that level of scoring?
Predictions! North Queensland 16 - 20 Dolphins Scott Drinkwater - 50 GDS fantasy points
Penrith Panthers V Manly Sea Eagles
Saturday 8th of April - 5:30pm AEST
The reigning champs looked back to their devastating best in round 5, notching up a mammoth nine tries against the Raiders away from home! Manly on the other hand are coming off a 32 all draw against the Newcastle Knights in matchup they'll be disappointed with dropping points in. Prop James Fisher-Harris will be rested but Penrith will be replaced by Matt Eisenhuth. For Manly, Ben Trbojevic has suffered a hamstring injury and will miss the matchup. Josh Schuster will be back to slot into the five-eighth role. Dynamic winger Jason Saab will make his season debut in a tough match up against Penrith.
You do not want to meet a Penrith team with their tails up. As good as Manly have looked in recent weeks, I fear we are about to see a trademark run of Penrith form that maybe only the Broncos at the moment can halt. Manly are good enough to show us a little bit, but I think ultimately, this match is Penrith's.
We all know that Tom Trbojevic has arguably the leagues highest fantasy scoring ceiling, how does he go when matchup up against one of the leagues best defensive units? Predictions! Penrith 28 - 16 Manly Dylan Edwards - 55 GDS fantasy points
Brisbane Broncos V Canberra Raiders
Saturday 8th of April - 7:35pm AEST For the first time since 1998, the Brisbane Broncos have started 5-0. The hottest team in the league come up against one of the most out of form teams in the league - the Canberra Raiders, who currently sit 16th o the ladder at the moment. Eerily for the Raiders, Kevin Walters is set to name an unchanged 17 man squad for their Saturday night meeting. Jack Wighton still has one more week to serve on his suspension and back up Matt Frawley suffered a hand injury last week against Penrith which means Brad Schneider comes into to fill that hole.
The Broncos are sitting in pole position and cannot see that changing when round 6 is all said and done. Frankly, there's every chance the mercy rule could be enforced in this one. With the spine of the Canberra Raiders in (liquorice) all sorts, it will take a lot to find some spark, but i'll put some faith in them showing some ticker and crossing the line a couple times late in the game.
Five consecutive scored of over 60+ GDS fantasy points on the trot for super star Payne Haas and I can't see that trend ending here against the lifeless Canberra Raiders. Haas might just put them in a casket.
Predictions! Brisbane 30 - 12 Canberra
Payne Haas - 65 GDS fantasy points
Gold Coast Titans V St George Illawarra
Sunday 9th of April - 4:05pm AEST
The Dragons are coming off a much-needed confidence boosting win after they put 38 points on the Dolphins. The Titans were on the bye in round 5 and after an inconsistent start to the 2023 campaign, I believe the bye couldn’t have come at a better time for them.
The Dragons have been somewhat of a bogey team for the Titans. The Red V have won nineteen of the twenty-nine fixtures between these two clubs and seven of the last ten. This is also the second time this season that they come up against each other, the Dragons were surprising victors 32-18 in round 2.
The Dragons will be sticking to the same winning combination that they used against the Dolphins. The Titans on the other hand have had to make notable changes to their spine as they will be without AJ Brimson and Kieran Foran. The talented Jayden Campbell will replace Brimson at fullback while Toby Sexton will replace Foran at five-eighth. These changes are huge for the Titans but I have mitigated them slightly as I believe the Titans may have known the extent of the injuries to Brimson and Foran prior to their round 5 bye. That would have given Campbell and Sexton two weeks to work on the combinations in the backline.
I think this game will go down to the wire and it may be decided by a couple of crucial moments. Coaches Holbrook and Griffin have been mentioned in the media as candidates to be the first coach to be fired this season. A loss here for either coach may be a nail in the coffin for them. Even with the loss of Brimson and Foran, I’m favouring the Titans in this one as they are coming off a bye and are at home. The Dragons also don’t have the best record outside of Sydney over the last couple of years.
Titans 26 – 22 Dragons
David Fifita – 60+ GDS fantasy points
Newcastle Knights V New Zealand Warrors
Sunday 9th of April - 6:15pm AEST
The Knights were so close to upsetting the Sea Eagles in round 5 and in the end, both teams locked at 32-32 after golden point. The Warriors did almost the unthinkable as they came back from 20-0 down against the Sharks to seal victory in the dying minutes with a Shaun Johnson penalty. This was the second time in the Warriors history that they have come back from being down 20 points to grab the win.
Over the last ten meetings the Knights have been able to win six and three of the last five. The last time the Warriors were able to get the win in Newcastle was in 2019.
The Knights will be without Tyson Gamble this week as he misses this clash due to a head knock. They do welcome back Kurt Mann to the interchange as he missed the last game due to a concussion. The Warriors welcome back both Tohu Harris and Te Maire Martin to the starting side. Marata Niukore is out suspended, and Bayley Sironen will be filling in for him on the edge.
I can see this game being decided by a margin of 1-12. The Knights have one win and one loss at home this season while the Warriors have won two of their three games in Australia. With another change to the spine for the Knights and the Warriors form, I give the edge in this one to the Warriors. If we see Shaun Johnson directing his team around like he has been doing, we may see another impressive fantasy outing from him.
Knights 20 – Warriors 28
Shaun Johnson – 60+ GDS fantasy points
Wests Tigers V Parramatta Eels
Monday 10th of April - 4:00pm AEST Both teams will be desperate for a win this weekend as the Eels only have one and the Wests Tigers are still winless. This fixture in recent years has been closer than I expected, with seven of the last ten games being decided by a margin of 1-12. The Eels have had the better of the Wests Tigers in recent times and have won eight of the last ten.
The Eels this week welcome back Shaun Lane who has missed the first five rounds due to a broken jaw. Lane was one of the best edge forwards in fantasy at the back end of last season and his combination with Dylan Brown is a handful for any defence. Unfortunately for J’maine Hopgood who is having a breakout year, Lane’s inclusion has moved him back to the interchange which is a shame in fantasy terms.
The Wests Tigers seem to be shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic at the moment as they have once again made a notable shuffle to their backline. Adam Doueihi may be back on fantasy coach’s radars as he returns to the halves.
Both teams will be happy to take two competition points and I think this will be a tight affair. On paper the Eels have a better team and I believe they are a better side than their record this season suggests.
Wests Tigers 16 – 28 Eels
Adam Doueihi – 60+ GDS fantasy points