Collingwood vs. West Coast Eagles
Second vs. third and match of the round, or perhaps more importantly, a chance for Collingwood to string together eight straight wins. Nothing will come easy for the Pies today – especially with West Coast proving themselves on the road in Melbourne – but the inclusions of Travis Varcoe and Darcy Moore into the side should really boost Collingwood’s confidence. If the Pies can win the ruck battle against Nic Naitanui, they should be able to distance themselves from West Coast on the ladder.
Brisbane Broncos vs. New Zealand Warriors
It’s safe to say the Warriors are pretty great on the road, but against this Broncos side? Let’s just say, it’s hard to make a case for the kiwis. New Zealand looked flat and uninterested last week against the Panthers, meanwhile the Broncos have found a new zest for footy ahead of the finals. Brisbane have won five of their last six, and for the first time all year, they look like they are playing as a complete team rather than relying on individual efforts. Don’t bet against the Broncos at home.
North Melbourne vs. Sydney Swans
There’s plenty on the line in this one, but it’s basically do-or-die time now for the Roos. North’s victory over the Suns last week was hardly impressive, and if they are to bury the Swans at home today, they’ll need to rely on the likes of Ben Brown up again up forward. Fortunately for the Roos, Sydney are reeling, and the losses of Dan Hannebery, Kieren Jack and Jarrad McVeigh really hurt. The Swans have lost back-to-back games, and with so many of their leaders out, it’s hard to see Sydney pulling this off away from home.