NRL 2018 – Round 1 – Preview, Predictions & Tips
by Ken Edwards, 04 March 2018
St George Dragons vs Brisbane Broncos 8.3
In Ben Hunt, the Dragons have finally a top quality halves partner for Englishman, Gareth Widdop. The former Bronco marks his St George home debut against his former team in Round 1. The Broncos are not as strong as they have been in years gone by.
Newcastle Knights vs Manly Sea Eagles 9.3
The Sea Eagles have an ongoing salary cap drama and the Knights begin their season at home with a raft of experienced new season recruits onboard. The challenge for the Knights will be integrating so many new arrivals into their side quickly.
North Queensland Cowboys vs Cronulla Sharks 9.3
Home advantage Cowboys, a returning Johnathan Thurston who looks like he’s never been away and the Sharks without James Maloney who has moved on to greener pastures.
Wests Tigers vs Sydney Roosters 10.3
The Roosters are expected to encounter little trouble against Ivan Cleary’s Tigers. Cooper Cronk and James Tedesco should run riot.
South Sydney Rabbitohs vs NZ Warriors 10.3
Inspirational skipper Greg Inglis returns after ACL surgery against less than formidable opponents in the shape of the inconsistent Warriors.
Canterbury Bulldogs vs Melbourne Storm 10.3
The Storm appeared to be at their imposing best against the Leeds Rhinos and should sweep aside the Bulldogs in similar dominant fashion.
Penrith Panthers vs Parramatta Eels 11.3
Possibly the closest match-up of Week 1 in this Western Sydney local derby. Toss a coin and tell yourself Penrith will overcome the slows starts of seasons gone by. A much anticipated attacking clash between two sides who love to throw the ball around.
Gold Coast Titans vs Canberra Raiders 11.3
From 2nd place in 2016, down to 10th in 2017, the Green Machine should prove it was a blip. We expect them to blitz the Titans, who are widely predicted to struggle this year.