Two sides from the wrong half of the table met in Sydney as the Rabbitohs took on the Canterbury Bulldogs. A win would see the Bulldogs off the bottom while the Rabbitohs could make it up to seventh if they could secure a decent points win.
The Rabbitohs made just one change with Patrick Mago in for Bayley Sironen while there were three changes for the ladders bottom club as Christian Crichton, Marcelo Montoya and Nick Meaney came in to replace Cogger, Averillo and Hopoate.
A mid-table clash between the Manly Sea Eagles and Newcastle Knights was the first game of Sunday’s round 8 games in the NRL. A win for either side would lift them up the table and in amongst the leaders but a loss would be a blow to their play-off aspirations.
Both sides lost last time out and were keen to get back to winning ways.
There was just one change for the Sea Eagles with Moses Suli returning to replace Brendan Elliot. The Knights brought in Bradman Best and Pasami Saulo to replace Shibasaki and Glasby.
With the Sharks unchanged from the side which beat the Manly Sea Eagles by 40-22 last Sunday, John Morris’s side were looking for a win which would lift them into the top half of the ladder and keep their hopes of a play-off position alive.
The Gold Coast Titans were seeking to build on their stunning 30-12 win over the Brisbane Broncos and continue their levitation from the bottom of the table as they looked to salvage something from the 2020 competition, but embattled coach Justin Holbrook was forced into four changes to his winning line-up.
The bookies fancied the Sharks for the win but the Titans upset the odds last weekend.
The NRL’s top team, and some would say surprise 2020 package, the Paramatta Eels looked to continue their excellent start to the season with a game against tenth placed North Queensland Cowboys.
The Eels were the bookies favourites with both sides making a couple of changes to the line-ups from round seven. The Eels brought in David Gower and Jai Field but were without the inspirational Mitch Moses, while the Cowboys called on the services of Reuben Cotter and Valentine Holmes.
The Cowboys were on-fire last time out to defy the odds and beat the Newcastle Knights, and the pre-game feeling was that the Eels would need to be on top form to pick up the win.
Australian NRL doesn’t get much bigger that a game between Melbourne Storm and the Sydney Roosters and that is just what was served up in the opening game of Round 8 at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
Both sides knew that a win would lift them into an overnight top spot on the ladder but the bookies favoured a win for the Storm. Most commentators struggled to call it though as the rugby league loving public settled down to watch a true battle of the titans.
Melbourne were without Cameron Munster, and the Roosters would have to do without the second rower Isaac Liu, but did have talisman James Tedesco back in their line-up.
Two sides who find themselves at the wrong end of the table had a desperate battle for a crucial two points as the Brisbane Broncos faced the Gold Coast Titans. Both sides have had a nightmare since the restart with the Broncos unable to register a win since March and the Titans with just a single win to their name, over the Wests Tigers, in round four.
The bookies had the home side as strong favourites to pick up the points as both sides made a number of changes to the line-ups that suffered defeats last season.
The Broncos brought in Rhys Kennedy, Tesi Niu and Tom Dearden with the Titans naming Dale Copley, Jarrod Wallace and Mitch Rein in their seventeen.
On paper there was only one winner of the Saturday Round Seven clash between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Newcastle Knights as the team Novocastrians looked to build on their tremendous 2020 season by going top of the ladder.
TheCowboys hadn’t registered a win since defeating the Gold Coast Titans in round three and were desperate for a win to give their campaign a boost, the Knights came into the game on the back of a big win against the Brisbane Broncos last time out.
Few, of the small number of supporters allowed into the Stadium, would have been expecting what their side was about to serve up.
In their first game since the controversial sacking of coach Stephen Kearney, the New Zealand Warriors had to take on a Melbourne Storm side sitting four points and seven places clear of them on an increasingly desperate looking ladder.
Both sides came into the game on the back of losses in round six, the Storm losing out to the high-flying Panthers while the Warriors were heavily defeated by the Rabbitohs.
Both sides made a number of changes; Melbourne brought in Hughes, Addo-Carr and Momirovski while the Warriors recalled Harris-Tavita, Papali’i, Curran and Maumalo.
August could see a return to Super League when the twelve topflight clubs meet today to agree a schedule for restarting the top tier of the game, in order to achieve a meaningful season.
The return to action in the Championship and Championship One is, however, still unclear after failure to meet a consensus amongst the clubs and the RFL during an online meeting earlier in the week.
With sport restarting across the globe after the COVID-19 pandemic, Super League will have one eye on the end of the Football Premier League fixtures on the 26th July (the FA Cup Final being played on the 1st August) with a view to filling the SKY TV schedules on the first weekend of August.
The opening game of round seven of the NRL thrust the Penrith Panthers and South Sydney Rabbitohs together as third took on eighth in the shortened season. There were three ladder points between the sides coming into the game but both sides showed good form last time out in recording victories.
The bookies couldn’t choose between the two outfits, and the stage was set for an exciting Thursday night clash. The Rabbitohs won both meetings last season but by margins of just a single, and then four, points.
A late change for the Panthers saw Brent Naden take the place of Josh Mansour who had picked up a knee injury just ahead of the clash. The Rabbitohs made two changes with Hame Sale and James Roberts both being called onto the bench in place of Patrick Mago and Tom Amone.