Round 23 of the 2011 NRL season is all about the Friday night game with Darren Lockyer entering the record books. Tipping will be tricky with a few close footy games predicted. See below for all our tips, odds and predictions.
North Queensland Cowboys v Brisbane Broncos Friday night at Dairy Farmers Stadium
Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott both return for the Cowboys making this match a massive one as its all so Darren Lockyer’s record equaling game of 350 games.
For this reason I’m tipping the Broncos. They will lift for Lockyer and make it a memorable night for him. They have shown they can match it with any team and should take the points.
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Penrith v Wests Tigers Friday night at Centrebet Stadium
The Tigers will have a big win here on Friday night to continue their new found form. Penrith on the other hand have all but thrown in the towel in a disappointing year for them.
Expect a big margin here
Warriors v Newcastle Knights Saturday night at Mt Smart Stadium
This is a very hard game to tip with both clubs showing they play a very attractive brand of footy. Their physical game style will be on show again so expect a low scoring game.
I’m tipping the Knights in a close one.
Parramatta v Manly Saturday night at Parramatta Stadium
We usually expect a great game between these clubs but my prediction is a hefty win to Manly and they continue to roll towards the finals.
The close loss that Parramatta suffered last week could have been the beginning of the end for Parramatta in 2011 as they start to look towards 2012.
Gold Coast Titans v Melbourne Storm Saturday night at Skilled Park
Storm will take another win on Saturday night to ensure they keep a buffer on top of the NRL ladder. They will use these “easier” games to improve in some areas so there may be a few slip-ups as they try different things.
My prediction is Storm by over 12.
Canberra v South Sydney Sunday at Canberra Stadium
On paper South Sydney look to have this one wrapped up but I think the end margin will be much closer. Although South will win I expect Canberra to put up a fair fight and keep South honest for majority of the game.
St George Illawarra v Sydney Roosters Sunday at WIN Stadium
Tip: St George
St George are coming off a spirited win last week and need to step up their game again coming into the business end of the season.
I expect Sydney to try and spoil the Dragons run into the semi finals but I can’t see Sydney doing so with the form the Dragons will be going into the game with.
Dragons by 10.
Cronulla v Canterbury-Bankstown Monday night at Toyota Stadium
Canterbury-Bankstown are playing desperate footy at the moment and its paying off. Every match is an elimination game for them and it is giving them the spark they were looking for earlier in the season.
Cronulla have been pretty flat lately and I can see Canterbury running over the top of them in this one.