Almanac Rugby League – 2020 NRL Round 5: Home and Away

After two weeks as the only top level sport being played in Australia, the NRL has competition from here on with the AFL resuming this weekend. (And what a cracker they have first up with the Tigers and the Pies!) Have your split screens and/or remote controls handy to take it all in. In some cases, there will even be a few fans in attendance – lucky them!


I can’t see the Broncos possibly coming back from last week’s drubbing to trouble the Sea Eagles. Shifting a few deck chairs will not be enough in what could quickly become a Titanic season for Brisbane. Besides, the Manly lads will be hell bent on getting back into the winner’s circle after their last-minute misfortune against the Eels.


Historically, the Cowboys do not travel well and I fear that may be enough to hand a second win to the Warriors. Another courageous call, I know. The Northerners look better on paper but their chances rest on Jason Taumalolo getting on the paddock. The Warriors were awful last week and so, on the averages, should click this weekend. How’s that for scientific tipping?


The Eels v Panthers clash should be a beauty! Both are unbeaten, both are looking to fully establish their credentials, both will want to maintain their record. The Eels just look a bit more settled and consistent to me although they were fading somewhat towards the end last week. Perhaps the Panthers, usually good finishers, might get up. Bragging rights out west are up for (temporary) grabs.


Expect the Rabbitohs to find form this weekend, especially with the return of Cody Walker. They were their own worst enemy last time out and will want to start a move up the ladder from their current lowly 13th spot. The Titans showed some grit in their win last weekend but I don’t think they have the cattle to go with the Bunnies and may find the away trip a bit too much.


The Knights, the other unbeaten team, take on the Storm on the Central Coast in the other big clash of the weekend. There’s something to like about both sides – the grit and perseverance of the Knights, the dogged consistency plus flashes of brilliance of the Storm. This is the big test the Knights need after modest earlier opposition. I can’t help but feel they’ll be found a bit short.


The Tigers have made a few key changes for their game with the Raiders. Marshall out for Reynolds in is a big call but the latter has shown the ability to rise to the occasion – and this is a big occasion for the Tigers against one of the competition favourites. Canberra will be keen to get back to form after last week’s shocker. ‘Sticky’ Stuart will have them revved up. The Raiders for me.


Bulldog joy will end after just one week when they confront the ominous Roosters on Sunday afternoon. Luke Keary is emerging as ‘the’ playmaker of the competition and Tedesco is back to run off him and create havoc. The Doggies will be honest but they’ll finish a distant second in this one.


Why is Trent Merrin on the Dragons’ bench? I just can’t fathom that one, but then who can fathom anything about the lads in red and white these days? They face a revitalised Sharks outfit and I expect the proverbial mauling. Lots of blood in the water come Monday!


So I’m going for four home teams and four away teams. I just hope I’m in the right ones at the right times!


Here’s the draw:


Thursday June 11

Sea Eagles v Broncos Central Coast Stadium, 7.50pm

Friday June 12

Warriors v Cowboys at Central Coast Stadium, 6.00pm
Eels v Panthers at Bankwest Stadium, 7.55pm

Saturday June 13

Rabbitohs v Titans at Bankwest Stadium, 3.00pm
Knights v Storm at Central Coast Stadium, 5.30pm
Tigers v Raiders at Campbelltown Sports Stadium, 7.35pm

Sunday June 14

Bulldogs v Roosters at Bankwest Stadium, 4.05pm
Dragons v Sharks at Campbelltown Sports Stadium, 6.30pm


After scoring only 4 out of 8 last week, things can only get better this time around – I hope! I’m going for: Sea Eagles, Warriors, Eels, Rabbitohs, Storm, Raiders, Roosters and Sharks.




Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


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About Ian Hauser

A relaxed, Noosa-based retiree with a (very) modest sporting CV. A Queenslander through and through, especially when it comes to cricket and rugby league. I enjoy travel, good coffee and cake, reading, and have been known to appreciate a glass or three of wine. As well as being one of Footy Almanac's online editors, I moonlight as an editor for hire - check me out at

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