Almanac Rugby League – NRL Round 6: Curiouser and curiouser!

Any suggestion that this season might turn out to be ‘Predictability Plus’ with a significant turn off factor is quickly disappearing as the fortunes of various teams ebb and flow. Round 5 threw up a couple of surprises while this weekend’s Round 6 match-ups offer several appealing games.


Round 5 showed us that a week is a long time in footy. The Sea Eagles and Cowboys suddenly see some hope while the Warriors, Sharks and Knights have all slipped off the pace. The news for the Tigers, Broncos and Bulldogs remains bleak. But what to make of the Eels? It may have been their first loss of the year but it was the manner that was worrying. A couple of wobbly weeks finally caught up with Parra and, all of a sudden, their game against Canberra is HUGE! Meanwhile, the Panthers, Storm, Rabbitohs and Roosters power on. Are they our top four and the only realistic premiership possibilities?


Round 6 starts tonight with the pumped up Panthers prowling Suncorp Stadium where they will pounce on the struggling Broncos. Milford is gone at last but can the Broncos’ new halves pairing work? By contrast, the Panthers have a gun pairing in the halves to terrorise all and sundry. One way traffic here, I’m afraid.


The Knights v Sharks clash is a simple ‘must win’ for both. The Knights have fallen in a heap of late while the Sharks seem unsettled with backroom chatter about the coach not helping their shakiness on the field. Whoever loses will be at least two wins and considerable percentage outside the top eight – close to season over. Expect a tooth and nail battle here. I’ll go with the Knights but only because they’re at home and the Sharks are likely to be missing a few out injured.


Later on in the evening, the Storm host the Roosters at AAMI Park in what should be a cracker! The Storm racked up 50+ last time out but that won’t mean much against the Chooks who seem to have unearthed a beauty in young Walker. But they’d better not leave it so late this time! And what can you say about BMoz? Vintage stuff from the ‘old bloke’! I’ll go with the visitors but I’m not sure why.


Another telling game will be the Sea Eagles v Titans on Saturday afternoon. Manly is finally on the board with the prospect of ‘Turbo Tom’ returning this week. Will renewed confidence after a win, the better form of DCE plus the presence of Tom be enough to get them up again? The Titans sent out their own message with their demolition of the Knights. Is D Fifita the new Taumalolo? A Titans win on the road will go a long way towards cementing their claim for a finals spot. I’ll back them to come up with the points.


In the late afternoon, I can’t see anything but a big win for the Bunnies over the Tigers. Confidence, speed, talent and strength against a rabble. It could get ugly! Then, in the evening, Canberra host the Eels in a game where both need to win – Canberra to shore up a modest record to date and the Eels to avoid getting the real shakes. The Raiders seem strong in the middle and the halves but there’s not a lot happening out wide – that makes it a bit easier for the opposition’s defence. What have you got up your sleeve, ‘Sticky’? The Eels need to steady the ship immediately or else they’ll attract a lot of ‘are they the real deal’ talk all too early in the season.


On Sunday, the Dragons get a good opportunity to rack up two more competition points at the expense of the Warriors. The Dragons were very good against the Eels and seem to have found their focus since that impressive second half turnaround against the Knights. By comparison, the Warriors look out of sorts and a bit clueless in attack. RTS can’t do everything! How long before they’ll be able to go home and regroup? I’ll go with the Dragons.


Finally, the Cowboys host the Bulldogs in Townsville. Unexpected winners against the Tigers, the northerners have the chance of back-to-back wins against a Bulldogs outfit that seems to be going nowhere fast. It’s hard to choose either side with any confidence but I’ll go for the Cowboys at home.


So my winners are the Panthers, Knights, Roosters, Titans, Rabbitohs, Raiders, Dragons and Cowboys.


Thursday April 15

Broncos v Panthers, Suncorp Stadium, 7.50pm

Friday April 16

Knights v Sharks, McDonald Jones Stadium, 6.00pm

Storm v Roosters, AAMI Park, 7.55pm

Saturday April 17

Sea Eagles v Titans, Glen Willow Stadium, Mudgee, 3.00pm

Rabbitohs v Tigers, Stadium Australia, 5.30pm

Raiders v Eels, GIO Stadium, 7.35pm

Sunday April 18

Dragons v Warriors, Nestrata Jubilee Oval, 2.00pm

Cowboys v Bulldogs, Queensland Country Bank Stadium, 4.05pm


Venues and times are current at the time of publication but please check for late changes.


Last week we published a story on Iosia Soliola and his work to raise funds in support of the seriously injured Mose MasoeMen of League reports that $125,000 has been raised in Australia and a further £100,000 in the UK to support the Masoe family. They report that a further $17,000 has been raised to support ongoing dialysis treatment for Sydney Roosters legend Barry ‘Bunny’ Reilly.


Note: The writer acknowledges the assistance of Glen Dwyer in the preparation of this article.



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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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