The NRL will continue this weekend with all eight Round 2 matches being played behind closed doors. Check out this NRL Round 2 acca and see if you agree with our Rugby League expert.
READ MORE: Check out our free predictions & tips for NRL Round 2
NRL Week 2 Tips: Canterbury Bulldogs vs North Queensland Cowboys (Thursday, 09:05 GMT)
Canterbury Bulldogs will be without Kerrod Holland for the clash with the North Queensland Cowboys after picking up a knee injury in training. This means that Jake Averillo comes in for a place on the bench. The Cowboys welcome back Josh McGuire from suspension and he starts at prop with John Asiata dropping to the bench and Corey Jensen misses out. Justin O’Neill has been cleared to play after picking up a head knock last weekend. The Bulldogs opened up the 2020 campaign with an 8-2 defeat against Parramatta Eels, while the Cowboys were also beaten as they went down 28-21 against local rivals Brisbane Broncos. I was impressed with the Doggies last week despite their defeat, so I’m backing them to beat the Cowboys.
NRL Week 2 Tips: St George Illawarra Dragons vs Penrith Panthers (Friday, 07:00 GMT)
St George Illawarra welcome back full-back Matt Dufty after recovering from a cheekbone injury, meaning Zak Lomax moves to the wing with Mikaele Ravalawa out with a thigh problem. Tariq Sims has been suspended for one game after a shoulder charge on Josh Reynolds, meaning Tyrell Fuimaono starts in the second row. The Panthers have promoted Viliame Kikau from the bench to starting second rower after impressing in round 1 with Liam Martin dropping to the bench. Jack Hetherington is suspended for a high shot, with Billy Burns coming in on the bench. The Dragons were poor in their 24-14 home loss against Wests Tigers, while the Panthers shocked the defending champions Sydney Roosters with a 20-14 success at Panthers Stadium. Penrith looked really good against the Chooks, while the Dragons struggled when put under pressure. I’m backing Penrith to make it two wins from two.
NRL Week 2 Tips: Brisbane Broncos vs South Sydney Rabbitohs (Friday, 09:05 GMT)
Brisbane have been rocked with the news that Tevita Pangai will sit out the next four weeks through suspension. The talented forward will be replaced by Jamil Hopoate with Ethan Bullemor starting from the bench. Alex Glenn has targeted a round 3 return from his hamstring problem. The Bunnies have named the same starting line-up as they did in round 1, with Braidon Burns cleared to play after entering an early guilty plea for a dangerous throw on Jesse Ramien. Brisbane were in fine form in their 28-21 win over North Queensland Cowboys, while the Rabbitohs started 2020 with a 22-18 victory over Cronulla Sharks. I really liked the look of the Broncos last week and David Fifita seems to get better and better, I’m backing Brisbane to register back-to-back wins.
NRL Week 2 Tips: New Zealand Warriors v Canberra Raiders (Saturday, 04:00 GMT)
New Zealand Warriors will be without winger Patrick Herbert and centre Peta Hika for the clash with Canberra Raiders in the Gold Coast after they returned back home for family reasons. Adam Pompey and Adam Keighran will both start in their place. Eliesa Katoa has been promoted to starting second row with Isaiah Papalii dropping to the bench. The Raiders will be able to call on Jarrod Croker and Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad despite both failing to finish their round 1 game with head knocks. Ryan Sutton is available following suspension and is one of the reserves waiting to replace any late injury setbacks. The Warriors failed to score a single point in their round 1 defeat against Newcastle Knights, while Canberra ran in four tries as they beat Gold Coast Titans 24-6. The Green Machine will be too strong for the Warriors in this one.
NRL Week 2 Tips: Sydney Roosters vs Manly Sea Eagles (Saturday, 06:30 GMT)
The Roosters welcome back Angus Crichton after overcoming a chest infection and he replaces Sitili Tupouniua who is out with a knee injury. Matt Ikuvalu has been cleared to play despite being concussed last time out, Boyd Cordner is still not cleared to return. Manly have no fresh injury worries coming into this game with coach Des Hasler naming the same 17. The Chooks suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Penrith Panthers in round 1, while Manly were outmuscled in an 18-4 loss against Melbourne Storm. I’m going for the defending champions to respond better than Manly and I’m backing them for the win in this win. The Roosters can create tries from nothing, whereas I’m not sure Manly can at this stage.
NRL Week 2 Tips: Cronulla Sharks vs Melbourne Storm (Saturday, 08:35 GMT)
Cronulla have decided not to call on Bronson Xerri for this game, the official line is he has not recovered from shoulder surgery, but he was also suspected to have contacted the COVID-19 virus last weekend. Matt Moylan is still missing for the Sharks, but Ronaldo Mulitalo has been cleared to play. The Storm have named the same starting 17 with Dale Finucane set to start despite suffering a head knock in round 1. Cronulla pushed South Sydney Rabbitohs all the way before going down 22-18 at the ANZ Stadium, while Melbourne won their opening game for the 18th season in succession as they beat Manly Sea Eagles 18-4. The Storm worked hard in attack and defence against Manly and I’m backing them to be too strong for the Sharkies, I’m going for a Melbourne win.
NRL Week 2 Tips: Wests Tigers vs Newcastle Knights (Sunday, 05:05 GMT)
Luke Brooks will be once again missing for the Tigers and he is expected to be on the sidelines for the next four weeks with a calf problem, while Paul Momirovski is preferred to Michael Chee Kam on the bench. Knights coach Adam O’Brien is going with the same 17 for the second game running. Wests Tigers were unplayable in the second half against St George Illawarra Dragons as they ran out 24-14 winners at WIN Stadium, while the Knights blew the New Zealand Warriors away with a 20-0 success at McDonald Jones Stadium. The Tigers really surprised me against the Dragons and Benji Marshall was superb, I’m backing the Tigers to win this round 2 clash.
NRL Week 2 Tips: Gold Coast Titans vs Parramatta Eels (Sunday, 07:15 GMT)
Parramatta Eels didn’t pick up any injuries during their gruelling battle against Canterbury Bulldogs in round 1 and they will line up with the same 17. Titans coach Justin Holbrook has decided to drop Tyrone Peachey to the bench with Brian Kelly starting at centre. The Titans were less than impressive in round 1 as they went down 24-6 against Canberra Raiders at GIO Stadium, while the Eels claimed a narrow 8-2 win over the Doggies at Bankwest Stadium. There is a lot of excitement surrounding the Eels this season, while the Titans need a lot of improvement. I’m backing Parra to brush aside the Titans quite easily in this one.