The NRL’s Magic Round saw a number of huge matches played over the course of the weekend, and while some failed to live up to the billing, others fulfilled all expectations. Check out our recap of some of the biggest games below.
Friday Night: Manly Sea Eagles vs Brisbane Broncos
This was a big game for two sides likely to be competing for similar positions in the lower half of the top eight come season’s end, and while it was the Sea Eagles who went in as favourites with the betting sites, it was the Broncos who proved far too good. They were dominant from the outset, scoring a try in the first minute before ultimately going on to win 38-0. The win pushed them up into seventh position on the NRL while Manly fell out of the top eight.
Next Match for Manly
Next up for the Sea Eagles is what looks like a tough match against the Eels, who have lost two of their past three but beat Penrith just a couple of weeks ago.
Next Match for Brisbane
The Broncos have a great chance to solidify their spot in the top eight with a game against the Knights, who are sitting back in 14th place.
Saturday Afternoon: New Zealand Warriors vs South Sydney Rabbitohs
What an incredible comeback this nearly was by the Warriors. The Rabbitohs led 26-6 at half-time before extending that lead to 26 points early in the second half, and holding the same lead with under 20 minutes to go it seemed for all intents and purposes like the match was over – certainly the live odds on betting apps didn’t give the Warriors much of a chance. Instead, New Zealand went on an extraordinary run, scoring four converted tries within the space of 16 minutes, but unfortunately for them the final whistle blew shortly after and they went down by two points.
Next Match for New Zealand
The Warriors have a winnable game next week as they attempt to remain in touch with the top eight, but they’ll still head in as underdogs against the Dragons.
Next Match for the Rabbitohs
The Rabbitohs should probably be beating the Raiders next week, though Canberra are coming off a brilliant performance last weekend and could spring a surprise.
Saturday Night: Melbourne Storm vs Penrith Panthers
Saturday night’s clash between the best two teams in it and last year’s Grand Finalists was one of the most anticipated of the season, but unfortunately it failed to live up to the expectations set for it. The Panthers were too good from the outset, running out 32-6 winners and shoring up their space at the top of the ladder in the process. It was, of course, just a solitary game, but Penrith have broken away as the outright Premiership favourites with betting sites as a result of it.
Next Match for Melbourne
The Storm will be eager to bounce back ASAP from that poor performance, and though they’ll head in as favourites they’ll need to play well to beat the Cowboys.
Next Match for Penrith
The Roosters looked good last weekend, but the Panthers are playing so well that they would be strong favourites against any side in the league at the moment.
Sunday Afternoon: Sharks vs Raiders
The Sharks have been one of the biggest improvers of the season, but they put in one of their only disappointing performances of the year when going down by 20 points to the Raiders on Sunday in a game they entered as favourites with NRL betting sites. Canberra looked dangerous all game, scoring five tries to run out 30-10 winners and keep in touch with the top eight nearing the halfway point of the season.
Next Match for Cronulla
Next up for the Sharks are the Titans, who have been disappointing this year but are coming off a strong win; Cronulla will head in as comfortable favourites.
Next Match for Canberra
Another win would have the Raiders knocking on the door of the top eight, and they’ll give them some chance against the Bunnies after last weekend’s performance.
Sunday Afternoon: Roosters vs Eels
Sunday’s second game was another big one between two similarly matched top eight sides, and this one did live up to the hype. The Roosters started brilliantly and led 21-6 at half time, but had to hold off a rampaging Eels in the second half. Parramatta at one stage got to within a point and were favourites with the betting apps, but Sydney managed another try before playing some resolute defence for 20 minutes to earn the 31-24 win.
Next Match for Sydney
It’s a tough next up match for the Roosters, who will come up against a rampaging Panthers side on Saturday night.
Next Match for Parramatta
The Eels have a big game against Manly next weekend, and they can jump back into the top four with a win.