Just three games remain in the 2020 NRL season. Surprisingly, the Raiders and Rabbitohs are both still involved and playing for a spot in the Grand Final.

The Green Machine Keeps Rolling

Outsiders heading into their clash with the back-to-back defending premiers, the Canberra Raiders put their foot down from the opening minute and rolled through to another preliminary final.

In beating the Sydney Roosters 22-18, the Raiders completed what many thought was unthinkable three months ago. Josh Hodgson’s injury could have derailed the Raiders. It probably should have. But with Jack Wighton in incredible form, George Williams stepping up further and the likes of Joseph Tapine, Hudson Young and Dunamis Lui making significant improvements to their game, the Raiders have been able to keep the dream alive.

Losers in the 2019 NRL Grand Final, the Raiders are at $2.65 to play in another decider this season and $7 to do one better an win it.

Eels Slip Out In Straight Sets

It’s all over for the Parramatta Eels in 2020.

Out in straight sets after finishing 3rd on the NRL ladder, the Eels have fallen short of expectations. It’s the third time in four years that Parramatta have crashed out in Week 2 of the Finals. They won just one of those six games.

Their 38-24 loss to the South Sydney Rabbitohs sums up a lot of their season: Started strong, hung around for as long as they could, but ultimately fell short in the end.

Questions are already popping up over Brad Arthur’s ability to coach the side through to the next step. Mitchell Moses still has a lot to improve on if he’s ever to lead the side to a premiership. Parramatta’s depth hurt them over the second half of the season with a handful of astute signings required to deal with inevitable injuries.

They’re a finals team for the long-term, but will they ever be a premiership-winning team?

Rabbitohs Run Up The Scoreboard

This team knows how to pile up points.

After scoring 106 points in the fortnight before their Week 2 finals match against the Eels, the Rabbitohs scored 30 second-half points to win 38-24. Damien Cook ran riot while the halves pairing of Adam Reynolds and Cody Walker continued their stellar form in 2020.

It went a lot different in the first half. The Bunnies found themselves 18-8 behind at oranges, but a chat with Wayne Bennett and some trust in their high-powered attack has steered them into a date with the Penrith Panthers next week.

Favourites to win the premiership at $2.70, the Panthers are $1.47 and -5.5 favourites to end the Rabbitohs run in the preliminary finals.

What Brent Read Said…

Clive Churchill Medal Market

Top 10

Nathan Cleary$5
Cameron Smith$8
Cameron Munster$11
Jack Wighton$13
Ryan Papenhuyzen$15
Api Koroisau$15
Jarome Luai$15
Jahrome Hughes$17
Adam Reynolds$17
Cody Walker$17

State of Origin Futures

With more players being named in State of Origin squads every week, it’s time to take a look at the futures for the 2020 series.

Now Wayne Bennett’s Queensland Maroons, they’re massive $3.50 outsiders to win the series. Injuries will make things difficult. So too will a genuine lack of talent in key areas. However, despite Bennett’s 11 wins, 10 losses and one draw in the past as coach of Queensland, anything is possible with the master in charge. Just look at the Rabbitohs right now.

The New South Wales Blues are $1.30 to win the series and favoured to win it 2-1 at $2.15. Although, plenty are already tipping a sweep at $2.30.

With a far superior squad and coming off two big wins to win the series last year, the pressure is on the Blues to win their third consecutive series.