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NRL: Broncos target third win on the bounce

Brisbane Broncos will be out to maintain their 100 percent start to the NRL season when they entertain the Dragons, while it is shaping up to be a huge weekend for Wests Tigers.

There are five NRL games to look forward to over Saturday and Sunday and we are sure to get more thrills and spills.

Week three kicked-off with another thriller as Manly edged out Parramatta in a high-scoring encounter and there are two exciting prospects on Friday also.

Then we turn to Saturday and Sunday with some mouth-watering games to come. So let’s take a closer look at what is on the agenda.

Gold Coast Titans v Melbourne Storm (Saturday, 15:00 AEST)

The Titans and Storm are both looking bounce back after suffering defeats in week two and this could be a closely fought contest. The Storm have had the edge over the Titans in recent years and are priced at 1.47 to continue that run with another win.

There is no Cameron Munster but the Storm are boosted by the return of Justin Olam, Xavier Coates, Tui Kamikamica and Tariq Sims. For the Titans, Brian Kelly is back in the side following suspension but Jojo Fifita and Sam Verrills are both out injured.

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North Queensland Cowboys v New Zealand Warriors (Saturday, 17:30 AEST)

Another two teams to start the season with a win only to lose in week two. The Cowboys will have had a tough week after losing the derby clash against the Broncos. Not only did they lose but they lost both Scott Drinkwater and Peta Hiku to suspension following that game.

Tom Chester and Gehamat Shibasaki come in to the side to replace them. The Warriors have been hit by the news that both Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and Jackson Ford will both miss out after suffering head knocks. It means Taine Tuaupiki comes into the side to make his debut, while Bunty Afoa also gets to start.

The Cowboys can be backed at 1.31 with the Warriors available at 3.50.

Brisbane Broncos v St George Ilawarra Dragons (Saturday, 19:35 AEST)

The Broncos are flying after two strong wins over the Penrith Panthers and North Queensland Cowboys, but there can be no room for complacency here.

The Dragons have been written off by many this season but opened up their campaign last week with a 32-18 win over the Titans.

Brisbane, who are priced at 1.25 to make it three wins on the bounce, have been rocked by the news that Corey Oates is facing eight weeks on the sidelines after suffering a fractured jaw. It means Jesse Arthars will now get his chance to shine on the wing in his absence.

It is no surprise that Dragons coach Anthony Griffin has named the same 17 following the win against the Titans and they can be backed at 4.00 to cause an upset.

Canterbury Bulldogs v Wests Tigers (Sunday, 16:05 AEST)

The season may only be two games old but the pressure is already mounting on the Tigers and their new regime after they lost both of their opening games. They now come up against the coach who turned them down last year, Cameron Ciraldo, and another defeat would be hard to take.

The Tigers are priced at 3.75 to cause a surprise with the Bulldogs the hot fancies at 1.28.

Canterbury should be buzzing after picking up their first win of the season over Melbourne Storm last week and Ciraldo has named the same 17 for the Tigers clash.

Tim Sheens on the other hand has made a heap of changes in the hope of getting a response. Three changes are enforced though as Daine Laurie, Tommy Talau and Isaiah Papali’i are out through injury, concussion and suspension respectively. Charlie Staines is set to move to fullback to cover Laurie.

Canterbury Raiders v Cronulla Sharks (Sunday 18:15 AEST)

The Raiders have lost their opening two games of the season so will be delighted to be back playing on home soil for the visit of the Sharks, who have won one, lost one.

Cronulla edged out the Eels last Friday to get their first win and are priced at 1.65 to go back-to-back. The home side are available at 2.25.

Raiders boss Ricky Stuart is expected to keep faith with the same side that lost the two opening games as Josh Papalii is still on the sidelines with a calf injury.

A calf injury is also keeping Cronulla’s star halfback Nicho Hines on the sidelines but they are boosted by the return of Jack Williams as the forward has recovered from a head knock.

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