NRL Round 3 Fixtures, Tips and Preview

Andrew Hendrie:
NRL Round 3 Fixtures

NRL is back for the first time since March with Round 3 action between May 28-31 and we’ve got you covered with the fixtures list and expert tips for each game.

NRL Round 3 Fixtures

See below for a round-up of all Round 3 Fixtures and NRL footy tips for each match.

Brisbane Broncos vs Parramatta Eels

  • Date: Thursday May 28
  • Time: 7.50pm AEST
  • Venue: Suncorp Stadium

Brisbane and Parramatta put together unbeaten starts over the opening fortnight of the season, with the Broncos overcoming the Cowboys and Rabbitohs by narrow margins, while the Eels edged Canterbury before thumping Gold Coast by 40 points in the last game before the competition was suspended.

It’s a blockbuster showdown to re-launch the season and I expect it to be a tight one – with the Eels representing slightly better value to scrape home with the two points.

North Queensland Cowboys vs Gold Coast Titans

  • Date: Friday May 29
  • Time: 6.00pm AEST
  • Venue: Queensland Country Bank Stadium

An all-Queensland derby kicks off action on Friday night as the Cowboys play host to the Titans. As expected, the Titans struggled considerably before the break, going down 24-6 to Canberra before being demolished 46-6 by a rampant Eels outfit.

It’s looking like another long season for Gold Coast – and they will go into this clash as underdogs. North Queensland weren’t impressive across their first two games, but they did play Brisbane close before doing what they needed to do against a lacklustre Bulldogs side. It would be a big shock if they were to slip up at home in this one.

Sydney Roosters vs South Sydney Rabbitohs

  • Date: Friday May 29
  • Time: 7.55pm AEST
  • Venue: Bankwest Stadium

Both of these traditional rivals will call Bankwest Stadium home until at least Round 9, but it’s the Roosters who are under all of the pressure as they look to register their first win of the season after two tight defeats to Penrith and Manly before the break. The two-time reigning premiers were slow out of the blocks and it remains to be seen how they will bounce back after another extended run on the sidelines.

Souths haven’t set the world on fire either, holding on to beat Cronulla by four points in their first game, before suffering a four-point defeat by Brisbane in Round 2. It should be a close one, but my money is on the Rabbitohs to edge it.

New Zealand Warriors vs St George Illawarra Dragons

  • Date: Saturday May 30
  • Time: 3.00pm AEST
  • Venue: Central Coast Stadium

So much praise has to go to the Warriors, who have left their families behind in New Zealand for an indefinite period in order to get the competition back up and running.

Based out of Gosford, the Warriors will be searching for their first win of the season following tough losses to Newcastle and Canberra, with the side only scoring six points combined. The Dragons are also 0-2 after close defeats to the Tigers and Panthers. It’s a toss-up, but perhaps the Warriors will be galvanised and put together a big performance for their first game back, given the circumstances.

Cronulla Sharks vs Wests Tigers

  • Date: Saturday May 30
  • Time: 5.30pm AEST
  • Venue: Bankwest Stadium

In typical Cronulla fashion, their first two games of 2020 were mammoth grind-fests, with the club going down by four points to Souths and two points to Melbourne.

The Sharks will almost always keep the score close, but will their defence be up to the challenge against the Tigers, who were inconsistent as ever in a win over the Dragons and a 42-24 loss to the Knights in their first two rounds. Defence usually beats out attack, so expect the Sharks to grind the Tigers into submission in this match-up.

Melbourne Storm vs Canberra Raiders

  • Date: Saturday May 30
  • Time: 7.30pm AEST
  • Venue: AAMI Park

One of the biggest matches of the round sees traditional powerhouses Melbourne come up against last season’s grand finalists Canberra.

Both teams are two from two to kick off the season, with Melbourne claiming tight wins over Manly and Cronulla, while Canberra have cruised with 13+ victories over the struggling Titans and Warriors. It should be a cracking encounter and I’m backing the Raiders to come out on top in a close one.

Penrith Panthers vs Newcastle Knights

  • Date: Sunday May 31
  • Time: 4.05pm AEST
  • Venue: Campbelltown Stadium

Two more sides who compiled perfect starts to the 2020 season. Newcastle have been scoring points for fun in 20-0 and 42-24 victories over the Warriors and Tigers respectively, while Penrith stunned reigning premiers the Roosters in the opening round by six points and followed it up with a four-point dispatch of the Dragons.

Both sides will be determined to make it three wins from three and remain undefeated, but I think the Knights looked a little more dangerous in the opening two rounds – and if they can replicate that form, they will be hard to stop.

Manly Sea Eagles vs Canterbury Bulldogs

  • Date: Sunday May 31
  • Time: 6.30pm AEST
  • Venue: Central Coast Stadium

It’s looking like being another tough season for the Bulldogs, who simply don’t have the spark and creativity in attack to trouble most teams in the competition.

That was evident in their first two defeats to the Eels (where they managed just a solitary penalty goal) and Cowboys, and it’s tough to see how they will put enough points on the board to hold off the Sea Eagles to close out Round 3.

Manly themselves only registered a combined 13 points in their first two games, but they came against the Roosters and Melbourne. I expect the Sea Eagles to be far too strong in this encounter.