Magic Round, games of the round, burning questions, Melbourne Storm v Penrith Panthers, Brisbane Broncos Broncos v Manly Sea Eagles, Parramatta Eels v Sydney Roosters

Magic Round has arrived and we have some tantalizing matchups in store at Suncorp Stadium.

The top-flight Broncos look to four straight wins for the first time since 2017 when they host Manly and the three Trbojevic brothers under the Friday night lights.

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The best rivalry in years will take center stage on a sold-out Saturday night when the Panthers take on the Storm in a high-profile clash.

We’ll better understand who ranks top when the Eels meet the Roosters on Sunday afternoon.

Here are’s burning questions ahead of Magic Round.

Who is the best of all? Panthers against Storm

These teams have dominated the past two seasons, each winning a premiership, and in 2022 they’ve picked up where they left off.

Such is their dominance, it’s hard to see two other teams meet in the final game of the season this year.

This clash is the headline game on Saturday and it surprised when it sold out a few days ago, with the top two sides facing each other at almost full strength.

Almost Complete – Ryan Papenhuyzen is a huge takedown for Melbourne and the reason Penrith is a slight favourite.

The superstar full-back has been in scintillating form in the first two months of the season and is an integral part of their attacking assault.

They have won their last six games with an average score of 45-8.

There’s no way they’re putting that score on the Panthers who will sting after finally being beaten at home last week as the Eels broke their record 21 games.

Nathan Cleary will play with a point to prove against the man who took his title as the game’s top point guard – Cameron Munster. Expect fireworks.

Point: Storm by 2

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Who is the best of the rest? Eels versus Roosters

The Sharks and Cowboys are certainly in the conversation for this title but we’ll also get a good indication when the Eels take on the Roosters on Sunday.

Many pundits had the Roosters as their premiership fantasies in pre-season, but the Habs barely fired a shot by their lofty standards.

The Sam Walker-Luke Keary halves combination was an anticlimax, to put it lightly, and they’ll be solid in the top four, let alone win the competition if it continues.

Parramatta, on the other hand, are coming off their best in years, knocking out Premiers on the NRL’s toughest away trip.

Brad Arthur was asked after the game if the win elevated his team to elite status and he said no because the best teams produce those performances most weeks.

Well, here’s a golden opportunity for the Eels to prove they belong, backing out with a dominating display against the star-studded Chooks.

But Trent Robinson’s men are never far from activating it and they will face another top team in a crowded Suncorp.

Point: Roosters per 1

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Who is the worst of all? Knights versus Bulldogs

No one would have picked the Knights to enter a Magic Round battle for the spoon after opening the season with two solid wins.

The Dogs, on the other hand, correctly predicted they would struggle again and it turned out to be the case – winning just two of nine games.

Newcastle superstar Kalyn Ponga has been a solo band for the past few weeks but is picking up troops on Friday.

Mitch Barnett (suspension) and Adam Clune (knee) are back but they are still without Tyson Frizell (illness) and Dane Gagai (cheekbone).

Canterbury have shown previews of the team they should play given their star roster.

Matt Burton is starting to find his feet and his hard-hitting left boot will test Ponga, but those bombshells are probably the only dizzying heights this clash will reach.

Point: Knights by 4

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Is Brisbane the real deal? Broncos vs. Sea Eagles

How good is winning? Just ask any of the 2.25 million Brisbane who live and die by Broncos results.

There couldn’t be a better time for Brisbane to be on a three-game winning streak than heading into the Magic Round.

But this matchup against the Sea Eagles has a danger game written all over it.

Yes, the Broncos produced an impressive performance against the Sharks, but their other wins came against the battling Bulldogs and the underperforming Bunnies – beating both teams twice.

Manly is also sitting on five wins, but he just looked a little classier for a little longer in his wins.

There are now three Trbojevic brothers, with 20-year-old Ben scoring a brace on his starting debut last week.

This game marks Turbo’s second comeback from injury and it will only improve on last week’s impressive performance.

Add in how much DCE loves playing under the bright lights of Suncorp and you have a Sea Eagles outfit that should be firing on all cylinders.

Point: Sea eagles by 8

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