I actually quite like the fixtures that you have come up with.It's a tough one, because you want games that are gonna be big draws, but balance that against keeping some match-ups for later (build that anticipation)
I actually think a Souths vs Penrith game would be a decent one for Thursday night kickoff - especially how they've met in so many high-stakes playoff games in recent years.
Friday would be Dolphins v Roosters as the late game for sure, keeps the Dolphins matchups with other Qld clubs for later in the season,
Warriors v Titans (again, keeping the Titans away from other Qld teams) as early Friday game - Warriors hosting in that slot that Aussie clubs dislike.
Saturday would start with Storm v Sea Eagles. A rivalry that doesn't burn as hot as it used to, sure.. but still would be a decent appetizer to start Super Saturday.
Then onto Parra v Bulldogs - old rivalry, the intrigue being "have the Bulldogs improved enough over the off season under the new coach to foot it with a genuine force?"
Late Saturday game - Broncos v Cowboys at Suncorp. My one nod to intra-Queensland rivalry. Great check to see whether this season was a fluke for the Cowboys and whether the Broncos can build on their improvement.. plus a night game has to be the go for Queensland in early March!
That leaves the Dragons, Knights, Sharks, Tigers & Raiders.
Tough choices for Sunday, but one game would have to be Raiders v Sharks as that gives us a good guage on both teams (having both been in the playoffs this year), and the other game would have to be Dragons v Knights, as that's the most competitive looking one out of what's left.
So in short (home teams first)
Thursday : Panthers v Rabbitohs
Friday (1st): Warriors v Titans
Friday (2nd): Dolphins v Roosters
Saturday (1st): Storm v Sea Eagles
Saturday (2nd): Eels v Bulldogs
Saturday (3rd): Broncos v Cowboys
Sunday (1st): Knights v Dragons
Sunday (2nd): Raiders v Sharks
I know it means no Sunday game in Sydney, but it also means Brisbane (×2), Auckland, Melbourne, Newcastle, and Canberra get to host games - so you get a lot of places getting live footy right away.
A Panthers v Rabbitohs start to the year would leave fans anticipating for a fierce and physical game which would set up the new season nicely.
Warriors v Titans would be good also for the New Zealand based fans as plenty of them have said that they like the 6pm time-slot due to them being 2 hours ahead.
Dolphins vs Roosters is a no brainer. It is good to get that one out of the way early and possibly set up for a Dolphins v Broncos match at Suncorp on a Friday night in round 2 which would attract fans going to and watching the game
The selections for the Saturday games are solid actually. Storm and Manly on an early 3pm time-slot would be a great starter to Super Saturday and it will also attract plenty of fans. Unfortunately the NRL placed each of their games on a Thursday which was dour to say the least.
Eels vs Bulldogs on a Saturday 5:30 is a bit of a 50/50 for me. The 5:30 slot would be good for fans to show up to the game at a solid time but I feel that it would be better suited on a Sunday 4:05 as this has a larger chance of attracting crowds as others won’t have junior sports and work that day. This will also be on free to air channel 9 and create hype as Reed Mahoney will be versing his old club and obviously doggies and parramattas long lasting rivalry
Broncos v Cowboys on a 7:30 Saturday will be a nice way to round off super Saturday as two of the biggest clubs in Queensland will be battling it out.
I’d personally put Dogs and Parramatta on that Sunday 4:05 timeslot with Dragons and Newcastle playing in the dour 6:15 game and Raiders and Sharks being moved to the 5:30 Saturday timeslot.
Overall these are some pretty interesting and good choices for the round 1 fixture for next year.