2016 NRL Round 10 Preview & Bets

NRL

St George-Illawarra Dragons (11th) v Canberra Raiders (7th)

An old rivalry resumes normal proceedings in the NRL after the Representative Round and fans of the Raiders could not be happier to be faced with this fixture. The Dragons are coming off a 16-point loss to the Warriors on the road, a match where they were attempting to make it 3-consectutive victories for the first time this year. Pressure was on from the Warriors the moment the Dragons took the field, as it appeared that their attacking flaws from other matches had returned. The Raiders were not as bad in their execution, but left Bathurst knowing that they missed an opportunity to steal a victory from the Panthers. A superior possession statistic in their favor did little to aid their cause, as 13 errors limited the pressure they were able to build. That match is the type of performance the Raiders must eradicate from their play if they are to alter the perception of the team. It also highlighted the limited attack the have at times; with their play almost becoming too fast for their playmakers to be effective. Even with history against the Dragons on their side, they will mindful of the fact that the Dragons have in fact won 3 of the past 4 meetings between the two sides.

Team News

Dragons = Tim Lafai (injury) is named to return in the centres, while Joel Thomspon (injury) is named in the second row. This covers for Jack de Belin (injured) and Will Matthews shifts to lock.

Raiders = Unchanged.

History

Overall = Dragons 9 Draw 1 Raiders 16

Last 5 Matches = Dragons 3 Raiders 2

At Jubilee Oval = Dragons 63% Raiders 67%

Form = Dragons 1 loss – Raiders 1 loss

Verdict

Plenty is always written about the Raiders form over the Dragons but after losing in Round 9, both teams will be desperate to walk away from this match as winners. While they missed a host of chances last week against the Panthers, the Raiders appear to be offering more than the Dragons at this stage of the season. The 2-game winning streak that the Dragons went on was against much weaker teams and they failed to prove themselves against an understrength Warriors team. The Raiders have what it takes to overcome their opponents and their players that featured in representative matches last week will only benefit to the exposure. As for the margin of victory, there is a split between the margins for the Radiers (two 1-12 and two 13+), but their two most recent wins have been by a larger margin. Considering the Dragons can struggle to score points (9.8 avg), the Raiders should be able to get home comfortably in the end, thus covering the line and again scoring more than 20 points.

Suggested Bet

Raiders -2.5 @ $1.90
Green machine = Raiders 13+ @ $3.40

Parramatta Eels (5th) v South Sydney Rabbitohs (12th)

For all that has been written about the Eels since they last took the field, fans, players and the coaching staff must be looking forward to the opportunity to let them take the field. Their future appears to be just as confusing but this match marks the first in their journey away from the salary cap saga that has ruined the club. It is an unfortunate event given how strong they were against the Bulldogs in their last match. They proved just how capable they were here, handing their opponents an 8-point loss even with the cloud of Foran hanging over their head. Perhaps this team has more substance than it has been given credit for and it will be exciting to see how they perform here. It is timely that they face the Rabbitohs, a team that is struggling for consistency and form since their terrific start. Things have appears to unwind very quickly for them, with their recent loss to the Tigers being their fourth in succession. The final scoreline of 30-22 flattered them also, as the Tigers were in control for majority of the match as the Rabbitohs couldn’t pressure them enough with the ball, while also making a litany of errors in defence. Answers appear as though they could take longer to find and this only means growing questions of the coach and the playing group. Each of the Rabbitohs stars that have enjoyed success in recent years has been brought into question and these will continue until they turn their form around. Given the current situation for the Eels, that opportunity may be further away than most think; that is, if the Eels find out they’re not playing for points in this game.

Team News

Eels = Danny Wicks will start at prop for Tim Mannah (injured), allowing Kenny Edwards to return to the bench. The same players are named in the halves/outside backs that featured against the Bulldogs.

Rabbitohs = Greg Inglis has been shifted to 5/8, as Luke Keary is dropped back to the bench. Alex Johnson (injury) is named to return and will slot into fullback, while Paul Carter (suspension) will take his place in the second row. Cameron McInnes will start at hooker, Nathan Brown at prop and Jason Clark retursn to the bench, alongside Jack Gosiewski, who will make his NRL debut.

History

Overall = Eels 13 Draw 1 Rabbitohs 11

Last 5 Matches = Eels 4 Rabbitohs 1

At Pirtek Stadium = Eels 60% Rabbitohs 11%

Form = Eels 1 win – Rabbitohs 4 losses

Verdict

Whether or not the Eels are playing for points will impact the outcome of this game as it will also influence the players that take the field. Even if they are only playing for pride in this game, there is no doubt that the Eels will be spirited and out to reward the faith of their fans. This ground is going to be jam-packed for this game as the fans support the players through this tough time rather than the embattled board. Michael Maguire has aimed to turn around the fortunes of his side this week, with the several moves within his team that will impact upon their attack. It remains to be seen whether or not this will be considered a success, although moving GI closer to the ball cannot hamper their chances of winning this match. Ultimately, the Rabbitohs need to improve their defence even before they begin to focus on their attack. You cannot take the Rabbitohs at this stage with any confidence and considering the turmoil plaguing the Eels, this game is perhaps better to stay away from rather than invest any money with confidence. For the sake of selecting a winner, the Eels are the better selection based upon emotion and the way the team has been performing so far in 2016.

Suggested Bet

Save your money!!!

Penrith Panthers (8th) v New Zealand Warriors (10th)

The Panthers scraped home by 1-point against the Raiders last week in an exciting game. That match also demonstrated the fight that this team is capable of and continued the tradition of close matches for the Panthers in 2016. There are still points to prove for this team but compared with others, they are certainly heading in the right direction. It is interesting to note that for the second consecutive match, they have chosen to take a home game on the road. Last time it was Bathurst and this week they will take on the Warriors in Christchurch. The travel is destined to fatigue the players eventually, but with a week off behind them, perhaps this trip has come at an ideal time. The Warriors were also winners in their last match; a pleasing 16-point win on home soil. While it was far from comprehensive, they took a step away from the play that appeared destined to ruin their season. Just when it appeared as though pressure would get the better of them, their players stepped up to another level to prove a point. Consistency continues to be an issue though; with the challenge now whether or not the Warriors can carry that form into this game or not, ultimately slipping back into old habits.

Team News

Panthers = Waqa Blake (injury) returns to the centres, allowing Isaah Yeo to move back to the second row and James Fisher-Harris back to the bench.
Warriors = Tuimoala Lolohea (fullback), Bodene Thompson (second row), Thomas Leuluai (5/8) and Ben Matulino (bench) all return for the Warriors this week.

History

Overall = Panthers 17 Draw 1 Warriors 13
Last 5 Matches = Panthers 4 Warriors 1
At AMI Stadium = Never played at this ground
Form = Panthers 1 win – Warriors 1 win

Verdict

The Panthers were spirited in their last win over the Raiders and demonstrated, yet again, how they’re able to grind their way to a victory. It was especially impressive to see players return to their team and reestablish their form very quickly. Moving the game across to Christchurch will have some people worried about the chances of the “home” team, nevertheless there is a reason that the Panthers will carry favoritism into this encounter. The Warriors have their positives, nevertheless, their inconsistent form in 2016 continues to cloud judgment and they’re yet to prove themselves as a capable team. It is hard to go past their opponents though, with momentum and a grinding nature about their play; this has always been the type of match that the Warriors will try to avoid, although the Panthers have an uncanny knack of dragging teams down to their level and beating them there. Of there 4 victories this season, the average margin has been 2-points, with the highest being a 4-point win over the Roosters. With this in mind, take the Panthers to get home by a narrow margin (again!).

Suggested Bet

Panthers 1-12

Melbourne Storm (3rd) v North Queensland Cowboys (1st)

In an unusal, but great event, there will be a double header this Saturday at Suncorp Stadium with two sides taking on the Queensland powerhouses. The first has the Storm up against the Cowboys, in a mouthwatering top of the table clash that promises so much. The Storm continued on with their dominating display, rolling the Titans 38-nil on the road and making it consecutive games without conceding a point. There were some doubts growing about the potential of the Storm given their struggle to score points, but that has been put to rest for the time being. Those efforts were against two weaker teams in the competition and they will have their work cut out against one of the competitions best. The Cowboys rolled through the Sea Eagles at Brookvale in their last outing, again dominating from start to finish. While they were made to work for points early on, they never let the pressure build and controlled the match in a positive manner. As usual, their halves were great but they were lead strongly, yet again, by a powerful forward pack. It appears as though the two Queensland teams will be difficult to unearth at the top, but we are yet to see the Storm in this style of contest and it will be a good measure of where they’re at heading into the Origin period.

Team News

Storm = Unchanged.
Cowboys = Unchanged.

History

Overall = Storm 20 Cowboys 10
Last 5 Matches = Storm 2 Cowboys 3
At Suncorp Stadium = Storm 77% Cowboys 38%
Form = Storm 3 wins – Cowboys 5 wins

Verdict

Finally, we will be able to make a solid judgment on the potential of the Storm. At times this season, they have looked well below their best and they will be hoping that this form isn’t with them against the top team in the competition. Home ground advantage is out for both teams and given the nature of the event, both will also have to adapt to the electric atmosphere. Last year, this type of match would’ve spooked the Cowboys, but after the way they finished 2015 and begun this year, there are no reservations about their chances. Problem with Melbourne is, we have not seen them against this quality of opponent yet and it is difficult to say confidently, whether or not they’ll be able to reach this level. Based upon the Cowboys form though, they are the ideal selection in this match. The Storm have done a great job in their past two matches to not concede a point, but the Cowboys will relentlessly pressure their line. When they have won this year, they have also done it in style and the Storm will have a tough time continually limiting the Cowboys attacking threats. This game is expected to be close though, as the two side possess plenty of talent, they will tighten up defensively and make sure that this score line is close until the end.

Suggested Bet

Cowboys 1-12 @ $2.70

Close contest = Storm +6.5 @ $1.90 – Given how close this match is expected to be, it may be decided by less than a converted try. With this in mind, the option of the Storm already having this to their name is a generous offer and one that should be considered prior to KO.

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles (9th) v Brisbane Broncos (2nd)

The Sea Eagles have made a decision to vacate Brookvale Oval for this game and ensure that the home ground advantage will firmly be on their opponents side. That isn’t a bad move, considering the way they have played at home this year and a bursting atmosphere could bring out the best in them. They were well away from that level against the Cowboys, as they were comprehensively outplayed and never appeared to be in the contest. They are well away from their best and need their key players to return to their team sooner rather than later. The Broncos also suffered a loss in Round 9, only their second for the season and one that slipped them down to 2nd on the ladder. It was the Sharks who did the damage this time, as they jumped out to large lead in the first half. For all their hard work and effort in turning around the match, the Broncos fell 2-points short in the end but were not without a chance in the dying stages. It was one of the games of the year and now they head into this week with players who featured heavily last week. Fatigue was always going to be an issue for their team and whether Wayne Bennett likes it or not, his players will have to deal with it. The Sea Eagles will need more than that to cause an upset though, with the Broncos strong favorites to return to the winners circle.

Team News

Sea Eagles = Brett Stewart (injury) is back at fullback, allowing Dylan Walker to move back to the halves. Lewis Brown will start in the second row, while Tom Symonds (18th) and Pita Godinet (19th) shift back to an extended bench.
Broncos = Jarrow Wallace starts in the front row for Alex Glenn (injured), while Sam Thaiday shifts to the second row. Jai Arrow is named to make his NRL debut from the bench.

History

Overall = Sea Eagles 14 Draw 1 Broncos 9
Last 5 Matches = Sea Eagles 3 Broncos 2
At Suncorp Stadium = Sea Eagles 54% Broncos 61%
Form = Sea Eagles 1 loss – Broncos 1 loss

Verdict

The Sea Eagles performance last round against the Cowboys showed just how far behind the top teams in the competition they are. Up until this point, they have been disappointing given the talent within their team. Injuries have hampered their performance to some degree, but even with a quality team on the field they have failed to make their mark. The Broncos will offer a challenge too great for the “home” team to reach, as they have done a great job this year of playing to their potential. A better effort is expected by the Sea Eagles but ultimately, they do not possess a strong enough attacking and defensive structure to pressure their opponents over 80 minutes. Just like the Cowboys match, they will keep things tight early on and the Broncos will have to work very hard for their points, but once they crack, there is no telling where the scoring will stop. The Broncos proved last week, against a very strong defensive team in the Sharks, that they can score points in bunches once they have momentum on their side. It will not be as difficult to obtain as it was in their last outing, so you can expect the Broncos to get over the line comfortably in this encounter.

Suggested Bet

Broncos -13.5 @ $2

One for the exotics = Broncos 13-18 @ $4.50 – Given how easily the Broncos have scored points this season and how poorly Manly have been at times, this options seems viable. It gives you more value in your exotic bets also.

Newcastle Knights (16th) v Cronulla Sharks (4th)

The Knights are rooted to the bottom of the ladder and fans are holding onto the hope that the Eels suffer a points deduction in order to lift them out of the doldrums. They went the entire 80 minutes last match without scoring a point and it appeared as though this is destined to continue throughout 2016. They face a much tougher contest here against the Sharks, a team who were very impressive in their last outing. The Broncos travelled south in the last match of Round 9, where they jumped out to a very strong lead and were unable to be run down. Things got tight towards the end of the match but the Sharks were able to grind their way to a victory in the end. It proved that the Sharks are a team that should be strongly considered for the top spot in the competition and they’re more than capable of mixing it with the best. This is a game that appears to be a forgone conclusion given the current predicaments of both sides and for the Sharks, they will want to head up to Newcastle and get the job done with relative ease.

Team News

Knights = Daniel Saifiti and Sam Mataora (suspension) will start at prop, forcing Mickey Paea and Jack Stockwell back to the bench. Tyler Randell is named to start on the bench also.
Sharks = Luke Lewis starts in the second row for Jayson Bukuya (suspened), with Joseph Paulo coming onto the bench.

History

Overall = Knights 20 Sharks 12
Last 5 Matches = Knights 3 Sharks 2
At Hunter Stadium = Knights 59% Sharks 31%
Form = Knights 3 losses – Sharks 6 wins

Verdict

It seems every week that there is very few positives that can be mentioned in regards to the Knights chances and unfortunately for them, this week is no different. It will be an uphill battle for them to beat the Sharks and will perhaps need the poor record of their visitors to count for something. The astronomical odds offered for the Knights gives an indication as to how one-sided this game will be and the decision lies within how much the Sharks will win by. Of their 7 losses, 6 have been by 13+, with the closest being a 4-point loss to the Storm. On average, the Knights lose matches by 27.5 points; while their opponents average margin of victory is 9.5 points. They should be able to get the job done comfortably in this game and the form of some of their players in the last two weeks will leave their fans very excited. This is a match that they should win and win easily so it will be the job of coach Shane Flanagan to make sure that his team does so accordingly. Sorry Knights fans, this is going to be a long season for you.

Suggested Bet

Sharks -14.5 @ $1.90

Circling Sharks = Sharks 19+ @ $2.30 – The Knights have demonstrated several times this year that things can get very ugly for them. Their most recent loss to the Roosters highlighted this; as they are a team struggling for form themselves. The Sharks will relish the relaxed defence, just like they did against the Dragons and Raiders.

Wests Tigers (14th) v Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs (6th)

The Tigers broke their 6-game losing streak last week with a win against the Rabbitohs. While the win was far from convincing against a struggling team, it was good considering the circumstances. Just prior to KO they lost three players then lost Tedesco early in the match. Still, the prevailed on the back of limiting mistakes and building pressure; although it was concerning that a struggling Rabbitohs attack was able to generate points with poor attacking options. The Bulldogs were also confined to a loss, their second one of the season against the Eels. That effort continued to highlight the flaws that are limiting their attack and left many wondering where their points would come from. Questions are growing louder about the potential of Reynolds and Mbye in this side as they struggle to build much pressure on their opponents. Still, they find themselves inside the Top 8 at this stage of the season and while they’re struggling, they are able to grind out a win against a weaker opponent. The Tigers would like to think that they have plenty to offer in this contest, but will find it tough initially and need to close down the Bulldogs options better than they did last week.

Team News

Tigers = Aaron Woods, Tim Grant and Mitchell Moses (all injury) return to the starting side for their team. This forces Ava Seumanufagai, Dene Halatau and Kyle Lovett all back to the bench. Justin Hunt comes into the team at fullback for James Tedesco (injured).
Bulldogs = Sam Perrett (injury) returns at fullback in place of Will Hopoate (religion).

History

Overall = Tigers 11 Bulldogs 18
Last 5 Matches = Tigers 2 Bulldogs 3
At ANZ Stadium = Tigers 41% Bulldogs 57%
Form = Tigers 1 win – Bulldogs 1 loss

Verdict

Despite the odds offered on both teams, this game is going to be a lot closer given the comparison of the two sides. The loss of Tedesco hurts the Tigers chances, but this is somewhat leveled out by Hopoate absent for the Bulldogs. The returning players for the Tigers will give them the boost they need, while the same players that have featured for the Bulldogs each week need to lift their play over 80 minutes. They have been very underwhelming so far this year and the Tigers will sense an opportunity to upset their opponents. When they have been pressured in the forwards this season, the Bulldogs have struggled for momentum and the halves have struggled. The Tigers have also had their problems defensively, but they will have what it takes to combat the Bulldogs with their attack. This game is expected to go down to the wire and with hope increasing at the Tigers on the back of their last win, there is every chance that they can go on with it here and cause an upset. Rather than take them straight out though, settle with the generous line that is being offered by the bookies and hope that the Tigers can make a great contest of this match.

Suggested Bet

Tigers +8.5 @ $1.90

Head butt! = Tigers @ $3.25 – If you’re confident enough that the Tigers can get a win, then take them to win in the Head-to-Head market. There is more value on offer if you do but you don’t have the luxury of the lead given in the line markets.

Gold Coast Titans (13th) v Sydney Roosters (15th)

The Titans suffered a loss they would rather forget last week against the Storm, unable to register a point over 80 minutes. It was always going to be difficult for them but with several players returning, hopes were high that they would be competitive. Unfortunately, the opposite occurred and they were comprehensively outplayed in all areas. The Roosters were involved in a similar situation, although they were on the right side of the scoreboard in their dominating win over the Knights. It was the first game back for Pearce and JWH, with this win going a long way to restoring the confidence that had abandoned them after their poor start to the season. In perspective, it was only a win over the Knights and they need to make such efforts a regular occurrence if they’re to drag themselves off the bottom of the ladder. They will sense an opportunity to overcome the Titans on the road but their opponents will have added motivation given the 5-game losing streak they’re currently on. To compare the two sides, the Titans have only had one more win than the Roosters but in fact have a worse points difference. After two weeks away, MNF is sure to return with and exciting and desperate contest here.

Team News

Titans = David Shillington (injury) returns at prop, pushing Agnatius Paasi back to the bench.
Roosters = Shaun Kenny-Dowall (injured) is replaced on the wing by Daniel Tupou (injury).

History
Overall = Titans 7 Roosters 6
Last 5 Matches = Titans 2 Roosters 3
At Cbus Super Stadium = Titans 50% Roosters 67%
Form = Titans 5 losses – Roosters 1 win

Verdict

The Roosters strongly returned to form last week and that appears to set them well to grab another win here. The presense of Pearce had a calming influence on other players and appeared to take pressure of Hastings, Mitchell and Friend. JWH and Boyd also brought power for the forwards and suddenly things are looking up for them. It was only the Knights they beat though, yet at their worse, the Titans have been known to emulate them. At this stage, there are on a 5-game losing streak and playing without confidence. Their last match was an accurate depiction of this and while their losing streak will come to an end sooner rather than later, it will not be in this game. The Roosters enjoy a strong record at this ground and will need to limit their mistakes on both sides of the ball. The pressure they create in defence has worked well for them recent and it will again be a focus for them over 80 minutes. As for the final margin, this game is probably going to be close given the desperation of the Titans and the Roosters combinations still working together with one another. Stick with the visitors to get home by less than 2-converted tries.

Suggested Bet

Roosters 1-12 @ $2.80

Off to McDonalds! = Blake Ferguson FTS and/or LTS @ $8 – Nene McDonald was released by the Roosters last year due to his poor defensive capabilities. He is a “big lump of a lad” and no one will know how to exploit him better than his former team. Enter Ferguson, a recent favorite of late and his opposite number in this match. If they swap sides, I would have no hesitation selecting Mitch Aubusson to salute ($13).

Good luck!
Scooby 

Author

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Scooby

Hey guys, i'm Scooby! I have followed Rugby League since I was young enough to watch it and growing up in Sydney, it was inevitable. I will always make it my business to watch all 8 NRL fixtures per week and follow it with more than just passion. During my playing career, I have played at several representative levels, with and against current players. I began writing previews on NRL games early on in 2012 and really found a passion within this. I enjoy listening to various people and their opinions on the game, and then forming my own. Coupled together with another passion, gambling, I soon learnt that there was a market out there for more than the rugby league diehards. Hopefully I can pass on my knowledge of the game to help you win some cash.

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