NRL Round 23 – 2017

NRL

South Sydney Rabbitohs (11th) v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs (13th)

The Rabbitohs came out last week and caused an upset over the Dragons, knocking their opponents out of the Top 8 and grabbing the attention of other teams pushing for a spot in the Finals. Their opponents always appeared in control of the contest and heading into HT at 18-12, many thought that the Rabbitohs were out of the contest. Someone forgot to tell them though, with 2 tries in the finals 5 minutes stealing victory. It was one of their better efforts this season, completing at 81% with just a 47% share of possession and committing just 8 errors. An area of concern is the 48 tackles they missed, which allowed their opponents to score 4 tries; nevertheless, some sparks returned to the Rabbitohs attack and the win lifted them up the ladder, ahead of their opponents here. The Bulldogs were beaten by the Eels last Thursday for the second time this year, with the 20-4 score line not a true indication of how one-sided this contest was. They were never in the match, having to wait 59 minutes before scoring their first points and continually giving their opponents opportunities with their 11 errors. The Bulldogs have struggled to score points all season and the shift of Chase Stanley to the halves didn’t have the intended impact. There are still a few tough weeks ahead for this team and with Des Hasler fighting to save his position, this might be the only interest in a game featuring two teams that are set to have their season finish early in 2017.

Team News

Rabbitohs = Aaron Gray comes into the centres to replace Hymel Hunt (dropped).

Bulldogs = Unchanged, with Chase Stanley named at halfback, Matt Frawley on the bench and Michael Lichaa in the reserves.

History

Overall = Rabbitohs 11 Draw 1 Bulldogs 21

Last 5 Matches = Rabbitohs 2 Bulldogs 3

At ANZ Stadium = Rabbitohs 52% Bulldogs 57%

Form = Rabbitohs 1 win – Bulldogs 3 losses

Verdict

The Rabbitohs head into this game as strong favorites, given their come-from-behind win last week against the Dragons. They are clearly a more difficult team than the Bulldogs, although their opponents here are expected to challenge them with a dour defensive structure; the Bulldogs were already successful over the Rabbitohs back in Round 7 24-9. As for this game, the major concern for the visitors is their inability to score points; with their season average dropping to 13.2 points per game and they have only scored 20 or more points once since Round 8. The Rabbitohs average 18.9 points per game, yet will need their defence to match it; the Bulldogs concede 18.9 PPG compared to their opponents 22.3 PPG. The home team needs to ensure they crack the Bulldogs defensive structure when given the opportunity, as it doesn’t appear likely that their opponents can match their attacking output; they rank last in the league for both line breaks (2.95 per game) and try assists (1.55 per game). It is concerning that the Rabbitohs have only won 20% of their matches at home this season, although the Bulldogs have won 11.1% of their matches played away in 2017; their only saving grace could be that they are familiar with this ground and have won 5 out of their 7 games in 2017 here. You cannot completely forget about the Bulldogs in a contest like this, however there appears to be more issues than just their performance on the field and the Rabbitohs should possess enough confidence to overcome them within 80 minutes. As for the margin, 5 of the past 6 meetings have been decided by 14-points or more at an average margin of 16.7 points. Considering the respective ladder standings of each team, it would be surprising to see such a margin replicated here and the safest option appears to be selecting the Rabbitohs to cover the line and allowing each team to further build into 2018.

Suggested Bet

Rabbitohs -4.5 @ $2

Leading from the bottom = Alex Johnston FTS and/or LTS @ $8 – Johnston has been a rare shining light for his team this season, managing to be the equal leading try scorer despite his teams standing on the ladder. Moving to fullback has allowed him to have greater freedom over the field and scoring the first try for the Rabbitohs brings him into calculations yet again.

 

Parramatta Eels (5th) v Newcastle Knights (16th)

Hype is building at the Eels, with their team on a 6-game winning streak that continued last week against the Bulldogs. The 20-4 result was always expected, yet Eels teams of the past could’ve easily lost that match and been guilty of taking their opponents lightly; the score line flattered their opponents as opposed to highlighting how dominant they were. Rather, they executed to a level that their opponents struggled to match, completing at 88% with 55% possession, making just 6 total errors and missing 25 tackles. The win moved them into 5th on the competition ladder, equal third with the Broncos and also improved their point’s difference to a positive for the first time in a long time. On the verge of making the Top 4, the Eels will want to handle the Knights the same way and continue their climb up the ladder. As confident as the Eels are, the Knights are also buoyed by recent results, winning 26-10 over the Warriors last week to hand them their first 2-game winning streak since 2015. It showed just how capable the Knights were, completing at 89% with just 5 errors and missing 25 tackles for the match. If they can continue such efforts, they are going to be in a good position moving towards 2018. This match will provide another challenge altogether, however there is also a genuine chance they can avoid the wooden spoon as well.

Team News

Eels = Tepai Moeroa (injury) returns in the second row, pushing Kenny Edwards to the bench and Frank Pritchard to the reserves.

Knights = Dane Gagai shifts to fullback to cover for Nathan Ross (injured), with Joe Wardle named in the centres. Shaun Kenny-Dowall (injury) returns on the wing for Chanel Mata’utia, who moves to the reserves.

History

Overall = Eels 15 Knights 18

Last 5 Matches = Eels 2 Knights 3

At ANZ Stadium = Eels 49% Knights 45%

Form = Eels 6 wins – Knights 2 wins

Verdict

The Knights have had a great burst of pride and confidence in the last few weeks, however it looks set to end here with the Eels egger to keep their winning streak alive. They are very short in betting markets but you cannot overlook the recent record between the two sides; the Knights have won 7 out of the past 9 meetings, with the Eels winning the two most recent matches. The Eels teams that have played in those matches are vastly different to the one that is performing here. They have found a way to win matches without flashes of individual brilliance; rather, they are relying on the entire squad performing and doing their job. While the Dragons are a team that is contention to play Finals football, to see the Knights cause an upset in this game would be surprising to say the least, based on the quality of the opponents they have beaten. The Eels wins have been playing against quality teams, with their win over the Broncos a highlight and ability to comprehensively beat the Bulldogs a positive indication of their attitude. It should serve them well here, with this game being the first time the two teams have played one another since Round 12, 2016. The most difficult decision is the margin and with the Eels having the worst points difference (+12) of any team inside the Top 8, they will want to improve upon this and ensure they have the edge over other teams they could finish level with. It will be a problem overcoming the Knights by a large margin; despite allowing 26.1 points per game, the Knights have only lost 6 out of 16 matches by 13 or more points. With the Eels attack still finding its momentum, they will need to improve on their season average of 19.1 points in attack if they are to completely dominate this contest. While it appears likely, a rejuvenated opponent will ensure that this game is kept close for as long as possible. Expect the Eels to only pull away towards the end of this match.

Suggested Bet

Eels 13+ @ $1.70

 

Brisbane Broncos (3rd) v Cronulla Sharks (4th)

The Broncos returned to the winner’s circle after an upset 28-14 loss to the Eels in Round 21. They bounced back in style, hammering their close rivals, the Titans 54-nil on the road; after a poor showing prior, many believed that the Titans could cause their opponents some headaches and up until they opened the scoring in the 23rd minute, it appeared likely. Only ahead 16-nil at HT, the scoring onslaught began in the second half and it was relentless. They completed at 81%, made 10 errors and missed just 19 tackles, dominating possession and continually causing headaches for their opponents. The win keeps them inside the Top 4 and pressure on the second placed Roosters, who are they are 2-points behind. The Sharks will be out to bounce back following a poor showing at home against the Raiders, going down 30-12 after leading 8-nil inside 10 minutes. They were their own worst enemy in that match, allowing the inferior opponent to play beyond their level of talent, with 36 missed tackles opening up numerous scoring opportunities. A few other results worked in their favor and they were able to stay inside the Top 4, yet are under pressure if such efforts continue in coming weeks. Unfortunately for them, they are still committing the equal-most amount of errors (11.3 per game) and need to address this sooner rather than later; pressure is on the Sharks heading into the Finals and many are questioning their motivation after winning the competition last year. If any more is needed, they should cast their minds back to Round 1, where they were defeated 26-18 by the Broncos at home in another uncharacteristic display.

Team News

Broncos = Jai Arrow comes onto the bench for Joe Ofahengaue (suspended).

Sharks = James Maloney (injury) is named to return at 5/8, with Fa’amanu Brown moving to hooker and James Segeyaro to the bench. Kurt Capewell is named in the centres for Jack Bird (injured).

History

Overall = Broncos 20 Sharks 15

Last 5 Matches = Broncos 2 Sharks 3

At Suncorp Stadium = Broncos 62% Sharks 36%

Form = Broncos 1 win – Sharks 1 loss

Verdict

The Broncos will head into one of the matches of the round as strong favorites, with many doubting the potential of the Sharks to bounce back from a demoralising loss on the back of a short turnaround. It would be tough for their playing squad to reflect upon last week’s effort, especially considering they jumped to an early lead. Having James Maloney return to their team will increase their output in attack and provide them with another option towards the end of their sets; the Broncos will be wary of this and will aim to shut him down at every possible opportunity. Their form heading into this game reads well, as does a 54-nil victory; nevertheless their past 5 wins have been against teams outside the Top 8, with losses since Round 13 to the Roosters, Storm and Eels plaguing their record. This alone is enough to shorten the odds in this match. It is no secret that big games in 2017 have been an issue for the Broncos, although playing this one at home works in their favor with the Sharks only winning at 36% at Suncorp Stadium. The Sharks have extra motivation for this match given it will be Paul Gallen’s 300th NRL match, a milestone achieved at one club. It is ironic that he will achieve this in Queensland, a state he has been so desperate to beat in the past. The intensity of this game should ensure that it is kept tight throughout; the Sharks are being underestimated by many and could easily spring an upset. Rather than invest on that and hope for the outcome, take this game to be decided by less than a converted try with the Finals intensity raised well ahead of their set dates.

Suggested Bet

Either Team Under 6.5 Points @ $2.75

 

St George-Illawarra Dragons (9th) v Gold Coast Titans (14th)

The Dragons season continues to spiral out of control last Friday, suffering a 26-24 loss to the Rabbitohs in bizarre circumstances. The loss means that they are another 2-game losing streak and have just won 2 out of the past 8 games, dropping out of the Top 8 altogether. Despite having a greater share of possession (53%), they were unable to close out the match and allowed the Rabbitohs to score 2 tries with 5 minutes remaining. Aside from completing at 77% and committing 10 total errors, the Dragons let themselves down in defence, missing a massive 44 tackles. If they want to remain in contention for a spot in the Finals, the Dragons must win this game as a few tougher matches lie ahead. The Titans will be out for redemption, hammered 54-nil by the Broncos at home last week. In a frustrating performance, the Titans played into the hands of their opponents after managing to keep the game close within the opening 20 minutes. In the end, the 67% completion rate, 12 errors and 31 missed tackles got the better of them, as their opponent’s momentum was too much, scoring 6 tries in the final 25 minutes. With a spot in the Finals gone for 2017, the Titans have little to play for and will need to take confidence from their Round 17 victory over the Dragons 20-10; they played beyond themselves in that game and with some level of desperation gone, the Dragons will aim to rise about this and build their own momentum in this match and beyond.

Team News

Dragons = Tyson Frizell (injury) returns to the second row, with Hame Sele and Blake Lawire the new faces on the bench. They replace Jacob Host and Jake Marketo, who were moved to the reserves.

Titans = Kevin Proctor (injury) returns to the second row, with Morgan Boyle shifting to the bench and Agnatius Paasi dropping out of the team.

History

Overall = Dragons 11 Titans 7

Last 5 Matches = Dragons 2 Titans 3

At UOW Jubilee Oval = Dragons 63% Titans 75%

Form = Dragons 2 losses – Titans 3 losses

Verdict

The Dragons need a win more than ever and many believe they can capture it here at the hands of the struggling Titans. The fallout since their embarrassing loss continues, with many doubts raised as to how long their coach will remain at the club. That is bound to have an impact on the entire playing group, with questions continually raised about their motivation and the direction they are heading as a team. Normally, a team with a 3-6 road record wouldn’t be worth a thought, though travelling to this ground has not worried the Titans, winning 3 out of the 4 matches played here. The Titans were not without their chances last week and it was a matter of their performance dramatically declining once they lost confidence; the Dragons have to ensure that they do the same, shut the Titans out of the match with defence and have their forwards dominate around the ruck. When the Dragons have played well this season, their forwards have lead the way strongly; this has an affect on the halves and outside backs as well, so establishing dominance here is vital. When the Titans beat them in Round 17, they carried the ball for more metres and made fewer errors. Aside from their good record at this ground, the only hope for the Titans is that they are motivated to bounce back from their effort last week. There appears to be more plaguing this club than just poor performances; the Titans have the second worst defensive record in the competition (26 points per game conceded), while only managing 19.7 PPG in attack. The Dragons are a team that has had their fair share of attacking woes in the past, yet they average 22.2 PPG in attack, while conceding 18.5 PPG in defence. This points towards the Dragons being too strong for their opponents, with the home team perhaps pushed further to find victory than they may like; but be wary, the two most recent efforts by the visitors suggest that a blowout is capable if their attitude is not quickly adjusted.

Suggested Bet

Dragons 1-12 @ $3

 

Melbourne Storm (1st) v Sydney Roosters (2nd)

The superior class of the Storm was again on display, this time in their comprehensive 26-8 win over the Cowboys in Townsville. As the business end of the competition draws near, the odds for them to take out the Premiership become shorter and shorter, with their performance in that match a great indicator. The loss of Cameron Munster was barely felt, as the Storm kept their opponents to 1 try in the contest and barely gave them a chance; they completed at 75% (below their best), made just 9 errors and missed only 23 tackles, continually pressuring their opponents and forcing 14 total errors on them. This game shapes as a potential Grand Final preview, with the Roosters 4-points behind them on the ladder and desperate to bounce back from an upset loss last week by the Sea Eagles. Things were looking positive early for them, with many believing that they would be able to put their opponents away leading 18-10. A weight of possession against them in the second half made things difficult and the Roosters quickly found themselves behind and chasing points; completing at 71% with 45% possession didn’t help their cause, neither did making 13 errors and missing 38 tackles. As good as the Roosters have been this season, flaws in such areas continue to plague their progress during some matches and better teams in the competition have the ability to make them pay for their mistakes. The Storm will be no different in this match, especially considering they will be out to make amends for their 1-point loss in Round 16; circumstances leading into this game are completely different, as the Storms Origin stars are now available and will have a large impact on the overall result of this match.

Team News

Storm = Unchanged.

Roosters = Jake Friend (injury) is named to return at hooker, pushing Victor Radley back to the bench. He will be joined by Ryan Matterson, who moves from the second row, accommodating Boyd Cordner’s (injury) return. Daniel Tupou (injured) is replaced on the wing by Joseph Manu, with Mitchell Aubusson moving to the centres and Aidan Guerra starting in the second row.

History

Overall = Storm 18 Roosters 15

Last 5 Matches = Storm 3 Roosters 2

At AAMI Park = Storm 74% Roosters 33%

Form = Storm 3 wins – Roosters 1 loss

Verdict

In another preview of what lies ahead in the Finals (and perhaps the GF), the Storm will want to establish dominance over their rivals on the ladder. The best way to do this is win with authority and make amends for an earlier loss in 2017. All signs point towards the Storm winning this game; they are coming off a strong win compared with their opponent’s loss, they have a great record at this ground and have players in their team that appear to be operating at their peak each week. This is reflected in betting markets with the Storm very short and perhaps under the odds against a team like the Roosters. Their confidence was knocked due to the result of last weeks match, although it should be boosted with quality players returning to the team. Their impact, while not expected to be immediate due to a lack of match fitness, will be needed over 80 minutes. Whether or not it enough to alter the result of this contest is another question altogether. When the Storm have lost matches this year against highly ranked opponents, they have been brutalised in defence; this disrupts the momentum of their key players and limits their effectiveness in scoring points. You can expect the Roosters to target the Storm in this area, especially Cronk, Slater and Smith; they cannot afford to give one more attention over the other at any point because when they do, they will be made to pay for their mistakes. The Roosters defence will need to improve on their 18.2 points allowed per game, especially considering the Storm allow 14.9 points per game. Providing they can halt their attack, the Roosters will be in with a chance of winning; nevertheless, it is only a chance at this stage as they average 11.3 errors per game (equal 1st in the league) and 32.2 missed tackles per game (7th in the league). With this and the expected intensity of the match, take the home team to win by less than 2 converted tries.

Suggested Bet

Storm 1-12 @ $2.80

 

Penrith Panthers (8th) v North Queensland Cowboys (6th)

The Panthers kept their Finals hopes alive with a somewhat unconvincing 28-14 win over the Tigers last Sunday. In a game they were always expected to win, it took the home team a little longer to put their opponents away than they would’ve liked; leaving it to the last 7 minutes of the match to score two tries and widen the gap from the 2-points it had been since the 54th minute. The weight of possession (54%) worked in their favor, yet had they played a more capable opponent, the result may have not been as positive; they let themselves down in key areas, completing at just 68%, committing 14 errors and missing 43 tackles. Winning under such circumstances is a positive, as is the reward of moving inside the Top 8 courtesy of a loss suffered by the Dragons, yet the task of winning this game is inherently more difficult. The Cowboys are desperate to turn around their recent form, losing two consecutive matches to the two leading teams in the competition. For the first time in a long time, their absent stars were noticed as the class of their opponents overpowered them. They didn’t do themselves any favors though; they completed at just 71% with 14 errors last week and continually allowed their opponents to dictate the terms of the contest. The Cowboys are only 2-points ahead of the Panthers with 4 games remaining and the result of this game could have a large impact on the final standings in coming weeks.

Team News

Panthers = Unchanged.

Cowboys = Javid Bowen is named on the wing to replaced Antonio Winterstein (injured), while Coen Hess comes into the starting team in the second row for Gavin Cooper (injured). John Asiata is named at prop, swapping with Shaun Fensom, who will start from the bench, along with Ben Hampton.

History

Overall = Panthers 15 Cowboys 16

Last 5 Matches = Panthers 1 Cowboys 4

At Pepper Stadium = Panthers 54% Cowboys 53%

Form = Panthers 5 wins – Cowboys 2 losses

Verdict

The Cowboys had a chance last week but were hampered when they were reduced to 1 reserve inside 25 minutes last week and were forced to use a back-rower in the centres. Having 7 players, 3 of which are Origin representatives, unavailable through injury hurts their chances and has them as outsiders in this match. The fact that the Panthers are so short at home is a concern and can fool many people into thinking that their 5-game winning streak has also delivered impressive play. Fact is, they still lack a genuine 6th tackle option if Cleary isn’t available; they have failed to shut teams out of matches until late in the contest and are ranked 2nd for missed tackles (34.9 per game) and 3rd for errors (11.2 per game). Combine this with the Cowboys record over the Panthers and the visitors are a genuine shot at causing an upset; the Panthers haven’t beaten the Cowboys since Round 23, 2014 and have allowed their opponents to win 3 out of the past 4 meetings at this ground. The Cowboys are a team that knows how to win tight matches when it matters most and looking ahead at their schedule, a win in this game is important to locking up a spot in the Top 8. The Panthers recent form will give them confidence, however more needs to come from them against quality opponents; you can only beat what is in front of you each week except they have only beaten 1 Top 8 team so far this season. If they are to win, it would have to be a completely different effort than what has come from them in the past without much confidence around their genuine effort, the visitors look too good to overlook at this late stage of the season.

Suggested Bet

Cowboys +6.5 @ $1.80

Make the call = Cowboys @ $2.75 – If you are confident enough that the Cowboys can cause an upset, then this option is worth considering. The Panthers are certain to make things difficult for their opponents, but whether or not they can match their quality in a number of areas over 80 minutes is another factor altogether.

 

New Zealand Warriors (12th) v Canberra Raiders (10th)

The Warriors season reached a low-point last week, suffering an embarrassing 26-10 loss to the last-placed Knights in Newcastle. Out of Finals contention and struggling for motivation, the Warriors looked nothing like a team that could’ve challenged for the Finals, let alone one that possessed so much talent. Their statistics tell a different story, completing at 81%, making just 8 errors and missing 33 tackles, it is surprising that they were limited to just 10-points. The execution from their opponents had a large impact on the result, yet their inability to execute in positive attacking position continually let them down and has done for majority of the season. The Raiders will hope that they can head over to New Zealand and extend their opponents woes, while also keeping alive their Finals hopes; a pleasing 30-12 win over the Sharks on the road ensured that they survived one more week and left many wondering where such efforts had been throughout 2017. In one of their best performance of the year, the Raiders showed what they are capable of, completing at 91%, missing just 26 tackles and making 9 total errors; they played with measure and poise through the middle and relied on power built in this area to create a strong attacking platform for their outside backs. They need to win all their remaining matches this season to have any chance of making the Finals and last weeks effort was a step in the right direction and they must aim to build on that performance, as well as their 20-8 win over the Warriors in Canberra back in Round 7.

Team News

Warriors = Issac Luke has been moved to the bench, with Nathaniel Roache named to start at hooker. Ryan Hoffman (injury) returns in the second row, pushing Jazz Tevaga back to the reserves.

Raiders = Unchanged.

History

Overall = Warriors 16 Raiders 17

Last 5 Matches = Warriors 2 Raiders 3

At Mt Smart Stadium = Warriors 58% Raiders 27%

Form = Warriors 5 losses – Raiders 2 wins

Verdict

Back in Round 7, the Raiders were victorious over the Warriors 20-8 in Canberra, dominating possession (54%), having a better completion rate (76%) and making significantly fewer errors than their opponents (12 v 17). The equation for is simple for them, win this game in a similar fashion and keep alive their Finals hopes for another week. They have a few challenges to overcome first, most notably their poor record at this ground; they have only won 4 matches from 15 attempts at 27%. The fact that they were able to perform well when it mattered last week will be pleasing for them as a team and give them an enhanced level of confidence heading into this match. The Warriors could do with a shift in attitude and confidence, they have been woeful in recent weeks and it is not surprising that there is not more noise about the position of coach Stephen Kearney; attempting to turn this team into one that plays like the Storm has failed and his coaching record sits at 27%. For them to win this game would be a complete surprise, their execution is poor and they are missing the creative instinct of Shaun Johnson dearly. If the Raiders lose this game, then aside from the reality of not playing Finals, they will not deserve to play there. This game is then a matter of how much the visitors win by; the average winning margin between these two sides sits at 15.2 points in the past 5 meetings, with the Raiders averaging a margin of 13.2 points in their past 5 wins. Considering the Warriors allowed the Knights (3rd worse attack in the league) to score 26 points, while only managing 10 points against a team that allows the most each week, highlights just how poor they are. Competition points are one thing, however the Raiders will also need to focus on improving their points difference, just in case they finish on level points with another team. This means that they should be able to cover the line, with the Warriors allowing their past 2 winning opponents at home to win by 12 and 14 points; if the Raiders are feeling really confidence, this could get very ugly for the Warriors.

Suggested Bet

Raiders -8.5 @ $2

 

Wests Tigers (15th) v Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles (7th)

Normal proceedings resumed for the Tigers last Sunday, as they were beaten 28-14 by the Panthers in Penrith. They appeared to be playing beyond their capabilities for majority of the first half and kept themselves within striking distance of their opponents; after the 53rd minute try to Luke Brooks, they sat 2-points behind, yet failed to build any pressure from that point onwards. With just a 46% share of possession, the Tigers execution wasn’t where it needed to be and flashes of hope were down to their opponent’s inabilities rather than their own positives. Missing as massive 58 tackles for the match highlights the disparity between their game and others in the competition. It was only back in Round 19 that the Sea Eagles comfortably accounted for the Tigers 28-16, failing to play to their potential and build a large tally on their opponents. With their season threatening to continue to spiral out of control, the Sea Eagles turned out an impressive display, beating the Roosters 36-18. Their 82% completion with 55% of possession worked wonders for them and meant they were able to fight their way back from an 18-10 HT deficit. Committing 11 errors and 39 missed tackles didn’t halt their momentum in the second half, as they halted the Roosters scoring and managed to score 4 tries. It will return confidence to their team and they have another opportunity to increase their development, while winning could also mean moving up the ladder as the Finals series draws near.

Team News

Tigers = Unchanged.

Sea Eagles = Addin Fonua-Blake (suspension) returns on the bench for Kelepi Tanginoa.

History

Overall = Tigers 9 Sea Eagles 15

Last 5 Matches = Tigers 2 Sea Eagles 3

At Leichhardt Oval = Tigers 58% Sea Eagles 22%

Form = Tigers 1 loss – Sea Eagles 1 win

Verdict

The Sea Eagles informed the rest of the competition that they are far from a forgotten team in 2017 and will not want to drop this match against the lowly ranked Tigers. The Sea Eagles hardly got out of second-gear in their 28-16 win back in Round 19 and they should have minimal issues here. Despite being a chance of winning against the Panthers, there was a noticeable difference between the level of execution between the two sides last week and the Sea Eagles will be another intensity altogether. The Tigers still rank 4th for errors (11 per game) and 1st for missed tackles (36.3 per game), with these two areas limiting how competitive they will be here. Their only hope is that the Sea Eagles 22% winning record at this ground comes back to haunt them; that will only help them to some extent and winning this match will come down to the effort from each team. This game is a matter of how much the Sea Eagles will win by and the Tigers efforts this season suggest the margin of victory could be quite large. Of the Tigers 15 losses this season, 7 have been by more than 13 points, while the Sea Eagles have won 6 out of their 12 wins by 13 points or more. Their most recent effort against the Roosters suggests that if they can break down an opponent like that, the Tigers are in for a difficult afternoon. There is little doubt that the visitors can cover the line, providing they can overcome their woes at this ground. Given their away record sits at 6-3 this year, it may not be as much of a struggle as many are thinking and once they cover the line, there is no limit to the points they can score.

Suggested Bet

Sea Eagles -6.5 @ $.190

 

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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