The representative weekend is upon us and as has been the case in the past few years, it will be a stand-alone weekend where the regular season takes a back seat. Unfortunately, the hype heading into this weekend is failing to match the magnitude that the matches probably deserve. A lot of that has to do with the one-sided contests that are predicted, along with the amount of player withdrawals that have occurred since the original teams were announced. If this issue is not addressed, the NRL could be in a position where they are forced to scrap this weekend altogether or risk having the representative matches tarnished. Either way, people are still going to tune in to watch some rugby league on a weekend where they are deprived of action.
Australia v New Zealand Test Match
Friday night features a Test match between the Kangaroos and the Kiwi’s at Allianz Stadium. Due to the minimal interest, it is hard to believe that this match is a replay of the Final of the RLWC that only occurred back in November. The champions of that contest were the Aussies and upon the selection of the two teams, their chances of winning this match were only increased. The Kiwi’s have named a relatively inexperienced team, with several “big-names” missing from their team. It is difficult to understand the reasons behind this approach by coach Stephen Kearny and we will have to wait to see whether or not there is some method in the madness. The Australian’s will have to be wary of not being complacent, which can often be the case when an inexperienced team faces off against a side possessing the talent of the Kangaroos. Australian coach Tim Sheens has been quick to point out that his side will be firmly focused on grabbing a victory and not falling into the trap of taking their opponents lightly. Ultimately, this game will be close in the initial stages but it will be a matter of how much the Kangaroos win by.
Kangaroos 30+ @ $2.50
Darius Boyd @ $8 – Playing outside Greg Inglis is his best chance. He generally attracts two defenders when attacking and that should leave an unmarked Boyd on the outside.
City v Country
The only match on Sunday afternoon heads out to Dubbo as attention is drawn to the importance contribution that country rugby league makes to this game. Arguably one of the biggest disappointments of this weekend is the lackluster clash that will determine the make up of the NSW SOO team. Then again, you wonder just how much this match is going to influence selectors when making their final decision. The withdrawal of players from this match has reached a comical level, almost to the point where it is limiting the interest in this match. Nonetheless, this match will carry some importance to those players that are participating in it, hoping to even change the minds of selectors and push their case. Looking at the two sides, City have a far superior team on paper. Luckily for their opponents, the game isn’t played there and the pressure will be on all players to perform. Traditionally, this match is a close contest and it appears as though this game will be heading the same way. Having the Knights pairing leading the Country team around hardly increases the confidence in their performance and their ability to grab a victory. The boys from the City also have a stronger pack of forwards, as well as having a superior bench to call upon. They should be able to handle their opponents with ease, even to the point where the margin may get closer to 12.
City 1-12 @ $3
All of the above are the opinions of the author and are not recommendations or advice. The author may not be taking every bet listed above. Bet at your own risk.
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