As SOO fast approaches, several NRL clubs are given a bye weekend this week to limit the impact of the top quality players leaving their clubs for representative football. The idea is always thrown around for a standalone weekend for Origin football but it is a tried and tested formula that the Wednesday night game is one that works. If you can remember back to the ANZAC Test weekend, it was horrible only having a few games of football to watch and people wanted club footy to come back ASAP. Everyone has an opinion on this issue and several players have expressed their thoughts and have suggested that while a standalone weekend would be good for their bodies, it probably wouldn’t be ideal for the fans and at the end of the day, they are the ones that are driving the popularity of the game. The NRL needs to look after them first, whilst also considering the fitness of the players and work closely with the clubs to find a formula that pleases everyone. There are only 4 games this weekend and those teams not playing will relish the opportunity to “refresh” their squad and allow a chance for a few bumps and bruises to heal. Each team in the NRL will have the opportunity to have 2 “bye” weekends in and around the SOO period and no doubt several clubs will be thinking of giving their players a few days off and away from training. The quality of football will not drop though as several players will want to head out onto the field in coming weeks with a point to prove after missing SOO selection. Round 11 was filled with a few shocks as teams bounced back to form while others struggled under certain playing conditions.
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v St George-Illawarra Dragons
This week, the Bulldogs and Dragons will kick off proceeding in the sole Friday night game. It is always a traditional rivalry between the two clubs and despite the omission of the Morris boys and Trent Merrin, it still promises to be a tough contest. The Bulldogs will look to back up from their Round 11 Friday night game against the Broncos, where they were strong in the middle of the field and forced the Broncos into making errors with the ball. The game was played in appalling conditions but it was the Bulldogs strong set of forwards that was able to drive them towards victory. It has been a long wait for Bulldogs fans to get back to this point as well. They were slow to start the season and once they finally got their full squad back, it was going to take a little longer for them to gain “match fitness”. This was definitely the case in the forwards and they are still working towards a complete performance, but that doesn’t seem to be too far away and they’re travelling a lot better than the Dragons. It seems as though their form against the Eels was clouded (no surprise there) and they came out after a strong performance against them to lose without scoring a point against the Panthers. Some credit does have to go to the Panthers for their play but the Dragons failed to trouble them too much and were unable to build pressure in attack (56.1% completion rate & 16 errors). As they were unable to handle the Panthers forwards, it may be beyond them competing against the Bulldogs and this is further compounded through missing Merrin. Regardless of the circumstances around these two sides facing one another and the players missing, they should always deliver a tough and physical contest that will be an honest game of rugby league to watch.
The Bulldogs have tried to keep the same squad together for majority of the season and the only changes this week are forced through SOO and injury. Josh Morris was named at centre for the Blues and despite not scoring for a try this season, he will be solid on the edges and will be dangerous with the ball in hand. Mitch Brown moves in from the wing and into the centres, while Drury Low is the new face on the wing. Low was one of the early season replacements for Barba and he is more than capable of filling the wing position, while maintaining the attacking flair. As was the case last Friday, the only other recognisable change is the omission of Tony Williams through injury. Josh Jackson is promoted to the starting side from the bench, while Tim Browne is called into the 17 from the extended bench. Martin Taupau is again named as 18th man, but he will probably be the one to miss out when the team is finalised prior to kick off. There is one final puzzling situation to overcome though as late on Tuesday, Josh Reynolds was called into the NSW team as a possible cover for Kurt Gidley. If he was to miss out on selection, he would take his place in this game but know one outside the Blues side can be sure which way they will go just yet so pay attention to the naming of the Bulldogs team.
St George-Illawarra Dragons
The Dragons haven’t reached their panic stations just yet but another performance like the one on the weekend and they will be reaching for that button. Steve Price has finally bit the bullet and has not chosen to name Matt Cooper in the centres following weeks of late withdrawals due to injury. This week, Matt Prior will take his place in the centres and his defensive ability will only strengthen the edge for the Dragons. This means that Daniel Vidot will move back to the wing after shifting to the centres to accommodate the late inclusion of Brett Morris, who was able to prove his fitness for SOO. Trent Merrin is also out following his selection on the bench for the Blues. Tyson Frizell will take his place in the starting side at lock and has been solid with his play so far this year. It will be a different role for him and he will have to lift his work rate around the middle of the field to cover for Merrin and his outstanding efforts each week. There are two new faces on the bench to accommodate for the promotion of Prior and Frizell. Cameron King will fill the utility role and may even start the game in place of Mitch Rein, while Leeson Ah Mau will look to give the same impact that Prior was giving when he came onto the field.
Overall = Bulldogs 14 Dragons 10
Last 5 games = Bulldogs 2 Dragons 3
At ANZ Stadium = Bulldogs 5 Dragons 5
Stats that matter
- The Dragons have a fairly good completion rate this season (71.6% – 9th) but they were diabolical last week against the Panthers. They completed just 56.1% of their sets and committed a massive 16 errors with the ball. It was a completely different story for the Bulldogs though (73% – 6th for the season) and they proved that they could build pressure on the opposition with a 80.5% completion rate.
- The Bulldogs are tightening up their defence and having their full squad back is only helping their cause. They are currently ranked 2nd in the league with just 22.2 tackles per game and are a fair way ahead of the Dragons that are ranked in =9th spot with an average of 26 missed tackles per game.
- The Bulldogs are also reducing the amount of points their opponents are scoring against them. So far this season, they concede 20.6 points but in the last 5 games they have averaged just 17.2, while scoring 24 of their own. This statistic is even more impressive considering that they concede 44 in one game against the Knights.
TAB Sportsbet = Bulldogs $1.35 Dragons $3.25
Centrebet = Bulldogs $1.30 Dragons $3.65
Sportsbet = Bulldogs $1.35 Dragons $3.30
Betfair = Bulldogs $1.34 Dragons $3.65
There are a lot of contributing factors in this game that will affect the overall result. Both sides are only missing a few players through either SOO selection or injury and there shouldn’t be too much difference between either of them. The Dragons were off last week against the Panthers and will look to bounce back here; it is just a matter of whether or not the Bulldogs allow them to gain any momentum in this contest. Weighing up the two teams, the Bulldogs have a superior pack of forwards and halves that are playing better than the two at the helm of the Dragons. They are playing more consistent football and will take even more confidence away from their strong performance against the Broncos. They have a few more levels left in their performance yet and the Dragons may find this tough to battle against. As for a margin, I am expecting this game to be a close in the initial stages, but the Bulldogs may just be able to pull away towards the end of the match. The 13+ option does seem a little far fetched though and as they are not yet back to their best, the suitable margin appears to be 1-12.
Bulldogs 1-12 @ $2.85
Win with a specific margin = Bulldogs 7-12 @ $5.50 – There is a little more value involved in this bet and you will certainly reap the rewards by taking this option. It will be a lot closer than most people think but the Bulldogs should be able to win by a tad more than a converted try based on their improved scoring efforts in recent weeks.
Super-Fai Try = Tim Lafai FTS @ $11 – There are a lot of people around the game that know just how much potential this guy has and he could have a field day against two players that are not as strong as those players that he has faced in recent weeks. Prior is strong in defence, but it is a whole new ball game when you are defending out wide and Lafai has the speed and agility to stand this defender up.
South Sydney Rabbitohs v Newcastle Knights
Saturday night football is a non-event this weekend as there is only the one game kicking off at 7:30pm between the Rabbitohs and the Knights. It is also a shame that these two sides do not meet under a different set of circumstances because it would’ve been a decent game of rugby league to view. Both sides are currently sitting firmly inside the Top 8 and have promised a lot this season. Regardless of this, it still does promise to be a good contest despite the impact that a game at the same venue will have 4 days later, injuries and suspension will have. The Rabbitohs will have to turn around their fortunes after their winning run was ended last Monday at the hands of the Sharks who appeared to “want” the win more than them. In his post match interview, Michael Maguire alluded to the fact that a few of his players had taken a relaxed approach into this game and it was their lack of execution and poor attitude that was their ultimate downfall. They’re one of the best in the competition at the current time and will certainly not want any more performances like that one to surface again. Perhaps it was a good loss for them to have at this stage at it would’ve leveled their approach and reminded that there is still a lot of hard work to do on game day and a game will never be handed to them (unless they’re playing the current Eels team). Attitude seems to be a problem over at the Knights as well as they are performing amicably at home, but are a different side when it comes to playing on the road. Their best performances this season have been in front of their home crowd and they are yet to win on opposition territory. Last week, following a 44-8 victory over the Bulldogs at Hunter Stadium, they travelled across to New Zealand to face a Warriors side that was beaten by 56-points the week before. They have also had their fair share of struggles on the road and they were able to throw off the Knights rhythm enough to grab a win with a dominating display. Coach Wayne Bennett seemed lost for words following that outing and they really need to play more consistent and grab a few wins when travelling, before they can be considered as a threat to the title. This is a chance for them to prove their worth here but it will not be easy. All league fans will have their attention fixed on this loan fixture, so let’s hope it delivers us a contest that is worthy of that.
South Sydney Rabbitohs
There are a host of changes for the Rabbitohs this week and their could be more to come as Sam Burgess was found guilty of a dangerous tackle on Andrew Fifita and if John Sutton is named to play for NSW. It is not normally the case on Tuesday with a side backing up from MNF, but Michael Maguire would’ve had a plan handy knowing a few players would be pushing for SOO selection. Nathan Merritt has moved form the wing to replace Greg Inglis at fullback and will have his work cut out for him trying to replace Inglis. He should be motivated though by his omission from the Blues side and will want to prove his point with a strong game here. Andrew Everingham will cover for Merritt’s move from the wing and will be refreshed following his two-game suspension for a shoulder charge on Matt Bowen. In the forwards, George Burgess has paid the price for a few mistakes against the Sharks and is relegated back to the bench, while Dave Tyrrell regains his starting spot in the side. Both of the Rabbitohs second rowers, Chris McQueen and Ben Te’o have won a spot on the Maroons bench and their replacements are Ben Lowe (from the bench) and Sam Burgess (shifted from lock), but as Burgess is out, there is still another replacement to be named. The new face joining them in the back row to lock the scrum is Nathan Peats and he is showing his versatility as he has played majority of his football this season as a replacement for Issac Luke at hooker.
The Knights are another side that is struggling to keep their squad fit, while now also having to deal with SOO selection. Kevin Naiqama has come into the side at fullback and will replace Darius Boyd who fills both categories (injured and SOO selection). From all reports, Naiqama has been on fire recently in the NSW Cup and is making it extremely difficult for Bennett to leave him out of the squad each week. Akuila Uate is ruled out of this match through a rib injury and his replacement on the wing is Peter Mata’utia. Probably the biggest blow to their chances this week is the news that Kurt Gidley will be out for up to 5 weeks and out of majority of the SOO period. Travis Waddell is promoted to the starting side from the bench, while Adam Clydsdale is called into the side to fill the utility role. They are boosted though by the return of Jeremy Smith to the side from a very long suspension and he will slot straight back into the side at lock. This has forced David Fa’alogo back to the bench and Neville Costigan has shifted out of the side altogether. Willie Mason missed out on SOO selection and whilst he was playing well, it probably wasn’t enough to get him over the line but his experience at this time for the Knights will be invaluable.
Overall = Rabbitohs 9 Knights 25
Last 5 games = Rabbitohs 3 Knights 2
At ANZ Stadium = Rabbitohs 1 Knights 1
Stats that matter
- Both sides suffered an unexpected loss last week at the hands of lower ranked opponents. However, it was little things that went wrong in their own play that lead to their downfall. For the Knights, it was their 38 missed tackles on defence (season average of 23.1 – 4th) that allowed the Warriors to make easy metres up the middle of the field. For the Rabbitohs it was their 64.9% completion rate (season average of 73.9% – 4th) that had them turning the ball over to the Sharks.
- The Rabbitohs have a monster pack of forwards that is complimented very well by their hooker Issace Luke. They carry the ball forward strongly and average 9.27m per carry (1st). The Knights will have their hands full trying to limit this but can take some confidence away from the fact that they average 9.06m per carry (5th).
- The Knights will want to be on their game because they have to limit the amount of points the Rabbitohs are scoring in attack. They are ranked 1st in the competition and average 25.2 points per game, while the Knights are not too far behind them with an average of 22.8 points per game (4th).
TAB Sportsbet = Rabbitohs $1.43 Knights $2.90
Centrebet = Rabbitohs $1.48 Knights $2.72
Sportsbet = Rabbitohs $1.42 Knights $2.95
Betfair = Rabbitohs $1.48 Knights $2.90
Both sides are missing a host of players for various reasons this week and this match will be won by those players who stepping up into a starting role and wanting to prove themselves. The key will lie in the “spine” of each side. When you take a look at the players the Knights are missing (2/4 of the “spine”), Gidley was a major contributor to their success at hooker and they lose a lot of impact around the ruck through his omission. While their halves still remain together, they will find it tough to work under the pressure that Gidley would normally alleviate at hooker. Boyd also bought an attacking presence to the side that allowed them to spread the ball to the edge with a lot more ease. In the Rabbitohs camp, they are only missing Inglis at fullback and Merritt has shown in the past that he can step into this role and while not playing up to Inglis’ high standard, he provides plenty of spark at the back. Issac Luke will also be a key figure in the Rabbitohs success and he will have the Rabbitohs “stand-in” forwards setting a solid platform. Expect a tight game, but the Rabbitohs should be able to pull away towards the end of this match and set up a victory within a 1-12 margin.
Rabbitohs -6.5 @ $1.90
Put two and two together = Rabbitohs 7-12 @ $5.50 – Considering the suggested bet is taking on the line but a 1-12 margin is recommended in the “Verdict”, this seems like a more valuable margin if you’re willing to include it.
Full of Merritt = Nathan Merritt FTS and/or LTS @ $8 – Merritt was unlucky to miss out on selection into the NSW Blues side and moving to fullback in Inglis’ absence will only further inject him into the game. He has a knack of finding the try line and you can consider the $8 on offer very juicy given his try scoring ability.
Gold Coast Titans v North Queensland Cowboys
As we are faced with a shortened round and just like Saturday, there will only be one game of rugby league on a Sunday afternoon. There will probably be a lot of attention aimed towards SOO as the kick of grows near but before we can get there, we still have two NRL fixtures to contend with. There has been a fair split this weekend and as the first two games have taken place in NSW, the final two games will take place in QLD. Hopefully it will be a beautiful, sunny afternoon on the Gold Coast as the Titans welcome the North Queensland Cowboys to Skilled Park. Both sides have done their fair share of travelling in recent weeks and the Titans will relish the opportunity given to them to have a 7-day turn around between games following their trip out to Mudgee to face the Eels. Away trips are always tough to contend with but the burden on their squad would’ve been eased somewhat as they were able to return home comprehensive winners. Other teams in the competition will be quick to remind them though that a win against the Eels does not mean that much in the big scheme of things given their current effort level and execution. It certainly can have sides believing that they performed better than they actually did and make them vulnerable the following week (just ask the Dragons). The Titans will be able to take some confidence away from that performance though as they put in a dominating display and never allowed the Eels to gain any momentum and force their way into the contest. There was some imposing play by their halves and the “bigger names” within their roster were finally living up to their price tag. If only the Cowboys were able to find the same spark they would be in a lot better position than they are now. Everyone is well aware of their capabilities and the potential they have within this competition, in spite of this they are underperforming and reached a low point last week with a loss to the Tigers. That is not to draw any attention away from the Tigers effort, but with the talent they possess on their roster and their strong forward pack, you would’ve thought that they would’ve been able to capture a victory over a side that was missing around 9 regular first graders through injury. This was not the case and the travelling woes continued on and it seems as though this could be another frustrating season for the Cowboys. Like many other sides in the competition this season, they are struggling to perform on the road but this is no excuse for them to be using. The task for them this week becomes even more difficult considering the players they are missing from their side. Perhaps it will give and opportunity to those fringe players to come out and prove themselves worthy of more time in the top grade. Either way, this is another opportunity to win some money and watch some quality (hopefully) rugby league.
Gold Coast Titans
The Titans have had a few players called into both SOO sides and it demonstrates the class they have within their squad. Luckily for them, their backs remain the same and their halves will relish more game time together. The disruption occurs in the forwards as Nate Myles (QLD), Greg Bird (NSW) and Ashley Harrison (QLD) are omitted. Luke Douglas is called off the bench and into the front row for Myles and will partner former NSW prop Luke Bailey. The out of form Dave Taylor is into the team for Bird and this will be his opportunity to return to form and hopefully his attitude is in the right place. Joining him in the back row is Luke O’Dwyer who will start the match at lock for Harrison. With all the promotions from the bench, there is only one new face there as Taylor and O’Dwyer were called into the team from outside the squad. Jamie Dowling will feature on the bench and Cartwright will probably keep something up his sleeve, as he hasn’t named an 18th man.
North Queensland Cowboys
The last thing the Cowboys need at this stage of the season is the omission of key players. Thurston, Brent Tate, Matt Scott, James Tamou and Matt Bowen are all out of this game. Unfortunately for them, they will be missing Bowen for a few more weeks through a knee injury and the pressure he takes off Thurston at certain points will be missed. Clint Greenshields comes into the side and will wear the number 1 jersey. He will have his work cut out for him as will Michael Morgan who will slot into the 5/8 role. He will partner Robert Lui, a player that he was competing against for halfback role for majority of this season (as well as the preseason). Antonio Winterstein moves from the wing and covers for Tate in the centres, while the new face on the edge is Kalifa Faifai Loa. The two new faces in the front row are Ashton Sims and Scott Bolton, who are both promoted from the bench. There is an extended bench named with the dynamic duo Joel Riethmuller, Ricky Thorby and Jason Taumalolo. They will get their chance to take the field at some stage and will want to boost the momentum of the forwards. Coach Neil Henry has chosen to also named two extra players but Ethan Lowe (18th) and Blake Leary (19th) will probably miss selection
Overall = Titans 6 Cowboys 5
Last 5 games = Titans 2 Cowboys 3
At Skilled Park = Titans 3 Cowboys 2
Stats that matter
- The Titans are doing well to improve their completion rate on the field and they are currently ranked in 5th spot with an average of 73.6%. They are 6 places ahead of Cowboys but the completion rate seems to be one of their downfalls. They average 71.1% (11th) and at one stage this season it was at 66.5%.
- Errors are plaguing the Cowboys momentum on the field and they need to aim to reduce this as soon as possible. So far this season, they average a high 12.4 (14th) and are just behind the Titans who average 10.3 per match (4th).
- Considering the strength of their forwards, it is surprising to see a high average of missed tackles for the season (27.4 per match). What is worse though is that in the last 4 games, they have averaged 34.5 missed tackles per match.
TAB Sportsbet = Titans $1.33 Cowboys $3.40
Centrebet = Titans $1.30 Cowboys $3.65
Sportsbet = Titans $1.32 Cowboys $3.50
Betfair = Titans $1.31 Cowboys $3.90
With all the players they are missing from their side this week, it would be very surprising to see them bounce back to form against a superior Titans team. However the players that the Titans are missing will limit their impact on the overall momentum they will aim to build. Both sides still have a strong set of forwards and it will probably be their halves that have the biggest impact on the result. This will be a close contest and despite not have too much confidence in the result (about 75%), I still believe the Titans will get the win here. You may wonder why I am struggling to have full confidence in the Titans but the inclusion of fringe players pushes them to reach their best and prove a point that they belong in the top grade. Still, the Cowboys were terrible at points against the Tigers and their forwards struggled to display any energy in their play. While the Titans halves are also looking stronger with each performance and they still have a strong “spine” within their side.
Cowboys +9.5 @ $1.90
Tight Titans Today = Titans 1-12 @ $3 – This game will be a lot closer than most think and it is actually the first time this season that the Cowboys will play football in daylight hours. It will be a different set of circumstances and their forwards will also relish the change in conditions.
Our Don = Anthony Don FTS and/or LTS @ $9 – The Titans have scored the first try in the match in 6 out of the last 10 matches this season and are a chance again here. Anthony Don is also playing some great football on the edge and will use his speed to put himself in a scoring position when ever he gets the ball.
Brisbane Broncos v New Zealand Warriors
Hold on a second, before you get too excited for SOO, we have a MNF game to get through. Can you hear the collective groan? A lot of the talk in the lead up to this match will intensify around SOO and you really cannot blame it. It is two days out from one of the best spectacles in any sport and fans will be counting down the days until the first match is upon us. It hardly seems like a tedious task either going by the MNF matches we have seen so far this season. What is different though, is the two sides that are featuring in the match are not accustomed to featuring in this timeslot. Both sides have had their fair share of disappointing performances this season but have been able to bounce back at some point to save face. For the Broncos, it is execution letting them down and it is like playing a broken record each week when you have to write about their chances for a game. At the end of the day, it comes down to their playmakers. Scott Prince will come back into the side from injury this week and it will probably have a positive effect for some of the squad members as this is the youngest team the Broncos have fielded so far this season. Normally they are ravaged by team changes during the Origin period, but other clubs have taken a liking to spreading their talent pool around and the impact isn’t as large as it was during the 90’s and 2000’s. The Warriors won’t be impacted either but it while they will name a side, it will be interesting to see which of their players actually “turn up” to play. They have a whole host of problems and they have been evident for all to see. Winning form is good form but it is the fashion that they are winning in that seems to be most puzzling. They are a completely different side when they are playing at home and were able to bounce back there last week following a pasting by the Panthers. Coach Matthew Elliot must be pulling his hair out because this squad has enormous potential to compete with the top sides in the competition and the mental preparation needs to be spot on for them each week, regardless of where the fixture is played. This week is going to be great with the SOO in the middle of it, but lets first enjoy what MNF has to offer.
Not impacted by injury too much this week, the Broncos will also have to contend with a few injuries as well. . They will be hanging out for their chance at the two byes this season and with player fatigue building, it cannot come soon enough. Justin Hodges, Sam Thaiday, Corey Parker and Matt Gillett are all named to play for QLD and coach Anthony Griffin will have to stretch the depth of his squad. Josh Hoffman comes into the centres from the wing to cover for Hodges and Denan Kemp (19th man last week) is the new face on the wing. Scott Prince is surprisingly welcomed back into the starting side from injury and has pushed Ben Hunt back to the bench. Hunt seemed to do a decent job in his absence and he would’ve made the decision for Griffin very difficult. In the forwards, Scott Anderson is promoted to the starting side to cover for Thaiday in the front row. Nick Slyney (second row) and Dunamis Lui (lock) are called in from outside last weeks squad to take their place in the side this week. The bench remains relatively the same except for the inclusion of Mitchell Dodds to cover for Anderson’s promotion. Griffin has named an extended bench but it does appear as though Jake Granville and Aaron Whitchurch will miss out on selection.
New Zealand Warriors
The Warriors have no players that were called into the SOO squads but they still have a few changes to contend with. In the backline, Glen Fisiiahi is named on the wing at the expense of Bill Tupou who has been dropped back to play NSW Cup. Ben Henry was named to play last week but didn’t take his place in the side following the news that he will miss the rest of the season with an ACL injury. Konrad Hurrell is back in the centres and will be desperate to recapture some of his early season form. In the forwards, Todd Lowrie is out of this week’s fixture and Elijah Taylor comes into the side at lock. The bench remains relatively unchanged and the only inclusion this week is to cover for Taylor’s promotion. The player coming in is Sebastine Ikahihifo and he needs to add some impact when he takes the field. The Warriors will also look to Shaun Johnson to build on his recent run of form. His has demonstrated many methods of individual brilliance and Elliott needs to motivate his squad (especially his forwards) to set a strong platform from the beginning of the match to support him.
Overall = Broncos 19 Warriors 12
Last 5 games = Broncos 3 Warriors 2
At Suncorp Stadium = Broncos 6 Warriors 2
Stats that matter
- In terms of completion rate, these two sides are at opposite ends of the spectrum. The Warriors are the worst in the competition with 67.1% and they could learn something of the Broncos who are sitting in 1st spot with a completion rate of 76.8%.
- Both side are struggling to pressure the opposition with their ball carrying and their metres made with each carry of the ball is in the lower half of the competition. The Broncos average 8.43m (15th) and are just slightly behind the Warriors who make 8.53 (13th).
- The Warriors and Broncos are also letting themselves down in defence and missed tackles. The Warriors average 26.3 per game but will take some confidence away from the two game this year where they have averaged 15.5 (and won both games). For the Broncos, they are getting worse and are ranked 16th in the competition with 29.5 missed tackles per game. This is alarming considering in the last 4 weeks they have averaged 38 missed tackles per game.
TAB Sportsbet = Broncos $1.93 Warriors $1.90
Centrebet = Broncos $1.91 Warriors $1.91
Sportsbet = Broncos $1.83 Warriors $2.00
Betfair = Broncos $2.00 Warriors $1.92
This game is a real “flip-of-the-coin” job and you hate being drawn into those situations when gambling. Both sides have reasons why they can and cannot win this match and I am a little reluctant to declare a winner. The Warriors form this season away from home has been terrible to say the least but at some points they have shown some promise. We can all remember back to the ANZAC Day game where they pushed the Storm right until the end and had victory taken from their grasps in the last few minutes of the game. Now that they are back at home, the Broncos will probably switch back into the mode of playing some solid football. Don’t let the score line from their last game against the Bulldogs fool you, it was very flattering to them. Nevertheless, the withdrawals of players from their side is sure to impact upon their performance and does bring the Warriors into the contest somewhat. Well I suppose it is called gambling for a reason and while recommending the Warriors to get a victory here, I cannot express enough that you need to approach this game with caution. Anything can happen and in a close contest like this, we need to find a way around losing our money and investing it in some markets that are more appealing and suitable to this match.
Total Points Under 40.5 @ $1.80
Tri your luck = Either Team Under 6.5 points (tri bet) @ $2.70 – If you don’t want to pick a clear winner, bet on the fact that this contest will be very close and you can still get a fairly decent collect from it. In the end the contest should be very close and neither side should win by more than a converted try.
Hassle the Hoff = Josh Hoffman FTS @ $11 – Since Corey Norman was pushed back to fullback, Hoffman has taken his place in the side each week on the wing. He is not short on talent and we were all able to see his potential in the ANZAC Test match. Moving to centre should mean that he would have the opportunity to get his hands on the ball more often and put himself in a try scoring position.