NRL Round 24 – 2017

Parramatta Eels (5th) v Gold Coast Titans (14th)

The Eels head into this game looking to earn back some respect following an upset 29-10 loss to the Knights at home. Looking set to extend their winning steak, the Eels looked anything but a Top 8 team as they were outplayed in all areas of the field, with enthusiasm from their opponents leading the way. It also appears that injuries suffered in recent weeks have finally caught up with the squad, as their was a noticeable disparity between that performance and others in previous weeks. Completing at just 70% with 47% possession hurt their chances, as did committing 15 errors and missing 46 tackles; considering they are two areas that can be fixed sooner rather than later, perhaps it was an effort to have sooner rather than later. They can ill-afford a similar effort against the Titans, a team who is on a 4-game losing streak and has conceded 146 points (average of 36.5 points per game) in that time. They were never in the contest during their 42-16 loss to the Dragons last week, taking 51 minutes to find their first points; having a 45% share of possession limited what they could do, as did missing 39 tackles and committing 12 errors. With noise growing about the issues between the coach and some of his players, most notably Jarryd Hayne, the Titans are a club that is on the brink, hanging for the season to end and could do with a win to boost their confidence with just 3-games remaining.

Team News

Eels = Bevan French (injury) is named at fullback, pushing Will Smith to the reserves.

Titans = Tyrone Roberts is named at 5/8 and Max King at lock, forcing Kane Elgey and Leivaha Pulu to the bench. Phillip Sami has been promoted from the reserves at will start at fullback for Jarryd Hayne (injured).

History

Overall = Eels 5 Titans 11

Last 5 Matches = Eels 1 Titans 4

At ANZ Stadium = Eels 48% Titans 40%

Form = Eels 1 loss – Titans 4 losses

Verdict

The Titans already have one win over the Eels this year, 26-14 back in Round 3 on home soil; it would be surprising to see a similar outcome in this game, with the Eels desperate to put a poor performance from last weekend behind them. This should silence thoughts that the Eels could lack motivation and application in this match, with their loss last week serving as a wake up call. The Titans serve as a bogey team for the Eels; their opponents have only beaten them once in the past 5 meetings, while also winning 7 out of the past 9 meetings. Aside from a host of off-field issues plaguing the team this week, the Titans need to overcome the worse defensive record in the league (allowing 26.8 points per game) and conceding 5 tries more (99 for the year) than any other team. If the headlines are correct, then this will be the last game for Neil Henry in charge of this team; perhaps this could have a positive affect on the team, although it does appear unlikely. Hope that their attack can get them through this match will be high, considering that the Titans halves have a good record when playing together; moving Roberts back to 5/8 creates another dimension in their attack. This will count for little though if the visitors fail to build pressure on their opponents. With the Eels sitting comfortably inside the Top 8 (for now!), they are one team that needs to improve their point’s difference (-7). Facing a team that has lost their past 3 matches by 13 or more points should work in their favour. Only averaging 19 points per game in defence, the Eels need to focus on stimulating their attacking ability to overpower their opponents; the past 5 weeks has seen this improve, averaging 21.4 points within this time. It is difficult to find an exact market to invest on given the Titans record over their opponents and while a win wouldn’t shock, if things go to plan, the Eels should return to form and win comfortably in this contest.

Suggested Bet

Eels 13+ @ $1.65

 

South Sydney Rabbitohs (11th) v New Zealand Warriors (12th)

The Rabbitohs made it consecutive wins last week, following a pleasing 28-14 win over a struggling Bulldogs team. In what could’ve been a dangerous game for them, the Rabbitohs avoided being dragged down to their opponents level and performed well, completing at 82% and missing just 23 tackles; committing 14 errors for the match is an area for concern, although their was a significant improvement in the execution when in positive field position. Their effectiveness in this area limited their opponent’s opportunities and built pressure; it is no secret that their improved form has also coincided by improved individual efforts and some players spending reduced time on the field. The Warriors have a short turnaround following their 36-16 loss last week against the Raiders. It was always going to be a tough task causing an upset; as well as taking a 6-game losing streak into this match, Kieran Foran withdrew with injury prior to the match, leaving them with both first-choice halves on the sidelines. It only got worse from this point for the Warriors, completely outclassed in every area. They are a team that is guilty of focusing on statistics rather than performance, with their positive performance on the stat sheet failing to transfer to success. This match saw them complete at 82%, commit 8 errors and miss 30 tackles, yet never really threatened their opponents when they had the opportunity. The Warriors issues are far greater than their on-field performance and in desperate need of an overhaul in a number of areas.

Team News

Rabbitohs = Sam Burgess starts at prop, Cameron Murray at lock, Angus Crichton in the second row and Zane Musgrove starts from the bench.

Warriors = Charlie Gubb comes onto the bench for Ben Matulino (suspended), while Kieran Foran (injury) returns at 5/8, pushing Mason Lino to the reserves.

History

Overall = Rabbitohs 12 Warriors 16

Last 5 Matches = Rabbitohs 5 Warriors 0

At ANZ Stadium = Rabbitohs 52% Warriors 35%

Form = Rabbitohs 2 wins – Warriors 6 losses

Verdict

It is no secret that the Warriors are struggling and their coach is failing to make difficult calls to stimulate his team’s performance; if you contrast this with the Rabbitohs, Michael Maguire has picked the ideal time to include youngsters into his squad. These players are egger to make a named for themselves at the highest level and it appears to be stimulating the performance of others within the squad. This will serve them well here, as the task of winning looks beyond the visitors; despite not beaten the Rabbitohs since Round 7, 2012, the Warriors have won just the solitary game this year on the road in 10 attempts. The confidence within their team in shot to pieces and players are going backwards in their development. The Rabbitohs have hardly set the world alight, yet their application has been pleasing when there is little to play for. This has them installed as strong favorites for this contest, albeit perhaps shorter than they deserve to be considering they are only 2 competition points ahead of the Warriors. The home team has won their past 5 matches over their opponents by an average margin of 17.2 points, with the closest being by 2-points back in 2013; 3 out of the 5 wins have been when the Rabbitohs are the home side, although it must be known that all of those matches were played in Perth. The last 3 weeks has seen the Rabbitohs improve their attack, to the point where they are averaging 24 points per game compared with their season average of 19.3 PPG. The Warriors defence is in for a major test, in their current 6-game losing streak, they have allowed their opponents to score an average of 28.7 points, while only managing 15.7 poings in attack. This is enough to suggest that the home team should cover the line and if they continue on with their recent form, this could be yet another ugly loss for the visitors.

Suggested Bet

Rabbitohs -8.5 @ $1.90

Leading the league = Alex Johnston FTS and/or LTS @ $9 – Johnston is a man in form at the moment and went close to delivering when tipped last week (he scored second!). Managing 2 tries, he leads the league with 19 for the season and will want to extend that against a team that has notably limitations in stopping opponents scoring.

 

 

Brisbane Broncos (2nd) v St George-Illawarra Dragons (9th)

The Broncos flexed their premiership muscle with a damaging 32-10 win over the Sharks. Dominating from the outset, the Broncos barely gave their opponents an opportunity to compete in the contest, making them wait until the 39th minute until they had their first points. Heading into HT ahead 14-6, many believed that the Sharks were in with a chance of winning; that feeling only lasted a matter of minutes as the Broncos attack picked up from where it left off in the first half. They controlled possession (59%) and built pressure with a 79% completion rate and missing only 21 tackles; the shift of Ben Hunt to hooker appears to have added another dimension to their attack and the Broncos look to be heading back towards their peak. With the Broncos heading up, the Dragons are wrestling to stay in contention with the Top 8 and keep their Finals hopes alive; their 42-16 win over the Titans came at a crucial stage of their season, stopping a 2-game losing streak that saw them drop out of the Top 8. Unfortunately, other results worked against them and they are left needing to win at least 2 of their remaining 3 matches to have any chance. Their win over the Titans would’ve restored confidence to their play, as they controlled 55% of possession, completed at 83%, made just 8 errors and missed only 15 tackles; it was a strong sign that the Dragons were returning to their early season form that saw them lead the competition at one stage. The quality of their opponent last week should be questioned and winning this game will require a higher level of execution altogether against the second-placed team in the league.

Team News

Broncos = Unchanged.

Dragons = Leeson Ah Mau is named to start at prop, swapping with Tariq Sims, who starts from the bench.

History

Overall = Broncos 22 Dragons 14

Last 5 Matches = Broncos 4 Dragons 1

At Suncorp Stadium = Broncos 62% Dragons 41%

Form = Broncos 2 wins – Dragons 1 win

Verdict

The Dragons are in a fight to keep their season alive and have a very tough task ahead of them. The Broncos do not need any more confidence following an impressive display last week and will be encouraged further with this game taking place on home soil. The recent record for the visitors against their opponents isn’t great; the Broncos have won 11 out of the past 12 matches between the two teams and they have not won at this ground for 8 years. The Dragons effort last week will give them confidence heading into this game, yet will need their execution to match it. While they have been disappointing in recent weeks, they still have plenty of talent within their team to cause their opponents concern; there is also doubt around the Broncos against Top 8 teams, with last week perhaps the fault of their opponents (at times) rather than their own execution. Still, winning form serves them well and it would be an upset if the Broncos were beaten. The Broncos have won by an average of 11.6 points in the past 5 meetings between these two sides at this ground and many believe that this trend is set to continue. The Dragons will need to strike early in this contest and pressure their opponents through the middle; Ben Hunt is bound to inject another dimension to the Broncos attack when he comes into the game and they will have to make the most of the time that he is off the field. Whether or not they are capable enough to do this is another question. The Dragons have displayed quality on numerous occasions this season, yet this appears to be declining the closer they get to the Finals. They are still a chance of causing an upset in this game and considering they have only lost 3 matches this season by 13 points or more (18 points was the most back in Round 2 v Eels), the line definitely comes into play. Of course, with news breaking on Thursday that a few players are set to withdraw after suffering injuries at training, the Broncos should have things their own way in this game.

Suggested Bet

Broncos -12.5 @ $1.90

A high scoring affair = Total Points Over 44.5 @ $2.40 – The Broncos are 3rd in the competition for tries, with the Dragons sitting 4th and each team has no trouble scoring plenty of points. The Broncos average 24.7 points per game (1st in the league) compared with the Dragons 23.1 PPG, suggesting that this game could be a high scoring contest.

 

Newcastle Knights (16th) v Melbourne Storm (1st)

The Knights captured one of the upsets of the season last week, outplaying and outlasting a disappointing Eels team 29-10. The win stretches their streak to 3-consecutive games and gave increasing hope that this club is heading in the right direction. In one of their better performances, they managed to play for the entire 80 minutes and allowed minimal opportunities for their opponents to gather momentum; completing at 80% with 53% possession assisted their cause, although they could benefit further from reducing their 11 errors and 30 missed tackles. Nevertheless, dominating the contest in such fashion will give them momentum heading into this week, as they face off against the competition leaders, who are only looking stronger with the more games they play. Their most recent win was a tough 16-13 win over the second placed Roosters, in arguably the hardest contest they have played in recent weeks. In a high quality showing from both teams, the Storm completed at 87%, made just 5 errors over 80 minutes and missed 28 tackles; a try in the 77th minute was enough to steal victory and all but assure them of the Minor Premiership. The class of the Storm was a driving force to their success and it is proving to serve them well in 2017. Support from other players is also a major feature of their play, with pressure taken away from the “Big 3” via a number of areas; the forwards are proving a great asset for a team that relies heavily on penetration through the middle. There is a sense that the Storm are a team that has to suffer a loss sooner rather than later heading towards the Finals, although it appears to be a far stretch for it to occur against the last-placed team in the competition.

Team News

Knights = Unchanged.

Storm = Cameron Munster (injury) returns at 5/8, pushing Jahrome Hughes to the bench. Jordan McLean is named to start at prop to cover for Tim Glasby (injured), with Nelson Asofa-Solomona coming onto the bench.

History

Overall = Knights 15 Storm 22

Last 5 Matches = Knights 2 Storm 3

At McDonald-Jones Stadium = Knights 56% Storm 38%

Form = Knights 3 wins – Storm 4 wins

Verdict

The Knights are getting better each week and it is no surprise that their winning form has coincided with an increase in confidence. In order for them to head into this game and win, another level of application is required altogether. Some points have been mentioned that coach Craig Bellamy may aim to rest a few of his star players that have had a busy schedule so far this season in the closing weeks of the competition; given the Knights standing on the ladder, perhaps this game is the ideal time, although the Storm will be wary of taking their opponents lightly. They caught the Eels out last week taking a poor attitude into their match and they will pounce should the Storm do the same; the difference within their two opponents though is the level of professionalism and how the Storm are rarely caught out in this situation. If the home team is looking for hope, this is one of the few grounds where the Storm struggle, they have a negative winning record here, winning 6 out of 16 matches at 38%. Regardless, markets have the visitors very short to continue their winning ways and it is no surprise to see the Storm installed as short favorites. It is interesting to note that of the last 5 Storm victories over the Knights, only 2 have been by 13 or more points at an average of 11.4 points; the closest games have been by 8-points or less and with the Storm perhaps wanting to conserve energy in the run towards the finals, Craig Bellamy may chose to rest a few players and freshen them up for what lies ahead.

Suggested Bet

Storm 1-12 @ $3.20

 

Sydney Roosters (3rd) v Wests Tigers (15th)

The Roosters suffered an agonizing loss last week to the competition-leading Storm, conceding a try in the 77th minute to lose 16-13. Appearing to be in control of the match by not allowing a second half try, the Roosters defence was a sign of what is to come in the Finals and they are only expected to become stronger. Missing 25 tackles was no issue for them; rather, that lies within the 11 errors, which reduced their completion rate to 81%. Considering their standing on the ladder, it is surprising to see they have committed the second-most amount in the league. This is undoubtedly an area they will look to address in coming weeks and facing the Tigers has come at ideal time for them. That being said, their opponents will carry winning form into this game following on from spirited 30-26 win over the high-flying Sea Eagles. Finding themselves behind 20-4 at HT, many thought that the result was a foregone conclusion; the Tigers were continually hampering their chances through poor defensive reads and it wasn’t until they limited their opponents chances that they actually found themselves in positive attacking field position. A 78th minute try sealed the victory in an inspiring performance for a team that is sitting low on the competition ladder; in fact, they were temporarily last on the ladder courtesy of a win to the Knights. Not to let that worry them, the Tigers played with execution that highlighted their potential moving forward; for them to take momentum from that contest into this game will be a bonus, although the level of execution to repeat last weeks result and avoid a similar score line to the Round 14 40-18 drubbing, will need to be far greater and more consistent over 80 minutes.

Team News

Roosters = Michael Gordon (injury) returns at fullback, pushing Connor Watson back to the bench. Ryan Matterson remains in the centres with Joseph Manu dropping to the reserves.

Tigers = Chris Lawrence (injury) returns in the second row, pushing Michael Chee-Kam to the bench and Josh Aloiai to the reserves.

History

Overall = Roosters 21 Tigers 8

Last 5 Matches = Roosters 5 Tigers 0

At Allianz Stadium = Roosters 63% Tigers 40%

Form = Roosters 2 losses – Tigers 1 loss

Verdict

The recent form revival of the Tigers has been pleasing for their fans and it is crucial for them in order to build momentum towards the 2018. They will want to maintain their form, while also putting behind them a poor showing against the Roosters earlier in the season. Unfortunately for the visitors, their recent record over the Roosters isn’t great; they have only beaten them once in the past 10 meetings and that was all the way back in Round 20, 2011. The Roosters need to win this game for a variety of reasons, most notably to put a halt to their 2-game losing streak that is threatening to lose them home ground advantage in the Finals. Last weeks effort against the Storm demonstrated how capable they are as a team and they will want to maintain the momentum from that match. One “come from behind” victory against a team that has a poor record at Leichhardt Oval is luring most into a false sense of confidence with the Tigers and the Roosters should show their opponents why they are sitting at the high end of the competition ladder. The Roosters have a history of dominating victories over Tigers; of their past 10 victories, the closest on two occasions has been by 14-points, with the Roosters winning by an average of 25.9 points. That doesn’t look great for the Tigers, especially considering they have conceded an average of 24.3 points per game (3rd highest in the NRL) and miss 36.3 tackles per match (highest in the NRL). With the Roosters halves gaining in confidence each week and spurred on by their efforts against the Storm, they should have little trouble scoring beyond their 21 points per game average and handing the Tigers a reality check with the season drawing to a close.

Suggested Bet

Roosters -14.5 @ $2

 

North Queensland Cowboys (8th) v Cronulla Sharks (4th)

The Cowboys season continued to spiral out of control and again, injuries suffered by key players is proving to be a crucial downfall. More occurred in their 24-16 loss to the Panthers at home and consequently, they have been pushed to the edge of the Top 8. Things were appearing positive for them in the early stages of the second half, leading 16-6, many thought that they were a genuine chance of causing an upset. Losing halfback Michael Morgan was another dent to an already damaged team and the Cowboys allowed their opponents to score 3 tries in the last 30 minutes to power home. It was no fault of their effort or application either, the Cowboys completed at 84% and made just 8 errors, rather their 67 missed tackles came towards the end of the contest whereby fatigue was increased as pressure grew on the entire squad. The Shark weren’t so lucky in their contest, comprehensively beaten 32-10 by the Broncos in Brisbane. In a sign towards the loss of desire following their 2016 success, the Sharks were outplayed in just about every area and were made to pay for their 16 errors. Scoring a late try in the 71st minute only flattered their play, rather the 61% completion rate and 53 missed tackles was a true indication of how the match was played. Finally, the Sharks lack of discipline in errors (11.5 per game – most in the NRL) and missed tackles (34.1 per game – 4th in the NRL) caught up with them and a better team made them pay for their mistakes. With the Cowboys fighting to keep their season alive, the Sharks will have to improve their effort if they are any chance of stopping their own slide down the competition ladder.

Team News

Cowboys = Kayln Ponga is named on the wing for Justin O’Neill, with Javid Bowen shifting into the centres. Shaun Fensom (injured) is replaced in the starting team by John Asiata, while Te Maire Martin (injury) is named at 5/8, pushing Ben Hampton to the bench.

Sharks = Unchanged, although Jayden Brailey could return after being named in the reserves.

History

Overall = Cowboys 15 Sharks 23

Last 5 Matches = Cowboys 3 Sharks 2

At 1300Smiles Stadium = Cowboys 75% Sharks 20%

Form = Cowboys 3 losses – Sharks 2 losses

Verdict

With the Cowboys season slipping away, they will need an impressive effort to cause an upset here. They are on the verge of missing the Finals altogether an need to ensure they win at least one (if not two) of their remaining 3 matches to have any chance; two of their matches are against teams inside the Top 4 and thankfully, these games will be played at home. They need their record here more than ever and can find a positive in the Sharks struggling to win here in the past. With Michael Morgan in extreme doubt, many believe that the Cowboys are going to struggle yet again. One thing that hasn’t disappeared is their fight and drive to overcome challenges. The Sharks will have to rise above the adversities suffered by their opponents and focus on their own match; consecutive road trips to Queensland is bound to stretch this team somewhat and they will be desperate to keep their spot in the Top 4 safe with a win. There is no doubt that the Sharks are the stronger team and having James Maloney back should increase their chances of winning; it was always going to take him a game or two in order to find his feet again, especially with the intensity of matches high at this late stage of the season. Betting markets have the Sharks installed as favorites, although not by as much as you would expect for a team that is facing a weakened opponent; many believe the recent form of the visitors is cause for some concern. This can be related to their poor execution that is limiting their effectiveness to build pressure. That aside, if the Sharks are serious about contending for back-to-back Premierships this is a match they have to win. Their last meeting back in Round 11 was a 4-point win for the Sharks, with their average margin over the past 5 victories sitting at 7.4 points. As doubt surrounds their efforts, the safest option appears to be taking them to cover the line and watching to see if they can gather enough momentum to get their season back on track.

Suggested Bet

Sharks -4.5 @ $2

 

Canberra Raiders (10th) v Penrith Panthers (6th)

Tensions will be high in this match with a potential spot in the Finals on the line.

The Raiders kept their slim Finals hopes alive with their third consecutive win, their most recent one coming against the Warriors on the road. It was another performance whereby many were left wondering where this dynamic play, balanced with measure, had been for majority of the season. Jumping out to a 12-nil lead inside 20 minutes, the Raiders had to fight their opponents off twice and once momentum was gathered, their power through the middle became too much. Conceding a 78th minute try narrowed the eventual margin, yet there is no doubt that this game was a one-sided contest; the Raiders completed at 78% with 48% possession, missed just 21 tackles with 11 errors being the only limiting factor. The Panthers are on their own winning streak, extending their streak to 6-matches with yet another “come from behind” win. This time the Cowboys were on the receiving end, with the Panthers scoring 3 tries in the final 30 minutes to power to a 24-16 victory. More importantly, they limited the Cowboys to just one try in the second half, with several impressive defensive displays halting their opponents chances. There are still questions lingering around their overall potential, as they completed at 76% in that match with 12 errors and 33 missed tackles. It reads relatively well, however considering the players that were missing for their opponents and the further injuries suffered within the match, the overall win was underwhelming. Nevertheless, it has lifted them to 6th on the ladder and they will be hoping to record another win over the Raiders in 2017; the Panthers were successful in Round 14 24-20, scoring 2 tries with 90 seconds remaining to record a dramatic victory.

Team News

Raiders = Unchanged.

Panthers = Sione Katoa has been named at hooker for Peter Wallace (injured).

History

Overall = Raiders 20 Panthers 19

Last 5 Matches = Raiders 3 Panthers 2

At GIO Stadium = Raiders 52% Panthers 20%

Form = Raiders 3 wins – Panthers 6 wins

Verdict

The Raiders head into this game as favorites for a variety of reason, most notably the way they have won their recent matches compared with their opponents. To suggest the Panthers have been underwhelming would be an understatement, last week was evidence enough of this fact. The quality of opponents has been far greater than what the opponents have been facing and this should serve the Raiders well in this contest. The evidence for them is in their win over the Sharks back in Round 22 and they must improve on their 50% winning record at home this season. In equal measure, the Panthers have only won 4 out of 10 matches on the road this season and beating the Bulldogs, Knights, Warriors and Tigers on the road is hardly anything to get excited about. This looks good for the home team and the Raiders need to use their opponent’s flaws to their advantage; they are ranked 2nd for errors (11.2 per game) and 3rd for missed tackles (34.8 per game). In terms of a margin, the Raiders have been dominant in their past 3 wins, winning by an average of 17.3 points, with the closest being against the Rabbitohs (14 points). However the history between these two sides is tight, with the average winning margin sitting at a converted try. Given the circumstances of their last match and everything to play for, this game is again expected to go down to the wire.

Suggested Bet

Either Team Under 6.5 Points @ $2.85

Play it smart = Raiders 1-12 @ $2.90 – If you think the Raiders can get the job done, then this bet adds more value. As mentioned above, it could be tight enough, with the game appearing as though it will be decided by less than 2 converted tries.

 

Canterbury-Bansktown Bulldogs (13th) v Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles (7th)

It was the same story for the Bulldogs last week, underperforming in a match amid controversy around player contracts and the possibility of Des Hasler being sacked. The Rabbitohs were too strong for them last week, failing to trouble their opponents throughout the match, losing 28-14. Despite being a similar standing to them on the ladder, the Rabbitohs looked a class above of their opponents, with the Bulldogs completing at 73%, committing 11 errors and missing 34 tackles. The most glaring statistic was that they allowed the Rabbitohs to average 11.2m per carry of the ball and dominate the middle of the field. They will have a difficult task of trying to win against the Sea Eagles, a team that is aiming to bounce back from an embarrassing 30-26 loss to the Tigers. It was a poor display in the second half that brought about their downfall, failing to close the match out after leading 20-6 at HT. They need not look further than their poor defensive effort, missing 53 tackles for the match and some soft displays leading to points. The application of this team is definitely questioned, with many believing that it was a timely wake-up call for a team that has an enormous amount of potential. The Sea Eagles have already recorded a dominating 36-nil win over the Bulldogs back in Round 4; that was a classy display from the home team and if they are able to have a high completion rate (81%) and dominate possession (56%), they should be able to dictate the terms of this match and avoid dropping out of the Top 8.

Team News

Bulldogs = Matt Frawley is named at 5/8 to cover for Josh Reynolds (injured), allowing Michael Lichaa a spot on the bench. Adam Elliot comes into the starting side in the second row for Sam Kasiano (injured), with Raymond Faitala-Mariner named on the interchange.

Sea Eagles = Brian Kelly is named in the centres for Brad Parker (injured).

History

Overall = Bulldogs 19 Sea Eagles 12

Last 5 Matches = Bulldogs 4 Sea Eagles 1

At ANZ Stadium = Bulldogs 56% Sea Eagles 52%

Form = Bulldogs 4 losses – Sea Eagles 1 loss

Verdict

For a team that is desperate to put a poor showing last week behind them, the Sea Eagles could not find a worse time to play the Bulldogs based on the recent history. While the Bulldogs have struggled throughout 2017, they have won 3 out of the past 10 meetings between these two sides. One of those 3 games was the most recent win to the Sea Eagles and the form of both teams throughout the season suggests that the Sea Eagles should be able to dominate this contest. They were extremely disappointed and frustrated at their effort and are capable enough to learn from their mistakes. They have class across the park and the Bulldogs are not performing at a level which suggests they are capable of winning this match; you only have to look at how poor they were at stopping their opponents momentum last week for an indication that their attitude is matching their execution. This has the Sea Eagles heading into this game as strong favorites, with the Bulldogs drifting further out of this match. Home ground advantage stands for nothing either, the Bulldogs have lost the past 3 matches here and just have the solitary win in the past 7 games at this venue. If the Sea Eagles are serious about contending for the Premiership in a few weeks time, then this is a game that they should win. The 4-game losing streak for the Bulldogs has not been pretty by any means, the average losing margin within this time sits at 17 points, while they have only managed to score 9.5 points, with 14-points being their highest. Given the Sea Eagles are averaging 23.1 points per game for the season and have a halves pairing wanting greater confidence, the result should be a comprehensive one for the visitors.

Suggested Bet

Sea Eagles 13+ @ $2

 

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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