NRL ROUND 3
Cowboys v Roosters
Both these sides come into this clash off the back of losses but it's the Roosters loss to the Raiders which they'll find hardest to swallow having given up a lead to lose by one point late and I'm not convinced they'll be able to pick themselves up off the mat for arguably the toughest away venue to win at in the competition.
The Cowboys have named an unchanged side to that which lost to the Eels and will use every bit of their experience advantage to bounce back here as I expect Thurston and Morgan to school the young Roosters halves on attacking play. It was an uncharacteristic error-filled game against the Eels from the Cowboys last week and their focus will be on completing their sets which, given the class throughout their side, will inevitably lead to major trouble on defence for the Roosters.
The match-ups across the park weigh heavily in favour of the Cowboys and given the intensity they consistently play with in Townsville this should be a fairly one-sided affair. Pick - 3 units on Cowboys -12.5 or better point start
Titans v Tigers
Both these sides were considered pre-season favourites for the wooden spoon however they've both performed admirably showing plenty on attack but not so much the same penchant on defence which has me leaning towards this being a high-scoring affair.
The Titans are unchanged from the side that competed well against the Storm whilst the Tigers have lost Sironen but are otherwise settled so the attacking combinations for both sides are looking fairly settled.
There are several key attacking weapons in both sides with the Tedesco looking brilliant for the Tigers, along with their halves and they're leading what is a cohesive attacking unit whilst Roberts has slotted in nicely at halfback for the Titans and Bird is looking dangerous whenever close to the opposition line. Attack will be the order of the day here so back the combined points to go 'overs'. Pick – 2 units on total combined points 'over' 44.5 or better
Warriors v Storm
The Warriors are now under serious pressure to get a win on the board but the odds are stacked against them here up against a well-polished Storm side who are coming off a comfortable win over the Titans. With so much now on the line the Warriors will no doubt front and that'll be evident in their defence which they'll have worked very hard on this week and up against a well-organised Storm defence I'm leaning towards this being a low scoring affair.
The Warriors are still lacking some serious cohesion on attack and it doesn't look like there's an obvious quick-fix so the Storm shouldn't have too many issues keeping them at bay; meanwhile we saw a vast improvement in defence from the Warriors against Brisbane (compared to the woeful effort against the Tigers) and at home they should go up another notch.
The combined points line is sitting at around 40 and in what I anticipate will be a fairly scrappy, defence-dominated game I like the 'unders'. Pick – 2 units on total combined points 'under' 40.5 or better
Dragons v Rabbitohs
The sound of Paul McGregor's voice booming out from the changing sheds following the Dragons big loss to the Sharks is an obvious indication as to the disgust he felt at his sides performance and there'll have been plenty of soul-searching done this week as they seek to get the first win of the season against a very hot Souths side.
The Dragons have played about 120 minutes of good footy in the two games thus far, competing well with the Storm in round one and just letting themselves down for periods of last week's game so it's a tad early to be sounding the alarm bells, they're a very good side on paper and with the right focused attitude here they have every chance of coming away with the win.
Josh Dugan is back to his preferred fullback position which gives him greater ability to inject himself across the park on attack and I'm sure he'll have a big impact here and will give Widdup and Marshall another go-to option which will keep the Rabbitohs defence on their toes. On paper the forward packs are fairly evenly matched but I'm expecting the Dragons pack to really step up as they look to batter the Bunnies pack into submission.
The point start on offer to the Dragons looks too large for mine as we're only two games into the season and they'll certainly be better here than what we saw last week - they have the players and no lack of motivation to mix it with the Bunnies so we'll have a piece of it. Pick – 4 units on Dragons +7.5 or better point start
WEEK RESULTS STAKES ROI BEST BET Grand Final
Week Three Finals
Week Two Finals
Week One Finals