NRL ROUND 13
Warriors v Broncos
The last thing the Warriors need right now is to be playing a Brisbane side who are coming off a loss, regardless of origin players backing up and travel demands on the visitors. There are simply no positives that can be pulled out of the hat when talking about the Warriors as they seem to go from bad to worse as the season progresses and the bookies really are banking on the heavy demands on a number of the Broncos players having taken its toll given the small line they’ve put out for them to cover.
Wayne Bennett has named close to a full strength side to take the field here, who actually does run out will obviously depend on how well certain players pull up following origin, but regardless it’ll be a very strong side that does play and when their character is being tested is often when this side is at its most dangerous.
Hunt and Milford are coming off a fairly average game by their standards against the Tigers and they’ll be out to make amends here, meanwhile the Broncos will have noted how soft the Warriors defence up the middle was against the Raiders (well actually against almost every side this year come to think of it) and the likes of Thaiday, McGuire, Glenn and Blair will be licking their lips here.
The Brconos have more character, more skill, more heart (more of pretty much everything) and most importantly many more points in them than this spineless joke of a team called the ‘Warriors’. Take the visitors to cover the line. Pick – 3 units on Broncos -4.5 point start
Cowboys v Knights
The Cowboys haven’t held back in naming all of their origin stars to play here which spells major troubles for the struggling Knights who I really can’t see breaking double digits but most certainly will give up a huge amount of points in the face of a very strong offense.
It doesn’t get any more formidable in this competition than playing the Cowboys in Townsville as they grow another leg and it’s scary comparing these two sides on paper with the Cowboys holding a huge weight of experience and they’re simply not on the same page when it comes to raw ability. Thurston is a master at backing up after origin and him and Morgan will create havoc in the halves, that’s only one area though where they’ll have complete dominance so you can understand the huge line the bookies have put out here.
Short and sweet for this, the line for the Cowboys to cover is one of the largest I’ve seen in recent times but it’ll evaporate quickly as the home side set up camp on the Knights line. Pick – 3 units on Cowboys -20.5 or better point start
Rabbitohs v Titans
The wheels have usually fallen off by this stage of the season for the Titans but they continue to defy the odds and put in gutsy efforts, none more so than in their last match out in beating the Panthers. It’s been the contributions from the likes of Bird, Roberts and more recently Peats that’s seen them defy the odds but I’m sure the Rabbitohs will have a plan in place to limit their influence and they’re still lacking experience in the backs with MacDonald, Davis and Taylor all likely to be a target of the Bunnies.
Whilst it wasn’t pretty at times the Rabbitohs still got the job done against the Dragons two weeks back with a big positive being the 34 points they clocked up and they’ll back themselves to put up a decent total here against a fairly thin Titans defence.
Despite their recent success I still can’t help but feel the start on offer for the Titans isn’t large enough – Reynolds and Inglis will lay the platform here for a big Rabbitohs total and I can see this being a double-digit winning margin to the home side so we’ll take them to cover. Pick – 4 units on Rabbitohs -4.5 or better point start
Roosters v Tigers
The Tigers achieved a huge upset last week in beating the Broncos in Brisbane and looked well organised in doing so - putting 19 points on the Broncos is no easy feat and with Tedesco returning at fullback for this clash they’ll have even more strings to their bow on attack.
The Roosters season is at a critical point now with every game forming as a ‘must win’ it’s their defence that’s really been letting them down though which was again an issue last match out in conceding 32 points to the Bulldogs; their attack on the other hand is slowly coming together now that Pearce is back on deck in the halves. The return of Dale Copley is a big in for them as he’s likely to slot seamlessly back into the centres to partner Aubusson and on paper at least the backline does look to have plenty of points in them with Mitchell growing in confidence each week at the back.
I’m leaning towards this being a high scoring match with both sides susceptible to giving up decent totals, showing more often than not an appetite for attack rather than rolling up the sleeves on defence. Wet weather or not, I see this games total blowing out. Pick – 2 units on total combined points ‘over’ 35.5
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