NRL ROUND TWO
Roosters v Bulldogs
The Bulldogs didn’t cope well with the conditions in round one, going down in an ugly match to the Storm but with conditions expected to be good here we should get to see a bit more of what they have to offer on attack. We did get to see what the Roosters are going to bring I n2017 in there thumping of the Titans which will have had fans rubbing their hands together as they looked very sharp, particularly up front and with Pearce free of off-field distractions he showed signs that he’ll be a real handful off the back of plenty of good momentum from the forwards.
There’s usually plenty of feeling when these sides clash and it won’t be any different here – both have formidable packs who are likely to bash each other up but there’s not much between them. The big difference between the sides as I see it is in the backs where the Roosters have game-breakers in every position and are being led by a very confident looking Pearce who, in top form, is one of the best in the business.
The line is about right here with the bookies giving the Roosters six and a half points to cover, the value for mine is Roosters to win in the margins as I can’t see this blowing out but the Roosters have the edge in the backs and the game could be decided off the back of one or two moments of brilliance from them. Pick – 2 units on Roosters to win by 12 points and under
Broncos v Cowboys
The record between these sides is uncanny over the past few years with a large number of clashes being decided by one point and as they say, the best way to predict the future is to look into the past I’m comfortable backing that this will be another nail-biter
Both sides are coming off wins, with the Cowboys doing it tough against the Raiders and winning in golden point whilst the Broncos looked more comfortable in beating the Sharks. There’s a similarity with both packs here and likewise in the backlines with pure class in the halves and reliable proven stars out wider so it’s no coincidence that clashes between them have been so close. All and all there’s really nothing between these sides on paper and there’s every chance the game will be decided once more by a Thurston or Milford drop goal – toss a coin though as to who will deliver the winning blow.
We’ll back history to repeat here and take either side to win by a converted try or less. Pick – 2 units on either side to win by 6 points or less
Knights v Titans
The Knights came very close to upsetting the Warriors on Sunday and showed signs that they maybe aren’t going to be the easy-beats they were last season and they’ll be quietly confident here after watching a fairly limp performance by the Titans against the Roosters. The combined total both defences gave up last week was 56 points and on what’s forecast to be a dry track here there’s a good chance this will be a high-scoring encounter as they trade blows on attack.
Jarryd Hayne has copped some criticism this week and will no doubt be up for a big game which we all know means serious trouble for the Knights defence, meanwhile the Knights showed in their loss to the Warriors they’re a capable enough attacking unit, particularly close to the line as Hodkinson has them looking well organised and urgent.
Take the total combined points to go over the line on offer as defence takes a backseat to attack. Pick – 3 units on total combined points 'over' 44.5 or better
Total Points Over 42.53 at 1.90+2.7
Tigers v Panthers
The Panthers were far and away the most underwhelming of all the ‘talked up’ teams in round one as they looked very apathetic in being thrashed by the un-favoured Dragons but expect a big change in attitude here after a week of tough training and soul searching.
Going into round one the Panthers were equal favourites to win the competition due to their success last year and new acquisitions, now they’ve got last week’s shocker out the way though I’m confident we’ll see them play like they should on paper. The big difference between these sides is in the forward packs where the Panthers have a clear edge and we’ll no doubt see huge efforts from the likes of Tamou, Merrin and Cartwright who will lead a fired up pack to dominance over the Tigers.
The Tigers win over the favoured Rabbitohs last week was a big result for them but to say the Rabbitohs effort was underwhelming is an understatement, they were pathetic, and the going will be much tougher here. I like the Panthers to live up to the hype and take this one out relatively comfortably off the back of a dominant display from their forwards who will lay the platform for the flashy backline to unleash. Pick – 4 units on Panthers -2.5 or better point start (BEST BET)
Dragons v Eels
The fact the Dragons are underdogs here is a surprise given the great effort in round one where they thrashed the Panthers, this match is also being played at their beloved WIN Stadium so the bookies are placing a lot of faith in the Eels who also had an opening round win over the Sea Eagles.
In putting 42 points on the Panthers the Dragons showed they’ve worked hard in the off-season on their attack and again, the fact they’re unflavoured at the same venue after putting one of the competition favourites to the sword is surprising.
New recruits Paul Vaughan and Cameron McInnes have slotted in well to the Dragons side and Widdup looked in career best form marshalling the attack and I see no reason why the Dragons can’t keep going with the momentum gained from last week’s effort – take the Dragons to win at good value. Pick - 3 units on Dragons to win
WEEK RESULTS STAKES ROI BEST BET Grand Final
Week Three Finals
Week Two Finals
Week One Finals