NRL ROUND 15
Rabbitohs v Titans
The Rabbitohs showed plenty of backbone last week in narrowly going down to the Broncos and with the same side named here they’ll be a very tough assignment for a Titans side who’re without Hayne, Peats and Wallace through origin duties with Elgey and Roberts also out through injury so there’s very much a new-look to the side which was hammered by the Warriors last week.
If the Rabbitohs are to have any hope of making a run for the finals it really needs to start here with a convincing win over an opposition that’s on the ropes. They have a wealth of experience to draw on and as we saw last week some of their combinations are starting to click and off the back of what’s likely to be a dominant display form the forwards one would expect the Bunnies to have way too many points in them against a rather make-shift looking Titans attack.
The start for the Bunnies to cover is high but cover they will in what I expect will be a totally dominant performance. Pick – 2 units on Rabbitohs -10.5 point start
Storm v Cowboys
Despite losing Thurston, Morgan, Hess and Cooper to origin duties the Cowboys have still managed to name a strong side here, their forward pack in particular looks menacing and whilst they’ll badly miss the brilliance of JT they’re not completely underdone with Thompson at halfback and with the likes of Coote and Granville likely to step up and assist with attacking duties they should ask plenty of questions of the Storm defence. The Storm too have a large chunk of talent out through origin but are left with a side that has a very inexperienced look to it and are ripe for the picking.
We’ve seen over the past few weeks with the return of Granville what a difference he makes to the Cowboys side around the rucks and his general enthusiasm on the field has lifted the side, he’ll be huge here off the back of what should be plenty of good momentum generated through the likes of Lowe and Taumalolo charging up the middle.
It’s a very rare occasion backing the Storm to lose at home but I can’t go past the value on the Cowboys head to head as they have named the stronger of the two sides and will be desperate to take this golden opportunity, against a badly depleted and inexperienced Storm side, to climb higher than their disappointing current position of 7th on the table. Pick – 2 units on Cowboys to win
Eels v Dragons
The Dragons were overwhelmed on Monday by a very determined Bulldogs side who held them to just two points for the match and the Eels will look to that defensive effort as a blue print here, shutting down Widdup will be at the top of that plan. Origin duties does not have a huge impact on this match with the Eels unscathed whilst the Dragons lose two – Frizell and Dugan – two players however that will be missed.
Even though these sides are poles apart on the ladder (4th v 9th) the Dragons have won just one more game than the Eels this season and I like the Eels to even the ledger here as they have more depth to their attack and match-winners out wide who will cause concerns the Dragons defence.
With Moses now settled into his new club the halves combination with Norman is taking a nice shape and they’ll loom large here, looking to provide plenty of opportunities in space to the likes of Radradra, French, Jennings and Takairangi. Whilst the Dragons pack is to be faired the Eels are no slouches themselves up front, it’s in the backs however that the Eels will do the damage and I like them to cover the narrow start here. Pick – 3 units on Eels -2.5 point start (BEST BET)