NRL ROUND 3
Bulldogs v Panthers
The Bulldogs go into this 0-2 for the season and under a heap of pressure to get the win here, in order to turn things around they need an injection of life as they’ve looked apathetic in their opening games, particularly their star recruit Kieran Foran who needs to step up. Added to the Bulldogs motivation here will be a pre-match tribute to be made to the late Bulldogs legend Steve Folkes who put his life and soul into the club so expect plenty of emotion from the players and coaching staff who will be desperate to honour him with a win.
The Panthers have yet to concede a second half point in their opening games, running down halftime deficits against both the Eels and Rabbitohs; on each occasion once the attack has clicked they’ve looked very sharp being led by Cleary and Maloney in the halves who I expect will terrorise the Bulldogs defence here.
There will be plenty of passion from the Bulldogs but they are far from the fearsome pack of old and lack any real game-breakers; Forans been a disappointment in his opening two performances and he’s still a way off returning to any shade of his former glory. Meanwhile the Panthers are stacked with game-breakers and will ask a lot more questions of the Bulldogs defence, particularly as they’re tiring late in the match – take the value on the Panthers to win in the margins as the Bulldogs will put up some fight but ultimately come up short. Pick – 2 units on Panthers to win by 12 points and under
Tigers v Broncos
Definitely the biggest talking point thus far has been the Tigers 2-0 start to the season, beating both the Storm and the Roosters who were the two premiership favourites, doing so off the back of a defence that’s conceded just 16 points in total.
What will encourage the Broncos going into this is the fact the Tigers have scored just 20 points of their own and with all due respect to the Tigers their playing roster hardly sends fear into the heart of opposition defensive lines.
It’s not sustainable to keep relying on ones defence to get wins when you’re only putting up one or two tries of your own each game and the Broncos will have studied the Tigers opening games and will have a plan to unlock their defence. This will be a Wayne Bennett master class as he’ll have used all of his coaching guile in formulating a plan to crack the Tigers and he has the players to execute it – take the Broncos to get an early lead and not look back as they cover the start. Pick – 3 units on Broncos -3.5 or better point start (BEST BET)
Rabbitohs v Sea Eagles
The Bunnies are another side that’s had an underwhelming start to the season losing to the Warriors in round one and then giving up a decent halftime lead against the Panthers last week and this match now shapes as one they really must win. Strange as it sounds the Eels may have done the Bunnies a favour last week, it won’t be easy for the Sea Eagles to stay totally grounded following that 54-0 thrashing and they won’t have it that easy again all season as they played a side that were totally disinterested in participating.
The Sea Eagles forward pack seems to be their trump this season as they completely destroyed the Eels up the middle last week, looking much bigger and stronger, and if DCE gets a similar sort of ride here then the Bunnies are going to spend a lot of time defending their own line.
Whilst it will be tough for the Sea Eagles to stay grounded following the ease of last week’s win they’ll be aware of it and Trent Barrett will have pushed the reset button on Monday morning, hammering home the fact this is a new week and a new challenge.
The Sea Eagles should have too much power up front which will mean plenty of good ball for their numerous playmakers in DCE, the Trbojevic brothers and Sironen (to name a few) who will capitalise. Unfortunately for Souths it’s about to be a 0-3 start to the season – it won’t be easy for the visitors though and we’ll take the value on the Sea Eagles to win in the margins. Pick – 2 units on Sea Eagles to win by 12 points and under
WEEK RESULTS STAKES ROI BEST BET Week Six -3.51 15 -23% LOST Week Five -3.3 15 -22% LOST Week Four +3.6 11 33% N/A Week Three -7 7 -100% LOST Week Two -4.5 12 -38% LOST Week One -5.27 11 -48% LOST Total -19.98 71 -28% 0%