NRL ROUND 6
Roosters v Rabbitohs
The Roosters got back to winning ways last week against the Sharks, doing so quite emphatically but one gets the feeling they still have improvement in them and the Rabbitohs are going to have their hands full trying to defend this all-star line-up.
Even though they’ve a losing record the Bunnies have not been too bad averaging 20 points a game whilst their opposition here has been averaging 22 points so we’ve got two fairly handy attacking units squaring off.
The Rabbitohs fought back admirably last week against the high-flying Dragons to come within a whisker of getting the win and with Reynolds now having had a game under his belt after returning from injury he’ll be looking to make even more of an impact on attack.
Sydney’s Thursday night forecast is brilliant and I can see this game easily going over the relatively low total combined points line that’s been set. Pick - 3 units on total combined points ‘over’ 36.5
Storm v Knights
The Storm are a club that prides themselves on excellence and they will be like a bear that’s woken from hibernation this week as they look to get back into the top eight with an emphatic win over a Knights side they really should have the measure of. The Knights have been good thus far, beating a struggling Broncos side last week to make it three wins for the season but as we saw in round four against the Dragons where they conceded 30 points they can be opened up against a well organised attack and I expect the Storm to be just that here.
The dropping of Brodie Croft in favour of Ryley Jacks was a necessary change by Bellamy as the young half has struggled under the pressure of first grade footy and Jacks showed last year he’s up to the task and should be able to provide some stability on attack which has been missing.
Whilst the likes of Ponga and Pearce have been a handful for opposition defences they’ll find things tough here as the Storm will shut both of them down and I’m not convinced they have the attacking depth in their side to switch to a plan B.
The line is a little larger than I’d hoped for but at home and under pressure the Storm are going to be a very dangerous proposition for the Knights and I expect them to cover the line. Pick – 3 units on Storm -10.5 or better point start
Dragons v Sharks
With Dugan expected to take his place in the centres this week, Moylan at Fullback and Holmes on the wing the Sharks Halves of Hodkinson and Townsend have three world class players to work with out wide; when you throw in the experienced pack the Sharks boast there’s no doubt they have the side that can put a halt to the Dragons unbeaten start to the season.
The Sharks were comfortably beaten last week by a Roosters side who found their feet following their heavy loss to the Warriors and that match will have prepared them well for what they’ll be confronted with here and I’ve no doubt we’ll see a lot more from them, particularly up front where they’ll be up for the challenge of taming this Dragons pack.
It’s the old story here of the Sharks needing parity up front in order for their dangerous backline to make an impact and if parity is achieved, which I believe will be, then the Sharks have the more dangerous of the two backlines and will ask plenty of the Dragons on defence.
We’ll take the Sharks to break the Dragons winning streak and get the win in the margins.Pick – 2 units on Sharks to win by 12 points and under
Cowboys v Bulldogs
Nobody saw this start to the season for the Cowboys, winning just one of their opening five games, but they’re certainly good enough to turn things around and after a week where JT’s longevity in the game has been questioned, along with some of his teammates it’s fair to say the Bulldogs are going to meet a very fired up side here.
Unlike previous seasons there’s no shame at present in losing to the Warriors and given how well the Kiwi side are playing the Cowboys actually put in a pretty respectful effort last week as they never let the game get completely away from them and they should find the going up front a bit easier against a Bulldogs pack that’s hardly set the world on fire this season.
The return from injury of Lachlan Coote at fullback is a big ‘in’ for the Cowboys as he’s another playmaking option and has great footy IQ, throw into the mix the Townsville factor and the ammunition some journalists have fed them through the week and I can only really see this going one way and that’s a large Cowboys win. Pick - 3 units on Cowboys to win by 13+
Sea Eagles v Tigers
Another week gone by and another upset win clocked up by the Tigers in yet another very low scoring affair against the Storm as they continue to rely on defence to win games. It’s quite inconceivable that the Tigers are now four wins from five games when you consider that they’ve only scored more than 11 points in just one of those games and I’ve said it before it is simply not sustainable as you can’t keep winning on defence alone.
The Sea Eagles welcome back Tom Trbojevic from injury to fullback which is huge as he’s involved in so much of their attack and with Dylan Walker having had a game under his belt they’re likely to be much more of a cohesive attacking unit than what we saw against the Titans last week.
Ivan Cleary has dropped Lolohea for this match with Corey Thompson taking his place at fullback and they’ve lost Russell Packer to injury which is a massive blow as he’s been one of their more outstanding forwards thus far and will be badly missed up front.
The Tigers have not had to chase any sort of significant lead thus far but against what will be a much sharper Sea Eagles side here I can see them having to do so which is when serious cracks will appear – take the Sea Eagles to cover the line.
Pick - 4 units on Sea Eagles -5.5 or better point start (BEST BET)
WEEK RESULTS STAKES ROI BEST BET Week Fifteen -3.87 17 -23% LOST Week Fourteen +3.44 10 34% WON SOO 1 +3.64 4 91% N/A Week Thirteen -7 7 -100% LOST Week Twelve +6.34 13 49% WON Week Eleven +1.24 15 8% WON Week Ten +3.96 12 33% WON Week Nine +9.67 10 97% WON Week Eight -1.09 13 8% LOST Week Seven +18.27 15 123% WON 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 +14.62 187 8% 43%