NRL ROUND 9
Knights v Rabbitohs
The Knights coped well against the Sea Eagles without their experienced halfback Pearce but they did take on a side that’s in turmoil and the Rabbitohs will be a much tougher proposition as they’re playing some very good footy, having followed up comfortable wins over the Roosters and Raiders with a narrow loss to the Broncos last week.
The Rabbitohs are firing on attack, having scored 88 points in their last three matches, and a large part of that is due to Reynolds now being settled back in at halfback where his kicking game and general footy IQ is causing opponents major headaches on defence and I can’t see any let-up here.
Short and sweet here, the Knights scared by last week without Pearce but they simply don’t have the attacking weapons to significantly trouble the Rabbitohs defensive line; Ponga is an obvious threat for the home side but he cannot do it all on his own. We’ll take the Rabbitohs to cover the narrow line. Pick – 3 units on Rabbitohs -3.5 point start
Panthers v Cowboys
It has been a very tough start to the season for the Cowboys, suffering yet another loss last week to the Bulldogs and they really are in full crisis mode now with their season hanging by a thread and there’s little consolation for them here against a Panthers side that’s comfortably settled in the top four.
It’s hard not to be a big fan of the Cowboys given the make-up of their side and performances over recent years; with so much experience and talent you know that each and every one of the playing squad will be taking their position on the ladder and subsequent criticism very personally and it’s only a matter of time before they erupt. This trip away to Bathurst might be just the tonic to get some honesty sessions in and it should only serve to bond a squad that’s renowned for their brotherhood.
It’s likely Wallace will be a late exclusion for the Panthers which would be a huge blow given his influence on how well the Panthers have gone this season; meanwhile Paul Greene has shown considerable faith in his side that lost to the Bulldogs last week and given them a chance at redemption in naming an unchanged team.
This is a must-win game for the Cowboys and I can see them coming good after a week of soul searching away from Townsville and we’ll take the value being offered on them for the win. Pick – 3 units on Cowboys to win
Warriors v Tigers
The Tigers have been brought back down to earth after their flying start to the season with two losses on the trot now, albeit tight ones so they’ll be a dangerous proposition here for the Warriors, having said that the Tigers themselves will be nervous facing a well-rested Warriors side fresh off an ANZAC Day thrashing at the hands of the Storm.
The heavy loss to the Storm was somewhat out of the blue for the Warriors given how well they’d played up till then but it wasn’t a complete shock when you consider their short turnaround following their win against the Dragons where their defensive workload was through the roof, then having to travel across the Tasman to take on a resurgent Storm in Melbourne.
I’m expecting a return of the intensity and desperation we saw in every aspect of the Warriors game prior to the Storm loss and I’m struggling to see where the Tigers points are going to come from. The Tigers have maintained a strong defence but it will be severely tested here against a Warriors side who have multiple attacking weapons and a point to prove. Pick – 4 units on Warriors -4.5 point start (BEST BET)
WEEK RESULTS STAKES ROI BEST BET Week Eighteen -6.32 13 -49% LOST SOO 3 +5.25 4 130% N/A Week Seventeen -7 7 -100% LOST Week Sixteen -1.7 11 -15% LOST 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 +4.85 222 2% 35%