NRL ROUND 12
Raiders v Sea Eagles
The Raiders will have kicked themselves following last week’s loss to the Dragons as the game was theirs to win but once again defence let them down at key moments, something that’s plagued them all season. Their opposition here strut into the capital city after claiming their second big skelp in a row, beating the Storm convincingly in a spiteful game.
These sides are ridiculously even on paper, both with four wins, and both with a very similar ‘for and against’ but what will separate them here will be the home advantage to the Raiders and the extra spring in their step following the thrashing at the hands of the Sea Eagles in round 4, plus a key ingredient to the Sea Eagles last two wins, Dylan Walker, is missing.
This is a huge game for the Raiders and if ever their forward pack needed to step up it’s here to lay the foundations for a halves pairing in Sezer and Austin who are growing in confidence on attack.
Defence is 90% attitude and the Raiders will have that in spades here as they blow the Sea Eagles off the park in what I expect will be one of their best performances thus far as they head into the Bye round. Pick – 3.5 units on Raiders -3.5 or better point start
Roosters v Titans
The inconsistencies of the Roosters returned last week as they had the game in hand against the Broncos only to lose it late and if you’re to believe talk out of their camp then that loss was the hardest yet to swallow so expect some sort of backlash here against a Titans side who boast the worst defence in the competition.
When the Roosters play with real venom, as I expect them to here, they are very tough to stop as we saw against the Warriors a fortnight ago where their big forward pack absolutely bullied the Warriors pack and totally shut them out of the game and whilst the Titans are fairly handy up front they’ll struggle to contain the Roosters.
There is a lot to like about this Titans side who broke their losing streak last week against the Knights but this is a big step-up against a star-studded and fired up Roosters who should tear the Titans flimsy defensive line to shreds. Pick – 4 units on Roosters -10.5 or better point start (BEST BET)
Panthers v Dragons
The Panthers have snuck under the radar this season as they are sitting 2nd on the ladder, having achieved this for the most part without their star playmaker Nathan Cleary who made a successful return from injury last week as they easily took care of the Tigers. In Cleary’s absence James Maloney had been nothing short of brilliant and their halves pairing could be absolutely devastating and is likely to cause the Dragons defence plenty of troubles here with a match back together now under their belt.
With five wins out of six matches at home the Panthers are creating a fortress and it’s a brave move by the bookies to install them as the underdogs here; sure the absence of Wallace is a big loss for the Panthers but Maloney’s leadership should see them through as they have a team full of game breakers.
The Dragons have had the wobbles over recent weeks, being comfortably beaten by the Rabbitohs a fortnight ago and then just sneaking past the Raiders last week and will be nervously glancing over their shoulders as the Panthers continue their climb up the ladder. Pick – 3 units on Panthers to win
Tigers v Bulldogs
There’s absolutely nothing between these sides as the Tigers fast start to the season has well and truly slowed, whilst the Bulldogs have been erratic so far and are capable of anything here.
Both sides go into this with just one win from their past five matches and whilst the Tigers sit at 8th and the Bulldogs at 14th on the table it’s not a true indication of the gap between the sides. Things look like they’re slowly coming together for the Bulldogs as they followed up a narrow loss to the Broncos with a win over the Eels then another narrow loss to the Sharks last week; they’re close but just need to find that extra few % of execution.
Attitude and intensity won’t be an issue for either side as this West Sydney derby always brings the best out in both clubs and I really cannot see anything at all between them, this is going down to the wire and the match will be in the balance right up to fulltime. Pick - 2 units on either side to win by 6 points and under; and 0.5 unit on draw at full time.
WEEK RESULTS STAKES ROI BEST BET Week Twenty-Two +6.11 16 38% LOST Week Twenty-One +10.12 11 92% WON Week Twenty -0.6 14 -4% LOST Week Nineteen +9.02 15 60% WON 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 +29.5 294 10% 38%