NRL ROUND 15
Eels v Rabbitohs
The win over the Cowboys last week will have given the Eels a much needed shot of confidence and whilst the Rabbitohs will pose a sterner challenge I can still see them pushing this to the wire.
Hayne’s return to the side last week had an immediate impact on the Eels as it looks like he’s spent his time on the side-lines getting hungry and without wanting to speak too soon we may well see a return of the Hayne-Plane (albeit a slightly older version) that terrorised opposition defensive lines prior to his departure to the NFL.
The Rabbitohs welcome back a host of origin players to add to an already impressive line-up and they are certainly going to take some stopping here hence why the bookies have given the Eels a healthy start.
With a capable enough side on paper and a shot of confidence, along with the return of a sometimes-superstar in Hayne then that start to the Eels looks appealing …. Providing they can stop the rampaging Burgess brothers which they will come prepared to do! Pick – 3 units on Eels +9.5 point start
Cowboys v Warriors
Shock horror – the Warriors are favourites to beat a mostly full strength Cowboys side in Townsville! Despite the relative standings of both these sides I still don’t feel the favouritism tag is justified for the Warriors especially when you look at the Cowboys forwards and consider what packs of a similar stature have done to the Warriors this season.
The Cowboys have surprised everyone with just how lacklustre they’ve been this year but they’re a proud club and won’t be waving the white flag especially in Townsville where their record over the Warriors is incredible with the Kiwi side nearly always left limping home following a decent lesson at the hands of the home side.
Just two weeks ago the Cowboys rocked into Sydney and handed the Sea Eagles a comprehensive defeat but followed that performance up last week with a loss to the struggling Eels; they’ve proven they can lift the tempo and do have a side capable of challenging anyone in the competition.
Whether RTS takes the field at fullback for the Warriors will remain to be seen but either way I can see the Cowboys dominating up front and JT taking full advantage creating opportunities across the park. Great value on the Cowboys to win! Pick – 5 units on Cowboys to win (BEST BET)
Roosters v Panthers
The Roosters have been steady this season but have been plagued by inconsistency however now we’re at the halfway point in the season we’re starting to see them gel more as a side and I’m expecting a huge second half of the season from them and can see this as being a ‘statement’ game.
The loss of Peter Wallace to retirement will leave a huge hole in the Panthers leadership and experience, if he was taking the field here then I’d be less inclined to back the Roosters as the guy is a winner but looking through both sides I feel the Roosters do have the edge on the Panthers, despite the dynamic halves duo of Cleary and Maloney taking the field.
The Roosters forward pack will lay the platform for Cronk to unleash what is one of the more devastating backlines in the competition – take the Roosters for the win. Pick – 4 units on Roosters to win
Bulldogs v Titans
It’s been one of those seasons to date for the Bulldogs as they’ve lost numerous games by the narrowest of margins and with salary cap concerns hanging over them and talk of players being shifted who knows what we’ll see from them here. It’s in defence where attitude shines through and If the Bulldogs are off slightly then the Titans have a decent enough attacking side to punish them.
The Titans have the second worst defence in the competition and if the Bulldogs are in the mood they’ll open up the visitors. Both sides are stacked with dangerous players who can attack from anywhere on the field and this being an afternoon match on what’s set to be a dry field I’m expecting an entertaining game with plenty of points. Pick – 3 units on total combined points ‘over’ 41.5 points
Tigers v Raiders
The Tigers (9th) and the Raiders (10th) have a 1 and 0 (respectively) points differential for the season which is extraordinary, the Raiders have the far better attack (284 points) whilst the Tigers have the far better defence (217 points) and whilst I’m not altogether sure where I’m going with that it struck me as being something worth noting…
With Marshall out injured the much anticipated Brooks / Reynolds halves combination can show us what they’ve got with fans hoping that combination will provide a big boost to what’s been a laboured attack most of the season.
The return of Josh Hodgson at Hooker for the Raiders is a huge boost as he’s been badly missed all season; we’ve seen in seasons gone by just how influential he is on this side and whilst he’ll no doubt be a little rusty having been out for so long he’s a champion of a player and will no doubt make an immediate impact on the side.
If this was being played anywhere else I’d be siding with the Raiders but at Campbelltown Stadium the Tigers tend to grow another leg, I do feel though this one is going right down to the wire as there’s not a lot separating the sides and both have no shortage of motivation as they try and crack into the top eight. Pick - 2 units on either side to win by six points and under
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%