NRL Round 1 Preview and Betting Tips – Sunday & Monday Fixtures


Canberra Raiders vs. Cronulla Sharks
Canberra Stadium
Kickoff 2:00pm (local)

Matt Orford returns to NRL footy in his debut for the Canberra Raiders, and brings a valuable amount of experience with him. Josh Dugan at fullback is the current form player of the side and will link up well with Orford, similar to when Orford played for Manly with Brett Stewart at fullback. Sharks coach Shane Flanagan has brought Albert Kelly into five-eighth and he will need to impress after some poor showings in his 5 games of 2010. Raiders at home is always a tough prospect and the green machine should be too good.

Mike’s Best Bet: None

Penrith Panthers vs. Newcastle Knights
Centrebet Stadium
Kickoff 3:00pm (local)

This is a game I’m looking forward to and I’m expecting a high scoring affair which could go either way. It’s certainly not a game I want to be throwing money at. If poor fitness becomes an issue, watch out for Penrith’s Lachlan Coote, Michael Gordon and Sandor Earl, who will turn on some exciting footy. On the Newcastle side, their forwards in Antonio Kaufusi, Isaac De Gois, Evarn Tuimavave, Zeb Taia, Neville Costigan, and Chris Houston will be looking to go hard and get on top of the Panthers any way they can.

Mike’s Best Bet: None


Canterbury Bulldogs vs. Wests Tigers
ANZ Stadium
Kickoff 7:00pm (local)

The Tigers have hardly had the ideal preparation this week with their star play maker Benji Marshall attracting plenty of media attention after being charged with assault on the weekend. If they can put those distractions behind them, the Tigers will be hard to beat. Having finished 2010 one game short of the Grand Final, Coach Tim Sheens will have them ready to go from minute one. The Bulldogs bring a fresh new team to the paddock for 2011 and are looking very strong on paper. I’m sticking with the Tigers in this game. I’m not sure why the Bulldogs have Ben Roberts, a five eighth on the bench.

Mike’s Best Bet: None

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