Newcastle Knights v Brisbane Broncos
Ausgrid Stadium, 7:00pm.
Knights $2.25, Broncos $1.65 (Sportingbet)
Knights: Kurt Gidley (c), James McManus, Tafeaga Junior Sa’u, Adam MacDougall, Akuila Uate, Ryan Stig, Jarrod Mullen, Evarn Tuimavave, Isaac De Gois, Antonio Kaufusi, Chris Houston, Nev Costigan, Joel Edwards. Interchange (from): Matt Hilder, Lisiate Richie Fa’aoso, Cameron Ciraldo, Zane Tetevano, Keith Lulia
Broncos: Josh Hoffman, Gerard Beale, Jack Reed, Justin Hodges, Dane Copley, Darren Lockyer (c), Peter Wallace, Josh McGuire, Andrew McCullough, Scott Anderson, Alex Glenn, Sam Thaiday, Corey Parker. Interchange: Matt Gillett, Ben Hunt, Ben Te’o, David Hala.
THE KNIGHTS NEED TO WIN to maintain their precarious spot in the top 8. They still have Souths and the Bulldogs snapping at their heels and all wins at this stage are priceless. The Knights scored a victory in the corresponding game last year against the Broncos but on that day they were without superstar Darren Lockyer.
The Broncos are on a handy 3 game winning streak and have really hit their straps at pretty much the right time and a win tonight guarantees them a spot in the top 4 and a home game in the first week of finals.
Ben Hannant has managed to train a bit this week and there is a chance he might play despite not being named in the team.
I’ve got a best bet for this match and it’s the Broncos -1.5. The reason is one glaring stat and that is the poor calibre of teams the Knights have beaten. If I were to put on paper the Knights wins represented by what position their opposition sits in on the current ladder, it would look like this:
11th, 5th, 13th, 14th, 16th, 11th, 12th, 7th, 13th, 15th and 14th.
And worse still the ‘7th’ was against the 7th placed Dragons side when they were missing all of their State of Origin stars.
Mike’s Best Bet: $68 on the Broncos -1.5 @ $1.74 (Sportsbet)
Starting Bank: $2000, Current Bank $2694.41
(Team lists sourced from nrl.com.au)