Gold Coast Titans v Canberra Raiders
Skilled Park, 4:30pm local time
TITANS: William Zillman, Steve Michaels, Jamal Idris, Dominique Peyroux, David Mead, Jordan Rankin, Scott Prince (c), Luke Bailey, Kayne Lawton, Nate Myles, Greg Bird, Mark Minichiello, Ashley Harrison. Interchange: (from) Luke Douglas, Matthew White, Ben Ridge, Matthew Srama, Luke O’Dwyer
RAIDERS: Josh Dugan, Blake Ferguson, Jarrod Croker, Shaun Berrigan, Jack Wighton, Terry Campese (c), Josh McCrone, David Shillington, Travis Waddell, Brett White, Josh Papalii , Bronson Harrison, Shaun Fensom. Interchange: Glen Buttriss, Joel Thompson, Dane Tilse, Trevor Thurling
THE TITANS FINISHED THE 1ST ROUND ON TOP of the competition ladder after their trip to Nth Qld to play the Cowboys. Without taking anything away from their solid performance, the Titans were practically handed the two points by a Nth Qld team that were worse than pathetic. They return home this week to show their home crowd what they’re made of.
The Canberra Raiders were given an opportunity to impress their home crowd in the first round and despite narrowly going down to the Storm in the final minutes of the game, they were very impressive in slippery conditions against some of the world’s best players.
The Raider’s main goal this week, and they have made no secret of their plans, is to shut down Jamal Idris. If they can do that and let Terry Campese control the attacking side of things then they will be in good stead.
I rated the Canberra performance higher than the Titan’s performance last week and despite the fact they will have to do it without hard hitter Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, I can see the Raiders claiming a boil over in this one.
Chance of winning: Raiders 55%, Titans 44%, Draw 1%
Mike’s Tip: Raiders
Mike’s Best Bet: $53 on the Raiders +4.5 @ $1.74 (Sportsbet)
Starting Bank: $2000, Current Bank $2039.22
Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs v St George Illawarra Dragons
ANZ Stadium, 7:30pm
BULLDOGS: Ben Barba, Steve Turner, Josh Morris, Jonathan Wright, Bryson Goodwin, Josh Reynolds, Trent Hodkinson, Aiden Tolman, Michael Ennis, Sam Kasiano, Frank Pritchard, Dene Halatau, David Stagg. Interchange (from): James Graham, Greg Eastwood, Corey Payne, Joel Romelo, Kris Keating, Martin Taupau
DRAGONS: Kyle Stanley, Brett Morris, Beau Scott, Matt Cooper, Jason Nightingale, Jamie Soward, Ben Hornby (c), Jeremy Latimore, Mitch Rein, Michael Weyman, Matt Prior, Ben Creagh, Dean Young. Interchange (from): Nathan Fien, Leeson Ah Mau, Trent Merrin, Jack de Belin
BOTH SIDES WERE FIRST UP WINNERS in round 1 and this game sees two of the best coaches in the game, Wayne Bennett and Des Hasler, pitted against each other at ANZ Stadium.
The Dragons have been very successful in the more recent encounters between the teams having won the last 6 games.
The Bulldogs were lucky to win last week after playing a fairly ordinary first half before somehow clawing back a 12 point deficit to snatch victory. They can’t afford to be complacent against a well drilled Dragons side whose defence takes no prisoners.
The Bulldogs may still need a game or two to work out how to play under new Coach Des Hasler whereas the Dragons will be playing like it’s just another week and should be too good for the doggies.
Chance of winning: Dragons 67%, Bulldogs 32%, Draw 1%
Mike’s Tip: Dragons
Mike’s Best Bet: None
Starting Bank: $2000, Current Bank $2039.22
(Team lists sourced from nrl.com.au)
Im undecided on Titans v Raiders… im predicting Raiders to have a much better season this year.. but Titans may have gathered some confidence and momentum after their 1st round win.. Raiders historically do not have the best away form..
Risky selection for your bet simply cause it could go either way.. hope it comes off for ya..
There’s no doubt that the game could go either way and I have rated it 55% / 44% in the Raider’s favour. Raiders will defintely have a better season if their key men (Campese, Dugan) can stay injury free and they can challenge for a spot anywhere in the 8. They played some quality footy last week against the Storm and that was no easy feat in damp conditions.
Today’s game at Skilled will be played on a fast, dry track and Campese will be causing the Titans plenty of headaches with his grubber kicks in the Titan’s 20m zone.
Adding 4.5 start to the Raiders gives a bit of insurance against a close game.
Good luck with your punting Goodsy!