The following are previews and betting tips for the Sunday NRL Round 2 fixtures: Gold Coast Titans v Melbourne Storm, Nth Qld Cowboys v Parramatta Eels.
Gold Coast Titans v Melbourne Storm
Skilled Park, 4:30pm local time.
TITANS: William Zillman, Steve Michaels, Bodene Thompson, Beau Champion, Dominique Peyroux, Jordan Rankin, Scott Prince, Luke Bailey, Kayne Lawton, Nate Myles, Greg Bird, Mark Minichiello, Ashley Harrison. Interchange (from): Luke Douglas, Matt White, Ben Ridge, Matt Srama, Brenton Lawrence, Luke O’Dwyer
STORM: Billy Slater, Matt Duffie, Dane Nielsen, Justin O’Neill, Anthony Quinn, Gareth Widdop, Cooper Cronk, Jesse Bromwich, Cameron Smith (c), Bryan Norrie, Sika Manu, Ryan Hoffman, Todd Lowrie. Interchange (from): Ryan Hinchcliffe, Kevin Proctor, Siosaia Vave, Jason Ryles, Rory Kostjasyn
It’s early in the season but the signs point to the Storm being able to dispense with a Titans side that is yet to hit top gear. The teams are two a piece in the last four meetings with the Storm winning the last two and scoring a whopping 40 points in both.
Jamal Idris needs to make an impact on the game if the Titans are to have any chance of snatching a win today but the problem they have is that the opposition teams are making Jamal their number one target. The Raiders showed last week how barren the Titans offensive game can be if Idris is shut down.
For the Storm, look for none other than Billy Slater. Slater has scored a double in both games this year and amazingly scored a double against the Titans in both games last year.
Chance of winning: Titans 39%, Storm 60%, Draw 1%
Mike’s Tip: Storm
Mike’s Best Bet: None
North Queensland Cowboys v Parramatta Eels
Dairy Farmers Stadium, 6:30pm local time.
COWBOYS: Matthew Bowen, Ashley Graham, Brent Tate, Kane Linnett, Antonio Winterstein, Johnathan Thurston (c), Ray Thompson, Matthew Scott (c), Aaron Payne, James Tamou, Gavin Cooper, Glenn Hall, Dallas Johnson. Interchange (from): James Segeyaro, Joel Riethmuller, Ashton Sims, Jason Taumalolo, Cory Paterson, Tyson Martin
EELS: Luke Burt, Ken Sio, Ryan Morgan, Willie Tonga, Cheyse Blair, Ben Roberts, Chris Sandow, Tim Mannah, Matthew Keating, Mitchell Allgood, Nathan Hindmarsh (C), Taniela Lasalo, Reni Maitua. Interchange: Casey McGuire, Fuifui Moimoi, Justin Poore, Joseph Paulo
The Cowboys turned their Round 1 disaster in to a Round 2 victory after they scraped home in the dying minutes against the Broncos. Now it’s time for them to show that they can pull off back to back wins. The time is ripe with the Parramatta Eels suffering from a few key injuries, none bigger than Jarryd Hayne who went down early last week with a knee complaint that suddenly threw the Eels’ season into jeopardy. The good news for the Eels is that veteran workhorse Nathan Hindmarsh returns to the fray and will be looking to lead the club to its first victory in 2012. Halfback Chris Sandow is still trying to find his feet amongst a new roster of players but is certainly getting there and tonight I think he can help his side to make a game of this one, but I’m sticking with the Cowboys on home turf.
Chance of winning: Cowboys 57%, Eels 42%, Draw 1%
Mike’s Tip: Cowboys
Mike’s Best Bet: None
Starting Bank: $2000, Current Bank $2078.44
(Team lists sourced from nrl.com.au)