The following are previews and betting tips for the Sunday NRL Round 2 fixtures: New Zealand Warriors v Canterbury Bulldogs, Sydney Roosters v Canberra Raiders, Penrith Panthers v South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Warriors v Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs
Mt Smart Stadium, 2:00pm local time.
WARRIORS: Kevin Locke, Bill Tupou, Konrad Hurrell, Krisnan Inu, Manu Vatuvei, James Maloney, Shaun Johnson, Sione Lousi, Nathan Friend, Ben Matulino, Feleti Mateo, Simon Mannering (C), Elijah Taylor. Interchange: Russell Packer, Ukuma Ta’Ai, Ben Henry, Lewis Brown, Glen Fisiiahi, Alehana Mara, Sebastine Ikahihifo
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, Martin Taupau
THE WARRIORS MAY HAVE WON LAST WEEK but there was certainly an aspect of complacency in their overall game which will need to be eliminated if they are to beat a red hot Bulldogs side. The Warriors have been more than prepared to throw the ball around but it’s resulting in a lot of dropped ball which the Bulldogs will very easily take advantage of. I’m tipping that they can rectify this problem and be a force in front of the local crowd.
The Bulldogs were scintillating last week against the Dragons no less with Josh Morris bagging a hat-trick of tries. They have the motivation and have shown that they can score tries. Get ready for a battle of the big men in Frank Pritchard and Konrad Hurrell who should be matching up on the same side of the field.
Chance of winning: Warriors 50%, Bulldogs 49%, Draw 1%
Mike’s Tip: Warriors
Mike’s Best Bet: None
Sydney Roosters v Canberra Raiders
Allianz Stadium, 2:00pm Local time.
ROOSTERS: Anthony Minichiello, Justin Carney, Joseph ‘BJ’ Leilua, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Sam Perrett, Braith Anasta, Mitchell Pearce, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jake Friend, Martin Kennedy, Aidan Guerra, Mitchell Aubusson, Frank Paul Nuuausala. Interchange (from): Boyd Cordner, Mose Masoe, Lama Tasi, Anthony Mitchell, Daniel Mortimer, Tinirau Arona
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 (from): Glen Buttriss, Joel Thompson, Trevor Thurling, Sam Mataora, Joe Picker
After the first two rounds I would think that Raiders coach David Furner couldn’t ask too much more of his troops despite losing in the first round to the Storm. The Storm are an impressive outfit themselves and the Raiders put up a gutsy fight only to go down narrowly before coming out and giving the Titans a lesson in footy fundamentals in round 2. The Raiders are playing some solid, and largely mistake free footy that is pretty much the opposite of what we often refer to as ‘coach killing’ rugby league. Campese has been controlling the ruck speed perfectly by playing both halfback and five-eighth roles and knowing exactly when he has to be one or the other. Josh McCrone provides ample assistance and Josh Dugan is the icing on the Green Machine’s offensive cake.
Sorry Roosters fans but I can’t say the same for the tri-colours who seem nowhere near stringing together a solid 80 minute effort. The halves are failing to get them moving forward in the opposition half and are not looking like scoring enough points to win games. The giant Canberra forward pack is going to cause some big headaches for the Roosters today and Campese is back to the scintillating form he showed the world at the end of 2010.
Chance of winning: Raiders 62%, Roosters 37%, Draw 1%
Mike’s Tip: Raiders
Mike’s Best Bet: $53 on the Raiders +1.5 @ $1.91 (Centrebet)
Penrith Panthers v South Sydney Rabbitohs
Centrebet Stadium, 3:00pm local time
PANTHERS: Lachlan Coote, David Simmons, Michael Jennings, Brad Tighe, Sandor Earl, Travis Burns, Luke Walsh, Sam Mckendry, Kevin Kingston, Dayne Weston, Luke Lewis (C), Clint Newton, Nathan Smith. Interchange (from): Nafe Seluini, Chris Armit, Cameron Ciraldo, Blake Austin, Danny Galea
RABBITOHS: Dylan Farrell, Andrew Everingham, Matt King, Greg Inglis, Shaune Corrigan, John Sutton, Adam Reynolds, Scott Geddes, Issac Luke, Roy Asotasi, Sam Burgess, Dave Taylor, Michael Crocker. Interchange (from): Dave Tyrell, Chris McQueen, Eddy Pettybourne, Jason Clark, Nathan Peats
THE PANTHERS SCORED THEIR FIRST WIN last week whilst the Rabbitohs still search for their maiden success in 2012.
The Rabbitohs forwards have been working very well together and none more so than British import Sam Burgess. Burgess is some of the hottest property in the NRL today and is living up to all expectations. In the backline, the man to change a game for Souths would be Greg Inglis, but the halves seem to be unable for whatever reason to get Inglis the ball. Personally I think it’s time for Inglis to take up a role as five-eighth so he can get some early ball and inject his running game into the offensive line and ideally cause the opposition some defensive headaches on the edges. Whether he ever gets to play pivot is another thing. I hear other people calling for Inglis to be moved to fullback but I’m not a big fan of that.
The Panthers hit their groove last week and played well as a unit but the most promising sign was Michael Jennings playing like the Michael Jennings of old. His confidence will be sky high today and will help spur his team mates onto another victory.
Chance of winning: Penrith 54%, Rabbitohs 45%, Draw 1%
Mike’s Tip: Panthers
Mike’s Best Bet: None
Starting Bank: $2000, Current Bank $2078.44
(Team lists sourced from nrl.com.au)