The following are previews and betting tips for the Friday NRL Round 2 fixtures: Brisbane Broncos v St George Illawarra Dragons and Melbourne Storm v Newcastle Knights
Brisbane Broncos v St George Illawarra Dragons
Suncorp Stadium, 7:30pm (local)
BRONCOS: Josh Hoffman, Gerard Beale, Jack Reed, Justin Hodges, Dale Copley, Corey Norman, Peter Wallace, Ben Hannant, Andrew McCullough, Petero Civoniceva, Alex Glenn, Sam Thaiday (c), Matt Gillett. Interchange: Ben Hunt, Josh McGuire, Ben Te’o, Scott Anderson
DRAGONS: Brett Morris, Daniel Vidot, Kyle Stanley, Beau Scott, Jason Nightingale, Jamie Soward, Ben Hornby (c), Dan Hunt, Mitch Rein, Michael Weyman, Matt Prior, Ben Creagh, Dean Young. Interchange: Leeson Ah Mau, Jeremy Latimore, Trent Merrin, Jack De Belin
IT’S HERITAGE ROUND and the action kicks off with the Broncos and the Dragons giving us a modern day rendition of the 1992 Grand Final which was fought out by the two sides 20 years ago. Whilst in 20 years the game may have changed, the tenacity of these two teams haven’t and be assured we are in for a ding dong battle tonight.
The Broncos have enjoyed the recent spoils having beaten the Dragons on the last 3 occasions but only by an average of 4 points.
The Broncos and Dragons sit 3rd and 4th respectively on the ladder with 3rd being a massive achievement from the Broncos considering that of their four games, 3 of them have been away. But even more strange is that the one home game they have had was their one loss! Despite sitting on 3 wins Coach Anthony Griffin would be the first to admit that his side’s form has been far from top notch.
The Dragons have fought through the first 4 rounds under constant watch from fans and media keen to see how they will fare during life without Wayne Bennett and they haven’t disappointed barring a brutal loss to the inform Bulldogs. They’ve shown me enough so far to convince me that they can cover a 6.5 point start using their defence in this one. At the moment they seem to be able to hold it together for the whole 80 minutes better than Brisbane.
Chance of winning: Broncos 49%, Dragons 50%, Draw 1%
Mike’s Tip: Dragons
Mike’s Best Bet: $60 on the Dragons +6.5 @ $1.81 (Centrebet)
Melbourne Storm v Newcastle Knights
AAMI Park, 7:30pm (local)
STORM: Billy Slater, Matt Duffie, Dane Nielsen, Will Chambers, Sisa Waqa, 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
KNIGHTS: Darius Boyd, James McManus, Tafeaga Junior Sa’u, Timana Tahu, Akuila Uate, Kurt Gidley, Jarrod Mullen, Kade Snowden, Danny Buderus, Lisiate Richie Fa’aoso, Chris Houston, Zeb Taia, Neville Costigan. Interchange (from): Alex McKinnon, Adam Cuthbertson, Joel Edwards , Zane Tetevano, Matt Hilder
IT ONLY TOOK 4 ROUNDS for the Melbourne Storm to reach the top of the ladder outright. Surely you can’t be surprised? Any side with the likes of Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk is going to be tough to beat.
Cameron Smith, the world’s best hooker is already averaging 40 tackles per game and is as mysterious as ever in attack.
Billy Slater, the world’s best fullback and arguably the game’s best ever fullback has scored two tries in each game so far and does not look like slowing down.
Cooper Cronk the ever reliable Storm halfback has just announced that he has re-signed with the club and will be feeling very relaxed and ready for a big game.
Apologies if I’m boring the Knights fans but you’re up against the hottest property in the NRL at moment and it’s going to take all of Coach Wayne Bennett’s greatest abilities to get his team on top of the Knights tonight. But then again if anyone can……Wayne can.
Chance of winning: Storm 65%, Knights 34%, Draw 1%
Mike’s Tip: Storm
Mike’s Best Bet: None
Starting Bank: $2000, Current Bank $2025.44
(Team lists sourced from nrl.com.au)