The following are previews and betting tips for the Friday NRL Round 5 fixtures: Penrith Panthers v Cronulla Sharks, Parramatta Eels v Manly Sea Eagles, Sydney Roosters v New Zealand Warriors
Penrith Panthers v Cronulla Sharks
Centrebet Stadium, 5:30pm (local)
PANTHERS: Lachlan Coote, Etu Uaisele, Michael Jennings, Brad Tighe, David Simmons, Travis Burns, Luke Walsh, Sam Mckendry, Kevin Kingston, Dayne Weston, Clint Newton, Cameron Ciraldo, Luke Lewis (c). Interchange (from): Danny Galea, Mitch Achurch, Blake Austin, Ryan Simpkins, Matt Robinson
SHARKS: Nathan Gardner, Stewart Mills, Ben Pomeroy, Colin Best, John Williams, Todd Carney, Jeff Robson, Bryce Gibbs, Isaac De Gois, Ben Ross, Jeremy Smith, Jayson Bukuya, Paul Gallen (c). Interchange: Andrew Fifita, Wade Graham, John Morris, Sam Tagataese
BOTH TEAMS ARE COMING OFF WINS with the boys from Cronulla searching for a hatrick of wins on Penrith soil no less. Penrith rolled the Eels last week and it was hardly a test for the Panthers but they’ll certainly get a run for their money tonight.
We all know that Paul Gallen is a one man army in the front row but I’ve been pretty impressed with the Penrith front rowers of late in Sam McKendry and Dayne Weston. Weston is reliable whilst McKendry racks up plenty of runs next to his name and is averaging over 120 metres per game. I’m looking forward to the battle between them and Gallen.
All signs point to a close game and I’m tipping the Panthers to scrape home on the back of the home ground advantage.
Chance of winning: Panthers 50%, Sharks 49%, Draw 1%
Mike’s Tip: Panthers
Mike’s Best Bet: None
Parramatta Eels v Manly Sea Eagles
Parramatta Stadium, 7:30pm (local)
EELS: Jarryd Hayne, Ken Sio, Esi Tonga, 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
SEA EAGLES: Brett Stewart, Michael Oldfield, Jamie Lyon (C), Dean Whare, David Williams, Kieran Foran, Daly Cherry-Evans, Jason King (C), Matt Ballin, Brent Kite, Anthony Watmough, Jamie Buhrer, Daniel Harrison. Interchange: Nick Skinner, Vic Mauro, Darcy Lussick, Jorge Taufua
CAN PARRAMATTA PLAY ANY WORSE? Probably not but if you know anything about the legendary rivalry between the Eels and the Sea Eagles then you’ll know that no matter how bad one side might be travelling, they always lift for each other.
Manly has a weakened forward pack and bench list and if they win I can’t see it being more than 10 to 12 points.
Nathan Hindmarsh may move to the front row this week following his announcement that he will retire at the end of the season.
The worst part for the Eels is that Manly are coming into the game off the back of two losses and will be extra motivated to make sure the statistic doesn’t become three in a row.
I can’t tip Parra here.
Chance of winning: Eels 30%, Sea Eagles 69%, Draw 1%
Mike’s Tip: Sea Eagles
Mike’s Best Bet: None
Sydney Roosters v Warriors
Allianz Stadium, 7:30pm (local)
ROOSTERS: Anthony Minichiello, Joseph ‘BJ’ Leilua, Mitchell Aubusson, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Sam Perrett, Braith Anasta, Mitchell Pearce, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jake Friend, Martin Kennedy, Boyd Cordner, Tom Symonds, Frank Paul Nuuausala. Interchange: Lama Tasi, Tinirau Arona, Daniel Mortimer, Mose Masoe
WARRIORS: Kevin Locke, Bill Tupou, Ben Henry, Jerome Ropati, Manu Vatuvei, James Maloney, Shaun Johnson, Sione Lousi, Nathan Friend, Ben Matulino, Feleti Mateo, Simon Mannering (c), Elijah Taylor. Interchange (from): Russell Packer, Ukuma Ta’Ai, Lewis Brown, Sam Rapira, Glen Fisiiahi, Konrad Hurrell
POLARISED FORTUNES GREETED THESE TWO SIDES LAST WEEK as we watched the Storm mercilessly hammer the Roosters the day after the Warriors put the Titans to the sword without raising a sweat.
The Roosters have been lacklustre in 2012 and individuals are finding it difficult to gel. Halfback Mitchell Pearce looks like a man under pressure and it’s evident that his shortcomings are having a negative effect on the rest of the team.
It’s hard to tip the Roosters based on their form but they could click at any moment and when they do they will be a much bigger force.
I’m sticking with the Warriors whilst I give the Roosters another week to ‘click’.
Chance of winning: Roosters 40%, Warriors 59%, Draw 1%
Mike’s Tip: Warriors
Mike’s Best Bet: None
Starting Bank: $2000, Current Bank $1965.44
(Team lists sourced from nrl.com.au)