The following are previews and betting tips for the Friday NRL Round 6 fixtures: Gold Coast Titans v Sydney Roosters, Cronulla Sharks v St.George Illawarra Dragons.
Gold Coast Titans v Sydney Roosters
Skilled Park, 5:30pm (local)
TITANS: William Zillman, Kevin Gordon, Steve Michaels, Beau Champion, David Mead, Jordan Rankin, Scott Prince (c), Luke Bailey, Matt Srama, Luke Douglas, Nate Myles, Luke O’Dwyer, Ashley Harrison. Interchange (from): Brenton Lawrence, Jamal Idris, Mark Minichiello, Bodene Thompson, Michael Henderson
ROOSTERS: Anthony Minichiello, Justin Carney, Joseph ‘BJ’ Leilua, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Sam Perrett, Braith Anasta (c), Mitchell Pearce, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jake Friend, Martin Kennedy, Boyd Cordner, Mitchell Aubusson, Frank Paul Nuuausala. Interchange: Tinirau Arona, Lama Tasi, Brad Takairangi, Anthony Mitchell
THE TITANS PUT IN A GALLANT PERFORMANCE last week showing their fans some promise by taking the Bulldogs right down to the wire at Skilled Park. The Titans return today to front up to a Roosters line up that clinically put away the Warriors last week in probably their best performance in the last 6 weeks. Their footy flowed, all the players linked up well and it was all off the back of a more relaxed performance from halfback Mitchell Pearce. His confidence will now be at a level that it hasn’t seen in 2012 and that makes his team as a whole, more dangerous to deal with.
The Titans have named their 115kg centre Jamal Idris on the bench and will give him right up until kickoff to prove he is over his injury and fit to play.
I’m tipping the Roosters to get home by a try thanks to Mitchell Pearce’s new found confidence.
Chance of winning: Titans 47%, Roosters 52%, Draw 1%
Mike’s Tip: Roosters
Mike’s Best Bet: None
Cronulla Sharks v St George Illawarra Dragons
Toyota Stadium, 7:30pm (local)
SHARKS: Nathan Gardner, Matthew Wright, Ben Pomeroy, Colin Best, John Williams, Todd Carney, Jeff Robson, Bryce Gibbs, John Morris, Ben Ross, Jeremy Smith, Jayson Bukuya, Paul Gallen (c). Interchange (from): Andrew Fifita, Wade Graham, Jon Green, Sam Tagataese, Mark Taufua
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
STATE OF ORIGIN has begun to roll off peoples tongues with just under two months until game 1 in Melbourne. With SOO talk comes the question that has been asked ad nauseum in the lead up to games in the last 5 years: Who will be the NSW halves? Two contenders for the five-eighth role are the Dragon’s Jamie Soward and the Shark’s Todd Carney and there would be no better motivation to show selectors what they’re made of than to take each other on in tonight’s blockbuster.
Carney has been slowly finding his way back to the scintillating level of skill that he showed the country in 2010 and has been crucial in every one of the Shark’s victories this year.
Soward has been good so far but needs to ramp up his efforts if he is going to find his way back into the NSW side in May.
These two sides always have it out for each other so strap yourself in for a hard fought battle of a very physical nature, topped off by some deft ball handling skills from the five-eighths.
I’m tipping the Dragons to bounce back from their loss last week as they will be eager to show their coach that they won’t accept consecutive losses.
Chance of winning: Sharks 47%, Dragons 52%, Draw 1%
Mike’s Tip: Dragons
Mike’s Best Bet: None
Starting Bank: $2000, Current Bank $1965.44
(Team lists sourced from nrl.com.au)