THE LONG HARD LOOK WITH MIKE WILSON
NRL ROUND 11 PREVIEW
(BYE: Eels, Knights, Raiders, Storm, Broncos, Titans)
Wests Tigers v New Zealand Warriors
Leichhardt Oval, 7:45pm (local).
TIGERS: Tim Moltzen, Beau Ryan, Joel Reddy, Blake Ayshford, Lote Tuqiri, Chris Lawrence, Benji Marshall, Aaron Woods, Tom Humble, Keith Galloway, Adam Blair, Liam Fulton, Matt Bell. Interchange: Ben Murdoch-Masila, Matt Utai, Ray Cashmere, Pat Politoni
WARRIORS: Glen Fisiiahi, Bill Tupou, Ben Henry, Konrad Hurrell, Manu Vatuvei, James Maloney, Shaun Johnson, Russell Packer, Alehana Mara, Ben Matulino, Elijah Taylor, Simon Mannering (c), Feleti Mateo. Interchange: Lewis Brown, Sam Rapira, Sione Lousi, Jacob Lillyman.
The Warriors racked up back to back wins for the first time this season by taking the Roosters down to the wire with a 30-26 victory last week on home soil. This week they travel back across the Tasman to take on the Tigers who are hosting the match at their beloved Leichhardt Oval.
The Tigers are on a 3 game winning streak but let’s be realistic about the raw facts; The 3 opponents they have defeated during their winning treble have been the Panthers, Eels and Titans who are placed 15th, 14th and 16th on the NRL ladder respectively. Hardly what you’d call ‘tough competition’. A Warriors outfit on a roll will be the perfect test for the Tigers and they will surely be out to seek revenge for the knockout loss that was inflicted on them the last time the two sides met which was in the 2011 semi-finals.
The Warriors and the Tigers sit on 10 competition points each and are 8th and 9th on the ladder respectively. A win tonight will prove crucial towards a top 8 berth.
Chance of winning: Tigers 49%, Warriors 49%, Draw 2%
Mike’s Tip: Tigers
Mike’s Suggested Bet: This should be a high scoring game and i’ll be taking the ‘Overs’ option in ‘Over/Under’ betting.
North Queensland Cowboys v Penrith Panthers
Dairy Farmers Stadium, 7:30pm (local).
COWBOYS: Matthew Bowen, Ashley Graham, Antonio Winterstein, Kane Linnett, Kalifa Faifai Loa, Michael Morgan, Ray Thompson, Ashton Sims, Aaron Payne, Glenn Hall, Gavin Cooper, Tariq Sims, Dallas Johnson. Interchange (from): James Segeyaro, Ricky Thorby, Scott Bolton, Jason Taumalolo, Cory Paterson
PANTHERS: Lachlan Coote, Etu Uaisele, Geoff Daniela, Brad Tighe, Josh Mansour, Blake Austin, Travis Burns, Sam Mckendry, Kevin Kingston, Tim Grant, Clint Newton, Cameron Ciraldo, Ryan Simpkins. Interchange (from): Danny Galea, Chris Armit, Dayne Weston, Matt Robinson, Mitch Achurch
The last 4 matches contested between the Panthers and the Cowboys have yielded two wins each with all being won by the home team. The signs and bookies are pointing towards a Cowboys victory despite the loss of halfback Johnathan Thurston to State of Origin duties.
Penrith will surely have something to say about that following their gutsy 13-12 golden point win over the Dragons on Monday night. It would appear that the previous week’s demotion of marquee centre Michael Jennings has pumped up the remaining players into some sort of fiery unit eager to smash anything that approaches their defensive line. Surely a Cowboys side sans Thurston will do a bit of the same?
I’ll be sticking with the Cowboys however based on their superior forward pack in what may become a very physical affair.
Chance of winning: Cowboys 56%, Panthers 43%, Draw 1%
Mike’s Tip: Cowboys
Mike’s Suggested Bet: With Thurston out, Matt Bowen will take a bit of leadership around the ruck on the right hand side and ultimately he will either be looking for a try himself, or Ash Graham.
Take Ash Graham to score a try at anytime during the match.
Manly Sea Eagles v Sydney Roosters
Brookvale Oval, 2:00pm (local).
SEA EAGLES: Dean Whare, Jorge Taufua, Jamie Lyon (c), Steve Matai, David Williams, Kieran Foran, Daly Cherry-Evans, Jason King (c), Matt Ballin, Brent Kite, Anthony Watmough, Daniel Harrison, Joe Galuvao. Interchange (from): Liam Foran, Vic Mauro, Darcy Lussick, George Rose, Nick Skinner, Tim Robinson
ROOSTERS: Anthony Minichiello, Tautau Moga, Joseph ‘BJ’ Leilua, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Sam Perrett, Braith Anasta, Daniel Mortimer, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jake Friend, Martin Kennedy, Aidan Guerra, Mitchell Aubusson, Tinirau Arona. Interchange (from): Boyd Cordner, Lama Tasi, Brad Takairangi, Mose Masoe, Jack Bosden
The Roosters will go into this match without Mitchell Pearce, the NSW incumbent halfback who has been recalled to resume his representative duties in 2012. As for losses to the NSW side for Manly, they include Brett and Glen Stewart, Jamie Buhrer and Tony Willams. It’s a big hit for the Sea Eagles yet despite the seeming mass loss of troops, the bookies are all over them and have them as $1.50 favourites early on. The home ground advantage will have plenty to do with this along with the fact that the Manly men showed that they are serious competition contenders in 2012 following their come from behind, last minute win over the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium last Friday. The Roosters’ form has been of an opposite nature and sees them floundering a bit having only won 3 from their last 4 starts.
It’s hard to go past Manly tipping-wise but as I did last week, I’ll be giving the Roosters a fighting chance with the points start.
Chance of winning: Sea Eagles 49%, Roosters 49%, Draw 2%
Mike’s Tip: Sea Eagles
Mike’s Suggested Bet: Roosters +7.5 @ $1.80
St George Illawarra Dragons v South Sydney Rabbitohs
WIN Jubilee Oval, 3:00pm (local).
DRAGONS: Brett Morris, Daniel Vidot, Kyle Stanley, Matt Cooper, Jason Nightingale, Jamie Soward, Ben Hornby (c), Dan Hunt, Mitch Rein, Jeremy Latimore, Jake Marketo, Leeson Ah Mau, Dean Young. Interchange (from): Cameron King, Atelea Vea, David Gower, Jack de Belin, Chase Stanley, Jack Stockwell
RABBITOHS: Nathan Merritt, Andrew Everingham, Matt King, Dylan Farrell, Justin Hunt, John Sutton, Adam Reynolds, Scott Geddes, Issac Luke, Dave Tyrrell, Eddy Pettybourne, Sam Burgess, Michael Crocker. Interchange (from): Jason Clark, Ben Lowe, Josh Starling, Luke Burgess, Chris McQueen, Nathan Peats
A battle of two traditional rivals will take place at WIN Jubilee oval sadly without the likes of Greg Inglis who is out playing hero for QLD. Inglis has been in scintillating form since his switch to fullback and Souths would no doubt be favourites for this clash had he been playing. As it stands, both sides are penned in as $1.90 equal favourites.
Sam Burgess returns for the Rabbitohs and I can see why this is viewed as such an even looking contest. I’m tipping the Dragons…..just, but a victory will have to come off the back of some faultless defence as the the Red V is struggling to post sizeable scores of late.
Chance of winning: Dragons 49%, Rabbitohs 49%, Draw 1%
Mike’s Tip: Dragons
Mike’s Suggested Bet: Dragons Head to Head @ $1.90
Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs v Cronulla Sharks
ANZ Stadium, 7:00pm (local).
BULLDOGS: Ben Barba, Luke Macdougall, Tim Lafai, Jonathan Wright, Bryson Goodwin, Josh Reynolds, Kris Keating, Aiden Tolman, Mick Ennis, Sam Kasiano, Frank Pritchard, Dene Halatau, Greg Eastwood. Interchange: James Graham, David Stagg, Corey Payne, Joel Romelo
SHARKS: Matthew Wright, Isaac Gordon, Ben Pomeroy, Colin Best, John Williams, Wade Graham, Jeff Robson, Bryce Gibbs, Isaac De Gois, Ben Ross, Sam Tagataese, Jayson Bukuya, Jeremy Smith (c). Interchange (from): Andrew Fifita, Mark Taufua, John Morris, Tyson Frizell, Jon Green
Chance of winning: Bulldogs 60%, Sharks 39%, Draw 1%
Mike’s Tip: Bulldogs
Mike’s Suggested Bet: 1st scoring play: Bulldogs try
(Team lists sourced from nrl.com.au)