THE LONG HARD LOOK WITH MIKE WILSON
NRL ROUND 14 PREVIEW
Melbourne Storm v Wests Tigers
AAMI Park, 7:45pm (local).
STORM: Gareth Widdop, Matt Duffie, Dane Nielsen, TBA, Justin O’Neill, Maurice Blair, Rory Kostjasyn, Jesse Bromwich, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Jason Ryles, Anthony Quinn, Ryan Hoffman, Todd Lowrie. Interchange (from): Luke Kelly, Michael Greenfield, Siosaia Vave, Jaiman Lowe, Sisa Waqa, Kenneath Bromwich, Mitch Garbutt
TIGERS: Tim Moltzen, Matt Utai, Beau Ryan, Chris Lawrence, Lote Tuqiri, Curtis Sironen, Benji Marshall, Aaron Woods, Tom Humble, Keith Galloway, Adam Blair, Liam Fulton, Chris Heighington. Interchange (from): Masada Iosefa, Blake Ayshford, Matt Bell, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Joel Reddy
It’s time for the Storm to play their first game of 2012 sans their State of Origin stars; Cam Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk. The already huge player defecit has been compounded by the news that centre Will Chambers has been ruled out with a rare blood clotting disorder called “Idiopathic thrombocytopenia”. Chambers has been sidelined indefinitely.
The depleted Storm side puts them as $2.75 outsiders and the home ground advantage doesn’t add much weight to their cause. As far as stats for these two teams go when playing in Melbourne, the glaring number is that the Tigers have never beaten the Storm in Melbourne in 9 attempts. This has to be their best chance yet off the back of a current 6 game winning streak. Tom Humble slots into the hooker role for the Tigers as just have the Storm guns have; Robbie Farah makes his way into Origin camp.
Despite some of the gallant fights the Storm have put up in the past minus their Origin stars, when they get beat it tends to be by a decent margin. Couple that with the fact the the Tigers are brimming with confidence, I can see the Wests boys running away with this one and for the first time this year I’ll be tipping a team to win by 13+ points.
Chance of winning: Storm 40%, Tigers 59%, Draw 1%
Mike’s Tip: Tigers
Mike’s Suggested Bet: Tigers 13+
Newcastle Knights v Canberra Raiders
Hunter Stadium, 7:30pm (local).
KNIGHTS: Peter Mata’utia, James McManus, Dane Gagai, Timana Tahu, Kevin Naiqama, Jarrod Mullen, Tyrone Roberts, Kade Snowden, Danny Buderus (c), Willie Mason, Chris Houston, Joel Edwards, Neville Costigan. Interchange (from): Chris Adams, Zeb Taia, Adam Cuthbertson, Alex McKinnon, Junior Sa’u
RAIDERS: Reece Robinson, Dimitri Pelo, Jarrod Croker, Blake Ferguson, Edrick Lee, Josh Dugan, Josh McCrone, Dane Tilse, Travis Waddell, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, Josh Papalii, Joel Thompson, Shaun Fensom. Interchange (from): Matt Mcilwrick, Bronson Harrison, Sam Mataora, Joe Picker, Trevor Thurling, Mark Nicholls, Sam Williams
The Newcastle v Canberra game can’t exactly be dubbed as a battle of the heavyweights where sides 12th and 14th on the ladder respectively go toe to toe. The Knights enter the Hunter Stadium arena with 4 straight losses to their name and the Raiders will challenge them with 5 straight losses of their own. The head to head matchup doesn’t yield much of a clue wither as both teams have won twice in the last four meetings. At Hunter Stadium however it’s a bit of a different story with the last four games contested being won by the Knights.
Pushing all of that aside, the Knights appear to be the team most likely to enter the winners circle the soonest based on basic form lines and they are my tip. The Raiders can’t do much worse than last week when they were on the wrong side of a 40-0 drubbing but I’m not prepared to put my hard earned cash anywhere near them.
Chance of winning: Knights 59%, Raiders 40%, Draw 1%
Mike’s Tip: Raiders
Mike’s Suggested Bet: Half Time/Full Time – Knights/Knights
Cronulla Sharks v Gold Coast Titans
Toyota Stadium, 2:00pm (local).
SHARKS: Matthew Wright, Isaac Gordon, Ben Pomeroy, Colin Best, Nathan Stapleton, Chad Townsend, Jeff Robson, Bryce Gibbs, Isaac De Gois, Ben Ross, Jeremy Smith, Jayson Bukuya, Wade Graham. Interchange (from): Andrew Fifita, Jon Green, John Morris, Mark Taufua, Sam Tagataese
TITANS: William Zillman, Kevin Gordon, Jamal Idris, Beau Champion, David Mead, Aidan Sezer, Scott Prince, Brenton Lawrence, Matt Srama, Matthew White, Luke Douglas, Mark Minichiello, Luke O’Dwyer. Interchange: Ryan James, Michael Henderson, Ben Ridge, Steve Michaels
If you take a look at the form and consistency of the past month then the 10th placed Titans have surely caught your eye having surged their way from the bottom of the competition table. The Gold Coast based team boast 3 wins from their last 3 starts and no one can deny the genuineness of their victories.
The Sharks, who had a genuine start to the season have faltered a tad in the last month but still look the goods. The hurdle they face this week is taking on an inform side minus their State of Origin omissions in Todd Carney and workhorse Paul Gallen. Before Origin game 1 the Sharks were comprehensively beaten by the Bulldogs and without Carney’s direction from the middle of the field they will struggle again.
This makes the Titans great value and a head to head bet at around the $2.15 mark is ripe for the taking.
Chance of winning: Sharks 48%, Titans 51%, Draw 1%
Mike’s Tip: Titans
Mike’s Suggested Bet: Titans Head 2 Head.
Sydney Roosters v Brisbane Broncos
Allianz Stadium, 3:00pm (local)
ROOSTERS: Anthony Minichiello, Adam Henry, Joseph ‘BJ’ Leilua, Tautau Moga, Sam Perrett, Braith Anasta, Daniel Mortimer, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jake Friend, Martin Kennedy, Aidan Guerra, Mitchell Aubusson, Boyd Cordner. Interchange (from): Frank Paul Nuuausala, Lama Tasi, Tinirau Arona, Mose Masoe, Justin Carney, Brad Takairangi
BRONCOS: Josh Hoffman, Lachlan Maranta, Jack Reed, Gerard Beale, Dale Copley, Corey Norman, Peter Wallace, Josh McGuire, Andrew McCullough, Scott Anderson, Alex Glenn, Ben Te’o, Corey Parker. Interchange: Ben Hunt, Mitchell Dodds, Nick Slyney, Dunamis Lui
Preview Coming Soon………
Chance of winning: Roosters 52%, Broncos 47%, Draw 1%
Mike’s Tip: Roosters
Mike’s Suggested Bet: Tri bet – Either team under 6.5 points
Penrith Panthers v Warriors
Centrebet Stadium, 5:30pm (local).
PANTHERS: Lachlan Coote, Etu Uaisele, Geoff Daniela, Brad Tighe, Josh Mansour, Travis Burns, Luke Walsh, Sam Mckendry, Kevin Kingston, Dayne Weston, Clint Newton, Cameron Ciraldo, Ryan Simpkins. Interchange: Matt Robinson, Chris Armit, Danny Galea, Nigel Plum
WARRIORS: Kevin Locke, 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 (from): Lewis Brown, Steve Rapira, Sione Lousi, Jacob Lillyman, Glen Fisiiahi
The last time the Panthers beat the Warriors at Centrebet Stadium was back in 2008 but this time the Panthers head in to the contest on the back of 2 wins from their past 3 matches whereas the Warriors have notched up a 2 game losing streak and will be desperate to avoid a third.
The Warriors are solid favourites to win at around the $1.45 mark but I think it’s a dead even matchup. The setup of a Monday night game in front of their home fans brings the Panthers back to even money in my books and we are in for a very tight contest.
The main factor, and question of the game is how well can the Panthers do without three of their players missing for State of Origin? Good enough in my opinion and I think the Panthers head to head is a bet of massive value.
Chance of winning: Panthers 49%, Warriors 49%, Draw 2%
Mike’s Tip: Panthers
Mike’s Suggested Bet: Panthers Head 2 Head