NRL Round 2 Preview and Tips





($2.20) Parramatta Eels v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs ($1.70)

ANZ Stadium, 8.05pm (EDT), Thursday

Eels: Jarryd Hayne, Ken Sio, Ryan Morgan, Jacob Loko, Cheyse Blair, Joseph Paulo, Chris Sandow, Mitchell Allgood, Matt Keating, Tim Mannah, Reni Maitua, Matthew Ryan, Ben Smith.
Interchange: Ben Roberts, Darcy Lussick, Fuifui Moimoi, Kelepi Tanginoa

Bulldogs: Steve Turner, Drury Low, Josh Morris, Krisnan Inu, Sam Perrett, Josh Reynolds, Kris Keating, Aiden Tolman, Michael Ennis (C), Martin Taupau, Tony Williams, Josh Jackson, Greg Eastwood. Interchange: Dene Halatau, Dale Finucane, David Klemmer, Tim Browne, Mitch Brown

The Bulldogs failed to get a win on the board in round 1 but last year’s wooden spooners the Eels, did so in emphatic fashion by downing the Warriors 40-10. However Eels Coach Ricky Stuart will be under no illusions as to the enormity of the task that lay ahead this week. The Bulldogs may still be short on premier players, but they demonstrated plenty of fight last week when they lost to the Cowboys 24-12.

Chris Sandow and Jarryd Hayne were faultless last Saturday but Eels fans and pundits alike will be watching closely to see if they can back it up for a second week in a row against a higher quality of opposition than the lackadaisical Warriors.

I think the Eels can give it a good shake but the defence, class and hunger of the Bulldogs to get that first win, should just be enough to edge them out.

Mike’s Tip: Bulldogs

Mike’s Suggested Bet: Bulldogs Head to Head @ $1.70 (Sportingbet)


($2.20) St George Illawarra Dragons v Brisbane Broncos ($1.70)

WIN Stadium, 8.05pm, Friday

Dragons: Gerard Beale, Brett Morris, Chase Stanley, Matt Cooper, Jason Nightingale, Jamie Soward, Nathan Fien, Dan Hunt, Mitch Rein, Michael Weyman, Tyson Frizell, Ben Creagh (c), Trent Merrin.
Interchange: Bronson Harrison, Leeson Ah Mau, Matt Prior, Cameron King, Jack Stockwell

Broncos: Corey Norman, Josh Hoffman, Jack Reed, Justin Hodges, Lachlan Maranta, Scott Prince, Peter Wallace, Josh McGuire, Andrew McCullough, Sam Thaiday (c), Alex Glenn, Matt Gillett, Corey Parker. Interchange: Ben Hunt, Ben Hannant, Mitchell Dodds, David Stagg, Scott Anderson

Last week’s edition of Friday night football gave viewers a chance to witness a clichéd ‘game of two halves’ as served up by the Broncos. The side was as solid as a rock in the first half and looked on their way to victory before returning to the field in the second half and serving up 40 minutes of rugby league that was comparable to a dog’s breakfast.

The Dragons had the intimidating task of facing the Storm in Melbourne and the 30-10 loss was almost expected. But the manner in how it happened wasn’t too disappointing for the Dragons who in recent times have been renowned for their tight defensive structures with a distinct absence of try scoring abilities. This match the Dragons’ attack was solid and only scoring 10 points against the premiers can be forgiven. Perhaps this time around some continued ball control could prove to be the pathway to victory.

From what I saw of both sides last week I’m taking the Broncos who will be focused on avoiding another 40 minute lapse that could cost them the game. I would still prefer to see Josh Hoffman playing fullback.

Mike’s Tip: Broncos

Mike’s Suggested Bet: Broncos/Broncos in Half time/Full time betting @ $2.30 (Centrebet)


($2.20) New Zealand Warriors v Sydney Roosters ($1.70)

Eden Park, 5.30pm (EDT), Saturday

Warriors: Kevin Locke, Glen Fisiiahi, Dane Nielsen, Konrad Hurrell, Bill Tupou, Thomas Leuluai, Shaun Johnson, Sam Rapira, Elijah Taylor, Ben Matulino, Steve Rapira, Simon Mannering, Todd Lowrie.
Interchange: Jacob lillyman, Feleti Mateo, Sebastine Ikahihifo, Pita Godinet, Ben Henry.

Roosters: Anthony Minichiello (c), Daniel Tupou, Michael Jennings, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, James Maloney, Mitchell Pearce, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jake Friend, Sam Moa, Aidan Guerra, Sonny Bill Williams, Frank-Paul Nuuausala. Interchange: Daniel Mortimer, Martin Kennedy, Mitchell Aubusson, Luke O’Donnell, Boyd Cordner, Dylan Napa.

When Round 1 arrived someone forgot to tell the Warriors. They played atrociously and with an air of disinterest. There were no positives to take out of their lack of effort last week and perhaps playing on home soil this week may give them some sort of a much needed boost

The Roosters were also beaten pretty convincingly but were hardly humiliated like their soon to be opponents. They managed to keep their heads on their shoulders despite being outclassed by some superior opposition in the Rabbitohs.

It’s unlikely that the Warriors are going to be able to turn their week around so quickly that they can come up with some similar attacking raids to those of the Rabbitohs and therefore I’m tipping the Roosters to clinch this one as a better team than last week.

Mike’s Tip: Roosters

Mike’s Suggested Bet: First Scoring Play: Roosters try @ $1.95


($1.91) North Queensland Cowboys v Melbourne Storm ($1.91)

1300Smiles Stadium, 7.30pm (EDT), Saturday

Cowboys: Matthew Bowen, Ashley Graham, Brent Tate, Kane Linnett, Antonio Winterstein, Johnathan Thurston (c), Ray Thompson, Matthew Scott (c), Scott Moore, James Tamou, Gavin Cooper, Glenn Hall, Dallas Johnson. Interchange: Rory Kostjasyn, Ashton Sims, Tariq Sims, Jason Taumalolo, Clint Greenshields

Storm: Billy Slater, Matt Duffie, Will Chambers, Justin O’Neill, Mahe Fonua, Gareth Widdop, Cooper Cronk, Jesse Bromwich, Cameron Smith (c), Bryan Norrie, Tohu Harris, Ryan Hoffman, Ryan Hinchcliffe. Interchange: Jason Ryles, Lagi Setu, Siosaia Vave, Junior Moors, Slade Griffin

Reigning premiers the Melbourne Storm may have wiped the floor with the Dragons last week but they were hardly playing 10/10 footy. This week they have to travel to Townsville off the back of playing in some very hot conditions in Melbourne which has hindered their recovery and preparation.

The Cowboys beat the Bulldogs last week on the road and now have a chance to claim another big scalp, this time in front of their home fans with an unchanged line up.

Based on what I viewed of each side last week we should be in for a solid contest. Melbourne should only improve from last week (If they don’t they could lose by 18!) and take it to the Cowboys. My tip however remains with the Cowboys on the back of a pumped up Johnathan Thurston who has just signed a new 4 year deal with the Cowboys, with the help of his metre-hungry outside backs.

Mike’s Tip: Cowboys

Mike’s Suggested Bet: Cowboys Head to Head @ $1.91 (Sportsbet)


($1.45) Gold Coast Titans v Canberra Raiders ($2.80)

Skilled Park, 2pm (EDT), Sunday

Titans: William Zillman, Kevin Gordon, Brad Takairangi, Jamal Idris, David Mead, Aidan Sezer, Albert Kelly, Luke Douglas, Matt Srama, Nate Myles, Greg Bird, Ben Ridge, Ashley Harrison. Interchange: Dave Taylor, Luke Bailey, Ryan James, Beau Falloon, Luke O’Dwyer

Raiders: Reece Robinson, Sandor Earl, Jarrod Croker, Jack Wighton, Edrick Lee, Josh McCrone, Sam Williams, David Shillington (c) Shaun Berrigan, Dane Tilse, Josh Papalii, Joel Thompson, Shaun Fensom. Interchange: Matt McIlwrick, Joel Edwards, Brett White, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, Mark Nicholls

The recent sacking of Josh Dugan and suspension of Blake Ferguson by the Raiders won’t hurt the side as much as many think. Reece Robinson slots into fullback whilst Edrick Lee moves onto the left wing with Jack Wighton shifting into the centre. With that all said and done, I was impressed by the Titans last week, and far from impressed by the Raiders and have had this game earmarked for some betting value.

The Titans were another of those teams that looked as if they will do better this week with a game under their belts and their halves combo of Sezer and Kelly looks ready to produce something a bit special. The teams defence was solid, attacking plays were executed well and with the home crowd behind them I’m hoping their wins start here.

Mike’s Tip: Titans

Mike’s Best Bet: see


($1.70) Wests Tigers v Penrith Panthers ($2.70)

Campbelltown Sports Centre, 3pm (EDT), Sunday

Tigers: Tim Moltzen, Matt Utai, Blake Ayshford, Chris Lawrence, Marika Koroibete, Benji Marshall, Jacob Miller, Jack Buchanan, Robbie Farah, Keith Galloway, Braith Anasta, Liam Fulton, Adam Blair.
Interchange: Matt Bell, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Aaron Woods, Eddy Pettybourne, Joel Reddy.

Panthers: Dean Whare, Josh Mansour, Wes Naiqama, Brad Tighe, David Simmons, Lachlan Coote, Luke Walsh, Sam McKendry, Kevin Kingston, Tim Grant, Sika Manu, Lewis Brown, Nathan Smith.
Interchange: James Segeyaro, Nigel Plum, Clint Newton, Jeremy Latimore, Adam Docker

The Panthers confronted a very soft Canberra side last week and the 32-10 scoreline probably flattered them just a touch. Flattery aside, their attack was fantastic; Lachlan Coote played a great running game at five eighth and slotted into first receiver at times creating opportunities for his outside men. In the forwards I was very impressed by all the big men carting the ball up in the hot weather and making plenty of metres.

Round 1 of the 2013 season was a real baptism of fire for the Wests Tigers who suffered a humiliating 42-10 loss to Newcastle. I’ve failed to find positives for some teams after round 1 but ironically the Tigers were so bad, the silver lining is that they can’t get worse! A Sunday afternoon game in front of their home crowd at Campbelltown should be enough to get the them motivated. If not, then I hold grave fears for this side in 2013. But don’t start worrying yet Tigers fans! I’m backing that the home ground advantage will definitely play a part in taking your team to a victory over the Panthers along with some improved attack on the outer corridors of the field.

Mike’s Tip: Tigers

Mike’s Suggested Bet: None


Manly Sea Eagles v Newcastle Knights

Brookvale Oval, 6.30pm (EDT), Sunday

Sea Eagles: Brett Stewart, Jorge Taufua, Jamie Lyon (c), Steve Matai, David Williams, Kieran Foran, Daly Cherry-Evans, Brenton Lawrence, Matt Ballin, Brent Kite, Anthony Watmough, Justin Horo, Jamie Buhrer. Interchange: Richie Fa’aoso, Joe Galuvao, David Gower, Jesse Sene-Lafao, Tom Symonds

Knights: Darius Boyd, James McManus, Dane Gagai, Anthony Quinn, Akuila Uate, Jarrod Mullen,. Kurt Gidley (c), Kade Snowden, Travis Waddell, Willie Mason, Beau Scott, Chris Houston, Jeremy Smith. Interchange: Tyrone Roberts, Neville Costigan, Robbie Rochow, Alex McKinnon, David Fa’alogo

We’ve only had one round of footy but already the Sea Eagles have shown the NRL community just how dangerous they are going to be in 2013. They trailed Brisbane at half time last week before hastily silencing the Broncos fans with a clinical comeback that resulted in a classy win. This week they get the opportunity to impress their home crowd at ‘Fortress’ Brookvale Oval.

Their opponents are the Knights who came out on Monday night with an air of exuberance that is rarely seen in a round 1 match and one that afforded them a 32 point victory over the Tigers.

There’s no questioning how impressive the Manly side is, and no questioning how impressive the Knights were on Monday night. Can Wayne Bennett’s Newcastle side recreate that enthusiasm here and take down the Sea Eagles on their home soil?

Mike’s Tip: Sea Eagles

Mike’s Suggested Bet: Sea Eagles -1.5 @ $1.77 (Centrebet)

Mike’s Best Bet: None


South Sydney Rabbitohs v Cronulla Sharks

ANZ Stadium, 7pm (EDT), Monday

Rabbitohs: Greg Inglis, Nathan Merritt, Dylan Farrell, Bryson Goodwin, Andrew Everingham, John Sutton, Adam Reynolds, Jeff Lima, Issac Luke, Roy Asotasi, Chris McQueen, Ben Te’o, Ben Lowe.
Interchange: Nathan Peats, Michael Crocker (c), Dave Tyrrell, George Burgess, Jason Clark, Justin Hunt

Sharks: Michael Gordon, Jonathan Wright, Ricky Leutele, Matthew Wright, Beau Ryan, Todd Carney, Jeff Robson, Andrew Fifita, Isaac De Gois, Ben Ross, Luke Lewis, Wade Graham, Paul Gallen.
Interchange: Chris Heighington, Jon Green, John Morris, Anthony Tupou

The Rabbitohs and the Sharks were first up winners last week with the former playing particularly good footy to down the Roosters by 18 points. They showed great unity coupled with genuine fluency in their attacking structures that had the Roosters defence at sixes and sevens.

The Sharks went in to their match off the back of a tumultuous week which saw staff, including the Coach Shane Flanagan, stood down by the club over various drug allegations. The players rallied and did it for ‘Flanno’, winning by two in a defensively tight 12-10 win over the Titans. Many are predicting the Sharks will fizzle out after riding such a high wave of emotions last week. I saw them as being pretty solid and it wasn’t as if the Titans threw nothing at them. Whilst I’m not tipping the Sharks to win, I think the +10.0 line on offer will come in handy.

Mike’s Tip: Rabbitohs

Mike’s Suggested Bet: Sharks +10.0 @ $1.92 (Sportsbet)

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6 Responses to "NRL Round 2 Preview and Tips"

  1. Great Tips again Mike, always look forward to the advice.
    Regarding the Cowboys Storm match, everyone seems to be backing the cowboys but I can’t seem to back against Melbourne, remember last year Round 2 when the Cowboys were supposed to hand out a good hiding to the Storm!
    They just seem to be able to magic something out of the bag even in the 78th minute in some cases.
    Look forward to a close one Storm by 8 I reckon!

    1. Looks like you were right Tim. The Cowboys showed plenty of class last night but when they lapsed, they lapsed badly. Quite disappointing for their fans that they let 32 points in. The Cowboys will be looking to hit back hard next week against the Knights.

      1. I think you are right Mike, Cowboys will be livid to have missed out on last wk’s points.
        Cowboys are -2 start evens money last time I looked which looks like good value when Knights went scoreless last time out.
        I noticed last year though that the knights are totally unpredictable to back, one minute they’re hopeless and the next they play like the Bulldogs!
        Keep up the top tips anyway Mike, always enjoy the vast knowledge provided.

  2. 10 – 32 Result.
    Storm will be minus 12 points on handicap for every match now if they carry on like this.
    Awesome performance steered by Cronk yet again. 11 matches unbeaten.
    Watch out Bulldogs, will Barba be back to spoil the Storm party is the question.

  3. What Tom said.

    As a rule I don’t punt on the footy till watching the teams go around a few times each season, and I’m regretting it!. Keep up the fantastic work you do Mike, it is truly appreciated.


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