• THE LONG HARD LOOK WITH MIKE WILSON
NRL ROUND 6 PREVIEW
($1.87) BRISBANE BRONCOS v NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS ($1.95)
Friday 12th April, 7:35pm, Suncorp Stadium
BRONCOS: Corey Norman, Josh Hoffman, Jack Reed, Justin Hodges, Lachlan Maranta, Scott Prince, Peter Wallace, Ben Hannant, Andrew McCullough, Sam Thaiday (c), Alex Glenn, Matt Gillett, Corey Parker. Interchange: Ben Hunt, Scott Anderson, David Hala, Nick Slyney
COWBOYS: Matthew Bowen, Kalifa Faifai Loa, Brent Tate, Kane Linnett, Antonio Winterstein, Johnathan Thurston (c), Michael Morgan, Matthew Scott (c), Rory Kostjasyn, James Tamou, Tariq Sims, Glenn Hall, TBA. Interchange: Ray Thompson, Gavin Cooper, Scott Bolton, Jason Taumalolo, Ashton Sims, Clint Greenshields, Joel Riethmuller
It’s the second local derby for the Brisbane Broncos in two weeks as they take on the Nth Qld Cowboys. Both sides are coming off wins with the Broncos having downed the Titans with a gritty performance in which they showed they are capable of playing solid, competitive footy for the full 80 minutes.
The Cowboys put on a demonstration of their own wiping the floor with the Panthers to the tune of 30-0 however a poor completion rate may have resulted in a shellacking of their own had they been up against a higher quality of opposition.
I’m backing the Broncos due to their new found confidence which will be boosted by a vocal home crowd who always turn out to see their side try and put away their neighbours from Townsville. Their 80 minute intensity will prove to be too much for the still frustrated (and frustrating) Cowboys.
Late Mail: Dallas Johnson has been ruled out.
Mike’s Tip: Broncos
Mike’s Suggested Bet: See Best Bet
Mike’s Best Bet: http://www.aussportstipping.com/picks/mike_wilson/45/
($1.66) SYDNEY ROOSTERS v CANTERBURY BANKSTOWN BULLDOGS ($2.25)
Friday 12th April, 7:35pm, Allianz Stadium
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, Mitchell Aubusson, Sonny Bill Williams, Boyd Cordner. Interchange: Daniel Mortimer, Martin Kennedy, Isaac Liu, Aidan Guerra, Luke O’Donnell, Michael Oldfield
BULLDOGS: Ben Barba, Mitch Brown, Josh Morris, Tim Lafai, Sam Perrett, Josh Reynolds, Kris Keating, Aiden Tolman, Michael Ennis (c), Martin Taupau, Tony Williams, Josh Jackson, Greg Eastwood. Interchange: Dene Halatau, Dale Finucane, Tim Browne, Frank Pritchard, David Klemmer
For those who aren’t familiar with the back story to this game, it goes a little something like this: In 2008 Sonny Bill Williams was playing for the Bulldogs as a 22 year old already in his 5th year with the club (such is his talent). He had already represented New Zealand in 7 tests and could do anything he wanted, which he did. To the disgust of team mates and many a Canterbury, and NRL supporter, Sonny Bill dropped everything and one day simply walked out on his team and the NRL to go and play French Rugby. Whilst none of the then Bulldogs side are playing for the team currently, the fans have not forgotten and hold quite a big grudge against Williams and have long awaited his return to the NRL be it to vent their hate for him.
A near sell out crowd can be expected for this one as the Sonny Bill haters/Bulldogs fans turn out in droves to make sure Williams and his Roosters team mates feel most unwelcome.
The Canterbury supporters haven’t had a lot to be vocal about so far in 2013 with their side registering just one win from the opening 5 games but 3 of their 4 losses have been to the Storm, Sea Eagles and Rabbitohs who in their combined 15 matches have lost just 1. Add to that the Bulldogs have only had stars Ben Barba and Frank Pritchard back for 2 games and it’s easy to see why the slow start to the season has resulted.
Therefore the Bulldogs can be forgiven to an extent but are really going to need to buck up on last week’s effort if they are to compete with, and beat the Roosters who will be looking to bounce back after letting a win get away from them last week against the Raiders.
I’m backing them to do so.
Mike’s Tip: Bulldogs
Mike’s Suggested Bet: See Best Bet
Mike’s Best Bet: http://www.aussportstipping.com/picks/mike_wilson/46/
($1.18) NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS v PENRITH PANTHERS ($5.00)
Saturday 13th April, 5:30pm, Hunter Stadium
KNIGHTS: Darius Boyd, James McManus, Alex McKinnon, Timana Tahu, Akuila Uate, Jarrod Mullen, Tyrone Roberts, Kade Snowden, Kurt Gidley (c), Willie Mason, Robbie Rochow, Chris Houston, Jeremy Smith. Interchange: Danny Buderus, Neville Costigan, Adam Cuthbertson, David Fa’alogo
PANTHERS: Dean Whare, Josh Mansour, Wes Naiqama, Brad Tighe, David Simmons, Tom Humble, Blake Austin, Sam McKendry, Kevin Kingston (c), Nigel Plum, Sika Manu, Lewis Brown, Cameron Ciraldo. Interchange: Adam Docker, Clint Newton, James Segeyaro, Tim Grant
The Knights had a chance to claim a top 4 berth last week but came up against a somewhat unexpected challenge from the Dragons. Situations like this need to be dealt with and is where the top teams are separated from the also rans and whilst the Knights played well, they lost a lot of their attacking spark under pressure. I would like to see them try attacking down their right hand side a bit more where they have one of the biggest try scoring weapons in Akuila Uate who barely saw the ball in good field position last week.
The Panthers put in a mortifyingly poor performance which basically saw them out of the game after 20 minutes when they fell 22-0 behind. It’s a miracle that the final score was only 30-0. The Penrith side has a long way to go before they start challenging the top sides but lowering last week’s missed tackle count from 38 would be a good start.
The Knights have been somewhat of a powerhouse at home in recent times and have my support.
Mike’s Tip: Knights
Mike’s Suggested Bet: Akuila Uate to score a try @ $1.72 (Sportsbet)
Mike’s Best Bet: None
($1.52) CANBERRA RAIDERS v NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS ($2.65)
Saturday 13th April, 7:30pm, Canberra Stadium
RAIDERS: Reece Robinson, Sandor Earl, Jarrod Croker, Jack Wighton, Edrick Lee, Josh McCrone, Sam Williams, David Shillington, Matt McIlwrick, Brett White, Josh Papalii, Joel Edwards, Shaun Fensom. Interchange: Anthony Milford, Joe Picker, Dane Tilse, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, Terry Campese
WARRIORS: Kevin Locke, Bill Tupou, Ngani Laumape, Konrad Hurrell, Manu Vatuvei, Thomas Leuluai, Shaun Johnson, Sam Rapira, Nathan Friend, Russell Packer, Feleti Mateo, Simon Mannering (c), Todd Lowrie. Interchange: Ben Matulino, Elijah Taylor, Jacob Lillyman, Pita Godinet, Ben Henry
A gutsy showing from the Raiders in Canberra last week saw them snatch a 2 point victory from the jaws of defeat when a 16-0 half time deficit looked to have them dead and buried. Hopefully for fans the Raiders forward pack can back it up in this match as they seem to struggle for consistency each week for whatever reason.
Terry Campese has been named on an extended bench but unless you’re Coach David Furner you probably won’t know if he’ll play, or in what capacity until kick off.
The Warriors put up a gutsy fight of their own against top of the table Rabbitohs, making a similar comeback which unfortunately for them resulted in a narrow 2 point loss. Travelling to Canberra will prove to be no easy task and could prove the difference between winning and losing, as is the way I’m tipping in this matchup.
Mike’s Tip: Raiders
Mike’s Suggested Bet: Halftime/Fulltime – Canberra/Canberra @ $1.98 (Sportingbet)
Mike’s Best Bet: None
($1.80) SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS v MELBOURNE STORM ($2.05)
Saturday 13th April, 7:30pm, ANZ Stadium
RABBITOHS: Greg Inglis, Nathan Merritt, Dylan Farrell, Bryson Goodwin, Andrew Everingham, John Sutton, Adam Reynolds, David Tyrrell, Issac Luke, Roy Asotasi, Chris McQueen, Ben Te’o, Sam Burgess. Interchange: Nathan Peats, Jeff Lima, Ben Lowe, George Burgess, Michael Crocker, Justin Hunt, Jason Clark
STORM: Billy Slater, Sisa Waqa, Will Chambers, Junior Sa’u, 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, Kevin Proctor, Slade Griffin, Kenneath Bromwich, Brett Finch
The Storm go up against a South Sydney side that has had every player pulling their weight resulting in 5 straight wins. Greg Inglis has been the form fullback of the year and to his left Nathan Merritt has put himself into contention for a NSW jersey having racked up 8 tries so far this season. Up front Sam Burgess has lead the way and brother George has come into his own putting on a powerhouse display each week.
The Storm have gone about business as usual and last week Coach Craig Bellamy shored up the right side attack by putting Sisa Waqa on the wing ahead of Matt Duffie.
Besides the fact that this is a mouth watering, top of the table clash, the biggest news surrounding this match is that Storm fullback Billy Slater is in doubt with a nagging foot injury and as of Thursday is probably no better than a 50/50 chance of playing.
Until we know whether or not Slater is playing, which could prove the difference, it’s not a game I want to risk money on and will simply be playing the role of spectator this time around.
Mike’s Tip: Rabbitohs
Mike’s Suggested Bet: None
Mike’s Best Bet: None
($1.22) MANLY SEA EAGLES v CRONULLA SHARKS ($4.45)
Sunday 14th April, 2:00pm, Brookvale Oval
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, Tom Symonds. Interchange: Richie Fa’aoso, Joe Galuvao, Jamie Buhrer, Jason King (c)
SHARKS: Michael Gordon, Nathan Stapleton, Ben Pomeroy, Stewart Mills, Beau Ryan, Chad Townsend, Jeff Robson, Andrew Fifita, John Morris, Ben Ross, Luke Lewis, Wade Graham, Paul Gallen (c). Interchange: Jayson Bukuya, Isaac De Gois, Anthony Tupou, Sam Tagataese, Mark Taufua
The Sea Eagles have named an unchanged line up from the one that downed the Bulldogs 20-6 last week taking them to their 4th win from the first 5 matches. The Sharks were to be found at the opposite end of the spectrum falling to their third loss of the year at the hands of the Eels. It was a loss that now has many a critic just wondering where the Sharks player’s heads are at with allegations of illegal drug use still penetrating the club. ASADA’s investigation into the club is taking its toll and it’s no surprise to see the Sea Eagles instated as $1.22 favourites as a result.
Mike’s Tip: Sea Eagles
Mike’s Suggested Bet: One to boost your multis: Sea Eagles first to 10 points at $1.38 (Centrebet)
Mike’s Best Bet: None
($2.50) WESTS TIGERS V ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS ($1.55)
Sunday 14th April, 3:00pm, SCG
WESTS TIGERS: Tim Moltzen, Joel Reddy, Blake Ayshford, Chris Lawrence, James Tedesco, TBA, Braith Anasta, Aaron Woods, Robbie Farah (c), Jack Buchanan, TBA, Liam Fulton, Adam Blair. Interchange: Ben Murdoch-Masila, Ava Seumanufagai, Matt Bell, Eddy Pettybourne
DRAGONS: Jason Nightingale, Brett Morris, Chase Stanley, Matt Cooper, Daniel Vidot, Jamie Soward, Nathan Fien, Dan Hunt, Mitch Rein, Jack Stockwell, Tyson Frizell, Ben Creagh (c), Trent Merrin. Interchange: Bronson Harrison, Matt Prior, Jack de Belin, Michael Henderson, Damien Cook
Heritage Round brings us back to the SCG for trip down memory lane. One man who won’t be walking onto the ground however is Benji Marshall. The Tigers 5/8th has been ruled out with ‘turf toe’ and could miss up to a month of footy. Another Tiger who shan’t be playing is Bodene Thompson. Thompson came into the side last week against the Storm and made a real impact on the game creating an extra running forward after Braith Anasta was moved into the halves. The Tigers side is now all over the place and I don’t think I can tip them while they are in disarray.
It could be premature to say, but the Dragons have gone from a team in disarray to a side that has won their last two games and look to have built something. A hat-trick of wins would be a great boost to their confidence. Jason Nightingale moves to fullback for the injured Gerard Beale and Daniel Vidot slots into the right wing position.
Mike’s Tip: Dragons
Mike’s Suggested Bet: Dragons -3.5 @ $1.80 (Centrebet)
Mike’s Best Bet: None
($1.66) GOLD COAST TITANS v PARRAMATTA EELS ($2.25)
Sunday 14th April, 6:30pm, Skilled Park
TITANS: William Zillman, Kevin Gordon, Steve Michaels, Jamal Idris, David Mead, Beau Henry, Albert Kelly, Luke Douglas, Beau Falloon, Nate Myles, Greg Bird, Luke O’Dwyer, Ashley Harrison. Interchange: Luke Bailey, Ryan James, Mark Minichiello, Anthony Don
EELS: Jarryd Hayne (c), Ken Sio, Ryan Morgan, Cheyse Blair, Vai Toutai, Luke Kelly, Chris Sandow, Mitch Allgood, Matt Keating, Tim Mannah, Reni Maitua (c), Ben Smith, Joseph Paulo. Interchange: Ben Roberts, Darcy Lussick, Fuifui Moimoi, Kelepi Tanginoa
The Eels kept their confidence alive by beating the Sharks at Shark Park last week and in Round 6 they could be presented a golden opportunity to take down an injury riddled Titans squad.
We are likely going to have to wait right up until kick off to find out the final line up but as of Saturday halves Aiden Sezer and Albert Kelly are somewhat in doubt. Add to that injuries to Brad Takairangi, Matt Srama and Dave Taylor’s inter-club suspension and you have a weakened Gold Coast team.
Again, with all the doubt over who will play I’m not going to suggest a bet for this one. I would lean towards the Gold Coast but the weather is looking to be wet and the rain would bring the Eels back closer to the Titans
Mike’s Tip: Titans
Mike’s Suggested Bet:None
Mike’s Best Bet: None
You can follow me on twitter @TheLongHardLook
Mike, I was going to follow you and not touch the Storm finals preview but couldn’t resist a 11/10 storm in play match win result bet early on in game.
I actually thought with all the Rabbitohs prematch hype that the home side may just do it.
Then reality kicked in! How or who can beat Melbourne?
They just click up to another level when required don’t they.
The Roosters looking good this year, didn’t expect the Bulldogs to implode like that though.
For sure mate, the Storm proved to be more classy than the Bunnies. As for the Bulldogs, i thought they would have a slow start to the season but nothing like what is happening now!