NRL ROUND 10 PREVIEW
($1.57) BRISBANE BRONCOS v GOLD COAST TITANS ($2.45)
Friday 17th May, 7:35pm, Suncorp Stadium
Broncos: Corey Norman, Josh Hoffman, Jack Reed, Justin Hodges, Jordan Kahu, Ben Hunt, Peter Wallace, Josh McGuire, Andrew McCullough, Sam Thaiday (c), Alex Glenn, Matt Gillett, Corey Parker. Interchange: David Stagg, Scott Anderson, David Hala, Jarrod Wallace, Mitchell Dodds
Titans: William Zillman, Kevin Gordon, Brad Takairangi, Jamal Idris, David Mead, Aidan Sezer, Albert Kelly, Luke Bailey, Beau Falloon, Nate Myles, Greg Bird, Mark Minichiello, Ashley Harrison. Interchange: David Taylor, Luke Douglas, Ryan James, Matt Srama, Mark Ioane, Sam Irwin
It’s dubbed by many as the ‘Battle of the M1’ (The main road between Brisbane and the Gold Coast) and it’s on again for the second time in 5 weeks. In Round 5 the Broncos successfully ventured to the Gold Coast and went home 32 – 12 winners against a Titans side without five/eighth Aiden Sezer. Sezer will be in the side this time and his addition to the clash should make it a closer affair than last time.
Of course the battle takes place in Brisbane this time around and the Broncos will be ever enthusiastic to start the game strong after they pretty much lost last week’s match against the Eels in the first 20 minutes.
I’m going to stick with the Broncos again this week. A win for them isn’t far away and an extra days rest compared to the Titans will prove a big factor towards the end of the game as an expected crowd of 25,000+ cheer them home.
Mike’s Tip: Broncos
Mike’s Suggested Bet: UPDATED – Justin Hodges has been ruled out and so have any bets! No bet here.
Mike’s Best Bet: None
($1.07) SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS v WESTS TIGERS ($9.00)
Friday 17th May, 7.35pm, ANZ Stadium
Rabbitohs: Greg Inglis, Nathan Merritt, Beau Champion, Bryson Goodwin, Justin Hunt, John Sutton, Adam Reynolds, Dave Tyrrell, Issac Luke, Roy Asotasi, Chris McQueen, Ben Te’o, Sam Burgess. Interchange: Nathan Peats, Jason Clark, Ben Lowe, George Burgess, Dylan Farrell, Jeff Lima
Wests Tigers: James Tedesco, Matt Utai, Joel Reddy, Tim Simona, Marika Koroibete, Liam Fulton, Curtis Sironen, Aaron Woods, Robbie Farah (c), Suaso Sue, Bodene Thompson, Adam Blair, Eddy Pettybourne. Interchange: Benji Marshall, Jack Buchanan, Ava Seumanufagai, Shaun Spence, Ben Murdoch-Masila
It’s not really expected to be much of a contest between the Rabbitohs, who are sitting 1st on the ladder, and the Tigers who are sitting last on the ladder. The most interesting news surrounding this game is that Benji Marshall has been dropped to the bench while back row workhorse Liam Fulton moves into Marshall’s long held five/eighth position.
The only change South Sydney have made to their side following their win over the Cowboys last week is that Justin Hunt comes onto the right wing after Andrew Everingham took an early guilty plea and received a 3 week suspension for a shoulder charge.
Mike’s Tip: Rabbitohs
Mike’s Suggested Bet: Highest Scoring Half – 2nd Half @ $1.70
Mike’s Best Bet: None
($1.45) ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS v PARRAMATTA EELS ($2.80)
Saturday 18th May, 5:30pm, WIN Stadium
Dragons: Josh Dugan, Jason Nightingale, Chase Stanley, Matt Cooper, Daniel Vidot, Jamie Soward, Nathan Fien, Dan Hunt, Mitch Rein, Michael Weyman, Tyson Frizell, Ben Creagh (c), Trent Merrin. Interchange: Bronson Harrison, Matt Prior, Jack de Belin, Jack Stockwell, Cameron King
Eels: Jarryd Hayne (c), Ken Sio, Api Pewhairangi, Jacob Loko, Vai Toutai, Luke Kelly, Chris Sandow, Fuifui Moimoi, Matt Keating, Tim Mannah, Reni Maitua (c), Kelepi Tanginoa, Peni Terepo. Interchange: Kaysa Pritchard, Junior Paulo, Joseph Paulo, Mitch Allgood
The Dragons have suffered two narrow losses in the last two weeks but Ricky Stuart will make his Eels aware that they are a more formidable opponent when playing at their second home ground WIN Stadium. Potentially making the Dragons even more formidable is the addition of Josh Dugan who will play fullback in his first game since being sacked by the Raiders. Hopefully for Dragons fans he actually puts in some effort.
The Eels are coming off a gutsy win against the Broncos but would have to be the first to admit there is plenty of improvement to be made in both attack and defence. Another area that needs improvement is week in, week out consistency because their first two wins of the season have been followed by losses.
I’m tipping the Dragons at home but they can’t afford to take the Eels lightly.
Mike’s Tip: Dragons
Mike’s Suggested Bet: Dragons -5.5
Mike’s Best Bet: None
($1.73) PENRITH PANTHERS v NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS ($2.15)
Saturday 18th May, 7:30pm, Centrebet Stadium
Panthers: Matt Moylan, Travis Robinson, Lewis Brown, Dean Whare, David Simmons, Isaac John, Luke Walsh, Nigel Plum, Kevin Kingston (c), Tim Grant, Sika Manu, Matt Robinson, Adam Docker. Interchange: James Segeyaro, Sam Anderson, Mose Masoe, Clint Newton
Warriors: Glen Fisiiahi, Bill Tupou, Ben Henry, Carlos Tuimavave, Manu Vatuvei, Thomas Leuluai, Shaun Johnson, Sam Rapira, Nathan Friend, Russell Packer, Feleti Mateo, Simon Mannering (c), Todd Lowrie. Interchange: Ben Matulino, Jacob Lillyman, Elijah Taylor, Pita Godinet, Suaia Matagi
The Panthers can now lay claim to the biggest upset of the year after they sent the Storm packing from Centrebet Stadium with nothing but dejected looks on their faces. Their highly unfancied win sees them just 2 points outside the top 8 with plenty of confidence to boot.
When it comes to the confidence stakes there won’t be too many teams lacking it more than the Warriors. After staying in the fight for most of the game, the Warriors pulled their usual stunt of letting in far too many points during the final 20 minutes of their game against the Bulldogs.
I’m keen to get behind the Panthers this week. I won’t be utilising any lines or margins in betting because as things still stand, both teams are erratic in their form.
Mike’s Tip: Panthers
Mike’s Suggested Bet: Panthers Head to Head @ $1.73 (Luxbet)
Mike’s Best Bet: None
($2.00) NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS v SYDNEY ROOSTERS ($1.83)
Saturday 18th May, 7:30pm, 1300SMILES Stadium
Cowboys: Matthew Bowen, Ashley Graham, Brent Tate, Kane Linnett, Antonio Winterstein, Johnathan Thurston (c), Ray Thompson, Matthew Scott (c), Rory Kostjasyn, James Tamou, Tariq Sims, Gavin Cooper, Dallas Johnson. Interchange: Scott Moore, Glenn Hall, Ashton Sims, Scott Bolton, Jason Taumalolo
Roosters: Anthony Minichiello (c), Daniel Tupou, Michael Jennings, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, James Maloney, Mitchell Pearce, TBA, Jake Friend, Martin Kennedy, Mitchell Aubusson, Sonny Bill Williams, Boyd Cordner. Interchange: Daniel Mortimer, Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Aidan Guerra, Luke O’Donnell.
The Cowboys are hosting the Roosters in Townsville and if they saw how their opponents played on Monday night they will be more than aware that a rapid improvement is required to defeat them. Their form has been scratchy at best and they find themselves 10th on the ladder only because they have run into some easy opponents.
Despite being quite aware that Jared Waerea-Hargreaves will be slapped with a 5 week suspension for a high tackle, the Roosters have named the same side that so impressively went to Brookvale Oval on Monday night and defeated the Sea Eagles. If there were any doubts as to whether or not the Roosters are the real deal then it’s fair to say they have now been quashed.
The Roosters put up supreme defence in the face of any Sea Eagles onslaughts and I can’t see the Cowboys producing the same sort of attack to test out the tri-colours. It’s the Roosters for me as I’ll be expecting Sonny Bill Williams to step up in the absence of Waerea-Hargreaves.
Mike’s Tip: Roosters
($1.65) CRONULLA SHARKS v CANBERRA RAIDERS ($2.30)
Sunday 19th May, 2:00pm, Sharks Stadium
Sharks: Michael Gordon, Sosaia Feki, Ben Pomeroy, Jonathan Wright, Beau Ryan, Todd Carney, Jeff Robson, Andrew Fifita, John Morris, Ben Ross, Luke Lewis, Wade Graham, Chris Heighington. Interchange: Isaac De Gois, Sam Tagataese, Jayson Bukuya, Anthony Tupou, Mark Taufua
Raiders: Reece Robinson, Sandor Earl, Jack Wighton, Blake Ferguson, Edrick Lee, Terry Campese (c), Josh McCrone, David Shillington, Matt McIlwrick, Brett White, Joel Edwards, Josh Papalii, Shaun Fensom. Interchange: Anthony Milford, Joe Picker, Dane Tilse, Paul Vaughan, Shaun Berrigan
Cronulla head into their Round 10 battle against the Raiders with the same team that easily did away with the Tigers last week. The off field attention being given to them by ASADA has hopefully been put behind them, at least for a little while whilst they work to get their season back on track. They have scored two wins in a row and both have been without Paul Gallen who contributes more than the average player when he’s on the field.
The Canberra Raiders are coming into this match off the back of two wins of their own with one of them being against the Melbourne Storm. That particular win sent a message to other teams stating that they know how to fight with the big boys.
This is definitely a hard game to pick and I can’t help but lean towards the Sharks in their first home game for 6 weeks to continue to roll forward with their new found confidence onboard.
Mike’s Tip: Sharks
Mike’s Suggested Bet: Most Tries Converted – Sharks @ $1.70
Mike’s Best Bet: None
($2.35) NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS v CANTERBURY BULLDOGS ($1.65)
Sunday 19th May, 3:00pm, Hunter Stadium
Knights: Darius Boyd, James McManus, Dane Gagai, Joey Leilua, Akuila Uate, Jarrod Mullen, Tyrone Roberts, Kade Snowden, Kurt Gidley (c), Willie Mason, Robbie Rochow, Alex McKinnon, David Fa’alogo. Interchange: Travis Waddell, Neville Costigan, Adam Cuthbertson, Korbin Sims
Bulldogs: Ben Barba, Mitch Brown, Josh Morris, Krisnan Inu, Sam Perrett, Josh Reynolds, Trent Hodkinson, Aiden Tolman, Michael Ennis (c), Sam Kasiano, Tony Williams, Frank Pritchard, Greg Eastwood. Interchange: Dene Halatau, Josh Jackson, James Graham, Dale Finucane, Martin Taupau, Tim Browne.
The Knight’s early season form has seemingly deserted them and in their quest to rediscover the lost magic, Coach Wayne Bennett has dropped Chris Houston and Timana Tahu and brought in BJ ‘Joey’ Leilua and David Fa’alogo. I’m certainly not one to think that I have knowledge anywhere near the vastness of the great Wayne Bennett but I can’t say I agree with the dropping of Chris Houston.
As has seemingly happened a few times this year, one team loses form before bumping into an opponent that is just regaining theirs. This time the team on the rise is the Bulldogs and thanks to three wins on the trot they find themselves on the cusp of the Top 8. A win for the Bulldogs here will put them in the same position they were in after Round 10 in 2012 which is quite amazing considering many had written their season off including some bookies who at one point had them out at $16 to win the competition. They get another bonus this week with the return of Krisnan Inu from suspension which sees Tim Lafai dropped out of the side.
It’s proved hard in recent years to go to Hunter Stadium and defeat the Knights but I think the Bulldogs are more than capable of doing so and putting their premiership campaign right back where it was meant to be.
Mike’s Tip: Bulldogs
Mike’s Suggested Bet: Bulldogs Head to Head @ $1.63 (Luxbet)
Mike’s Best Bet: None
($1.46) MELBOURNE STORM v MANLY SEA EAGLES ($2.75)
Monday 20th May, 7:00pm, AAMI Park
Storm: Billy Slater, Sisa Waqa, Will Chambers, Justin O’Neill, Mahe Fonua, Gareth Widdop, Cooper Cronk, Jesse Bromwich, Cameron Smith (c), Bryan Norrie, Kevin Proctor, Ryan Hoffman, Tohu Harris. Interchange: Jason Ryles, Junior Moors, Maurice Blair, Slade Griffin, Lagi Setu.
Sea Eagles: Peta Hiku, Jorge Taufua, Jamie Lyon (c), Steve Matai, David Williams, Kieran Foran, Daly Cherry-Evans, Brenton Lawrence, Matt Ballin, Brent Kite, Anthony Watmough, Justin Horo, Glenn Stewart. Interchange: David Gower, Tom Symonds, Jamie Buhrer, George Rose, James Hasson
Probably the most modern of the modern day rivals are the Storm and the Sea Eagles. These two have fought out constant top 4 battles since 2007 including 2 grand finals and 2 finals matches.
I didn’t think I would be writing this so early in the season but the Storm are on a two loss streak and clearly fixing a lack of motivation will be on top fix-it sheet for the Melbourne side this week.
“They just didn’t look excited about being here” said Coach Craig Bellamy following the loss to the Panthers. It will be interesting to see what the team does to rectify the problems.
Manly’s season has certainly begun to stutter with two ways to look at it: They have had to play the Rabbitohs and Roosters recently which were always going to be hard games to win. But then again if they want to be taken seriously they need to beat the top sides. And whilst the Sea Eagles have taken both those tough games down to the wire, I’ll be tipping the Storm. The Storm have a fantastic record against Manly at AAMI Park and I’m confident they will focus on nothing other than boosting their intensity levels for this match, and succeed.
Mike’s Tip: Storm
Mike’s Suggested Bet: Will there be a 40/20? – YES @ $3.60 (Sportsbet)
Mike’s Best Bet: None