NRL Round 11 Preview and Tips





Friday 24th May, 7:35pm, Leichhardt Oval

Wests Tigers: James Tedesco, David Nofoaluma, Joel Reddy, Tim Simona, Marika Koroibete, Benji Marshall, Curtis Sironen, Aaron Woods, Robbie Farah (capt), Adam Blair, Liam Fulton, Bodene Thompson, Braith Anasta. Interchange: Suaso Sue, Jack Buchanan, Ava Seumanufagai, Eddy Pettybourne, Matt Utai, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Shaun Spence

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

We don’t have a genuine form line for the Tigers thanks to their recent spate of injuries that has left them with far from their strongest side. And if they continue to play like they did last week, if you could call it playing, then we’ll never get a form line on them.

There are now fresh rumours that a rift is forming between Benji Marshall and Coach Mick Potter and if there is any truth to this claim then it’s only going to hurt the team more. Whilst this team remains in a basket case-state I don’t want anything to do with them.

The Cowboys’ only potential opposition in this match could be themselves. They have been found guilty of underperforming a few times this year and if they think they are in for an easy night that could become their undoing. Play properly and you won’t have a problem gents!

All I’ll offer for this match is a short priced bet which you can add to your multis.

Mike’s Tip: Cowboys

Mike’s Suggested Bet: A leg for your multi bets: Cowboys to convert the most tries @ $1.45 (Centrebet)


Friday 24th May, 7.35pm, ANZ Stadium

Bulldogs: Ben Barba, Mitch Brown, Josh Morris, Tim Lafai, Sam Perrett, Josh Reynolds, Trent Hodkinson, Aiden Tolman, Michael Ennis (capt), Sam Kasiano, Tony Williams, Frank Pritchard, Greg Eastwood. Interchange: Dene Halatau, Josh Jackson, James Graham, Dale Finucane, Martin Taupau, Tim Browne

Broncos: Corey Norman, Josh Hoffman, Jordan Kahu, Justin Hodges, Lachlan Maranta, Ben Hunt, Peter Wallace, Josh McGuire, Andrew McCullough, Sam Thaiday (c), Alex Glenn, Matt Gillett, Corey Parker. Interchange: Jake Granville, Scott Anderson, David Hala, Jarrod Wallace, Dunamis Lui, Denan Kemp

After getting their season back on track with 3 consecutive wins, the wheels on the Bulldogs’ comeback wagon came flying off last week when they ran into a Knights team on the bounce back from a flogging of their own. The Bulldogs went down 44 to 8 and strangely enough the belting was handed to them in the game when they had their strongest 17 men on the field for the first time this year. I would doubt that another consecutive flogging would be around the corner.

Their opponents the Broncos can’t be taken any lighter just because they are away from home as they have managed to win 3 of their 5 away games this year. The 2 losses were only by margins of 8 points and 1 point consecutively.

I’m tipping the Canterbury side here to pick up the pieces of last week’s mistakes and turn the mess into a solid bounce back victory.

Mike’s Tip: Bulldogs

Mike’s Suggested Bet: Bulldogs -1.5 @ $1.61 (Sportsbet)

Mike’s Best Bet: None


Saturday 25th May, 5:30pm, WIN Jubilee Oval

Dragons: Josh Dugan, Daniel Vidot, Chase Stanley, Matt Cooper, Jason Nightingale, Jamie Soward, Nathan Fien, Dan Hunt, Mitch Rein, Michael Weyman, Bronson Harrison, Ben Creagh (c), Trent Merrin. Interchange: Tyson Frizell, Matt Prior, Jack de Belin, Jack Stockwell, Cameron King

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, Mose Masoe, Clint Newton, Ryan Simpkins

The Dragons appear to have been injected with a new lease of life and that injection comes in the form of Josh Dugan; the Raiders reject who was picked up by the St. George-Illawarra club, immediately helping them to an emphatic victory over the Eels. Dugan has definitely been a welcome piece to the Dragon’s puzzle as they fumbled their way through the last few rounds with fill-in fullbacks. Expect the fast flowing attack to continue this week.

The Panthers are coming off unforseen, back to back wins after first beating long odds on favourites the Storm followed by a 56 point thrashing of the Warriors. Good for them I say, but it’s a different kettle of fish now as they venture away from home soil to the old Kogarah Oval where I believe they will face a test slightly too tough for them.

Mike’s Tip: Dragons

Mike’s Suggested Bet: Half Time/Full Time – Dragons/Dragons @ $1.85 (Centrebet)

Mike’s Best Bet: None


Saturday 25th May, 7:30pm, Allianz Stadium

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

Storm: Billy Slater, Sisa Waqa, Maurice Blair, Justin O’Neill, Mahe Fonua, Gareth Widdop, Cooper Cronk, Jesse Bromwich, Cameron Smith, Bryan Norrie, Kevin Proctor, Ryan Hoffman, Ryan Hinchcliffe. Interchange: Jason Ryles, Tohu Harris, Junior Moors, Lagi Setu, Slade Griffin

Not having won a game for the last 3 weeks sees this game loom as one of vital importance to the Melbourne Storm. The State of Origin period is just around the corner and as much as they would hate to admit it, the club doesn’t boast good results when their representative stars leave to join the Queensland side. A 4th consecutive failure to win coupled with another lean State of Origin period would mean the Storm could find themselves struggling to make the top 4 come finals time.

The Roosters are on a 5 game winning streak and in that time have only conceded 28 points but I’m starting to suspect that a bit of fatigue could be setting in after two consecutive tough games against the Sea Eagles and Cowboys.

A lot of punters this week are of the automatic opinion that because the Storm played out an extra 10 minutes in last week’s golden point encounter against the Sea Eagles that they will be exhausted by a larger tackle count and therefore backing up this week against a winning team could prove too much. But have a look at the tackle counts from last week’s games: Storm 344 tackles, Roosters 343 tackles. That’s a single tackle difference and I’m of the opinion the Roosters did it harder. In their favour is an extra 2 days recovery and a home ground advantage, however motivation will prove to be the deciding factor here and the Storm will have it in spades.

Mike’s Tip: Storm

Mike’s Best Bet:


Saturday 25th May, 7:30pm, Brookvale Oval

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

Raiders: Reece Robinson, Sandor Earl, Jack Wighton, Blake Ferguson, Edrick Lee, Terry Campese (c), Josh McCrone, David Shillington, Shaun Berrigan, Brett White, Josh Papalii, Joel Thompson, Shaun Fensom: Interchange: Anthony Milford, Joe Picker, Dane Tilse, Paul Vaughan, Sam Williams, Jarrad Kennedy, Jake Foster

Will the Sea Eagles have anything left in the tank after making a record breaking 419 tackles on Monday night? The Storm incessantly attacked the Sea Eagles try line only to be thwarted at every turn by A-grade defence that saw both teams walk away with a drawn match next to their names. They return home to Brookvale to take on the Raiders off an unenviable 5 day turn around, but on the positive side for Manly is that the Canberra boys have only won a single game away from home in their last 7 away trips. Amongst Tom Learoyd-Lars, Glen Buttriss and Joel Edwards, the Raiders are also missing a key man in their goal kicker, Jarrod Croker. I still find it difficult to digest that Blake Ferguson is the next best goal kicking prospect. He couldn’t get a kick in a stampede of horses! I’d love to challenge Fergo to a kick off for 50 bucks because he is deadest struggling and this is practically gifting opposition sides a 4-6 point head start which is all that a team with the class of Manly needs.

The Sea Eagles have beaten the Raiders 6 times out of the last 7 meetings.

Mike’s Tip: Sea Eagles

Mike’s Suggested Bet: Sea Eagles -3.5 @ $1.62 (Centrebet)

Mike’s Best Bet: None


Sunday 26th May, 3:00pm, Mudgee Stadium

Eels: Jarryd Hayne (capt), Ken Sio, Api Pewhairangi, Jacob Loko, Vai Toutai, Luke Kelly, Chris Sandow, Tim Mannah, Matt Keating, Fuifui Moimoi, Reni Maitua (capt), Matt Ryan, Peni Terepo. Interchange: Kaysa Pritchard, Junior Paulo, Joseph Paulo, Mitch Allgood, Brayden Wiliame

Titans: William Zillman, Kevin Gordon, Brad Takairangi, Jamal Idris, Anthony Don, Aidan Sezer, Albert Kelly, Luke Bailey, Matt Srama, Nate Myles, Greg Bird, Mark Minichiello, Ashley Harrison. Interchange: Luke Douglas, Mark Ioane, Ryan James, Sam Irwin, Luke O’Dwyer, Dave Taylor

Sunday arvo footy takes a special trip to the town of Mudgee for a clash between two teams that will both be looking to bounce back from losses. The Eels and Titans scored 12 and 6 points respectively last week and similar numbers will not be what they have in mind this time around.

The Titans Coach John Cartwright would have breathed a sigh of relief when big man Dave Taylor escaped any sort of suspension for a high tackle committed last week and the big fella will be fired up for this one.

My selection in this game will go with the Titans due mainly to the fact that the Eels perform so poorly when playing away from Parramatta Stadium. They haven’t won a game on the road in 2013 and only won 2 in 2012.

The Titans are still improving each week and will be intent on gutsing this one out.

Mike’s Tip: Titans

Mike’s Best Bet:


Sunday 26th May, 4:00pm NZ Time, 2:00pm Aust. Time, Mt Smart Stadium

Warriors: Kevin Locke, Bill Tupou, Dane Nielsen, Ben Henry, 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, Carlos Tuimavave, Glen Fisiiahi, Ngani Laumape, Pita Godinet

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, Kevin Naiqama

Despite the Warriors going down by the massive score of 62-6 last week, I have no doubt that they  will come out this weekend and lift in front of their home crowd to put in a challenging performance against the Knights.

The Knights were the ones dishing out the punishment last week when they thumped the Bulldogs 44-8. The Bulldogs were inconsistent in their efforts and commitment throughout the game and the Knights can’t afford to expect the same from the Warriors.

The Warriors have won 5 of the last 6 games played against their opposition but regardless of that stat, I’m tipping the Knights to win. But they certainly won’t have things their own way and therefore I’m not too game to bet on anything other than the Knights straight up.


Mike’s Tip: Knights

Mike’s Suggested Bet: Knights Head to Head @ $1.67 (Sportsbet)

Mike’s Best Bet: None



Monday 27th May, 7:00pm, 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, Paul Gallen. Interchange: Chris Heighington, Jayson Bukuya, Isaac De Gois, Anthony Tupou, Tyrone Peachey, Sam Tagatese

Rabbitohs: Greg Inglis, Nathan Merritt, Beau Champion, Dylan Walker, Bryson Goodwin, John Sutton, Adam Reynolds, George Burgess, Issac Luke, Roy Asotasi, Chris McQueen, Ben Te’o, Sam Burgess. Interchange: Nathan Peats, Jason Clark, Ben Lowe, Jeff Lima, Dave Tyrrell

The Sharks proved that they love playing on front of their home crowd at Shark Park after last week beating a highly fancied Raiders side. Again, this week they get another shot at 2 competition points in front of their fans but must face NRL leaders the Rabbitohs.

The Cronulla side’s defence has been encouragingly solid of late. They would have been slightly disappointed having let in 4 tries last week but overall they should be happy with their efforts.

If any team is happy with their efforts it has to be none other than the Rabbitohs. Sitting at the top of the table on their own would be having massive benefits on the Rabbitohs player’s confidence.

These two sides met in Round 2 and I don’t think it was a fluke that the Sharks managed to finish the game only 2 points behind the Rabbitohs. I’m of the belief that they can produce a similar effort at home. Whether or not they can win is the ultimate question but an expected decent performance would warrant a line bet here.


Mike’s Tip: Rabbitohs

Mike’s Suggested Bet: Sharks + 8.0 @ $1.92 (Sportsbet)

Mike’s Best Bet: None

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