NRL ROUND 17 PREVIEW
Storm v Broncos
Friday, 05/07, 7:35PM, AAMI Park
Storm: Billy Slater, Sisa Waqa, Will Chambers, Maurice Blair, Justin O’Neill, Brett Finch, Cooper Cronk, Jesse Bromwich, Cameron Smith, Bryan Norrie, Kevin Proctor, Ryan Hoffman, Ryan Hinchcliffe. Interchange: Jordan McLean, Tohu Harris, Siosaia Vave, Slade Griffin, Junior Moors, Tim Glasby, Ben Hampton
Broncos: Corey Norman, Josh Hoffman, Jack Reed, Justin Hodges, Lachlan Maranta, Scott Prince, Peter Wallace, Josh McGuire, Andrew McCullough, Sam Thaiday, Alex Glenn, Matt Gillett, Corey Parker. Interchange: Ben Hunt, David Hala, Mitchell Dodds, Dunamis Lui, Jarrod Wallace
The Broncos are coming off a loss to the Warriors that has left them reeling in 12th place, two competition points behind the Raiders in 11th. There are only 3 competition points between 11th placed Raiders and the 4th placed Sea Eagles and the Broncos will be pretty desperate to stay within striking distance of a top 4 spot, or at least the top 8. They will be especially keen to win this week while they have all their State of Origin reps available to them. Unfortunately to complete their Round 17 objective they have the daunting task of facing the Storm in Melbourne. The Storm are coming off a loss of their own and will be keen to bounce back and also make the most of their Origin stars’ availability.
Melbourne at home is, 9 times out of 10, a winning tip. And whilst I’m tipping them to win here, I’m of the belief it will be a match that will be much more closely contested than many are expecting.
Mike’s Tip: Storm
Mike’s Suggested Bet: Total game points under 38.5 @ $1.90 (Sportsbet)
Mike’s Best Bet: None
Sharks v Tigers
Friday, 05/07, 7:35PM, Sharks Stadium
Sharks: Michael Gordon, Sosaia Feki, Luke Lewis, Jonathan Wright, Beau Ryan, Todd Carney, Jeff Robson, Andrew Fifita, John Morris, Sam Tagataese, Anthony Tupou, Wade Graham, Chris Heighington. Interchange: Isaac De Gois, Jayson Bukuya, Bryce Gibbs, Ben Ross, Stewart Mills
Tigers: James Tedesco, David Nofoaluma, Blake Ayshford, Chris Lawrence, Tim Simona, Benji Marshall, Curtis Sironen, Aaron Woods, Robbie Farah, Adam Blair, Liam Fulton, Bodene Thompson, Suaso Sue. Interchange: Ava Seumanufagai, Jack Buchanan, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Shaun Spence
The Sharks have retained their 6th position on the ladder despite losing to the Cowboys on Sunday night. The boys from the Shire were competitive for 70 minutes before falling away from the Cowboys and suffering a 20 point loss. The Sharks are a different side when playing at home and they return to Shark Park this week to take on the Wests Tigers.
The Tigers are not much chop when playing away from home and despite pulling off an impressive upset against the Melbourne Storm in torrential rain last week, they have a different task at hand for round 17 and probably a more difficult one.
Even if the conditions are wet again, that shouldn’t disadvantage the Sharks who are strongest when driving forward via their front rowers up the middle of the field. It’s the Sharks for me.
Mike’s Tip: Sharks
Mike’s Suggested Bet: Sharks -3.5 @ $1.72 (Sportsbet)
Mike’s Best Bet: None
Dragons v Roosters
Saturday, 06/07, 5:30PM, WIN Jubilee Oval
Dragons: Adam Quinlan, Brett Morris, Nathan Green, Charly Runciman, Jason Nightingale, Chase Stanley, Nathan Fien, Jack de Belin, Mitch Rein, Jack Stockwell, Tyson Frizell, Ben Creagh, Trent Merrin. Interchange: Cameron King, Leeson Ah Mau, Matt Prior, Michael Weyman, Will Matthews, Atelea Vea
Roosters: Anthony Minichiello, Daniel Tupou, Michael Jennings, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, James Maloney, Mitchell Pearce, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jake Friend, Luke O’Donnell, Mitchell Aubusson, Sonny Bill Williams, Boyd Cordner. Interchange Daniel Mortimer, Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Aidan Guerra, Sam Moa, Isaac Liu
The Dragons have now dropped to 2nd last on the ladder after playing some pretty dismal footy on Saturday night and losing to the Panthers. If there had been a shining light for the Dragons in recent weeks then it was in the form of Josh Dugan. However Dugan has had to face the judiciary and by taking an early guilty plea, will not be available to play in this encounter against the Roosters.
The Roosters now sit in 2nd on the ladder by themselves and still look strong. When they met the Dragons in Round 7 on ANZAC Day they had no problems putting them to the sword to the tune of 34-10. I highly doubt they will have any problems here either and I can’t tip anything other than a Roosters victory
Mike’s Tip: Roosters
Mike’s Suggested Bet: None
Mike’s Best Bet: None
Titans v Panthers
Saturday, 06/07, 7:30PM, TIO Stadium
Titans: Jahrome Hughes, Kevin Gordon, Luke O’Dwyer, Hymel Hunt, David Mead, Aidan Sezer, Albert Kelly, Luke Bailey, Matt Srama, Nate Myles, Greg Bird, Mark Minichiello, Ashley Harrison. Interchange: Mark Ioane, Luke Douglas, Ryan James, Sam Irwin, Ben Ridge, Anthony Don
Panthers: Matt Moylan, James Roberts, Brad Tighe, Dean Whare, David Simmons, Isaac John, Luke Walsh, Nigel Plum, Kevin Kingston, Tim Grant, Matt Robinson, Lewis Brown, Ryan Simpkins. Interchange: James Segeyaro, Cameron Ciraldo, Mose Masoe, Clint Newton
The NRL makes a special trip to TIO Stadium in Darwin for the clash between the Titans and the Panthers. In a game expected to boast a temperature of about 24 degrees, the boys from the Gold Coast should be well suited to the tropical conditions. The Titans certainly shouldn’t be complaining about the 6 day turnaround from last week’s loss to the Knights when they spent most of their time standing behind the posts watching the Knights goal kickers before suffering a 46-16 defeat.
The Panthers are coming off a win and whilst I don’t want to detract from their victory we have to recognise that it was a home game against the Dragons who hold the penultimate spot on the competition ladder. The Panthers are a different side away from home and their only away win this year was also against the Dragons.
I’m taking the Titans with one of the main deciding factors being the aforementioned weather conditions which should go against the Penrith side who are based at the foot of the Blue Mountains which itself is generally 2-3 degrees colder than Sydney city.
Mike’s Tip: Titans
Raiders v Cowboys
Sunday, 07/07, 2:00PM, Canberra Stadium
Raiders: Reece Robinson, Jack Wighton, Jarrod Croker, Joel Thompson, Sami Sauiluma, Terry Campese, Josh McCrone, David Shillington, Glen Buttriss, Dane Tilse, Josh Papalii, Joel Edwards, Shaun Fensom. Interchange: Anthony Milford, Jarrad Kennedy, Sam Mataora, Paul Vaughan, Shaun Berrigan, Jake Foster, Dimitri Pelo
Cowboys: Clint Greenshields, Ashley Graham, Brent Tate, Kane Linnett, Antonio Winterstein, Johnathan Thurston, Robert Lui, Matthew Scott, Ray Thompson, James Tamou, Tariq Sims, Glenn Hall, Dallas Johnson. Interchange: Rory Kostjasyn, Gavin Cooper, Scott Bolton, Ricky Thorby, Jason Taumalolo
I’m keen on the idea of the Cowboys resurrecting their season and ultimately finishing in 8th position or thereabouts, and I’m tipping their surge will continue here with an upset over the Raiders. The Raiders have been posted as convincing favourites with the obvious reason being that the game is played in Canberra. The Cowboys generally don’t play well away from home but don’t fare to badly when the games are played in daylight hours. Plus their last two trips to Canberra have resulted in wins and they have 5 wins from their last 5 games overall against the Raiders.
The Cowboys attacking combinations are slowly coming together and will improve each week helping them climb the ladder.
Lets grab some value!
Mike’s Tip: Cowboys
Bulldogs v Knights
Sunday, 07/07, 3:00PM, Mackay Stadium
Bulldogs: Ben Barba, Mitch Brown, Josh Morris, Krisnan Inu, Sam Perrett, Josh Reynolds, Trent Hodkinson, Aiden Tolman, Michael Ennis, James Graham, Frank Pritchard, Tony Williams, Greg Eastwood. Interchange Dene Halatau, Josh Jackson, Sam Kasiano, Dale Finucane, Martin Taupau
Knights: Darius Boyd, James McManus, Dane Gagai, Joey Leilua, Akuila Uate, Jarrod Mullen, Tyrone Roberts, Kade Snowden, Danny Buderus, Willie Mason, Robbie Rochow, Beau Scott, Jeremy Smith. Interchange: Craig Gower, Chris Houston, Zane Tetevano, Neville Costigan, Korbin Sims
Round 17 of the NRL makes another special visit to a different venue and this time it’s Mackay that hosts the Bulldogs and Knights.
The Bulldogs are coming off what was a much needed bye after they began a mid season surge which has seen them burrow their way into 7th on the ladder after an extremely slow start to the season. They probably should have won against a depleted Roosters side in Round 15 but just failed to do so and ultimately a week off was timely.
The Knights are coming off a rest of sorts after they thrashed the Titans last week. The game was sewn up after just 30 minutes of play and the side hardly exerted themselves in the monsoonal conditions.
Whilst neither side holds a specific home ground advantage here, I am not a particular fan of the Newcastle team when playing anywhere other than Hunter Stadium. Plus Mackay being Ben Barba’s home town will no doubt bring out extra support for the Doggies.
Lets tip the Dogs to continue their charge up the ladder towards a potential top 4 position.
Mike’s Tip: Bulldogs
Mike’s Suggested Bet: Bulldogs Head to Head @ $1.50 (Centrebet)
Mike’s Best Bet: None
Rabbitohs v Warriors
Sunday, 07/07, 6:30PM, NIB Stadium
Rabbitohs: Greg Inglis, Nathan Merritt, Bryson Goodwin, Dylan Walker, Andrew Everingham, John Sutton, Adam Reynolds, Dave Tyrrell, Issac Luke, Roy Asotasi, Chris McQueen, Ben Te’o, Sam Burgess. Interchange: Nathan Peats, Ben Lowe, Jeff Lima, George Burgess, Thomas Burgess, Justin Hunt, Dylan Farrell
Warriors: Kevin Locke, Glen Fisiiahi, Dane Nielsen, Konrad Hurrell, Manu Vatuvei, Thomas Leuluai, Shaun Johnson, Sam Rapira, Nathan Friend, Ben Matulino, Feleti Mateo, Simon Mannering, Elijah Taylor. Interchange: Russell Packer, Jacob Lillyman, Todd Lowrie, Dominique Peyroux, Ngani Laumape, Suaia Matagi, Charlie Gubb
The Rabbitohs take their home game to Western Australia for the 3rd game to be played in an unusual venue for the NRL. The Bunnies keep moving from strength to strength as the season starts making its turn towards the finals.
The Warriors have hit a streak of form but have a big task in front of them for two reasons; 1. They take on the top of the table Rabbitohs and 2. Have to travel through 3 different time zones to contest this match. Away games can be hard enough without having to circumnavigate the planet to do so and I believe the Warriors have never won a game in Perth at 4 attempts.
The best part of this game will no doubt be the battle of the forwards but we know Souths have the edge in the mobility stakes and this should be enough to get them over the line. The Warriors best chance to counter that is probably through the halves and in particular to utilise Thomas Leuluai’s running game by having him attack the defensive line and more specifically any tired defenders.
Mike’s Tip: Rabbitohs
Mike’s Suggested Bet:Rabbitohs to convert the most tries @ $1.40 (Centrebet)
Mike’s Best Bet: None
Sea Eagles v Eels
Monday, 08/07, 7:00PM, Brookvale Oval
Sea Eagles: Brett Stewart, Jorge Taufua, Jamie Lyon, Steve Matai, David Williams, Kieran Foran, Daly Cherry-Evans, Brenton Lawrence, Matt Ballin, Brent Kite, Anthony Watmough, Justin Horo, Glenn Stewart. Interchange: Jamie Buhrer, Tom Symonds, James Hasson, George Rose
Eels: Jarryd Hayne, Ken Sio, Ryan Morgan, Jacob Loko, Brayden Williame, Joseph Paulo, Chris Sandow, Tim Mannah, Matt Keating, Mitch Allgood, Reni Maitua, Daniel Harrison, Darcy Lussick, Interchange: Ben Roberts, Peni Terepo, Fuifui Moimoi, Pat O’Hanlon, Jake Mullaney
My guess is that the Sea Eagle’s biggest battle in this game will be the one against complacency. Despite the fact that the Sea Eagles have only won twice in the last eight games they have still produced some quality footy. The worst of the performances was probably last week’s match against the Roosters. It was poor by Coach Geoff Toovey’s standards but would have still been good enough to beat the Parramatta Eels the way they have played this year.
So the equation is simple: Produce that good footy once more and this game is in the bag for Manly. But if players start looking for the easy victory then the Eels will keep coming at them.
Brett Stewart loves playing at Brookvale Oval and whilst he has been a bit off his game this year, I’m confident we will see him bag a try or two in this match.
Mike’s Tip: Sea Eagles
Mike’s Suggested Bet: Brett Stewart to score a try @ $2.10 (Sportsbet)
Mike’s Best Bet: None