NRL ROUND 19 PREVIEW
BYES: Brisbane Broncos, Canterbury Bulldogs, Melbourne Storm, North Queensland Cowboys.
WESTS TIGERS v NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
Friday 19th July, 7:45pm, Leichhardt Oval
Wests Tigers: James Tedesco, David Nofoaluma, Blake Ayshford, Chris Lawrence, Tim Simona, Benji Marshall, Curtis Sironen, Aaron Woods, Robbie Farah (c), Adam Blair, Liam Fulton, Bodene Thompson, Suaso Sue. Interchange: Ava Seumanufagai, Jack Buchanan, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Braith Anasta, Shaun Spence
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 (c), Elijah Taylor. Interchange: Charlie Gubb, Jacob Lillyman, Todd Lowrie, Dominique Peyroux, Ngani Laumape, Russell Packer, Suaia Matagi
There are a lot of variables that could determine the outcome of this game which may make it difficult to accurately bet on until we have all the relevant questions confirmed for us right up until kick off.
The Warriors side are looking to bounce back from their loss to the Rabbitohs last week in Perth. It was a top effort from the Warriors and has shown that they can be competitive.
In order for the dishevelled Tigers to claim victory, they most likely will need Robbie Farah to back up from State of Origin. Whether he does or not might be a mystery until 30 minutes before kickoff. Another factor that would help the Tigers is wet weather. Leichhardt Oval is from the old school days and doesn’t drain water too well making the ground somewhat of a quagmire in damp conditions. A waterlogged pitch would take the speed out of the Warriors outside backs and potentially bog down the large forward pack they possess.
Finally, there is Benji Marshall who has just announced that he will be leaving the club at the end of the year to play Union and I have no doubts that Marshall would be sulking like a spoilt brat at the moment after not getting his own way with his demands to the club. Can he put it behind him and perform at an acceptable leve? He hasn’t had a fantastic game since about 2011 so who knows what he might toss up in this one. Aaron Woods has also been named to play.
Footy fans, I would suggest not betting on this one until or unless you are confident with the information you may have gathered right before kickoff.
Mike’s Tip: Warriors
Mike’s Suggested Bet: None (play it safe)
Mike’s Best Bet: None
CANBERRA RAIDERS v PARRAMATTA EELS
Saturday 20th July, 5:30pm, Canberra Stadium
Raiders: Anthony Milford, Reece Robinson, Jarrod Croker, Joel Thompson, Sami Sauiluma, Terry Campese (c), Josh McCrone, David Shillington, Glen Buttriss, Dane Tilse, Josh Papalii, Joel Edwards, Shaun Fensom. Interchange: Shaun Berrigan, Jarrad Kennedy, Sam Mataora, Paul Vaughan, Jake Foster
Eels: Jake Mullaney, Semi Radradra, Ryan Morgan, Willie Tonga, Brayden Wiliame, Ben Roberts, Luke Kelly, Tim Mannah (c), Matt Keating, Fuifui Moimoi, Reni Maitua, Daniel Harrison, Darcy Lussick. Interchange: Kaysa Pritchard, Peni Terepo, Joseph Paulo, Junior Paulo
We know this will be a match played out in uncomfortably cold conditions but I doubt even the Eels idea of dream weather would be much help to them against the Raiders in Canberra.
If there were any positives to take out of the Eels’ last match when they lost to the Sea Eagles 50-10, it would be that they did indeed show some flashes of intensity. But I counted about 20 minutes worth of it. They don’t seem to be putting in the necessary effort required to be successful in the top grade of Rugby League. Sure their team has been chopped and changed more than Michael Jackson’s nose ever was, but that shouldn’t affect individual players’ efforts when they need to be playing their best footy in order to keep their spot in first grade for the 2014 season.
The Raiders need to show some improvement of their own. They have lost 2 of their last 3 games and didn’t play much good in any of them. Even their 26-18 win over the Cowboys looked clunky and they were simply the better of two ordinary teams.
I’ll be sticking with them at home but won’t be too game to take anything with massive odds about them.
Mike’s Tip: Raiders
Mike’s Suggested Bet: Raiders -13.5 @ $1.50 (Centrebet)
Mike’s Best Bet: None
SYDNEY ROOSTERS v CRONULLA SHARKS
Saturday 20th July, 7:30pm, 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, Luke O’Donnell, Boyd Cordner, Sonny Bill Williams, Frank-Paul Nuuausala. Interchange: Daniel Mortimer, Mitchell Aubusson, Aidan Guerra, Sam Moa, Isaac Liu
Sharks: Michael Gordon, Sosaia Feki, Stewart Mills, Jonathan Wright, Nathan Stapleton, Todd Carney, Chad Townsend, Andrew Fifita, John Morris, Bryce Gibbs, Jayson Bukuya, Luke Lewis, Chris Heighington. Interchange: Isaac De Gois, Tyrone Peachey, Sam Tagataese, Ben Ross, Ben Pomeroy, Mark Taufua
This match up should contain 6 of the NSW team from Wednesday night’s State of Origin. Michael Jennings, Mitch Pearce, James Maloney and Boyd Cordner are named to back up for the Roosters, while on the Sharks side it’s Andrew Fifita and Luke Lewis named to back up.
Now for the hard part: How many of them will actually back up? If for example James Maloney sits the game out, then the Roosters basically lose 2-4 points by having Daniel Mortimer back up as goal kicker. If Andrew Fifita and or Luke Lewis fail to play then the Sharks lose a fair bit of grunt in defence and attack which saw them struggle to put a weakened Broncos side to the sword last week.
If you’re going to bet in this one I would highly recommend you gather as much info as you can just before the game to aid your decision.
Otherwise sit back and relax in front of what should be an interesting game nonetheless.
Mike’s Tip: Roosters
Mike’s Suggested Bet: Roosters -5.5 @ $1.37 (Centrebet)
Mike’s Best Bet: None
PENRITH PANTHERS v NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Sunday 21st July, 2:00pm, Centrebet Stadium
Panthers: Matt Moylan, James Roberts, Brad Tighe, Dean Whare, David Simmons, Isaac John, Luke Walsh, Mose Masoe, Kevin Kingston (c), Tim Grant, Clint Newton, Lewis Brown, Adam Docker. Interchange: James Segeyaro, Cameron Ciraldo, Jeremy Latimore, Ryan Simpkins
Knights: Darius Boyd, James McManus, Dane Gagai, Joey Leilua, Akuila Uate, Jarrod Mullen (c), Tyrone Roberts, Kade Snowden, Danny Buderus, Willie Mason, Robbie Rochow, Beau Scott, Jeremy Smith. Interchange: Craig Gower, Chris Houston, Neville Costigan, Korbin Sims, Zane Tetevano
The Panthers may have won 6 from their last 8 but their competition hasn’t been particularly strong. Circumstances are becoming very cutthroat around the bottom half of the top 8 and every loss from here on in will really sting. They have the home ground advantage, can they make it count?
For the Knights who have had patchy form in 2013, they are showing signs of turning the corner after winning 2 of their last 3 which included a gutsy 2 point loss to the Storm in Melbourne. Their Achilles heel so far has been games away from home. A win here for the Newcastle boys will go a long way towards impressing me. Recent history is in their favour with the Knights having won 6 of the last 8 matches against the Panthers going back to 2008, not to mention 8 of the last 10 against Penrith at Centrebet Stadium.
I’m backing the Novocastrians to get the job done off the back of a big game from Jarred Mullen who is well in contention for a Dally M medal after voting went behind closed doors.
Mike’s Tip: Knights
MANLY SEA EAGLES v GOLD COAST TITANS
Sunday 21st July, 3:00pm, 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, Glenn Stewart. Interchange: Richie Fa’aoso, Jamie Buhrer, James Hasson, Nick Skinner
Titans: Jordan Rankin, Kevin Gordon, Brad Takairangi, Jamie Dowling, David Mead, Aidan Sezer, Albert Kelly, Luke Bailey, Matt Srama, Luke Douglas, David Taylor, Mark Minichiello, Ashley Harrison. Interchange: Mark Ioane, Ryan James, Ben Ridge, Beau Falloon, Luke O’Dwyer
The Sea Eagles have been rolling along and they aren’t taking any prisoners either. They have racked up 114 points in their last 3 games and their second halves and been scintillating which has been just what the doctor ordered after a lean stretch of only 2 wins from 8 games through the mid season. Glen Stewart is improving slowly with each game from his knee injury and the rest of the starting forwards have been nearly flawless.
Believe it or not but since 2009 the Titans have beaten Manly 5 times out of 7 encounters. 2 of the wins were at Brookvale Oval but I don’t think they can pull off the miracle this time.
I’m not suggesting the Titans rely on him, but they are really missing Jamal Idris in the centres. To add to that pain, Greg Bird and Nate Myles have not been named to play after their State of Origin match on Wednesday night. Overall there seems to be a lack of commitment which was flamingly obvious in the Titans’ last two games where they have conceded a total of 86 points. To face Manly who have made 84 points in their last two games is not ideal and could suggest an impending slaughter on the Northern Beaches.
Mike’s Tip: Sea Eagles
SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS v ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Monday 22nd July, 7:00pm, ANZ 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, Tom Burgess, Justin Hunt, Luke Keary
Dragons: Josh Dugan, Brett Morris, Chase Stanley, Matt Cooper, Jason Nightingale, Adam Quinlan, Nathan Fien, Jack de Belin, Mitch Rein, Michael Weyman, Bronson Harrison , Ben Creagh (c), Trent Merrin. Interchange: Cameron King, Leeson Ah Mau, Tyson Frizell, Jack Stockwell, Matt Prior, Daniel Vidot
I’ll start by pointing out that Greg Inglis is definitely out of this game following a PCL injury suffered in State of Origin on Wednesday night and it’s suspected he could be out of the game for anywhere between 3 -8 weeks. Will his absence aid the Dragons in snatching an unlikely win against the Rabbitohs? Probably not. They’re playing like garbage, Their playmakers haven’t been making plays at all and now Adam Quinlan is getting a shot at the five/eighth position. They don’t have a professional goal kicker; Josh Dugan takes on the duties but kicks no better than the blokes I see kicking down at the park on a Sunday arvo.
The bunnies are good enough to cruise to a winning margin of 4 tries while playing at ANZ Stadium, a ground they relish playing at.
This won’t be a game I’ll take too seriously in the betting stakes so for a bit of a fun bet I’m going to take South Sydney -21.5 @ $2.58 and hopefully sit back with some popcorn and enjoy a try-fest if all goes to plan!
Mike’s Tip: Rabbitohs
Mike’s Suggested Bet: Rabbitohs -21.5 @ $2.58 (Centrebet)
Mike’s Best Bet: None