NRL Round 14
Tigers v Rabbitohs
Fri 12 Jun, 7:45pm, ANZ Stadium
The Wests Tigers will take on the South Sydney Rabbitohs on Friday night as the joint-venture club backs up from another debilitating loss last week against the Titans. Coach Jason Taylor will be looking to get more out of his talented but inexperienced squad soon as the Tigers face a resurgent Rabbitohs outfit looking for their 4th consecutive win.
With State of Origin impacting both teams mildly, Alex Johnston moves to fullback, while John Olive comes onto the wing in his NRL debut. Issac Luke is also unavailable due to injury and will be replaced by Cameron McInnes. For the Tigers, Aaron Woods will be replaced by Keith Galloway with Matt Lodge coming onto the bench. David Nofoaluma and Tim Simona will also return to the squad from injury.
With an inexperienced spine, the Tigers have struggled for consistency in 2015, and are playing a rigorously disciplined side in the Rabbitohs this week. While the Rabbitohs are rightly cut and dried favourites, the absence of Greg Inglis and Issac Luke may detract from the control they’ve displayed in the past. However, expect the Rabbitohs’ experience to give them the edge in this contest.
Bens Best Bet: Rabbitohs -7.5 @ $1.99 (Pinnacle Sports)
Warriors v Roosters
Sat 13 Jun, 6:00pm, Mt Smart Stadium
The Sydney Roosters will play the New Zealand Warriors on Saturday as the NSW club went from Premiership favourites after their massive win against the Storm to embarrassed in the aftermath of their poor performance against Cronulla. Coach Trent Robinson pulled no punches in his post-match press conference after the loss as Blake Ferguson, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Mitch Aubusson, Jackson Hastings and Sio Siua Taukeiaho come into the starting side to cover for the Roosters’ Origin quartet.
Equally disappointed after their loss to the Rabbitohs last week, the Warriors will welcome back Sam Tomkins and Konrad Hurrell from injury, with Raymond Faitala-Mariner and Charlie Gubb also cover Origin duo Jacob Lillyman and Ryan Hoffman.
While the return of Sam Tomkins will undoubtedly be a boost to the Warriors, expect Trent Robinson’s men to respond more violently to their poor performance last week than the Warriors. Despite missing four Origin players, the depth and talent across the board at the Roosters is made evident by the calibre of players they’re using as cover. Expect the Roosters to come away with the points.
Bens Best Bet: Roosters +4.0 @ $1.91 (Unibet)
Titans v Bulldogs
Sun 14 Jun, 4:00pm, Cbus Super Stadium
The Gold Coast Titans will play the Canterbury Bulldogs on Sunday as the Queensland club continue to struggle, with star back-rower David Taylor dropped from first grade due to poor form and an ankle injury to star rookie Halfback Kane Elgey. Nate Myles’ selection for Queensland will bring Eddy Pettybourne in at Prop, while Daniel Mortimer moves to Halfback and Matt White and Matt Robinson come onto the bench.
With the Morris’ brothers absent for Origin, Sam Perrett moves to Fullback for the Bulldogs, while Chase Stanley and Corey Thompson come in at Centre and Wing. Other Origin representatives Trent Hodkinson, David Klemmer and Josh Jackson are replaced by Josh Reynolds, Lloyd Perrett and Sam Kasiano respectively, while Antonio Kaufusi and Herman Ese’Ese come onto the bench.
The Bulldogs’ performed admirably in their dominating display against the high flying Dragons last week, with halves Moses Mbye and Josh Reynolds forming a dangerous combination. Look for Canterbury to continue their good form against the Titans, despite the Queensland club’s recent win against a disappointing Tigers outfit. Bulldogs to come away with the points.
Bens Best Bet: Total Match Points Over 40.0 @ $1.90 (Luxbet)
Storm v Eels
Sun 15 Jun, 7:00pm, AAMI Park
The Melbourne Storm will play the Parramatta Eels as the Sydney club was on the ugly end of one of the biggest comeback wins of all time against the Cowboys last week. After jumping to a 24 point lead, the Eels conceded 30 unanswered points in a worrying performance for coach Brad Arthur.
Will Hopoate will be replaced by Ryan Morgan, with Bureta Faraimo coming onto the Wing, while Darcy Lussick comes onto the bench. For the Storm, backrower Tohu Harris will move to the Centres to cover for Will Chambers, while Cameron Munster, Ben Hampton and Ryan Hinchcliffe will replace Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith. Young Tonumaipea also comes onto the bench.
After their performance last week, it is difficult to tip the Eels to win against the Storm. Despite a raft of injuries and absent Origin stars, the Storm still look dangerous coming into this clash, while the Eels will be desperate for a win in Melbourne to kick-start their spluttering season. Melbourne to come away with the points.
Bens Best Bet: Total Match Points under 41.5 @ $1.95 (Bet365)