The following are previews with betting tips for the Semi Finals of the 2018 NRL season.
Sharks v Panthers
Fri, Sep 14, 7:40pm
Penrith produced a massive upset win over the Warriors in their first finals game after the Kiwis lost their fullback and captain half an hour into the contest. Panthers’ coach Cameron Ciraldo’s troops will be looking to prove this was no fluke against a Sharks outfit who were out-muscled by the Roosters last week with both teams desperate to keep their finals campaign alive.
The Panthers have named an unchanged squad for the clash, while the Sharks will replace the injured Wade Graham with Scott Sorensen in the second-row and Kurt Capewell joining the interchange.
Cronulla and Penrith both excel at the looser, more attack-oriented style of football that has been so effective this season. Expect an open match with offloads and line-breaks in abundance. Discipline will be the deciding factor as both teams will look to starve their opposition of attacking opportunities. Could go either way but expect the physicality of this Cronulla outfit to give them the edge. Sharks to get the win.
Betting Tip: Sharks -2.5 @ $1.95 (Bet365)
Rabbitohs v Dragons
Sat, Sep 15, 7:40pm
The Dragons produced a massive upset win over the in-form Broncos last week to book themselves an elimination finals match with South Sydney. Meanwhile, the Rabbitohs were well below their best, but even so, they managed to push Melbourne all the way in a heart-breaking field-goal loss.
Souths have named the same line-up as last week. For the Dragons, captain and five-eighth Gareth Widdop is injured in a massive blow with Hame Sele joining the bench as Kurt Mann shifts to the halves.
Both clubs’ game is built off the back of powerful forward rotations with particular emphasis on ruck-speed so whichever team dominates the middle should take the game. The loss of Gareth Widdop is a massive blow for the Dragons’ chances with more pressure piled onto halfback Ben Hunt. St George will suffer without the leadership of Widdop and Souths should capitalize on this to take the win.
Betting Tip: Dragons +13.5 @ $1.93 (Bet365)
Sharks -2.5 @ $1.95 (Bet365)