The following are previews with betting tips for the Semi-finals of the 2019 NRL season.
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Rabbitohs v Sea Eagles
Fri, Sep 20, 7:50pm
The Rabbitohs’ finals campaign started with a poor loss to the Roosters last week, a particularly disappointing result given their impressive victory over the reigning premiers in round 25. They will face a depleted Manly outfit who produced an impressive upset over the Sharks last week in a stunning result for the resurgent club.
Sam Burgess will miss this game due to a controversial suspension, despite being named in the 17. Dane Gagai will return in the centres at the expense of Corey Allan in an otherwise unchanged squad. Burgess’ absence in the second-row will likely be covered by Jayden Su’a, who was included in the reserves.
Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler has named only one change as Martin Taupau returns from suspension at prop in a huge boost for the club.
The quality and class in this Rabbitohs squad will see them enter this match as favourites, but the advantage of momentum for Manly should not be underestimated against a Souths team who were comprehensively dominated last week. The Sea Eagles have become experts of the upset victory this year with veteran coach Des Hasler’s well-known ability to get the best from his squad in big games. With both teams fielding a rag-tag back-line and a dominant halves combination, this contest will likely be decided in the ruck with both hookers in Damien Cook and Apisai Koroisau to play a huge role in the outcome. Despite the absence of Sam Burgess, the class in this Rabbitohs outfit should prove the differences but don’t be surprised if this match goes down to the wire.
Betting Tip: Sea Eagles +6.5 @ $1.91 (Pointsbet)
Storm v Eels
Sat, Sep 21, 7:50pm
Melbourne’s near-perfect regular season had many fans certain the Victorian club was closing in on yet another premiership, but their finals campaign hit a major snag after a crushing loss to the Raiders last week in the dying stages of the game. The Storm will now take on an Eels squad who produced the biggest finals victory in NRL history in a massive 58-0 victory over Brisbane. While the Broncos were very poor, the Eels’ dominant performance should instill a welcome confidence against the likes of the Storm.
Melbourne have named an unchanged squad after their narrow loss last week, while the Eels will welcome Kane Evans back into the front-row after a one-game suspension.
Expect a big response from the Victorians after the disappointment of last week. The Storm looked in control for much of the second-half but were unable to extend their lead beyond four points. Melbourne’s main focus will be limiting the Eels’ attack with the Parramatta club’s spine-combinations firing to devastating effect at the perfect time of the year. While the Eels are certainly capable of the physicality to beat the Storm, expect a massive response from Melbourne after an uncharacteristically poor performance last week. Storm to get the win.
Betting Tip: Eels +8.0 @ $1.90 (Beteasy)
Sea Eagles +6.5 @ $1.91 (Pointsbet)