As we enter round 11 of the NRL season the dreaded period is upon us for the top sides as they lose their best players to State of Origin. Continue reading for this week’s NRL preview and betting tips.
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Rabbitohs vs Eels (Friday 7.45pm AEDT)
The Rabbitohs find themselves in the middle of the ladder along with five other teams on ten points and they have struggled since their fourth round loss to the Eels. There was talk of the red and green having an undefeated season but that is almost comical to think when you consider the side has lost five matches and won the same amount. They will be out for revenge against the side that seemingly has derailed their season, however they will be without captain Greg Inglis but his spot is taken by young gun Alex Johnston.
Meanwhile the Eels were competitive last week and a controversial “no strip” call went against them, which would have surely locked up the two points, as they would have been given a penalty right in front. Despite Chris Sandow having a blinder in NSW Cup, coach Brad Arthur has stuck with Luke Kelly at halfback.
The Rabbitohs will continue to struggle without Adam Reynolds leading the way and they have lost some depth in the back row with injuries to Glenn Stewart and Chris Grevsmuhl.
Wests Tigers vs North Queensland Cowboys (Saturday 7.30pm AEDT)
The Cowboys are one of the hardest hit teams in the NRL during the Origin period and this year will be especially tough. They lose not only their halves pairing and the best player in the world, but they also lose their go forward with both of their front rowers being called up for Origin selection.
The Tigers also lose their captain Robbie Farah and front row forward Aaron Woods but they should be able to replace those players better than the Cowboys can.
The form book goes out the window for this one as the Cowboys run of six straight wins in a row matters little without their big stars in the game.
Canberra Raiders vs Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs (Sunday 4pm AEDT)
The Raiders have surprised a lot of teams and NRL experts this season as they find themselves in the top half of the ladder. They were predicted to again struggle and battle for the wooden spoon but coach Ricky Stuart has made some quality signings and the team is working well together as a whole.
The Bulldogs however have suffered due to injuries and suspensions and they welcomed back their captain last week only to see him go down with a concussion inside the first 20 minutes. He has been named to return this weekend but the late mail is that he won’t be right to play, which is a huge blow the Bulldogs. They will already be without forwards Josh Jackson and David Klemmer and also centre Josh Morris and halfback Trent Hodkinson as they were selected into the NSW side.
The Raiders are the big winners during Origin as they lose no players during this period and will be naming an unchanged side to the one that narrowly lost to the Dragons last week.
Newcastle Knights vs Brisbane Broncos (Monday 7pm AEDT)
The Broncos are another side that is hit hard during the Origin period, as they will travel south to Newcastle without Corey Parker, Matt Gillet, Darius Boyd, Justin Hodges, Josh McGuire and Sam Thaiday. However, luckily for the Broncos they have a lot of depth in the side and they have spent the majority of the season without the likes of Body and Hodges anyway. Their backline is still stacked with quality players however their forward pack is likely to struggle this week and their bench is very inexperienced.
The Knights will lose enforcer Beau Scott to NSW and they will still be without Jarrod Mullen who is likely to be sidelined for the rest of the season, as his injury is worst than first thought. Despite this, I think they will be too strong up the middle and they have enough quality in the side to make the Broncos pay when they get the ball in the opposition end.
Take note: Any of the tips in this article are simply the author’s opinion, so bet at your own risk and always gamble responsibly. Also be sure to check out the Before You Bet Twitter Page for all our thoughts in the lead up to bets! Happy punting!
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