After a big match on Wednesday night, teams will be hoping their Origin stars can back up and produce the same sort of intensity. Here’s our weekly NRL Preview and Betting Tips.
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Manly Sea Eagles vs Wests Tigers (Friday 7.45pm AEDT)
Daly Cherry Evans copped a lot of criticism for his performance on Wednesday night and he will be backing up and looking to silence his critics. The decision to backflip on moving to the Titans and becoming the highest paid player in the NRL ($10 million dollar man) has caused everyone to put the spotlight on DCE and the only way it will go away is if he can prove he deserves the big pay check.
However, the Sea Eagles are coming up against a Tigers side that embarrassed the Rabbitohs last week without their two best players. The young side began to show what all the fuss was about as Luke Brooks and Mitchell Moses outclassed their higher rated halves opponents.
The emergence of Martin Tapau will also be huge for the Tigers as they look for someone to build a platform next to Aaron Woods. The NSW front rower will back up from Origin whilst Robbie Farah is likely to take the week off to rest his shoulder. If Tapau can put another performance on like last week the Tigers will be sure to come away with a win in this one.
Canberra Raiders vs North Queensland Cowboys (Saturday 3pm AEDT)
The Raiders benefit the most from Origin as they have no players who represent either Queensland or New South Wales. They are coming off of their first bye and will be fully fresh and fit as they take on the Cowboys side who will have four players backing up from Origin.
Johnathan Thurston, James Tamou, Michael Morgan and Matt Scott are all named to play with Scott likely to be the only omission as coach Paul Green will look to lighten his work load. Thurston copped an absolute beating in Melbourne and with the Raiders being one of the more impressive sides this year, I am pickin the Cowboys winning streak to come to an end in this weekend.
Gold Coast Titans vs New Zealand Warriors (Saturday 5.30pm AEDT)
The Warriors had a great opportunity last week to defeat one of the premiership favourites at home, but they let a 14 point lead slip in the second half in what had been a dominant performance leading up to that point. Their inconsistencies and ability to close out matches have always been an issue for the New Zealand side and despite the Titans injury troubles. Chad Redman was signed midweek from Newcastle and will slot straight in at hooker leaving Daniel Mortimer at halfback whilst Kane Elgey recovers from a leg injury.
The Warriors inability to win away from home consistency has me leading towards the Titans in this one.
Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs vs Penrith Panthers (Saturday 7.30pm AEDT)
The Panthers are into their second injury-ravaged season in a row. Last year they were able to overcome the adversity and still make the preliminary final, which gave them big expectations for this year. However, the constant injury load has proven too much for them and unless they can find some health or good form soon, their season could slip away.
Whilst the Bulldogs are in a similar position as the Panthers, they are beginning to put together better performances despite their loss last week without their Origin stars. James Graham remains on the sideline but the Bulldogs will welcome back their Origin players who all had great performances on New South Wales on Wednesday night, however Josh Jackson only received minimal minutes in the sides victory.
Newcastle Knights vs Cronulla Sharks (Sunday 2pm AEDT)
The Knights and Sharks have both had disappointing seasons with patches of good form ultimately coming to an end as they find themselves near the bottom of the ladder. The Knights may have given up on the season as they released Joseph Leilua earlier in the week as he announced he would be using an option to leave Newcastle at the end of the season. This allows for the Knights to begin to look to the future as it gives players like Jake Mamo an opportunity to prove themselves at the first grade level.
The Sharks are also developing younger players but the hype around Jack Bird and Valentine Holmes is beginning to get lower as they are unable to produce the performances of a couple of months ago. The Knights injury troubles will be enough for an away win for the Sharks.
Melbourne Storm vs Brisbane Broncos (Sunday 4pm AEDT)
When these two sides face each other it is always a big match, however it is disappointing it is coming after the Origin match on Wednesday night as both sides will be playing without their stars fully rested.
The Storms season has been dealt a massive blow as Billy Slater will have season ending shoulder surgery that will see Cameron Munster play the rest of the season at fullback. The youngster has already proven he can match it at NRL level but still, the loss of a future immortal in Slater will always be felt. Cooper Cronk is also a couple of weeks away and is likely not to play again until Origin 3. Due to the Injuries and players backing up we suggest staying clear of this match, however the Broncos should win.
TIP: No bet
St George Illawarra Dragons vs Sydney Roosters (Monday 7pm AEDT)
The match between these two sides earlier in the season is one of the games of the year. The Dragons came out on top in that match that saw a halt to proceedings due to the weather halfway through the first half, something that has only happened once before. The two teams will be hoping for dryer conditions this time around.
Josh Dugan and Trent Merrin will back up whilst the Roosters players from QLD and NSW will also be named to play. However, the tricolours will be without Sam Moa who was suspended for making contact with the referee in last weeks win over the Warriors. Moa pats the referee on the back after a decision went against him and he was unable to beat the charge this week.
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Place a bet on 1st try scorer on this Friday night's match this week and if your player scores any try other than the first, Sportsbet will give you your money back up to $100.
Get a boosted price of $2.00 for the Bulldogs to beat the Panthers on Saturday night for a maximum bet of $20.
Place a first try scorer bet on any NRL Round 15 match and if your selected player fails to score the first try but scores the second or third, Crownbet will match your stake up to $50 with a bonus bet.
Friday Night Fill Up! If your team leads at the 60 minute mark but goes on to lose the match , you'll get a bonus bet matching your stake up to $100.
Place a first tryscorer bet and if the First Try is converted you’ll received double your winnings as a bonus bet up to a maximum bonus of $200.
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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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