After having a weekend off, the NRL teams return for Round 9 of the 2015 NRL season. Teams will be looking to get in a few key wins before the imminent loss of players to the Origin period. Continue reading for our NRL Round 9 preview, betting tips and predictions.
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Brisbane Broncos vs Penrith Panthers (Friday 7.35pm AEDT)
The Brisbane Broncos are on the top of the competition whilst the Panthers are just clinging on to the top eight. The result of this match will be determined highly by who ends up taking the field for the Panthers. Halves partners Peter Wallace and Jamie Soward could be late inclusions despite not being named as they were cleared to play earlier in the week. It would be a massive boost for the Panthers that will otherwise be basically helpless as they play away from home. There is always an injury cloud circling star fullback Matt Moylan for the Panthers as he dislocated three fingers in the loss against Country over the weekend.
Sydney Roosters vs Wests Tigers (Friday 7.35pm AEDT)
The Roosters are entering this match on the back of a four-game losing streak. They are boosted with the returns of Aiden Guerra and Mitchell Abusson whilst James Maloney showed some promising form over the weekend and will be looking to back that up with a strong performance for the Roosters with him and halves partner Mitchell Pearce pushing for Origin jerseys. Meanwhile the Tigers are coming off of their biggest wins of the season as they made easy work of the Bulldogs a fortnight ago. However, with the Roosters side starting to look more and more like full strength I expect them to put a score on the inexperienced Tigers side.
Canberra Raiders vs Gold Coast Titans (Saturday 3pm AEDT)
Both of these sides have been better than expected this season and are coming off of a couple of good wins. The Raiders had two big comeback victories over the Wests Tigers and then the defending premiers the Rabbitohs. Those two games in itself suggest that the Raiders are a team not to be taken lightly. However, the Titans have won three in a row and are showing that they are a side that can put a lot of points on the board as they have scored over 30 points in all of those victories. The Titans will be looking to score a lot of points out wide and I think the Raiders defence will be caught out by flyer James Roberts.
Cronulla Sharks vs New Zealand Warriors (Saturday 5.30pm AEDT)
The Sharks were brought back down to Earth last week as they suffered a loss to an injury-ravelled Panthers outfit. The Sharks had won three in a row and now have a reshuffled backline that has Ben Barba making his first start for the side in a few weeks and for the first time in his preferred position of full back. He will need to have a big match otherwise he could find himself in reserve grade. Some of the Warriors players would be flying high after playing for New Zealand and earning a victory over the Australian Kangaroos. Shaun Johnson, Ben Matulino and Manu Vatuvei were three Warriors who made starring appearances and I expect them to come out firing and full of confidence this weekend.
North Queensland Cowboys vs Canterbury Bulldogs (Saturday 7.30pm AEDT)
The Bulldogs travel north to attempt to bounce back from a disappointing loss and they will be playing without controversial five eighth Josh Reynolds who will be sidelined through suspension. The puts Moses Mbye back in the halves and it could be beneficial for the side as they are looking for more spark in attack. The Cowboys are massive favourites in this one and deservedly so. After being judged harshly for their performances for Australia, Johnathan Thurston, Matt Scott and James Tamou will be out for big games to prove their doubters wrong. Tamou especially will need a big game if he is to push for Origin selection. The Cowboys will be too good for a side that is without captian James Graham and fullback Brett Morris.
Manly Sea Eagles vs Newcastle Knights (Sunday 2pm AEDT)
The Sea Eagles won their last match down in Melbourne and they welcome back captain Jamie Lyon and fullback Brett Stewart. They will need to keep their run going at home against the Knights who have lost their past four matches. The Knights are boosted with the return of Beau Scott who will no doubt be out to target Daly Cherry-Evans. The Novocastrians have a strong forward pack and with the saga around Kurt Gidley’s future finally over he may return to some good form.
Parramatta Eels vs Melbourne Storm (Sunday 4pm AEDT)
The Eels and Storm both suffered last start losses but the Storm are siting much prettier in the top four whilst the Eels are second from the bottom. The Eels always play better at home and are boosted by the return of the rampaging Semi Radradra. The Storm receives an even better boost with Billy Slater being named to start at full back. The Eels have played brilliantly at home this season and I expect them to again cause an upset on home soil.
South Sydney Rabbitohs vs St George Illawarra (Monday 7pm AEDT)
The Rabbitohs are in unchartered territory as they have lost three matches on the trot. The side even held the lead heading into half time in two of those matches. They lose Glenn Stewart until Round 19 whilst they are finally boosted by the return of John Sutton. There are also rumours surrounding the possible return of Adam Reynolds, however he is an outside chance. The Dragons have lost Josh Dugan at the back and the Wollongong side was unable to win without him in the opening two matches of the season and despite the team as a whole getting better I don’t think they will win without him.
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Ladbrokes once again bring us a great NRL cash back offer this round. Have a bet on any head-to-head NRL market in Round 9 and if your team score 20 points or more and still loses the match, you'll receive a cash refund up to $100. That's not a bonus bet, but cold, hard cash, straight back into your account!
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 Winning Margin bet on the Rabbitohs versus Dragons match, and if your selection wins and your team also scores first, you'll receive a bonus bet matching your stake up to $100.
Place a First Tryscorer bet on the Eels versus Storm match, and if your bet loses but your selection scores a try any other time, you'll receive cash back up to $100!
Place a bet on any Round 9 match in the head-to-head market, and if your selection loses by six points or less, you'll receive money back into your account up to $100! Applies to your first bet per game on the market only.
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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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