The 2016 NRL season continues this weekend as we have had the bye and State of Origin period and there will only be four games played. Continue reading for our NRL Round 12 Preview and Betting Tips.
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Brisbane Broncos vs Wests Tigers (Friday 7.50pm AEST)
If there is a time that is preferable to take on the Broncos at Suncorp stadium, this Friday night is definitely it. The Broncos will be without a lot of their experienced and key players as they will be taking part in State of Origin, however due to Ben Hunt and Anthony Milford breaking curfew at the young Origin camp earlier in the year they were ineligible for selection after receiving a year ban from their state. Queensland’s loss is the Broncos gain as this will help them stay dominant throughout a period that is historically a struggle for the Brisbane side. The Broncos fell off the top of the table after losing to the Cowboys in Townsville. It was another thriller that was settled by a field goal, which makes it the third match in a row that has been decided by one point between these two sides.
Meanwhile the Wests Tigers were able to earn their fourth win of the season against the Struggling Knights but it was far from an impressive performance. Their attack continued to look poor and this was against the worst defene in the competition. They were hampered by Matt Ballin suffering a concussion in the first five minutes of his return from injury and they will need his work out of dummy half and defence if they are to stand a chance this weekend. The Tigers will head to Suncorp with a lot of confidence as they will know this is their best chance to get a win whilst the Broncos Origin stars are out, however the Broncos are well coached and their defence will remain solid and they will earn a narrow victory.
St George Illawarra Dragons vs North Queensland Cowboys (Saturday 7.30pm AEST)
Similar to the above situation, the Dragons will have the benefit of facing a weaker Cowboys outfit as the majority of their stars will be playing in the Origin match next Wednesday. The Dragons will be without two of their best players in Josh Dugan and Tyson Frizell but the loss of Johnathan Thurston, Michael Morgan, James Tamou, Matt Scott and Justin O’Neill will be far worse for the Cowboys.
The Dragons lost to the Cowboys earlier in the season 36-0 and they will want revenge for that poor performance. They have been inconsistent all season and they are sitting in a position that appropriately represents their performances. All season they have struggled in attack and that could be their issue this weekend as the Cowboys will head into this contest with their focus set on defence as they know the points will come. Last season the Cowboys were still strong without their stars and I believe they have a lot of players that will step up in the absence and they are primed to earn a victory for their side.
Canberra Raiders vs Canterbury Bulldogs (Sunday 4pm AEST)
The Raiders are a club that should benefit throughout the Origin period, as they will only lose Josh Papalii to Origin duty. They again showed what they are capable of over the weekend. They put on a brilliant attacking performance against the Warriors and the victory was even more impressive as Joey Leiluia and Jordan Rapana had little impact on the match despite being the Raiders best attacking weapons throughout the season. Blake Austin and Aiden Seizer have been able to remain healthy over the past couple of weeks and for the Green Machine to find consistency these two players will need to continue to develop their combination.
The Bulldogs will be without multiple origin stars as well as Will Hopoate who will no longer play on Sunday’s due to religious reasons. If Josh Dugan is fit for Origin the Bulldogs will receive a boost, as Josh Morris will be released from NSW and able to play this weekend. They will need him as the Raiders have two strong attacking centres in Leiluia and Jarrod Croker.
The Bulldogs showed a lot of attack in their last match but they conceded 20-points and they will need a strong defence this weekend against the Raiders who can pile on the tries when they are clicking. I am backing the home side to get the victory in this one and clear the line.
Newcastle Knights vs Parramatta Eels (Monday 7pm AEST)
The Eels have been surrounding by controversy all season. Despite the Salary Cap drama having half of a resolution and the club releasing players to put themselves under the cap for the rest of the 2016 season the club is still in the headlines for various different reasons. Kieran Foran’s personal life and Corey Norman allegedly having tablets on him when attempting to enter the Star casino have received media attention and has contributed to the side losing their past two matches. The chances of the club playing finals football this season has all but been eradicated as they will be deducted 12 competition points once the salary cap drama has officially concluded.
Meanwhile the Knights season hasn’t been much better but it is a clear rebuilding year for the Red and Blue. The Knights are fielding an inexperienced side and over the past two weeks they have had seven players in their line up who are 20 years or under. They will be without their fullback Dane Gagai who has been the shining light for the side and their spark in attack. He will play for Queensland in the Origin but the Knights have a few other options at fullback.
The Eels defence has been one of the best all season and I can’t see the Knights offering much in attack to attempt to crack it. The Knights could be on the wrong end of another big score line as the Eels will want to return to winning ways and remove a lot of the frustration they have suffered this season.
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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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