Sunday’s NRL action starts at Leichhardt Oval in the afternoon with the Tigers hosting the Knights. The round then concludes with the Titans desperately looking to end a 12 game losing streak as they face the Eels on the Gold Coast.
Sunday, March 22 4:05pm
The Tigers and Knights will both be looking for a 2-0 start this Sunday after good performances in Round 1. For the home side, Benji Marshall was at his brilliant best in the Tigers first-up victory over the Dragons. Benji finished with a try, 2 try assists and 3 conversions as the Tigers stormed home to win 24-14. After they were down 12-8 at half-time, they will look to improve on their first-half performance in this clash with the Knights. But after losing halfback Luke Brooks to injury before Round 1, Michael McGuire will be very happy with how the team responded. In team news, they’ve added Paul Momirovski to the bench and Michael Chee Kam will miss out.
The Adam O’Brien era at the Knights started in perfect fashion as his new side crushed the Warriors 20-0. It was the Knights first shutout since 2014 and it’s a great sign considering their defence was lacking at the latter part of last season. As usual with any Knights victory, Ponga and Pearce were dominant with the ball in hand. So the Tigers will be game-planning to shut down both playmakers around the park. While their Round 1 clash was played in wet weather, 13 total errors and 10 penalties conceded are two areas where the Knights can improve on in Round 2. There are no team changes to report at this stage as O’Brien sticks with his winning formula.
The Knights were embarrassed by the Tigers in August last season at Campbelltown Stadium as they went down 46-4. But that was mainly because they had sacked Nathan Brown mid-week. But generally when these two teams meet, it’s a close finish and that’s reflected in the odds of $1.90 for either team in this clash. As such, 2 of the last 4 meetings have been decided by 2 points. So we like a bit of value in the either team to win by under 8.5 points this Sunday.
Sunday, March 22 6:15pm
Cbus Super Stadium will see it’s 2nd NRL game of the round as the Gold Coast Titans meet the Eels. This will be the Titans home opener and they’ll be hoping for better times at home in 2020. They’re currently riding an 8 game losing streak on the Gold Coast and that includes a 36-12 loss against Parramatta. In Round 1, not much changed for the Titans. Their outside defence is still pretty awful as Wighton exposed in the first half as the Raiders cruised to a 24-6 result. The positive for the Titans was their improved second-half performance, which they can use as momentum in Round 2. Their poor defensive effort has cost Tyrone Peachey as he moves to the bench and Brian Kelly will start in the centres. There’s a chance that AJ Brimson and Shannon Boyd could return on Sunday but they’ll need to prove their fitness.
Parramatta kicked off the season on Thursday with a not so overly convincing 8-2 win over the Bulldogs. But winning tight games in the NRL is never easy so I’m sure they’ll take it. Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Ryan Matterson started their Eels’ careers with good performances and Brad Arthur will be happy with conceding just 2 points/0 tries to start the year. Their outside backs should be licking their lips as they meet the Titans mediocre defence. So the likes of Sivo, Ferguson and Jennings are all good bets in the first/any time try scorer markets. Considering, they’ve also outscored the Titans by a total of 94-32 in their last 3 meetings and have easily covered in those games, this does look like a game where the Eels can really get their attack going.
The Titans have been awful at home lately and their outside defence from last week is going to be a concern against the Eels. Meanwhile, Parramatta are going to be rested from playing last Thursday and have a history of smashing the Gold Coast, especially considering their 36-12 at this venue last year. Ultimately, the Eels should win this comfortably and if so, the Titans will be chasing quick points in the second half. So we do like the chances of this going Over the total.
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