Friday’s NRL action features two intriguing rivalry matchups in NSW. How will the Warriors respond to Kearney’s mid-season sacking? Will the Dragons be able to stop the Roosters? See our full preview and betting tips for both games below.
(Fri, Jun 26 6:00pm)
An important note about this game is the venue change. Originally, the NRL had scheduled this matchup at AAMI Park but due to the virus cases increasing in Melbourne, the NRL has decided to move the game to NSW at Jubilee Stadium. The Storm come into Friday's clash looking to improve on last week's tough loss against the Panthers. They struggled without Addo-Carr on the wing as Nathan Cleary targeted the inexperienced wing of Seve with the high ball. Melbourne's attack was also just out of sync and the Panthers took advantage with a good showing on both sides of the ball. But the positives for the Storm are the return of both Hughes at halfback and Addo-Carr on the wing on Friday night. So Ryley Jacks and Marion Seve will miss out.
Just when you thought the Warriors 2020 couldn't get any more challenging, they've now sacked Stephen Kearney as head coach. It's fair to say, this decision didn't go down well with the playing group (especially under the circumstances), so it'll be fascinating to see how they respond. Last week, they were no match for Latrell Mitchell and South Sydney as they went down 40-12. With 2 wins and 4 losses on the season, they're still an outside chance of making the top 8 so will see if the coaching change does the trick. In team news, Karl Lawton will take over at hooker for the suspended Egan. Chanel Harris-Tavita has also been included on the bench and should get 20-30 minutes. Ken Maumalo is a big in on the wing. David Fusitu'a and Lachlan Burr are both game-time decisions after suffering head knocks last week.
The Warriors are generally one of the hardest teams to predict and adding a coaching change to the mix will be a tough decision for punters. But they do seem to play well against the Storm as this meeting can definitely be considered a modern day rivalry. The positive for the Warriors is they do rank 2nd in the NRL for set completions and also 15th for errors made. So if they can control their displicine, they should be able to keep this game close and cover this massive line. Considering 3 of the last 5 clashes have fallen under a 15.5 point margin, we'll be backing the Warriors to impress their new coach.
(Fri, Jun 26 7:55pm)
Another rivalry matchup on Friday night football as the Sydney Roosters meet the St. George Dragons. The Roosters are looking a class above the competition again after 4 straight wins and there's not many weaknesses to write home about. They're coming off a grinding win over the Eels at Bankwest last week and they'll be expected to run all over the Dragons as well. Their recent premierships have been built on their defence and that hasn't changed in 2020. They're allowing just 9.5 points per game and also rank 5th in the league for set completions. While on the attacking side, they're easily the most dangerous side with the ball in hand and are currently scoring 29.2 points on average per game. In team news, the status of James Tedesco will be something to monitor as he recovers from a head injury. In other changes, Sam Verrills and Lindsay Collins replace Sitili Tupouniua and Mitchell Aubusson on the bench.
Meanwhile, the Dragons are starting to find some consistency after back to back wins over the Sharks/Titans. Which has also eased the pressure on coach Paul McGregor. But he will know the Dragons will need to be at their absolute 100% best to beat this Roosters team. That starts with their attack overcoming the Roosters defensive structure. St. George are scoring just 15.66 points per game so they'll need to take all opportunities when they get inside the Roosters 20. In team news, they've lost the experience of James Graham in the forward pack. Jordan Pereira has also been suspended and Jason Saab will take over his position on the wing.
In the 2019 meetings between the two sides, it was all the Roosters as they won both games by a combined total of 54-22. So it's pretty hard to see how the inconsistent Dragons are going to get near them this time. So we're keen on the Overs with the Roosters involved as they should be able to score the majority of this total themselves.
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