Magic Round meets Super Saturday this week in a promising evening of rugby league. The atmosphere will be electric as 6 teams do battle on the one field over 7 exciting hours. While the quality of opponents may be down compared to other fixtures, each game appears as though it could be high scoring and very competitive. Even if you’re not able to venture to Brisbane, sit back and enjoy everything that this day has to offer.
NRL Round 10 Saturday Betting Tips
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v Canberra Raiders
The Bulldogs have a quick turnaround from their 32-12 defeat to the Dragons in Wollongong. Always expected to struggle, it took them 66 minutes until they capture their first points. Their attacking struggles have been well documented this season and this game was no different; this week, it has led to the dropping of new halfback, Kyle Flanagan. While perhaps warranted, he is not the sole issue. Against the Dragons, the Bulldogs completed at 79%, made 427m less than the Dragons, had fewer post contact metres (619m v 486m), made 11 errors, and missed 37 tackles. They were a team that was expected to battle this season as they rebuild but the commitment of some should be questioned. The Raiders will be thankful they face the Bulldogs this week, as they aim to stop a 5-game losing streak that has seen them concede 93-8 points in the second half of matches. It was a similar story last week against the Knights in Wagga Wagga; leading 16-nil at HT, the game was there for the taking. Yet, things didn’t go to plan for them, and they went on to concede 24-unanswered points to lose 24-16. This was while having 52% possession, completing at 79%, making more metres and more post contact metres also. They had also improved in reducing the number of missed tackles, only allow 24 this week. Nevertheless, questions are being raised about the issues occurring behind closed doors at the club. If similar performances continue, it will only be a matter of time before someone (or multiple people) are moved on.
Head-to-Head = Bulldogs 18 Raiders 19
At Suncorp Stadium = Bulldogs 33% Raiders 14%
Last 10 matches = Bulldogs 4 Raiders 6 – The average winning margin is 8.3 points for the Bulldogs and 10.3 points for the Raiders. The Raiders have a shocking record at Suncorp Stadium, losing their last 12 out of 13 matches at this ground and only have 2 victories in 14 attempts.
If last week was crucial to the Raiders season, this fixture will surely decide their fate. They are presented with a great opportunity to halt their losing streak and regain some form. Not to discredit the Bulldogs, but they are a team which scores an average of 8.8ppg (19.2ppg for the Raiders) and concedes 27.6ppg (23.2ppg for the Raiders). Despite the Raiders struggles in the past few weeks, they should still be too strong for the Bulldogs. They are a team which doesn’t like the trip to Brisbane with a poor record at this ground (majority of those matches were against the Broncos). For what it is worth, they were defeated 30-24 by the Roosters in 2019 Magic Round. The Raiders have been installed as strong favourites to win and, while not deserving of the title, should be too strong over 80minutes. After a tough few weeks, this could be a ‘break out’ game for the Raiders. The return of Hodgson to their team adds another dimension to their attack and should ensure sustained pressure throughout the match. The final push is that 6 out of the 8 defeats for the Bulldogs have been by more than 19-points.
Cronulla Sharks v South Sydney Rabbitohs
The Sharks faced the daunting task of playing the undefeated Panthers team on their home turf. The less said about that game for them, the better, as they were comprehensively defeated 48-nil. Expected to be competitive given their first half effort against the Storm, the Sharks were never given an opportunity with just a 37% share of possession and a 70% completion rate. To make matters worse, they made 1,188m fewer metres with an average of 8.1m per carry, had 423 fewer post contact metres, made zero line breaks (compared to the Panthers 8), committed 11 errors and missed 45 tackles. While the Sharks were terrible, a similar performance by the Rabbitohs the night prior left many dismissing their 2021 Premiership credentials. They were understrength coming up against a high-flying Storm outfit; regardless, no one saw a 50-nil result coming. Behind 26-nil at HT, the Rabbitohs were completely shut out of the contest from the opening minutes and rarely troubled the Storm line. They too were terrible on the stats sheet; with just 41% possession, they completed at 68%, made 765m fewer with an average of 7.2m per carry (lowest of the season), made zero line breaks (compared to 9 for the Storm), had 11 errors and missed 29 tackles. Putting this performance aside, the Rabbitohs are a team capable of bouncing back and overcoming the ’50-points premiership’ statistics given the stars which were missing for this team.
Head-to-Head = Sharks 18 Rabbitohs 15
At Suncorp Stadium = Sharks 38% Rabbitohs 33%
Last 10 matches = Sharks 5 Rabbitohs 5 – The average winning margin is 11 points for the Sharks and 7.6 points to the Rabbitohs. These two sides have a history of close matches; 6 out of the past 10 meetings have been decided by 8 points or less.
It is difficult to match up the form of both sides following their respective performances last week. Looking deeper though, the Sharks were basically at full-strength in key positions (arguably their best spine), compared with the Rabbitohs, who were not only missing key personnel but had 3 out of their 4 regular spine players either missing or out of position. The return of Adam Reynolds, in a week which has had him in the headlines for his impending departure, will provide stability in the halves and allow them to finish off attack sets with positive field position. The competitiveness which was once a strong feature of the Sharks’ performances, appears to have left them with Morris’ departure. There is no doubt that they are a capable team, but you cannot invest on them with any confidence. Last week should only be a small bump for the Rabbitohs and they can get their season back on track here. The attacking power and defensive ability of both teams provides the clearest indication of how this game should play out. The Sharks average 17.8ppg in attack compared with the Rabbitohs 26.1ppg; while in defence, the Sharks concede 25.1ppg, well ahead of the Rabbitohs 19.3ppg. The Rabbitohs defensive structure has proven itself capable in the past and it should have what it takes to hold out the Sharks attacking movements. Limiting their opponents’ points, the Rabbitohs should be able to grab the victory and cover the line. If not, perhaps more is wrong at this club than their past 2 performances have suggested.
Sydney Roosters v North Queensland Cowboys
Injuries again plagued the Roosters in their 31-18 loss to the Eels away from home. Beyond their control, the Roosters were brave over 80 minutes and forced the Eels to work hard to gain victory. It wasn’t until a 73rd minute field goal and 75th minute try that the Eels looked comfortable. This was all while only having 37% possession and absorbing a mountain of pressure on their own line. They will still want to improve their execution; they completed at 70%, made 542m less than their opponents (1,711m v 1,169m), made fewer post contact metres (628pcm v 399pcm), made 16 errors, and missed 35 tackles. In suffering defeat, this team will undoubtedly look to these areas for this match. The Cowboys returned to winning form with their exciting 19-18 win over the Broncos at home and will want to build on that effort. After crossing in the 3rd minute of play, the match appeared as though it could be a free-flowing encounter; it was anything but this as each team battled for momentum and the Cowboys claimed the game via a 77th minute Holmes FG. Their execution was much improved on previous weeks where they had suffered a loss; with 51% possession, they completed at 80%, averaged 9.7m per carry and 525 post contact metres. There are still some areas that will cause concern against better teams though; they had fewer line breaks compared with the Broncos (3 v 6), had 11 errors, and missed 43 tackles. Confidence will be high following that match but they will need to lift another level or two to compete with the Roosters over 80 minutes.
Head-to-Head = Roosters 23 Cowboys 12
At Suncorp Stadium = Roosters 43% Cowboys 36%
Last 10 matches = Roosters 6 Cowboys 4 – The average winning margin is 12.5 points for the Roosters and 22 points for the Cowboys. 50% of the games have been decided by 13 or more points.
The Roosters are a tough football team, and the Cowboys are going to have to lift to another level to cause an upset here. Despite producing some commanding victories in their past 10 meetings, this squad of players lacks the edge of previous teams that have been successful. The Cowboys are still yet to prove themselves as a genuine contender; they have only beaten 1 Top 8 Team (Warriors – Round 8), while suffering defeats to the Dragons, Titans and Panthers. Despite celebrating a club legends milestone (Taumalolo’s 200th match), the Roosters pride themselves on winning when expected and this fixture should be no different. They are boosted by the return of Lam in the halves and Tupounuia in the back row, along with the naming of Walker and Radley after last week’s hiccup(s). The Rooster are a team that is also capable of piling on plenty of points in bunches; they’ve defeated bottom 8 teams by 34 points (Knights), 8 points (Sharks), 42 points (Sea Eagles – start of the season) and 34 points (Tigers). This week should be no different and it should be a comfortable win to the superior Roosters outfit.