It’s not the most exciting game to open Super Saturday action, but the quality intensifies the longer the day progresses. The Titans will look to return to winning form early after dropping out of the Top 8 recently, but the Bulldogs will want to lift themselves off the bottom of the ladder win a win. Later, the Roosters will continue to prove their doubters wrong in the face of a very desperate Broncos outfit. To end proceedings, the Raiders will want to restore pride to their club up against the high-flying Storm.
NRL Round 11 Saturday Betting Tips
Gold Coast Titans v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Cbus Super Stadium, Saturday 3.00pm (AEST)
The Titans faced a tough task to close out Magic Round 2021, playing the competition-leading Panthers team high on confidence. The match went according to plan too, with the Titans barely a chance of winning the match. Two tries, 4 minutes apart in the 66th minute were nothing more than a consolation for the inconsistent team. The disappointing aspect for the Titans was that they never gave themselves an opportunity to perform well. With 45% possession, they completed at 76%, made just 7.9m per carry (1,945m v 1,289m), considerably fewer post contact metres (552pcm v 372pcm) and just 3 line breaks (9 for Panthers). To make matters worse, they committed 12 errors and missed a massive 40 tackles. The Bulldogs were also unsuccessful against the Raiders but were far more spirited than the Titans. Behind 8-nil at the break, the Bulldogs rallied to a 12-8 lead with 10 minutes remaining. It wasn’t meant to be though, as their opponents scraped home 20-18, with a late try only narrowing the margin. The Bulldogs can be proud of their 88% completion rate (52% possession), 9.3m per carry, more line breaks (6 v 4) and just 5 total errors. Aiming to always improve yet unable to compete for 80 minutes, the Bulldogs will continue to trouble teams and this game should be no different. Given their struggles, the Titans will want to be careful they are not embarrassed by their opponents.
Head-to-Head = Titans 9 Bulldogs 9
At Cbus Super Stadium = Titans 45% Bulldogs 43%
Last 10 Matches = Titans 6 Bulldogs 4 – The average winning margin for both teams is 10.3 points. The past 4 games have been won by the away team.
The Titans are deserving favourites in this game based solely on the potential of both sides, but the $1.16-$1.20 being offered is ridiculous for a team that has won just one of their past five matches. Sure, the Bulldogs have only been victorious once this year; however, their execution and spirit has been at a consistent level compared with the Titans. It is a tricky game for the home side too; they were a team which was expected to perform well this season and a loss would surely destroy majority of their chances to make the Top 8. Fact is, they are a team which is unable to contend with the leading teams in the competition but can defeat teams below them on the ladder. It is no surprise that their 4 wins this year have come against the Knights (11th), Cowboys (12th), Tigers (13th) and Broncos (15th) (but lost to them in Round 8). The major difference between these two teams is the points they score/concede. The Titans score an average of 23ppg and concede 26.7ppg compared with the Bulldogs 11ppg on attack and 30ppg in defence. Even with a higher completion percentage (80.6% - Bulldogs (1st) v 76.1% - Titans (13th)), it is what they do with the ball which counts most of all. It wasn’t until the Raiders were down to 11 players last week that they were able to produce most of their points. I recommend being cautious ahead of this game; the Bulldogs have lost their past 7-matches in Queensland but the worrying signs on the Titans defence leave a lot to be desired from them. All things considered, the line is very enticing, and it fits nicely into the average margin of victory between these two sides in the past 10 matches.
Sydney Roosters v Brisbane Broncos
Sydney Cricket Ground, Saturday 5.30pm (AEST)
The Roosters returned to winning last week, comfortably overcoming the Cowboys 30-16. With the result never in doubt, the Cowboys got within 2-points early in the second half, but that is where their scoring stopped. The margin of victory was somewhat flattering for their opponents, as the Roosters missed 4-conversions. Despite making fewer total metres, they averaged 10.3m per carry, made 10 line breaks and 35 tackle breaks; they completely dominated the middle and the Cowboys were powerless to stop them. The Broncos will want to reverse their fortunes from last week, otherwise they too could be overpowered easily. With the crowd set on Friday night after a spirited Broncos performance in Round 9, hopes were high that they could push the Sea Eagles. That was soon forgotten, as their opponents dominated every area of the match. A try before HT gave the Broncos some hope, but that is where it stopped in their 50-6 defeat. It was a game they would like to forget; with just 36% possession, they completed at 77%, made just 1,208m (930m less than the Sea Eagles), 221 fewer post contact metres, 3 line breaks, 12 errors and 42 missed tackles. Coach Walters is facing a tough task ahead of this game and he hasn’t taken a backward step in getting his team ready, with changes to key personnel. It will be interesting to see whether it has the desired effect.
Head-to-Head = Roosters 20 Broncos 22
At the Sydney Cricket Ground = First meeting here since 1998
Last 10 Matches = Roosters 5 Broncos 5 – The average winning margin is 28.2 points for the Roosters and 11.8 points for the Broncos. If you take just the past 3 Roosters victories, the average margin is 45.7 points. The home team has won 7 out of the past 10 matches between these two sides.
The Roosters are deserving favourites for this match and the Broncos look to be outclassed. In a sign of their desperation and increase instability, this game will see the 5th halves combination in 10 matches in 2021 for the Broncos. If they can produce an effort worthy of being within striking distance of their opponents, it would demonstrate immense determination. The Broncos have suffered some heavy defeats this year against classy opponents including 44 points (Sea Eagles), 40 points (Eels), 29 points (Rabbitohs) and 34 points (Storm); alarmingly, they have only scored one try in each of those 4 matches. You never like to assume anything in rugby league, but the Broncos have been so poor on both sides of the ball, you can jump into the Roosters with plenty of confidence. They average 28.4ppg in attack compared to the Broncos 14.6ppg, while in defence, the Roosters average 14.7ppg and the Broncos 29ppg. This further adds to the point that it should be a dominating display from the Roosters. How much they can win by is the most difficult question. With minimal defensive structure or physicality at the line, expect this game to be a comfortable win. Once they cover the line (22.5), there is no telling where this margin will end up. The only concern is the kicking inaccuracy but that should improve after last week.
A real blowout? = Roosters 30+ @ $2.60 – Statistics from the Broncos this year suggest they will find it difficult to halt the Roosters attacking momentum. If they’re not careful, this could get very ugly. Their point scoring capabilities are already questionable, so this is just relying on the Roosters dominating with their attack too.
Canberra Raiders v Melbourne Storm
GIO Stadium, Saturday 7.35pm (AEST)
The Raiders broke a 5-game losing streak with a narrow 20-18 victory over the Bulldogs. It was far from a certainty though, with the Raiders trailed 12-8 with 10 minutes remaining. Despite grabbing a much-needed victory and returning to the Top 8, the concerns are worrying following this match. The Raiders missed 35 tackles, had fewer line breaks (6 v 4), allowed the Bulldogs to average 9.3m per carry and made 11 errors. There were some positives; they made 1,815m (8.6m per carry) and more post contact metres (766pcm v 629pcm) and this suggests that if the game is played in the middle of the field, they are capable of dominating. The Storm continued their winning ways with a 44-18 victory over the Dragons. The Storm put their opponents to the sword after they were reduced to 12 men after 12 minutes. Completing at 78% with 50% possession, they averaged 11m per carry, made 10 line breaks, missed just 25 tackles and made only 7 errors. This effort was with only 1 member of their first-choice spine available and the absence of several other key players. Playing on their home turf against the reigning Premieres, the Raiders will undoubtedly lift for this game but a whole new level of execution is needed if they are to be competitive with the Storm over 80 minutes.
Heat-to-Head = Raiders 14 Storm 33
At GIO Stadium = Raiders 58% Storm 66%
Last 10 Matches = Raiders 3 Storm 7 – The average winning margin is 7.3 points for the Raiders and 15.1 points for the Storm. All 3 of the Raiders victories have been in Melbourne. The Storm have won 7 out of the past 9 in Canberra.
The Raiders are a team which could have one this game in past years but look outclassed here. At the very least, their performance so far this year in the second half of matches is of major concern. The Storm are not a team that will let an opponent get away with such mistakes and the Raiders cannot afford to allow the Storm to gather too much momentum. If so, this game will be decided quickly. To further strengthen the case, the defence of the Raiders allowed an ugly number of metres last week to the Bulldogs and miss an average of 29.4 tackles (6th v Storm 26.7 – 11th). Furthermore, the Raiders only average 19.3ppg in attack and concede 22.7ppg; the Storm average 33.6ppg in attack and 12.6ppg in defence. They are a team which rarely gives away opportunities and this game should be no different. There can be some expected improvement by the Raiders given they are facing the reigning Premiers, yet that will only carry them so far in this contest. Once they get rolling, expect the Storm to limit the Raiders scoring and control the tempo to win comfortably.