After just one game last week, Super Saturday is back with 3 blockbuster fixtures. Such is the movement around the country for these games, each match will be played in vastly different conditions. The first two matches feature two Top 5 teams against lower placed opponents looking to gather some momentum to resurrect their 2021 campaign. Then, action heads to Canberra, with two lowly placed teams battling it out to lift themselves off the bottom of the competition ladder.
NRL Round 14 Saturday Betting Tips
Gold Coast Titans v Sydney Roosters
Robina Stadium, Saturday 3.00pm (AEST)
The Titans were out to bounce back from a disappointing loss to the Sharks in Round 12 and faced a tough task against the Storm. Missing players due to Origin selection, the Titans surprised many by coming within a shot of leveling the match with the last play of the game. With the score at 20-14, the Titans had their chance but were unable to capitalise. They were not without hope in the contest either, they had 58% possession, completed at 74% and ran for 496m more than their opponents.
Interestingly, this translated to just 7.8m per carry. Furthermore, they had more post contact metres, equal line breaks, made 13 errors and missed just 20 tackles. As they slide down the ladder, they are in danger of losing hope for the year. They face another tough task, hosting a Roosters team which is entrenched inside the Top 8. They’ve had a week off to prepare for this game after a strong 44-16 win over the Raiders on the Central Coast. After conceding the opening 2 tries, the Roosters powered back to lead at HT 16-10.
Their scoring didn’t stop there, as they piled on 5 more tries in the second half. It was a dominant display; with 58% possession, they completed at 81%, made 9.2m per carry (485m more than their opponents), 604pcm and 6 line breaks. The result was made even more impressive by the stars which were out for this match. In a big week where another of their older players retired due to injury, they will want to make a statement with a strong performance.
Head-to-Head = Titans 8 Roosters 12
At Cbus Super Stadium = Titans 45% Roosters 67%
Last 10 Matches = Titans 2 Roosters 8 – The average winning margin is 14 points for the Titans and 15.3 points for the Roosters. The Roosters have won 6 straight against the Titans, with their last win coming back in Round 10, 2016.
Given their respective standings on the competition ladder, it is surprising (like last week) that the Titans are the team which is more impacted by Origin. They are relying on 4 players backing up from Wednesday, while the Roosters have just the one. The Roosters have made it clear that Tedesco will feature in this match and be rested in coming weeks. For the Titans, Fotuaika is suspended following Wednesday, Brimson is 50/50 with a knee complaint, while Fifita and Fa’auamaleaui will be given every chance to play.
Even if they all feature, the Titans have proven too inconsistent to perform with the likes of the Roosters. A ‘bounce back’ was expected last week but it was still not enough. It’s not as if the Roosters fear the match at this ground either; they’ve won 4/6 here for a great winning percentage. The timely resting of Walker will also work for the visitors, as the chance to rest is destined to maintain the hunger inside of the talented rookie. The Roosters points scoring this season has been something to admire. They average 26.5ppg in attack and 15.2ppg in defence compared with the Titans 20.3ppg in attack and 24.6ppg in defence.
The fact that the Titans average almost as many points conceded as the Roosters have scored is some indicator of how this match should play out. Emotion will also be high for the Roosters; Brett Morris announced his retirement this week while JHW will play his 250th NRL game. Expect a yet another dominant display from a Top 5 team against a side that is only battling away in 2021.
South Sydney Rabbitohs v Newcastle Knights
Stadium Australia, Saturday 5.30pm (AEST)
The Rabbitohs had a week to recover following their bounce-back 38-20 victory over the Eels. After yet another 50-point loss in Round 11, this time to the Panthers, the Rabbitohs needed to find momentum quickly and the Eels were always going to be tricky as they were sitting higher on the ladder. They returning to their brilliant attacking best quickly, scoring 2 tries inside the first 10 minutes and leading 20-6 at HT. Not letting up, they continued to pile on the pressure with 53% possession and a 76% completion rate. In the end, they averaged 9.2m per carry (1,698m total), had 569pcm, 12 line breaks, just 10 errors and missed 24 tackles. There is no doubt that at full strength, this side is back.
The Knights could only dream of such execution. They were again disappointing against the Eels last week, unable to back up from a strong win against Manly the week before. With many suggesting this team had rebuilt their confidence, the Knights faithful were hopeful of another strong performance at home on ‘old boys’ day’. That wasn’t to be though, with the Eels piling on 5 first half tries to lead 22-nil at the break. The scoring didn’t stop after HT and the Knights were eventually defeated 40-4. Worse still, they had to wait until the 75th minute for their own points.
In the end, they only have themselves to blame. With just 44% possession, they completed at 65%, made 479m less than their opponents, had fewer post contact metres (524pcm v 681 pcm) and only 3 line breaks. This execution was compounded by their 16 errors and 34 missed tackles. Sitting 3rd last on the ladder, something needs to quickly change for this club, and it will be a tough task attempting to do that against the Rabbitohs.
Head-to-Head = Rabbitohs 15 Knights 15
At Stadium Australia = Rabbitohs 57% Knights 50%
Last 10 Matches = Rabbitohs 8 Knights 2 – The average winning margin is 25.9 points for the Rabbitohs and 5 points for the Knights. The Knights have won just 2 out of the past 12 meetings between these two sides, while 6 out of 8 Rabbitohs wins have been by 13+ points.
The Rabbitohs made the early decision to rest Gagai and Arrow following Origin, not even naming them to feature. Cook and Mitchell have been named but will be given until Saturday. Whether they play or not means little to the result; the Rabbitohs are the superior team that can score plenty of points. The Knights sit significantly behind them on the competition ladder and have failed to live up to expectations this year. Their effort against the Eels is the perfect form line for this match; the Rabbitohs hammered the Eels in Round 12 and this points towards what will happen here. You can expect a slight Knights fightback after last week. Perhaps if Ponga were also playing, it would be a different story.
Their Origin star, Saifiti, has been named and is expected to play. Regardless, the margin of victory should be large given the points difference between the two teams; the Rabbitohs average 24.4ppg in attack and 20.1ppg in defence compared with the Knights 15.8ppg in attack and 24.4ppg in defence. The Rabbitohs are strong favourites to win this game and as difficult as it is to find value, a comfortable victory appears to be the preferred option.
Left side delight = Johnston, Burns & Walker to score a try @ $5.50 – You can see it now – the Rabbitohs left edge dominating all night with their speed of attack. This should mean all their weapons on this edge get at least one try. Walker has also been thrown into the mix, based purely on his ability to support and take the ball to the line.
Canberra Raiders v Brisbane Broncos
GIO Stadium, Saturday 7.35pm (AEST)
The Raiders are in a deep, dark place now as form alludes them and off-field issues continue to plague headlines. Last week was no different, even with a week off, they failed to stay out of the news. Many would’ve thought that a club which gave up another 10-point victory might’ve taken the opportunity to mix things up. They certainly needed it after a 44-16 loss to the Roosters in Round 12.
After a positive start, the Raiders couldn’t maintain momentum and were poor in their execution. With just 42% possession, they completed at 69%, made 485m less than their opponents, had fewer post contact metres, just 3 line breaks, missed 26 tackles and had 10 errors. It is going to be a long journey back for this team with execution like that. The Broncos didn’t get a break in their season and there was some support around that they could upset the Dragons on the road. Much like the Raiders in their matches this season, they started strong scoring 3 first half tries to trail the Dragons 24-18 at HT. This should’ve been closer were it not for a defensive lapse right on HT.
They were unable to find the same groove in the second half though, going scoreless until the 71st minute, while the Dragons piled on the points for a comfortable 52-24 victory. It was always going to be difficult with just 48% possession, a 70% completion rate and making just 7.1m per carry. This led to just 2 line breaks too; 25 missed tackles and 11 errors is hardly anything to become upset about but it was the timing of these which hurt them the most. If anything, these two teams may be playing for pride along with the 2-competition points in this match.
Head-to-Head = Raiders 14 Draw 1 Broncos 20
At GIO Stadium = Raiders 58% Broncos 40%
Last 10 Matches = Raiders 4 Broncos 6 – The average winning margin is 15 points for the Raiders and 9.8 points for the Broncos. Home ground advantage means everything for these teams, with the home side winning 7 out of the past 10 matches.
Good luck with this game! Two teams, battling for consistency and confidence, do battle with neither appearing to have an edge over their rival. Playing at home would normally hold an advantage (even with a predicted temperature of 4 degrees); instead, the Raiders have just the solitary win to their name, which came back in Round 1. This fails to swing the contest into the Broncos favour; they’ve played 7 games on the road this season for just one victory and have lost their past 16 of 17 away from home.
The Raiders have named Wighton to feature after Origin and following limited minutes, is expected to take his place in the starting team. The same is also anticipated for Broncos pair of Haas and Coates. The Raiders are boosted by the return of Papalii and Tapine to their pack but still find themselves missing key players in their backline. The Broncos have named yet another halves combination, with Karmichael Hunt named to return to the NRL for the first time since 2009; this move reeks of desperation. In attack, the Raiders average 16.8ppg compared with the Broncos 15.4ppg.
There is a large discrepancy in defence, with the Raiders conceding 23.5ppg compared with the Broncos 28.4ppg. Perhaps this is the reason why the Raiders have been installed as overwhelming favourites for this game. If there was ever a game that you should stay away from, this would be it! There is no clear guide on either team’s ability to perform well and it is far closer than the odds are suggesting. Perhaps that may lean you towards taking the Broncos at the line (8.5) but that is still throwing money away.
Stay away and play with the exotics (bets, that is!)
Captains Knock = Elliot Whitehead to score at try @ $2.70 – If there has been a shining light for the Raiders, it has been the weekly effort of Whitehead. He has crossed the line 3 times this year and 2 of those games have been at home when his team has needed him. That is required this week, so expect him to be giving everything when he gets close to the line.