It’s party time for those who have a public holiday on Monday and there is no better way to celebrate than with 2 games of rugby league. The Warriors have taken full advantage of this and will provide a great atmosphere for fans in the Central Coast with Dragon also playing. The second match heads down the M1 to Sydney with two rivals battling out to stamp their dominance at Bankwest Stadium.
NRL Round 14 Sunday Betting Tips
New Zealand Warriors v Melbourne Storm
The Warriors have had a week off to think about their agonising 29-28 loss to the Cowboys in Round 13. As tough as it was to take, they only have themselves to blame as they let their opponents jump to a 22-6 HT lead. Spirited in the second half, the Warriors fought their way back into the contest and lead the match by 6-points with 13 minutes remaining. Unfortunately, they were unable to close out the match and allowed the Cowboys to move down the field twice in the final 5 minutes to grab victory.
It was a mixed bag on the stats sheet for them; they completed well (83%), ran for fewer metres (1,681m v 1,544m), had fewer offloads, yet more line breaks and only 8 errors. Being able to grab a victory when it matters is even more difficult this week as they are up against the Storm. Even with a host of players out, the Storm accounted for the Titans 20-14 win on the Sunshine Coast. In an even match, the Storm scored 4 tries to 3 and did enough to overcome their opponents.
They were given minimal chances too with just 42% possession, yet they completed at 78%. For the first time this year, they made significantly fewer metres (1,729m v 1,233m) and post contact metres (588pcm v 452pcm). Uncharacteristically, they also missed 35 tackles over 80 minutes. This game also ties in with a celebration for the Warriors and their fans so an electric atmosphere is expected with many to take full advantage of the day off on Monday.
Head-to-Head = Warriors 16 Draw 2 Storm 28
At Central Coast Stadium = Warriors 60% Storm 67%
Last 10 Matches = Warriors 0 Storm 10 – The average winning margin is 20.6 points for the Storm. The Warriors haven’t defeated them since Round 18, 2015. Just 4 of the Storms victories have been by less than 16 points.
Given the recent record, odds being offered and the form of both sides, it is hard to have the Warriors. A week is a long time in rugby league, let alone two, and many people have seemed to forgot how inconsistent they were against the Cowboys. Still, it hasn’t stopped a heap of people coming out and suggesting they are great value. There are key outs for both sides too; Walsh (suspended) is missing for the Warriors while Asofa-Solomona (suspended) is absent for the Storm. Both are key omissions.
As for the Storms Origin contingent, all are expected to line up aside from Welch. If this is the case, it is difficult to see anything other than a comfortable Storm victory. The last time these two sides met on ANZAC Day, it was a comfortable 22-point win for the Storm. When coming up against Top 5 teams this year, the Warriors have suffered 20-point (Roosters), 22-point (Storm) and 16-point (Eels) losses. To turn around their fortunes ahead of this game appears unlikely. Stay tuned to twitter though, any omissions may change the selection in this match.
Parramatta Eels v Wests Tigers
The Eels were in desperate need of a win to stop a 2-game losing streak and they delivered with force, dominating the Knights 40-4 in Newcastle. Making a statement early, the Eels crossed after just 3 minutes, the first of 5 tries in the first half. They managed to make their opponents wait until the 75th minute to score their first points. It was impressive display; with 56% possession, they completed at 82%, averaged 9.4m per carry, had 681pcm, 9 line breaks and missed just 21 tackles.
They will want to quickly shake their overrated tag, which includes thoughts that they only beat up on teams well below them on the ladder. The Tigers will be high on confidence following their 26-6 win over the Panthers at home. Missing 7 players to Origin, the Tigers were still outsiders for the match. Importantly, they didn’t let the occasion get the better of them. Only a few late tries stretched the score line to flatter the home side.
It was also a performance that was improved on others this year; they completed at 78% with 52% possession, made 1,611m while limiting the Panthers to just 1,361m, made 544pcm and had more line breaks. Strong in defence, they also missed just 23 tackles. This is a team which is slowly turning their performances around and face another tough test in order to prove themselves as a capable team in the 2021 season.
Head-to-Head = Eels 25 Draw 1 Tigers 15
At Bankwest Stadium = Eels 62% Tigers 34%
Last 10 Matches = Eels 8 Tigers 2 – The average winning margin is 11.5 points for the Eels and 12.5 points for the Tigers. The Eels have won 8 out of the last 9 matches, with 6 of their wins coming by 12 points or less. The home team has a 50% strike rate in fixtures between these two sides.
It is no secret that the Eels love to ‘beat up’ on teams lower than them on the competition ladder. This is a major reason why they have a 148-point difference in their favour. Such victories include 36-points (Knights), 16-points (Warriors), 22-points (Bulldogs), 40-points (Broncos) and 24-points (Sharks). Their 36-22 victory over the Tigers in Round 4 just falls short of this category.
The match on that day was played at Stadium Australia and the move to Bankwest hardly helps the visitors; they have a horrible record winning just 10 out of 29 matches played here. The major question is whether the Tigers have turned their season around following 2-consecutive victories. There is every reason to suggest that they are heading in the right direction. When you look a little closer, they’ve been executing better than their results suggest. They’ve averaged 30-points since Round 9 in attack and 21.6ppg in defence; at the same time, the Eels average 26.2ppg in attack and 21.2ppg in defence.
The quality of opponent may have been inconsistent, but it is enough to suggest the Tigers are improving. The price being offered on both sides overstates the capabilities of the Eels. While they are a very good team and deserving of favouritism, the loss of Mahoney at hooker will cause more issues than perhaps they have planned for. The Tigers a worthy of causing an upset but the safer option is to invest on the generous line of offer.