Saturday action begins on the Sunshine Coast with fans treated to a match involving the dynamic Rabbitohs against the Warriors. Then, it is over the Suncorp Stadium for a double header featuring two Top 6 sides (Sea Eagles & Panthers) against two Bottom 2 sides (Tigers & Broncos). While it could get ugly for fans of some clubs, appreciation needs to be given to the execution of the superior sides. It’s also a chance to add to the account balance!
Sunshine Coast Stadium, Saturday 24th July, 3.00pm (AEST)
In a tricky match, the Rabbitohs just prevailed against the Bulldogs 32-24, forced to work hard for a victory. In a clear indication of how much they wanted the victory, they only chose to rest Mitchell following Origin on Wednesday. The win also keeps them inside the Top 4; but there was a mixture of positive and negatives in this performance. In scoring 32 points, they complete at 78% with 59% possession, made 9.4m per carry, had 630pcm and 6 line breaks. Yet, they allowed one of the worst attacking teams in the competition to score 24 points, double their season average. Interestingly, the missed just 10 tackles.
While still inside the Top 4, they will have to improve remarkably to compete with the two sides above them. The Warriors will not pose the same threat but will be another difficult opponent for them after they pushed the Panthers last Sunday. Producing a strong first half display, the Warriors trailed 16-10 at HT but faced the challenge of playing the entire second half without a player on the bench. This severely impacted their chances of winning. In the end, despite having 54% possession, completed at just 73%, had more runs but made fewer metres (7.9m per carry), had 6 line breaks but missed 37 tackles. The Warriors appear to have slipped back into their inconsistent performances and while not deserving, only being 4-points outside the Top 8 still gives them hope of making the Finals.
Head-to-Head = Rabbitohs 17 Warriors 17
At Sunshine Coast Stadium = Rabbitohs 100% Warriors 0%
Last 10 Matches = Rabbitohs 9 Warriors 1 – The average winning margin is 19.4 points for the Rabbitohs and 12 points for the Warriors. The Warriors have won just 2 matches in the past 12 meetings between these two sides. The Rabbitohs have just 1 win below 16 points in their 9 victories.
The Rabbitohs are boosted by the return of Mitchell and Arrow to their team for this clash and unfortunately, the Warriors will be hampered without RTS in their team. Nikorima is named at 5/8 as his replacement, while they are also without starting hooker Egan, who is replaced by Tevaga. The odds of (Rabbitohs $1.10 v Warriors $6.50) give a fair indication of how most believe this match will play out. The Rabbitohs will want to improve on last week’s flat effort whereby they were limited on both sides of the ball by a lesser team.
They will also want to start focusing on improving their defensive structure as it is currently leaking too many points to be competitive with teams like the Panthers and Storm. Averaging 29.6ppg (2nd) in attack and creating 6.2 line breaks (2nd) suggests that the Warriors will have a difficult time limiting their opponents points. Scoring them will also be a challenge, with the Warriors averaging 19.6ppg (12th) in attack and 4.9 line breaks (8th). The Warriors are 10th for points conceded (25.1ppg) compared to the Rabbitohs 4th (20.4ppg). All signs point towards a comfortable Rabbitohs victory and a statement game which gets them back on track following last week.
Credit where credit is due for the Warriors; a team sitting 14th on the competition ladder in entitled to have their fair share of large margins over the season but that is not the case. Their average losing margin is just 10.2 points, losing just 3 games (Storm twice & Roosters) by 19 points or more, so be wary of the suggested bet below.
Making a statement = Rabbitohs 30+ @ $3.20 – This bet is very ambitious and somewhat under the odds. The Warriors have not been beaten by more than 30-points all year (and they have played the Storm twice).
Double delight = Mansour and Paulo to score a try @ $2 – Both have returned to the starting team this week and will want to make the most of their chance. Paulo ($7) is also worth some thought in First Try Scorer markets, as the Rabbitohs have opened the scoring in a match with a try on their right edge in 2 out of their past 3 matches.
Suncorp Stadium, Saturday 24th July, 5.30pm (AEST)
The Sea Eagles needed to bounce back from a disappointing loss to the Raiders in Round 17 but faced the tough task of winning again without the Trbojevic brothers and DCE. They found it tough going in the first half, as the Dragons appeared to be out to prove a point following a difficult couple of weeks away from the field. Trailing 14-12 at HT, the Sea Eagles clicked into another gear in the second half, scoring 3 tries to 1 and capturing a 32-18 victory. They were always going to perform well with 57% possession, completing at 78%, making more metres and post contact metres, having 6 line breaks and 45 tackle breaks.
Their defence was strong too, missing just 13 tackles. It proved that this squad could perform without their stars. The Tigers were also desperate for a win, after having just 5 to their name prior to Round 18. After an indifferent first half performance, the Tigers looked set to struggled again as they were behind 18-10 at HT. 2 quick tries to start the half and the Tigers were in front and despite conceding one more, went on to score 4 more unanswered tries in an impressive 2nd half blitz. Eventually defeating the Broncos 42-24. The convincing victory will boost the team’s confidence and the dominant victory is no surprise when you consider the statistics for the match.
They completed at 86% with 57% possession, had 25% more runs than their opponents leading to higher total metres and post contact metres, made 7 line breaks and just 7 errors. They will not be pleased with their 41 missed tackles but in the end, their scrambling defence was able to cover the misses and provide a (overdue) pleasing performance.
Head-to-Head = Sea Eagles 17 Tigers 14
At Suncorp Stadium = Sea Eagles 47% Tigers 50%
Last 10 Matches = Sea Eagles 3 Tigers 7 – The average winning margin is 22 points for the Sea Eagles and 13.7 points for the Tigers. Not that it counts for much now, but the home team has won 7 out of 10 contests between the two sides.
If their recent history is anything to go by, the Tigers appear to be a difficult team for the Sea Eagles to overcome. That may count for something but not with markets as the Sea Eagles are listed at $1.10 favourites against the Tigers ($6.50). Their price is down to the return of DCE and the Trbojevic brothers follow Origin (DCE and Tom Trbojevic) and injury (Jake Trbojevic). The Tigers will head into this game with plenty of confidence follow last week’s performance but there is danger that their win against the Broncos could deliver false confidence.
The Sea Eagles will be far more difficult than what they faced last week, and the Tigers only managed to pull away from their opponents late in that match. The Sea Eagles have been in a rare run of form in the past 5 matches, only dropping the 1 match against the Raiders when their representative stars were absent. In that time, they have played 4 teams in the bottom 8 on the ladder, averaging 44ppg and an average win margin of 38.5 points. They are a team who can pile a lot of points onto their opponents in quick time. It is perhaps of greater concern for the Tigers that they concede an average of 29.5ppg (4th), allow 6.4 line breaks (=3rd) and miss 33.4 tackles (4th).
If they do not start this game strongly and maintain this intensity for the entire match, it could get very ugly. With their Finals hopes still alive, surely there will be some fight delivered from this team. Then again, this has been promised before and they have delivered little; just think of Round 5 (v Cowboys), Round 10 (v Titans), Round 14 (v Eels) and Round 15 (v Storm). Perhaps the line (19.5) on offer is not going to be enough once their opponents get rolling.
3 try delight = T.Trbojevic, Saab & Schuster to score @ $4.40 – All three players deliver a positive to their team. Tommy Turbo has the ability to slice through defensive lines, while Saab is great in the air and has speed to burn. Schuster ($2.60) is the interesting one. His form has been incredible this year and given the chance, he would like to add to his season total of 2 tries.
Suncorp Stadium, Saturday 24th July, 7.35pm (AEST)
Still missing their halves, the Panthers chose to name their Origin stars to face the Warriors, such was the importance they placed on that fixture. Early signs were that the Warriors were not going to hand victory to the Panthers easily and 16-10 HT lead for the Panthers wasn’t a true indication of how the match was going. Injuries to 4 players increased fatigue for the Warriors and the Panthers needed little opportunity to counter, eventually prevailing 30-16. They worked hard to control the match; with 46% possession they completed at 82%, ran for more metres with fewer carries (10.4m per carry), made 7 line breaks and committed just 9 errors. Missing 43 tackles will be of some concern for a high-flying team, like the Panthers, moving forward.
The Broncos desire such execution as their opponents displayed; perhaps their 42-24 defeat against the Tigers could’ve been avoiding. In a deflating result, the Broncos were playing well in the first half, leading 16-10 and appearing poised to capture victory. When pressured though, they displayed minimal fight for the result, easily handing success to their opponents. They only have themselves to blame as they completed at 68% with 43% possession, ran for fewer metres/line breaks/post contact metres and made 10 errors. There is no doubt that the lack of experience in this team is having a negative effect of performance. The task of winning another match increases in difficulty and they may be handed a lesson in confidence and fight by one of the leading teams in the competition if they’re not careful.
Head-to-Head = Panthers 14 Draw 1 Broncos 23
At Suncorp Stadium = Panthers 40% Broncos 59%
Last 10 Matches = Panthers 5 Broncos 5 – The average winning margin is 8.4 points for the Panthers and 13.6 points for the Broncos. Interestingly, the Panthers have played their last 7 games against the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium, winning just 2 matches. In saying that, they have won their past 6 matches in Queensland.
Look away Broncos fans, because this game could get very ugly for you on the back of a terrible finish last week. When the game was there to be won, their lack of experience and fight led them away from victory. To make matters worse, it wasn’t as if the performance was against a quality opponent. The Tigers were only 2-points ahead of them on the competition ladder going into that round. Now, they come up against the Panthers, albeit still missing Cleary but they have the luxury of Luai returning to play 5/8. Other changes include Koroisau back to his starting role and Burton shifting back to the centres.
Everywhere you look, the Panthers have the Broncos covered. They have persisted with the halves pairing of Croft and Gamble, with Coates again appearing to be left out of the team after Origin. Neither decisions will likely yield a positive outcome. The line is currently set at 20.5 and it doesn’t appear as though it will be enough. After a few lean weeks of scoring, expect the Panthers to return to their dominant best ahead of a Round 20 showdown with the Storm. The dry conditions at night will only add to the power that this team possess.
It’s Australia’s final preparation for the T20 World Cup, as they head to Dhaka for a five game T20 series against Bangladesh. Can the Australians find a way to combat spin? Or will Bangladesh hand the Aussies a fifth straight T20 series loss? read more
We are getting to the pointy end of the season with just 5 rounds to go following the rescheduled Monday night matches in Round 20. Tonight we’ve got the Bulldogs taking on the resurgent Titans while Cronulla take on a Manly side who are pushing for a top four spot. read more
It hasn't been the easiest period for Australian cycling, but with some changes in personnel can they bounce back in Tokyo? We preview the Olympics track cycling schedule and find a few Olympics bets that we like the look of. read more
What are the best Australian sports betting apps? Punters love the convenience of betting on mobile, so we thought we'd look at the best sports betting apps available today, to help you choose the best sports betting site for your iOS or Android mobile device. We highlight our top five Australian sports betting apps based on the usability and features of their app, as well as key mobile app features from all of our partnered sports betting sites. read more
The best Australian sports betting sites ensure safe and successful online betting for punters. Here's our list of the best sports betting options in Australia. read more
Julian Vallance from Sportsbet takes us through some of the key factors which he uses with pricing upcoming horse races such as performance ratings. Check out his video from Sportsbet here. read more
Over-Round is an important concept for both punters and sportsbooks. It's how Australian sportsbooks make money! All punters should understand over-round, how to spot it, and how to find better value on the Betfair Exchange. read more
Is it a race in two for the 2021 Brownlow Medal? Round 19 may see Ollie Wines and Marcus Bontempelli start to draw away from the pack as we approach the finish line in the 2021 season. Check out our Round 19 Brownlow vote predictions right here. read more
Sam Walsh was the stand out performance of AFL Round 18, and is the big mover on the Brownlow leaderboard, but several Brownlow contenders were in the votes over the weekend's action. Check out where our votes went with our Round 18 Brownlow vote predictions here. read more
The BBL11 fixture for the 2021-22 Big Bash League season has been tentatively released! Check out all of the BBL11 games including the dates for the all-important finals series here! read more
A round full of upsets has left a few of our Brownlow contenders high and dry in our Round 17 Brownlow vote predictions. Check out where our Round 17 Brownlow votes went and our latest 2021 AFL Brownlow Medal leaderboard here! read more