Round 2 quickly comes around this week and Friday night football will give fans two intriguing games to watch in very different conditions. Some teams are aiming to build on their positive form in Round 1, while others will be desperate to bounce back from a loss. As usual, Scoobys Tips has you covered with a full preview and best bets for the two Friday night games below.
NRL Round 2 Friday Betting Tips
New Zealand Warriors v Newcastle Knights
Friday March 19th 6.00pm (AEDT)
Despite a new coach, a host of playing changes and still living/playing away from home, the Warriors picked up from where they left off last season in producing a 19-6 win over the Titans. Unlike Warriors teams of the past, they completed at 91% and wore the opponents down in the middle. When attacking opportunities came, they made the most of them. In defence, they were strong, missing just 24 tackles and forcing their opponents to wait until the 73rd minute to cross the line. Signs are positive early on and they will want to build on that effort with a consistent performance. The Knights also carrying winning form into this match after they captured a 32-16 victory over the Bulldogs. Alarm bells were ringing early as their opponents crossed after just 4-minutes; despite this, the Knights scored 5 tries to 1 over the next 65 minutes to cruise to victory. A late try only flattered their opponents on the scoreboard. Like the Warriors, the Knights demonstrated respect for the ball; they completed at 84% and made just 7 errors. They amounted 17 offloads to create second-phase play and missed just 19 tackles. This sets a standard that this game could be a very disciplined (and exciting) contest.
Head-to-Head = Warriors 22 Draw 1 Knights 18
At Central Coast Stadium = Warriors 64% Knights 41%
Past 10 meetings = Warriors have won 7 out of the past 10 matches. The averaging winning margin is 16.6 points (Warriors) and 18 (Knights). The Knights have only been victorious once as the visiting team.
Despite having an inferior overall record and winning percentage at this ground, the Knights head into this game as slight favourites. This isn’t too surprising given the respective efforts of both teams in Round 1. The discipling with which the Warriors displayed should also count for something; they will be out to build on this effort, while an overlooked factor is the return of Nathan Brown. The loss of Aitken in the centres impacts their attack to some extent. The Knights will take the same 17 players, with a few positional/bench adjustments being the only changes; this is important news as it means both Kurt Mann and Bradman Best will take their place in the team. It is meant to be a very wet contest on Friday evening, and this should mean a close contest. Overlooking the averaging winning margin of each team recently, the ideal investment appears to be around a tight match.
Either Team by Under 6.5 Points
Gold Coast Titans v Brisbane Broncos
Friday March 19th 8.05pm (AEDT)
The Titans season didn’t get off to the ideal start last Saturday, suffering a 19-6 loss to a disciplined Warriors team. Expectations were high and the signs out of that game suggest that this team has a fair way to go before they will be considered a contender. It took them 73 minutes to cross for their first try, while also committing 15 total errors and losing momentum at crucial stages of the match. This was all while averaging slightly more metres per carry than the Warriors and missing 25 tackles. The Broncos were a different team from the one which ran out in 2020 and produced lacklustre performances. They displayed pride in the jersey and executed accordingly in the first half, taking a 16-nil lead into HT over the Eels. Injuries and player fatigue eventually took its toll on the squad though and as they were reduced to 1-player on the bench, the Eels came storming back to score 24-unanswered points. The positive signs are evident though by completing at 85% with just 46% possession, while also managing 14 offloads and 5 line breaks. They still have areas to improve on though, committing 13 total errors, 38 missed tackles and averaging just below 9m per carry. Nevertheless, with pride restored, the Broncos are heading back in the right direction and the challenge now is for the players to maintain this standard.
Head-to-Head = Titans 9 Broncos 20
At Cbus Super Stadium = Titans 45% Broncos 64%
Past 10 meetings = Broncos have won 6 out of the past 10 matches (the Titans have won 3 out of the past 5, including both matches last year). The averaging winning margin is 12.5 points (Titans) and 22.7 points (Broncos). The Broncos margin is impacted by a 54-nil & 34-nil victories.
The price offered on the Titans is certainly under the mark given their Round 1 performance and a need to still prove themselves a capable 80-minute team. The same can be said for the Broncos, who failed to close out the Eels when it mattered most. The Titans have just the one change ahead of this match, with Brian Kelly (injury) replaced by Phillip Sami in the centres, with the Broncos replacing Matt Lodge (injury) with Thomas Flegler in the starting side and Rhys Kennedy on the bench. It is still too early in the season to invest on either team with confidence and both are winning chances. The Titans have a slight edge given the home ground advantage, but their record suggests they may struggle to use this to their favour. Nevertheless, the match should be won by them at the end of 80 minutes.