The Bulldogs return to their spiritual home at Belmore for the first time since round 11 2019, where they will take on the St George Illawarra Dragons. The Dragons snapped a two-game losing streak with a closely fought 24-18 victory over the Warriors last week and will look to keep pace with the top 8 with a win over the last placed Bulldogs here. The Bulldogs are treading water, and with Interim Head Coach Mick Potter at the helm, need a positive result as much as anyone.
In game two, the rejuvenated Raiders will play host to the Eels at GIO Stadium, with both teams no doubt desperate for a win before the State of Origin season begins. The Eels have shown glimpses this year of a team that could fight for the Premiership, however coach Brad Arthur will be looking for more consistency, having not won back-to-back games since rounds 4 and 5. The Raiders meanwhile have looked much better over the past month, with big wins over the Sharks and Rabbitohs the past fortnight.
NRL Round 12 Sunday Betting Tips
Canterbury Bulldogs vs St George Illawarra Dragons
Belmore Sports Ground, Sunday 29th May, 2:00pm (AEST)
1. Matt Dufty 2. Jacob Kiraz 3. Aaron Schoupp 4. Jake Averillo 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Matt Burton 7. Kyle Flanagan 8. Luke Thompson 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Corey Waddell 12. Max King 13. Josh Jackson. INTERCHANGE: 14. Zach Dockar-Clay 15. Tevita Pangai Junior 16. Chris Patolo 17. Raymond Faitala-Mariner. RESERVES: 19. Jackson Topine 20. Brandon Wakeham 21. Joe Stimson 22. Declan Casey 23. Jayden Okunbor 24. Paul Alamoti 25. Ava Seumanufagai
St George Illawarra Dragons
1. Cody Ramsey 2. Mathew Feagai 3. Moses Suli 4. Zac Lomax 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Talatau Amone 7. Ben Hunt 8. Francis Molo 9. Moses Mbye 10. Blake Lawrie 11. Jack Bird 12. Tariq Sims 13. Jack de Belin. INTERCHANGE: 14. Andrew McCullough 15. Aaron Woods 16. Michael Molo 17. Tyrell Fuimaono. RESERVES: 18. Jack Gosiewski 19. Tautau Moga 20. Jayden Sullivan 21. Tyrell Sloan 22. Josh Kerr 23. Jackson Ford 24. Jaiyden Hunt
The Bulldogs are an absolute basket case at the moment; however, they must consider this game against the Dragons as an opportunity to get their 3rd win of the season. After Head Coach Trent Barrett was shown the door prior to round 11, the Bulldogs will more than likely be using the rest of this season to evaluate players on their roster that could help this team moving forward and identifying dead wood to get rid of. Added to this, speculation will be rife until they appoint a new Head Coach for season 2022, making Interim coach Potter’s job exceedingly difficult. I’ve no doubt Gould will be in Potter’s ear, meaning Potter is little more than a puppet for the rest of the season.
The Dragons meanwhile are having another season where they appear to be just making up the numbers. Their attacking and defensive numbers have them trending towards a bottom 4 position this year, but they will be desperate to beat the Bulldogs here in a game that they should be winning. Will coach Griffin stick strong with the same spine as last week or continue to make changes week to week. It appears the coach can’t settle on a best 17, and this is making it difficult for the team to gel.
I hate that I’m leaning this way, however I play my numbers and all my numbers say the Bulldogs are the side to back here. Small stakes because I just don’t trust them to get the job done, however I think there’s more value in betting the Bulldogs straight up, and will take them at the ML, begrudgingly.
Under 39.5 ($1.91 at Bet365)
Dragons Under 21.5 ($1.91 at Unibet)
$2.50 (1 Unit)
Canberra Raiders vs Parramatta Eels
GIO Stadium, Sunday 29th May, 4:05pm (AEST)
1. Xavier Savage 2. Nick Cotric 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Matthew Timoko 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Jack Wighton 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Josh Papali’i 9. Zac Woolford 10. Joseph Tapine 11. Hudson Young 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Adam Elliott. INTERCHANGE: 14. Tom Starling 15. Ryan Sutton 16. Sebastian Kris 17. Corey Horsburgh. RESERVES: 18. Brad Schneider 19. Harry Rushton 20. James Schiller 21. Corey Harawira-Naera 22. Trey Mooney 23. Emre Guler 24. Matt Frawley
1. Clint Gutherson 2. Waqa Blake 3. Viliami Penisini 4. Tom Opacic 5. Bailey Simonsson 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Marata Niukore 13. Isaiah Papali’i. INTERCHANGE: 14. Makahesi Makatoa 15. Ryan Matterson 16. Oregon Kaufusi 17. Nathan Brown. RESERVES: 18. Bryce Cartwright 19. Jakob Arthur 20. Mitch Rein 21. Hayze Perham 22. Sean Russell 23. Ky Rodwell 24. Maika Sivo
I’m really looking forward to this game. It should give us a great insight as to whether the Raiders are back in contention for a top 8 spot, whilst also giving the Eels a chance to strengthen their position within the top 8 and have them keep pace with the Queensland teams for a top 4 position.
The Raiders are coming off the back of two very impressive victories, hammering the Sharks 30-10 in Magic Round, and following that up with a dominant win over the Rabbitohs last week in Dubbo. Back home at GIO Stadium, they will be backed by a once again expectant crowd and can show they are worthy of a top 8 spot with a big performance here.
The Eels on the other hand have struggled for consistency recently. Since their amazing win over the Panthers, they’ve lost to the Roosters and squeezed past a poor Sea Eagles team. They appear to be just meandering through this mid-point of the season, and with Origin just around the corner need to win here to keep pace with the top 4.
The Eels came to Canberra last year and destroyed the Raiders, so they won’t be scared heading to the Nation’s Capital. The Sunday afternoon also plays into the Eels hands, with the warm winter sun keeping conditions bearable. Whilst both teams’ defensive numbers are comparable over the season, the Eels attack is far more explosive than the Raiders. With most of the teams above the Eels winning already this weekend, a big performance is surely incoming, and I’ll side with the away team in this one. Whilst the Raiders have been impressive the last few weeks, and the return of Jamal Fogarty at halfback is a good sign moving forward, I believe the combination of Fogarty and Wighton may take a few weeks to truly gel.
Double - Raiders HT/Eels FT ($7.50 at Bet365)
$1.95 (2 Units)