Last week’s NRL Super Saturday will be hard to match in terms of the quality of games which were played but as always in rugby league, you need to expect the unexpected. There is still some quality this week and the first game heads to Coffs Harbour for a Sharks home game against the last placed Titans.
The second fixture heads further north along the east coast, with the struggling Warriors facing off against the Panthers. This game marks a special occasion as it is the Warriors last ‘home’ game in Australia before returning to New Zealand.
Finally, fans are delighted with a blockbuster match between the Eels and Roosters.Both sides are coming off a loss last week and will be desperate to remain in contention for the Top 4 come September. No doubt the horse racing tipsters have built a bank throughout the day so let’s maintain the winning momentum by taking a deeper look at each fixture.
C.ex Coffs International Stadium, Saturday 18th June, 3pm (EST)
1. William Kennedy 2. Sione Katoa 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Siosifa Talakai 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Matt Moylan 7. Nicholas Hynes 8. Toby Rudolf 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Royce Hunt 11. Briton Nikora 12. Wade Graham 13. Cameron McInnes Interchange: 14. Aiden Tolman 15. Braydon Trindall 16. Teig Wilton 17. Andrew Fifita 18. Connor Tracey
Gold Coast Titans
1. Alexander Brimson 2. Greg Marzhew 3. Brian Kelly 4. Patrick Herbert 5. Jamayne Isaako 6. Paul Turner 7. Toby Sexton 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Erin Clark 10. Isaac Liu 11. Sam McIntyre 12. Beau Fermor 13. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui Interchange: 14. Tanah Boyd 15. Moeaki Fotuaika 16. Jaimin Jolliffe 17. Sam Lisone 18. Sosefo Fifita
After trailing 12-nil inside 13 minutes last week against the Warriors, the Sharks quickly kicked into gear and didn’t look back, eventually winning 38-16. There was a sense that they never really got out of 2nd gear, while their opponents played well for stages. The Sharks defence was strong and, in the end, despite making more tackles, they missed fewer, and it decided the result. They sit in 5th and will see this as an ideal opportunity to maintain contact with the Top 4 against a struggling Titans outfit.
Their 30-16 loss to the Rabbitohs again highlighted their shortcomings and increased pressure on this organisation. A 76th minute try only flattered them also; the gulf in class has never been more evident, yet pressure on their coach appears to be lacking. They have conceded the 2nd most points in the competition and have the second worse points difference.
The odds ($1.18 v $4.80) are an accurate reflection of how each team is traveling and a fair indication of how this match should play out. It makes value difficult to find and given the Titans are involved, the safer option is the preferred one. Such is their unstable performances, there is no certainty in what they could produce. On the other hand, the Sharks are building nicely, and their combinations are looking more comfortable. The game is theirs to lose.
Sharks 13-18 ($5.00)
Talakai, Mulitalo & Hynes Tryscorers ($7.50)
Moreton Daily Stadium, Saturday 18th June, 5:30pm (EST)
New Zealand Warriors
1. Reece Walsh 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Jesse Arthars 4. Adam Pompey 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Ronald Volkman 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Bunty Afoa 9. Wayde Egan 10. Jazz Tevaga 11. Jack Murchie 12. Tohu Harris 13. Josh Curran Interchange: 14. Chanel Harris-Tavita 15. Aaron Pene 16. Dunamis Lui 17. Bayley Sironen 18. Freddy Lussick
1. Dylan Edwards 2. Taylan May 3. Izack Tago 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo Interchange: 14. Mitch Kenny 15. Scott Sorensen 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Jaeman Salmon 18. Robert Jennings
The Warriors effort returned for parts of their 30-16 loss to the Sharks last week following the installation of Stacey Jones as interim coach. If there is one man who can return the Warriors to their glory days, it is their former Little General. Unfortunately, they are horribly outclassed here against the Panthers who are dismantling teams who stand in their way.
This was highlighted in their 42-6 victory over the Kings last week. It was 73 minutes until they allowed their opponents to cross; their defence is just as impressive as their attack (if not better!) and lesser teams struggle to score points against them. This game is a simple decision for punters then. The Panthers should win comfortably.
The ‘Suggested Bet’ does come with a ‘buyer beware’ tag though; 6 out of the 10 Warriors losses have come by fewer than 12 points but two of their past 6 have been by 13+ margins (32 & 22 points respectively). On that form line, this could get ugly.
Kikau, Tago, Crichton Tryscorers ($7.50)
CommBank Stadium, Saturday 18th June, 7:35pm (EST)
1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Will Penisini 4. Waqa Blake 5. Bailey Simonsson 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchel 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 18. Tom Opacic
1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Billy Smith 4. Joseph Manu 5. Joseph Suaalii 6. Sam Walker 7. Luke Keary 8. Lindsay Collins 9. Sam Verrills 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho 11. Angus Crichton 12. Sitili Tupouniua 13. Nat Butcher Interchange 14. Connor Watson 15. Drew Hutchinson 16. Egan Butcher 17. Fletcher Baker 18. Lachlan Lam
The Eels were embarrassed last week by the Bulldogs 34-4 in arguably the biggest upset of the season and their worst performance in recent memory. It set alarm bells ringing for this team which has also defeated both first and second on the competition ladder, a feat the Roosters (a team also defeated by the Bulldogs this year) have not been able to achieve. Searching for answers for their horrible performance, they need not look any further than their 73% completion rate and 13 errors.
They couldn’t build momentum and their effort was absent in defence; they were a team expecting a training run and it showed in their execution. The Roosters were also defeated but put up a better showing against the Storm, eventually going down 26-18. Ahead 18-16 with 20 minutes remaining, there was a real chance that the Roosters could cause an upset. Unfortunately for them, the Storm finished stronger, and the Roosters failed to capitalise on the opportunities they were given. Yet again, their quality against the top sides was brought into question.
The bookies have this game close, with the Eels slight favourites ($1.80 v $2). Many are quick to forget what this side is capable of, given their victories so far this year. It’s as if they cannot perform against the lesser teams (bringing into question their attitude and preparation more than anything).
The Roosters are a bogey team for the Eels lately, winning 6 of the past 7 meetings between the two sides. One loss should not define the Eels ahead of this week and they are worth another opportunity (but on trust). Rather than invest on that option, the preferred selection is for this game to be a tight fixture, decided by 6-points or less with either team winning. Both teams will want an improved defensive effort compared to last week, further supporting the ‘Suggested Bet’.
Same Game Multi
Eels 1-12, Total Under 41.5 ($5.00)
Suaalii & Moses Tryscorers ($8.50)
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