The Cowboys just keep rolling, with last weeks thumping 31-12 victory over the Dragons their 8th win in 9 starts, with their sole loss in that time coming against the Panthers. This is no longer a flash in the pan, this team is a genuine top 4 shot and as good a chance as anyone outside the Storm and Panthers to make the big dance.
The Sea Eagles have won two straight, however those wins have come against two of the worst teams in the competition in the Warriors and Tigers, so it’ll be interesting to see how they go against a genuine side here this week.
As always, stay tuned throughout the 2022 NRL season to get the best betting value when taking on the bookies, with our NRL Tips page previewing all the NRL matches in 2022.
4 Pines Park, Friday 17th June, 6:00pm (AEST)
Manly Sea Eagles
1. Reuben Garrick 2. Jason Saab 3. Morgan Harper 4. Tolutau Koula 5. Christian Tuipulotu 6. Kieran Foran 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Josh Aloiai 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Toafofoa Sipley 11. Haumole Olakau’atu 12. Andrew Davey 13. Jake Trbojevic. INTERCHANGE: 14. Dylan Walker 15. Josh Schuster 16. Martin Taupau 17. Sean Keppie. RESERVES: 18. Taniela Paseka 19. Ben Trbojevic 20. Ethan Bullemor 21. Kaeo Weekes 22. Kurt De Luis
North Queensland Cowboys
1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 3. Valentine Holmes 4. Peta Hiku 5. Murray Taulagi 6. Tom Dearden 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jordan McLean 9. Reece Robson 10. Reuben Cotter 11. Connelly Lemuelu 12. Jeremiah Nanai 13. Jason Taumalolo. INTERCHANGE: 14. Jake Granville 15. Coen Hess 16. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 17. Griffin Neame. RESERVES: 18. Ben Condon 19. Brendan Elliot 20. Kane Bradley 23. Ben Hampton 24. Robert Derby
As mentioned above, the Cowboys have confirmed their status this year as one of the real Premiership protagonists, coming into this game in 3rd position on the ladder and winning 8 of their past 9. They will travel to fortress Brookvale high on confidence, where they will look to be the first team to beat the Sea Eagles at home this season.
As mentioned, the Sea Eagles haven’t lost at Brookvale all year, and given this should believe they can cause the upset here in front of their home faithful. However, dig a little deeper into their 4-0 record at 4 Pines this season, and you’ll see it’s a little less impressive than at first glance. The victories have come over the Bulldogs, Titans, Tigers and Warriors, the 4 teams at the bottom of the ladder.
Delving into the stats that matter, and the attack of both teams is quite similar statistically, with the main difference being the Cowboys scoring 4 more points a game. The significant difference is on the defensive side of the equation. The Cowboys are far better at stopping the other team from making metres and attacking plays. They have the second-best defence in the competition when looking at points allowed per game and have been particularly frugal when it comes to giving up second half points.
The number opened at Cowboys -2.5, and it was gobbled up quickly, with the number now sitting at Cowboys -4.5. I see the Cowboys winning this one comfortably, however the first half could be a little tight. If the Cowboys go into the sheds with a lead though, it’s game over. I’m also heavy on the under, with the Cowboys defence and an early Friday night game lending itself to a low scoring affair. Cowboys 24-14.
Cowboys 2nd Half Line -2.5 ($1.95)
Under 42.5 ($1.91)
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