NRL Sunday will see 4 teams looking from the outside in when it comes to the finals race, with all 4 teams desperate for victory in their own way.
First up, the Raiders will host the Newcastle Knights at GIO Stadium. With the late withdrawal of Jack Wighton due to Covid, do the Knights have a realistic shot at causing a boilover in the Nation’s Capital? Or will the Raiders continue their solid form of the past 6 weeks, and ease past the Knights?
Then at 4:00pm, two sides amongst the teams battling over the wooden spoon lock horns at CommBank Stadium, when the Canterbury Bulldogs play host to the Wests Tigers. The Bulldogs are fresh off a huge win over the Eels last week and will attempt to successfully win back-to-back matches for the first time since the 2019 season.
GIO Stadium, Sunday 19th June, 2:00pm (AEST)
1. Xavier Savage 2. Nick Cotric 3. Matthew Timoko 4. Sebastian Kris 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. Corey Harawira-Naera 17. Corey Horsburgh. RESERVES: 18. Brad Schneider 19. James Schiller 20. Trey Mooney 21. Semi Valemei 22. Adrian Trevilyan
1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Edrick Lee 3. Dane Gagai 4. Enari Tuala 5. Dominic Young 6. Anthony Milford 7. Jake Clifford 8. David Klemmer 9. Chris Randall 10. Jacob Saifiti 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Mitchell Barnett 13. Kurt Mann. INTERCHANGE: 14. Simi Sasagi 15. Leo Thompson 16. Mathew Croker 17. Pasami Saulo. RESERVES: 18. Phoenix Crossland 19. Tex Hoy 20. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 21. Adam Clune 22. Hymel Hunt
After struggling through much of the first two months of the season, the Raiders appear to have turned the corner. Winners of 4 of their past 6 matches, the Raiders have managed to play well and be competitive against some of the top sides in the competition.
The Knights, on the other hand, have had a terrible season. Since their opening round victory over the Roosters, they have managed wins over the Warriors, Tigers and Bulldogs, not exactly inspiring form, whilst being pummelled by most other teams.
The Knights have won the past 3 matches between these teams and should come in with a bit of confidence based on that. However, that is where the positives end in my opinion. In team news, Jack Wighton has been a late scratching due to Covid, and he will be replaced by Matt Frawley.
The number opened at Raiders -10.5 and is currently Raiders -7.5, based purely off the Wighton news. I don’t agree with this move by the market. Frawley has been a very adept replacement already this season for Wighton, and I don’t believe they lose all that much with the change. Based on this, I lean heavily towards the Raiders to win this one comfortably.
I like the under, however with the over almost being an auto-bet the last few rounds, it won’t be my best bet. Knights unders are also a consideration.
Knights Under 16.5 Points ($1.88)
Under 41.5 Points ($1.95)
CommBank Stadium, Sunday 19th June, 4:05pm (AEST)
1. Jake Averillo 2. Jacob Kiraz 3. Aaron Schoupp 4. Corey Allan 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Matt Burton 7. Kyle Flanagan 8. Max King 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Josh Jackson 12. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 13. Tevita Pangai jnr. INTERCHANGE: 14. Zach Dockar-Clay 15. Corey Waddell 16. Joe Stimson 17. Kurtis Morrin. RESERVES: 19. Matt Dufty 20. Bailey Biondi-Odo 21. Jayden Tanner 22. Isaac Lumelume 24. Jackson Topine
1. Daine Laurie 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Starford To’a 4. Asu Kepaoa 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Luke Brooks 7. Jackson Hastings 8. James Tamou 9. Jacob Liddle 10. Zane Musgrove 11. Luke Garner 12. Kelma Tuilagi 13. Joe Ofahengaue. INTERCHANGE: 14. Fa’amanu Brown 15. Alex Twal 16. Adam Doueihi 17. Alex Seyfarth. RESERVES: 18. Jake Simpkin 19. Fonua Pole 20. Austin Dias 21. Junior Tupou 22. Tyrone Peachey
The Bulldogs are surely high on confidence after last week’s impressive 34-6 victory over the Eels. Their attack has been night and day under Interim Coach Mick Potter, compared to the dark Trent Barrett days.
This week, the confidence should hold them in good stead against a side that is severely lacking in it right now. Sporting their own new Interim Coach, the Tigers looked no different in their first match under Noddy, being thoroughly outplayed by the Sea Eagles in a 30-4 home loss. With Luciano Leilua doing his utmost to get an early release, things don’t seem very peachy at the Tigers right now.
My numbers all say the Bulldogs; however, they are heavily skewed due to last week’s performance. If the Bulldogs come out with the same intensity this week, they should be too good for the Tigers. I’m backing it, despite the Bulldogs not winning back-to-back since 2019, so confidence levels aren’t sky high. Look for the left side combination of Matt Burton and Josh Addo-Carr to give the Tigers right edge nightmares all afternoon, and for the Bulldogs to sneak home.
Ado-Carr Anytime Tryscorer ($1.82)
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