Punters are faced with a big dilemma in Friday night footy.
With the Origin period upon us and split rounds now a common theme for the next month or so, we haven’t been served up with an easy fixture to kick things off in Round 12.
Souths have started to return to some good form but head into the match having a lost an arm wrestle to the Melbourne Storm 14-6 in Perth.
As for Parramatta, which one is going to turn up? The Eels were brave against the Raiders last Saturday night but still went down 22-16.
SOUTHS have arguably played some of their best football over the past fortnight.
Two weeks ago they pumped the Tigers by 20 and last week’s effort against the Melbourne Storm was good enough to win a few football matches, however, poor finishing let them down.
Points have been a bit of an issue for the bunnies and of their seven losses, five of those saw them held to single figures. Only the Tigers, Bulldogs and Knights have scored fewer points than Michael Maguire’s side.
It is hard to put a gauge on just where Parramatta sit in the pecking order of the NRL.
Some weeks they look like they can maul any side in the competition and other times, like a fortnight ago, they appear as though they would struggle to beat a team from the NSW or Qld Cups.
Last week they at least showed some enthusiasm in the middle frame of the contest and came back from an early deficit to hit the front. The loss of Cory Norman was telling though and the team didn’t have anywhere near as good a direction as it would if Norman had been playing.
Norman is out of action still and they’ve also lost representative centre Michael Jennings for this clash too.
SOUTHS have won nine of the past 11 clashes.
Although they have dominated the Eels, Parramatta has won two of the past four against them and both were by 13 points or more. In contrast, seven of the nine wins by the Rabbitohs were by 13 points or more also but their last two wins against the Blue and Golds was by a mere two points.
A win by Souths 1-12 is returning a healthy $3.10 at bet365.
Parramatta have been a bit disappointing in recent weeks so we are leaning slightly to Souths.
There have been some positive signs from Michael Maguire’s men in recent weeks and Adam Reynolds is starting to show some of the form that saw him earn an Origin jersey not that long ago.
George Burgess returns to the side from suspension which will only strengthen their case for a win.
Parramatta were competitive enough against the Raiders last week but when the game was there to be won they just couldn’t deliver the killer blow. Norman’s absence in the halves is going to hurt them here.
In what is a fairly tight match we don’t think there will be much in it and that both defences will hold up, therefore the Total Points Under 42.5 looks a good bet.
In the Head-to-Head betting though we have to go for the Bunnies here simply on what we’ve seen over the past fortnight.
ALEX JOHNSTON FIRST TRYSCORER