It’s advantage Roosters in the first game of the NRL finals series.
Sydney Roosters host Brisbane to get things underway in Friday Night Football and look to have the upper hand as they aim to progress to a Preliminary Final in two weeks time.
The chooks will face a Broncos outfit that is missing influential fullback Darius Boyd who went down with injury in the final game of the regular season against North Queensland.
The home side go into this game off the back of a tough 20-16 win over the Gold Coast Titans last Saturday while Brisbane ran out 20-10 winners over North Queensland in Townsville.
One of the major differences between the SYDNEY ROOSTERS from 2016 to this year are their performances at home.
Trent Robinson’s side has turned Allianz Stadium into one of the most intimidating venues in the NRL with a terrific 9-1 record this season. Compare that to the 5-7 ledger they had last season and you can see one of the big reasons they have gone from second last to second in the space of 12 months.
The tricolours have one of the best ‘home’ records in the league which stands at 10-2, however, one of those losses was at Gosford when they transferred a match there midway through the season.
NO CLOSE CALLS
BRISBANE’s run into the finals has seen a remarkable stat come out of their results since Round 16.
Every single match they have been involved in since then has been decided by 10 points or more, regardless of whether they have won or lost. Last week they saluted by 10 points while the week before they were handled by 18 against Parramatta. They have won seven of those 10 matches.
The going is likely to get tough once again here, after all it is second versus third, so how big will the loss of Darius Boyd be then? His experience in big games, State Of Origin and internationals is invaluable and is just the sort of thing you want in your corner if you need to turn the game in your favour.
The teams met twice this season and split the result one game apiece.
Back in Round 13 the Roosters and Broncos did battle at Allianz with the home side narrowly scraping through 18-16. Just seven weeks earlier it was the Broncos who ran out convincing 32-8 winners but the scoreline didn’t really reflect the closeness of the contest as the Broncos scored a few late tries to blowout the result.
Punters looking for some value in the game should look to Boyd Cordner. The Roosters captain is $3.40 @ Sportsbet to Score a Try At Anytime and he has some good form against the Broncos, registering a double against them in Round 13 which is half his season total!
Home ground advantage counts for a lot in the finals and because of that we are going for SYDNEY ROOSTERS ($1.65 @ Unibet).
They have been very hard to beat at Moore Park and although they’ve been doing it tough in a few of their recent outings, they have still been winning and that is the sign of an outstanding side.
Brisbane aren’t playing as well as what they were a month or so back and the loss of Boyd makes this trip to Allianz decidedly more difficult.
Obviously a lot will depend on Mitchell Pearce and Luke Keary dictating terms for the Roosters but they need their forwards to set a good foundation, which may be difficult against Brisbane considering they are one of the leading teams in the competition for metres gained.
If you are looking at your First Tryscorer options then Latrell Mitchell is the player for you if you fancy the home side crossing first. Mitchell has scored the first try on four occasions this season and is $10 @ William Hill, Centrebet and Sportsbet to do it again.
We think we have found one to have a few dollars on in the Broncos team as well. Matt Gillett has scored the most ‘first tries’ for the Broncos this season and is returning $31 @ Sportsbet.
LATRELL MITCHELL FIRST TRYSCORER