NRL Rd 19 Rugby League Preview & Betting Tips
A logjam is beginning to occur inside the top eight.
Parramatta v Bulldogs
Both sides are coming into this clash off the back of a loss and now battling it out for the wooden spoon.
The Bulldogs remain with only four wins under their belt after going down to the Rabbitohs 24-6, however, their 18-point loss doesn’t reflect what a good performance they displayed. Will Hopoate was the standout for his side contributing to Reimis Smith try and running for 255 metres. He also became the first player in the NRL era to record 10 offloads and 10 tackle busts in the one game.
Parramatta recorded a two-point loss to Newcastle after racing out of the blocks 10-0 within ten minutes. Jarryd Hayne had the best game of his season with 11 tackle busts and making 160 metres. Fox Sports stats showed it was his best performance since 2009. The Bulldogs won this clash back in Round 10 by eight points, but the Eels have tasted victory on the four previous encounters.
Parramatta’s Fullback, Bevan French has scored six tries this season. He has also crossed the line the past three clashes against the Bulldogs.
Best Bet: Bevan French to score 1+ Try
Value Bet: Bevan French to score/Eels to win
Sharks v Raiders
Southern Cross Group Stadium
The Sharks recorded their 600th win in club history with their 12-point victory over the Panthers. Valentine Holmes backed up from his outstanding Origin performance with a double on Friday night, taking his tally to 14 tries this season.
The Raiders recorded a 26-point victory over the struggling Cowboys, keeping their finals hopes alive. The Raiders 38 points scored was the most points they have registered in 2018 and biggest win at GIO this season. Winger Michael Oldfield had an incredible outing scoring a hat-trick. A setback to the Raiders is the loss of inspirational captain, Jarrod Croker to a knee injury.
The Sharks have won three of the past four encounters over the Raiders. At Shark Park, Cronulla have won five of seven matches there this season, while the Raiders have won their past four matches at the ground. With footy finals still a possibility we think the Raiders win a tight one.
Whilst Jordan Rapana didn’t cross the line against the Sharks earlier this season, he has scored seven tries in his past six games against them.
Best Bet: Raiders (Win)
Value Bet: Jordan Rapana to score 1+ Try
Broncos v Panthers
An important Friday night clash in determining the top eight.
The Broncos come into this match off the back of a 20-point drubbing at the hands of the Warriors. Heading into Round 18, they were siting seventh on the ladder with a six point gap between them and the ninth placed Raiders, but after their embarrassing performance in front of 37,000 home fans, they are now eighth with a four point gap. A blow to the side is the ankle injury sustained to Jaydn Su’A, which looks to be season ending but they could get back Tevita Pangai Junior.
The Panthers went down to the Sharks 24-12, giving them their third loss from their past four matches and dropping out of the top four for the first time since Round 3. A boost to the side is the welcome addition of their Origin players and the long-awaited return of Josh Mansour. That might be enough to get them the win here.
The Broncos have won the past two matches between these sides. At Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane have won the past three matches there compared to the Panthers who have lost four of the past five at the venue.
Best Bet: Penrith (Win)
Value Bet: Penrith 1-6
Knights v Titans
McDonald Jones Stadium
Mitchell Pearce returned from injury in fine form with a try and steering his side to a narrow victory over the Parramatta Eels. Their two-point win is their fifth triumph by six points or less this season and their first win at home since Round 5. The Knights will be looking for back-to-back wins at home for just the second time this season.
The Titans went down to an under strength Roosters side 20-12, giving them their third straight loss at Robina. They will welcome back Jai Arrow and Jarrod Wallace to the side after being rested last weekend after Origin duty. The Titans have won four of the past five matches over the Knights, including back in Round 11 by seven points.
The return of Pearce is influential so we are sticking with the Knights.
For players of Total Points, matches between these two sides tend to be high scoring affairs. The past three matches have totalled over 45 points, which includes one match totalling 60.
Keep an eye on Konrad Hurrell who notched up doubles in both matches played against the Knights last season.
Best Bet: Knights (win)
Value Bet: Konrad Hurrell to score 1+ Try
Tigers v Rabbitohs
Souths have been the best team in the competition over the past two months but face a stern test against the desperate Tigers at ANZ Stadium.
The bunnies have won nine straight games for the first time since 1989 and are leading the NRL premiership on 28 competition points. Anthony Siebold’s men are the best attacking team in the competition (25 ppg) and go up against a side that has conceded 26.8 points per game during the past five weeks.
The Tigers, however, will pose an interesting threat because they come into this off a surprise win over the Dragons and have some extra motivation as they are still a chance to make the top eight. Robbie Farah and Benji Marshall turned back the clock last week but it was their forwards while slowed down the Dragons big men which went a long way to winning the match.
Ivan Cleary’s side will need to do that again this week against Sam Burgess and co, however, Souths are a team that has been getting the job done lately despite having up and down performances. Off the back of that, Souths are our tip.
We are going for some value though and backing the 1-12 Margin option. The past four matches the Tigers have played at Homebush have resulted in an average winning margin of 4.5 points per game.
Best Bet: Souths (Win)
Value Bet: Souths 1-12
Cowboys v Dragons
Both teams will be desperate for the two points when they clash in Townsville this weekend.
North Queensland have had a very disappointing season and are now out of finals contention but the same cannot be said about the Dragons, and yet, both teams are under pressure to perform this week.
Stgeorge Illawarra come into the game having dropped back-to-back games for the first time this season in a period where traditionally they tend to drop off the side of a cliff. The difference this season though is they’re sitting higher on the ladder (third) and look assured of a finals spot.
North Queensland has lost four in a row which is their worst run since the start of the season when they dropped six straight. Last year’s Grand Finalists have also been terrible at home, losing six of seven at 1300Smiles Stadium.
The Red V have everything to play for and with Origin and rep football now behind their squad, it is time for them to stand up and show the type of form that saw them leading the NRL for much of the season. If they are to be contenders this season then they need to win this game. It will be a challenge though as they have won in Townsville since 2005.
Although there are injury clouds over Paul Vaughan and Nene Macdonald, we expect both will play and help guide the Dragons to a valuable two points.
Looking for some extra value? Kane Linnett is the one to follow in try scorer markets as he has bagged six tries in seven games against the Dragons.
Best Bet: Dragons (Win)
Value Bet: Kane Linnett First Try Scorer
Warriors v Storm
Mt Smart Stadium
This could be one of the games of the season.
New Zealand found their mojo again last week when thumping Brisbane just a week after being humbled by the understrength Panthers. Stephen Kearney’s men will be looking for a bit of payback in this game after being belted by the Storm 50-10 in Round 8.
Melbourne got through the Origin period unscathed and now sit equal second on the ladder and are racking up the wins – six straight in fact – although there has been an element of luck involved in a few of those too.
History suggests that the Storm will be winning this as they are shooting for six straight wins against the Warriors, with three of those wins being by the 13+ Margin and two of those being by 40 or more.
The Warriors have it all to play for as they are now sitting in the bottom half of the eight and that incentive of getting a little payback on the Storm after their ANZAC Day humiliation makes them a tempting betting proposition.
Best Bet: Warriors (Win)
Value Bet: Isaac Luke to Score A Try
Sea Eagles v Roosters
An interesting game to round things out this weekend.
Many said Manly were robbed last week when going down 14-13 to Melbourne with one of the Storm tries coming off a blatant forward pass. The effort of the Sea Eagles was outstanding against one of the benchmark sides, however, can they replicate that effort once more knowing they can’t make finals?
They host a Roosters side that scraped together a 20-12 win against the Titans but more importantly they get back their Origin stars in James Tedesco, Latrell Mitchell, Boyd Cordner while Cooper Cronk is a chance to play depending on whether his wife delivers their first child throughout the week.
For most of the season the Sydney Roosters have been unconvincing but there they are sitting in fourth spot on the ladder. They have it all to play for and should be too strong for what could be a fairly feisty Sea Eagles outfit.
If Manly show that intensity that they did last week and allow Daly Cherry-Evans and Tom Trbojevic the time and space to be creative, then they can definitely do some damage. We are anticipating they will so although we are leaning towards the Roosters, we are banking on the 1-12 margin.
Best Bet: Roosters (Win)
Value Bet: Shaun Lane to Score A Try