NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Paul Green’s side should now start to worry as they finished the weekend at 2-6 which is their worst opening to a campaign for quite some time.
North Queensland dropped an 18-8 encounter at home to the Raiders and never looked comfortable at any stage. Injuries aren’t an excuse and the fact that co-captains Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott are on the field after missing most of last year should have positioned them as one of the teams to beat in 2018.
Sadly, the type of form that saw them make the Grand Final from eighth spot is nowhere to be seen at the moment and the $2.15 @ Crownbet for them to make Top 8 even looks under the odds, despite it being the best price in the marketplace.
Up next: North Queensland has a horror month ahead with their next four games against teams currently in the top eight, starting this week with a trip to Bathurst to play Penrith before facing the Wests Tigers, Souths and Melbourne.
GRAND FINAL PREVIEW
ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA and MELBOURNE
It was like a game of chess was being played on Wednesday during the two ANZAC DAY clashes.
The Dragons made the first move, putting the Roosters away in the afternoon encounter at Allianz Stadium before the Storm made the league stand up and take notice by putting 50 points on the Warriors.
Over the past few weeks Melbourne has really started to come into their own after an indifferent start. The Red V, on the other hand, have been the best team of the opening two months and have just the one loss to show for their efforts so far in 2018.
Paul Mcgregor’s side is ranked first in both attacking and defensive categories while Craig Bellamy’s boys are second.
Up next: We are treated to a possible Grand Final preview with the Dragons hosting the Storm at Jubilee Oval on Sunday afternoon. The home side are slight $1.86 favourites with the visitors $1.95 @ Sportsbet.
FLYING UNDER THE RADAR
The Panthers haven’t been flash through the opening two months which is probably why no one is really talking about them at this point of the season.
But when you have a look at the premiership table, they’re sitting second along with the Warriors with a 6-2 record and have quietly gone about their business despite missing talented young half, Nathan Cleary.
Obviously the influence of James Maloney has been influential in the team recording their recent wins including their come-from-behind win over the Bulldogs on Friday night.
Most bookies have kept Penrith safe in premiership betting at this point with one of the better prices on offer at this stage being $10 @ bet365.
Up next: Penrith hosts the struggling Cowboys at Carrington Park at Bathurst and are $1.82 favourites to get the job done despite a worrying injury toll.