NRL Rd 25 Rugby League Preview & Betting Tips
Just one win separates first through to sixth and the match to avoid the Wooden Spoon will double up as JT’s final home game.
Rabbitohs v Wests Tigers
We have a great clash tonight with South Sydney looking to snap their three game losing skid and the Tigers aim to end their season on a high.
The return of Greg Inglis from a thumb injury wasn’t enough to get his side over the line against the Raiders last weekend, going down 24-12. Souths went into the break eight points up, making this just the third time this season they have lost a game after leading at halftime.
Wests Tigers got the two-point win over the Sea Eagles, giving them their 12th win and the most they have recorded in a season since 2011. Kevin Naiqama’s last home game will be one to remember scoring a double.
The Tigers have a great recent record over the Rabbitohs having won five of the past six matches. What’s interesting between these sides is the large winning margin, with five of the past six matches won by 16 points or more.
At ANZ Stadium, halftime leader is important. Of the 15 games played between these sides at the venue, the leader at the break has gone on to win the game on 14 occasions.
Best Bet: Souths/Souths (Half Full Double) @ $1.85
Value Bet: Souths 13+ (Margin) @ $2.85
Warriors v Raiders
Mt Smart Stadium
These teams come into this clash off the back of convincing Round 24 wins.
The Warriors recorded a 20-point win over the Panthers in a game that saw David Fusitu’a return to the top of the tryscoring leaderboard with his hat-trick. The win has left the Warriors sitting in eighth spot on the ladder and set to play finals football for the first time since 2011.
The Raiders scalped another Premiership heavyweight after knocking off the Roosters before doing the same to Souths last week. What was impressive in their win was being down 12-0 and managing to get the win – just the third time this season they overcame a halftime deficit. It was a fitting send off for Blake Austin, Junior Paulo and Shannon Boyd who all move on from Canberra next year.
Back in Round 3, the Warriors won this clash by one point. The win ended the Raiders four game winning run over them. The past three matches played at Mt Smart Stadium have been won convincingly with the margin 20 or more points on all three occasions.
Keep an eye on Peta Hiku who has scored eight tries in eight matches against the Raiders.
Best Bet: Warriors (H2H) @ $1.55
Value Bet: Peta Hiku (To Score)
Storm v Panthers
Melbourne escaped with a two point win over the Titans as Billy Slater stared in his final game in Queensland with a career high 277 run metres. The win has sent the Storm closer to their third straight minor premiership after the Roosters and Souths recorded losses.
The Panthers went down to the Warriors by 20 points, giving them back-to-back losses and just four wins from their past 10 matches. Not an ideal situation to be in as we head into finals football. Remarkably, they moved up to 5th position on the ladder due to the Dragons big loss to the Bulldogs. A boost to the side is the return of their inspirational skipper, James Maloney.
Melbourne have an incredible record over the Panthers with 17 wins from the past 18 matches. What’s more concerning for the Panthers is just how large the winning margin is over them with nine of the past 11 matches decided by 14 points or more.
These matches tend to be low scoring affairs with six of the past seven totalling 35 or less points.
Best Bet: Melbourne 13+ (Margin) @ $3.75
Value Bet: Melbourne 13+ / Under 35 Points (Margin / Total Double)
Knights v Dragons
McDonald Jones Stadium
The big question in this game is how the Dragons are going to respond to their 38-0 belting by the Bulldogs last weekend. Paul McGregor’s men went into Round 24 sitting in the top 4 and have since dropped to 6th place, behind the Panthers and Sharks. Fans booed the side from the field at the end of both halves, something that’s sparked outrage from James Graham and Matt Dufty. Adding to their woes were further injuries to Euan Aitken and Jason Nightingale who miss this game.
The Knights were an undermanned side when they faced the Sharks. Despite being depleted of players, they still managed to push the Sharks, but couldn’t hold on in their 38-12 loss. Today they face a side low on confidence and we see them taking it out in front of their home crowd on Old Boys Day.
A boost for the Red V is their great record over the Knights with nine wins from the past 11 matches, however, these two losses came in Newcastle.
Tariq Sims crossed the line last time these teams met taking his tries to three in his past four matches against the Knights.
Best Bet: Newcastle (H2H) @ $2.10
Value Bet: Tariq Sims (To Score) @ $2.80
Titans v Cowboys
Cbus Super Stadium
The Titans look capable of upsetting Johnathan Thurston’s farewell game so we are taking them to cause the upset.
Gold Coast are outsiders heading into their final home match of the season but their form of late has actually been pretty encouraging for a side that is destined to finish towards the bottom of the ladder.
Recent wins against the finals bound Warriors and Sea Eagles have been mixed with narrow losses to premiership contenders Penrith and Melbourne (last week). In fact, they led against the Storm for the majority of the game but couldn’t close it out.
The Cowboys lifted immensely for JT’s final game in Townsville and in their best performance of the year, trounced the Eels 44-6. Can they get up again for this match? They will definitely want to but they would have to record their first back-to-back wins of the season to do it.
The value bet is for JT to score a try in his final match and it’s paying $4 @ TAB.
Best Bet: Gold Coast (H2H) @ $2.50
Value Bet: Johnathan Thurston (To Score) @ $4
Eels v Roosters
The Roosters have dropped consecutive games for the first time this season but we cannot see that being extended to three on the trot when they face the Parramatta Eels on Saturday night.
Trent Robinson’s side had the Minor Premiership in their grasp but successive losses have put them in a scramble for places within the top four. They’ve lost Dylan Napa for three weeks thanks to his careless tackle on Andrew McCullough last week, however, they get a big name back in the form of Jared Warea-Hargreaves.
With a 7-4 record on the road and the Eels pretty much guaranteed the wooden spoon, we cannot see the chooks losing this one.
Parramatta will be glad to see the back of this season after racking up just six wins. They were flogged by the Cowboys last week and the only positive thing going for them here is the fact they are 6-5 at home this season whereas on the road, they’re 0-12.
Despite the home ground advantage we are tipping a Roosters win – and by a big margin!
Best Bet: Roosters (H2H) @ $1.22
Value Bet: Latrell Mitchell (First Try Scorer) @ $7.50
Bulldogs v Sharks
An interesting game to kick off the NRL action on Sunday.
Suddenly the Bulldogs are one of the form teams of the competition, racking up four wins from their past five games which is just as many wins as they had managed from the previous 18 rounds.
Dean Pay’s side smashed the Dragons 38-nil at Kogarah last week and at the same time unearthed a few rising stars. We think Reimis Smith is worth having something on as first tryscorer considering the youngster bagged a hat-trick against the Red V. Add to that the fact the Bulldogs have scored the first try in five of their past seven games and it makes sense to back one of their players.
Cronulla will be looking to secure a spot in the top four with a win here and after being rusty for a big portion of the game against Newcastle last week, eventually ran away with it 38-12. History is on their side in this fixture too with four straight wins against the boys from Belmore, however, those have been by an average of just 2.75 points.
Best Bet: Sharks (H2H) @ $1.50
Value Bet: Reimis Smith (First Try Scorer) @ $10
Broncos v Sea Eagles
Which Broncos team will turn up today?
Wayne Bennett’s side has been up and down for most of the season and the past month is no different, losing games against sides outside the top eight (Bulldogs, Cowboys) but in the past fortnight knocking off premiership fancies Souths and Sydney Roosters.
They host the Sea Eagles who have had a wretched year and are embroiled in controversy once more thanks to the resignation of coach Trent Barrett.
Manly has won just three games on the road this season but not included in that stat is their victory at Suncorp back in Round 10 against Brisbane. That was a ‘home’ game that the Sea Eagles took north of the border which broke a four game losing streak at the venue.
Brisbane has plenty of play for and will build on the momentum they’ve generated over the past two weeks. Look for them to win this and win well as they need some serious points in the bag to jump teams in front of them on the ladder for a home semi next week.
Best Bet: Brisbane (H2H) @ $1.30
Value Bet: Brisbane 13-18 (Winning Margin) @ $5.5