NRL Round 2: Dragons v Rabbitohs Preview & Betting Tips
Two Premiership fancies kick off round 2 – with the under-fire Dragons hosting the confident Rabbitohs.
St George Illawarra Dragons v South Sydney Rabbitohs
South Sydney made a statement in a dominant 26-16 defeat of arch-rivals Sydney Roosters in round 1 – and they’ll look to build on their impressive 2019 start against another rival in St George-Illawarra.
Cameron Murray has been earmarked by NSW coach Brad Fittler as a future representative star and the young backrower was best on field against the Roosters. He was first try scorer through his great positioning from an Adam Reynolds spearing kick into the post, while he received more ball and had greater involvements than the Bunnies’ pack leader Sam Burgess. This is already a tremendous show of faith in the youngster from wily coach Wayne Bennett and look for Murray’s confidence to grow again this week.
The Dragons would have fancied their chances facing the Cowboys week one but they got a swift reality check in a thorough 24-12 defeat. Their attack never clicked but will be better for the run. Their back row continues to be impacted with Tyson Frizell the latest member to be sidelined. Without Jack de Belin and Korbin Sims, the Dragons will need to dig deep to counter a Souths pack who outmatched the Roosters. New halves pairing Corey Norman and Ben Hunt will need to step up if they’re to match Souths halves Cody Walker and Adam Reynolds, who controlled the Roosters masterfully.
One positive in a disappointing result was the Dragons never stopped competing. They scored the game’s final try and coach Paul McGregor continued to shuffle his team as they chased points.
Key stats: There’s no doubt the Bunnies hold the wood over the Dragons in recent years – they’ve won four of their last five clashes including the thrilling one-point win in their elimination final last year. Even the Charity Shield favours Souths – with the Dragons’ last win coming in 2012.
Greg Inglis scored in both regular season matches against the Dragons in 2018.
Best bet: Rabbitohs -4 ($2 – Bet365)
Value bet: Greg Inglis anytime try scorer ($2.75 – Sportsbet)