Round 8 Preview
A few weeks is a bloody long time in rugby league, just ask Madge and the Wests Tigers! They went from down and out to everyone’s second team within a fortnight. Can they win again?! Whilst Penny & the Storm look certainties, there looks to be a few upsets brewing… Let’s get down to it shall we…
Broncos ($3.90) vs Sharks ($1.26)
- Sharkies flying
- Talakai unstoppable
- Haas picked up shoulder injury last week
- Can Suncorp save the Broncs?
- Talakai v Staggs
Two of the best centres in the game will square off when Talakai and Staggs do battle for their respective teams Thursday night. Talakai was unstoppable in the first half against Manly and poor Morgan Harper will be suffering PTSD for a long time to come. The Sharks can score too many points for the Broncs and if the Sharkies defence can hold up, they’ll cover.
Titans ($8.50) vs Panthers ($1.07)
- Titans are a bit sh!t
- Taylan May 8 tries in 5 games
- Fifita back to an edge
- $1.07 seems value
The Titans have now slumped to 3 straight losses after a miserable performance in the QLD Derby against the Cows. For some unknown reason coach Holbrook decided to do a Talakai and play Fifita at centre, which understandably was a disaster. He’s back to an edge for this but big Billy Kikau will make his night tough. Good teams win, great team cover.
Rabbitohs ($1.60) vs Manly ($2.35)
- Bunnies not at their clinical best yet
- Both teams missing star fullbacks
- Manly blown off the park in first half before 2nd half surge
Manly have been down on troops all season but have found a way to win 4 from 7 so far. They were blown off the park when running into a stiff wind last week against the Sharks and a rampaging Talakai, before winning the 2nd half to make a close game of what seemed a flogging at half time. DCE comes up against rookie Ilias and this is where the game can be won for Manly. Don’t think there is much between these two and Manly represents value.
Warriors ($2.05) vs Raiders ($1.78)
- Warriors conceded 54 points in 40 mins
- Curran a massive loss
- Raiders conceded 22 points in 2nd half
- Only bad teams get 70 put on them.
Both sides coming off big losses to the premiership favourites in Melbourne and Penrith respectively. For the Warriors to go into halftime only down 6 points to the Storm and then concede a whopping 54 points in the 2nd half is absolutely crazy. In the NRL things won’t always go your way but you need to show some sort of back bone. I’m surprised the Raiders aren’t shorter in this and I expect them to be well backed and get the job done.
Bulldogs ($4.40) vs Roosters ($1.22)
- Key combos really struggling for Chooks
- Dogs only won one game all season
- If the Roosters go over in this Robbo will be mighty concerned!
- Doggies cause an upset?
The Chooks, under the Salary Sombrero, have a star-studded lineup but have looked pretty ordinary at times this season, none worse than their ANZAC Day loss to the Dragons. Their combinations in attack have looked pedestrian and their defence, especially in the middle third, has been atrocious at times. There is no way I could chime into the shorts about the Chooks and I can see the Dogs winning this, led by their pack dominating the middle and a rocket from Gus Gould.
Eels ($1.28) vs Cowboys ($3.75)
- Both last start winners
- Dylan Brown named a centre again
- Lolo back near his best
- Drinky remains at FB
The Cowboys have won 4 from 7 this season and continually get undervalued by the market. Under coach Todd Payten they have show defensive resolve rarely seen in the modern game, something they were lacking in season’s past. The Eels are a seriously good football team when they turn it on, led by their monster pack and halfback Mitch Moses. Whilst it’s a home game for Parra, this will be played in hot humid conditions in Darwin, which will feel like home for the Cows.
Knights ($8.50) vs Storm ($1.07)
- Knights now lost their last 5
- Storm flying as usual
- 54 point 2nd half from Storm
- Another massacre?
The Knights bounced out of the blocks winning their first 2 games but normal proceedings have commenced, they are now staring down the barrel of 6 straight defeats. Not even Andre Ponga can save them now. The Storm on the other hand just keep going from strength to strength. They pack far too much strike power across the park to not give the knights a towelling. Gagai is out and look for Justin Olam to have a day out in his absence.
Dragons ($1.55) vs Tigers ($2.50)
- Quite unbelievably, Tigers on a hatty
- Hastings the next Joey? (OK…time to settle down)
- Dragons hit by injury
- Dragons also on a hatty
Credit to both these teams in turning their seasons around after slow starts. Quite unbelievably, both sides are looking for 3 wins on the trot, something that seemed far fetched weeks ago. The Dragons will need to overcome injuries to backrower turned 5/8 Jack Bird and Jaydn Su’A. The Tigers lose young fullback Daine Laurie but are riding a wave that can see them win again.
Good luck & good punting!
*All prices and lines are correct as of the time of writing & are courtesy of Ladbrokes, who are offering $2 lines on Thursday & Friday games during Round 8. T&C’s apply, check their website for more details.
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