DING DING DING – THE TIPS ARE IN!
A rare occurrence this week with all 8 matches being played in NSW and if Brisbane loses by 50 again, Queensland might just shut the borders on them too! Those in the Sunshine State will be hoping the Broncos show as much fight against the Sea Eagles as Qld Premier Annastacia would against Manly born Gladys in the boxing ring. And wouldn’t Palaszczuk vs Berejiklian make headlines as the perfect State of Origin pre-match bout later in the year? Someone get Peter “Don King” V’Landys on the phone right now! But enough fantasizing, back to the important job of finding some winners in the rugby league. After the past couple of weeks, it’s time for us to get off the ropes and fight back with a vengeance.
3 units South Sydney Rabbitohs -11.5 @1.90
3 units Newcastle Knights +3.5 @1.90
3 units Canterbury Bulldogs +17.5 @1.90
NRL Round 5 Match Previews
Manly Sea Eagles vs Brisbane Broncos
Assessed Line: Sea Eagles -12.0
Ladbrokes: Sea Eagles -12.5
Difficult to see this match result in anything but a comfortable Manly victory. They will be smarting after a controversial loss last week and primed to go, back at their second home on the Central Coast. Brisbane is yet to regain any key forwards and face a daunting task against a tough Manly team which remains unchanged. I’m always wary of a scoreless team bouncing back after a huge drubbing but doubt the Broncos have the troops to back it up here. No real edge in the prices to bet.
New Zealand Warriors vs North Qld Cowboys
Assessed Line: Warriors +6.0
Ladbrokes: Warriors +6.5
The Warriors never got going last week, resorting back to one of their more accustomed error-riddled performances, after being flattered by a dismal Saints team the week before. The Cowboys were very scrappy themselves in a loss to the Sharks but the likely return of Taumalolo will be a huge boost for them. With so many key players for both sides listed in the reserves, this is a definite no bet match.
Parramatta Eels vs Penrith Panthers
Assessed Line: Eels -6.0
Ladbrokes: Eels -5.5
The Panthers welcome back Cleary against an undefeated Eels side going for 5 wins in a row. Parra controversially got away with one last week and the pressure of maintaining that streak won’t help. In the modern game, it’s very difficult mentally (and physically) for teams to keep winning for long periods. However, on paper, the Eels are strong all over the park and clearly boast a better squad. Enough doubt over this clash to just watch and enjoy what will be an entertaining local derby.
South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Gold Coast Titans
Assessed Line: Rabbitohs -13.5
Ladbrokes: Rabbitohs -11.5
Amazingly, Souths are equal with the Gold Coast on only 2 competition points after 4 rounds. They will be desperate to get a win on the board and will be relishing the return of Cody Walker and to a lesser extent James Roberts. After finally grabbing their first win in a year (and even then it wasn’t easy) the question is, will the Titans go on with it or face a massive let down? Judging by the bolstered Souths team, I’m tipping the latter. Rabbitohs value at the minus.
Newcastle Knights vs Melbourne Storm
Assessed Line: Knights +1.5
Ladbrokes: Knights +3.5
Despite only losing 1 match, many have considered the Storm a shade disappointing this year, whilst the Knights are the surprise packet of the season, exceeding all expectations under their new coach. That’s what makes this such an intriguing match. I’ve been more than impressed with Newcastle and again they look dynamic, led by an impressive forward pack and backed up by the brilliant Ponga. But how often do we write off Melbourne only to witness another one of their clinical wins? For mine, this is the standout match of the round and Newcastle represents value as outsiders.
Wests Tigers vs Canberra Raiders
Assessed Line: Tigers +8.5
Ladbrokes: Tigers +8.5
Canberra put in a rare poor performance last week and unfortunately for Tigers supporters, whenever they start thinking positively, their team invariably loses a game they should comfortably win, as they did against the Titans. Both sides will be keen to bounce back but the Raiders have a clear edge in class and won’t be happy being likened to “children” by their coach, who has shrewdly kept an unchanged lineup whilst the Tigers have made numerous changes, including the shock dropping of Benji Marshall. Bookies haven’t missed though and the line is spot on.
Canterbury Bulldogs vs Sydney Roosters
Assessed Line: Bulldogs +13.5
Ladbrokes: Bulldogs +17.5
The Roosters absolutely dismantled a poor Broncos side in round 4, whilst the Dogs welcomed back Foran with a win against an even poorer Saints outfit. A whole different story for Canterbury now, after facing the equivalent of a wet paper bag last week, they rise to face the rejuvenated Mike Tyson of the competition. After such a huge win and a 9-day break, I’m wary of a mini letdown for the Roosters and think the Dogs will hang in there. The big plus is just too big and represents value.
StGeorge/Ill Dragons vs Cronulla Sharks
Assessed Line: Dragons +6.0
Ladbrokes: Dragons +6.5
Paul McGregor’s season can easily be likened to a nightmare boxing match – so far this year he has gone 4 rounds, failed to deliver any punches, has been battered and bruised by every opponent, yet is still desperately clinging to the ropes while his club refuses to throw in the towel. This week the Sharks may just deliver the knockout blow. One of the NRL’s most bitter rivalries, it would normally be an intense battle, but can this spiritless Saints side even lift for such a clash? No confidence at all to wager on this one.
Good luck and great punting,
Punt Club NRL Guru