Full Round 3 Preview
After the completion of the first 2 rounds, it looks clear that the PVL OzTag of last season is behind us and we can expect more tighter finishes and closer contests. There’s been a stack of ‘unders’ & ‘plus’ games to begin the year. Are those the outliers or pricing yet to catch up, or will we see lower scoring, tighter contests…
Let’s find out shall we…
Dragons ($2.10) vs Sharks ($1.73)
- Both 1 from 2 to start the year
- Nicholas Hynes shining in the Shire
- Dragons need to find some offence
- Dragons without Macca & naughty Burgess
- No Mulitalo & Wilton for Sharkies
- Thank f*ck it’s not a Sharks home game & the PM can get back to work!
Confident these are two teams on the rise and finals footy beckons for both. I thought the Dragons were really brave last week against the Panthers, they went into the sheds down 20-6 at halftime before keeping the Panthers scoreless in the 2nd half, rallying with 2 tries and arguably should have won. The Sharks held their nerve to overcome Parra thanks to a Wilton try in the last minute. Cometh the hour, cometh the man – Nicholas Hynes had kicked like a retired paratrooper all day but slotted the one that mattered from the sideline. Tough win. Expecting a good game to kick off the round but favouring the Dragons at the plus.
Tigers ($2.10) vs Warriors ($1.73)
- Thoughts & prayers for Madge
- Both sides winless in 2022
- SJ still out, this week Kodi replaces Taylor
- Hastings & Tuilagi out for Tigers
- There could be 10 tries in this – tackling to be optional
The Tigers are the Tigers, that’s the only way you can describe them. The media, especially the ‘FOX Fellas’, have the knives sharpened for Madge & it only seems a matter of time before Sheens, or someone, replaces him. Back to the footy though, they were solid in Round 1 against a depleted but gritty Storm. If they click they can win but who knows…The Warriors are missing Tohu, they ended up gassed in the heat against the Titans last week and it told in the end. Not sure how they will back up from that…Safest way to play this game – back both sides not to tackle and back the over.
Rabbitohs ($2.35) vs Roosters ($1.60)
- There’ll be some feeling in this one!!!
- Trell and Arrow vs the whole Roosters squad!
- Souths started to click last 10 mins last week…
- Roosters bounced back but are they back???
- Watson may be the only late change (busted shoulder)
The last time the Roosters sought revenge against the Bunnies they got completely carried away and lost sight of winning the game. There’s no way Robbo, or Teddy, will allow that to happen again. The Bunnies have been woeful for the majority of the opening two rounds, besides the last 10 minutes or so last week where they finished with a flurry and nearly pinched the game. Expect a fierce, tough battle that opens up into a game of footy late in the piece. Whoever holds their nerve will win. I can’t split them. So Bunnies with the start.
Panthers ($1.22) vs Knights ($4.25)
- At the time of writing, Cleary lurking in reserves – Will he play?
- I’ve been a little unfair on the Knights
- One team will have their first loss for 2022
- Are the Panthers still way ahead? Is the gap closing?
- To be played in Bathurst (careful how you pronounce it, the locals are touchy about it)
At the time of writing, The Chin is lurking in the reserves and you would suggest that if he travels to Bathurst it will be as a player and not a spectator. Regardless of whether he plays or not, the loss of Brian To’o will be one they feel. He starts their sets and it’s hard to see any of Edwards, Staines, or May being able to replicate. If the Knights can kick well and put Penny back three under pressure early in each set, they can go a long way to winning. I’m tipping this to be the upset of the round! If your greedy, back the Knights to win, or settle for the plus.
Storm ($1.55) vs Eels ($2.50)
- Harry Grant. That is all. That’s the comment.
- Parra less than convincing to start the season
- This is a mouth-watering clash of two big packs
- Paulo & RCG vs NAS & J-Brom
- Stom bench very weak
- Expect a tight tussle
The Storm are tough to beat anywhere but especially at home. That said, if Parra can stay in the game for the first 60 mins, the 2nd stint of Paulo & RCG can wear down a Storm pack that is a little light-on on the bench. We saw the Bunnies nearly pinch it late last week and I’m tipping something similar here. Parra can cause an upset & I’ll be backing them to. What could go wrong?!
Raiders ($1.73) vs Titans ($2.10)
- Both 1 from 2 to start the season
- Schneider back from COVID
- Hodgson ruled out for the season (this is a plus for the Raiders)
- Night game in Canberra
- Wighton to be much better with Schneider back
This is a pretty tricky game to get a decent line on. The Raiders playing at home in more favourable conditions than the sweat box of Townsville last week. I really think the young kid Schneider compliments Wighton, as we witnessed in their opening game. Expect Jack to fire and run whenever he can. The Titans play a lot of footy on dry decks and I can see them having an off night in Canberra. Raiders to be big winners.
Broncos ($1.53) vs Cowboys ($2.50)
- Everyone is sleeping on the Cows
- This shapes as a cracker!
- Battle of the halves – Reynolds v Chad
- Battle of the big men – Haas v Lolo
Historically, there is rarely anything between these two sides of late. I can’t understand how Brisbane are such strong favourites in this, they were flattered by the Dogs lack of attack last week. Lolo, Payten & the Cows look to be building into a big season, one that I think can see them play finals footy. They’ll win & win well.
Sea Eagles ($1.28) vs Bulldogs ($3.70)
- Dogs hanging tough but need to find points
- Manly…what’s doing?!
- Is this the game Turbo fires?
- Manly need their pack to stand up
- Dogs can cause an upset
No point beating around the bush, Manly have been woeful to start the season. They are the sort of side that loves beating up on lower-tier teams but I don’t think they’ll get that here. The Dogs have shown grit to defend and if they can somehow find a way to cross the line, they will surprise teams this year. $1.28 for Manly that haven’t been able to get out of their own way to start the season…That’s real brass balls type of stuff…
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 3. T&C’s apply, check their website for more details.
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