Thursday, March 26, 2009

NRL Round Three Preview

Wests Tigers vs Roosters

Tigers have leaked points big time in their two matches thus far. Will need to shore this up, if they are to get over the Roosters. Home ground advantage will help somewhat. The Roosters had a much improved effort against canberra, particularly on defence. Roosters superior defence to be the difference.
Roosters by 8

Titans vs Bulldogs

Titans at home are a tough proposition for anyone. Alot will depend on how the Bulldogs front up mentally after being stripped of two points last weekend for fielding a fourtenth player. If they are not there in the top three inches, expect the Gold Coast to run up a sizable margin.
Gold Coast by 4

Warriors vs Brisbane Broncos

The two form teams so far this season. Warriors forward pack versus Brisbane back line. Warriors will be trying to keep Lockyer and co quiet so expect there to be a torrid battle up the middle of the park. Warriors should have the edge there If Brisbane get ball going forward, their backs can win it for them, despite been without Hodges, who is suspended. Manu Vatevei is out with knee problems and replaced with Aiden Kirk. Stacey Jones will come off the bench again and as someone in the New Zealand Herald that knows way more about it than me said, this is the right place for him. The Warriors have generally had the upper hand over Brisbane this past five or so years and it should continue here.
Warriors by 2

Parramatta Eels vs Canberra Raiders

Parramatta were a huge improvement last weekend compared to their first up effort against the Warriors. Superb defence, and will need it again against a team that can score points from anywhere.
Parramatta by 4

North Queensland Cowboys vs Melbourne Storm

Cowboys are near impossible to beat at home when on form and they have been good so far this year. Easily disposed of the Tigers last weekend but Melbourne are a different kettle of fish.
Cowboys by 6

South Sydney vs Newcastle Knights

Souths offered nothing in attack against the Eels, so will be looking to Sandow and Sutton to give them significant improvement there. The Knights upset the Sharks but they played on Monday and traditionally, teams that back up from Monday night footy struggle the next week. This will give souths the edge, despite loosing to the Knights 39-12 last time the two sides met.
Souths by 8

St George Dragons vs Cronulla Sharks

St George under Wayne Bennett at the very least, appear to have found a new mental resolve. They also are going up the middle of the ruck alot more. Their attack hasn't gelled yet, but that will come as the season unfolds. Cronulla are struggling on attack and need to fire up here as good defence only gets you so far. They will miss Fullback Brett Kearney, who did give them some attacking options.
St George by 7

Manly vs Penrith

Manly were undone by the brilliant Stacey Jones last week and are none from two. It would be an under statement to say they need to remedy this situation and quickly for the sake of morale. How much did the match against the Warriors take out of them? If this plays a part, Penrith will be in with a chance as they have some brilliant attacking players. Penrith need to move Manly around as much as possible. Manly by 10

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