2017 NRL Round 2 preview and expert tipsPosted on 08/03 by Joe Gann
Weekly Expert Betting Tips - Join our free mailing listNRL Round 2 expert tips and best bets - 2017
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Sydney Roosters v Canterbury Bulldogs betting
The Roosters were impressive in victory at the Titans and the alliance of Mitchell Pierce and Luke Keary immediately paid dividends for the Bondi club.
Both players were instrumental in the Roosters taking an unassailable 28 point lead to the sheds at half time and Trent Robinson will be hoping that the Premiership winning experience of both of these players will fire his side to a top 4 finish. In contrast to the attacking flair exhibited on the Gold Coast, Friday night footy saw the Bulldogs fail to break down a robust Storm defence despite large periods of possession, particularly in the 2nd half.
The attack looked unsure of itself and it is an area of their game that they will have to improve upon if they are to take anything from this one.
|Roosters to win @ $1.45
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New Zealand Warriors v Melbourne Storm betting
|New Zealand Warriors
The Warriors withstood a brave comeback by the Knights last week, providing ample evidence of the resilience that this team now possesses.
That victory on Sunday also broke the cycle of 7 winless years on the opening day for Stephen Kearney’s side. Kieran Foran will complete the last week of his ban here and his pairing with Shaun Johnson in the halves is keenly anticipated at Mt Smart, although 19 year old Ata Hingano proved himself more than able to fill the role with a sparkling display that featured the pass for Ryan Hoffman to win the match.
The injuries to Isaac Luke and Simon Mannering may take the gloss off that victory though, particularly if neither player recovers in time for the weekend. A masterful defensive display at Belmore last week saw Melbourne hang on to secure yet another Round 1 victory. In a blistering start to the game, the Minor Premiers threatened to run riot, racing into a 12 point lead with barely 10 minutes on the clock.
The early loss of Jesse Bromwich to a broken thumb became more keenly felt as the game wore on and a raft of penalties helped turn the tide, although a second half stalemate saw Craig Bellamy’s men emerge victorious.
With Tohu Harris still out and Billy Slater yet to return, the loss of Bromwich is an additional blow to another key area of the team. History could be made at the Melbourne club this week as skipper Cameron Smith closes in on the mammoth tally of 2,000 NRL points; currently on 1,997, the game in Auckland should see the stalwart surpass the astounding figure.
This will no doubt be a gripping encounter and one in which the Storm defence will be severely tested once again.
|Warriors to win @ $2.08
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Brisbane Broncos v Nth Queensland Cowboys betting
|Nth Queensland Cowboys
The Broncos and the Cowboys renew hostilities at the Suncorp this week and if it is a fraction as entertaining as recent clashes, then we are in for a cracker.
Both teams enjoyed opening round wins, the Broncos coming out on top against the reigning Premiers in an error-strewn encounter at the Shire; as the Cowboys battled through against a stubborn Raiders outfit.
Broncos coach Wayne Bennett succeeded in proving his critics wrong - his surprise decision to include Tautau Moga in the centres alongside James Roberts proved to be a masterstroke as the duo delivered top class displays to spur the Queenslanders on to victory. Ultimately, the guile of Anthony Milford cemented the victory and the assertion from Bennett that his side are a few weeks away from their best form implies better times may lie ahead for the 6 time Premiers.
Alongside Smith, Johnathan Thurston is now just one point shy of the 2000 point milestone and he will no doubt achieve that incredible feat here. ‘Good but not great’ was how Cowboys boss Paul Green chose to describe the victory over Canberra at the weekend.
After the departure of key forwards Ben Hannant and James Tamou, a phase of adjustment is inevitable but if the Cowboys can pick up victories without being at full throttle, it bodes well for their season ahead. Their big name personnel once more helped them get over the line in Townsville and they will be relieved to come away with the 2 points against an understrength Raiders.
|Broncos to win @ $1.90
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Newcastle Knights v Gold Coast Titans betting
|Gold Coast Titans
Despite suffering a 19th straight NRL loss, there were plenty of positives to be taken from the weekend’s clash with the Warriors.
The spirited display that saw Nathan Brown’s side recover from being 20-8 down to take the lead late on in the match only to concede a winning try at the death will boost the confidence that this year should be a huge improvement on 2016.
A serious looking knee injury to Dylan Phylian will dampen spirits somewhat, however they can be optimistic going into this home fixture. The Titans were soundly beaten by a rejuvenated Roosters side on Saturday and they will look to respond here in a seemingly winnable fixture. Nevertheless, it may be that some teams become victims of complacency when it comes to facing the Knights; their gutsy showing in Auckland hinted of a team with plenty of spirit within the ranks and they may spring a few surprises this year; a victory here would head off the unpleasant prospect of a 20th straight defeat.
The Titans have some work to do this week; a defeat to an on-song Roosters team is not the end of the world but they will be intent on collecting maximum points from last year’s wooden spoon recipients this coming weekend. An already crowded treatment room gained another casualty this week with new signing Kevin Proctor failing to re-emerge for the second half after picking up a shoulder injury.
Coach Neil Henry has cited an inferior kicking game as one of the important elements of last week’s defeat and with the new halves partnership between Kane Elgey and Ash Taylor failing to ignite with the immediacy that they would have liked, there are a few areas of concern early on for the Titans.
The influx of four new debutants coinciding with a lack of pre-season game time has left the side understandably lacking fluidity in their play, the weeks ahead should see an injection of some much needed cohesion.
|Titans to win @ $1.52
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Manly Sea Eagles v South Sydney Rabbitohs betting
|Manly Sea Eagles
|South Sydney Rabbitohs
Manly were deservedly beaten by a superior Eels team at the newly named Lottoland at Brookvale on Sunday. Despite being deprived of possession for long periods, it appeared that morale throughout the team remains high.
The willingness to work for each other was evident and a steely defensive performance may lay the foundations for improved results in the forthcoming weeks. Blake Green’s late try narrowed the deficit to 8 points and cast a slightly false light on the scoreline; however the tenacious defensive display gives Trent Barrett something to build on and the more Daly Cherry-Evans and Green play together, the more likelihood there is of a fruitful partnership prevailing.
The Rabbitohs were ripped apart at times by the Tigers at ANZ and they look exceedingly vulnerable to a hard running side particularly up the middle of the park.
Time and time again they were cut wide open and with no Adam Reynolds and the incomprehensible decision to leave Greg Inglis on the field despite suffering what could yet be a season-ending ACL injury early on in the match, these are worrying times for Michael McGuire.
It was a disastrous start for the Bunnies and a sad state of affairs that the paucity of bench options dictated that Inglis should soldier on despite being practically immobile; it seems to suggest that they are already down to the bare bones after Round 1 with Friday’s match exposed alarming weaknesses in the roster.
|Sea Eagles to win @ $1.60
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Canberra Raiders v Cronulla Sharks betting
An admirable effort in losing this season’s first golden point encounter at the Cowboys will surely prove to a valuable experience for Ricky Stuart’s men.
A depleted team took to the field and the gallant display from a side missing the likes of Jarrod Croker, Junior Paulo and Jack Wighton in which they showed a defensive grit and determination that was perhaps the missing ingredient last term, will have the rest of the competition worried.
An understandably disjointed performance from Cronulla on opening night paved the way for a Broncos victory. Following on from a defeat in the World Club Series, although it is hardly a crisis, it is a habit that the Sharks will be eager to break. One bright spot was the performance of Jayden Brailey in the number nine jersey, offering hope that the loss of the talismanic Michael Ennis will not be too keenly felt.
It hasn’t been the ideal start for the reigning Champs following the euphoria of October’s Grand Final win and an away trip to the capital is not a fixture to be welcomed.
|Raiders to win @ $1.55
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Wests Tigers v Penrith Panthers betting
Wests were at their free-flowing best last week and they clearly have the talent to upset a lot of teams this year, but much will depend on which version of the side turn up on the day.
A virtuoso James Tadesco performance was at the heart of a superb Tigers showing; they were rampant at times and the Bunnies were powerless to stop a mauling.
A tough proposition when they are in that kind of mood, with a lot of firepower in the ranks, however the biggest challenge will be to reproduce that level of performance on a regular basis.
The Panthers have something to prove this week and will surely fail to replicate the ridiculous number of basic errors they came up with last week against the Dragons. The pre-season has seen the Panthers the subject of title speculation and the highly fancied outfit will be keen to redeem themselves this Sunday and to justify those early lofty predictions.
|Panthers to win @ $1.70
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St George Illawarra Dragons v Parramatta Eels betting
|St George Illawarra Dragons
Both sides enjoyed hugely satisfying opening round victories; in putting the highly fancied Panthers to the sword in the shock of the opening round, the Dragons subdued their growing number of detractors.
That thumping victory - amassing 42 points in the process - was one in the eye for the critics who questioned their point scoring ability. Gareth Widdop put in an outstanding shift; off contract this year, they will be relying on his influence this term and hope he will still be around to greet the arrival of Ben Hunt in 2018.
The Eels put in a classy performance at Manly on Sunday, coming away with 2 well-deserved points. The trio of Corey Norman, Semi Rhadradra and Bevan French in particular were excellent. It was Norman who caught the eye most though, dictating the play with a punishing kicking game which was encapsulated by an exquisite first-half 40-20.
France-bound Radradra was rock-solid in defence and proved beyond a doubt that his commitment has not wavered in the face of off-field troubles and that impending code switch. A side high on confidence and entering 2017 with a point to prove.
|Eels to win @ $1.80
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