2017 NRL Round 4 preview and expert tipsPosted on 20/03 by Joe Gann
Weekly Expert Betting Tips - Join our free mailing listNRL Round 4 expert tips and best bets - 2017
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Another tough week for NRL punters in Round 3 - indeed it's the first time since 1973 that every team has won a game by Round 3.
Our followers were celebrating a great winning tip at $4.00 though, as Manly crushed the Cowboys in the season upset so far. Round 4 tips are below and don't forget to follow me on Twitter @Joegann1999Joe
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South Sydney Rabbitohs v Sydney Roosters betting
|South Sydney Rabbitohs
A sparkling display from halves duo Adam Reynolds and Cody Walker helped fire the Bunnies to victory in a bad tempered clash at Hunter Stadium. Having become accustomed to racking up big scores against the Knights, it was a measure of how far the Newcastle side have progressed that they finished the match within 6 points of their opponents.
An added ingredient to this match-up will be the two number sevens going head-to-head for the first time this year. Both Reynolds and Mitchell Pearce have been in fine recent form and will be competing for the same NSW Origin jersey in the upcoming series. It will be a chance for Coach Laurie Daley to run the rule over both candidates at this early stage as he looks to shape his squad and this enviable selection dilemma will be one of the key decisions to be made over the next few weeks.
Ex Panthers No1 Michael Gordon proved to be the match winner against his former club on Saturday, his 73rd minute effort helped redeem himself for a spilt bomb moments earlier that looked to have tipped the game the way of his former employers.
The left side of their attack proved fruitful once more as all 3 tries originated down that channel, it is now 10 tries in 3 games using that particular tactic; the combination of Latrell Mitchell and Daniel Tupou in particular causing all sorts of problems for the Panthers’ defence. It was a frenetic end to an engrossing encounter at Pepper Stadium and the result added more weight to the theory that the Roosters could be the real deal this year. 3 for 3 now, they are sitting astride the Storm at the summit of the ladder with 6 points.
|Roosters to win @ $1.46
|$501 Bonus Bet*
Penrith Panthers v Newcastle Knights betting
The Panthers can consider themselves unfortunate to have come away with nothing from an evenly contested Round 3 clash with the Roosters. Finding themselves on the wrong end of a couple of 50/50 decisions, it is these fine margins that are the difference between a win and loss.
However performances are clearly on an upward trajectory since the slip up in Round 1 and there is a lot more to come from this team. Injuries are hampering their progress at the minute and James Fisher-Harris became the latest casualty, sustaining a fractured cheekbone in the first half which will keep him on the sidelines for 2 -3 weeks. Bryce Cartwright is expected to return here though and with Peta Hiku making his way back into the line-up this week and Tyrone Peachy continuing to impress there is cause for optimism at Pepper Stadium, despite the slightly distorted 1-2 stats not quite telling the full story of the season so far.
The overriding feeling is that the Newcastle Knights are on the ascent. The victory last week could be a watershed moment that changes the outlook of the club completely. Having finally ridden themselves of a crippling 19 game losing habit, it seems as though the Knights have turned a corner. Demonstrating courage, confidence and team-spirit, they look a completely different side to the one that was bereft of all those attributes last term.
There are still plenty of areas to improve upon, chief among them eradicating the errors and poor discipline that culminated in the sin-binning of Trent Hodgkinson late in the game; an indiscretion that ultimately sealed their fate. But it was another huge step forward for a team that is impressing on a weekly basis. Saturday’s defeat was without a doubt their best showing against the Rabbitohs since their last victory over them in 2011, and the improvement is clear to see, although they face a stern away test this weekend.
|Panthers to win @ $1.20
|$501 Bonus Bet*
Brisbane Broncos v Canberra Raiders betting
Despite putting in a tremendous defensive display in Melbourne last week, the Broncos still emerged empty handed in Thursday’s engrossing tie. There has been a high level of consistency in the performances of Wayne Bennett’s men and although that hasn’t been reflected in the results, it can be considered a good start for the men from Suncorp, particularly given the tough opening fixtures they have had to navigate.
They will need to show the same kind of defensive resolve that they demonstrated in the Southern Capital again this week against a Canberra side that seem to have rediscovered their attacking mojo.
Not since 1973 has every team in the competition registered a win by the end of Round 3. It was the Raiders’ evisceration of a woeful Wests side that confirmed the end of that particular hoodoo. Back to their electrifying 2016 form at the weekend, the Raiders romped home against an insipid Tigers outfit.
The second half rout was exhibition stuff from a side that may have just clicked into gear. The form of stand-out performers Jordan Rapana and returning captain Jarrod Croker is timely with a difficult trip to Brisbane on the horizon.
|Raiders to win @ $2.28
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Manly Sea Eagles v Canterbury Bulldogs betting
|Manly Sea Eagles
Much-needed victories for both clubs at the weekend that will have served as a shot in the arm for two coaches who were under intense scrutiny going into the last round. The nature of the Sea Eagles’ victory in Townsville took most pundits by surprise and Trent Barrett’s men must take great credit for the performance against the backdrop of mounting unrest in the boardroom.
The 30-8 win will go down as the shock of the season so far, with captain Daly Cherry-Evans leading from the front with a display in which he made 200 kick metres, including an audacious 40/20, four runs, 17 tackles and a try assist. It was a vital win for the Brookvale club after a 0-2 start to the season and one which may potentially galvanise the team in the weeks to come.
Another home game, their third from four so far, could give them the edge against their city rivals.
Despite giving away home advantage to travel across the Tasman last week, the Bulldogs put on a wonderful display to release some of the pressure on beleaguered coach Des Hasler. Despite missing Will Hopoate and Kerrod Holland, the Bulldogs attack continued to excel in what was their best showing of the year so far.
A first win of the campaign was delivered courtesy of some resolute defensive performances, however Moses Mbye proved to be the difference in the attacking third alongside the ever-consistent Morris twins. It was a solid looking Bulldogs effort and they seem to be finding their feet after an indifferent start to 2017.
|Bulldogs to win @ $1.74
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Parramatta Eels v Cronulla Sharks betting
Mounting concerns for the Eels after a glorious start to the new term. They are facing a crisis in the hooker department, with Kaysa Pritchard picking up an ankle injury to go alongside Isaac De Gois who is out indefinitely and still feeling the after effects of a head injury received in a trial match in Alice Springs.
It was a disastrous result on Friday against a severely debilitated Titans roster; the shambolic nature of the display will do nothing to enhance a reputation that was growing by the week. The opening rounds of the campaign have been plain sailing for the Eels and they now face the challenge of responding to their first setback.
The Sharks endured another disappointment on Sunday in what has been a spluttering start to their campaign so far. With two defeats from the opening three games, it is unsurprising that they are already being written off in some quarters. This could be a good opportunity to turn things around though and it may be an ideal time to capitalise upon the injuries blighting their opponents.
|Sharks to win @ $1.77
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Gold Coast Titans v Nth Queensland Cowboys betting
|Gold Coast Titans
|Nth Queensland Cowboys
Involved in the two most surprising reversals of Round 3, both sides will be targeting a response here for differing reasons. For the Titans, they will be aiming to build upon a fantastic victory against the high-flying Eels. That win came against all the odds as an injury ravaged side pulled off one of the most incredible victories in the club’s history.
Forced into making sweeping changes as the game went on, and the injuries piled up, the Titans finally prevailed with their most inexperienced line-up ever on the pitch. It remains to be seen what kind of patched up team Neil Henry is able to come up with and much will depend on his enforced selection options this week.
For the Cowboys, a humiliating defeat at home to the Sea Eagles was in no small way due to an injury crisis of their own and they will be desperate to return to winning ways this week. Hoping to prove last week’s loss was a mere blip over the course of a season, the 2015 Premiers suffered more injury misery losing Justin O’Neill and Kyle Feldt joining the list of casualties. The performance of the medical staff may be crucial this week as both coaches will be praying for the return of key personnel.
|Cowboys to win @ $1.52
|$501 Bonus Bet*
Wests Tigers v Melbourne Storm betting
In Sunday’s horror showing, the Tigers team held up a white flag at half time and were dealt a hammering by a ruthless Raiders side that had the scent of blood in their nostrils. It was an embarrassing offering bearing all the hallmarks of a team that has stopped playing for the coach.
Lo and behold, Jason Taylor was relieved of his duties the following day amid rumours of some key names being unwilling to commit to new contracts with the coach at the helm. Assistant coach Andrew Webster will take the reins for this weekend’s clash with the table toppers and he has a mammoth task ahead of him to rouse his players in the next few days.
The earlier than expected return of Jesse Bromwich was a big bonus for the Storm this week. Added to the sight of legend full-back Billy Slater making his long awaited comeback, it was a night of positives for Craig Bellamy’s side. The manner of victory over a dogged Broncos team will be especially pleasing as the Minor Premiers weren’t quite at their very best.
An underrated pack managed to dominate territory though and on another night, the winning margin may have been bigger. However, the perseverance they showed particularly in the late stages when it looked like it might not be their night, shows another facet of the winning machine that this team has become.
|Storm to win @ $1.66
|$501 Bonus Bet*
St George Illawarra Dragons v New Zealand Warriors betting
|St George Illawarra Dragonss
|New Zealand Warriors
Another excellent night for the Dragons on Sunday, with star-man Josh Dugan central to a huge win at the home of the reigning Premiers. Coming off the back of a 34-16 beating at the hands of the Eels, the Dragons showed admiral resilience in keeping the Sharks scoreless for the entire first half. In a show of grit and determination that augers well for the challenges ahead, the Red V held off any attempt at a comeback from the home side to take away the two precious points and slip into the top four.
It’s been an uninspiring start for the New Zealanders and they need to stop the rot quickly. With just the solitary victory against last season’s wooden spoon holders the Newcastle Knights to their name, Stephen Kearney’s men need to find some form as soon as possible. It already appears that they are repeating the familiar theme again this season that continues to support the accusations that they are serial underachievers. The narrative usually includes a sharp upturn in form around Origin time; for the sake of their top eight chances, they will need to change their habits rapidly.
|Dragons to win @ $1.86
|$501 Bonus Bet*
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