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2017 NRL Round 7 preview and expert tips

Posted on 11/04 by Joe Gann

2017 NRL Round 7 preview and expert tips

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Canterbury Bulldogs v South Sydney Rabbitohs betting
Team Odds
Canterbury Bulldogs $1.80 Bet Now
South Sydney Rabbitohs $2.01 Bet Now

Both teams secured welcome away victories last week; wins that helped move the pair up towards the coveted top 8 places.

The Bulldogs withstood another spirited effort from the Knights while the Bunnies came away from Pepper Stadium with a fine win. The introduction of Matt Frawley played an important role for the Dogs for the second week in a row, with the rookie playmaker crossing the stripe and then laying on a try for Josh Morris. His strong displays have surely earned him a starting berth this week. It was the Bulldogs’ ability to rack up points at pivotal moments of the game that saw them home although they were pushed all the way by a courageous Knights outfit.

They will be sweating on the fitness of David Klemmer this week, the prop left the ground in a protective boot on Friday after sustaining an ankle injury.

The manner in which the Bunnies claimed the two points at the weekend will have pleased coach Michael Maguire; after conceding a disheartening late leveller, his side marched up the other end of the paddock where Adam Reynolds slotted over the decisive kick. It was a symbol of a side that has not lost any of its spirit despite a campaign that so far has not gone to plan.

Recommended Bet
Rabbitohs to win @ $2.01 $501 Bonus Bet*

Newcastle Knights v Sydney Roosters betting
Team Odds
Newcastle Knights $3.66 Bet Now
Sydney Roosters $1.29 Bet Now

The Knights fell short again and it is becoming a familiar theme for Nathan Brown’s side; this week however, they come up against a Roosters side that have suffered back to back losses. Nathan Ross scored a contender for try of the year with his spectacular effort last week but it wasn’t enough to stave off another defeat for the gallant Knights.

At certain periods, they had the Dogs on the rack, including a vital passage prior to half time and they need to discover the ruthless edge to punish teams.

Unfortunately, this week has seen them enter familiar territory at the bottom of the ladder but are boosted by the news that Rory Kostjasyn may only be a week or so away from a return from surgery following a pre-season throat injury. It would appear that the Knights remain short in a few areas and recruitment in those key departments is a priority.

The Roosters disregard for defending cost them dearly against a powerful looking Broncos in the Thursday night clash. With the ball in hand, they look as dangerous as any side in the competition but at times without it, they seemed disinterested. Only playing for spells during games isn’t enough at this level and against the top teams, the Roosters have been punished in recent weeks. A game against the bottom side may look like the ideal fixture to return to winning ways but any complacency will see yet another upset in what has been an incredibly unpredictable year so far.

Recommended Bet
Roosters to win @ $1.29 $501 Bonus Bet*

Brisbane Broncos v Gold Coast Titans betting
Team Odds
Brisbane Broncos $1.25 Bet Now
Gold Coast Titans $4.00 Bet Now

It was a performance that the Broncos had been threatening and their points haul so far had not reflected the quality of their showings. It would have been satisfying to amass 32 points against one of the season’s form teams and the score-line might have been more emphatic if it wasn’t for the profligacy of some of the Broncos’ execution.

The Broncos will want rack up points before the Origin period potentially strips them of 7 players this year; and the next five games (Titans, Rabbitohs, Panthers, Sea Eagles and Tigers) may provide them with that opportunity.

Ben Hunt’s hamstring injury could see the Broncos having to make do without their number 7 for between 6-8 weeks, with Sam Scarlett or Todd Murphy standing by to replace him. Corey Oates will return after his late absence due to a groin injury last week to reinforce the backline.

The Titans’ injury curse struck again this week; with key men Kevin Proctor and Chris McQueen the latest to fall victim. This week is a short turnaround for the hugely disadvantaged Gold Coast - Saturday’s game saw $4m of the $7milllion salary cap sat on the sidelines - who will make the short journey north for this Queensland derby. The Titans are in the unenviable position of having to plead with the NRL on a weekly basis for a second-tier salary cap extension. Resources are so stretched at present that they need this special dispensation which will allow players from outside their 25 to play. They will just have to persevere through this trying period and hope that the wretched injury spell ends as quickly as possible.

Thankfully, there is hope that Co-captain Kevin Proctor, Chris McQueen, Nathan Peats and Dan Sarginson could be back to boost the ranks ahead of the Good Friday showdown at Suncorp.

Recommended Bet
Broncos to win @ $1.25 $501 Bonus Bet*

Manly Sea Eagles v Melbourne Storm betting
Team Odds
Manly Sea Eagles $2.38 Bet Now
Melbourne Storm $1.59 Bet Now

Slipping down to 8th with a 3-3 record, the Sea Eagles have experienced a topsy-turvy campaign so far. An underwhelming start was followed by a run of 3 significant victories over the Cowboys, Bulldogs and Roosters prior to Saturday’s 35-10 flogging at the hands of the Dragons.

To bounce back after such a loss is a difficult task, particularly against a Melbourne side that will be desperate to make amends for their own Round 6 aberration. However, they have already demonstrated an ability to pull off spectacular results and they will look upon the advantage of home territory as a key component in their quest to produce another shock here.

An emotional week for the Minor Premiers which started with the bombshell announcement of Cooper Cronk’s decision to leave at the end of the year and culminated in a disappointing loss to fierce rivals Cronulla and with it, their 100% winning record. For the first time in their history, the Storm were held try-less in Melbourne in a game played out in atrocious conditions.

It was a performance so littered with mistakes that boss Craig Bellamy took to describing the completion rate as ‘embarrassing.’ It was an uncharacteristically poor showing from a side renowned for its consistency and there won’t be too many more slip-ups of this nature committed this year. Up against another traditional rival this week, the Sea Eagles may feel the backlash from a wounded Storm.

Recommended Bet
Storm to win @ $1.59 $501 Bonus Bet*

Canberra Raiders v New Zealand Warriors betting
Team Odds
Canberra Raiders $1.40 Bet Now
New Zealand Warriors $2.96 Bet Now

The Raiders were merciless in their destruction of an injury depleted Titans last week and in that kind of form, they will amass points against any side in the country. With Jordan Rapana in menacing mood, the Green Machine were devastating on their way to chalking up a season total of 162 points from their 6 matches so far.

Currently in 6th place, Ricky Stuart’s side will be confident of embarking upon a run of form that will see them make up ground on the teams above them.

It was maximum points for the second week as the Warriors capitalised on home advantage again against the Eels. Kieran Foran is justifying the faith placed in by the Auckland club with another eye catching display on Sunday against his old club. An improved completion rate for Stephen Kearney’s men – 95% in the first half -once again helped drive them to victory. It was another step in the right direction, after last week’s 86% completion stats played an integral part in the success over the Titans.

The defence is slowly starting to take shape too, this was the first time they have conceded less than 22 points this year. 2 of the most exciting teams in the competition will lock horns this week in a match-up that has all the ingredients to be a classic.

Recommended Bet
Raiders to win @ $1.40 $501 Bonus Bet*

St George Illawarra Dragons v Nth Queensland Cowboys betting
Team Odds
St George Illawarra Dragons $1.42 Bet Now
Nth Queensland Cowboys $2.85 Bet Now

Sitting pretty at the summit as a result of a superb run of form, the Dragons are looking very good at present.

Even the absence of Josh Dugan wasn’t enough to derail Paul McGregor’s men as they swatted the Sea Eagles away at Lottoland on Saturday. In Gareth Widdop, Cameron McInnes and Tim Lafai, they have
several players at the top of their game at the minute and it’s making all the difference to a side that was written off by many before the season commenced.

A huge upset for the Cowboys last week with a committed Wests Tigers turning them over in style on home soil. A miserable evening was compounded by the late injury to Johnathan Thurston which will have worried those associated with the Kangaroos and Queensland with a New Zealand test and Origin on the horizon.

Recommended Bet
Dragons to win @ $1.42 $501 Bonus Bet*

Penrith Panthers v Cronulla Sharks betting
Team Odds
Penrith Panthers $1.69 Bet Now
Cronulla Sharks $2.18 Bet Now

The internal disciplinary matter which saw Matt Moylan, Waqa Blake and Peta Hiku omitted from first team action in Round 6 was a contributing factor in Saturday’s loss to the Rabbitohs.

The defeat has raised concern that the Panthers are struggling to live up to the pre-season hype so far. Round 7 promises a more positive outcome however, as the trio will be back amongst the selection options in a week in which 8 players are slated to make a return.

Bryce Cartwright, Tyrone Peachey and James Harris-Fisher could all make reappearances to bolster the mountain men, who with 2 wins from 6, are desperate for a watershed victory.

The Sharks recorded their first win at AAMI Park in a fiery encounter that pitched last year’s Grand Finalists together once more. Cronulla had the air of a team that was out to prove the point that despite having underperformed so far this year, they can still mix it with the best. It was a gritty win for Shane Flanagan’s side, the weather conditions ensured that it was never going to be a great spectacle for the neutrals but nevertheless, they came away with an important 2 points.

A satisfying weekend saw the Premiers move up into 3rd on the back of the Cowboys surprise loss to the Tigers.

Recommended Bet
Panthers to win @ $1.69 $501 Bonus Bet*

Parramatta Eels v Wests Tigers betting
Team Odds
Parramatta Eels $1.64 Bet Now
Wests Tigers $2.27 Bet Now

The Eels poor form continued with a fourth consecutive defeat in Auckland last week and the Blue and Gold appear to be flagging badly, at least in terms of points.

The loss of Bevan French led to a host of positional tinkering with Clint Gutherson moved to full- back in order to allow Brad Takairangi to take his place alongside Corey Norman in the halves and the disruption didn’t aid cohesion in the backs. After racing out of the traps at the season’s beginning, with 54 points in the first 2 matches, the attack has been somewhat blunted in recent weeks, with the Eels struggling to score more than 18 points in each of the last 4 matches.

The loss of French is a crippling blow, with the full-back expected to be out for around a month with a knee injury sustained during a team training session.

Saturday’s shock win in Townsville helped the Tigers off the foot of the ladder amid another turbulent week at Concord. Mitchell Moses’ decision to sign a 2 year deal with the Eels couldn’t have been more badly timed with the new recruit potentially facing his new teammates this week. Ivan Cleary has made an instant impact with that unexpected victory up in Townsville and it will prove a valuable platform from which to launch his new look side.

Recommended Bet
Eels to win @ $1.64 $501 Bonus Bet*

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