NRL Round 7 Tips and PredictionsPosted on 16/04 by Joe Gann
The Dragons take on the Warriors in Auckland in the outstanding clash of Round 7.
Weekly Expert Betting Tips - Join our free mailing listBulldogs v Roosters
The Bulldogs pulled off their second victory of the year with an excellent win up in Townsville at the weekend. An inspired defensive effort, even when reduced to twelve men augers well for this week’s showdown against the Roosters. A 3-3 record for a Roosters outfit now who seem to be struggling with their favourites tag. Inconsistencies remain, and they seem to be unable to put a winning run together. There were signs that frustration was creeping in after another disjointed display against the Rabbitohs and this weekend's game provides another potential banana skin.
Prediction – Roosters
Warriors v Dragons
The Warriors will be keen to get back on track this week against the Dragons, in the stand-out fixture of round 7. The mouth-watering clash represents a test of the resilience of Stephen Kearney’s side following their first defeat of the season to the Broncos. Having found themselves dominated in the forwards last week, they will be eager to address that issue and continue to provide the platform for Blake Green and Shaun Johnson to dictate the tempo of proceedings against the brilliant pairing of Gareth Widdop and Ben Hunt. The Dragons managed to fend off a spirited Sharks outfit last week to keep their unbeaten record intact. An electrifying display from Matt Dufty set Paul McGregor’s side on the path the victory with a magnificent double before the Red V racked up 30+ points for the fourth time this year. The Dragons are now just the eighth side in NRL history to go through the opening six rounds undefeated.
Prediction – Dragons
Broncos v Storm
The Broncos pulled off their best performance of the year to shatter the Warriors' winning streak last week although the quality of the display may leave coach Wayne Bennett with a selection dilemma. Kodi Nikorima’s late withdrawal paved the way for Jack Bird to accompany Anthony Milford in the halves; a combination that impressed enough to earn their places for this week’s crunch game against the Storm. The reigning Premiers returned to winning ways with a vengeance courtesy of a thumping 40-14 win over the Knights on Friday. Clearly motivated to turn around their indifferent early season form, they flew out of the traps with three early tries, 13 sets from 13 and 82% possession to blow the Knights away. Surprisingly, they are looking for consecutive wins for the first time this year.
Prediction - Storm
Rabbitohs v Raiders
Two huge blunders from multi-million dollar recruit James Tedesco helped the Rabbitohs on their way to a win over their oldest rivals last week. Racking up 200 metres more than their opponents before going into overdrive in the second stanza, the Bunnies cruised to a superb 26-14 victory. A win made all the more satisfying coming as it did without forwards Sam Burgess and Cameron Murray. Back to back wins for the Raiders now who see to have shrugged off their early-season woes. Tries for the recalled Josh Papalii, and Blake Austin set the Vikings on the way to an 18-2 win over the ailing Eels, a victory that sees Ricky Stuart’s men continue to climb away from the foot of the ladder.
Prediction – Raiders
Tigers v Knights
The Tigers sit fourth on the ladder with ten points after six rounds; a start to the season that their fans could only have dreamt about in the off-season. The halves combination of Luke Brooks and Benji Marshall was sublime once more, with Marshall bagging a brace of tries for the first time since round 14 of 2011, as the Tigers equalled their highest-ever win over the Sea Eagles. The Knights were on the receiving end of a Melbourne Storm backlash at AAMI Park in the last round, and they won’t be relishing the prospect of travelling to Scully Park to face a Tigers side high on confidence.
Prediction – Tigers
Cowboys v Titans
Five straight defeats now for the Cowboys, as one of the pre-season premiership favourites are left reeling down in fifteenth place on the ladder. An awful performance on Saturday saw the Bulldogs hand out an emphatic 10-27 beating, consigning Paul Green’s men to their fifth defeat from six matches. After completing back to back wins over the Broncos and the Sea Eagles, the Titans were brought back to earth with a thud at the weekend courtesy of a 35-12 loss to the Panthers. Injuries to Jai Arrow, Nathan Peats and Dale Copley compounded a disappointing day for Garth Brennan’s side, but the Titans can look to the competition ladder for inspiration in the lead up this weekend’s clash with the Cowboys; they currently reside six places above their Queensland neighbours.
Prediction – Titans
Eels v Sea Eagles
The Eels’ eighth straight loss – their sixth this year - has left their season’s hopes hanging by a thread. With confidence at rock bottom, Brad Arthur’s side will need to recreate history if they are to claim an increasingly unlikely finals spot. None of the 29 teams that have started the season 0-6 in the NRL era has managed to make play-off stage. They face a Sea Eagles team that inflicted a damaging 54-0 defeat on them in week 2, and they will face an uphill struggle to avoid a similar scoreline this week. The Sea Eagles suffered a shock to their system at the weekend, dispatched by a superb Tigers outfit 12-38 at Brookvale. The Tigers were fantastic and the Sea Eagles awful in equal measures; the Silvertails' performance was so dire that they were booed by their own fans. Trent Barrett’s men will surely relish the opportunity to redeem themselves against the competition’s whipping boys this weekend.
Prediction – Sea Eagles
Sharks v Panthers
Despite a brave display in Wollongong, the Sharks went down to their fourth loss in six this year. An unfortunate knock-on from Valentine Holmes shifted the momentum of the match, just as it had appeared Josh Dugan had touched down to bring his side to within two points of the home team. The Dragons took full advantage of the reprieve to extend their eventual winning margin to 40-20 but the Sharks were in the game despite being reduced to just 14 fit players in the second half. They will be sweating on the fitness of Paul Gallen and Andrew Fifita this week, who both sustained severe looking knee injuries. Another classy display from James Maloney helped the Panthers to victory over the Titans on Sunday, the mountain men are now second on the ladder after leapfrogging the Warriors and are building up a head of steam. Injuries to key players continue to blight the team though; Josh Mansour is the latest casualty having sustained a broken cheekbone during Sunday’s win.
Prediction – Panthers
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