2020 Season Results:Head-to-Head Tipping: 6/8 (75%)
2019 Season Results:Head-to-Head Tipping: (64%)
2018 Season Results:Head-to-Head Tipping: (58%) Line Betting: (46%)
2017 Season Results:Head-to-Head Tipping: 66% Line Betting: 55% (NOTE: If this is your first visit to the site, be sure to click here for an explanation of what we’re all about.)
- It appears to be a case of “different season, same story” for the Cowboys. North Queensland confirmed our suspicions last week, with Valentine Holmes making little difference to an offense that’s been downright insipid for the past three seasons. To make matters worse, their forwards – unquestionably the Cowboys’ greatest strength – got absolutely smoked my the rampaging Broncos’ middles, whose starters all ran for over 100m. The return of Josh McGuire will help in that regard, as will the drop in opposition quality this week (against Parramatta, the Bulldogs had just one forward hit the 100m threshold, and all but two were held to under 80m). But don’t think this game will be easy – both sides struggle to generate much of anything, so the winner may be decided by a few lucky tries from kicks. We’re favouring North Queensland due to an expected dominance of field position, but expect neither side to be particularly enterprising. This has the potential to be a bit of a bludger.
- What a difference a good hooker makes! A year removed from possessing one of the league’s most pedestrian offenses, the Panthers came out and shredded the Roosters’ D to the tune of 5 line breaks and 3 tries, led by a masterful performance by returning hooker Api Koroisau. For context, from Round 18 last year (the beginning of the Roosters’ winning run to the premiership), they conceded 5 line breaks in a match just 3 times (against high-octane offenses Newcastle, Souths and Melbourne), and 3 tries in a game once (against Canberra). We’re not about to call the Panthers’ offense “fixed”, but having suddenly added the ability to attack back through the ruck via Koroisau and Isiaah Yeo (who ran for a staggering 81m post-contact) on top of their damaging left edge of Viliame Kikau and Brent Naden, the Panthers are considerably more dangerous. Their right edge still needs work, but if Nathan Cleary is to keep his Origin jersey, we’d expect to see improvements down that side as the season progresses, too.
- The Broncos were phenomenal last weekend, which makes it all the more difficult to say the following – we’re backing the Rabbitohs. This may be the toughest game of the week to pick – both sides were reasonably comfortable winners in Week 1, on the back of strong offensive production (the Broncos created 6 line breaks; the Rabbitohs 5). However, we’re tilting towards South Sydney for three main reasons. First, the Broncos’ offense was built on the platform laid by their forward pack – a forward pack that will be with Tevita Pangai Jr for the foreseeable future (suspension). Pangai alone accounted for over 100m, 1 line break and 1 line break assist. That’s a lot of production, and will be difficult to replace for a forward pack already without Matt Lodge and Alex Glenn. Second, while both sides’ offensive outputs were comparable, it should be noted that in 2019, Cronulla were a much better defensive opponent than the Cowboys. This may not hold true for 2020, but at this point we shouldn’t automatically assume that tearing up North Queensland is impressive (after all, they bled 6 or more line breaks in 5 of their last 9 games of 2019). Finally, there’s the Bennett factor – the Broncos’ former coach defeated his former charges on both occasions last year, and we’d expect him know exactly how to do it again.
- Despite the disappointing scoreline for the Roosters last weekend, they weren’t completely terrible. Their middles in particular totally dominated their Penrith counterparts for much of the match, before running out of steam in the second half. The issue for Sydney was their inability to convert that territorial advantage into points. The Panthers may yet turn out to be an elite defensive unit, but at this point the more likely explanation is that the Keary/Flanagan halves combination is going to suffer a few teething problems. They generated very little against Penrith (0 line break assists and 1 try assist between them), and it won’t get any easier against the impenetrable Sea Eagles defense. The upside for the Roosters is that Manly’s offense looked even worse than Sydney’s did. Penrith’s gain was Manly’s indescribable loss, as the first game of the ‘Danny Levi era’ brought zero tries, zero line breaks and just 12 tackle breaks (all competition lows). Granted, this was against Melbourne, but for what was once one of the league’s better offenses (and one that wasn’t held try-less or break-less at all in 2019), this performance must have been sobering. Their forwards got crushed, with star forward Jake Trbojevic’s 6.4m per carry the second-worst in the league among forwards with 10+ runs. Overall, this shapes as another low-scoring affair, where a lucky try from a kick could be the difference. In such games, we prefer the side with the better pack, and in this case, that’s likely the Roosters.
- Having struck gold on the Tigers last weekend, we’re going back to the well in Round 2. To be honest, they weren’t terribly impressive against St George-Illawarra, and they were unable to utilise Joey Leilua effectively at all (Adam Doueihi, on the other hand, was exceptional). However, they got the job done, and appear to have found a good one in bench forward Thomas Mikaele.