2019 Season Results:Head-to-Head Tipping: 91/144 (63%) (Last week: 5/8)
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.)
- Sea Eagles
- Tigers/Cowboys contests are somewhat known for being high-scoring, unpredictable games of football, and there’s no reason to expect this to be any different. Those of you who followed Wests’ upward trend in line breaks were rewarded last weekend, as the Tigers recorded their highest points total since early May. That effort was their 4th week on the trot in which they’ve recorded 5 or more line breaks in a game, and here they’ll be facing the 3rd worst line break defense in the competition. Stylistically, the two sides couldn’t be more different – while the Tigers’ recent success has come largely off the back of some fast-and-loose second-phase play (the Tigers have averaged 11.5 offloads per game during their last 4 games, almost double the 6.8 they were averaging over the 6 weeks prior); the Cowboys wouldn’t be caught dead offloading, for fear of making an error and exposing their weak defense to a short field (indeed, last week the Cowboys made just 4 offloads in the entire match). It follows then that this match may well come down to how well the Tigers can execute their offload-heavy attacking style. If their passes stick, there’s potential here for the Tigers to run up another decent total; however, if the passes don’t stick, they may not see the football for long stretches of the match at a time. It’s high-risk, high-reward for the Tigers, and if nothing else, we’d rather see that be successful than the giant snoozefest that the Cowboys dish up.
- We thought the Warriors could give the Eels a good shake last weekend, and they didn’t let us down – going toe-to-toe with Parramatta in one of the more entertaining matches this year. The result may have been tainted by controversy (for ours, that pass was too close to feel particularly outraged either way it got called), but on the whole, it was a lot of fun. The Warriors continue to play an enterprising style of offense that’s averaged over 5 line breaks per game for the past 6 weeks, only to let themselves down by butchering opportunities and giving up points through soft defensive lapses. They simply can’t do that against the Raiders – Canberra were given relatively few attacking opportunities by Penrith, yet converted almost all of them on their way to scoring 6 tries (as many as Penrith had conceded in their previous 3 games combined). We honestly believe that the Warriors have the ability to beat the Raiders this weekend – we simply don’t have any confidence that they’re capable of playing to their ability for the full 80 minutes.
- It speaks volumes about the dominance of the Storm that last weekend marked just their 3rd loss of the season, and they actually outscored Manly in that, 2 tries to 1. If the only way to beat Melbourne is to accept that their defense is impenetrable and kick a bunch of goals, it’s hard to see them losing many more games (and it speaks volumes that a top-tier offense such as Manly would adopt such a strategy). The Broncos are the biggest recent improvers, especially on the defensive side of the ball, where they’ve conceded just 3 tries in their past 2 games combined. Unfortunately, those games came against the league’s 15th and 14th ranked offenses – not the 2nd-best attacking team in the competition, fired up after seeing their 9-game winning streak snapped. It’s fortunate this is the later game, because any earlier and the TV stations would have to pixelate what Melbourne are about to do to the Broncos.
- Following on from our comments about Melbourne, it naturally follows that we’re not getting carried away with the Sea Eagles‘ win. They weren’t the better team on Saturday night, and we’re as mystified as everyone else how Jake Trbojevic avoided suspension while Isaac Luke got rubbed out for three weeks (but that’s a different rant). Their forwards got smoked once again (the Storm had 3 forwards run for over 150m, compared to zero for Manly), and they were very fortunate that Melbourne were incapable of converting their ample scoring opportunities. That being said, we also believe that Manly’s lack of attacking success was more a symptom of their elite opposition than anything else. Prior to that, they’d scored a whopping 22 combined tries in their previous 4 matches, and nobody has scored more than 3 tries against Melbourne all year (so being held to a single try isn’t a huge failure). Against a more regulation defense, we’d expect the Sea Eagles to quickly find their way back to the tryline very soon.
- And the Knights might be just what the doctor ordered. We’ve blamed Newcastle’s recent slump on the constant changes in personnel, but that appears to have fallen on deaf ears. Jesse Ramien, Danny Levi, Herman Ese’ese and Jamie Buhrer have all been axed in this week’s edition of Nathan Brown Selection Roulette, with Kurt Mann shifting to the wing and fullback-cum-five-eighth-cum-utility Connor Watson now apparently their first choice hooker. The axing of Ramien seems more to do with his contract than anything else – admittedly he’s been a defensive liability (he’s conceded 1.1 line breaks per game in 2019), but the incoming Mason Lino isn’t much better (0.7), and Ramien is still the team leader in tackle breaks (71), and 4th on the team for run metres (1711). Yes, he’s been disappointing, but is the team actually better without him in it? We doubt it.
- A few weeks ago we may have considered the Bulldogs a danger game for the Panthers. Penrith’s defense is consistently tight (when they’re not getting players sin-binned for the 5th time this year), however their offense has only really looked sharp against below-average defenses. Through 19 rounds, the Panthers have scored 20+ points just 4 times – against the Titans (twice, who rank last in Defense VOA), the Dragons (14th) and Sharks (the only exception, and they’re a weak 6th, anyway). They went close against the 8th-ranked Raiders, but once again fell short. That leaves it to their defense to bail them out of trouble, which in turn means playing tight, low-scoring games (which have a lower margin of error). Generally speaking, the Bulldogs would be the sort of top-of-the-food-chain defense that Penrith may struggle with. On recent form though – probably not. They’ve bled 5+ line breaks in back-to-back games, including a dreadful effort against Brisbane in which they missed an absurd 47 tackles (the Panthers haven’t missed more than 26 in 3 weeks). With Penrith now fighting to keep their spot in the eight, we’d be expecting them to bring more than Canterbury can handle to BankWest.
- Maybe we’re just suckers, but we just can’t shake this feeling about the Sharks this weekend. On form, this game is a toss-up; both sides have recently ended long losing runs – the Sharks with a late win over the 13th-placed Cowboys, and the Rabbitohs with a trio of unconvincing wins, most recently needing the full 80 to beat the 14th-placed Dragons. So, we ask ourselves – if one team is likely to improve, who will it be? On one hand, Sam Burgess is back for the Bunnies (and Burgess is, after all, very, very good). However, we still feel like the Sharks have a bit in the tank. Maybe it’s the return of the much-maligned Matt Moylan at fullback (he’s curiously fallen off the radar this year, despite leading his team with 14 line break assists from just 9 games). Maybe it’s the return of the World’s Dumbest Footballer, Andrew Fifita (okay, it’s definitely not that). No, it’s the long-awaited addition of our guy, Wade Graham, in the #12 jersey. Graham is a total stud, who adds playmaking, line-running and a sweet left boot to the Sharks’ offense. Here’s a fun fact: in Graham’s last 16 NRL matches (dating back to April 2018), the Sharks have only failed to score 20+ points 5 times. Graham makes Cronulla’s offense substantially better, which they’ll need to be in order to outpace the Rabbitohs. It’s certainly close, but in a must-win game at Shark Park, you have believe that Cronulla will finally put it all together.
- 1) If you haven’t been following the NRL for the past three months, the Dragons are shit now. Update your records. 2) The Eels pretty much always beat the Dragons, regardless of venue – they’ve won 8 of their past 9 meetings. 3) The Eels have the 5th-best line break offense in the competition; the Dragons have the 2nd-worst line break defense. 4) Parramatta pumped the Dragons 32-18 in early May – back when the Dragons were good. 5) The Eels haven’t scored less than 4 tries in a game since Round 11. 6) The Dragons haven’t scored more than 3 tries in a game since Round 15. 7) Yeah, we’re taking Parra.