2017 Season Results:
Head-to-Head Tipping: 85/130 (65%) [Last week:2/4]
Line Betting: 32/63 (51%) [Last week: 1/2]
2016 Season Results:
Head-to-Head Tipping: 71%
Line Betting: 54%
(NOTE: If this is your first visit to the site, be sure to click here for an explanation of what we’re all about. Then, be sure to sign up at the bottom of the page to get betting tips sent straight to your inbox!)
NRL Round 19 Tips and Previews
Warriors v Panthers
Offense VOA: Warriors -1.77% (9th), Panthers 3.49% (8th)
Defense VOA: Warriors 7.34% (11th), Panthers 8.80% (12th)
Question: Why didn’t the Panthers score more points against the Sea Eagles?
Answer: Because they didn’t make any real effort to.
While the Panthers’ offense has been the subject of much scrutiny after their anemic effort with a wealth of first half possession against Manly, what seems to have been lost to the casual observer (and some fairly ordinary sections of the media) is that the Panthers executed a very specific game plan for a very specific opponent – and it worked.
The Panthers had no chance in hell to beat the Sea Eagles in a shoot-out – Manly have more firepower and a better defense to boot. Instead, the Panthers went for an excruciatingly boring style of footy, designed to minimize errors. They drastically reduced their offloads – making just 6, after averaging over 12 per game since Round 9. They also steadfastly refused to go more than 2 passes wide, regardless of field position; turning it back inside if they even threatened going beyond the second-rowers. Waqa Blake and Tyrone Peachey may as well have brought a packed lunch and something to read, as they were completely ignored in the Panthers’ gameplan. The Panthers’ centres combined for just 15 runs against Manly (3 of which were from dummy-half), compared to 23 from their Sea Eagles counterparts. The point of this discussion though, is that it worked – and it will work again against the Warriors.
The reason it worked is that by reducing their errors (the Panthers made just 6 errors – far and away their best performance of the season) they protected their notoriously unreliable defense, by reducing Manly’s time with the ball. On top of that, their forwards dominated Manly in the middle of the park, leaving the Sea Eagles eternally running it out from deep in their own end. It’s the blueprint for beating Manly, and for that matter, beating the Warriors.
The Warriors play essentially the same style as the Sea Eagles – they’re just worse at it. Both sides lean heavily on discipline and winning possession (Manly rank 1st in errors; the Warriors rank 2nd), but the Warriors lack the forward pack to consistently turn that possession into field position (and, in turn, points). The Warriors have only managed to outgain their opponent in 6 of 16 matches so far. Their issue, specifically, is their inability to stop other teams rolling straight over the top of them – they rank 2nd last in RMCVOA (5.84%). If the Panthers can run through the Warriors in the same way they did against the Sea Eagles (and the Sea Eagles, FYI, rank 2nd in that same category), it won’t matter how good a touch the Warriors offense is in – they won’t get a chance to use it.
So for that reason, we’re taking Penrith. Not necessarily with enormous confidence – if the Panthers choose to open up the throttle and play a more expansive style, they’re just as much chance to be down 18 points at halftime as they are to be up.
Some may point to this match being Manu Vatuvei’s farewell, and the fact that the Warriors will be desperately wanting to earn a win for the occasion. But knowing the Warriors, the bigger the stage, the bigger the bed-wetting; so that might just set the table for some world-class disappointment across the Tasman.
Our tip: Panthers