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NRL Premiership: Melbourne shorten as Brisbane and Penrith slide

Mon, Aug 28, 2:10pm by Head Editor

Last season’s runners-up – the Melbourne Storm – are in sensational form with just one game remaining in the NRL regular season, running in 11 tries to one against a hapless South Sydney outfit on Saturday night.

The 64-6 drubbing sends a clear warning to the rest of the competition that they are the team to beat when the finals kick-off in a fortnight’s time. The Storm moved in from $2.25 to $2 to go one better than last season.

The match of the round took place at Shark Park on Saturday night, when the second-placed Roosters squeezed past fellow Premiership contender, the Sharks. The 16-14 win was sealed by a late Michael Gordon penalty goal in the final minute of the match.

The crucial win sees the Tricolours move in from $6 to $5 to lift the trophy for the first time since 2013, while the reigning Premiers remain at $13 for back-to-back titles.

The biggest upset of the round came on Thursday night, when the Broncos were soundly beaten by the Eels at home.

The 52-38 win was Parramatta’s eighth win from their last nine starts, and sees the club move in from $17 to $10 to lift the trophy.

The first of Sunday’s games was an epic between the Warriors and the Sea Eagles. The clubs couldn’t be separated after 80 minutes, but a Daly-Cherry Evans field goal four minutes into golden point extra-time kept Manly on track for a finals spot.

Despite the win, the Sea Eagles moved out from $21 to $23 to lift the trophy on the first Sunday in October.

That contest wasn’t the only thriller on Sunday as the Dragons ended the Panthers seven game winning streak, with a nail-biting 16-14 win at Pepper Stadium.

The result sees St George’s finals hopes remain alive, while Penrith’s quote for the Premiership drifted out from $15 to $21, as the highest they can now finish is fifth on the ladder.

The North Queensland Cowboys remain a $51 to win the competition, after beating the 15th placed Tigers at Campbelltown Stadium on Friday night, while the Raiders beat the Knights convincingly, by a score of 46-28.

Overall, it wasn’t a great weekend for punters, with the favourites winning and covering the line in just two of the eight games.

Round 26 kicks off when the Cowboys ($2.55) host the Broncos ($1.52) in Townsville. The line in that game is 5.5 points, which is the third lowest of a round that has a clear favourite in seven of the eight games.

The tightest betting match at this early stage comes up on Saturday, when the Sea Eagles ($1.75) host the Panthers ($2.10). The line in what is a must-win encounter for Manly, is just 2.5 points.

NRL Round 26 Odds: (Sportsbet)

North Queensland Cowboys $2.55 v Brisbane Broncos $1.52 Line: 5.5

Parramatta Eels $1.22 v South Sydney Rabbitohs $4.30 Line: 13.5

Sydney Roosters $1.13 v Gold Coast Titans $6 Line: 16.5

Manly Sea Eagles $1.75 v Penrith Panthers $2.08 Line: 2.5

Melbourne Storm $1.33 v Canberra Raiders $3.35 Line: 9.5

Newcastle Knights $3.60 v Cronulla Sharks $1.29 Line: 10.5

St George Illawarra Dragons $1.35 v Canterbury Bulldogs $3.20 Line: 8.5

Wests Tigers $1.57 v New Zealand Warriors $2.40 Line: 4.5

Premiership

Melbourne Storm $2

Sydney Roosters $5

Brisbane Broncos $8

Parramatta Eels $10

Cronulla Sharks $13

Penrith Panthers $21

Manly Sea Eagles $23

St George Illawarra Dragons $41

Nth Queensland Cowboys $51


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