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 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.
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
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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