Wed, Sep 13, 11:15pm by Head Editor
There are no second chances for the four sides that will go into battle this weekend. It is winner takes all rugby league in the semi-finals.
Brisbane Broncos vs Penrith Panthers, Fri 15 Sep 2017, 7:55pm, Suncorp Stadium
These two sides are fighting it out for the chance to face the Melbourne Storm in next week’s Preliminary Final. Brisbane are in this position by virtue of a loss to the Sydney Roosters in the Qualifying Finals whilst the Panthers battled their way past Manly to reach this stage of the competition. The Broncos have the edge in recent matches against Penrith, winning the only clash between them this season. Although they must be wary having lost four of their last six games to the Panthers. On the big stage and at Suncorp, though, is often where the Broncos truly shine and they are favourites with William Hill at $1.40. They will need to put the disappointment of last weekend behind them and get a fast start though to help blow the Panthers away.
Penrith will be pinning their hopes to the potential that Matt Moylan holds. His off-field issues could disrupt the Panthers attempts at keeping their Finals dream alive. If, however, he and the squad can put those behind them, then Penrith do have a shot of upsetting the Broncos. They will need to be on top of their game to overturn a price of $3.00 but are more than capable of doing so. Two massive back to back games against Manly in the final Round of the season and the Qualifying Final may well have taken too much of physical and emotional toll on the players.
Bet of the Match – Brisbane to Win by 1-12 points at $2.85
Parramatta Eels vs North Queensland Cowboys, Sat 16 Sep 2017, 7:40pm, ANZ Stadium
The Eels will feel hard done by that they are in this position. After an exceptional performance last weekend against the Storm, they could well have been enjoying a week off. The class of Melbourne, however, edged them home and the Eels now face a tricky tie against a North Queensland side that have made a remarkable push into the Finals. The Cowboys journey is so remarkable because they have achieved it without talisman Johnathan Thurston. Something many pundits and fans would have severely doubted they would do when he was ruled out through injury. A thrilling extra time victory of last year’s Premiers, Cronulla, gives the Cowboys an incredible opportunity. They come in as underdogs though priced at $3.25.
Parramatta’s late season form has been immense. Losing only once in their last 10 games as well as pushing the Storm all the way in the Qualifying Final. They are favourites with William Hill to win this one priced at $1.35. The Eels will be looking for a little revenge against the Cowboys after the hammering they got in Darwin back in Round 14, having won their other encounter in 2017. This match shapes up as a decider for these two sides in a best of three!
Bet of the Match – Parramatta to Win by 1-12 points at $2.85
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