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NRL Easter Specials: Sharks and Eels to get the chocolates

Sat, Apr 15, 12:16pm by Staff Writer

The joys of a long weekend can only be multiplied by the amount of rugby league on offer. The action has been split across Easter Sunday and Monday to keep fans entertained across the four day weekend. With Penrith hosting Cronulla before Wests travel to face Parramatta on Monday.

Penrith Panthers v Cronulla Sharks, Pepper Stadium, Sunday April 16, 4pm AEST  

Prior to last weekend the Sharks had looked like they were unlikely to realistically challenge to keep their Premiership this season. Then in a rain soaked Melbourne they made a huge statement to end the Storms unbeaten run and inject life into their season.

Now they face the test of maintaining that level of performance. A one-off statement is no good in the NRL and they need to be winning consistently if they are to retain their title. William Hill holds them as the underdogs in this clash with the Panthers priced at $2.18. This despite having now won three straight.

Penrith’s start to the year has left a lot to be desired as they have lost four and only won two. History isn’t on their side in this clash either having lost both fixtures against the Sharks last season. Yet William Hill prices the Panthers as favourites at $1.70.

It is their attack that has generated most of the plaudits this year with them having the fourth best in the competition. They will need to be at their best if they are too overcome a resolute Sharks defence.

Bet of the Match: Cronulla to Win by 1-12 points at $3.50

Parramatta Eels v Wests Tigers, ANZ Stadium, Monday April 17, 4pm AEST

The Eels are in desperate need of a victory when they face the Tigers on Easter Monday. Having had a great start to the season with back to back wins, Parramatta are now staring down the barrel of a possible fifth straight defeat. The number of losses will be worrying for Eels fans but it is also the manner of defeat having conceded over 20 points in all those losses.

They will be looking to turn around their year against the Tigers and William Hill has them priced to do so at $1.65. Making them favourites in this clash despite their poor recent form. They will need to dig deep for some fighting spirit, however, if they are to overcome Wests.

Last weekend saw the shock of the season as Wests comprehensively defeated North Queensland in their own backyard. That 26-16 victory has reignited the Tigers season with new coach Ivan Cleary at the helm. They will need to reproduce that same level of performance and energy if they are to beat Parramatta here as William Hill prices them at $2.26.

Wests will need to put that win over the Cowboys behind them and focus on the moment in what will likely be a close fought contest against the Eels. Both sides need the win and this one could be thrilling fight right to the end.

Bet of the Match: Parramatta to Win by 1-12 points at $3

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