Fri, Sep 8, 3:43pm by Staff Writer
Cronulla Sharks v North Queensland Cowboys, Allianz Stadium, Sunday September 10, 4:10pm AEST
Reigning Premiers Cronulla will only have one chance to defend their title after finishing outside the top four. This Sunday they host North Queensland Cowboys in week one of the Finals. Neither side has any real form coming into the Finals with the Cowboys only winning one of their last five games of the year. Whilst the Sharks only managed one win more in the same period. Meaning both sides limped into the Finals and will be looking for big performances in week one.
The Cowboys had to rely on a Canterbury victory over the Dragons in the Final Round of the season to book their place in the top eight. That surprise result meant North Queensland would have at least one shot at Finals footy this year. The 2015 Premiers have been ravaged by injury all season with several notable long-term casualties including Johnathan Thurston, Matt Scott and Justin O’Neill. Heading into this game though despite those injuries, the Cowboys appear to be in potentially their best shape of the year. A big boost as they look to overturn a price of $3.20 with William Hill.
Cronulla have had a very indifferent season after the high of being crowned champions last year. They have struggled in patches for form and consistency but ultimately, they have still made the Finals. Although they face knockout rugby league and will have to be at the their best if they are to get anywhere near back to back Premierships. The Sharks should be more comfortable in these scenarios now though after last year’s triumph and will look to their experienced players to lead the way. Cronulla are favourites to come out on top priced at $1.35.
A big win is on the cards for Cronulla if the odds are to be believed. With a 13+ margin for the Sharks favourite with William Hill at $2.40. Compared to North Queensland with the same winning margin at $9.50. Finals footy, however, often brings about tense, defensive dominated games so watch out for a close contest between these two with a Cronulla win of 1-12 points at $2.85 and the Cowboys at $4.25.
The Sharks dominate the prices for first try scorer with William Hill. With Sosaia Feki favourite to get over the white wash first priced at $4.50. He is then followed by teammates Gerard Beale and Valentine Holmes, both of whom stand at $6.00. The best price for a Cowboy is $6.00 for Antonio Winterstein and Kyle Feldt who will be aiming to give their side a quick start.
Continuing on from fast starts and setting the early pace of the game. Can the first team to score go on and win the game? William Hill are offering prices on just that scenario with Yes at $1.40 and No at $2.70. This match could be decided in the opening stages as with both sides looking to gain early dominance.
Bet of the Match: Cronulla to Win by 1-12 points at $2.85
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