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NRL opening match: Rabbitohs vs. Roosters – full betting guide

Thu, Mar 6, 1:37pm by Clarinda Campbell

RoostersMatch: South Sydney Rabbitohs ($2.30) vs. Sydney Roosters ($1.65) – NRL Round 1
When/Where: 8:05pm AEDT, Thursday 6th March at ANZ Stadium
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THE very first NRL game for 2014 kicks off with the clash between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and 2013 Premiers, Sydney Roosters.

It is a match that has been billed as the battle between Sam Burgess and Sonny Bill Williams, but there’s plenty more on offer.

For the Rabbitohs, will Adam Reynolds build on the great season he had last year and will the Burgess twins step up to the next level? Will James Maloney and Mitchell Pearce continue their good partnership in the halves for the Roosters?

This is sure to be a cracker of a match to start the season. It is a Rabbitohs home game, but the Roosters have named 16 members of their grand final-winning side to take part in this match and as a result, they have opened as favourites in head-to-head betting.

  • The sides have a rich history, meeting 229 times with 119 wins to the Rabbitohs and 104 wins to the Roosters.
  • Souths have won three of the last five against the Roosters.
  • South Sydney have lost three of its last five at ANZ Stadium.
  • Sydney Roosters have won four of their last five at ANZ Stadium.

Sydney Roosters team & form

The Roosters line-up is steady, with 16 Premiership winning players named. Dylan Napa replaced the retired Luke O’Donnell.

Trent Robinson is the coach and Anthony Minichiello will lead the side again this year.

1. Anthony Minichiello (c)
2. Daniel Tupou
3. Michael Jennings
4. Shaun Kenny-Dowall
5. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
6. James Maloney
7. Mitchell Pearce
8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
9. Jake Friend
10. Sam Moa
11. Boyd Cordner
12. Sonny Bill Williams
13. Frank-Paul Nuuausala


14. Daniel Mortimer
15. Aidan Guerra
16. Mitchell Aubusson
17. Dylan Napa
18. Kane Evans
22. Kurt Kara

The Roosters became World Club Challenge champions in the pre-season, comprehensively defeating Wigan 36-14. The performance demonstrated what other teams in the competition fear; the Roosters side has not lost its shine from 2013.

The Roosters will be looking for a strong start in their defence of the Premiership title.

South Sydney Rabbitohs team & form

Sth SydneyAdam Reynolds and Dylan Walker have been named despite injury clouds hanging over their heads. Joel Reddy, Kyle Turner, Joe Picker and veteran Lote Tuqiri will make their debut in the myrtle and cardinal.

Souths will be without first-choice five-eighth Luke Keary for a number of weeks with a torn pectoral muscle.

Michael Maguire, who had a brilliant first year with the Rabbitohs last year, coaches the team again this season. The side is captained by lock, John Sutton.

1. Greg Inglis
2. Nathan Merritt
3. Beau Champion
4. Bryson Goodwin
5. Lote Tuqiri
6. Dylan Walker
7. Adam Reynolds
8. George Burgess
9. Issac Luke
10. Sam Burgess
11. Chris McQueen
12. Ben Te’o
13. John Sutton (c)


14. Ben Lowe
15. Joe Picker
16. David Tyrrell
17. Luke Burgess
18. Joel Reddy
19. Kyle Turner

The Rabbitohs were impressive in their pre-season Charity Shield match against the St George Illawarra Dragons. They won the match 38-20 and led 22-4 at halftime. The most notable feature of the game was how well the huge Rabbitohs pack rolled forward, giving the halves plenty of room to create attacking plays.

In terms of the Roosters, the Rabbitohs lost 24-12 the last time they met with the Premiers at ANZ Stadium, which was back in September 2013.

After the disappointment of not going all the way last year, the Rabbitohs will set out with a point to prove.

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South Sydney Rabbitohs vs. Sydney Roosters Round 1 prediction

Both sides will be hyped up for this clash and there will be some big hits early. They both field a strong forward pack, but it is in the halves where the difference will lie.

The Roosters have a tried and true combination with Maloney and Pearce. The Rabbitohs have lost their five-eigth combination between Keary and Reynolds with Dylan Walker filling in at five-eighth. Walker is in doubt through injury, meaning Sutton could be called on to fill the role.

As a result, the Rabbitohs combination in this important area is not as solid as the Roosters. While the Rabbitohs forwards have the ability to lay a platform for their attack, they are facing last seasons best defensive side. Without their best halves, the Rabbitohs will struggle to penetrate the Roosters solid line.

Roosters to win by eight points.

South Sydney Rabbitohs vs. Sydney Roosters head-to-head betting odds

Rabbitohs – $2.30
Roosters – $1.65 with head-to-head with

It is predicted that the Roosters will win this match and the $1.65 head-to-head on offer presents a good option for a multi bet.

Margin betting odds & tips

Rabbitohs 1-12 – $3.60
Rabbitohs 13+ – $6.00
Roosters 1-12 – $3.00 with
Roosters 13+ – $3.50

A predicted eight point win to the Roosters brings the Roosters by 1-12 into play in this margin betting market, with a solid $3.00 on offer.

Line betting odds & tips

Rabbitohs +3.5 – $1.92
Roosters -3.5 – $1.92 with

Less then a try separates the two teams in line betting. The Roosters are predicted to win by two tries. If they win by more then one try, they will overcome the handicap in this market. You can get better odds for the Roosters in this market then the head-to-head market.

Anytime try-scorer

Outside backs Michael Jennings and Nathan Merritt are good options for punters who like to bet on player markets. These two players are prolific try scorers and are both $2.25 to score a try anytime during the game.

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