Mon, Apr 30, 10:50am by Staff Writer
An extended Round 8 saw games commence on Anzac Day and carry on right through till Sunday. Giving rugby league fans a working weeks’ worth of top class action. St George Illawarra returned to winning ways to extend their lead at the top the ladder whilst the chasing pack all still eye the top eight and the chance to play finals at the end of the season.
Round 8 finally saw the Roosters lose their favourites tag with Sportsbet as the Dragons got the best of them in their Anzac Day clash. The Dragons ran in four tries to one in their 24-8 victory as their half back combination outshone the Roosters. Ben Hunt and Gareth Widdop combined sublimely to move them two points clear at the top of the NRL. A move which saw them come into $6 to win the Grand Final ahead of the Roosters at $8.
Since pre-season expectations have been high for the Roosters, especially with their latest recruits, Cooper Cronk and James Tedesco. They were supposed to be the answer to Sydney’s instability, yet they appear to have only added to it. It took eight Rounds of inconsistent footy, but they have finally surrennded their favourites tag.
That has been reassumed by the reigning Premiers, Melbourne Storm who moved to $5 to win a second consecutive Premiership. They took on the high flying New Zealand Warriors in their traditional Anzac Day game and showed just why they are capable of winning the NRL again. The Storm ripped apart a Warriors side that has showed so much promise this season as they ran out 50-10 winners. The match was virtually over at half time as Melbourne went into the changing rooms with a 38-0 lead.
For the Warriors it leaves them priced at $12 sitting 3rd on the ladder, which for a team often battling at the other end of the ladder the loss could just be a minor blip.
Penrith shortened to $9 as the Panthers battled past the Bulldogs. Again, it was James Maloney at the heart of the victory as he moved his pack around superbly. Ultimately giving his side the edge over a Bulldogs side who fought hard throughout to deny Penrith the chance to keep the pressure on the Dragons. They sit 2nd on the ladder with an impressive 6-2 record for the season.
North Queensland’s difficult season continued as they went down at home to the Raiders, leaving them with just two wins this year. Despite that they remain at $15 to win the Premiership, although they will need to improve rapidly if they are to climb from 15th on the ladder back in finals contention. In a close contest the Cowboys were not able to repel a Raiders attack that continued to surge forward throughout the match.
Sportsbet Markets Grand Final Winner Top 8 Finish Top 4 Finish
Storm $5 $1.12 $1.55
Dragons $6 $1.10 $1.40
Roosters $8 $1.30 $2
Panthers $9 $1.18 $1.80
Warriors $12 $1.33 $2.10
Cowboys $15 $2.10 $7
Rabbitohs $15 $1.80 $4.50
Sharks $17 $1.80 $3.75
Broncos $17 $1.75 $3.50
Tigers $21 $1.90 $4.50
Eels $34 $3.25 $15
Manly $67 $4 $17
Raiders $67 $3.25 $8
Knights $67 $2.50 $7
Bulldogs $67 $5 $21
Titans $151 $8 $26
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