Mon, Aug 14, 11:56am by Head Editor
Melbourne remains the team to beat in the NRL, following their nail-biting win over the second placed Roosters in the top of the table blockbuster at AAMI Park on Saturday afternoon.
When Luke Keary kicked a 73rd minute field goal for the Tricolours, it looked like they would escape Melbourne with the two points, but a late try to Joe Stimson saw the hosts home in a thriller.
The 16-13 win all but secures Melbourne their second Minor Premiership in as many years, with three rounds still to play. They remain at the short price of $2.25 to go one better than last year, while the Roosters drifted slightly from $5.50 to $6.
Joining the Sydneysiders at $6 for the ultimate prize is the Brisbane Broncos, who flexed some muscle in their 32-10 win over Cronulla on Friday night.
The comfortable victory also sees the Queensland club move to second spot on the ladder, while last season’s Premiers – the Sharks – drift from $9 to $13 to repeat their heroics from last season.
The other Queensland club who are in the Premiership hunt – the Cowboys – were not as lucky, losing to Penrith on Saturday night at Pepper Stadium.
A double to Nathan Cleary secured the win for the Panthers, who have now won six games in a row, and moved in from $17 to $15 to lift the trophy. North Queensland are now hanging onto their spot in the top eight by just one win, and drifted out from $21 to $34.
Parramatta’s six-game winning streak came to an end on Friday night, when they lost to Newcastle, and subsequently drifted from $12 to $17. The Knights have now won three straight games, and are a chance of avoiding the wooden spoon.
They are still assessed at the short quote of $1.05 to win the unwanted honour, but they trail Wests by just one win, after the Tigers also got the points on Sunday.
Wests beat Manly in the final game of the round at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday afternoon, which sees them move out to $11 to win the spoon.
The 30-26 win hurts Manly’s chances of a top four finish, and comes just a week after they toppled the Roosters, in what was a brilliant showing. The Sea Eagles are $15 to win the Premiership.
That result was one of two upsets for the round, while only five of the six favourites to win, covered the line.
Canberra belted the Warriors 36-16 at Mount Smart Stadium on Sunday, which sees the men from the nation’s capital move in from $21 to $17.
St George were far too good for the Titans at home on Saturday, which saw them move to within one win of the top eight, and saw their price come in from $101 to $67.
Round 24 kicks off when the Eels ($1.28) host the Titans ($3.73) on Thursday night. The line in that game is 10.5 points, which is the equal second highest line of a round where all eight games have a clear favourite.
Melbourne ($1.19) are the shortest priced favourite of the round, when they travel to Newcastle to face the Knights, while the Sharks ($1.58) face a tough trip to Townsville to play the Cowboys ($2.39).
NRL Round 24 Odds: (Sportsbet)
Parramatta Eels $1.28 v Gold Coast Titans $3.73 Line: 10.5
South Sydney Rabbitohs $1.40 v New Zealand Warriors $2.99 Line: 7.5
Brisbane Broncos $1.30 v St George Illawarra Dragons $3.54 Line: 9.5
Newcastle Knights $4.75 v Melbourne Storm $1.19 Line: 13.5
Sydney Roosters $1.24 v Wests Tigers $4.10 Line: 12.5
Nth Queensland Cowboys $2.39 v Cronulla Sharks $1.58 Line: 4
Canberra Raiders $1.57 v Penrith Panthers $2.42 Line: 4.5
Canterbury Bulldogs $3.85 v Manly Sea Eagles $1.27 Line: 10.5
Melbourne Storm $2.25
Sydney Roosters $6
Brisbane Broncos $6
Cronulla Sharks $13
Manly Sea Eagles $15
Penrith Panthers $15
Canberra Raiders $17
Parramatta Eels $17
Nth Queensland Cowboys $34
St George Illawarra Dragons $67
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