Thu, Mar 8, 2:45pm by Staff Writer
South Sydney Rabbitohs v New Zealand Warriors, Saturday 10th March 2018, 7pm
A new coach for South Sydney in the form of Anthony Seibold, will lead to lots of questions being asked of the club. An underwhelming 12th place in 2017 has the Rabbitohs faithful searching for more. Whether they have the squad to provide success remains to be seen but they should kick off the year at home with a win at $1.45.
The Warriors have historically struggled away from Auckland and at $2.85, their chances of starting the year with a win appear slim. Several of the Kiwi side who flunked at the World Cup have been brought in to boost their chances, but performances will have to rapidly improve.
Bet of the Match – South Sydney to Win by 1-12 points at $3
Canterbury Bulldogs v Melbourne Storm, Saturday 10th March 2018, 9pm
Canterbury have made whole sale changes throughout the club as they go in search of success on the field. The recruitment of Aaron Woods will bolster their pack whilst high hopes will be pinned to Kieran Foran to get the attack moving forward. A first up game against the reigning Premiers will probably not be the best measure of improvement as they stand at $3.
Despite the loss of Cooper Cronk to Sydney, the Storm will certainly still be contenders this season. With a winning mentality throughout the club they will move on from the loss of their playmaker. At $1.42 they should ease across the line over the Bulldogs.
Bet of the Match – Melbourne to Win by 13+ points at $2.63
Penrith Panthers v Parramatta Eels, Sunday 11th March 2018, 4.10pm
Both of these sides fell at the semi final stage of the 2017 competition and Finals footy will be on their minds again this year. The Panthers started last year as surprise favourites but have lost that mantle, something that will no doubt be a benefit to the young squad. The loss of Matt Moylan could well be a tough gap to fill but they stand at $1.90 to win in the opening Round.
With no competitive footy played it is hard to separate these sides with the Eels at $1.93. The return of Jarryd Hayne may be the spark that the Eels need to go all the way this year. If he produces what he is capable of, then they are a real threat.
Bet of the Match – Parramatta to Win by 1-12 points at $3.30
Gold Coast Titans v Canberra Raiders, Sunday 11th March 2018, 6.30pm
An overhaul at the Titans with Garth Brennan placed in the hot seat will see the pressure ramped up on the Gold Coast. Results will be paramount for the fledging NRL coach, but his side are likely to need time to gel. At $2.25 they have a shot of starting the year with a win but face a tough Raiders side looking for redemption.
Failing to secure a place in the Finals last year will have hurt the Canberra squad. As such they will be fired up to make amends. Expect a big performance from them to start their year in the right way as they are priced at $1.67.
Bet of the Match – Canberra to Win by 1-12 points at $3.20
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