Wed, Jun 27, 8:43am by Staff Writer
The NRL returns after a bye weekend for game two of State of Origin. The successful Blues players will return to their clubs with a new sense of achievement, whilst for the Maroons they will know they have work to do and points to prove prior to game three. Round 16 will serve up several key clashes that could dictate who reaches the top four.
New Zealand Warriors v Cronulla Sharks, Friday 29th June, 6pm, Mt Smart Stadium
Mid-season representative footy will be brought under the spotlight again, after the ground-breaking game between England and New Zealand in the USA looks set to have a knock on effect. A number of the Warriors were on international duty and their return to NRL action has been delayed due to electrical storms grounding their flights. Issac Luke, Peta Hiku and Ken Maumalo may all miss this vital Friday clash with the Warriors needing a win to solidify their place in the top four. They stand at $2.02.
For the Sharks they are looking to arrest a disappointing few weeks as they have lost two out of the three previous games. Currently sitting 7th on the ladder, Cronulla will be hoping that their rep players return fit and ready to go to ensure a win priced at $1.80.
Bet of the Match – Cronulla to Win by 13+ points at $4.33
Sydney Roosters v Melbourne Storm, Friday 29th June, 7.55pm, Adelaide Oval
The storyline of this match must be the first meeting of Cooper Cronk and his former teammates since his move to Sydney in the offseason. Cronk sat out Origin for the first time meaning he will be fresh to take on the Storm and he will be key to the Roosters overturning a price of $2.20. The loss of Boyd Cordner to a concussion sustained in Origin will be a major blow, but other returning Blues Latrell Mitchell and James Tedesco will give them a huge boost.
Melbourne have won the last four of five against the Roosters which backs up their price of $1.68. That coupled with their current form, means the Storm are in a strong position to push on for a spot in the top four. They sit 5th on the ladder just behind the Warriors and slightly ahead of the Roosters, which gives this game even more added spice.
Bet of the Match – Sydney to Win by 1-12 points at $3.30
Brisbane Broncos v Canberra Raiders, Saturday 30th June, 7.35pm, Suncorp Stadium
This match could well define the Raiders season as they sit four points outside of the top eight behind the 8th placed Broncos. It is almost certainly a must win match for Canberra although that seems a long shot at $2.40. The return of Josh Hodgson at hooker will be crucial to their hopes as he looks to inspire a turnaround in the club’s fortunes.
Disappointment from the Maroons loss at the weekend will have left a sour taste for much of the Broncos squad. Although it is a former Maroon, in Darius Boyd who could dictate the outcome of this match. Priced at $1.58 they are clear favourites to go one step closer to locking in a place in the top eight at the Raiders expense.
Bet of the Match – Brisbane to Win by 1-12 points at $3.10
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