Wed, Aug 8, 4:06pm by Staff Writer
Round 22 of the 2018 NRL season features a blockbuster clash between old rivals between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Sydney Roosters on Friday night in the match of the round.
South Sydney Rabbitohs versus Sydney Roosters
Friday, 10 August 2018 at 7.55pm AEST at ANZ Stadium
South Sydney moved to the top of the NRL ladder after an upset 10-point win against the Melbourne Storm last Friday night.
The Rabbitohs have back-to-back games against fellow Premiership contenders when they host the Roosters on Friday night.
The Bunnies are narrow $1.85 favourites at Sportsbet, with the Chooks priced at $1.96 to win.
Greg Inglis remains out for the Rabbitohs with a broken thumb, while Roosters five-eighth Luke Keary is expected to remain sidelined until round 25 with a minor knee injury.
The Roosters have won eight of their past nine matches, with their only loss a one-point defeat against the Melbourne Storm in Adelaide.
Both sides have put together impressive winning runs this season, with the Bunnies excelling during the Origin period putting together nine straight wins.
The battle in the forwards should be close, with both sides possessing ball-carrying firepower.
The Roosters have a clear advantage in the backs, particularly in the outside backs with Blake Ferguson in terrific form.
The Roosters should be favourites in this match, with the market over-rating the Bunnies after their win against Melbourne.
Best bet- Sydney Roosters Big Win Little Win 1-39 at $3.30
Gold Coast Titans versus Penrith Panthers
Saturday, 11 August 2018 at 3pm AEST at CBUS Super Stadium
The Penrith Panthers have made headlines this week, with the sacking of head coach Anthony Griffin on Monday.
Griffin had coached the Panthers for the past three NRL season and despite them sitting in fifth spot on the ladder, he was dismissed.
The Panthers are $1.43 to beat the Titans on Saturday despite this week’s instability, with assistant coach Cameron Ciraldo promoted to interim head coach.
It has been a challenging fortnight for Penrith, who have fought back from double-digit second half deficits in matches against Manly and Canberra to win.
Penrith’s defence that was so stout earlier this season has crumbled in recent weeks and is something that needs urgent attention if they hope to compete with the best team’s in finals.
Gold Coast snared a win a fortnight ago against the Warriors but backed that up with a poor first half in a 16-point loss to the bottom-placed Eels.
Penrith has won the past four matches against the Titans, including a commanding 35-12 win in round five this season.
On that afternoon the Titans scored the first try but conceded the next four and trailed 24-6 until late in the match.
With Penrith’s recent defensive woes and this match taking place in 3pm on the Gold Coast, there is a good chance that there will be points aplenty which makes the over 46.5 points at $1.90 a tempting option.
The Titans have seldom played a full 80 minutes, so we are backing the Panthers narrowly in an unsettled week at the foot of the mountains.
Best bet- Penrith Panthers Big Win Little Win 1-39 at $3.10
Melbourne Storm versus Cronulla Sharks
Sunday, 12 August 2018 at 4.10pm AEST at AAMI Park
The Melbourne Storm will be hoping to bounce back from an uncharacteristically poor performance last week when they lost 30-20 to South Sydney.
They are $1.50 favourites at Sportsbet to defeat the Sharks in Melbourne, who are paying $2.60.
The Sharks themselves will be ruing a poor defensive effort against Manly, where they conceded 33 points in a golden point loss.
Cronulla led 32-26 late in the match, before missing a penalty goal and conceding a try to Joel Thompson with five minutes remaining.
In the first set of golden point, the Sea Eagles marched up the field against a very massive Sharks defensive line.
Cameron Smith came off late in the Storm’s match against South’s with some muscle soreness but is expected to play this weekend.
The Sharks have been somewhat of a bogey side for the Storm, winning four of their past six games against Melbourne.
A 14-4 win in round four this season was marred by an incredible 34 penalties and the sin binning of Cameron Smith.
The Sharks won the last time they visited Melbourne in early 2017 in a Grand Final rematch by the odd scoreline of 11-2.
We are backing the Sharks to keep it close once again as they will be disappointed with their performance last weekend.
Best bet- Cronulla to cover 6-point handicap at $1.90
On Thursday night North Queensland ($2.35) great Johnathan Thurston faces a familiar foe, the Brisbane Broncos for the final time, with the Broncos $1.60 favourites.
New Zealand ($1.38) will look to string back-to-back wins together when they host the Knights ($3.07) in Auckland on Saturday.
Manly ($1.63) are favourites to beat the Dogs ($2.28) at the renamed McGrath Foundation Stadium, in aid of breast cancer research.
Parramatta ($2.78) is a value price to beat an out-of-sorts Dragons ($1.45) side at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.
Wests Tigers ($2.50) slim finals hopes will evaporate if they fail to beat Canberra ($1.54) as underdogs on Sunday.
NRL Round 22 Odds – Sportsbet
North Queensland $2.35 v Brisbane $1.60
New Zealand $1.38 v Newcastle $3.07
South Sydney $1.85 v Sydney $1.96
Gold Coast $2.85 v Penrith $1.43
Manly $1.63 v Canterbury $2.28
Parramatta $2.78 v St George $1.45
Canberra $1.54 v Wests Tigers $2.50
Melbourne $1.50 v Cronulla $2.60
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