Wed, Aug 9, 9:18am by Staff Writer
With only four Rounds to go things are getting tense in the fight for Finals spots on the ladder. Those still in a position to do so will desperately still want to be busy when September rolls around.
Brisbane Broncos v Cronulla Sharks, Suncorp Stadium, Friday August 11, 7:50pm AEST
The first big match up this weekend will be in Friday night as the joint 3rd placed Brisbane Broncos and Cronulla Sharks meet. Both sides will know just how important this fixture is, especially with the other joint 3rd ranked side Parramatta facing in the Knights in what should be a routine victory.
Whoever loses out of the Broncos and Sharks will face an extremely tough next three weeks to crack back in to the top four. Neither side is in any particularly good form at the minute although the Broncos come into this one on the back of destroying the Titans, 54-0. Whilst Cronulla went down last weekend to the Raiders.
With so much at stake, however, the Sharks will be looking to their leader Paul Gallen who will make his 300th appearance, to help overturn a price of $2.90. Brisbane stand at $1.42 in what promises to be a great game.
Bet of the Match: Brisbane to Win by 1-12 points at $3
WATCH: Our Preview of Round 23 of the NRL season
Melbourne Storm v Sydney Roosters, AAMI Park, Saturday August 12, 5:30pm AEST
Saturday will see the top of the table clash between the Storm and Roosters. When these two sides last met it took a Mitchell Pearce golden point winner to separate them in a showdown in Adelaide. Melbourne allowed the Roosters back into the match in the final ten minutes and will need to be on top of their game if they aren’t to witness a repeat of that in Round 23.
The Storm are in fine form having won their last three matches and sit four points ahead of the Roosters at the top of the ladder. They will be hoping to continue their march towards another Minor Premiership but will face stiff competition from a resurgent Sydney side.
Bet of the Match: Melbourne to Win by 1-12 points at $2.90
Penrith Panthers v North Queensland Cowboys, Pepper Stadium, Saturday August 12, 7:30pm AEST
Penrith have snuck into the top eight thanks to their fantastic late season form and a major collapse from the Dragons. The Panthers five game winning streak sees them sit two points inside Finals territory. This weekend they face a North Queensland side who still harbour hopes of the top four.
The Cowboys hopes of that may well hinge on the outcome of this match as they desperately need to close the gap on the three sides above them. William Hill are backing the form side in the Panthers who are priced at $1.45 compared to the Cowboys at $2.80.
Realistically though, this one could go either way as it shapes up to be a close contest between two sides with everything to play for.
Bet of the Match: Penrith to Win by 1-12 points at $3
NRL Round 23 Odds: (William Hill)
South Sydney Rabbitohs $1.66 v Canterbury Bulldogs $2.25 Line: 3.5
Parramatta Eels $1.15 v Newcastle Knights $5.60 Line: 15.5
Brisbane Broncos $1.42 v Cronulla Sharks $2.90 Line: 6.5
St George Illawarra Dragons $1.42 v Gold Coast Titans $2.90 Line: 8
Melbourne Storm $1.40 v Sydney Roosters $3 Line: 8
Penrith Panthers $1.45 v Nth Queensland Cowboys $2.80 Line: 6.5
New Zealand Warriors $3 v Canberra Raiders $1.40 Line: 8
Wests Tigers $3 v Manly Sea Eagles $1.40 Line: 7.5
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