Wed, Mar 28, 3:25pm by Staff Writer
Only two teams remain unbeaten in the NRL after three Rounds, with St George Illawarra Dragons and the New Zealand Warriors leading the way. The Warriors will have their credentials truly tested against the Roosters in Round 4, whilst the Dragons take on the Knights to keep alive their 100% winning record.
The chasing pack kick off on Thursday night with the Cowboys taking on the Panthers before Friday night’s clashes between the Rabbitohs and Bulldogs as well as the Sharks v Storm. Manly will be looking for redemption against the Raiders, with the Broncos v Titans on Sunday. Before the Easter treat of Monday action between the Tigers and Eels.
Nth Queensland Cowboys v Penrith Panthers
Thursday 29th March, 8.05pm, 1300SMILES Stadium
Two losses with only the one win, was not the start that the Cowboys were aiming for in 2018. A Round 3 defeat to the Storm in Melbourne, has left them off the pace even at this early stage of the season. They will need to regroup and bounce back quickly as they take on a Panthers side keen to make amends for their performance in Round 3. The Cowboys are favourites at $1.27.
The loss of Nathan Cleary to injury has made the trip to Townsville even more daunting for the Panthers. Average performances in Rounds 1 and 2 were excused for Penrith as second half comebacks secured them the wins. There was no such look against the Bulldogs and they can’t give the Cowboys an easy start if they are to overturn a price of $3.80.
Bet of the Match – North Queensland to Win by 13+ points at $2.20
Manly Sea Eagles v Canberra Raiders
Saturday 31st March, 7.35pm, Lottoland
Manly head into this clash on the back of a strange fortnight for them. Hammering the Eels 54-0 before losing 34-6 to the Rabbitohs, topped off with the announcement of their salary cap breach scandal. The Sea Eagles have been handed their punishment and need to improve consistency on the field. They’re favourites for this one at $1.52.
Whilst the Raiders have suffered back to back losses in the closing stages of their last two games. Whether that is down to fitness or concentration only the Canberra staff know but they will need to at their best if they are spring a surprise here at $2.55.
Bet of the Match – Manly to Win by 1-12 points at $3
Wests Tigers v Parramatta Eels
Monday 2nd April, 4pm, ANZ Stadium
Despite the Eels 0-3 start to the year compared the Tigers at 2-1, there is nothing to separate these sides. Both are priced at $1.90. Wests have had the far more impressive start to the year with victories over the Roosters and Storm whilst narrowly losing out the Broncos in controversial circumstances. They should have too much for the Eels on Monday.
Parramatta suffered an injury blow last weekend with Jarryd Hayne ruled out meaning they are under strength in the backline looking to arrest their current poor performances. They will need to be at their best if they are to get their first win of the season.
Bet of the Match – Wests to Win by 1-12 points at $3.10
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