Wed, Apr 18, 9:51am by Staff Writer
An incredible start to the 2018 NRL season continues to throw up more and more surprises as the Rounds rack up. Pre-season favourites to be Premiers, North Queensland Cowboys, sit 15th on the ladder, whilst consistent strugglers Wests and New Zealand are in the top four. With the St George Illawarra Dragons leading the way with an undefeated start to the season.
New Zealand Warriors v St George Illawarra Dragons, Friday 20th April, 6pm, Mt Smart Stadium
The Dragons perfect start will be put to the test as they cross the Tasman to face an inform Warriors side who suffered their only defeat of the season last week. St George have impressed throughout the opening Rounds as they have dominated sides across the field guided superbly by Gareth Widdop and Ben Hunt. They crushed the Sharks in Round 6 and are favourites here at $1.80.
A cruel loss to Brisbane ended the Warriors own unbeaten record and they will be aiming to spoil the Dragons party. With a new lease of life firing the Warriors to new heights this season, they could be a real threat to St George priced at $2.02.
Bet of the Match – New Zealand to Win by 1-12 points at $3.40
Parramatta Eels v Manly Sea Eagles, Sunday 22nd April, 2pm, ANZ Stadium
Without a win this season, Parramatta are in desperate need of a quality performance this weekend against Manly. The Eels are hitting new lows as a club and need to bounce back as soon as possible if they are to have any joy this season. Standing at $2.40 they head in as underdogs, but with Manly’s inconsistent form they could spring a shock victory.
Manly were comprehensively outplayed last weekend by Wests as they went down 38-12 at home. The Sea Eagles have conceded 139 points in the opening Rounds, struggling to produce consistent performances winning heavily one week and then losing heavily the next. They stand at $1.58.
Bet of the Match – Parramatta to Win by 1-12 points at $3.60
Cronulla Sharks v Penrith Panthers, Sunday 22nd April, 4.10pm, Southern Cross Group Stadium
Cronulla will be sweating on several injuries sustained in their loss to the Dragons in Round 6. They lost Paul Gallen, Andrew Fififta and Wade Graham to injury during the game and will be hoping they can pull through for their clash against Penrith. The Sharks hold an historic edge over the Panthers but are struggling for form having only won two games this season. They stand at $2.65.
A 35-12 hammering of the Gold Coast Titans, moved the Panthers up second on the ladder with a 5-1 record. Priced at $1.49 they are clear favourites for this match and with the James Maloney in fine form, it is hard to see past them.
Bet of the Match – Penrith to Win by 13+ points at $2.70
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