Wed, May 2, 6:53pm by Staff Writer
Round 9 promises possible redemption for North Queensland, whilst the sides at the top are all aiming to stake a claim to those valuable top four spots on the ladder. St George and Melbourne could well be the clash of the season as the two form giants come together at Jubilee Oval.
Penrith Panthers v Nth Queensland Cowboys, Friday 4th May, 7.55pm, Carrington Park.
In a season of many surprises, Penrith have been one of the standout sides so far. James Maloney has been outstanding throughout and will be at the centre of everything again on Friday night. With a 6-2 record for the season the Panthers are shaping up to be possible Premiership contenders if they continue in this rich vein of form. Having won their last two games against the Cowboys they come in as favourites at $1.82.
This is potentially a must win game for North Queensland. Last year’s beaten Grand Finalists have been well of the pace this season and desperately need a victory to rejuvenate the side. Despite the amount of quality and experience in their squad they have failed to deliver on lots of pre-season hype. They stand at $2.02.
Bet of the Match – Penrith to Win by 1-12 at $3.10
New Zealand Warriors v Wests Tigers, Saturday 5th May, 5.30pm, Mt Smart Stadium
The Warriors endured a nightmare on Anzac Day as they were humbled by the Storm. Having gone into that game in fantastic form, the Warriors appeared to have reverted to their former selves. They simply went missing on defence and offered nothing in attack. Against Wests, they will have the opportunity to show that they are capable of bouncing back and true contenders for the Premiership. They are clear favourites at $1.57.
Similarly, Wests have disappointed in recent weeks after impressive performances in the opening Rounds. Victories over the Storm and Roosters signalled a new start for the Tigers, but they have faltered losing their last two games. Wests were still in contention in both of those losses and will have taken heart that they were within one score. They could well overturn a price of $2.45.
Bet of the Match – Wests to Win by 1-12 at $3.50
St George Illawarra Dragons v Melbourne Storm, Sunday 6th May, 2pm, Jubilee Oval
This clash is being discussed as a potential preview for the Grand Final. As the reigning Premiers take on the side sitting top of the ladder. The Dragons have lost only one game this year and have been solid throughout. With a strong pack and dangerous backs, they have the capability to score tries from anywhere. St George destroyed the Roosters on Anzac Day and will be looking to back that up with victory here priced at $1.85.
Melbourne, however, are a side that are not going to lay down and take a beating. The Storm will be fired up for this match after thrashing the Warriors on Anzac Day. Ominously, they appear to be finding their stride as the season progresses after a few minor blips including losses to Wests. They stand at $2.
Bet of the Match – Melbourne to Win by 1-12 points at $3.30
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