Sat, Apr 8, 1:02pm by Staff Writer
New Zealand Warriors v Parramatta Eels, Sunday April 9, 2pm AEST
The New Zealand Warriors just cannot get their season kick started. A close win over the Titans last weekend should be the catalyst but they face a tough task this Sunday against the Parramatta Eels. Both these sides desperately need a victory and this will be an intriguing contest. That win over the Titans was only the second win of the Warriors’ season despite plenty of promise in the off-season. The signing of Kieran Foran was supposed to rejuvenate the side but he is taking time to settle in. if he can rediscover his form, however, the Warriors look good at $1.74 with William Hill.
This match comes around after a horror run for the Eels with three straight losses to the Titans, Sharks and Raiders. After a tortured 2016, hopes were high for the Eels to put all those worries behind them, especially after that started the season so well with wins over the Sea Eagles and Dragons, two current front runners. Parramatta need this win even more so than the Warriors. Regardless of recent results against the Warriors – the Eels have lost three of four – a Bevan French master classed destroyed the Kiwis last time they met. Parramatta will be looking to him for a repeat performance in order to overturn a price of $2.12 with William Hill.
Bet of the Match: Parramatta to Win by 1-12 points at $3.30
Melbourne Storm v Cronulla Sharks, AAMI Park, 6pm AEST
Sunday also sees a repeat of last season’s Grand Final, as the Melbourne Storm host Cronulla Sharks. The away side arrive in Melbourne on the back of two wins over the Eels and Knights. A James Maloney field goal in the dying minutes was all that separated them from Newcastle though. They will need a much improved performance is they are to be victorious over the Storm as in the Grand Final. The Premiers have looked a shadow of their former selves this year as they have endured a tough start. William Hill prices a Cronulla victory at $2.82.
The Storm remain the only unbeaten side in the competition and will want that form to be intact come Sunday evening. With Cooper Cronk’s announcement in the week that he will be leaving at the end of the season, much of the build up to this has been focused on his likely destination. Yet the professional that Cronk is, means that he will be turning up to AAMI Park with one thing on his mind, one last Premiership. A win here and unbeaten run of six games would make a huge statement. Even more so if the Storm can discover a little more attacking flair to go with their phenomenal defensive effort. Revenge for the Grand Final loss may well be on the minds of the Storm players as they stand as favourites with William Hill at $1.44
Bet of the Match: Melbourne to Win by 1-12 points at $3.00
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