Sat, Mar 11, 9:02am by Staff Writer
Round Two of the NRL will be capped off with two incredible Sunday afternoon match ups with surprise early front runners St George Illawarra Dragons and Wests Tigers, both in action, hosting clashes against Parramatta Eels and Penrith Panthers. Although it is early in the season a strong start could make all the difference come the end of the year.
Wests Tigers v Penrith Panthers, Campbelltown Stadium, Sunday March 12, 4pm AEDT
Penrith started the season as joint favourites to claim the Premiership alongside the Storm. A 42-10 mauling from the Dragons in Round One highlighted just how tough it will be for them to match those odds. The Panthers were thoroughly outclassed in their opening match and had no answer to the Dragons’ relentless attack. They will need to improve rapidly if they are to not face a similar score line when they take on the Tigers this weekend. Although they are favourites with William Hill at $1.82.
Wests put on their own masterclass to smash the Rabbitohs 34-18 to signal their intent for the season. Full back James Tedesco looks set to light up the NRL once again and could be a major thorn in the side of the Panthers in Round Two. The Tigers are priced at $2.00 with William Hill and will believe that they have the quality to overturn their price. Long-term contract negotiations are hanging over the heads of some of the best Wests players and they need to start getting the results on the field that the team on paper suggest is possible.
Bet of the Match: Wests to Win by 1-12 points at $3.40
St George Illawarra Dragons v Parramatta Eels, WIN Stadium, Sunday March 12, 6:30pm AEDT
The Dragons were tipped by many to battling for the Wooden Spoon this year. Yet if their Round One performance can be backed up then they appear to have a chance to compete for Finals footy. With Gareth Widdop in excellent form in their destruction of the Panthers, St George looked particularly sharp in attack. Those credentials will, however, get a stern test in Round Two when they host Parramatta. St George set the NRL alight last weekend but they must now back that up and currently stand at $2.02 with William Hill to do so.
That is in contrast to the Eels at $1.80 who kicked off their 2017 by grinding out a tough win against Manly. Parramatta’s new look half back combo of Corey Norman and Clint Gutherson both shined in their opening Round victory and will be a major threat again when they face the Dragons. The brute force of the Eels pack makes them a definite danger to the Dragons and have plenty to prove after a 2016 season that saw them docked points giving them no hope of making the Finals.
Bet of the Match: Eels to Win by 1-12 points at $3.00
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