Telstra NRL Finals Betting Week 1: Brisbane Broncos (3) Vs NZ Warriors (6) – Saturday 10th of September 2011
Saturday Night kicks off game 2 of the NRL finals with the Broncos hosting the Warriors at Suncorp Stadium. Like the Tigers and Dragons match, these teams played quite recently in round 22. In that match it was the Broncos holding their home ground advantage, with a win coming off Peter Wallace’s boot with a field goal in the dying minutes.
The win against the Warriors was the 2nd of a run of six running into the finals with the streak still on. The Warriors have won 3 of the 4 since then with their only loss coming against the Dragon’s, a match they could have easily won.
The season is on the line for the Warriors as they sit in 6th position on the ladder. If they lose this match they have to bank on the results of the remaining 2 matches of the weekend (2 v 7 and 1 v 8). Even though a loss is not likely it could still happen ala 2009.
These teams have only met once in 2011 and the Broncos won as per above. At Suncorp the record stands at 4-2 in favour of the home side.
With only a handful of matches left to play we are drawing the curtain on the amazing career of Broncos Captain Darren Lockyer. There is only one thing that this man has not achieved in Rugby League and that is the Dally M Medal. A lot of people would say that this is evidence that he has never had the ability of Joey Johns, The King, Thurston or Fittler. To me I think it is a testament that he is one of few TRUE team players left in the game. This may sound like a biased opinion, but believe me, there are not many more that would oppose a Queenslander more than I!
So in 2011 almost everything seems to have panned out for Lockyer. Australia won the ANZAC match against NZ with Lockyer captaining his last Test match. The Queensland Maroons capped off a cracker of an Origin series. The Bronco’s dominated in Lockyer’s milestone of most First Grade games ever against the Cowboys. The Bronco’s went from bottom 8 finishers in 2010 to 3rd position in 2011, better yet under a rookie coach. So there is only one thing left on Darren’s 2011 bucket list and that is to secure the premiership. They did it in 2006 for Webcke and it will be interesting to see if they can repeat for Lockyer.
The Team in 2011 is a lot different to the team that won it in 2006 though. They had a lot of seasoned players and veterans in 2006, in 2011 their team looks more like an under 20s side than anything. They don’t actually have any players under 20 in their side, but they are not far off.
Coming off 6 straight wins including the Warriors, Knights, Cowboys and Eagles (all in the top 8) means it will be hard for the Warriors to stop the momentum.
Josh Hoffman and Sam Thaiday are notable players out from last week. Beale has had plenty of experience at the back in 2011 after Hoffman’s other injuries this season and he will not be out of place at all. Te’o will be slotting in for Thaiday which is not as good as the Beale replacement, but good none the less.
The Warriors have had a good run into the finals with 7 wins from their last 9 starts. They have had a good run in more ways than 1 though, with 5 of those 7 wins coming against teams in the bottom 8. This means that only 2 of their 7 were against top 8 sides. What makes this worse for the Warriors is the fact that the 2 teams inside the 8 that they beat were the Knights and Cowboys, i.e. the only 2 teams below them in the 8! It gets worse; they have played 3 other teams in the top 8 over the last 10 weeks; Dragons, Broncos and Storm. They lost all 3!
Some punters and Journalists are saying this is one of the most open finals series of recent. Well from the above you can’t disprove of the top 5, but you can certainly come to the conclusion that the bottom 3 has no chance. The Warriors may be competing in the finals but they certainly won’t be playing past week 2.
The Broncos are in some great form at the moment and the Warriors are playing at the same level as per the rest of the season. The Warrior’s form has led to only one win over a team above them all year, the Storm on ANZAC day. The Broncos have beaten better teams than the Warriors on a much more frequent basis; therefore they will take the cake on Saturday night.
I can’t believe that the Broncos are paying the same odds as the Dragons for H2H @ $1.69. This
is the best bet of the week as it is a certainty. It was 1-12 not so long ago for the Broncos and with Thaiday and Hoffman out I can’t see anything but this. Get on it @ $3.05.