It is always hard to predict who will win between a team that has absolutely nothing to play for and a team that is trying their hardest to get an all important home semi final, especially when the former is playing at home. That is the case this week as the Panthers are no chance of making the final 8, and the Warriors sit just 1 win away from the 4th placed Cowboys. The Warriors will be well ahead of the Cowboys on For and Against even if the Cowboys lose by a single point to the Rabbitohs.
The Warriors have win the last 2 against the Panthers, including a a 12-6 victory at Centrebet stadium in Round 18 of the 2010 season. They have a good record against the Panthers here as well, with 5 wins and a draw from 13 matches played. The Panthers have not beaten the Warriors at home since 2008.
The Panthers only win of their last 6 came against then second last placed Eels. So based on recent form they could win this week… if they were playing the last placed Titans! Alas, they are not. They are playing against the 6th placed Warriors, potentially 4th placed after this match. So what has gone wrong at the foot of the mountatins?
They were performing well under the new direction of Gould as Coaching director and Georgallis as head coach. It seems as though a lot of enthusiasm has been lost since they found out that Warriors coach Ivan Cleary will be leading the team next season.
This brings me to my next point. Most players would deny it, but when playing against a future coach they are secretly trying to impress him. Its a way of saying “Hey! Don’t bother with off season recruiting for my position, this one is taken.” So with this added twist the Panthers could play better than expected.
The Warriors are still yet to convince me that they have a future in the 2011 competition. At the beginning of the season I chose them as my dark horse and they have thus far prevailed, but not to the extent that I had hoped. Recently thought they have been good. They have won 5 of their last 6. There is some good and bad to be take out of this. Lets start with the;
4 of their 5 wins from the last 6 games were played at home. So unless Gallop decides to move the NRL Premiership to NZ they are a fat chance of taking home the Tupperware.
The best part of their last 6 comes from their only loss, which was against the Broncos. They played a pretty much full strength Broncos team at Suncorp and only lost by a single point. This is better than most teams can do as the Broncos have lost 2 from 10 at home this year.
The Panthers are on a 4 game losing streak, a loss here will make it 5. The 4 in a row were against top 8 teams, and the Warriors are a top 8 team. On the other hand the Warriors have won 4 from their last 4, 3 of which were against bottom 8 sides, and the Panthers are a bottom 8 side. So the Warriors have no excuse if they let this one go. The Warriors will get up 1-12.
Add the Warriors to your weekend Multibet and the payout will increase by almost 50% as they are paying $1.40 for the H2H. If you are betting on this match by itself than get on the Warriors 1-12 @ $2.90.