NRL Round 18 Betting: Sydney Roosters Vs Penrith Panthers –Sunday 10th of July 2011
Sunday footy kicks off at the SFS with the Roosters hosting the Panthers in front of what is certain to be a dismal home crowd supporting an abysmal Sydney Roosters team. The Roosters are now the only team contending for the Wooden spoon apart from the hapless Titans, and it has nothing to do with the line up because it has changed very little since they made the Grand Final last year. The Panthers are on a roll with new coach Georgallis winning 2 from 2 and this shapes to be a hat trick of wins to maintain his perfect coaching record at the top level.
Ivan Cleary was announced as the Panther’s new head coach for the 2012 season, it will be interesting to see what affect this has on the team. On 1 hand there are a lot of players that are seemingly devastated to see that he has been overlooked as permanent coach from next season on, on the other Georgallis now has a point to prove and what better way to show management they made a mistake by signing Cleary than by winning games for the rest of the season.
The Panthers have not managed to beat the Roosters at the SFS since 2007 when they got up 28-22. The most recent of these was finals week 2 last year, the Roosters of course hammering them 34-12. The last 2 before that went to the Panthers with big score lines, 28-6 in 2010 Round 5 and 48-6 in Round 11 2009 (when the Roosters won the spoon).
The Roosters season went from bad to worse last week as they got hammered on Monday night by the Raiders who seem to have hit some good form recently. Before that it was the Knights beating them in a poor performance, 18-10, then the depleted Storm were too good for them and got up 21-4. This team is a shadow of what they brought to the competition last year, and is a replica of the season before when they won the wooden spoon in 2009.
You can’t possibly blame recruitment or the players for this poor form, not much has changed in the playing roster at all. It seems that the Coaching has steered the Roosters away from winning formula last year of flamboyant fast attacking footy to slow and safe football, something they are not too good at.
Possession is the big killer for the Roosters. In their last 4 losses they have averaged a completion rate of 62%; in their last 2 wins they had completion of 77% and 76%. So if they can manage to hold on to the ball they are in with a chance.
The Panthers have one of the best last 5 game records of any club at this point in the competition, with the Storm being the only team better than them with 5 in a row. This all seems to be a result of Gould being appointed director of coaching 7 weeks ago, with 5 of the last 7 going their way. Even with their best Wing and Centre being out for almost this whole period (Gordon and Jennings) they have managed to score enough points to win these outings.
I mentioned completions in the Roosters preview, so let’s have a look at the Panthers. In their last 4 wins they have averaged 75% of their sets completed. In their last 2 losses they averaged 62%. So we can see that both teams’ losses have completions of 62%, and both teams win when they hold onto it for that extra 10-15%. If both teams can hold in we could be in for a match that is a lot closer than most would give credit.
The difference in the teams is the margins though. The Roosters 2 games were won by an average of 4.5, whereas the Panthers wins were by an average of 12.25. The Roosters losses were by an average of 16.25, whereas the Panthers 2 losses were by an average of 3.
So after an in depth look at the completions and margins you would have to be smoking the silly cigarettes to tip the Roosters. The Panthers are in good form, and only a major upset will derail their finals aspirations. Panthers by 7 or more is the tip this week.
So if you are thinking Roosters, do yourself a favour and put the wacky tobaccy down and throw a decent amount of coin on the Panthers. They are paying $1.69 for the H2H win and $2.35 for 7 or more. All over it!