Fri, Aug 16, 7:50am by Rob Sheeley
Match: Newcastle Knights vs Melbourne Storm – NRL Round 23
When/Where: 3:00pm, Sunday 18th August at Hunter Stadium
AUD $100 Free Bet: www.IASbet.com
The Melbourne Storm have been regarded as a competition yard stick for some time, and over the last two weeks they have shown why. They now take on the Knights in Newcastle in what should be a clanger.
The Knights have been like a talented school child who can do a lot better but just wants to do enough to get by. I can see the school report now “could do so much better if only he applied himself”. They have sat on the fringe of the top eight for most of the season, just doing enough to get by. If ever it was time to study hard for this wayward student, it is now.
Given their last month, the Storm may not look tremendous value on paper. But in reality no one has been as classy as the Storm over the last fortnight and that makes $1.45 look a lot more inviting in head to head markets. This may also be the last time this season that you are able to get $4.00 about the Storm going back to back as premiers too, particularly should they win here. So if you like their prospects, it may be a good time to get on.
Just one change has been made by Wayne Bennett for the Knights this week. Alex McKinnon replaces Adam Cuthbertson on the bench and veteran Craig Gower has been named as eighteenth man.
1. Darius Boyd
2. James McManus
3. Dane Gagai
4. Joey Leilua
5. Akuila Uate
6. Jarrod Mullen
7. Tyrone Roberts
8. Kade Snowden
9. Danny Buderus
10. Zane Tetevano
11. Robbie Rochow
12. Chris Houston
13. Jeremy Smith
14. Kurt Gidley
15. David Fa’alogo
16. Neville Costigan
17. Alex McKinnon
18. Craig Gower
The Newcastle side could well of been a top four prospect this year if they had been able to exhibit some consistency. Coach Wayne Bennett has exhibited his personal frustrations in his teams inability to produce the same quality of rugby league each week.
The Knights showed plenty of grit and determination last week when they defeated the Sharks 18-14 in a dour affair. The Knights have shown that when they get involved in one of these tight “arm wrestle” type matches that they usually come out on top.
If anyone is capable of getting his team primed for a post season tilt it is the Knights own master mentor Wayne Bennett. With his side at close to full strength it might be time for the Novocastrians to shine.
Craig Bellamy has gone with the same squad of seventeen that has wreaked havoc on their opposition in the past two weeks. Slade Griffin has been named as eighteenth man.
1. Billy Slater
2. Sisa Waqa
3. Will Chambers
4. Justin O’Neill
5. Mahe Fonua
6. Brett Finch
7. Cooper Cronk
8. Jesse Bromwich
9. Cameron Smith (c)
10. Bryan Norrie
11. Kevin Proctor
12. Ryan Hoffman
13. Ryan Hinchcliffe
14. Jason Ryles
15. Tohu Harris
16. Jordan McLean
17. Kenneath Bromwich
18. Slade Griffin
The Melbourne Storm have announced their return to form in classic style with two exhibitions of champagne rugby league in the last two weeks. It serves as an a ominous warning to other title aspirants such as the Roosters and Rabbitohs that they will need to overcome the might of Melbourne to win this seasons premiership.
The Storm put the cleaners though the second placed Rabbitohs last week in a 26-8 win, it was the perfect way to back up their 68-4 annihilation of the Raiders in Canberra a week earlier.
If you look purely at those two weeks, the head to head price for the Storm here looks fantastic. I get the feeling that the Melbourne side are building toward something special and that they could come away from this game with some real momentum.
The Melbourne Storm are the masters of controlling the ruck, they like to quick play the ball when attacking and the exact opposite when defending. They achieve positive results in this discipline better than any team in the competition and it will be up to the Knights to match them in this department if they plan on being in the contest.
If the Knights can do that then they may be able to stay close enough to the Storm for the game to develop into the close, grinding type of game that suits their style of play, but it is certainly a big if.
|Bet on Knights Vs Storm|
|$100 Free Bet for New Punters|
Despite the Newcastle Knights showing that they are able to win when it is least expected, I find it impossible to envisage anything but a Melbourne Storm win here. They are at the top of their game and certainly won’t have any intentions of taking their foot off the pedal now. The Storm look a great anchor in multis and a very solid head to head bet too.
Storm by 10.
Storm: $1.45 Head to Head with IASbet.com
Based on their recent form, the Storm are well and truly good enough to back at the $1.45 quote. They have just beaten two premiership contenders like they were also rans and I expect them to keep on winning in this game.
Knights 1-12: $4.33
Knights 13+: $7.33
Storm 1-12: $3.00 with IASbet
Storm 13+: $2.40
Punters expect that the Storm will completely dominate their opposition again this week and have supported the Storm 13+ option strongly. Based on my prediction I think that the Storm are great value at $3.00 in the 1-12 option. It is possibly the more risky of the three main markets to bet on but I’ll be having something on Melbourne 1-12 and recommend it for you too.
Knights +6.5: $1.92
Storm -6.5: $1.92 with IASbet
I like the look of the line in this match. I think the Storm should have little difficulty covering the six and a half handicap and it looks a nice safe bet to compliment the head to head. This is definitely a bet we can have with a good degree of confidence.
For the first try scorer of the match I am going with the Storm’s resurgent outside back Mahe Fonua. Fonua is currently $11 with IASbet.com
If you prefer backing a Knights player to score first, I’d recommend James McManus who is currently paying $11.
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