NRL Round 16 Experience the Key

As we move into NRL Round 16, it seems experience is the missing ingredient for nearly all teams, as State of Origin drains the NRL stars.

The UK Super League is also draining talent with rumors that Matt King will sign for big dollars soon.

Where does this leave your NRL team in terms of experience? Amazingly the South Sydney side rank first, followed by Manly and then the Warriors of all teams.

This week, this is how they stack up (Combined Player Matches):

South Sydney Rabbitohs (1689)
Manly Sea Eagles (1450)
NZ Warriors (1215)
Bulldogs (1164)
Gold Coast Titans (1091)
Sydney Roosters (1049)
Wests Tigers (976)
Brisbane Broncos (866)
Canberra Raiders (854)
Penrith Panthers (845)
Newcastle Knights (701)
St George Illawarra Dragons (527)

So understandably the Bunnies should be favorites against Newcastle tonight at EnergyAustralia Stadium, regardless of their poor record at EA Stadium. The Knights look exposed with several major strike weapons out, including Buderus, Gidley and Simpson.

The Titans face the Warriors on the Gold Coast and will want the 5 game win streak notched up, with the young club having some talent missing due to injury. The Titans will be strong at home, and their unpredictable style should hurt the Warriors.

The savaged Pathers face the baby Broncos at CUA Stadium with many tipsters choosing the Panthers against the hampered Broncos side. While this maybe true, the Panthers are still in dire straights. The Petero signing will help lift confidence, the injection of Brett Firman will add stability and experience to the young side. The Panthers in a close one.

The Tigers will be desperate to shake the cobwebs out, as they travel to Canberra and face the monstrous Raiders in their backyard. The Tigers have made too many changes for my liking, although they do have a much better winning percentage in day games – the Raiders will be too tough.

Oki Jubilee Stadium hosts the Dragons v Sea Eagles match, and this could be a cricket score – even with the Eagles missing Steve Bell, Brent Kite and Jamie Lyon – they still look like a talent laden side. The Eagles in will win in cruise control.

Monday night NRL sees the Bulldogs battle the Roosters. Pretty hard to go past the Bulldogs here. They too are missing some Origin stars, but their recent form improvement and the poor defence and discipline of the Roosters makes for tipping the Dogs.

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