NRL Predictions for Round 3

NRL Round 3 Tips 2009With NRL Round 3 already upon us, the NRL News ‘Grubber’ takes a look at the match-ups and tells us who he thinks will win and why;

Wests Tigers v Sydney Roosters

The Tigers made the big mistake of moving their home game to the SFS, they will immediately be up against it with the local crowd sure to favour their opponents. Tim Sheens was keen to correct some defensive errors the Tigers have in their game at the moment, but he was extremely concerned about the short turnaround. Were unlucky last week early on, several 50/50 calls went against them in Townsville. $2.35 to win

The Sydney Roosters had a good hit-out in Canberra, but it’s hard to read into this too much. They were always going to come out firing after getting dusted by the Bunnies in Round 1. Braith Anasta is really hitting his straps it seems, he has played well in both games and should be consistent again tonight. His creativity could be the key. Fitzgibbon has confirmed this morning that he remains fresh and the side has a good ‘vibe’ about tonight. Losing Minichiello won’t distract them too much and expect to see Willie Mason improve each week after more game time. $1.60 to win

Roosters to win by 8

Gold Coast Titans v Bulldogs

For the Gold Coast it all depends on Scott Prince. It seems at this stage the key playmaker won’t play, as coach John Cartwright doesn’t want to risk him so early in the season with an injury that could get worse. Without the spark of Prince, the amount of points scored will drop for the Titans. Also of concern, has been their poor on-line defence in the past 2 weeks. Stats are shocking without Prince playing. $1.60 to win

The Bulldogs biggest asset apart from Kimmorley is belief. Regardless of their interchange bungle that cost them 2 points, the new Doggies still had belief with minutes to go against Penrith and pulled off a last ditch win. Bottom line, they played average and still won the game. Their defence is improving and remains a key asset. Kimmorley is running this side around the park well and it fills us with confidence. $2.30 to win (Good Value)

The Bulldogs to win this game by 12

New Zealand Warriors v Brisbane Broncos

The Warriors have had great pre-season form and backed it up with wins in Round 1 and Round 2 of the NRL. They were already bulletproof when playing at home, but now they have even more depth and are playing with the confidence that Manly and Melbourne had last year. Can score points from anywhere through various players. Will have massive crowd support for this top of the table clash. $1.55 to win

While the Broncos have looked creative in attack and have blooded some talented kids this year, they haven’t been tested in a heavily physical clash that requires their forward pack to stand-up. The Warriors should give them this test in Round 3 and many will be waiting to see how the Brisbane side respond. Travel will really hurt these guys. $2.50 to win

NZ Warriors by 10

Parramatta Eels v Canberra Raiders

The Eels have given themselves some confidence with a good defensive win against Souths last week. Their strong pre-season focus on fitness from Daniel Anderson has apparently helped them finish strongly in both their opening games despite a narrow loss to the Warriors away. Still yet to prove themselves consistently in both attack and defence, but their first home game should see them jump up another gear. $1.36 to win

The Raiders were extremely unlucky in Round 1 against the Tigers. They played expansive, consistent second phase footy and offloaded at will. They looked sharp and impossible to contain, but they just didn’t get the bounce of the ball. This seemed to hit their confidence in Round 2 as they faced a desperate Roosters side. Very hard to predict how this side will go from week to week. Facing the odds as they travel to Parramatta where they have rarely won in recent years. $3.20 to win

Eels by 10

Cowboys vs Melbourne Storm

The Cowboys have been very disjointed so far in 2009. No one has talked about it, because the Broncos couldn’t put them away by a lot and the Cowboys had a lucky run against the Tigers. They look a long way from their best and if the Storm get on a roll they could really hurt them. Weather will play a part, warm Townsville climate will be their best friend – as will a large local crowd. $1.77 to win

The Storm have done well considering they are playing without a genuine or confirmed five-eight at this stage and along with blooding a few new stars, several of their senior guys are carrying injuries. Were seriously unlucky against the Broncos last week and have shown enough to suggest they’ll be there at the top again this year. $2.05 to win

Storm by 4

Souths v Newcastle

Souths are playing like millionaries in 2009 and good luck to them. Their defence has been reinforced to their 2007 levels and they have enough strike power and depth to score plenty of tries this year. Were frustrated against the Eels last week but were far from disgraced. They’ll bounce back well this week and despite this game being on the Central Coast at Blue Tongue Stadium – the Bunnies will be primed. Craig Wing return adds more starch to the back end of the match for them. $1.48 to win

The Knights too have looked good in patches in 2009. Their injuries cannot be forgotten however, with Mullen, Simpson and Ciraldo all gone for the next few weeks. Chris Houston and Cory Patterson are really making names for themselves in the back row and will provide a good platform, but this week is a big ask of the Knights. $2.65 to win

Souths by 12

Dragons v Cronulla Sharks

The Dragons are still finding their feet as they adjust to a host of new faces and the coaching style of Wayne Bennett. They’ve wanted to play expansive, but it’s just not there yet. The recruiting has proved smart, their forwards have muscled up and have allowed them to win ugly as they did last week. Still got room for improvement, but its coming. This match will suit them. $1.38 to win

The Sharks as always are fighting all the odds. They’ve got injuries galore, they’ve had off field incidents and they can’t get any fans through the gate. Even the bank manager is chasing them it seems. Trent Barrett and Anthony Toupu have been good pick ups and both have performed well – there is just not enough support. Depth will kill them, this week especially. $3.10 to win

Dragons by 4

Manly Sea Eagles vs Penrith Panthers

The Sea Eagles had their hearts broken last week, pretty much did enough to win – but Stacey Jones had that touch of flair to see them off. Didn’t realise that Brett Stewart doesn’t only add attack, but he adds plenty in defence too. Will be desperate this week and are unbackable favourites. Put the house on them. $1.21 to win

Penrith are kicking the can around the street. Broken hearts and no confidence to speak of. Halves remain their biggest worry, with no constructive organisiation and no confirmation that the same players will remain there week to week. Need a miracle to win this game, but if achieve it – will do wonders for their outlook. $4.50 to win

Manly by 12+

Odds provided by LuxBet (luxbet.com.au)

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