NRL Preview, Finals Week 2

NRl Dragons Finals Week 2 2009 Preview TipsAs we prepare to enter Week 2 of the NRL Finals, it seems a lot of the talk and attention remains around Jason Taylor and his karate chop saga over at South Sydney.

All the mail suggests that Taylor will be chopped later today; with a strong chance that he and his manager could launch legal action against the club for wrongful dismissal. An interesting ploy, and one that may affect Taylor’s chances of coaching elsewhere – as other clubs may be nervous to appoint a letigious candidate.

Now back to the football;

In tomorrow nights clash between the Eels and the Titans, it seems the big money bets have been flowing in for the Gold Coast. While they haven’t traditionally travelled well, they are undefeated against the Eels since their inception a few years back.

Initially installed as $3.40 outsides, the Titans have firmed into $2.90 on the back of several large bets. Betting to the tune of $40,000 and $50,000 has flowed in for the Gold Coast at the initial head to head prices. Bookies are still giving the Titans an 8 point headstart.

Position-wise, the Titans may still have a few tricks up their sleeve. They have hinted at moving Preston Campbell to pivot and the returning Zillman to fullback. It does seem that veteran five-eighth Mat Rogers is carrying some pain from his ongoing injuries and they will look to protect him.

For the Eels, Kris Inu remains in doubt – but coach Daniel Anderson has said he has no issues keeping rookie Jonathan Wright in the mix. Wright defended well last week and certainly didn’t look out of place and it seems this has given the coach confidence in the rookie who has the advantage of the larger frame over Inu.

The Titans are built for speed on the edges, so don’t count Inu out for the Eels just yet. Anderson may be keeping his cards close to his chest.

While there is no questioning the ability of the Gold Coast attack, their defence remains a huge concern. The Eels were given the green light by their coach to continue ‘adlib’ football, Anderson suggesting he doesn’t want his side to change their style just because of the finals.

In Saturday nights game, early favourites Brisbane are now been shunned by the punters. St George have been backed into favouritism and now sit at $1.90 for the win. The Dragons are really under the microscope, but their defence is far superior to Brisbane and when you take out the intercept and ‘lucky’ tries from last week, the Broncos were exactly ‘brilliant’.

Sure, the Brisbane side was good and did enough to win – however they were gifted plenty of points. It seems if the Dragons can contain Dave Taylor on the edge, something highly likely as noted defender Matt Cooper will mark him – the Red Vee might just get back to their winning ways.

Brisbane boast a host of finals experience in the form of Lockyer, Hodges, Hunt and Foloau but Bennett’s Dragons will obviously be in ‘war mode’ and should have their minds on the job for the tough away game. Expect Hornby to step up and take pressure off Soward and the veteran showman Wendell to boost his sides morale.

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