Round 3 of the NRL kicks off tomorrow, and Scrappy Coco discusses who will win and why:
Wests Tigers $2.40 vs Eels $1.45
These two teams gave us a belter of game late last season, the Benji Marshall vs Jarryd Hayne billing is certainly a highly anticipated one. Both these guys can generate some amazing footy and rarely fail to deliver in these big matches.
However, at the moment both these teams are struggling with new players and cohesion in their ranks.
The Tigers defence is a concern, but so is the Eels organisation in attack at the moment.
Expect it to be a high scoring game, but to pick out a winner you need to look at the statistics. The Tigers really struggle against the Eels and have only won 1 of their past 4 meetings.
Eels in a close one.
Dragons $1.30 vs Cowboys $3.40
The Saints are short priced favourites with the bookies here, amazingly the Cowboys are $3.40 in a two horse race and virtually friendless.
The precision of the Dragons in 2010 has been outstanding. Their completion rates are scary and they are doing everything right.
The Cowboys are still trying to develop their mojo and were lucky to get out of jail against Penrith last week.
Dragons at home should be too much for the stuttering Cowboys.
Penrith $2.10 vs Melbourne Storm $1.70
This is a real test for both sides early in 2010. The Panthers are showing promise with their new look side, but couldn’t close it out in Cowboy town last week after leading by a bunch at halftime.
The Storm have been patchy, but escaped losses in both their games.
No Travis Burns for the Panthers is a concern, the new recruit has been a nice addition to the Penrith side and his presence has certainly helped.
While this games at CUA Stadium, Penrith without Burns and niggling injuries to Lewis and others paints a worrying picture.
Melbourne might have a reshuffled lineup without Cronk – but know how to win these games.
Storm to win.
Manly $1.60 vs Newcastle $2.30
Expect a fired up Manly side here. They’ve been rundown twice now and Dessy the Doorslammer might tear down a grandstands if they lose this.
Newcastle have been very solid given they’ve been without boom player Kurt Gidley – however, their powerful and super fast backs are possibly league best.
However, having the Manly home game at Gosford helps the Newcastle boys.
Manly might be high on emotion for this game and are favourites with bookies, but lookout for the Newcastle backs to really run riot if given a chance in this one. Some value in the Newcastle bet to win here.
Newcastle to win.
Titans $1.76 v Raiders$3.25
The machine that is the Gold Coast Titans should continue their run here at Skilled Park. They have quickly turned Skilled into a Graveyard much like Melbourne did with Olympic.
The Raiders showed glimpses of what they can do, but this road trip won’t be a happy one for them.
Stick with the Gold Coast in this one.
Brisbane $1.45 vs Warriors $2.65
Both sides are in a form of rebuilding and don’t boast the firepower of yesteryear.
The Broncos however are a bit more stable at home and the fact that this game is in Brisbane tips the scales in their favour.
The NZ side are playing an attractive, at times unpredictable brand of footy. It will be interesting to see if they can keep their uptempo game going.
Stay with the Broncos at home in this game.
Bulldogs $1.85 vs Sydney Roosters $1.95
The bookies cannot split these sides and the re-emerging Roosters are real chances in this big clash with the Bulldogs.
The Dogs look out of sorts at the moment, that might sound obvious as they’ve lost 2 games – but there is something missing.
The Hannant situation isn’t ideal and that might still be rubbing off on other players.
Ennis is back for the Belmore boys and this will help them somewhat.
The Roosters are really starting to believe and have some impressive attacking weapons with Carney onboard and Mini looking fitter than ever.
The Bulldogs aren’t in total disarray just yet, and I think it will take 1 more loss for them to panic.
So tip the Roosters here and ride their confidence.
Cronulla $2.10 vs Souths $1.70
The battle of the strugglers. While at Shark Park, look to the Rabbits here. The Sharkies still cannot score point and their defence has weakened.
Bunnies will be super keen to notch one up here.
Could be high scoring, for Souths that is.
Bunnies to win.