By Warren Anscombe @WarrenAnscombe
Penrith vs Gold Coast
After an impressive victory in Round 1, the Panthers take their home match to Bathurst where they host the embattled Gold Coast Titans.
The Titans continue to struggle without a host of suspended stars, whilst the Panthers looked genuine title contenders for 65mins before clocking off late to the Bulldogs last week.
Penrith have won 7 of their 11 clashes with the Titans overall, and one would suspect only complacency could stop them adding to this tally.
Despite this the angle I’m most keen to play here is in the Total Match Points market.
8 of the past 11 encounters between these two have tallied Over 45 points, so the early quote offered by bookmaker’s looks to be a little thin for mine and certainly worth a play.
Verdict: Total Match Points Over 42 at $1.94 with
Manly vs Melbourne
The words turmoil and Manly seem to go hand in hand these days, and the Sea Eagles will need all of their resolve when they host the always dangerous Melbourne Storm.
Manly were embarrassed in Round 1 against the Eels, and their cause has not been helped with the announcement that their star halves will be moving on at the end of the season.
One shining light for the home team is their form at this ground, having won all bar one of their matches here last year, with their sole loss coming via Golden Point to this week’s opponents.
Clashes between these two are generally hard fought close encounters, with 2 Golden point games in the past 4 meetings and 4 of the past 6 clashes tallying Under 37 points.
This is a tricky one to call as Manly seem to thrive when in the face of adversity, and the Storm are facing back to back away games at a ground where they have struggled in the past.
Neither side set the world on fire with their attack last week, so this could well be low scoring dour encounter so will side with either team getting the nod in a close one.
Verdict: Tri Bet Either Team Under 6.5 Points at $3.0 with
Nth Qld vs Newcastle
The Cowboys will be looking to turn around a poor Round 1 performance when they host Newcastle at home on Saturday night.
Nth Qld enjoy a good record against their opponents at this ground, having won 5 of the past 6 clashes here.
The Knights also struggled in Queensland last year, going 0/3 and managing to score double figures on just one occasion.
The past 3 clashes here between the two have tallied less than 37 points and I can see a similar scenario unfolding here.
I’m not convinced Newcastle have a lot of points in them, especially on the road, so will play them to score under their nominated Team Total.
Verdict: Newcastle Team Total Under 16.5 at $1.90 with