It’s a shame that such a big rivalry match is played during the Origin rounds. The Roosters are looking to bounce back after the Sharks dismantled them last week but are without Pearce, Ferguson, Cordner & Napa due to Origin duties. The Rabbitohs are close to full strength and are on the comeback trail after big wins against the Titans & Panthers and are now just 2 wins out of the Top 8.
Adam Reynolds has shown why he was given a Blues jumper last year. While its rare that the Roosters concede big points in consecutive weeks, the depleted Roosters might struggle again this week if Reynolds continues his good form.
I think the Roosters attack will really struggle with the game being decided by whether they can contain the red-hot Rabbits. My bet of the match is Roosters team total – under 18.5 @ $1.94 with
Penrith Panthers v Manly Sea Eagles
Sat 08 Jul 2017, 5:30pm, Pepper Stadium
Both teams are largely unaffected by the big game next Wednesday with Jake Trbojevic the only significant out for Manly. The Sea Eagles are coming off 5 straight wins and the ever-inconsistent Panthers have lost 2 in a row.
Daly Cherry-Evans will have a big point to prove after being left out of the Maroons side yet again and expect him to put in a big performance. The Panthers find themselves out of the 8 and have been failing to produce what their team sheet suggests they are capable of in 2017.
The bookies have this as an even contest which is hard to fathom considering the form of the two teams. Manly haven’t beaten them since 2014 but its hard to see them losing this one. I’m taking Manly 13+ @ $4.50 with
Melbourne Storm v Parramatta Eels
Sat 08 Jul 2017, 7:30pm, AAMI Park
The Origin-depleted Storm come up against a near full-strength Parramatta side with both sides having plenty to play for. The Storm are missing their entire spine in Slater, Munster, Cronk & Smith, as well as centre Chambers and prop Tim Glasby.
Both teams come into this contest with 4 wins from their last 5 – the Storm on the back of a thumping of Brisbane in Suncorp & Parramatta a narrow win against an ordinary Bulldogs outfit.
The young Storm brigade have more than proven their worth with a gutsy win over the Cowboys & a narrow loss against the Roosters. I really like the Storm 1-12 @ $3.90 withhere as a value bet as I think the bookies are overestimating how good the Eels can be and are underestimating the Storm rookies.
Canterbury Bulldogs v Newcastle Knights
Sun 09 Jul 2017, 4:00pm, Belmore Sports Ground
It’s increasingly looking like the Bulldogs will join the Knights outside of the Top 8 this season as they aren’t able to produce enough in attack to score points. The Dogs are missing Klemmer, Jackson & Brett Morris for this clash while the Knights are missing Dane Gagai.
The Knights made some confusing selection choices last week with Brock Lamb, arguably the best half they have, dropped in favour of Trent Hodkinson. Unsurprisingly, they were blown off the park by the Tigers. Meanwhile the Dogs somehow pushed the Eels into golden point thanks to a late try by Matt Frawley, only to be sunk by a field goal.
This looks like it could be a snoozefest but the Dogs have the wood on the Knights since they lost to them in the 2013 finals series. With neither side having much in attack, the unders looks the way to go here – Under 41.5 @ $1.91 with