NRL Tips expert Stephen Green dissects the two blockbuster clashes in Round 2 Friday Night Footy.
Thursday night football was a cracker last night, with St George storming home to edge out the Sharks in a thriller.
The Dragons have shown some very strong early season form and are sitting pretty at the head of the standings after two hit outs.
Our members are also in a great position, with Steve’s four pre-season futures bets all looking good after nine games of the season!
Sydney Roosters v Canterbury Bulldogs
The Roosters were the disappointment of Round 1, by a mile. Although the Broncos were flat, with so many key players coming back from injury, a lot of people thought the Broncos might struggle. But everyone thought the Roosters would win, and even though I did say I thought Wests were a bigger chance than the market suggested, I wasn’t willing to take a stab at the new look Wests outfit based on their trial form.
As for the Roosters misfiring, the one statistic that really stood out to me was the 14 Tackle Breaks made. For a team with so many strong runners of the ball and playing against a Wests back line that leaked tries in 2017, that statistic is really frightening for the Roosters. Even more amazing, is the fact that out of those 14 tackle breaks, 5 of them were made by Blake Ferguson, meaning the rest of the 16 players in the team made only 9 between them. Tedesco made only 1 and Latrell Mitchell made none!
With Keary back this weekend, I do expect things to improve, but the much-improved Bulldogs are not without a chance.
Although the Storm managed to pile on the points, Doggies fans should be happy with the attack the Bulldogs were able to put together. With Foran and Woods only going to get better with time and with Mybe looking right at home at fullback, new Coach Dean Pay may be able to get the Bulldogs back to be a team to fear in the NRL.
There is still a lot to work on for the Doggies and I think the Roosters forward will come out firing in this one.
Brisbane Broncos vs North Queensland Cowboys
Although the Roosters were the flop of Round 1, the Broncos were not far behind them and because I think the main issue with the Broncos was a total lack of conditioning, I don’t see any reason why they can turn things around in the space of a week.
Yes, McCullough will be better for the run, as will Boyd and Milford. Plus there were some real positives, with Tevita Pangai Jnr being hard to contain all night and Roberts showing he is still a try scoring freak. But the Broncos do look like they are a few weeks away from being match fit for the NRL standard and although the Cowboys were not amazingly impressive in their win over the Sharks, they are likely to welcome back Morgan for this blockbuster.
I think the Broncos will lift their defence, as this is always a trade mark of Wayne Bennett’s sides and some of their defensive efforts were woeful. De Belin went right through the middle of the Broncos ruck defence and I cannot see that happening again. With 34 missed tackles (the second worst of all Round 1 defensive efforts), I think we will see a marked improvement in the Broncos defence.
For two teams that have a lot of attacking firepower, I do think that this game will be dominated by defence. The Cowboys outside backs are good at running the ball, but it is their defence that has won them a premiership in 2016.
Both teams are willing to take a penalty goal if it is on offer and so I think this could be a grinding affair, with the Cowboys halves getting the away team home in a close one.
Cowboys 20 – Broncos 12
Steve Green’s NRL Tips have given members plenty to smile about over the past three years, with two winning seasons showing a $6,000 profit at 10% PoT to date.
With a decent start to the year coming in Round 1, including some well-placed Futures bets that are off to a ripping start, Steve is settling in for another big year ahead!