As well as providing his best value bets every week, our NRL guru Steve Green also previews every NRL game for members. Each week on the blog we’ll feature three of his match previews from the eight games. Check out his NRL Round 9 Triple Preview…
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NRL Round 9: Raiders v Knights
Over the last 4 weeks, the Knights defence has fallen to pieces. From Round 1 to 4, the Knights had less missed tackles than any other team (79 in four games). Since then (from Round 5 – 8), the Knights have missed 137 tackles. That is the third worst in the competition.
While player attitude could be a problem, I think the variance in the strength of the draw is the core issue driving such wild swings.
In the past month, the Knights have played Titans, Sharks, Panthers and Roosters. Over the course of the season, these teams are among the top of the list in terms of tackle breaks (i.e. the Panthers (2nd), Titans (4th) and Roosters (5th).
Whereas earlier in the year the Knights were playing against the likes of the Bulldogs (16th in tackle breaks), Dragons (14th in tackle breaks) and Warriors (11th in tackle breaks).
While this does not excuse the Knights drop off in defence, it does show that rather it being purely an attitude problem, the past month has seen them play against some impressive attacking teams.
Unfortunately for the Knights, playing a Raiders team with its backs against the wall in a small country town, is not an easy assignment.
While the Raiders defended poorly at times out wide, overall, it was a very spirited affair, and I am expecting the Green Machine to come out and try squad the media rumour mill about their being disharmony in the squad.
On my ratings these teams match up quite well at present and although I give the Raiders a slight home advantage, there is too much doubt about the mental state of guys Tapine, Papallii and G Williams for me to have a bet in this one.
Predicted score Raiders 22 – Knights
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