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 some of his match previews from the eight games. Check out his Dragons vs Panthers preview below
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Dragons vs Panthers: NRL Round 2
Aaron Woods is in doubt with a hamstring injury, which could see George Burgess, Billy Burns or Tariq Sims included – all suitable forward replacements.
For the Panthers, Moses Leota is out with Spencer Leniu expected to replace him. While Cleary is still missing, Sullivan showed what an astute pick-up he was by Coach Cleary…with the underrated 7 not putting a foot wrong against Manly.
Both of these teams won last weekend in impressive fashion and while both teams defended well and showed great conditioning for Round 1, I do think their opponents put in really poor performances.
The Warriors second half was 40 minutes of dumb footy and with news that they had multiple players carrying injuries, it does make me wonder whether the Dragons form is being a little overstated here.
And while the Panthers line speed was amazing and their contact was huge in defence, Manly were feeble in response and let some soft tries in out wide. Foran looked injured or at least very tired, as did Croker at 9… who continues to show that this is an area where Manly just cannot match it with the big boys.
So, although the Panthers deserve all the praise they are getting, I am not quite penciling them in for a third Grand Final in a row – as many others were claiming after their dominance of Manly on Thursday night.
With the home ground advantage and some solid performances so far this year (charity shield and Round 1 win), the Dragons are being given some chance here… and although I am tempted to take the Panthers to cover the line, I want to see how both these teams go in a game where the opposition does not capitulate.
Happy just to watch this one.
Dragons vs Panthers: Predicted score
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