Match Previews

As well as providing his best value bets every week, our NRL guru Steve Green also previews every NRL game for members. Here’s Steve’s thoughts for every Roosters game.

To get Steve’s previews plus his best bets each week, join NRL Tips now!

NRL Round 18: Cowboys v Roosters

With Holmes ruled out due to injury from last night, this is one game where Origin has played a big part already. Holmes was playing great before his injury and he will be sorely missed by the misfiring Cowboys.

Luckily for the Cowboys, Coach Payten has rediscovered the talented Daejarn Asi, who was very good for the Cowboys in his last outing. Despite the team sheet reading that Bowen will play fullback for Holmes, there is no way Payten is that dumb. The Hammer and Asi are the two most likely choices due to their superior speed.

But the really big news for this match came through yesterday, with Tedesco being rested following his big Origin performance. With Suaalii ruled out for the season earlier in the week and Taukeiaho missing due to hamstring strain, the Roosters are now missing so much talent from their best 17 earlier in the season, that the Cowboys at home are a massive chance in this one.

Just to recap, the following guys were all in the Roosters top 17 at the beginning of the season: Taukeiaho, Tedesco, Friend, Collins, Keary, B. Morris and Cordner. While guys like Sam Walker have stepped up to fill the void, as we saw against the Doggies last weekend, this Roosters team has lost the hard edge we have seen in previous seasons.

On my ratings and being played in Townsville, this game should go down to the wire.

But because the Cowboys form has been so patchy and the Roosters still have the potential to blow their opponents off the park, I am happy with the action we have here.

Predicted score Cowboys 22 – Roosters 22

NRL Round 17: Bulldogs v Roosters

This is one of those games where even die hard fans such as myself are not very excited about.

The Bulldogs are the worst team in the competition, and are currently dealing with a bad injury toll and a host of suspensions.

The Roosters are a shell of the team they once were and are further weakened this week with the loss of Crichton and Tedesco.

The Roosters still have plenty of talent, but last weekend most of these guys looked like they had given up on 2021. J Moz has not been the same since his brother retired, Lui and Taukieaho are well off their best, while JWH was manhandled by the Storm.

More concerning for the Roosters, is the fact that young Sam Walker is coming crashing back to reality, with the diminutive half now getting rag dolled in defence and attack. Teams are moving the ball to work him over and the rest of the Roosters defence is no longer strong enough to adjust and cover for him.

In terms of Coach Barrett, I have serious concerns about his ability to identify talent. Topine should still be in the 17 and L Lewis deserves another shot. Atoni has finally be brought back into the top 17, but only through necessity… so I am not sure Coach Barrett is using his limited resources as effectively as he could be.

Although the Roosters are falling away in 2021 and are not genuine contenders in my view, they should be far too good here. Radley’s return at lock and Manu at 1 should be enough to see the tries flow towards the end of each half.

If you are going to miss watching one NRL game this year, this should be the one!

Predicted score Roosters 30 – Bulldogs 10

NRL Round 15: Panthers v Roosters

The Panthers have now lost two in a row and for a team that is not used to losing at all, I am expecting an angry Panthers outfit on Friday night.

Playing in front of their home crowd and with a line up that is about as strong as they can put together, I really like their chances of blowing the Roosters off the park here.

After a few poor showings at 7, Tyrone May has been dropped out of the 17 and young Tago has rightfully been given another shot in the top grade. Tago has been one of the real standouts in the NSW Cup and he has looked great since joining the top grade a fortnight ago.

With so many Panthers players fresh off their triumphant State of Origin debuts, I am expecting this confident footy team to bounce back with a clinical attacking display.

As for the Roosters, while their line up still looks pretty strong, we have seen in recent weeks just how much of a toll their injury-ravaged season is taking on their performances.

To allow an out of form Titans outfit to pile on so many consecutive tries shows that this Roosters squad is a far cry from the team that has dominated the NRL over the past 5-6 years.

While the Roosters welcome back some quality in terms of Tedesco and Taukeiaho, there has been a lot of disruption to the Roosters spine.

Without Collins and Radley, they are also missing some grunt in the middle, so while I think they will be competitive early, I think the Panthers, at home, should run away with this one.

Predicted score Panthers 30 – Roosters 12

NRL Round 14: Titans v Roosters

The Titans are a hard team to get a read on. Against the Sharks they were woeful, then playing against the Storm missing guys like Fifita, Brimson, Fotuaika and Big Tino, they played tough footy and really should have upset the Storm.

If it were not for some bombed tries by the Titans outside backs and a poor performance from Fogarty, the Titans would have won that game and the line here would probably be a bit shorter.

However, with news that Tedesco is likely to back up for this match, Crichton back from suspension and with Sam Walker back on deck, I can see why the Roosters are tipped to win this game by 12 points.

With a centre pairing of Josh Morris and Joey Manu, and the finishing brilliance of Ikuvalu and Tupou, the flimsy Titans defence will be sorely tested out wide.

Big Tino and Fifita will be feeling pretty sore and sorry after being manhandled by the Blues forwards. They might back up, but they are likely to be far from their best.

At home, the Titans have won three from six this year. However in their three losses, they have conceded over 100 points…including conceding 88 points in their last two losses at home against Souths and the Panthers.

Because of all their injuries, this Roosters team has been pretty up and down, having lost two of their last 4 matches by more than 12 points. While their starting 13 looks strong, they still have very little experience on their bench.

Playing away from home and with Tedesco a chance of getting a rest early, there is a chance the Titans can keep this competitive and cover the line.

Predicted score Roosters 25 – Titans 18

NRL Round 12: Roosters v Raiders

This game is being played at the Central Coast, so the Roosters home ground advantage is a little less than it would otherwise have been.

This will be an intriguing match, with the Roosters coming off an embarrassing loss to the Broncos and the Raiders being humiliated by a Storm team missing a whole host of their stars.

In fairness to both teams, the Roosters had to go without Radley for 20 minutes due to multiple sin bins, while the Raiders were also without CNK, Tapine, Wighton, Hodgson and Papalii.

As we have since found out, their halfback G Williams was also not in a good place mentally and I think it showed on the field. When the going got tough, the Raiders folded as it became clear they were missing leadership without some of their more senior players out there.

While it is clear the Raiders have some big issues internally, they continue to start games well and it is just an inability to finish off their second halves that sees them dropping game after game.

When Hodgson came back into the team against the Doggies, I thought his leadership was the difference and although they are missing their first choice halfback and fullback, it is still a team that is strong enough to trouble the Roosters. WIghton, Rapana and Hodgson are leaders in this squad, so I am expecting a much mentally tougher Raiders team tonight.

The Roosters welcome back Josh Morris, but they will be without Crichton and Radley due to suspension. With Collins, Cordner, Verrils and Friend all missing from what would have been their top 17 at the beginning of the season, the Roosters are relying on a few bench forwards to step up here.

Furthermore, the Broncos showed that you can target Sam Walker on the fringe of the ruck, and I am sure Jack Wighton will try his chances by running at the diminutive 7 all night long.

On paper, the line here is too big…with news that Sam Walker is likely to be rested (unable to 100% confirm at time of publication), I think the Raiders are a good chance here.

It is unclear how Stuart will use his bench, but I think Hodgson will come on relatively early and most likely play as a ball playing lock, which I really like!

Because they rolled over so spectacularly last weekend, I am not willing to back them to win this one, but I do think such a big head start is too big to ignore here.

For this match, the Roosters team are now likely to be missing S Walker, V Radley, A. Crichton, F Lussick, L. Keary, S. Verrills, J. Friend, D. Hutchison, B. Morris and L. Collins. That means they could be without their first three choice hookers, three halves, three Origin quality forwards and one of the best wingers to ever play the game.

While the Raiders are still without their first choice fullback, their recently departed halfback, and two international forwards, they are nowhere near as depleted as the Roosters and should be right in this match.

Predicted score Roosters 24 – Raiders 20

As well as providing his best value bets every week, our NRL guru Steve Green also previews every NRL game for members. Here’s Steve’s thoughts for every Broncos game.

To get Steve’s previews plus his best bets each week, join NRL Tips now!

NRL Round 9: Eels v Roosters

I thought the Roosters were amazing against the Knights. While a lot of the focus was on how the Knights played poorly, the Roosters were simply ruthless in the opening 20 minutes.

Every mistake made by the Knights led to a try, with Sam Walker leading the way and the Morris brothers, Tupou and the highly underrated Ikuvalu finishing off every half chance that came their way.

However, the Roosters injury toll is now getting ridiculous. This weekend they will be without Sitili Tupouniua, Freddy Lussick, Billy Smith, Boyd Cordner, Luke Keary, Brett Morris, Lindsay Collins and Jake Friend.

Contrast this to the Eels, who are likely to be without only Nathan Brown in terms of key players missing.

The Eels are playing at Bankwest (where they always seem to lift), and hopefully you can see why my system says the Eels are value at -4.5.

Although a lot of attention is focused on the Panthers, Storm, Souths and Roosters, the Eels look like they have taken a big step forward in 2021 and now genuine contenders.

The Eels’ back three are as good as any in the competition, while their spine is also up there with the likes of the Storm. They have plenty of depth in the forwards and a low injury toll to deal with.

With a slightly stronger squad and a home ground advantage, I would normally be putting this one forward as a big play.

However, I am conscious that in such an uneven season (so far!) the strength of each team’s draw to date could be distorting things. The Eels have only played one team currently in the top 5 (the Storm), so there is a risk that their numbers are being inflated by some soft opponents (Broncos x 2, Wests, Bulldogs etc…).

I am happy to have a small play here and will be watching closely as to how the Eels go about shutting down the gifted Sam Walker.

Predicted score Eels 22 – Roosters 12

Steve Green is back with NRL Tips in 2021. With all of Steve's best bets and full previews of every NRL game, it's the only way to bet the NRL. Join now to start beating the bookies!


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