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 NRL Round 12 Preview…
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NRL Round 12: Cowboys v Warriors
The Cowboys scored some impressive tries against the Knights, but the Knights also squandered their opportunities with some basic errors last week.
One thing the Warriors ae very good at is not making silly errors. With an average completion rate of 81%, they get through their sets better than any team in the competition.
While it was unconventional, having Walsh 1 and RTS on the wing seems to be working, and it provides them with some serious strike power in attack.
Defensively, the Warriors are also an underrated outfit, ranking 6th best in missed tackles, compared to the Cowboys who rank 4th worst.
But the real reason I am backing the Warriors this weekend is the absence of Taumalolo. The Cowboys pack looks so much vulnerable without their million dollar man and the Warriors forward pack is one of their real strengths.
Although they welcome back Hess and Tom Gilbert is a great young player, the Warriors have a squad that is about 12 points better on my raw ratings.
Factoring in the home ground advantage – which is very strong up in Townsville, I think the Warriors are worth a small bet to win this one.
Predicted score Warriors 24 – Cowboys 18
TopSport current market Warriors H2H $1.75
NRL Round 12: Wests v Dragons
Two teams that are pretty hold and cold, with the Dragons showing plenty of grit to nearly beat the Sharks last weekend.
Wests were outplayed by the Warriors, with their defence again proving to not be good enough – conceding over 30 points for the eighth time in 11 games in 2021
While the Dragons attack might be lacking punch with the continued absence of Dufty, Lomax and Ravawala, their defence is much stronger than Wests, having kept their opponents to under 20 points in seven of their 11 games in 2021.
Coach McGuire has made another bold call, by naming James Roberts on the wing, shifting Talau to centre and dropping Joey Leilua.
I like this move, because the problem for Roberts at centre in 2021 is that he is never able to get in space and use his blistering speed.
The Dragons depth has really best tested here, with Gerard Beale plucked from the QLD Cup and put into the centres, and Brayden Wiliame playing on the wing due to injuries to the Feagai brothers.
On the bench, the Dragons have a few young guys that are only playing their second first grade game. In total, this Dragons squad has only 107 caps for the 2021 season – compared to Wests, whose squad has a combined 162 caps for the 2021 season.
So even with all of Coach McGuire’s chopping and changing in 2021, this Wests squad is a lot more settled than the team the Dragons have had to put on the park this weekend.
I really like Wests here, but because I am treading carefully with my NRL plays after a few poor weeks, I am sticking with a moderate play only.
Predicted score Wests 26 – Dragons 12
TopSport current market Wests -4.5 at $1.95
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