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 3 Triple Preview…
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NRL Round 3: Souths vs Roosters (Friday)
This is the game of the round, with the game’s biggest archrivals lining up.
While the Roosters have been in amazing form, I am still wary of the poor quality opposition they have faced. Manly and Wests both played horrendously, so this will be a big step up in class for the Roosters.
Souths have been a little disappointing for mine, with their big guns all clicking at different times and failing to put together a solid 80 minutes.
I put their Round 1 loss down to a great performance by the Storm, but Manly were right in the game against Souths last weekend. So there are a few concerns about this Souths pack will handle the Roosters onslaught.
With Radley back, I am expecting the Roosters’ fantastic ball movement to improve, and the form of guys like Lindsay Collins is good enough to keep JWH on the bench.
However, a big positive for Souths will be goal kicking. While he has not been striking them that well in 2021, Reynolds is an elite kicker – whereas both Taikeiaho and Tedesco are part time kickers. This could be the reason Sam Walker is getting talked about as coming into the Roosters 17.
If I had to have a bet on this, I would probably take Souths H2H at the $2.25 on offer… because I do think the Roosters’ form is being inflated by their poor quality opponents.
A couple of the Roosters tries last weekend were 100% the result of poor Wests defensive efforts from the likes of Joey Leilua and Luke Brooks. They will not be presented with such gifts by this Souths outfit.
All in all, it’s too hard to price up this match because of the difference in quality of their oppositions and better value propositions on offer in Round 3.
Predicted score Roosters 19 – Souths 18
NRL Round 3: Broncos vs Bulldogs (Saturday)
This is an incredibly hard game to price up, with both teams putting in some shocking performances so far.
While it was hard to back the Broncos after their first half effort against the Titans, I do think that at home we will see the Broncos lift their defensive intensity. The Wallace try was a result of a shocking effort by Milford, while Fifita’s first try was a result of Nui totally getting his body position wrong. Fifita’s second try was caused by Milford going too high and being too fatigued, but I think all of these issues can be rectified.
While it is tempting to suggest this is a continuation of the horrible defence we saw in 2020 from the Broncos, I do not believe they are the same team…and the stats back that up. Four teams currently have missed more tackles than the Broncos, including the Bulldogs. And although they lost the match, the Broncos still made 267 metres more than the Titans, with both teams nearly dead even in line breaks and missed tackles.
So I think the Broncos lost because of individual failures at a few key moments, rather than systemic defensive issues.
As for the Doggies, I thought they started okay against the Panthers… but their inability to score points (despite completing at 84%) suggests that the Doggies attack is not looking much more dangerous despite their new recruits.
I think Corey Allan has been pretty ordinary in his two outings for the Doggies, while guys like Averillo are also not showing great signs to date. Cotric has looked good at times, and Elliott is the closest thing the Doggies have to a strike weapon.
But all in all, my ratings suggests that the likes of Pangai Junior, Xavier Coates, Isaako, Niu and Riki might offer a little too much in attack for the Doggies, Playing at home, I like the Broncos to get their first win under Coach Walters.
Predicted score Broncos 28 – Bulldogs 18
NRL Round 3: Cowboys vs Titans (Sunday)
The Cowboys are rightly shortening in the market for the wooden spoon, with Coach Payten testing the patience of Cowboys fans with some strange team selections.
Coen Hess is a complete liability in defence and does not offer much in attack, so I am amazed to see he looks set to retain his starting spot. Clifford continues to fail to fire, while Morgan looks like he is massively down on confidence. Drinkwater tries hard, but I would be moving Holmes to 1, Drinkwater to 6 and let Morgan play at 7… that is their strongest spine, in my opinion.
The Hammer is also not being fully utilised in the centres, while McGuire seems really out of sorts coming off the bench.
As for the Titans, things started to click last week, but I still think most of their tries came through shocking Broncos’ defensive efforts. Taylor and Fogarty are not creating too many chances for their outside men, with neither player having racked up a Try Assist or Line Break Assist.
Brimson has been solid without being outstanding, and Big Tino also failed to deliver the kind of performances I thought he would after his stellar end to the 2020 season.
The Titans should be too good here, mainly because I think their forward pack will prove far too strong. But their halves will want to stamp their authority on this season with a few try assists.
Predicted score Titans 26 – Cowboys 12
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