The Big Marn’s NRL Round 17 Preview
Last time the baby Broncos were without their Origin stars they managed to beat the Sydney Roosters.
They will be missing Justin Hodges, Ben Hannant, Petero Civoniceva, Corey Parker, Sam Thaiday and Matt Gillett to Queensland duty, so their depth will be tested once again.
The Sharks will be without Paul Gallen and Todd Carney to Origin duty which levels the playing field significantly.
Peter Wallace is the key for the Broncos. If he has a big game I think the Broncos will be hard to beat.
The confidence the side took out of their performance against the Roosters minus their Origin stars and that the game is at Suncorp sees me leaning towards the Broncos.
Have the Knights turned the corner after their win in Monday night football over the Wests Tigers?
The Knights were down 14-0 before storming home to record an 18-point win against the Tigers.
Knights centre Timana Tahu rediscovered some old form with a hat-trick against the Tigers and will be hoping that form continues against one of his former clubs in the Eels.
Darius Boyd (Knights) will be on Origin duty while NSW discard Akuila Uate will want to put in a big performance.
The Eels will be missing their best player in Jarryd Hayne but will come into this match with much needed confidence after recording a golden point win over the Panthers last week.
It’s a real toss of the coin match, highlighted by the market with Sportingbet Australia, but favour the Eels in a close one at home.
The Cowboys face an uphill battle when they travel across the Tasman without their Origin Stars.
Matthew Scott, Brent Tate, James Tamou and Johnathan Thurston will all be on Origin duty.
Matt Bowen has been named in the QLD squad but also named in the Cowboys side. A decision is expected later in the week depending on the fitness of Billy Slater.
The Cowboys have only won 5 of 16 games at Mt Smart Stadium if their task wasn’t already difficult enough.
The Warriors are near full strength minus injured winger Manu Vatuvei and welcome back hooker Nathan Friend.
The Warriors sit two points outside the eight and will be extremely confident of a victory in this clash. They are my best bet and will cover the -14.5 line @ $1.91 with Sportingbet Australia.
Both of these sides will be missing their star players to Origin. The side that adapts the best will go a long way to winning this match.
Souths will be missing Greg Inglis and David Taylor while the Panthers will be without Luke Lewis, Michael Jennings and Tim Grant.
If the task wasn’t tough enough for the Panthers they will also be without injured halfback Luke Walsh.
With Walsh injured there will be plenty of pressure on young halves Harry Siejka and Blake Austin to perform.
Souths have better depth to cover the loss of their Origin players and should be able to get the job done against the Panthers.
The Dragons won’t be looking forward to this clash, not only will it be freezing in Canberra but the Dragons have a terrible record against the Raiders.
The Dragons have won 2/11 against the Raiders in Canberra and only 6/20 clashes between the two sides.
The Raiders cannot take a trick with injuries with Josh Dugan joining a long list of casualties on the sideline. Sam Williams will come into the side to join Josh McCrone in the halves.
The Dragons will be missing Brett Morris, Beau Scott, Trent Merrin and Ben Creagh to NSW so will be relying on some of their younger players to step up.
Melbourne Storm $3.50
Manly Sea Eagles $5.50
Brisbane Broncos $5.50
Canterbury Bulldogs $8
Wests Tigers $9