The Big Marn’s NRL Round 9 Preview
Friday 7:35pm (AEST) Parramatta Eels $2.60 v Canterbury Bulldogs $1.50 – ANZ Stadium
The Eels are desperate to record their second win of the season and have recalled Chris Sandow to the interchange bench to help their cause.
They produced a stunning comeback to almost run down the Wests Tigers last week but it only covered up what was a disappointing performance where they were down 31-0 with 15 minutes to play.
The Bulldogs had a tough match against Manly and were in the contest right up to their eyeballs until Steve Matai’s late try.
There was plenty to like about the Bulldogs performance against the Sea Eagles and they will be too strong for the Eels.
Take the Dogs at the line and you won’t be disappointed. They are my best bet of the round.
Friday 7:35pm (AEST) North Queensland Cowboys $1.70 v St George Illawarra Dragons $2.15 – Dairy Farmers Stadium
The Cowboys will be disappointed by their performance against South Sydney where they left their run too late.
They were down 20-0 against the Rabbitohs before staging a late comeback to fall short by four points.
The Dragons on the other hand got out of jail against the Roosters in an ANZAC Day thriller.
The Cowboys are a tough side to beat at Dairy Farmers and I’m expecting Johnathan Thurston to fire in this one with Origin just around the corner. They are my second best bet for the weekend.
Saturday 5:30pm (AEST) New Zealand Warriors $2.08 v Brisbane Broncos $1.75 – Mt Smart Stadum
The Warriors showed some positive signs against the Storm on ANZAC Day and that a return to form is not far away.
The Storm knew they were in a contest before they got the upper hand late in the match.
The Broncos were always in control over the Gold Coast Titans and will be looking forward to the challenge of taking on the Warriors in NZ.
If this was in Brisbane I’d be backing the Broncos but I’m expecting the “real” Warriors to stand up in front of their home fans in what should be an OUTSTANDING contest.
Saturday 7:30pm (AEST) Gold Coast Titans $3.15 v Wests Tigers $1.36 – Skilled Park
The Titans were outclassed by the Brisbane Broncos and will hoping to turn their fortunes when they host the Wests Tigers. They will have to do it without injured skipper Scott Prince.
The Tigers played brilliantly for 65 minutes against the Eels before switching off and conceding 30 points in the last 15 minutes.
Complacency won’t be an issue for the Tigers this week and no doubt Tigers coach Tim Sheens has instructed his players to give him an 80-minute performance.
Tigers to leave Skilled Park with their third win of the season but they’ll have to earn it.
Saturday 7:30pm (AEST) Penrith Panthers $4.90 v Melbourne Storm $1.18 – Centrebet Stadium
This could get very ugly for the Panthers, not only are they facing the undefeated Storm but they are down on key troops with Luke Walsh out injured and Michael Jennings would have to be in major doubt.
The Storm keeping ticking off the wins and will want to get the runs on the board in preparation for the Origin period when they lose their star trio in Slater, Cronk and Smith.
Storm will have too much firepower and class for the Panthers and SHANT be losing at the foot of the mountains.
The Sea Eagles were impressive in their victory over the Canterbury Bulldogs and will want to back it up when they return to Brooky.
While they will be missing Kieran Foran, I’m expecting big games from Daly Cherry-Evans and the Stewart brothers with the Origin selectors looking on.
The Raiders were very disappointing in their loss to the Cronulla Sharks with the return of Josh Dugan the only shining light.
Manly should win and should do it quite comfortably.
The Sydney Roosters will be fired up for this clash after going down to the Dragons on ANZAC Day when they appeared to have the match in the bag.
One thing is for certain, Roosters coach Brian Smith will be making sure they are alert to any short kick-off attempts by the Knights.
The Knights suffered two major blows in their victory over the Panthers in Monday night football. Captain Kurt Gidley looks to be gone for the season while Danny Buderus looks unlikely to take on the Roosters despite being named.
It’s a difficult game to predict but expect the Roosters with the extended rest to get the points here.
Monday 7pm (AEST) South Sydney Rabbitohs $1.91 v Cronulla Sharks $1.91 – ANZ Stadium
What an unbelievable season the Sharkies are having with six victories on the trot while the Rabbitohs bounced back to form with a win over the North Queensland Cowboys.
The Rabbitohs will be desperate to record back to back wins and would love to be the first side to knock the Sharks off in seven weeks.
I’m expecting Paul Gallen to be his usual self but a big game from Todd Carney could cement a sky blue jersey on May 23.
I’m backing the Sharks but not with plenty of confidence. I’ll stick loyal and hope to see the Sharkies notch up their seventh consecutive victory for the season.
Best Bet – Bulldogs at the line
Melbourne Storm $3.50
Brisbane Broncos $5.00
Manly Sea Eagles $7.00
St George Illawarra Dragons $11
Wests Tigers $12
Parramatta Eels $3
Gold Coast Titans $3.50
Penrith Panthers $3.50
Canberra Raiders $51,654 views