NRL ROUND 5 – ROOSTERS v SEA EAGLES – FREE TIPS

Sydney Roosters Vs Manly Sea Eagles
31 March 2017, 6pm (AEDST)
Allianz Stadium

Sydney Roosters 4-0-0

The resurgence of the Roosters continues with their 4th straight win to kick off the 2017 season and it gives them their best start to a season since 1996. A dominate performance from start to finish, with L. Mitchell scoring in the 5th minute and M. Gordon having a field day scoring a try and a personal tally of 12 for the game. Just an all round team effort that never relented on a South Sydney team that had a real dig, but couldn’t compete with 52% possession and highlighted by their only try in the 50th minute. The Roosters were a much better disciplined team only conceding 6 penalties to last weeks 9 and reduced their errors by 4 to 10. This week they will have to reduce their missed tackles, 38, if they want to keep their winning streak alive vs Manly, who can break tackles and offload to their backs.

Manly Sea Eagles 2-0-2

The Million dollar man (D.C-Evans) stood tall and guided his team to a resounding 36-0 score over a lacklustre Bulldogs outfit. DCE had an amazing 4 try assist, 20 tackles, 10 runs for 65m, that’s what they need from him week in week out, as they are starting to find their rhythm. He wasn’t alone, but everything did stem from his plays, with T. Trbojevic keeping his name on the tip of Blues selectors running for 199m, 2 Line Breaks and a try. His brother J. Trbojevic also is in contention and with performances like last week, 24 tackles, 4 offloads and 9 runs for 99m, you would think he isn’t too far away. With the return of M. Taupau, 179m with 5 offloads, the other forwards also seemed to lift, he has been missed and will need to be at his best for this week.

Team news: (Final team lists released an hour before the game)

Sydney Roosters

J. Friend pulls on his boots this week returning from a facial injury, this forces P. Carter back to the bench.
B. Ferguson has been named once again on the extended bench. He is still battling a rib injury, that is tricky to gain your confidence back from. If he is fit, expect J. Manu to drop off the team.
Rest of the team is unchanged.

Manly Sea Eagles

Named 1-17 and expected to be unchanged as Manly are finding some form.

Their last 5 game report card: Roosters 2 wins, 0 at Allianz, Manly 3 wins, 2 at Allianz
2016 – Round 4 – Manly won by 2 at Allianz stadium
2015 – Round 25 – Roosters won by 36 at Lotto land
2014 – Round 16 – Manly won by 8 at Lotto land
2014 – Round 4 – Manly won by 8 at Lotto land
2013 – Round 30 – Roosters won by 8 at ANZ stadium

What we take from this?
This will be the first test in 2 weeks for a Manly after they faced a Cowboys outfit with no go forward and a dismal Bulldogs team. We aren’t sold on this Manly outfit just yet, with the Eels and Souths really showing their weaknesses.
This Manly team is vastly different from their previous years teams, this was taken into account with the 5 game averages,
With Two days extra rest for the Roosters, we believe they will continue on their trend of coming out of the sheds with spiders on them and lay some tries on Manly.
First Half statistics for Sydney Roosters:
Their attack has scored: 28,16,10,14. (rounds 1-4)
They have held teams too scores of: 0,8,8,0. (rounds 1-4)

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1st half – First half Line – Roosters -3.5 $1.90 (William Hill)

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NRL ROUND 5 – BULLDOGS v BRONCOS – FREE TIPS

Canterbury Bulldogs Vs Brisbane Broncos
30 March 2017, 8:05pm (AEDST)
ANZ Stadium

Canterbury Bulldogs 1-0-3

Wow, sums out the lack lustre performance by the Bulldogs last round. 36 points to Nil as they were decimated by a red hot Manly team, led by D.C-Evans with 5 try assists. In stark contrast to a Bulldogs outfit which never looked like scoring a try, with both halves failing to deliver a timely pass or a kick to apply pressure on Manly’s back three (Fullback and both wingers). Worrying times for the Bulldogs faithful, but it’s only round Four, it’s a long season, however short term it looks like another tough week ahead.

Brisbane Broncos 2-0-2

Another nail bitting win has Brisbane fans buying A.E.D. Defibrillator machines off eBay to combat their narrow games. With their last 3 matches determined by 2 points or less, their only large win was against the premiers by 8 points. Last week the Raiders threw everything at this classy outfit on a wet field, where it took 43 minutes for the first try to be scored, stark contrast to a try scoring feast as anticipated. Showing great composure Kahu nailed the field goal in the 74th minute to seal a 13-12 win to the relief of Brisbane fans. In this hard fought victory the Brisbane forwards really stepped up, with 5 forwards clearing 100m in territory, 3 line breaks and 6 offloads.

Team news: (Final team lists released an hour before the game)

Canterbury Bulldogs

M. Mbye is suspended for a round this allows M. Frawley to step up and get the Bulldogs attack firing.

Brisbane Broncos

Remain unchanged as they pray for a match not to go to golden point or decided by 1 point.
Their last 5 game report card: Bulldogs 2 wins, 1 at ANZ, Brisbane 3 wins, 1 at ANZ
2016 – Round 24 – Broncos won by 10 at Suncorp
2016 – Round 16 – Bulldogs won by 26 at ANZ
2015 – Round 22 – Bulldogs won by 2 at Suncorp
2015 – Round 18 – Broncos won by 8 at ANZ
2014 – Round 22 – Broncos won by 31 at Suncorp
What we take from this?

We are expecting a spirited first 20 minutes from the Bulldogs, however this Brisbane pack has been immense in the first four rounds. If after this 20 minutes the Bulldogs don’t have 10+ points on the board, the emotions will be low and Brisbane will use this to their advantage.
Mbye’s absence will either inspire Reynolds and Frawley or will add to the woes of this proud club. Unfortunately from our point of view, it will prove to much pressure for Reynolds and he will revert to being overly aggressive and give away too many penalties as he tries to hard. It’s not the end of the season for the Bulldogs, but if they lose badly expect the media pressure to be dialled up 1,000% on D. Hasler and his men.
Brisbane have played four tough games to date, coach Bennett will ensure their complacency doesn’t creep in as they face a toothless Bulldogs attack. Milford has been slammed in the media, with a large forward pack that seems to be off their game, he could absolutely win this game off his back. Watch him late in the halves targeting the tired forwards with a burst of speed.

For Us Brisbane will be far to strong across the park, add in an extra two days of rest/preparation and its hard to see the Bulldogs beating them. Their young forwards are playing well above their pay grade ensuring their is no rest for the opposition on their interchanges, which will trouble the Bulldogs big forward pack.

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NRL ROUND 4 – EELS v SHARKS – FREE TIPS

Parramatta Eels Vs Cronulla Sharks
25 March 2017, 7pm (AEDST)
ANZ Stadium

Parramatta Eels 2-0-1, 5th
The Eels are looking like one of the most dangerous teams in the competition when they are on song. Last week they were out enthused by a spirited Gold Coast Titans team, who played really well. The Eels lacked an accurate kicking game, but that will be fixed today with the return of C. Norman. He is the lynch pin in this young team, playing well above his years and allows Gutherson to play more naturally. The Eels only had 3 forwards clearing the 100m gained, a sign that they just couldn’t get on the front foot last week.

Cronulla Sharks 1-0-2, 9th
The premiers of 2016, looked all out of sorts last week vs a St George Dragons team that did the little things right. The Sharks conceded 9 penalties in this game, missed 33 tackles and 10 incomplete sets, you won’t beat any NRL team with those numbers. Gallen did his best, with 159 meters gained, but his forward mates didnt help him, with next best Fifita 124m and bench player Bukuya only managed 116m. Again highlighting their poor direction and attitude in this game. This will need to change this week, otherwise it could be back to back losses for their title defence.

Team news: (Final team lists released an hour before the game)

Parramatta Eels

The big inclusion is C. Norman, returning from a ham string complaint. This pushes J. Robson out to no.21, assuming he’s insurance in case of a late injury to Norman.
T. Moeroa is suspended, which allows K. Pritchard to gain a starting jumper in 12.
Good news for K. Pritchard fans, with C King dropping off the 19, all but guarantees he’s fit and ready to go.
C. Norman’s inclusion is massive, he will sure up their kicking and their confidence will be up a few notches with him directing them around the park.

Cronulla Sharks

The welcome return of S. Feki, sees E. lee dropping out of the team.
Super league deserter J. Segeyaro could find himself on the bench as he was named in the final 19 players.
T. Williams has also been excluded from the final 19 men.
Unsure on the bench make up for the Sharks, as they have left G. Beale on the extended bench as well. We would expect 4 forwards to be used, to combat this effective Eels pack, he may take K. Capewell position, which doesn’t excite us at all.

Their last 5 game report card: Eels have won 2 games, Sharks have won 3 games.
Pirtek stadium is under renovation, hence why the game will be played at ANZ.

2016 – Round 17 – Sharks won by 10 points at Southern cross group stadium
2015 – Round 25 – Sharks won by 7 points at Pirtek stadium
2014- Round 21 – Eels won by 20 at Remondis stadium
2014 – Round 9 – Eels won by 18 at Pirtek stadium
2013 – Round 14 – Sharks won by 18 at Remondis stadium

What we take from this?
The more recent matches we believe are an accurate reflection of today’s game, with both teams having a lot of player movement since 2014. The game taken to ANZ, we feel will favour the Sharks, however we are finding this a game that will be hard to split.
This game is being played in memory of J. Mannah, who played for both clubs and unfortunately lost his battle to cancer, so the emotions will be high and we are expecting a cracking game. C. Norman’s inclusion makes this even harder to predict, as if he wasn’t playing we would lean towards a Sharks victory.

FREE TIP:
For Us, we can’t split them and are extremely excited to sit down and watch this game unfold.

margin market – Tri Bet (10.5) Either team 10 points or less at $1.80 (Sportsbet)

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NRL ROUND 4 – BRONCOS v RAIDERS – FREE TIPS

Brisbane Broncos Vs Canberra Raiders
24 March 2017, 8:05pm (AEDST)
Suncorp Stadium

Brisbane Broncos 1-0-2, 9th position

They almost managed to steal the win at AAMI park last week, scoring the first try against the Storm. However, the Storm wrestled their way back in front by half time by 2 points. Once again Brisbane jumped out of the blocks and B. Hunt gave a reminder to why the Dragons are paying a large amount of money for his services next year. But the Storm never gives up and in Classic C. Smith style he landed the try conversion from near the side line to take the lead in the final 3 seconds.
Another great game between these two modern rivals, Brisbane will take a lot out of the game and will be better for this game with an 8 day turn around compared to the Raiders 5.

Canberra Raiders 1-0-2, 8th position
Finally the Raiders outfit that was a devastating force last year, hit it strides against a West Tigers team that were traveling well. The Raiders came from 16th position to 8th after clearing their points differential and then some, piling on 46 unanswered points. With inspirational captain J. Croker back, this seemed to sure up his edge and allowed some magnificent long range tries,that arguably, the Raiders are the best team in this competition to produce these constant efforts. The Tigers halves were completely out classed and their forwards were also given some hard lessons, from the likes of Papalii (225m gained) Priest (157m) and Soliola (114m) all tearing them apart. An exciting sign for Raiders fans, however on a 5 day turn around and the travel to Brisbane, it will be interesting to see how they go tonight.

Team news: (Final team lists released an hour before the game)

Brisbane Broncos
No team changes from last week, with Coach Bennett opting for consistency rather than a knee jerk response to two losses from 3 starts.
team changes, injuries to affect game

Canberra Raiders
J. Tapine, could be a late inclusion, which could add to the Raiders offload abilities if he can prove his fitness before game time.

Their last 5 game report card: Brisbane 3 wins, 1 at Suncorp, 2 away, Raiders 2 wins, both away. Last 3 games at Suncorp, Brisbane has won all 3, by 24,1 and most recently 8 points.

2016 – Round 14 – Brisbane won by 8 at Suncorp stadium
2015 – Round 12 – Brisbane won by 12 at GIO stadium
2014 – Round 13 – Brisbane won by 24 at GIO stadium
2013 – Round 13 – Canberra won by 12 at GIO stadium
2012 – Round 22 – Canberra won by 16 at GIO stadium

What we take from this?
Brisbane with an extra 3 days rest is massive in this competition, Massive. Pus being at home where Canberra haven’t won a game since 2010, also affects the mental approach for this game. Brisbane seem to be getting all the ticks and we don’t think the Raiders will be able to turn the above trends around even after a resounding win over the Tigers.

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For Us Brisbane -1.5 at $1.78 (Ladbrokes)

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NRL ROUND 4 – RABBITOHS v ROOSTERS – FREE TIPS

South Sydney Rabbitohs Vs Sydney Roosters
23 March 2017, 8:05pm
ANZ Stadium

South Sydney Rabbitohs 2-0-1

A hard fought win against an improving Newcastle Knights team, takes the Rabbitohs to 5th on the ladder after 3 rounds. Something that is creeping into the Souths side which we haven’t seen under the leadership of coach M. Maguire and that’s poor discipline. Last week they were down to 12 men, after G. Burgess lashed out, 14 errors and a measly 63% completion rate. To be honest, if they played one of the top teams last round, they would have had lost by 20 points or more. A big improvement in the above statistics will need to occur other wise it could be a long night against a very good Roosters outfit.

Sydney Roosters 3-0-0

Sitting in 2nd position is a stark contrast from last years start opening games. A controversial win last week due to a missed forward pass from the touch judge no more than 2m away. But for many we believe in the “footy gods” and this will be squared up in a later match. Apart from this poor call, it was what we expected a hard fraught battle with some razzle dazzle tries scored in a very entertaining game. Scarily for the other NRL teams, Pearce found his running game back last week. And no surprise that once he hit his strides, the rest of the team followed and they stepped up a notch. Penalties and errors are still stifling their game, if they can clean this up against Souths this week, it could be ugly.

Team news: (Final team lists released an hour before the game)
South Sydney Rabbitohs:
Coach Maguire can’t catch a break at the moment the poor bloke. With three more forced changes to his “potential” starting 17 men.
At full back C. Walker, was playing 5/8, shifts A. Johnston to wing.
A. Johnston, was playing Full back, is on the wing due to Burns suspension.
J. Sutton, was playing second row, shifts to 5/8 due to the reshuffle of the back 3.
S. Talakai gets his second run on position at centre, with H. Hunt suspended.
It’s too early to say who’s playing where in the forwards, but it’s not their strongest forward pack, which could be of concern.
And it could all be reversed by Maguire an hour before the game to revert his Full back and 5/8 back to their original positions, to not break up an affective spine. Walker is on fire with 6 try assists to date, being at full back would limit this ability.

Sydney Roosters:
A shock exclusion of J. Friend, due to a late facial injury and their short time between games, sees C. Watson step into his big shoes for this match up. B. Ferguson also failed to impress Coach Robinson and has also dropped off the extended bench.
P. Carter moves on to the bench, however final team lists will confirm this.

Their last 5 game report card: Souths 3 wins, 2 at ANZ, Sydney 2 wins, 1 at ANZ
2016 – Round 6 – Roosters won by 7, ANZ Stadium
2016 – Round 1 – Souths won by 32, Allianz Stadium
2015 – Round 26 – Sydney won by 30, Allianz
2015 – Round 2 – Souths won by 8, ANZ Stadium
2014 – Round 29 – Souths won by 10, ANZ stadium

What we take from this?
With the largest win by Souths, largely due to the terrible off season dramas of 2016, we are liking the Roosters to get the job done in this fixture. Friend will be missed, but for us with Pearce, Keary and Gordon vs Walker, Reynolds and Sutton is a big tick for the Tri colours (Roosters). The Hooker position is a tick for Souths, but the better forward pack in the way of the Roosters should give their backs a better platform to execute their plans.

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ROOSTERS -5.5 @ 1.75 (Crownbet)

NRL ROUND 3 – COWBOYS v SEA EAGLES – FREE TIPS

North Queensland Cowboys Vs Manly Sea Eagles
18 March 2017, 9pm (AEDST)
1300SMILES Stadium

North Queensland Cowboys 2-0-0

The Cowboys once again pushed the Brisbane Broncos to a gold point game. And they grabbed the competition points with a field goal from Thurston in the 87th minute. This was the second golden point game in a row and the extra days rest for tonight’s game will be well deserved. Their team was slick and fought back the whole game, with multiple plays pushing their limits to secure this win. Granville flew under the radar and had a ripper of a game, scoring in the 43 minute to reignite the Cowboys early in the second half and was, as always, solid in defence. Thurston stood tall with his no.2 man Morgan showing why he’s going to be a top tier player in a few years.

Manly Sea Eagles 0-0-2
Off to a flyer vs Souths last week, scoring 3 tries in 12 minutes to take a 12 nil lead. As we have seen so far this year however, their defence folded quicker than a cheap camping chair from K-Mart. Letting in 3 Converted tries by Halftime and falling off their structures again and allowed Souths to pile on a further 20 points in the last 20 minutes. If they do this again tonight, it could be another very ugly loss. Their forwards need to lift their game tonight and start doing the hard yards to allow their backs to score the points that they do have in them.

Team news: (Final team lists released an hour before the game)

North Queensland Cowboys:
Suspension and injury has taking its toll on the Cowboys. The Outs: M. Scott, L. Coote, A. Winterstein and J. Taumalolo are adequately covered by the depth of this team. The Ins include, P. Kaufusi, K. Ponga, J. Bowen and Fensom to be on the bench. There is still mystery to the final make up of the team, but Hess is anticipated to start, not Hampton, but we won’t know until final team lists.

Manly Sea Eagles:
No major structural changes with S. Lane onto the bench in replacement for B. Bainbridge. Confusingly for us, J. Hastings still isn’t getting a run, with the team at 2 losses, if they lose tonight this may change.

Their last 5 game report card: NQ 5-0, 3-0 at home, 2-0 at Lottoland, Manly 0-5, 0-3 at 1300SMILES.
2016 – round 16, NQ won 30-26 in NQ and Round 9, NQ won 34-18 at Lottoland.
2015 – round 19, NQ won 30-12 at Lottoland and round 12, won 18-14 at 1300SMILES.
2014 – round 26, NQ won 30-16 at 1300SMILES

Fun fact – NQ have won 34/40 at 1300SMILES Stadium and Manly have only won 1 game away from Lotto land since round 8 2016.

What we take from this?
This is the golden era for North Queensland, they are almost unbeatable at home, mix in the atrocious traveling ability of the Manly team and its going to be 35/41 games at 1300SMILES. The weather could play a factory, atm (3:42pm AEDST) its fine,but the weather forecast is “isolated thunderstorms from 9pm to the early morning.

For Us it’s a win for NQ, we are buying a few points, just in case the weather is a shocker. Also remembering the “Golden Numbers” in NRL are 2,4,6,10,12. The line is currently a tricky -11.5 across the board, which means you will need 2 Converted tries.

FREE TIP:
We are buying down to -9.5 $1.78 (Ladbrokes) to allow a wayward kick in these potential conditions.

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NRL ROUND 3 – TITANS v EELS – FREE TIPS

Gold Coast Titans Vs Parramatta Eels
17 March 2017, 8:05pm (AEDST)
CBUS Stadium

Gold Coast Titans (GCT) 0-0-2

There was a lot of hype around the GCT in the pre season, but they have not showed their potential to date. Last round vs the Knights, they suffered 3 injuries in the first 25 minutes and gave the Knights their first win in 19 rounds. They showed a lot of heart in that game but heart isn’t enough in the modern game. If the GCT make the same errors as last week, it could add to their losing ways in tonight’s match.

Parramatta Eels 2-0-0

In contrast to the GCT, the Eels are flying high, after disposing of the Dragons last week in an attacking master class. S. Radradra scored 4 times, as Jennings realised if he passes the ball, the “Semi Trailer” can score. B. French seems to be fitting in extremely well, showing his blistering speed and starting to find his passing game. Defensively he’s going well also, if he keeps growing this team will be a real threat. It must be said their forward pack is traveling extremely well also, setting up the platform for C. Norman and C. Gutherson to play at will. If they maiantain the rage this week, they should be able to start 3-0-0, in our opinion.
Team news: (Final team lists released an hour before the game)
GCT:
Some big Outs in J. Hayne, A. Don and K. Lawton, dramatically changes the team of the GCT. They are playing T. Cornish at full back, W. zillman covers A. Don. and T. Roberts starting at Hooker.
A new spine to take on the attacking Eels will be a reach. The GCT need their halves to deliver tonight, their forwards are going to be tested, we anticipate T. Roberts to receive a lot of tackling practise, to try and limit his ball deliver to A. Taylor and K. Elgey. Their bench worries us also, with a lot of inexperience there.

Parramatta Eels:
This will be the first game of the year without C. Norman, hamstring injury, driving the team around the park. Journey man J. Robson replaces him and will attempt to be the solid head to allow C. Gutherson to do what he does best, in ball running. Apart from this change they should be 1-17.
It will be interesting to see the difference in the Eels tonight minus Norman, with French and Gutherson linking well to their outside backs, if Robson limits errors/missed tackles the rest of the team will keep on keeping on.

Their last 5 game report card: GCT 3 wins, Eels 2 wins.

GCT 3/5 wins, two wins at CBUS, by 20 points (rd20/2016) and 10 points (rd21/2015). Their other win was at Pirtek Stadium by 22 points (rd6/2015)

Eels 2/5, with a win a piece at either ground, a 10 point win at TIO stadium (rd14/2016) and a 6 point win at CBUS (rd 20/2014)

What we take from this?
Not too much for us. As both teams have changed significantly since last year and various injuries add in some more unknowns for this game. As the scores above suggest, it’s generally not a tight game with 4/5 of their last games having a victory margin of 10 or more points.

For Us, the Gem in the rough is on William Hill,
FREE TIP: 1st half points – First Half Total Points OVER 18 $1.87 (William Hill)

Both teams games so far have cleared this total, we expect this trend to continue.
GCT: RD 1 score, 28 points, RD 2 score, 28 points.
Eels: RD1 score, 20 points, RD 2 Score, 24 points.

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NRL ROUND 3 – STORM v BRONCOS – FREE TIPS

Melbourne Storm Vs Brisbane Broncos
16 March 2017, 8:05pm (AEDST)
AAMI Stadium

Melbourne Storm 2-0-0
Last week Melbourne battled the elements in New Zealand and won in another powerful display, taking care of business 26-10. A close game at half time, but with Cronk and Smith directing traffic they jumped out of the gates like Phar Lap and with in 3 minutes scored a Converted Try and like the Great Thoroughbred, never looked like losing. Once again really showed the competition that they are primed for another big year.

Brisbane Broncos 1-0-1
Brisbane endured another heart breaking defeat at the hands of their “little brother” in the Cowboys. Like all little brothers though, they find a way of winning when the odds are stacked against them. It was once again a very good team performance, with Hunt starting to deliver on his large price tag and Milford starting to stay composed. The young forwards are also growing which is a sign that this club is not one to be looked over.

Team news: (Final team lists released an hour before the game)

Storm – The biggest in is B. Slater to Fullback. This forces the developing super star, C. Munster to 5/8 and R. Jacks onto the extended bench. We won’t know exactly the teams make up until final team lists, but rumours are flowing that J. Bromwich could be another Massive In, if he’s cleared to play in this block buster. The front row seems to change every week for the Storm depending on the perceived oppositions players, once again final team lists will sort this out.
The movement of players is a slight concern, as disrupting their last two games winning formulas could mean a few errors/miss timings, especially if the weather is terrible.

Brisbane – Are staying firm with their 17 as per Team List Tuesday.
Their last 5 game report card: 3 games at AAMI stadium and 2 at Suncorp Stadium.

Melbourne Storm have won 3 games, only once at AAMI stadium, and Brisbane have won 2 games, both at AAMI stadium.

Storm victories, rd17 2016 won by 42 points, rd26 2015 won by 7 and their last victory at AAMI stadium rd26 2014 won by 10 points.
Brisbane Broncos rd25 2016 won by 10 points and rd15 2015 by 2 points, as stated above both at AAMI stadium.

What we take from this?
The “Fear Factor” of AAMI stadium, won’t have a massive effect on W. Bennett’s men. With 4/5 last games being decided by 10 points or less and with the anticipated weather we are expecting a close game.
B. Salter returning may not be a happy one, with Hunt’s kicking game returning to his best and the Brisbane’s team is looking good across the park. Moving your spine around can be a double edge sword and for us tonight’s game wouldn’t be the game to introduce Slater.
The third game I’m a row for the Storm in terrible weather combined with the pace that Brisbane have been playing the game, will lead to fatigue in our opinion. As long as Brisbane can maintain their ball control, the below line looks too good.

Free Tip:
Brisbane +4.5 @ $1.92 (Ladbrokes/Pinnacle)
Gets the green light.

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NRL ROUND 2 – ROOSTERS v BULLDOGS – FREE TIPS

Sydney Roosters Vs Canterbury Bulldogs
9th March 2017, 8:05pm (AEDST)
Allianz Stadium

Last week the Roosters looked like a finely tuned sports car, slick and everything running in time, taking care of the Titans by 10 points. Compared to the Bulldogs, who resembled my first car, the mighty Hyundai Excel, 1988 model, 13 inch wheels and a massive 1.5L engine. The Bulldogs stumbled and fumbled their way to a loss against the Storm.

The Roosters halves were in sync and the whole team looks fit and ready to go deep this year into the finals series. Keary wasted no time repaying the Roosters recruitment team, bagging the first try after 8 minutes of play and crossed again in the 31st minute. People were wondering about M. Gordon, but it looks like he’s bought into the Roosters culture and is rejuvenated, kicking goals and picking his times to play. An all round great hit out for their first game.

The off-season seems a long time ago for the Bulldogs, surely their focus would have been squaring away their attack. Unfortunately, errors, poor passing and confusion was all we saw in a rain affected game against the Storm. Sure the Storm is a staunch opposition, but Bulldogs fans would have expected more from their spine which is unchanged from last year. They will need to score 18+ points to beat this Roosters team and we aren’t sure where this will come from.

Team news: (Final team lists released an hour before the game)
Roosters : I. Liu has been dropped from last week’s winning formula.
Bulldogs: Hanging tough, with the same 17 named still at this time.

Their last 5 game report card: 3 games at Allianz, 2 at ANZ.

Roosters have won 3, Bulldogs 2, at Allianz, Roosters hold a narrow lead with 2 out of the last 3 games walking away with the pay cheque.
The Bulldogs have won the last two match ups, rounds 11 and 17 in 2016, once at Allianz and once at ANZ. Their winning margins were 12 and 4 points.
Previous to this the Roosters won all their match ups in 2015, twice at Allianz and once at ANZ, rounds 10,21 and 28 (finals series). Winning margins of 14,10 and 26.

What we take from this?
2016 was the worst year in this decade for the Roosters club. This year they look like the 2014/15 Roosters not a Roosters outfit all out of sorts due to off field antics. The Bulldogs attack worries us, not a lot going on, only individuals stepping up.

For us, the Roosters win this game. If you want to take the line, SB and Pinnacle are offering -6 at $1.90, if you like the Roosters to win At The Spread (ATS), take this over -6.5 from other bookies. As you will get a draw if they win by a Converted Try. Take the +6.5 on offer from other bookies if you like the Bulldogs ATS, as at 6.5, if Roosters win by 6, you get the win by 0.5, remember last round we missed a few bets by 0.5, please shop around. Effectively the Roosters must win by two scoring plays.

We were looking at Roosters -3.5, however at the odds of $1.60-$1.63, that’s a lot of potential risk for 14-17cents in a dollar.

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