NRL Tips Round 3
Ask anyone on the street and they’ll tell you it’s been pretty tough to tip winners with certainty this NRL season. Maybe we’ve been lucky. Maybe we just know what we’re talking about? Whatever the case, we jagged 6 out of 8 winners for you once again last weekend. Let’s hope the roll continues!
Here’s our preview and Tips for Round 3 of the NRL
SEA EAGLES V BULLDOGS; FRI 20 MAR, 7.35PM AEDT BROOKVALE OVAL
Wow. Didn’t these two roar back into the conversation last weekend. The Sea Eagles reminded everyone they’re far from a spent force with a signature performance against the Storm while the Bulldogs did a number on the Eels. Makes this one tough to pick doesn’t it! Home ground advantage means a lot to Manly. Brookvale Oval is their 18th player. But Jamie Lyon is out and that’s a big loss. There’s no sugar-coating his absence. I’m leaning towards the Bulldogs on the strength of their pack and the serious strike power coming from the back. Brett Morris is proving unstoppable in his move to fullback and adds a new dimension to their point-scoring options. It’s the Doggies … just!
ATHLETES TALK: Bulldogs by 4
BRONCOS V COWBOYS – FRI 20 MAR, 8:35PM AEDT (7.35PM AEST), SUNCORP STADIUM
Two teams in pretty ordinary form and neither looking like genuine contenders over the opening rounds of the competition. Paul Green stuck solid for the first fortnight but has had enough and made some high-end changes to their line-up. Robert Lui is out, Michael Morgan moves into the halves and Lachlan Coote wins a start at fullback. They will want immediate results but you have to wonder if that is an immediate fix. The Broncos aren’t travelling well but their defence showed significant improvement by keeping the Sharks tryless last weekend. Maybe this week they’ll fix their attack?
ATHLETES TALK: Broncos by 6
WARRIORS V EELS – SAT 21 MAR, 3:00PM AEDT (5.00PM NZ TIME), MT SMART STADIUM
Gee this round is tough! After such an impressive round one, the Eels were poor last weekend. Now they’ve lost their blockbusting winger Semi Radradra for up to three months with a knee injury. This doesn’t get any easier against the Warriors who play at home for the first time this season. The Warriors did enough to get the job done in a fairly uninspiring clash with Canberra. A return home should be enough to make it two in a row.
ATHLETES TALK: Warriors by 8
RAIDERS V DRAGONS – SAT 21 MAR, 5.30PM (AEDT), GIO STADIUM
If there’s a game you’re going to give a miss this weekend, make it this one. There has been little to like about the Raiders or the Dragons this season. Now one of the few shining lights in either side, Jack Wighton is out injured. The thing is, when I see the Dragons team on paper it looks like one that should be doing better than it is. The Raiders are tough to beat at home. That should continue here.
ATHLETES TALK: Raiders by 10
STORM V SHARKS; SAT 21 MAR, 7:30PM AEDT, AAMI PARK
The Storm walked away from Brookvale Oval last weekend feeling robbed by a disallowed try that could have been the difference. Maybe it was. Their best days appear to be over, but the Sharks best days still seem distance away. There was little to like about their performance against the Broncos and the Storm are travelling better than them. Melbourne at home are a city tram difficult to stop.
ATHLETES TALK: Storm by 16
RABBITOHS V WESTS TIGERS – SUN 22 MAR, 4:00PM (AEDT), ANZ STADIUM
If the Rabbitohs bubble was going to burst, the Roosters appeared the most likely to hen peck it. It nearly happened last weekend but if nearly was good enough John Hewson would have been Australia’s Prime-Minister. The Tigers are travelling well. They’re probably the team flying most under the radar. Undefeated and unheralded. They still have plenty to prove. Doing that against the Souths in the mood they’re in could be a bridge too far just yet. Both teams go in undefeated. Anything like what the Rabbitohs produced in one of the best regular season games of the past decade will be way too good for the Tigers.
ATHLETES TALK: Rabbitohs by 14
TITANS V KNIGHTS – SUN 22 MAR, 6:30PM AEDT (5.30PM AEST), ROBINA STADIUM
Suddenly the Titans look like a different team. Three men who were deemed ineligible to play in the opening rounds of the season are back and with a couple of positional tweaks they appear to be a very different proposition. The Knights are on the road in Queensland for the second week running. They turned on a second-half defensive clinic against the Cowboys to upset North Queensland. But it’s hard to get a read on how well they’re going, despite their unbeaten start to 2015. Call us crazy, but the Titans look ready. Sometimes, the absurd just seems possible.
ATHLETES TALK: Titans by 8
ROOSTERS V PANTHERS – MON 23 MAR, 7:00PM (AEDT), ALLIANZ STADIUM
The game of the round on a Monday night. The Roosters did enough to beat just about every team in the competition last weekend. Problem was, they were up against a Premiership defender who refuses to be beaten. The Panthers dominated the Titans but the scoreline may have flattered their performance. Jamie Soward is out with injury but Kangaroos winger Josh Mansour comes in for George Jennings. The Roosters are playing better football at the moment.
ATHLETES TALK: Roosters by 4