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globalrugbyleague - Fri, 20 Jun 2008 09:07:00 GMT
Last weekend was the easiest round of footy to tip in. Looks like we’re all about to be brought down to earth in round 15 of the National Rugby League.

Brisbane Broncos v Wests Tigers
Suncorp Stadium, 7.45pm
Referee: Sean Hampstead
GRL Tip: Wests Tigers

The Broncos have not lost three straight games since round 23 last season. But many fans have great faith they can achieve this wonderful milestone against the Tigers at home on Friday night. The Tigers have a fit, fast and healthy backline that will be ready to have one of their best games after what was unarguably one of their worst last Sunday afternoon. Could go either way this one but the gut feeling says the Tigers are more likely to be able to play the full eighty minutes. Top eight spots are on the line and the Tigers will be the more desperate of the two.

ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS v panthers
ANZ Stadium, 7.45pm
Referee: Jared Maxwell
GRL Tip: Dragons

Injury worries for the Panthers include hooker Luke Priddis, centre Michael Jennings and back-rower Josh Bateman. The Dragons have won five of their last six games and look more determined each week to live up to their true potential. This will be the easiest game to predict the winner in.

BULLDOGS v Canberra Raiders
ANZ Stadium, 5.30pm
Referee: Gavin Badger
GRL Tip: Raiders

The rejuvenated Raiders proved the masters of execution when it comes to running up big scores against under-strength rival outfits. They’ll get the opportunity to do it again on Saturday night when they play a Bulldogs team missing the likes of Sonny Bill Williams, Willie Tonga, Matt Utai and Luke Patten. Justin Carney scored a try in his NRL debut and if the rest of the under-20’s Canberra squad are playing with the same sort of confidence and skill level, it’s not beyond the Raiders to save their season. Canterbury seem to lift against in-form teams which is why I can’t hold my breath for them in this one.

Melbourne Storm v cowboys
Olympic Park, 7.30pm
Referee: Bernard Sutton
GRL Tip: Storm

The question is not IF Melbourne will win but by how much. Not only do the Cowboys have the pressure of ending a 7-game losing streak but the extra disadvantage of trying to upset the Storm at Olympic Park, a venue not renowned for leaving a smile on the face of too many away coaches. North Queensland have not won down south since 2001. And they ain’t about to do it again any time soon thanks to short preparation after a Monday night game on top of a weakened line-up via injury and suspension. My advice: watch this one at the bar with your friends. And if you don’t have any friends, go and make some.

New Zealand Warriors v MANLY SEA EAGLES
Mt Smart Stadium, 12pm
Referee: Tony De Las Heras
GRL Tip: Manly Sea Eagles

The Warriors have not beaten a top four team for a while but they get the chance to upset the league world in a game that I think will be remembered for determining the way they finish season 2008. They probably haven’t forgotten their 52-6 hiding by the visitors at Brookvale Oval back in round 3 and will be looking for some redemption. If Matt Orford has a good night with the boot, it could be goodnight for Ivan Cleary’s soldiers.

knights v roosters
EnergyAustralia Stadium, 2pm
Referee: Tony Archer
GRL Tip: roosters

Newcastle is in a much better position than where it was 12-months ago. They have learn’t to rebound better from losses by putting back-to-back wins together in the last fortnight after a shock loss to the Warriors at home back in round 12. The Roosters have a great strikerate for putting first points on the scoreboard but resilience is Newcastle’s greatest quality and that’s reflected in the type of football they are playing at the moment. Kudos to coach Brian Smith for the mental stamina his side is applying. The Roosters – who have won two of their last three away games – are due for a win that reflects the improvement we’ve seen from them this season.


CRONULLA SHARKS v eels
Toyota Stadium, 3pm
Referee: Shayne Hayne
GRL Tip: Parramatta

The match of the round as far as I’m concerned. The best attacking outfit in round 14 versus one of the most defensively mature teams of the season when the Eels travel to Shark Park to grab their 13th win in the Sutherland Shire at the expense of the Sharks. Parramatta knows they have their work cut out for them this week and they’ll need to be less reliant on their kicking game to score tries. This is a game where Mateo is going to have to be unstoppable up the middle and Krisnan Inu…he just needs to be ready on the outside. Hindmarsh and Moi Moi will be the metre eaters for the visitors while the Sharks will look to Kimmorley for his short-passing game and Seymour may takeover more of the kicking-duties. Despite the Eels sitting 4 places below the Sharks on the table, I think the two teams will swap positions by the end of the season because the Eels backline when it needs to lift scores more points on average per game.


rabbitohs v Gold Coast Titans
ANZ Stadium, 7pm
Referee: Steve Lyons
GRL Tip: South Sydney

South Sydney will be looking for their first back –to-back win in 2008 and they have plenty of motivation to do just that. They sit on equal competition points with the Cowboys (8 pts) and should they get up against the Titans, they’ll offload 16th position and be ready to move up the ladder with a few wins when Craig Wing finally returns. The Gold Coast have never beaten South Sydney at ANZ Stadium and ain’t that flash on the road either. I smell a tight-game being stirred in the football hot-pot. - Read More, Here