National Rugby League Round 7 Preview

April 23rd, 2010

What a devastating week it has been for the NRL with the shocking revelations about the Melbourne Storm and their deceitful and damaging salary cap rort.

With so much controversy and outrage pouring through the Rugby League right now, some interesting things have been happening in the Rugby League betting world too.

Allegations against the Storm first started to surface when bookmakers across the country began to receive massive wagers betting on the once reigning premiers to take out the Wooden Spoon.

With Rugby League betting markets on the Wooden Spoon and Grand Final game soon suspended, it wasn’t long before the Storm scandal was made public and the NRL quickly stripped the club of their competition points, banned them from playing for points for the remainder of the year, and more controversially, stripped them of their two NRL premiership wins and three minor premiership titles.

NRL betting has since been in turmoil and the decision to allow Melbourne to play out the remainder of the season but not for competition points has shaken up the odds.

Going back to before the Storm shame gutted the code, Round 6 was another thrilling week providing some major upsets and very happy underdog punters!

Some of the big surprises from last round included the Wests Tigers loss to the Canterbury Bulldogs and the Melbourne Storm suffering their second season loss at the hands of the Manly Sea Eagles.

There were also some grand wins to teams really in need of the early season confidence boost including the Brisbane Broncos who smashed the Cronulla Sharks 44 – 16 and the Parramatta Eels brilliant comeback victory ahead of the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Over this long weekend another blockbuster series of NRL matches are ready to play out including the traditional and much awaited ANZAC day showdown between the concise and consistent St George Illawarra Dragons and the exciting Sydney Roosters.

Another match on Sunday not to miss will be the Melbourne Storm v the New Zealand Warriors, where so much about the future of the now notorious club will be decided.

Don’t forget you can check out more detailed previews of the current NRL Round matches as well as full match results and round wrap-ups at NRLleague.

Below is a brief look at the eight Round 7 NRL matches booked to entertain us over the weekend.

Canterbury Bulldogs v Brisbane Broncos

Are the Broncos back? They had a big win against the Sharks last week notching up an impressive 44 points, but their competition tonight in the Bulldogs is much tougher.

Canterbury too had a good win in Round 6 smashing the highly favoured Tigers by a shock 20 point margin.

Both teams are looking to back up their good form, but we think it will be the Bulldogs and their home ground advantage who will secure the first win of Round 7.

And the bookies think so too with Ladbrokes.com.au installing the Broncos as the $3 underdogs.

North Queensland Cowboys v Parramatta Eels

Here are two teams who in the last couple of weeks have totally swapped positions within the NRL. The Eels early season form had been absolutely shocking, unable to secure a win in their past three matches heading into last week’s game.

But with Nathan Hindmarsh celebrating becoming the most-capped Parramatta player and co-captaining the Eels with Cayless, they turned their bad form right around and claimed a much needed win ahead of the Rabbitohs.

Then there are the Cowboys, who up until the loss of star player Jonathan Thurston looked like Finals’ material early on. Now, marred with injury they are struggling and showed it in their loss to the Knights last week.

Understandably the Eels are the odds-on favourite paying $1.42 at the moment through Ladbrokes.com.au and we are tipping them too, but it shouldn’t be forgotten that the Cowboys have a simply stunning record up at Dairy Farmers Stadium and that the Eels haven’t exactly proved themselves just yet.

Penrith Panthers v Wests Tigers

This big match on Saturday has the in-form Panthers hosting the Tigers, and it will be another top showdown.

Penrith were simply brilliant last week making the Warriors look 2nd rate with their 40 – 12 win in Auckland.

They have won their last three in succession and Ladbrokes.com.au have them as the $1.43 favourites to make it four in a row.

Wests, on the other hand, couldn’t show their coach or fans that they were the real deal in Round 6 when they went down in a shock 20 point defeat to the Bulldogs.

Despite having played impressively up until then, their loss last week and the quality and determination of the Panthers has us going for the favourites here.

But at big odds of $2.85, if you think it is the other big cats, the Tigers, who can return to form and choke the Panthers on Saturday you may be looking at a very healthy pay day!

Cronulla Sharks v Newcastle Knights

What can you say about the Sharks? The only reason they will not win the Wooden Spoon this year is because a far more impressive, albeit over-paid, team have been stripped of their competition points.

Cronulla have won just one game this year and have not shown any of the depth needed in a competition as intense as the NRL.

It doesn’t look any better for the struggling Sharks this week either as they face the red hot Newcastle Knights.

The Knights are a 10 times better team than Cronulla at the moment, able to score swift tries on the edges and play the ball wide whereas the Sharks only play is to run down the middle, which obviously isn’t working for them.

Get on Newcastle at $1.52 through Ladbrokes.com.au and don’t be tempted by the Sharks’ odds, they just won’t have the points in them.

Canberra Raiders v South Sydney Rabbitohs

One of the more interesting matches of Round 7 as the talented Rabbitohs head down to the dreaded Canberra Stadium on Sunday afternoon to play the Raiders.

The visitors hardly ever get our vote down in Canberra as the Raiders’ home ground record really is something to behold, but this week we are going against the grain and tipping the $2.15 underdogs with Ladbrokes.com.au.

Despite their unexpected loss to the Eels last round, we think the Rabbits will bring something special out in this one and hand the Raiders another loss following their poor game against the Roosters last week.

But for those not as game who want to stick with Canberra in Canberra, we can understand that, and at the moment Ladbrokes.com.au are paying out $1.72 for a Raiders win.

St George Illawarra Dragons v Sydney Roosters

This is the classic clash on ANZAC day that has Rugby League betting fans and enthusiasts all across the country excited.

Following the controversy and subsequent stripping of all points from the Storm, the Dragons with their five impressive wins this year are sitting pretty at the top of the Ladder. On Sunday they will host the Sydney Roosters, another of the NRL’s most promising teams.

With their brilliant 2010 record, clean and reliable plays and home ground advantage St George will start as the warm favourites, currently at $1.45 with Ladbrokes.com.au.

And although the bulk of the nation are tipping the Dragons to notch their sixth season win, especially after their solid win ahead of the Titans last week, we are again going to go against the favourites and put our money on the $2.80 Roosters.

Sydney were impressive themselves thrashing the Raiders 36 – 6 last week and with the talents of players like Todd Carney and Mitchell Pearce, we think that St George may just suffer a shock.

If the Chooks can get in early with a try or two before the Dragons, it could just be the undoing of St George who don’t like to make up a deficit.

Melbourne Storm v New Zealand Warriors

Another highly anticipated match for Sunday where a totally gutted and likely fired-up Storm will play for the first time without being able to earn any competition points.

The premiership is over for Melbourne, but that doesn’t mean the Storm will take lightly to defeat and our guess is they will be doubly as keen to earn back the support and respect of public with a win here.

It will take a lot more than one victory to repair the damage done, but it is a start.

The Warriors were well beaten last week 40 – 12 by the in-form Panthers, and this as well as the fact they are playing away from home sees them at the long odds of $3.50 with Ladbrokes.com.au.

The Storm and their $700,000 over-paid squad are coming off two loses, which is very unusual for Melbourne.

Tipping Cooper Cronk to have a ballistic match and the Storm to surge to victory, but how they play and how their fans receive them will be a very telling sign of what is to come of the NRL in Melbourne.

Manly Sea Eagles v Gold Coast Titans

Monday night’s match is another brilliant showdown, this time with the on-fire Sea Eagles hosting the Titans at Brookvale Oval.

There are two thoughts on this match, the first is that Manly will win by a mile, the second is that Manly will win by a little.

We are in the first camp and are tipping the current $1.30 favourites with Ladbrokes.com.au to take charge and smash the weary and weakened Gold Coast as they did in September last year when they last met.

Without Scott Prince or Mat Rogers the Titans have a lot of work to do and even though both teams they have the same amount of wins this year, Manly’s four victories have been in succession and their form is just too impressive to go past.

Having played Melbourne last week, the Sea Eagles may be a little tiered themselves, but the Titans lost to the Dragons at Skilled Park and that would have hurt and their confidence won’t be there which is why they are at the very generous odds of $3.60.

Rugby League Betting Round 7 Picks:

Match 1 – Bulldogs

Match 2 – Eels

Match 3 – Panthers

Match 4 – Knights

Match 5 – Rabbitohs

Match 6 – Roosters

Match 7 – Storm

Match 8 – Sea Eagles

Agree or disagree with our picks? Let us know by leaving a comment below. We are always happy to hear from other Rugby League betting enthusiasts!

With the Rugby League futures betting markets still suspended and so many questions about how teams will perform in Round 7 after the upset of the week, many punters out there will be looking to have a punt of a different kind on the NRL this weekend.

If you have your doubts about some of the earlier matches but think you have it spot on for the Sunday / Monday treble, place a bet at Ladbrokes.com.au who have every trio combination for ANZAC Day and Monday night’s thrilling showdown available.

Currently Canberra – St George – Manly are the trio at the shortest odds paying $3.24, but if you like our above picks then you will be looking at the South Sydney – Sydney – Manly combo which is paying very generously at $7.38.

2010 NRL Round 7 Match Calendar:

Day

Date

Time (local)

Venue

Home Team

Away Team

Fri April 23 7:35pm ANZ Stadium Bulldogs Broncos
Fri April 23 7:35pm Dairy Farmers Stadium Cowboys Eels
Sat April 24 5:30pm CUA Stadium Panthers Tigers
Sat April 24 7:30pm Toyota Stadium Sharks Knights
Sun April 25 2:00pm Canberra Stadium Raiders Rabbitohs
Sun April 25 4:00pm Sydney Football Stadium Dragons Roosters
Sun April 25 6:00pm Etihad Stadium Storm Warriors
Mon April 26 7:00pm Brookvale Oval Sea Eagles Titans