National Rugby League Round 9 & Representative Match Previews

May 7th, 2010

The intensity and excitement of the 2010 NRL Telstra Premiership really heats up this weekend as the first two representative games of the year highlight a terrific split-round of footy, where eight teams also enjoy the first of the byes for the season.

Tonight the annual Australia v New Zealand test and the heated City v Country match will both take place, and they are sure to be two of the most entertaining and passionate rugby league games of the season.

In the four premiership games set to follow over the weekend there are some really interesting match-ups, including Saturday’s when the Manly Sea Eagles play the St George Illawarra Dragons.

The Dragons have been the best performing team in the NRL this season, but can they continue their good form with so many of their star players fulfilling their representative duties.

Another cracking match will take place on Sunday afternoon when the Newcastle Knights take on the Gold Coast Titans, who are second on the NRL Ladder.

Teams with byes this weekend are: Cronulla Sharks, New Zealand Warriors, Penrith Panthers, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Parramatta Eels, Wests Tigers, Canterbury Bulldogs and Canberra Raiders.

Below is a quick look at the six games set to play out this round, the two highly anticipated rep matches as well as the four premiership games.

Don’t forget, a more detailed preview of all the NRL games for Round 9 and beyond can be found at NRLleague, where you can also go for up-to-date NRL results and match reviews.

Australia v New Zealand

The sensational new AAMI Park stadium in Melbourne will get a capacity-crowd christening tonight when the highly anticipated Australia v New Zealand trans-Tasman test takes place.

For the 51st year Darren Lockyer will captain the Kangaroos as they again aim to dominate the ANZAC test.

The Aussie team is brimming with confidence and are installed as the $1.14 favourites ahead of New Zealand paying $5.65 through Ladbrokes.com.au.

With so many classy players, including 12 from the winning Four Nations team last year, it is easy to see why we are picking the green and gold to thrash New Zealand tonight.

Headliners in the Aussie squad include Manly skipper Jamie Lyon and talented Storm players Cooper Cronk, Greg Inglis, Billy Slater and Cameron Smith, who will all be doubly keen for a win that means something this year!

New Zealand always bring their A-game and provide a hard-hitting first quarter at least, so watch out for hooker Issac Luke and halves Benji Marshall and Kieran Foran who are sure to make some dynamic plays.

City v Country

The second representative match on tonight is the always passionate City v Country game at Regional Stadium in Port Macquarie.

There has been so much talk about how open an origin selection this year is, so rugby league fans can be certain of a rivalry-rich showdown here as the scrabble for the Blues jerseys begins.

The Country squad is full of depth and experience with veteran greats including hooker Michael Ennis, set for a face-off with City captain Robbie Farah, and halves Brett Kimmorley and Greg Bird. The team is made that much more interesting with young guns including in red-hot form including the Bulldogs Jamal Indris and Canberra’s thriving fullback Josh Dugan who will inject some great attitude here.

We are sticking with the Country side this year currently the $1.51 favourites with Ladbrokes.com.au, but don’t be fooled. The City boys will be just as eager to make an impression with the selectors and with rep debutants like Trent Hodkinson and Kris Keating they will be full of surprises and still worth a look at the juicy odds of $2.60.

Manly Sea Eagles v St George Illawarra Dragons

On Saturday night we get back into the NRL premiership action when the Dragons face the Sea Eagles at Brookvale Oval.

Seemingly unstoppable with seven wins from eight this year, St George Illawarra are the obvious favourites with the bookies at $1.58 with Ladbrokes.com.au.

Despite the fact they boys in red and white will be missing Beau Scott due to a knee injury, and many of their top players including freak try-scorer Brett Morris and big prop Michael Weyman having to first make it through rep footy on Friday, the Dragons are still our pick too.

Manly are number 11 on the Ladder at the moment and have a number of rep players of their own backing up here, but they do love playing at home so at $2.40 plenty of fans will be backing them for an upset win.

We just think with their poor second half form the Eagles will just be outclassed again on Saturday.

Newcastle Knights v Gold Coast Titans

The first game on Sunday arvo is another beauty, as the Knights host the in-form Titans at Energy Australia Stadium.

The Gold Coast have silenced many of their early season critics so far, now sitting alone at number two on the ladder, just two premiership points behind the Dragons.

Despite their great form and the fact that instrumental captain Scott Prince is back bringing his best, the Titans are currently the underdogs at $1.95 with Ladbrokes.com.au.

The Knights home ground advantage is why they are the $1.88 favourites, and although it should be a close game, we are looking at form and saying the Titans all the way here, especially when you consider Newcastle lost to the Sharks two weeks ago.

Melbourne Storm v Brisbane Broncos

This is going to be a very dark day for the Broncos. There is not a lot to say about this match except that Melbourne will win by a mile.

Brisbane are coming into this match on the back of six loses and only two wins this season and playing at the new AAMI Park in Melbourne only worsens their case.

The Broncos are at the long odds of $5 with Ladbrokes.com.au for a reason. They haven’t beaten Melbourne in Melbourne since 1999, they were thrashed 40 – 10 by the Storm when they met in the Grand Final qualifier last year and the boys from Melbourne really have nothing to lose at the moment and seem to be having too much fun to stop just yet.

Plenty of the Storm’s stars are returning to the new stadium after Friday night rep footy, but this shouldn’t stop them from winning big and giving Brisbane an even bigger headache this year than they already have.

Stick with the $1.18 favourites.

Sydney Roosters v North Queensland Cowboys

The final match of Round 9 on Monday night is another bad game for Queensland fans, as the Cowboys look ready to suffer their fifth consecutive loss, this time at the hands of the Roosters at Sydney Football Stadium.

Sydney are playing some really top-class footy this season and beating teams far more impressive than North Queensland, like the Tigers last week.

With the home ground advantage and as long as rep players like Todd Carney and Anthony Minichiello return safely from Friday night’s games, Sydney look prime to secure back-to-back wins here.

The Roosters are at $1.36 for a win with Ladbrokes.com.au, and we are not even tempted to look at the Cowboys and their $3.20 odds.

North Queensland have really struggled over the last month and Monday night will be no different especially since their pivotal player JT is out again, this time with a shoulder injury.

Rugby League Betting Round 9 Picks:

Rep Match 1 – Australia

Rep Match 2 – Country

NRL Match 1 – Dragons

NRL Match 2 – Titans

NRL Match 3 – Storm

NRL Match 4 – Roosters

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 start of rep footy, the Rugby League betting markets become especially interesting this round, and Ladbrokes.com.au have a brilliant range of standard and exotic wagers open that will add another level of excitement to the games this weekend!

There are plenty of unique wagers and betting opportunities for both the Friday night rep games and at Ladbrokes.com.au you will find lucrative odds on exotic markets including:

– Plus 12.5

– 1st Team to 10 points

– 1st Scoring Play

– Last Scoring Play

– 40/20 Kick

– Time of First Try.

The possibilities are endless so make sure you have an investment in the games and place a bet with Ladbrokes.com.au today!

2010 NRL Round 9 Match Calendar:

Day

Date

Time (local)

Venue

Home Team

Away Team

Fri May 7 7:35pm AAMI Park Australia New Zealand
Fri May 7 7:35pm Regional Sports Stadium City Country
Sat May 8 7:30pm Brookvale Oval Sea Eagles Dragons
Sun May 9 2:00pm Energy Australia Stadium Knights Titans
Sun May 9 3:00pm AAMI Park Storm Broncos
Mon May 10 7:00pm Sydney Football Stadium Roosters Cowboys