National Rugby League Round 11 Preview

May 21st, 2010

We are nearly half-way through the standard season for the 2010 NRL Telstra Premiership, and with 10 rounds down and the State Of Origin just around the corner, the Rugby League betting markets are really starting to heat up.

Last week was the classic Heritage Round, and the pressure of the time-honoured showdowns proved too much for some teams.

The Gold Coast Titans, who were at number two on the ladder, choked when they travelled up to Suncorp Stadium and were well beaten by the Broncos 28 – 6. It was the first time all season that Brisbane enjoyed two successive wins, but with a bye this week can they pick up where they left on the other side?

The Titans also have a bye this week as do the third Queensland team in the competition, the Cowboys. Last week the Cowboys had Johnathan Thurston make a shock early come-back as they took on the Warriors, but it wasn’t enough and New Zealand came away with a tidy 24 – 12 win.

This week the Warriors have another home ground game, but the competition they face is tough, taking on the red hot Rabbitohs.

South Sydney scored the most impressive victory in the Heritage Round, absolutely smashing the Wests Tigers 50 – 10.

The Tigers really have some work to do if they are to break the nasty losing streak they are on, and tonight they will face off against the Newcastle Knights, who enjoyed their own win last week beating the Roosters 34 – 18.

For a complete wrap-up of the Round 10 results and games visit NRLleague, where you will also find a more detailed preview of the five NRL matches, including the team lists, scheduled for this weekend.

With Origin camps now in training, Round 11 is another split round with six teams having a bye and a guaranteed two competition points: Gold Coast Titans, Brisbane Broncos, North Queensland Cowboys, Melbourne Storm, Sydney Roosters and Manly Sea Eagles.

This leaves 10 teams who must struggle on and play in Round 11, many stripped of their starts thanks to the announcement of the State of Origin teams and the start of training for the series opener on May 26.

Below we have a quick look of the five games taking place over the next few days, the Rugby League betting odds on the matches, and which teams will most suffer from the missing players on Origin duties.

Newcastle Knights v Wests Tigers

Tonight’s match has the Wests Tigers, coming off a massive 40 point loss to the Rabbitohs last week, heading to Newcastle’s Energy Australia Stadium to face off against the Knights.

Ladbrokes.com.au have both teams tied at $1.91 for a win, but we think that the home team is the pick here. Newcastle, although inconsistent this season, managed an eye-catching 34 – 18 win away from home against the Roosters last week.

Not only were the Tigers smashed in the Heritage round, but it was their fourth successive loss.

The Wests Tigers only advantage is having star playmaker Benji Marshall ineligible for Origin, and although he has been a bit quiet of late, if he starts taking some more risks and creating entertaining plays the Tigers could start to get some points on the board.

Knights are missing halfback Kurt Gidley, named as skipper for the Blues, but there is enough talent still left to see them through this one we think.

Parramatta Eels v Cronulla Sharks

On Saturday night the Eels, who have made a remarkable return to form over the last four rounds, host the listless Sharks at Parramatta Stadium.

Despite Cronulla having handed the Eels an embarrassing 11 – nil defeat back in round four, since then Parramatta have picked up their game winning their last four from four, while the Sharks have continued to lose match after match.

Cronulla are far too inconsistent, especially away from home, but should put up a bit of a fight considering they have retained Paul Gallen, shunned by Origin selectors this year. They will start as the underdogs, currently at $3.50 through Ladbrokes.com.au.

Following their impressive victory over Manly last week, the Eels are at number six on the ladder and a win this week could see them finish the round in the top four.

We are sticking with the $1.30 favourites with Ladbrokes.com.au here. Despite missing Jarryd Hayne and Timana Tahu in training for Origin, Parramatta are still our pick and we are confident they will out-class the Sharks in this rematch.

St George Illawarra Dragons v Canberra Raiders

Sunday’s match at WIN Stadium is one of the most anticipated of the season and will reveal a lot about the current leaders on the ladder, St George Illawarra, when they play at home against the Canberra Raiders.

Bennett’s boys are one of the teams most affected by State of Origin this year, and all eyes will be on whether they can maintain their dominance in the competition without so many of their instrumental players.

The Dragons will be without Darius Boyd, Neville Costigan, leading tryscorer in the NRL this year Brett Morris, Matt Cooper, Michael Weyman and Ben Creagh; this is going to hurt them. They lost two rounds back to Manly when Weyman and Jason Nightingale didn’t back up from their rep duties that week, so they are going to have to work really hard to survive the Origin series.

Winning against the Dragons at home would normally seem an impossibility for the Raiders, but if they have ever had a chance to do it, Sunday is it.

Dragons are still the $1.75 favourites with Ladbrokes.com.au and we are tentatively picking them, sure that  the Raiders, at $2.08 for a win, could cause an upset especially as boom young fullback Josh Dugan is in such good form, making up for the loss of David Shillington and Tom Learoyd-Lahrs selected for Origin.

New Zealand Warriors v South Sydney Rabbitohs

Following a strong win ahead of the Cowboys last week, their first in four games, this Sunday the Warriors have their second successive home game at Mt Smart Stadium. The competition they encounter this week, however, will be a lot tougher as they face off against the Rabbitohs fresh from a near record-breaking win.

Last week South Sydney thrashed the Wests Tigers 50 – 10 and they will be bringing a lot of confidence with them across the Tasman.

Although their record is hit and miss this season, the Rabbitohs were very impressive last week and if they can back it up with another win they could find themselves in the top four.

Origin selections don’t play into this match really with only one player missing, the Bunnie’s Dave Taylor, so we should be in for a treat here with a very physical game set to play out.

Both teams, however, have injury issues with New Zealand’s Manu Vatuvei out and Rabbitohs captain Roy Asotasi away for four weeks after the nasty shoulder injury he suffered last week.

The Warriors are the $1.80 favourites with Ladbrokes.com.au because of the home ground advantage, but we are sticking with the $2 underdogs and saying that South Sydney will maintain their solid record against New Zealand in New Zealand.

Penrith Panthers v Canterbury Bulldogs

Monday night’s match is another beauty as the Panthers, currently at number two on the ladder following their victory ahead of the Sharks last week, host the Bulldogs at CUA Stadium.

Another win for Penrith will bring them one step closer to finishing in the top eight this season, something they haven’t been able to achieve in nearly six years.

Canterbury suffered their second loss in a row last week, when the Dragons made up for their round nine defeat and secured a 19 – 6 win.

And things will not be any easier this week, as the Bulldogs are another representative-riddled team who are going to feel the pressure of missing Origin players. Halfback Brett Kimmorley, hooker Michael Ennis and star 19 year old Jamal Idris are all doing their bit for the Blues.

The Panthers are also missing three forwards Petero Civoniceva, Luke Lewis and Trent Waterhouse thanks to Origin, but this is far less devastating than the spots the Dogs need to fill.

Playing away from home with so many stars out, the Bulldogs are the $3.05 underdogs with Ladbrokes.com.au and they are too much of a risk for us too and we are going to say the Penrith’s good form will continue a little longer and are putting our money on the $1.38 favourites.

Rugby League Betting Round 11 Picks:

Match 1 – Knights

Match 2 – Eels

Match 3 – Dragons

Match 4 – Rabbitohs

Match 5 – Panthers

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!

For Round 11 Ladbrokes.com.au have all the best odds and some great standard and exotic betting markets. Get behind your favourite teams to win, with players away for Origin there are sure to be some upset wins by underdogs at generous odds.

With many stars out, Round 11 also gives some lesser-known or acknowledged players a chance to shine as they fill the shoes of their Origin selected teammates, including Bulldog Ben Barba playing halfback while Kimmorley is out, which adds even more excitement to your Rugby League betting.

If you think a certain player will step up and shine then get behind them for Man Of The Match. Or why not get in on the exciting betting markets open on which of the top tryscorers in each game will score the most points.

Check out these great offers and odds now at Ladbrokes.com.au.

2010 NRL Round 11 Match Calendar:

Day

Date

Time (local)

Venue

Home Team

Away Team

Fri May 21 7:35pm Energy Australia Stadium Knights Wests Tigers
Sat May 22 7:30pm Parramatta Stadium Eels Sharks
Sun May 23 3:00pm WIN Stadium Dragons Raiders
Sun May 23 4:00pm Mt Smart Stadium Warriors Rabitohs
Mon May 24 7:00pm CUA Stadium, Penrith Panthers Bulldogs