National Rugby League Round 18 Preview

July 9th, 2010

We are now just two months away from the NRL Telstra Premiership finals and Round 18 is the last time this season that the stars of the game will have to back up from the testing State of Origin.

Wednesday night saw Queensland go down in the history books capping off their record fifth straight Origin series victory with a whitewash, the Maroons defeating the Blues 23 – 18 in a thrilling clash that will no doubt have left the players bruised and battered.

So this week when making your Rugby League betting picks at Ladbrokes.com.au have a look at what teams have Origin players backing up and how this will affect their chances of success.

There are seven top games to look forward to and have a punt on this weekend, highlights including the Sydney derby tonight between the Roosters and the Rabbitohs, and the scintillating top four battle between the number three Tigers and the number four Titans at Campbelltown Stadium.

To help with your footy bets, below we look at who won and lost last round and then give our NRL tips and a quick rundown of the Round 18 games.

A more detailed preview of Round 18 can be found at NRLleague if you want some extra footy tips!

Round 17 Wrap-Up:

With so many of the best players ruled out thanks to Origin in Round 17, there were a few weakened outfits that struggled on the field last week allowing for some upsets.

First up the in-form Broncos just missed out on another win when they went down 14 – 16 to the Tigers in a tight clash at Suncorp Stadium. The young Broncos did everything but win, doing well to get so close without Lockyer, Thaiday and Folau and will have taken a lot out of the game.

Then on Saturday the Bulldogs began what could be a last-grasp season comeback, finally breaking their dismal losing streak by thrashing a Gallen, Barrett and Snowden-less Sharks 24 – 12.

Two top Sunday arvo showdowns saw the Roosters fire up and travel to Canberra and come away with two competition points after Todd Carney and Co. outclassed the Raiders 22 – 12. Then over in Auckland the Warriors thrived in the wet and windy conditions putting in their best performance of the season to claim a comprehensive 35 – 6 win over a struggling Eels.

The final match of Round 17 was the battle of the week, where a Dragons’ team stripped of their stars went down 8 – 12 to their closest competition rivals, the Panthers.

Round 18 At A Glance:

Round 18 kicks off with a scintillating Sydney derby not to be missed, the Roosters hosting the Rabbitohs at the historic Sydney Football Stadium. A tricky one to pick as Ladbrokes.com.au have both foundation teams at equal $1.92 odds, but we think that the confidence of last week’s win will allow the Chooks to take this one out over a Rabbitohs team playing without injured hooker Issac Luke.

The other game on tonight is another beauty when two teams who look set to be around come September face off. The Tigers (no. 3) host the Titans (no. 4) at Campbelltown. It will be a close one as the Tigers have no Origin players backing up but will be missing an injured Gareth Ellis, while Ashley Harrison and Greg Bird are coming from Wednesday’s game for the Titans. We aren’t convinced that the Titans are the real deal just yet even with the return of Scott Prince, so at home we like the Tigers.

In Saturday’s first match the Sea Eagles should be too good for an out of form Raiders team at Brookvale Oval. Skipper Jamie Lyon is back for Manly and with Canberra zero from their last four, best stick with the home side here.

Next we move over to Adelaide Oval for the Bulldogs v Storm showdown. Normally this one would be Melbourne all the way, but with Inglis, Slater, Smith and Cronk all likely to be tiered after a short Origin turnaround, this is the time for the Doggies to strike and make it three in a row. Canterbury have plenty of points with Ben Barba on fire lately, so be prepared for this youngster to score a try or two or three again!

Sunday arvo has the Knights play the Sharks at Energy Australia Stadium and with Gidley coming off a gallant Origin performance, Newcastle should be able to beat Cronulla. This is a must win match for the Knights if they are to have any chance of a run in the finals and even with Barrett, Gallen and Snowden back the Sharks still don’t look like the predators here.

Then we move to Penrith where the number two Panthers look set to pounce on the Warriors at CUA Stadium. Penrith are in great form having won their past four games in a row and don’t look like slowing down especially with Origin players Jennings, Gordon, Lewis and Civoniceva back, as well as halfback Luke Walsh returning from injury. The Warriors have been playing good footy lately, but without the home game advantage and against such a classy side look in trouble.

The final game takes place on Monday night and is a crucial one for the Eels who look less and less likely of being able to pull off their inspirational late burst from last season. Parramatta play the low-ranking Cowboys and with Hayne back should be able to win this. But North Queensland have nothing to lose now, except more games, and Thurston will be more keen than ever to just win one!

Rugby League Betting Round 18 Picks:

Match 1 – Roosters $1.92 Ladbrokes.com.au

Match 2 – Tigers $1.60 Ladbrokes.com.au

Match 3 – Sea Eagles $1.28 Ladbrokes.com.au

Match 4 – Bulldogs $1.82 Ladbrokes.com.au

Match 5 – Knights $1.45 Ladbrokes.com.au

Match 6 – Panthers $1.34 Ladbrokes.com.au

Match 7 – Eels $1.45 Ladbrokes.com.au

Underdog Rugby League Pick of the Week: We have stuck with all the favourites at Ladbrokes.com.au this week, but if you are looking for an underdog pick to spice things up then Monday night’s match between the Eels and the Cowboys could be the money maker! At $2.75 odds the Cowboys could just cause an upset!

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!

There are heaps of great exotic betting markets open at Ladbrokes.com.au on Round 18 of the NRL this weekend to put some extra cash in your pocket!

Some of the exotic bets we are putting down this week include Todd Carney to score first in the Roosters v Rabbithos match tonight at $8 through Ladbrokes.com.au, and the Panthers to win by 13 – 18 points ahead of the Warriors at $5.75 through Ladbrokes.com.au.

Check out all the other great options that will have you on the edge of your seat all weekend at Ladbrokes.com.au now!

2010 NRL Round 18 Match Calendar:

Day

Date

Time (local)

Venue

Home Team

Away Team

Fri July 9 7:35pm Campbelltown Sports Stadium Wests Tigers Titans
Fri July 9 7:35pm Sydney Football Stadium Roosters Rabbitohs
Sat July 10 5:30pm Brookvale Oval Sea Eagles Raiders
Sat July 10 7:00pm Adelaide Oval Bulldogs Storm
Sun July 11 2:00pm EnergyAustralia Stadium Knights Sharks
Sun July 11 3:00pm CUA Stadium, Penrith Panthers Warriors
Mon July 12 7:00pm Parramatta Stadium Eels Cowboys