National Rugby League Round 26 Betting Preview

September 3rd, 2010

The final round of the 2010 NRL Telstra Premiership standard season is finally here and for the top 10 teams in the competition there has never been a more important 80 minutes of footy ahead of them.

Over the past 25 weeks Rugby League fans have seen it all from Melbourne’s salary cap scandal ruling them out of contention to St George Illawarra securing back-to-back Minor Premierships and now all the excitement reaches boiling point.

While a few teams have secured their spot in the September semis including the Tigers, Panthers and the Titans, there is still plenty to play for this weekend so thinking any club will run onto the field complacent is foolish.

On Friday night two cracker games are scheduled that will have a huge impact on the top eight this season.

First up the Brisbane Broncos host the Canberra Raiders at Suncorp Stadium and this is an absolute must win game for the Broncos. If they don’t win by 15 points or more, then they will miss the finals for the first time since 1991 and their confidence coming off three losses and playing without Lockyer and Wallace will be low. Can the home crowd help them get the better of a strong and surly Green Machine that will be clinging to their eighth spot on the ladder with all their might?

The other Friday footy clash has the Gold Coast Titans and the Wests Tigers facing off at Skilled Park. The Tigers are second on the ladder and will want to stay there and give themselves a buffer for next week, but after a big win over the Storm at home last week, travelling to the Gold Coast without a host of injured players including Chris Lawrence could mean the Tigers luck has run out giving the Titans a chance to steal a spot in the top three.

Three thrillers will play out around the states on Saturday starting with a super clash between the Parramatta Eels and the New Zealand Warriors. Backing up from a huge win over the Broncos last week, the Warriors are in flying form and even playing away from home against an Eels outfit keen to give skipper Nathan Cayless a sweet goodbye, look hard to beat.

Then up at Dairy Farmers Stadium the North Queensland Cowboys must struggle through just one more match for the season where they are likely to go down in a big way to a Sydney Roosters side fresh off a come-from-behind victory over the Sea Eagles and chasing down a still possible top four finish.

Moving to CUA Stadium, the Penrith Panthers look to have an easy task against the low-ranking Cronulla Sharks. The Sharks managed an upset win over the Titans last week, but don’t look like claiming another shock victory as even without suspended skipper Civoniceva, Penrith are seeking that second spot on the ladder and have plenty of talent to post enough points here.

On Sunday the Melbourne Storm farewell five of their purple brigade and are set for a huge game in front of a sell-out crowd at AAMI Park after tickets were sold for just $1. Their competition, the Newcastle Knights, have little left to play for and look to be in for a long afternoon ending with a huge loss.

The other Sunday showdown is between the Manly Sea Eagles and the Canterbury Bulldogs at Brookvale Oval where the home side have a tidy advantage and with their top eight finish on the line the Sea Eagles should pull out all the stops.

Finally on Monday night the St George Illawarra Dragons fresh off the win that secured their back-to-back Minor Premierships have a home game at WIN Jubilee against the South Sydney Rabbitohs. This is the ninth-ranked Bunnies do-or-die game, win and they could jump into the eight, lose and its lights out. The Dragons have class and a clinical style that should see them through, but back at full strength Souths could cause an upset if they are still in it by Monday night depending on how the other results of the round go.

Rugby League Betting Round 26 Picks:

Match 1 – Titans $1.57 Ladbrokes.com.au

Match 2 – Raiders $1.55 Ladbrokes.com.au

Match 3 – *Warriors $2.00 Ladbrokes.com.au

Match 4 – Roosters $1.29 Ladbrokes.com.au

Match 5 – Panthers $1.35 Ladbrokes.com.au

Match 6 – Storm $1.08 Ladbrokes.com.au

Match 7 – Sea Eagles $1.43 Ladbrokes.com.au

Match 8 – Dragons $1.28 Ladbrokes.com.au

All odds are subject to change.

*Underdog Rugby League Pick of the Week: We have gone with the underdogs in just one of the matches in Round 26 and are tipping the Warriors to continue their flying form and get over the Eels on Saturday night at $2 through Ladbrokes.com.au.

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!

Exotic bets for this week worth a punt are:

– Titans to beat the Tigers on Friday by 1 – 6 points at $6 through Ladbrokes.com.au

– Shaun Kenny-Dowall to be the 1st Tryscorer in the Cowboys v Roosters clash at $10 through Ladbrokes.com.au

– Brett Morris to score the first try of the night in the Dragons v Rabbitohs match at $7.75 through Ladbrokes.com.au

2010 NRL Round 26 Match Calendar

Day Date Time (local) Venue Home Team Away Team
Fri Sept 3 7:35pm Skilled Park Titans Tigers
Fri Sept 3 7:35pm Suncorp Stadium Broncos Raiders
Sat Sept 3 5:30pm Parramatta Stadium Eels Warriors
Sat Sept 3 7:30pm Dairy Farmers Stadium Cowboys Roosters
Sat Sept 3 7:30pm CUA Stadium Panthers Sharks
Sun Sept 4 2:00pm AAMI Park Storm Knights
Sun Sept 4 3:00pm Brookvale Oval Sea Eagles Bulldogs
Mon Sept 5 7:00pm WIN Jubilee Stadium Dragons Rabbitohs