Round 18 comes to a close on Monday night with two disappointing teams facing off, the Eels hosting the Cowboys at Parramatta Stadium.
The Eels have dropped down to number 10 on the ladder following their three successive losses, including the 35 – 6 thrashing they received from the Warriors last week.
If Parramatta are to have any chance of a miraculous comeback as we saw last season they MUST win on Monday night. And the good news for all those punters who backed them at Ladbrokes.com.au to make the finals, they should win against the Cowboys and hopefully kick start their season.
North Queensland have been the worst team this year hands down. They have only been able to win a dismal four games so far and are right at the bottom of the ladder in 15th spot, with only the ineligible Storm below them. The Cowboys have lost their last two on the trot and even fresh off a bye don’t look much of a chance here.
The Eels have Jarryd Hayne and Tim Mannah coming back from Origin, and while Willie Tonga, Johnathan Thurston and Matthew Scott will be on a high after Queensland’s 23 – 18 win on Wednesday night, the Cowboys’ stars are also sure to be tiered further weakening the visitor’s chances here.
With Justin Poore and Ben Smith named to return from injury for Parramatta, and Daniel Mortimer shifting back to five-eighth, this could be the season-defining match for last year’s Grand Final runners-up.
Remember when making your footy bets on this one that the Eels beat the Cowboys last time they met back in Round 7, so history is on their side so that Ladbrokes.com.au have installed them as the $1.45 favourites. However, if the Eels don’t step up in attack and score more than the maximum six points they’ve only been able to get on the board in the last few weeks, then the $2.75 underdog Cowboys could cause an upset for Thurston’s 150th NRL game.
Footy Tip of the Match – Cowboys lead at half-time but Eels to win at $7.50 through Ladbrokes.com.au
NRLleague Footy Tip of the Match:
The Cowboys have been able to get away to some good early starts this season, but have given up most of their leads. With Thurston and Co. keen to do something of note, don’t be surprised if the Cowboys start strong but tire late and let the Eels come away with the win. That is why we are betting on the Halftime/Normal Time Double for North Queensland Cowboys to lead at halftime but the Eels to win overall at $7.50 through Ladbrokes.com.au.
Current Head-to-Head Odds:
Eels $1.45 – Cowboys $2.75 Ladbrokes.com.au
Round 18 Eels Team:
1. Jarryd Hayne 2. Luke Burt 3. Joel Reddy 4. Jonathon Wright 5. Krisnan Inu 6. Jeff Robson 7. Daniel Mortimer 8. Nathan Cayless (c) 9. Matthew Keating 10. Fuifui Moimoi 11. Nathan Hindmarsh 12. Ben Smith 13. Feleti Mateo
Bench: 14. Kris Keating 15. Tim Mannah 16. Justin Horo 17. Justin Poore
Round 18 Cowboys Team:
1. Matt Bowen 2. Ashley Graham 3. Arana Taumata 4. Willie Tonga 5. Will Tupou 6. Grant Rovelli 7. Johnathan Thurston 8. Matt Scott 9. Aaron Payne 10. Willie Mason 11. Scott Bolton 12. Leeson Ah Mau 13. Steve Rapira
Bench: 14. Anthony Watts 15. Dane Hogan 16. Carl Webb 17. James Tamou