The NRL Rivalry Round comes to a close on Monday night when the Wests Tigers host the North Queensland Cowboys at Leichhardt Oval.
One of the easiest games of the week to tip on paper as the third-ranked Tigers are flying high while the Cowboys have had one of their worst seasons to date and are in the 15th spot on the ladder, above only the out-of-contention Melbourne Storm.
Wests Tigers have been formidable over the last couple of months and have lost just one game from their past seven. Last week a magic Benji Marshall drop goal secured them a close 15 -14 win ahead of the Titans, and with the home ground advantage again this week they look nearly impossible to beat which is why Ladbrokes.com.au have them as the hot $1.31 favourites.
There is hardly anything good to say about North Queensland’s form this year and with just four wins to date they deserve to be down the bottom of the ladder. Ladbrokes.com.au are paying $3.50 for the Cowboys to win, but there will still be a few diehard fans jumping on their price. Last week they suffered their third straight loss when they went down 24 – 36 to the Eels and look no chance of still being around come September, needing to win all eight of the final matches from now.
Positives for the “done and dusted” Cowboys? Well there are a few actually. One is the return of ex-Tiger Luke O’Donnell after he was suspended during Origin II, who is sure to bring a bit of extra fire to this modern day rivalry. There is also Thurston and his little chip kicks that the Tigers may have trouble defusing.
Back in Round 5 the Tigers, before they had worked their way up to their coveted spot in the top three, beat the Cowboys 23 – 16 and it should be another easy win for Wests this time as long as they don’t fall flat after so many strong performances.
But don’t think it will be a dull game, North Queensland will lift for this one as they play the team that defeated them in 2005 Grand Final making for some entertaining footy to watch and have a punt on at Ladbrokes.com.au.
The Tigers will play out wide and fast and expose the many flaws in the Cowboys defence, finding enough gaps to win by a nice margin and secure their first back-to-back wins at Leichardt Oval since 2006.
Footy Tip of the Match – Geoff Daniela to score the Wests Tigers first try at $6 through Ladbrokes.com.au
NRLleague Footy Tip of the Match:
With the fast and improving young Geoff Daniela back on the wing for this one he is sure to sneak over for a try. We are putting our money on him to be the first tryscorer for the home side at $6 through Ladbrokes.com.au.
Current Head-to-Head Odds:
Tigers $1.31 – Cowboys $3.50 Ladbrokes.com.au
Round 19 Tigers Team:
1. Wade McKinnon 2. Lote Tuqiri 3. Blake Ayshford 4. Chris Lawrence 5. Geoff Daniela 6. Benji Marshall 7. Robert Lui 8. Bryce Gibbs 9. Robbie Farah 10. Keith Galloway 11. Todd Payten 12. Liam Fulton 13. Chris Heighington
Bench: 14. John Skandalis 15. Mark Flanagan 16. Simon Dwyer 17. Daniel Fitzhenry
Round 19 Cowboys Team:
1. Matthew Bowen 2. Ashley Graham 3. Arana Taumata 4. Willie Mason 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. Luke O’Donnell
Bench: 14. Anthony Watts 15. Dane Hogan 16. Carl Webb 17. James Tamou