This weekend we move into Round 12 of the 2012 NRL Telstra Premiership and it is going to be an intriguing line-up of matches as we get ready to see the toll the opening State of Origin game has taken on some of the representative rich teams.
After watching the Queensland Maroons beat the New South Wales Blues in a controversial 18 – 10 victory on Wednesday night, it’ll be hard for the Round 12 action to compare this weekend!
Following the rough and tumble arena that is Origin the standard NRL matches can seem a bit weak.
This shouldn’t be the case on Friday night however.
The action is red hot right from kick-off tonight with one of the most anticipated clashes of the season taking place at AAMI Park with the Melbourne Storm taking on the Brisbane Broncos.
That’s right it is teams one and two on the NRL Ladder coming head-to-head for the first time.
Melbourne have suffered just one loss for the year so far when their magic winning streak came to an end at the hands of the Sharks in a 12 – 10 thriller back in Round 10.
Brisbane meanwhile have lost their last two on the trot with a Round 9 loss to the Kiwis in NZ followed by a 24 – 22 nail biting loss to Manly at Suncorp.
Both were rested last week, but it is State of Origin that will hold the key here.
It looks like the Broncos will rest most of their players including captain Sam Thaiday while the Storm will back up Slater, Smith and Cronk.
So aside from the big Friday night bash what are the other more notable games on the Round 12 draw this week?
Sunday arvo should be an entertainer with the North Queensland Cowboys taking on the Wests Tigers at Campbelltown which is the only other game of the round featuring two Top 8 teams.
See below for the full 2012 NRL Round 12 match previews, tips and odds so you can get in on the action.
Remember there are seven not eight games on the cards with the New Zealand Warriors and the Cronulla Sharks both on a bye.
Geared up for a footy bet this weekend but don’t know where to go to get the best NRL odds?
NRL Telstra Premiership 2012 Round 12
Friday May 25, 2012 (7:35pm) – AAMI Park
- Melbourne Storm ($1.49) v Brisbane Broncos ($2.62)
As mentioned above this one is the game of the round for sure. If the Storm weren’t backing up their Origin stars then it’d be almost even odds, but the Broncos could be seeing their third loss on the trot here.
It’s going to be a massive test for the Brisbane young guns but there is still plenty of talent in this line-up.
Wallace and Parker will bring the experience having missed origin Game 1, tip that Hannant could be on the bench too.
Key is how Slater, Smith and Cronk handle that Origin back-up – it has only been two days.
Still, they’ll be hard to beat at home.Melbourne by 6
Friday May 25, 2012 (7:35pm) – ANZ Stadium
- South Sydney Rabbitohs ($1.26) v Canberra Raiders ($3.80)
Rabbithos are currently sixth on the ladder with six wins for the season and have been far more consistent than the 12th-placed Raiders for sure.
Looks the easiest pick of the round and the odds look right too.
Only think working in Canberra’s favour here is they should be fresh after a rest last week, South Sydney not all that impressive when beating the Dragons by one point last Sunday.
Before the break the Raiders beat the Eels in a 40 – 34 debacle, willing to say they won’t get that many points on the board again this year.Rabbithos by 12
Saturday May 26, 2012 (5:30pm) – Hunter Stadium
- Newcastle Knights ($1.54) v Gold Coast Titans ($2.48)
Ahh the Titans, one of the teams struggling to stay out of that Wooden Spoon position. It’s been a bloody tough first half of the season for the Gold Coast crew who were last seen beating the Bulldogs 25 – 14 at Suncorp in Round 10.
That round Newcastle got smashed by the Cowboys 32 – 12 and they would have relished the bye from last week.
The Titans were also rested in Round 11, but they perhaps may have liked to keep the momentum going.
Don’t know why but something about the Titans impressed us two weeks back, they had a hint of ambition back in their eye whereas Bennett’s boys look low on want to be there.
Both fresh, willing to tip an upset here.Titans by 4
Saturday May 26, 2012 (7:30pm) – WIN Jubilee Oval
- St George Illawarra Dragons ($1.43) v Parramatta Eels ($2.80)
Not sure why the Eels are at $2.80 and not $8.20 really. Ok so they got a rest last week and before that posted 34 points, but they still lost letting the Raiders in with 40 – that’s rubbish football.
The Dragons have been a shadow of their former selves since Bennett jumped shit which is a shame.
They have lost the passion and that clinical execution that made them so formidable in previous years.
Last week they lost 18 – 19 to Souths, they just couldn’t hang in there.
Still, the Eels aren’t really credible rivals are they.Dragons by 14
Sunday May 27, 2012 (2:00pm) – Centrebet Stadium
- Penrith Panthers ($3) v Manly Sea Eagles ($1.38)
Sea Eagles aren’t playing like they were last year, but they have still been displaying hints of brilliance.
Who backs up from Origin okay for Manly is going to be a factor as will whether Penrith show up at all.
Liked both teams last week, the Sea Eagles beat the Roosters 18 – 10 at Brookie while the Panters were pretty credible coming within two points of the Cowboys 30 – 28 at Dairy Farmers.
Still if you’re going to go on class and flashes of genius Sea Eagles are the pick.Manly by 18
Sunday May 27, 2012 (3:00pm) – Campbelltown Sports Stadium
- Wests Tigers ($1.58) v North Queensland Cowboys ($2.38)
Juicy, juicy odds on the Cowboys here.
They had a few instrumental players in Origin including Tate, Thurston and Scott, but all are set to back up and they have a little longer to recover than other teams.
That top trio were all outstanding on Wednesday night and could still be riding the high.
Tigers Robbie Farah however is still going to be spewing about that GI try he gave away.
Will that make him more determined or just too angry here?
Cowboys weren’t their best when just hanging on 30 – 28 over Penrith last weekend while the Tigers were on fire in a thriller defeating the Warriors 24 – 22 last Friday night.
So who do you go with? Wests get the bigger break but only by a night, were more impressive last weekend and have less Origin stars in the mix.
Still, think the $2.38 for the Cowboys is too generous not to take.Cowboys by 2
Monday May 28, 2012 (7:00pm) – Allianz Stadium
- Sydney Roosters ($2.26) v Canterbury Bulldogs ($1.63)
The round finishes off with the Roosters taking on the Bulldogs, not exactly a headliner but a footy fan is a footy fan.
Sydney didn’t do much when going down 18 – 10 to Manly last Sunday arvo while the Bulldogs scored the upset of the round taking out the Sharks – THE SHARKS WHO BEAT THE STORM – 26 – 6.
What went on there we’ll never know but if Canterbury can reproduce that effort then the Roosters are in trouble.Bulldogs by 18
*All odds quoted are provided by bookmaker.com.au and subject to change