NRL Round 19 2012 Draw & Predictions

There is only eight weeks to go of the greatest footy competition in the world before the semis, Round 19 of the 2012 NRL Telstra Premiership to play out this weekend for the always exciting Rivalry Round.

We are back to a full eight match round with State of Origin and the team byes done and dusted for 2012.

Round 19 Upset Tip: Sharks to beat the Dragons @ $2.35 through bookmaker.com.au

As always there are some intriguing clashes on the cards this week with those top four spots on the NRL Ladder on the line once again.

Can the Melbourne Storm take down the North Queensland Cowboys to secure their number one spot in the competition on Saturday night?

Will the Brisbane Broncos hang onto a top four position with a win over the New Zealand Warriors at Suncorp tonight?

And will the biff be on again as one of the NRL’s longest running rivalries plays its next chapter on Saturday when the Newcastle Knights host the Manly Sea Eagles at Hunter Stadium?

See below for the complete 2012 NRL Round 19 draw, previews and the NRLleague.com.au team’s insider tips for each match.

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2012 NRL Round 19 Draw & Tips

Friday July 13, 2012 (7:35pm) – Suncorp Stadium

  • Brisbane Broncos ($1.45) v New Zealand Warriors ($2.77)

Fresh off a bye and back to nearly full strength with the bulk of their Origin stars back Broncos fans should see a much improved team from the young crew that went down 26 – 12 to the Sharks here back in Round 17.

The Warriors meanwhile come off a confidence boosting 32 – 14 win over the Titans at Skilled Park last week, their third win from four appearances, and will be out to take down their second Queensland team in the sunshine state in as many rounds here.

Brisbane need to get out of the slump that has seen them lose two of their last three played if they are to hang onto that top four position, the Sea Eagles and Rabbitohs hot on their heels.

The home crew lose in an upset here and, depending on the other NRL Round 19 results, the Broncos could drop as low as seventh on the ladder so really it’s a must win!

Still Brisbane get the home ground advantage here unlike back in Round 9 when the Warriors beat them at Mt Smart, and with NZ missing the ace rookie scoring machine Konrad Hurrell due to injury this is time for the Broncos to get back on track.

Brisbane by 10

Friday July 13, 2012 (7:35pm) – ANZ Stadium

  • Canterbury Bulldogs ($1.11) v Parramatta Eels ($6.70)

$6.70 for the Eels to beat the Bulldogs? Try $67.00!

The Bulldogs are barreling their way through their rivals with ease and have their eyes on the minor premiership prize.

Last week they easily accounted for the Wests Tigers 32 – 20 which took their winning streak to six from six played.

The Eels meanwhile are hot favourites to take home the wooden spoon this season, their confidence at an all time low after yet another thrashing this time at the hands of Manly 40 – 24 in Round 18.

It was a similar score the last time these two met also with the Dogs thumping the Eels 46 – 12 and we are tipping a similar result here.

Bulldogs by 22

Saturday July 14, 2012 (5:30pm) – AAMI Park

  • Melbourne Storm ($1.49) v North Queensland Cowboys ($2.63)

The Storm’s iron grip on the minor premiership is slipping with Melbourne going down in a shock 40 – 12 loss to Canberra last round.

Okay so they were depleted due to Origin but still that’s a big defeat and one they really need to bounce back from if they are to stay top of the ladder, especially as the second-ranked Bulldogs have an easy one against the Eels this week.

The seventh-ranked Cowboys are keen to keep in touch with the semis and will do everything in their power to be the next underdogs to take down the purple and whites.

The Cowboys come off a bye before which they were thrashed 35 – 18 by the Warriors at Mt Smart.

Melbourne isn’t much easier than NZ but at least they’ve had the week to recover.

Should be an interesting match-up as many of the Queensland Maroons’ star players face off back at club level for the first time here with Melbourne’s Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Dane Nielsen taking on their Maroons teammates Johnathan Thurston, Matthew Scott and Brent Tate.

Storm are still without Slater which will give the Cowboys plenty of hope considering they couldn’t get a look in at Townsville back in Round 6 when Melbourne gave them a nasty 42 – 18 hiding.

It’s going to be much tighter this time and should be a real cracker, but with Smith back for the Storm things look tipped in their favour.

Storm by 6

Saturday July 14, 2012 (5:30pm) – Hunter Stadium

  • Newcastle Knights ($3.12) v Manly Sea Eagles ($1.37)

This is one of the deepest-seated rivalries of the NRL and it should be a hard hitting blockbuster despite how far apart these two are on the Ladder currently.

The Knights will start the roughies here having dropped down to 14th spot after their 34 -14 loss to the Rabbitohs last week, Newcastle unable to keep the momentum of their 20 – 12 victory over the Eels (Round 17), and 38 – 20 win over the Tigers (Round 16) going.

Manly meanwhile are sitting in fifth position with a genuine chance of moving into the top four should the likes of the Broncos and Sharks go down this week.

Last week the Sea Eagles had a cruisy 40 – 24 victory over the Eels which was their second from as many played following a big 52 – 14 success of the Roosters (Round 16) – a rest in round 17 sandwiched in between.

The Knights aren’t really a chance of making the semis but they will still want to win this and keep their good record – eight of the past 10 – against them at Hunter going.

Manly should be too strong, but favourite backers beware there’s a whiff of an upset here.

Manly by 4

Saturday July 14, 2102 (7:30pm) – Campbelltown Sports Stadium

  • Wests Tigers ($1.27) v Penrith Panthers ($3.80)

The ninth-ranked Wests Tigers get a chance to move back into semis contention this week when they take on the 15th placed Penrith Panthers in a battle of the big cats.

With so much pre-season promise to live up to it has been a rapid decline from the Tigers of late with personal heartbreak and dismal team defense taking its toll.

Last week was the wrong time for them to play the Canterbury Bulldogs as proven by their 20 – 32 loss, which was the Tigers third straight loss.

They can win and they can beat good teams, note their Round 14 upset over the Storm, but they need to get it together.

An easy win over Penrith should help them get back on track.

The Panthers come off a bye but have done nothing of late to suggest they should be any shorter than their current $3.80 odds.

In Round 17 they went down 38 – 12 to South Sydney, Round 16 lost by one to the worst team in the comp, Round 15 couldn’t get within 18 points of the Titans when going down 36 – 18 – need we continue?

Adding to Penrith’s woes is this week’s announcement skipper Luke Lewis is off next season, the crew loosing players left right and centre.

Last time they played back in Round 7 Wests were able to end a five-match losing streak to beat the Panthers 30 – nil. Tipping something similar here.

Tigers by 14

Sunday July 15, 2012 (2:00pm) – Canberra Stadium

  • Canberra Raiders ($1.50) v Gold Coast Titans ($2.60)

The 11th ranked Green Machine were the talk of the town last Saturday when they not only beat but thrashed the Storm 40 – 12 at AAMI Park.

That was Canberra’s second straight win after also defeating the Dragons 22 – 18 in Round 17 and they will be shorties to make it three on the trot this Sunday arvo.

They play the 13th ranked Titans who couldn’t hold off the Warriors at Skilled last week losing 32 – 14, so the chances of the Gold Coast winning down at the frost Canberra look pretty slim.

It will be a thriller however with both teams clinging to that semi finals dream but with the Raiders boasting a four from five advantage against the Titans there.

Raiders by 6

Sunday July 15, 2012 (3:00pm) – WIN Stadium

  • St George Illawarra Dragons ($1.60) v Cronulla Sharks ($2.35)

The Dragons should be nice and fresh after a Round 18 rest which they would have appreciated after a tight 22 – 18 loss to the Raiders the week before, but that’s not the story here.

What is happening to the Sharks? They are the roughies? Cronulla still sit third on the ladder but will go out the underdogs here. Why?

They just played on Monday night and in a surprise result drew 14 all with the Roosters at Shark Park.

The week before they made the most of playing an Origin defeated Broncos outfit and crushed them 26 – 12.

Origin is over, last week is in the past and on paper the Sharks should be favourite in this for us.

One of the season’s surprise packages, Cronulla kept the Dragons scoreless with their 12 – nil finish back in Round 6, but play again this week without injured skipper Paul Gallen – Jeremey Smith also out.

Is this the time for the Red V’s to start a serious charge towards the finals? We are going against the odds for this and are sticking with the Sharks.

Sharks by 4

Monday July 16, 2012 (7:00pm) – Allianz Stadium

  • Sydney Roosters ($3.48) v South Sydney Rabbitohs ($1.31)

This week the Roosters are sure to have some sense of déjà vu as they play on successive Monday nights in a local Sydney derby.

Last week they tied 14 all with the third ranked Sharks and finished the round sitting 12th on the ladder. This week they play the sixth placed Rabbitohs in a foundation teams’ showdown.

South Sydney have been in flying form of late beating the Knights (34 – 14 in Round 18) and Penrith (38 – 12 in Round 17), can they take it to three from three this weekend?

Milestones for both here with Braith Anasta fighting to be fit for his 250th NRL game while 24-year-old Greg Inglis makes his incredible 150th first grade appearance here.

It was a superclash when these two met for the year’s opening Monday night feature, the Roosters snaring a tight 24 – 20 win in the final 15 seconds of play with an Anthony Minichiello four-pointer.

Tipping another close one here but keep in mind the Tri Colours play with the suspended Waerea-Hargreaves, and based on recent consistency, this one looks to lean in the Rabbitohs’ favour.

Rabbitohs by 10

*All odds quoted are provided by bookmaker.com.au and are subject to change