The 2012 NRL Telstra Premiership moves into Round 21 this weekend and it is officially getting into do or die territory for those teams sitting outside of the Top 8 as the semis approach.
NRL Round 20 Tips – We are sticking with the favourites in all eight matches this week so get behind the shorties at bookmaker.com.au today!
So what’s install for the punters and footy fans this Round? Lots!
Canterbury snared top spot on the NRL ladder last weekend after their gutsy 20 – 12 win over the Sea Eagles and they will be looking to stay right there with another winning performance on Saturday night when they take on the Cowboys at ANZ Stadium.
North Queensland is also in flying form having moved into fourth spot after their Round 20 victory over the Wests Tigers on Monday.
The other top showdowns on the program?
Can the Melbourne Storm snap a late season slump and get the better of the Dragons at WIN Stadium tonight?
Will the Titans keep the moment going beating their big brothers in the Broncos last weekend when they play the Sydney Roosters in the other Friday night footy feast?
And as for those teams fighting for a spot in the NRL finals there are some crucial clashes on the cards.
The ninth-placed Warriors will look to sneak in when they play the Sea Eagles on Saturday, while the Wests Tigers (eighth) won’t want to play like they did against the Cowboys this week when they meet the South Sydney Rabbitohs on Sunday arvo.
Below is the full 2012 NRL Round 21 draw complete with our quick match preview for each game and NRL betting tips to get you backing the winners at bookmaker.com.au this weekend.
Remember if you are a first-time bookmaker.com.au customer to take advantage of their $300 Bonus Welcome Bet Offer by quoting the code BONUSBET when you sign up this season.
2012 NRL Round 21
Friday July 27, 2012 (7:35pm) – WIN Stadium
- St George Illawarra Dragons ($2.63) v Melbourne Storm ($1.49)
Melbourne has some work to do, actually lots of work to do if they are to enter minor premiership contention once again.
The Storm has lost their last four straight, last week’s a shock 16 – 10 defeat at the hand of the Eels. Can they bounce back here?
The Dragons were thrashed 36 – 14 by the Bunnies last week and so will also be lacking in confidence for this one. It was a bad loss too as it saw them drop from 10th to 13th on the ladder and seriously dented their finals hopes.
Melbourne hold a huge advantage stat wise here having won 18 of the 25 games played against ST George, including six of the past eight the last of which was a grinding 8 – 6 win in Round 24 last year.
That history and the fact the Red V’s have been miserably disappointing in attack week after week this season has us heavily favouring the Storm to win this.Melbourne by 12
Friday July 27, 2012 (7:35pm) – Allianz Stadium
- Sydney Roosters ($2.27) v Gold Coast Titans ($1.64)
The Titans shocked the bookies and the fans and their competition last week when they defeated the Broncos 14 – 10 in a Skilled Park shocker marred by bad plays, and bad moods.
That was at home thought and this one is in Sydney but can they keep the moment going and post their third straight? They are eyeing a spot in the top eight currently in 10th and are the deserved favourites.
The Roosters look out of finals contention after dropping to 14th following their Round 20 loss to the Panthers last Sunday.
Sydney are out of form, on a short back up and will be easier competition for the Gold Coast than what they played last week.Titans by 8
Saturday July 28, 2012 (5:30pm) – ANZ Stadium
- Canterbury Bulldogs ($1.60) v North Queensland Cowboys ($2.35)
The Bulldogs are the bolters of the NRL season this year and haven’t put a foot wrong since midway through the season. They are looking at their ninth straight if they can beat the Cowboys here and it’s a nice position to be in this late in the season.
The Cowboys meanwhile have a big ask. They played a great game to beat the Tigers last Monday night on the back of a victory over Melbourne but haven’t had the same rest Canterbury have.
North Queensland are a genuine shot at finishing Top 4 but this one could see them finish out of it for this week at least, shame for Dallas Johnson who plays his 200th NRL career game this week.
Bulldogs have won 19 of the 28 played with the Cowboys who haven’t won at ANZ since 2006.
It’ll be tight but really the Doggies can’t be backed against based on their form.Bulldogs by 6
Saturday July 28, 2012 (5:30pm) – Patersons Stadium
- Manly Sea Eagles ($1.48) v New Zealand Warriors ($2.67)
The Warriors are just one spot out of the Tip 8 and you can bet your bottom dollar they will be pulling out all the tricks this week in this blockbuster to be played in Perth.
You can also bet that Manly won’t be giving away another win easily after they lost to the Doggies last week and the Knights in Round 19.
New Zealand had their chance at Newcastle last Saturday at home but were defeated 24 – 19, still a credible effort.
Sea Eagles co Skipper Jamie Lyon lines u for his 200th NRL game and will want something to celebrate come Sunday morning.
History says the Sea Eagles will win but it is unlikely to be by much with New Zealand’s past five losses being by less than 10 points.Manly by 8
Saturday July 28, 2012 (7:30pm) – Toyota Stadium
- Cronulla Sharks ($1.41) v Penrith Panthers ($2.93)
The challenge is on for Cronulla to bounce back from their horror 36 – 4 thrashing at the hands of the Green Machine from last Sunday, their second straight defeat before which they could only manage a tie with the Roosters in Round 18, and get back to the business of winning.
Not really sure what has happened but the once genuine minor premiership challengers have now sunk to sixth and need a win here to ensure they don’t lose touch with the top eight.
There really couldn’t be a better time for them to play the Panthers, Penrith being one of the most inconsistent and disappointing teams of the season.
The big cats proved on Sunday however that they could win and win well when defeating Sydney 28 – 16, but whether they can do it again is very doubtful.
Gallen is due back for the Sharkies this week but could still miss the feature. Either way Cronulla are the ones to beat here.
It was close when they last faced off in Round 5, the Sharks winning by one (15-14) but if Gallen comes back expect them to win by a little more.Sharks by 6
Sunday July 29, 2012 (2:00pm) – Canberra Stadium
- Canberra Raiders ($1.56) v Newcastle Knights ($2.44)
This isn’t a top of the table clash, and really the Knight (11th) and Raiders (12th) probably won’t make the semis but don’t let that fool you into thinking this one won’t be a cracker.
We can’t figure Canberra out but boy are they entertaining on their day.
Last week they ran over the Sharks 36 – 4, but lost 38 – 26 the week before to the Titans. The Green Machine are certainly capable of plenty of points as we saw when they thrashed Melbourne 40 – 12 three weeks ago, which is why they are the favourites here.
Newcastle are also capable of posting plenty of their own four-pointers and they come off a confidence booster 24 – 19 victory over the Warriors from last Saturday, before which they smashed old rivals Manly 32 – 6.
Tipping a high scoring affair here but the Raiders are the deserved favourites who have an imposing record at home against Newcastle.Raiders by 10
Sunday July 29, 2012 (3:00pm) – ANZ Stadium
- South Sydney Rabbitohs ($1.28) v Wests Tigers ($3.70)
The Bunnies are bouncing along well tied on 12 competition points in second position with the Bulldogs after their easy 36 – 14 victory over the Dragons last week. That was their fourth win on the trot, South Sydney not having lost since Round 16 when the Broncos beat them at Suncorp.
Wests Tigers meanwhile have been very hit and miss and the juicy $3.70 odds on them are fair.
Despite being one of the speediest, ‘livewire’ teams in the competition on their day, you just never know which Tigers team is going to turn up.
Last Monday night it was one that went down 29 – 16 to the Cowboys, a loss that has the Orange and Black stripes desperate to win this and not drop out of the Top 8.
Unfortunately they are playing one of the hottest teams in the comp at the wrong time and are on a short back-up making them near impossible to back.
When these two last met the Tigers went down in a devastatingly close golden point loss in Round 5, and while they get their chance to atone we just don’t think they will even though the Rabbitohs play without the suspended Greg Inglis.
Wests are depleted with new casualties weekly, then there’s the fact that the Bunnies have won four of their past five played against the Tigers. This week should make it six.South Sydney by 16
Monday July 30, 2012 (7:00pm) – Suncorp Stadium
- Brisbane Broncos ($1.28) v Parramatta Eels ($3.70)
Having dropped to fifth on the ladder after a shocker against the Gold Coast last Friday night Brisbane will be all smiles having drawn the Eels on a Monday night here.
This is the game where the Broncos can regather and get back on track before the semis.
The Eels meanwhile come off a shock 16 – 10 win over the Storm, not that Melbourne have been particularly hard to beat of late, it’s just that well Parramatta won a match!
If you look solely at the ladder Parra are no chance, but don’t rule them out just yet.
The Broncos were terrible last week, they play without Hoffman here on a two-game suspension and Hodges is out with injury once again.
Can they get it together to give Ben Hannant a win for his 150th NRL appearance?
History says yes with Brisbane easily holding the 27 – 16 (plus a draw) advantage from the 44 games between these two.
Eels aren’t winning back-to-back this year, they aren’t playing with Hayne and this is a must win if Brisbane want to be considered serious premiership contenders and not just lucky pretenders.Brisbane by 14
*All times quoted are local and odds quoted are fixed win from bookmaker.com.au – subject to change