Just two weeks to go before the 2012 NRL Telstra Premiership moves into finals’ territory making Round 25 this weekend an absolute must watch for footy fans right across the country.
Those last spots in the coveted Top 8 are on the line this week and next and there are five teams currently ranked seventh – eleventh that are going to be giving it there all over the next fortnight to make the semis.
NRL Round 25 Upset Tip – Raiders to defeat Bulldogs on Friday night @ $2.35 through bookmaker.com.au
Among them are the Brisbane Broncos (7th) out to snap a disappointing and surprising five-game losing streak when they play the fourth ranked Manly Sea Eagles in Sydney tonight.
Brisbane went down by just one point in a devastatingly close thriller with the Melbourne Storm last weekend, and really they needed to win that one for their confidence and semis claims.
Tonight is a tough test for Brisbane as the reigning premiers are soaring high at the moment having easily defeated the Knights 42 – 20 last Sunday, and last time these two met Manly scored a final play victory beating the Broncos 24 – 22 in a Round 10 thriller at Suncorp.
The other Friday night footy clash sees the soon-to-be-crowned minor premiers, the Canterbury Bulldogs, play the ninth-ranked Canberra Raiders down in the country’s capital.
The Doggies are safe but they looked a little patchy last week when beating the Wests Tigers in a controversial golden point 23 – 22 victory on Friday night.
The Raiders meanwhile have won four of their past five matches and aren’t out of semis contention just yet.
Saturday sees a number of important matches play out with including the Gold Coast Titans taking on the Penrith Panthers, and the North Queensland Cowboys taking on the Newcastle Knights up at Dairy Farmers.
The Titans are 10th on the ladder and if the Broncos, Tigers and Raiders go down this week are a narrow chance of getting inside that top eight, while fellow Queenslanders the Cowboys are fifth and looking for a spot inside the top four before the regular season is out.
Gold Coast enjoyed an easy win over the Eels last Sunday and the Panthers shouldn’t be much harder to take down if they stay focused, which they need to do as they play Manly next week in a tough last match of the season.
Meanwhile the Cowboys are on a short back up after beating the Dragons 32 – 22 in Sydney last Monday night.
Red hot in attack over the past month or so, North Queensland are a very real chance at the Top 4 if they win this as they play Cronulla in Round 26 which is also winnable if they continue to play how they have been.
The Knights meanwhile are in 11th and are in big danger of bringing coach Wayne Bennett’s record of 20 consecutive finals appearances to an end this year.
The other big Round 25 clash plays out on Monday night at AAMI Park when the second placed Melbourne Storm tackle the sixth-ranked Cronulla Sharks who come off a confidence boosting 20 – 7 victory over the South Sydney Rabbitohs (third on the ladder) last Saturday.
Melbourne has seemingly gotten their mojo back of late with three wins on the trot, but the Sharks won’t let them have four that easily.
Cronulla were the first team to get the better of the Storm this year when they bought their nine game winning run to an end back in Round 10.
It is going to be another close one here, shame this blockbuster didn’t fall on a Friday night timeslot.
Below the team of tipsters NRLleague.com.au have made their insider Round 25 NRL tips public knowledge, even predicting the margin for each match so you can get in on all those great betting markets at bookmaker.com.au.
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2012 NRL Round 25 Draw, Tips & Margins
Friday August 24, 2012 (7:35pm) – Brookvale Oval
- Manly Sea Eagles ($1.46) v Brisbane Broncos ($2.73)
Friday August 24, 2012 (7:35pm) – Canberra Stadium
- Canberra Raiders ($2.35) v Canterbury Bulldogs ($1.60)
Saturday August 25, 2012 (3:30pm) – Centrebet Stadium
- Penrith Panthers ($2.47) v Gold Coast Titans ($1.55)
Saturday August 25, 2012 (5:30pm) – WIN Stadium
- St George Illawarra Dragons ($1.48) v New Zealand Warriors ($2.67)
Saturday August 25, 2012 (7:30pm) – Dairy Farmers Stadium
- North Queensland Cowboys ($1.30) v Newcastle Knights ($3.55)
Sunday August 26, 2012 (2:00pm) – Allianz Stadium
- Sydney Roosters ($2.44) v Wests Tigers ($1.56)
Sunday August 26, 2012 (3:00pm) – ANZ Stadium
- South Sydney Rabbitohs ($1.18) v Parramatta Eels ($4.90)
Monday August 27, 2012 (7:00pm) – AAMI Park
- Melbourne Storm ($1.40) v Cronulla Sharks ($2.97)
*All times quoted are local
*All odds quoted are provided by bookmaker.com.au and subject to change