This week the world’s toughest Rugby League competition kicks off with eight highly anticipated matches to take place for Round 1 of the NRL Telstra Premiership 2013.
Upsets a plenty look to be on the cards for Round 1 including the Sea Eagles over the Broncos on Friday night
There may have been a lot of controversy surrounding the NRL and AFL leading up to this year’s opening fixtures but fans are putting all that aside and gearing up for another supercharged season.
Below we take a quick look at the eight games scheduled to light up stadiums and screens around the country including the NRL odds for each match that you can lock in online at the country’s best bookie for the footy – bookmaker.com.au.
NRL Round 1 Draw
Thursday March 7, 2013
Allianz Stadium – 8:05pm (local)
Things kick off with a scintillating Sydney derby between two of the game’s biggest rivals. This opener last year was a cracker with the Roosters scoring twice in the last two minutes for a narrow win and fans will be hoping for a similarly tight clash here. Roosters have a shiny new line-up including dual international Sonny Bill Williams on the bench while the Rabbitohs have all the usual suspects including GI ready to rip it up.
Friday March 8, 2013
Suncorp Stadium – 7:05pm (local)
Manly are at juicy odds here and the 2011 Premiers hold no fears at Lang Park so could prove the value bet. Brisbane lost the plot a bit last season without the great Darren Lockyer to guide them and their trial was a disaster, can new recruit Scott Prince help them out here?
Saturday March 9, 2013
Parramatta Stadium – 5:30pm (local)
Eels have the home ground advantage but can’t see why they are top of the odds. Last year’s worst team, officially, lost a number of their greats to retirement at the end of that horror season so will have to pull out all the stops here especially after the Warriors nice form in the trials.
Bluetounge Stadium – 7:30pm (local)
This is going to come down to the wire and be one of the round’s highlights. Cowboys were the best of the Queenslanders last year and showed their usual tenacity until the very (controversial) end. The Bulldogs meanwhile went all the way to the Grand Final going down to Melbourne and would be the hot favourites here bar the loss of the troubled Ben Barbara. Can they get the job done without their leading try-scorer?
Sunday March 10, 2013
Centrebet Stadium – 2:00pm (local)
Panthers really were pretty pitiful last season and have lots to prove to their fans this year. Canberra meanwhile showed some real glimpses of magic and this powerful pack can really feature in the competition if they stay focused. However the Raiders have player loss a plenty to make up for here with Josh Dugan out with a virus and Jarrod Crocker also missing with a knee injury which evens things up.
AAMI Park – 3:00pm (local)
Easiest to pick of the round by far. Reigning premiers were all but unbeatable for the best part of last season and based on their clinical trial effort are again the ones to beat. Dragons will find this a tough way to kick things off especially without the home ground advantage.
Sharks Stadium – 6:30pm (local)
Sharkies are the deserved favourites here and should do it easy at home with a star line-up that includes the returning Todd Carney as well as ex-Penrith players Michael Gordon and Luke Lewis. Titans were rubbish last season and now Prince has jumped ship the wooden spoon could be calling especially with decisions like putting new recruit Dave Taylor on the bench.
Monday March 11, 2013
Hunter Stadium – 7:00pm (local)
Knights get to play at home first-up which will aid their cause. But the Tigers’ odds are way over looking at their strong back-row that could be signaling an upset here.
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*All odds quoted are provided by bookmaker.com.au and subject to change