This week we move into Round 3 of the 2013 NRL Telstra Premiership with another eight telling matches running from tonight through until Monday evening.
While punters, bookies and the fans are still trying to sort the contenders from the pretenders at this tentative stage of the competition there is something everyone agrees on – Melbourne Storm are the ones to beat this season.
Kick off Round 3 with a win and back the Storm to continue their assault on the competition with a Thursday night win over the Doggies at bookmaker.com.au!
They are the outright $4.20 favourites in the early NRL Premiership Overall Winners odds at bookmakers around the country, the reigning premiers having destroyed the Cowboys last week in what was meant to be a much closer affair.
This week Melbourne is up right away for Thursday night’s NRL Grand Final rematch between the Storm and the Canterbury Bulldogs.
See below for the full Round 3 preview and match odds so you know who is playing where and when and which teams the bookies are tipping for the win.
2013 NRL Round 3 Draw
Thursday March 21, 2013
AAMI Park – 8:05pm (local)
This is the easiest to pick of the round for sure with the team to beat in the competition taking on the minor premiers in a grand final rematch at AAMI Park. Bulldogs had to really work to beat the Eels this time last week and will be low on confidence after watching Melbourne’s breezy win over the Cowboys. Barba isn’t back for at least another week and even though Storm are sweating on the fitness of Billy Slater, in Melbourne Canterbury almost never win.
Friday March 22, 2013
Leichardt Oval – 8:05pm (local)
Two teams that are hard to really get a gauge on for the season, but one thing is for sure, the Eels will give it everything not to get the Spoon again. They are showing good signs of improvement and were far from disgraced when beaten by four by the Doggies last Thursday night. Tigers meanwhile beat Penrith on Sunday arvo having been flogged in Round 1 by the Knights. If Farah and Marshall bring it again they’ll be very hard to beat especially with that home ground advantage at their beloved Leichardt.
Saturday March 23, 2013
Skilled Park – 4:30pm (local)
This one should actually be a lot closer than those odds suggest. Titans have shown some really nice stuff this season, a far cry from the shadow of a club they presented to their dwindling fan base last season. They were just nudged out by two in Round 1 against the Sharks and last week enjoyed a confidence boosting leaving the Raiders scoreless with a big 36 – 0 effort. They also get the home ground advantage so don’t discount completely. Still, Manly are big strong and committed and were able to run away with a 32 – 0 whitewash over the Knights even with a big injury list last week and are likely to win again here.
Allianz Stadium – 7:30pm (local)
Roosters are getting used to all those big new sign-ups and starting to show a bit having held off the Warriors last week. Still they led 16 – nil at one stage so to have just a two point gap in the end isn’t exactly encouraging. Brisbane meanwhile showed some genuine defense to get the better of the Dragons 22 – 6 last week. They are still being slammed by the critics and aren’t fancied in this especially down in Sydney especially with Justin “Hamstring” Hodges in doubt. Tri-colours should be able to hold off the Queenslanders but aren’t known for their consistency so upset wouldn’t surprise.
Sunday March 24, 2013
Sharks Stadium – 2:00pm (local)
Who shows up here is key. Sharks are starting to show some signs of all the controversy and drug investigations getting to them having lost to Souths last Monday night. Still they should get a big home crowd here and their home record is a good one. Warriors, back em or sack em? It’s never an easy decision. Write them off, they win. Back them, they lose. Last week they fought back to come within two of the Roosters but really that margin was flattering to a flawed performance by the Kiwis. New Zealand have talent, they just don’t always use it. Going to stick with the Sharks here.
Centrebet Stadium – 3:00pm (local)
Odds on Penrith are long, but it’s for a reason. They are without Lachlan Coote for the rest of the season now and that’s a big blow. They couldn’t keep it together last week and went down in the battle of the big cats and really don’t fancy their chances here against one of the most genuine Top 4 contenders. Souths just beat Sharks last week, but the key is they won. They are full of class and will be looking to get a bigger win on the board here.
Canberra Stadium – 6:30pm (local)
There are some big cracks starting to show in this Raiders outfit as shown by their 36 – 0 annihilation at the hands of the Titans last week. They are at home this time but will that be any real help? One thing in their favour however is they face their bunny team here with the Dragons unable to beat Canberra at home since 2000. Can St George beat the hoodoo this time? Their 22 – 6 loss to the Broncos doesn’t help them out but the Red V’s have the ability to rise.
Monday March 25, 2013
Hunter Stadium – 7:00pm (local)
Round 3 finishes up on Monday night with the Knights, smashed 32 – 0 last week by the Sea Eagles, hosting an ego-bruised Cowboys outfit who despite lots of backing from the punters couldn’t even get close to presenting a danger to Melbourne when going down 32 – 10 in Round 2. North Queensland travel this week but will still start narrow favourites based on what they are capable of when they’re not playing the Storm.
*All odds quoted are Win and subject to change – see bookmaker.com.au for updates and to bet now