What a cracker weekend of Rugby League we have on our hands for Round 17, now being the time for teams to really come out and show what they’ve got with the finals less than 10 weeks away.
For those teams struggling this season there’s still time to make a shot at the semis but if they’re going to sneak into that Top 8 they’re going to have to start coming out on top from now.
Upset Round 17 Tip: Wests Tigers ($2.65) to defeat the Sharks ($1.50]) tonight
One of those teams is the Brisbane Broncos who’ve let the rep season rip their game apart slipping to 12th on the NRL ladder.
Brisbane however have been starting to show some true grit and form over the past fortnight including their devastatingly close two point loss in the dying seconds of their match against the Warriors (18-16) last Sunday.
Tonight they play an out of form Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park, the home side coming off back-to-back losses to the Titans (Round 15) and their dismal 22 – 4 defeat to Wests Tigers last Saturday.
Skipper Cameron Smith is back for the Storm however and a team like this doesn’t like to let too many defeats build up, an ominous sign for Brisbane.
The other Friday night clash has the Cronulla Sharks, still without Paul Gallen, take on the Wests Tigers coming off their shock victory over Melbourne.
The Big Cats however will still start the underdogs here with the Sharkies to relish the home ground advantage.
The second-ranked Sydney Roosters then take on the 15th-placed St George Illawarra Dragons in one of the best matches for favourite backers on Saturday at WIN Jubilee, the Red V’s having lost 25 – 10 to the Panthers last week while Roosters beat Manly by six on Monday night.
Panthers will look to bounce back when they play the Titans on Saturday, the Gold Coast also coming off a loss when going down 46 – 16 to Newcastle in a Sunday arvo shocker last round.
The Panthers are clawing their way into a Top 8 spot currently sitting ninth on the ladder, with the Canterbury Bulldogs (7th) and Knights (8th) just above them.
Those two will play up in Mackay on Sunday with Canterbury fresh legged coming off a buy, but can Newcastle bring the same form as last week?
See below for the full NRL Round 17 draw, match locations and NRL odds so you know who the top fancies are and where this week.
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2013 NRL Round 17 Draw
Friday July 5, 2013
AAMI Park (7:35pm)
Remondis Stadium (7:35pm)
Saturday July 6, 2013
WIN Jubilee Oval (5:30pm)
TIO Stadium (7:00pm)
Sunday July 7, 2013
Canberra Stadium (2:00pm)
Mackay Stadium (3:00pm)
NIB Stadium (4:30pm)
Monday July 8, 2013
Brookvale Oval (7:00pm)
*All odds quoted are head-to-head from bookmaker.com.au and subject to change, all times quoted are local