It’s crazy to think that in just one month we’re going into NRL finals time but that’s the scenario we’re facing with Round 23 of the 2013 NRL Telstra Premiership running this weekend.
Round 23 Upset Tip: There’s not much between them but we’re tipping the Bunnies ($1.98) to bounce back and beat Manly ($1.82) tonight
At this stage we’ve got a pretty good idea of the major premiership players but there are still so many important things to tune in for.
Will the Sydney Roosters hang on over the next few weeks to retain top spot on the NRL Ladder and take out the Minor Premiership?
The teams at the second half of that Top 8, will they remain the same come the semis or will a team like the Canberra Raiders (9th) or even the Brisbane Broncos (11th) be able to sneak in and earn a shot at the title?
There’s a couple of blockbusters and some important head-to-heads on the agenda this weekend including tonight’s Sydney clash.
The South Sydney Rabbitohs take on the Manly Sea Eagles on Bluetonge Stadium and the result could have a big impact on the makeup of the Top 4.
After dominating top spot for weeks and weeks the Bunnies have dropped to second after losing their past two on the trot including their 26 – 8 defeat at the hands of the Melbourne Storm last Friday night.
Manly, currently third on the ladder and making the right moves at the right time of the season, meanwhile are flying having won their past five straight, their last loss being to the Roosters back in Round 16.
Last week they easily accounted for the Warriors with a 27 – 12 win on Sunday and play at the same venue here.
Tonight’s other Friday night clash sees the Broncos looking to keep their hold-your-breath finals run alive after winning two of their past three and drawing with the Knights 18 all in Round 21.
Last week they were celebrating like they’d won the Grand Final after beating the Dragons 26 – 24 at Suncorp Stadium, paying the price after Justin Hodges tore his Achilles tendon ruling him out for likely all of next season.
Even without Hodges there’s hope for Brisbane this week as they play the likely Wooden Spoon team the Parramatta Eels who actually come off a win having beaten the Tigers last week.
Saturday’s matches include the Canterbury Bulldogs playing the Raiders, and a Queensland Derby between the down-and-out Cowboys hosting the Gold Coast Titans up at NQ headquarters.
The Doggies are fifth on the ladder still after their three-week winning streak came to an end on Monday night when they went down to the Gold Coast.
The Raiders meanwhile were far from disgraced when going down by just one converted try to the flying Roosters.
Titans then are shooting for their third on the trot to hang onto that number eight spot but will have to be at their best playing the 12th ranked Cowboys who have also won their past two following a smashing 36 – 4 effort over the Panthers last Sunday.
This Sunday the big match sees the in-form Melbourne Storm go to Hunter Stadium and face the
Melbourne are sitting pretty in fourth spot and have won their past two while the Knights are still in the mix sitting seventh after their 18 – 14 victory over the Sharks last week.
The easiest NRL Round 23 prediction meanwhile is Monday’s match where the miserable Wests Tigers will try not to get ripped apart by the top-of-the-table Roosters.
Check out the full 2013 Round 23 NRL draw, match times and odds below.
Then to get behind your footy tips for the week at the best prices head to bookmaker.com.au and make sure to check out their awesome Quick Multi function!
2013 NRL Round 23 Draw
Friday August 16, 2013
Brisbane Broncos ($1.16) v Parramatta Eels ($5.30)
Suncorp Stadium (7:35pm)
South Sydney Rabbitohs ($1.98) v Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles ($1.82)
Bluetongue Stadium (7:35pm)
Saturday August 17, 2013
Canberra Raiders ($1.80) v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs ($2.04)
Canberra Stadium (3:00pm)
North Queensland Cowboys ($1.31) v Gold Coast Titans ($3.50)
1300SMILES Stadium (5:30pm)
St George Illawarra Dragons ($4) v Cronulla Sharks ($1.25)
WIN Stadium (7:30pm)
Sunday August 18, 2013
Newcastle Knights ($2.80) v Melbourne Storm ($1.46)
Hunter Stadium (3:00pm)
New Zealand Warriors ($1.13) v Penrith Panthers ($6)
Mt Smart Stadium (4:00pm)
Monday August 19, 2013
Wests Tigers ($11) v Sydney Roosters ($1.04)
Allianz Stadium (7:00pm)
*All odds quoted are Head-to-Head from bookmaker.com.au (subject to change) and times are local