Three weeks to go until the 2013 NRL Finals kick off making this week Round 24 of the game we love to love.
The NRL Telstra Premiership standard season in nearing a close, and as the semis draw closer the on field action is hotter than ever.
Round 24 Upset Tip: the Canberra Raiders ($3.02) to use their home ground advantage to beat the Sea Eagles ($1.39) on Sunday arvo
The fight for the Minor Premiership, the team that finishes No. 1 on the NRL Ladder, is also on with the Sydney Roosters currently sitting in top spot with 38 competition points thanks to their flashy 56 – 14 annihilation of the Wests Tigers on Monday night.
Hot on their heels in second spot just two points off are then the South Sydney Rabbitohs who have had things a bit more hit and miss at the end of the season than the Chooks.
The Bunnies also won last week when 22 – 10 victors over the fourth-ranked Manly Sea Eagles.
Tonight the Rabbitohs get their chance to reclaim their Minor Premiership bid when they play the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium in a Friday night blockbuster.
The Doggies are currently holding fifth spot and will be on a high after beating the Raiders 28 – 16 down at Canberra last Saturday and were on fire with Josh Morris in the No. 1 last week.
The other game tonight then sees the Justin Hodges-less Brisbane Broncos continue their desperate bid for a Top 8 spot when they vie for another win to add to their recent string of successes playing the Panthers in Sydney.
Penrith are further down the ladder in 12th than the Broncos (10th) but are at home and showed they could do it away too when beating the Warriors 28 – 24 on Sunday arvo, while Brisbane have made no changes to the 17 that accounted for the Eels this time last week.
Fans have to wait until Monday night meanwhile to watch the competition leaders again as the Tri-colours get a seven day break before playing the Sharks at Remondis Stadium.
The Sharkies may continue to be plagued by off field drama, this time salary cap breaches and coach donations are ringing in their ears, but they are playing well and are in sixth spot after beating the Dragons 22 – 18 last week.
Another notable Round 24 clash then includes the Gold Coast Titans (8th) looking to stay in touch with a shot at the semis when they play the Warriors at Skilled Park in front of the fans at home on Saturday night.
It’ll be a telling game for the Titans who’ve had a number of late withdrawals including co-captain Greg Bird (back) and William Zillman out with a groin injury.
Queensland footy fans actually get a Saturday double header with the North Queensland Cowboys (11th) playing for pride up at 1300SMILES Stadium against the seventh-ranked Newcastle Knights who were beaten 23 – 10 by the Storm last week.
Melbourne meanwhile get a home game at AAMI Park this Sunday, the third team in the comp looking for their fourth straight win when hosting the bottom of the table Eels in an easy match.
Below is the full Round 24 NRL draw, match times and odds with all prices courtesy of our No. 1 recommended online sportsbook bookmaker.com.au!
2013 NRL Round 24 Draw
Friday August 23, 2013
Penrith Panthers ($2.10) v Brisbane Broncos ($1.72)
Centrebet Stadium (7:35pm)
South Sydney Rabbitohs ($1.34) v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs ($3.30)
ANZ Stadium (7:35pm)
Saturday August 24, 2013
St George Illawarra Dragons ($1.39) v Wests Tigers ($3.02)
Sydney Cricket Ground (3:00pm)
Gold Coast Titans ($1.99) v New Zealand Warriors ($1.85)
Skilled Park (5:30pm)
North Queensland Cowboys ($1.55) v Newcastle Knights ($2.45)
1300SMILES Stadium (7:30pm)
Sunday August 25, 2013
Canberra Raiders ($3.02) v Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles ($1.39)
Canberra Stadium (2:00pm)
Melbourne Storm ($1.02) v Parramatta Eels ($14)
AAMI Park (3:00pm)
Monday August 26, 2013
Cronulla Sharks ($3.02) v Sydney Roosters ($1.39)
Remondis Stadium (7:00pm)
*All odds quoted are Head-to-Head from bookmaker.com.au and times are local – all subject to change