We are right now in the midst of the 24th round of the 2014 NRL Telstra Premiership meaning after this weekend there are just two more rounds of the regular season before finals footy is here.
Upset Round 24 Tip: Penrith ($2.45) to defeat the Storm ($1.55) @Ladbrokes.com.au on Monday night
It’s a really tense battle for the teams bordering on a Top 8 finish then this week, the round kicking off last night with the Canterbury Bulldogs handing the Wests Tigers yet another loss when winning 30 – 10 in Thursday night footy.
Tonight the Friday night match-up at Pirtek Stadium has the Parramatta Eels, ninth on the ladder and desperate for a win, hosting the in-form Manly Sea Eagles who have lost just one of their past five games and who are nearly full strength.
Manly are beat the Titans, albeit narrowly 15 – 12 last Sunday and will need to be playing better than that tonight to win again.
They have however won the past four games played between them and the Eels, but it was a narrow 22 – 18 victory when they played earlier this season at Brookvale.
Brisbane Broncos suffered an embarrassing 42 – 16 hiding last Friday night despite scoring first against the South Sydney Rabbitohs, an effort they’re looking to atone for playing back home at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night to keep the finals’ dream alive.
In the 5:30pm match they host the Newcastle Knights, trained by their old coach Wayne Bennett who takes over again next season, which should be an easy, confidence-boosting kill for the home squad who will start shorties in the Ladbrokes.com.au markets after their rivals slipped to 14th on the ladder last week despite a win over the Warriors 28 – 22.
However Brisbane have lost top fullback Josh Hoffman to injury so will need to be creative.
The Bunnies also play on Saturday night at ANZ Stadium, the second ranked team in the competition looking to keep their awesome late season winning streak going when they play the North Queensland Cowboys.
The boys from NQ are currently seventh on the ladder after a loss last week in a devastatingly close Monday night clash 23 – 22 against the Panthers that squashed Top 4 hopes.
In eighth spot on the Ladder are the New Zealand Warriors who get a home game at Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday arvo against the fourth-ranked Sydney Roosters shooting for their fourth on the trot after an all-too-easy 48 – 4 smashing of the Tigers last week.
Warriors welcome back star centre Konrad Hurrell which will boost their confidence and shorten their odds to win.
The other Sunday matches see the Cronulla Sharks play the Canberra Raiders, a nothing game as Wooden Spoon play second worst (15th), and the St George Illawarra Dragons hosting the Gold Cost Titans with the former to start clear favourites.
Round 23 finishes up then at Sportingbet Stadium on Monday evening with the Penrith Panthers, currently third on the ladder, after four straight wins when they take on the sixth-ranked Melbourne Storm in a genuine blockbuster.
Melbourne have an imposing record over the Panthers and start favourites but don’t write Penrith off in this one just yet.
See below for the full NRL Round 23 match fixtures and odds, provided by Ladbrokes.com.au where punters can access $2 lines plus exclusive ‘Footy Freak’ markets combining Win and Try Scorer betting in some awesome value offers!
NRL Round 23 Draw
Thrusday August 21, 2014
Canterbury Bulldogs 30 v 10 Wests Tigers
Friday August 22, 2014
Parramatta Eels ($2.55) v Manly Sea Eagles ($1.53)
Pirtek Stadium (7:45pm)
Saturday August 23, 2014
Brisbane Broncos ($1.25) v Newcastle Knights ($4.10)
Suncorp Stadium (5:30pm)
South Sydney Rabbitohs ($1.38) v North Queensland Cowboys ($3.10)
ANZ Stadium (7:30pm)
Sunday August 24, 2014
New Zealand Warriors ($2.10) v Sydney Roosters ($1.75)
Mt Smart Stadium (12:00pm)
Cronulla Sharks ($2.20) v Canberra Raiders ($1.70)
Remondis Stadium (2:00pm)
St George Illawarra Dragons ($1.45) v Gold Coast Titans ($2.80)
WIN Jubilee Oval (3:00pm)
Monday August 25, 2014
Penrith Panthers ($2.45) v Melbourne Storm ($1.55)
Sportingbet Stadium (7:00pm)
*All odds quoted provided by Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change