With the opening round of the 2015 NRL Telstra Premiership done and dusted early claims have been made for this year’s top spot with defending premiers South Sydney sitting top of the ladder already.
Stand out teams from game one were the aforementioned Bunnies who destroyed the Wayne Bennett-coached Broncos 36 – 6 on Thursday night, a new-look Parramatta Eels outfit who flogged Manly 42 – 12 on Friday night and the Sydney Roosters who scored an upset over the Cowboys up in North Queensland winning 48 – 4 on Saturday.
Brisbane, the Sea Eagles and North Queensland are bottom of the ladder after their big losses and are out to atone in Round 2 that kicks off with a Friday night double header led by the Bulldogs taking on the Eels.
NRL Round 2 Draw
Friday March 13, 2015
Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs ($1.65) v Parramatta Eels ($2.30)
ANZ Stadium (6:35pm)
Long-time rivals the Bulldogs and Eels face off here, Parramatta faces their bogey team at a ground they also have a poor record at. Doggies are missing Reynolds and that will hurt, plus Canterbury are on the shorter back-up so could be value in the Eels slipping through.
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks ($1.95) v Brisbane Broncos ($1.88)
Remondis Stadium (7:35pm)
Both the Sharks and the Broncos were disappointing last week and are out for an improved effort here. Early season pressure builds quickly and no team wants back-to-back losses. Bennett is all about lesson’s learnt so expect Brisbane to be the bigger improvers.
Saturday March 14, 2015
Penrith Panthers ($1.25) v Gold Coast Titans ($4.10)
Carrington Park (3:30pm)
The Panthers held on after a late charge from the Bulldogs in round one and are hot favourites to beat the Titans here at Carrington Park. The Gold Coast are being rocked by the drug scandal so whether Bird and Taylor play will be key to whether the team keeps in touch here.
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles ($2.15) v Melbourne Storm ($1.73)
Brookvale Oval (6:00pm)
Manly were just awful in their season opener but get a chance to atone here, needing luck against the Storm who won on Monday night over the Dragons. The Sea Eagles are dropping away including Foran, the impact of that to be felt on their weakening attacking line.
North Queensland Cowboys ($1.38) v Newcastle Knights ($3.15)
1300 Smiles Stadium (8:00pm)
A pitiful Cowboys effort first-up shocked their fans but the action is in NQ Headquarters again with the home side at short odds to beat the Knights.
Sunday March 15, 2015
South Sydney Rabbitohs ($1.78) v Sydney Roosters ($2.02)
ANZ Stadium (3:00pm)
Big Sydney Derby looks the game of the round here, both teams coming off comprehensive wins to kick off their seasons in what could just shape up to be our Grand Final line-up.
Canberra Raiders ($2.15) v New Zealand Warriors ($1.72)
GIO Stadium (5:30pm)
The Raiders beat the Sharks by four last week while New Zealand couldn’t hold off the Knights, but expect the Warriors to be out to atone here.
Monday March 16, 2015
Wests Tigers ($1.60) v St George Illawarra Dragons ($2.40)
Campbelltown Stadium (6:00pm)
The Tigers only just got the better of the Titans by a point in round one, but are tipped to extend that winning margin when they take on the Dragons who have their second Monday night match in as many weeks.
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*All odds quoted provided by Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change