This weekend we move into Round 4 of the NRL Telstra Premiership 2015 and it is hard to believe it has been a month since the first sweet kick of the ball signaled the start of another season of the world’s best footy competition.
Two teams have set the benchmark with three wins from as many games played, with the reigning premiers South Sydney and the Newcastle Knights under their new trainer sitting first and second on the ladder.
NRL Premiership odds at Ladbrokes.com.au though have these two teams a world apart to take out the Grand Final with the Rabbitohs the $4.50 favourites while the Knights can be found as long as $17 to go all the way.
Other early season standouts meanwhile include the Penrith Panthers who were far from disgraced when losing 20 – 12 to the Roosters on Monday night, Melbourne Storm who handed Cronulla a 36 – 18 hiding in Round 3 and the Sydney Roosters who sit as the $5 second pick in the season’s overall markets thanks to their strong start to 2015.
At the other end of the scale are three teams who remain winless after three poor performances on the trot with the Sharks, Titans and Cowboys struggling early on.
North Queensland especially have been putting in a pretty dismal effort, even a 22-points-scored effort in Brisbane in last Friday night’s Derby not enough to win with the Broncos handing down a 44 – 22 hiding.
There’s plenty on the agenda again this weekend with the competition leaders looking to continue some dominance up against some slippery rivals while those at the bottom of the table are out to turn the form around before momentum takes its nasty hold.
NRL Round 4 Draw
Friday March 27, 2015
Parramatta Eels ($3.30) vs South Sydney Rabbitohs ($1.35)
Pirtek Stadium (7:35pm)
Parra kicked things off with a Round 1 upset but are coming off back-to-back losses, something they are unlikely to atone for facing the competition’s benchmark team who have won all seven of the past games played between these two.
Wests Tigers ($3.45) vs Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs ($1.33)
ANZ Stadium (7:35pm)
An impressive young Tigers outfit are eight on the ladder and had their tough test against Souths last week going down 20 – 6. It should be a closer affair here, despite what the bookies are saying, but last year’s runners-up have won six of the past seven played against Wests so stats are in their favour.
Saturday March 28, 2015
Newcastle Knights ($1.82) vs Penrith Panthers ($2.02)
Hunter Stadium (3:00pm)
The Knights are yet to taste defeat this season, get the home ground advantage and have their past six on the trot at Hunter Stadium. Penrith though are closer in the markets than one would think even with Soward again.
Cronulla Sharks ($1.50) vs Gold Coast Titans ($2.65)
Remondis Stadium (5:30pm)
The nothing match of the round, one of these teams wins their first of the season the other faces four straight losses. Go the home side at Shark Park.
St George Illawarra Dragons ($2.38) vs Manly Warringah Sea Eagles ($1.62)
WIN Stadium (7:30pm)
St George and Manly have both been disappointing so far sitting 12th and 13th on the ladder respectively, but the Sea Eagles were only beaten by four last Friday so with the eight day rest can improve as the odds suggest.
Sunday March 29, 2015
New Zealand Warriors ($1.73) vs Brisbane Broncos ($2.15)
Mt Smart Stadium (12:00pm)
Brisbane finally posted a win last Friday with a runaway 44 – 22 thrashing of NQ. But Bennett’s boys are probably going to struggle to post back-to-back victories as they travel across the Tasman and take on an imposing Kiwi side.
Sydney Roosters ($1.17) vs Canberra Raiders ($5.25)
Allianz Stadium (2:00pm)
One of the competition big wigs, the Tri-Colours are flying and the Green Machine don’t look like dishing up any kind of upset challenge here in Sydney.
Monday March 30, 2015
North Queensland Cowboys ($1.80) vs Melbourne Storm ($2.05)
1300 Smiles Stadium (7:00pm)
Cowboys fans were left deflated last Friday night but their boys are back at home on a lengthy turnaround with the odds in their favour to atone. The value on the Storm winning is pretty hard to ignore however as Melbourne were the ones to hand North Queensland with their biggest loss to date back in 2012 with a 58 point thrashing, the next worse being last Friday’s QLD Derby at Suncorp.
*All odds quoted provided by Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change