Six weeks in and who would have guessed the Brisbane Broncos would be sitting top of the ladder heading into Round 7 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.
But there they are with five wins, the past four they’ve secured on the trot thanks to a golden time win over Premiership favourites the Roosters at Suncorp Stadium last Friday night.
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Tonight the round kicks off with another Brisbane game, this time the boys travel down to WIN Jubilee Oval for a top-of-the-table clash between the third-ranked team in the competition, the Dragons, and what a cracker it is shaping up to be.
At the opposite end of the leader board are Wooden Spoon favourites Manly, the Sea Eagles having won just one game this season, which they’ll be out to change in tonight’s other match taking on the Bulldogs who are also struggling to find their feet this season.
Other big match ups this weekend?
North Queensland are on the up-and-up sneaking into 11th with the Top 8 calling after a big 30 – 12 win over the reigning Premiers South Sydney last Monday night, and this week they look to keep the good times going when they play the Warriors up at 1300 Smiles Stadium.
Also stay tuned on Monday night when the Sharks take on the Rabbitohs, the Bunnies looking to bounce back and regain their early season form against an in-form Cronulla outfit who have been scoring upsets of late.
Check out our exclusive Round 7 NRL preview and the full draw below, then visit the country’s leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au to enjoy NRL Season Pricing markets giving you a chance to back your selections in all 26 Rounds right now!
NRL Round 7 Draw
Friday April 17, 2015
Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs ($1.80) vs Manly Warringah Sea Eagles ($2.05)
ANZ Stadium (7:35pm)
After finishing second in last year’s Grand Final the Bulldogs have been playing second par footy of late and need to improve even without their suspended skipper James Graham to feature in the finals this season. The Dragons were the latest to beat them 31 – 6 last Sunday and if they play like that they could give the lowly Sea Eagles a chance at just their second win of the season.
St George Illawarra Dragons ($2.25) vs Brisbane Broncos ($1.67)
WIN Jubilee Oval (7:35pm)
The definite match of the round, this 1st vs 3rd is a must watch. The Dragons have slid into third on the ladder and are playing the best defensive game of the competition right now. They are hard to score against and Brisbane needs to work on what to do with that ball once they are on their opposition’s line. The Broncos though are building momentum like it’s nobody’s business and were outstanding in the last 20 minutes to beat the Chooks last week. They’ve got some milestones in this match too with Alex Glenn playing is 150th and Jack Reed his 100th NRL game.
Saturday April 18, 2015
Gold Coast Titans ($1.80) vs Penrith Panthers ($2.05)
Cbus Super Stadium (3:00pm)
The Gold Coast were the big 38 – 16 winners over the Eels in Parramatta last week and with the home ground advantage over Penrith, who were the latest to beat Manly last week. It’ll be close and the odds reflect that. The Titans though are out to atone for their 40 – nil defeat by the Big Cats when they met just five weeks ago. The Gold Coast were depleted of their big guns that game but with the likes of Greg Bird and Dave Taylor back in action they’ll be better, much better.
North Queensland Cowboys ($1.33) vs New Zealand Warriors ($3.35)
1300 Smiles Stadium (5:30pm)
Well, well. After looking in genuine trouble of sinking this season only a few weeks back, Cowboys’ skipper Johnathan Thurston has led his team back into the shallows and they’re ready to move up onto the beach here. Last week NQ played yet another Monday night match and were super impressive beating the Bunnies by a big margin. The Warriors meanwhile enjoyed their own 32 – 22 win over the Tigers but that was in New Zealand. They play in front of a fired up Cowboys’ home crowd here and it’s pretty hard to tip against the locals for this.
Melbourne Storm ($2.15) vs Sydney Roosters ($1.72)
AAMI Park (7:30pm)
Melbourne only held on by four points in a low scoring affair against the Raiders last week and play the Chooks here in a beauty at AAMI Park, the result of which will go a long way to decide whether Sydney stay top of the NRL Premiership betting markets. The Roosters have slipped to sixth on the ladder after back-to-back losses including to Brisbane last week where they failed to make the most of golden time. Home side are the underdogs still with Sydney ready to make a comeback.
Sunday April 19, 2015
Wests Tigers ($1.40) vs Canberra Raiders ($3)
Leichardt Oval (2:00pm)
Wests are just hanging onto a spot in the in the top eight here after their loss to the Warriors at Mt Smart last week. They may have gone down by 10 points but they put 22 on the board first. The Raiders defense was good last week but probably not good enough to hold out the Tigers in this match if their young rivals play up to their potential.
Newcastle Knights ($1.42) vs Parramatta Eels ($2.95)
Hunter Stadium (4:00pm)
Former ladder-leaders Newcastle are quickly slipping down the ladder and are now in fifth after the Sharks beat them 22 – 6 last week. The Knights were held scoreless the week before so they are finding it hard to post those crucial match points. They get the home ground advantage though and should be able to win for their fans against Parra who were pretty hopeless in their 38 – 16 loss at the Gold Coast last week.
Monday April 20, 2015
Cronulla Sharks ($2.30) vs South Sydney Rabbitohs ($1.65)
Remondis Stadium (7:00pm)
The last of the round has the Sharks after their third win on the trot after upsets over the Roosters (Round 5) and Knights (Round 6). They are juicy odds to do it again and knock down another big name in the game when the Rabbitohs play their second straight Monday night match. The timeslot certainly didn’t work in their favour last week with the Cowboys easily getting over the top, worth another upset tip of the round here?