We move into Round 8 of the coveted 2015 NRL Telstra Premiership this weekend and it is Anzac Round, a round that means many different things to different people but remembrance and appreciation from all.
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It’s a different looking NRL draw for this special, and often times emotional, weekend with one Friday night match, five on a super-charged Saturday line-up and two Sunday arvo clashes to conclude proceedings.
Things get underway tonight with last year’s Grand Finalists the Bulldogs looking for their second Friday night win on the trot after an easy victory over Manly seven nights back when they play the Eels, who beat Canterbury when these two played a month ago in an upset.
So much to look forward to on Saturday but of course the day is headlined by the traditional Anzac Day Cup clash played between the Sydney Roosters and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Allianz Stadium.
The Chooks have been favourites in the NRL Grand Final Premiership markets at Ladbrokes.com.au all season but are down in eighth spot on the ladder as they gear up to play the second-ranked team in the comp, the Dragons.
Newcastle are on the slide and play an on-the-rise Cowboys outfit at Hunter Stadium, 1st plays 16th with the Melbourne Storm looking for an easy kill over Wooden Spoon favourites the Sea Eagles, and the Broncos will be shorties to beat Parra at Suncorp Stadium in the Saturday night showdown.
That’s just a few of Round 8’s matches that you can enjoy a punt on stress-free at Ladbrokes.com.au thanks to their exclusive NRL Cash Back offer if your team lead at half-time but goes on to lose!
NRL Round 8 Draw
Friday April 24, 2015
Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs ($1.73) vs Wests Tigers ($2.15)
ANZ Stadium (7:45pm)
Bulldogs got beaten by the young Tigers when they played four weeks back, but while they are full of promise Wests have been giving their leads away of late. The fourth-ranked Doggies are on a roll and have confidence after an easy win over Manly last week.
Saturday April 25, 2015 – ANZAC DAY
New Zealand Warriors ($1.35) vs Gold Coast Titans ($3.30)
Mt Smart Stadium (11:45pm)
Over in NZ for this one where the Warriors look to atone for a four-point loss to NQ last week. They get the home ground advantage this week and even though the Titans celebrated a big 32 – 6 victory over Penrith last week, they have Dave Taylor on suspension, which they’ll feel.
Newcastle Knights ($2.35) vs North Queensland Cowboys ($1.62)
Hunter Stadium (2:00pm)
The Knights couldn’t win at home last week when going down to the Eels, and this week they face even stiffer competition when the Cowboys – shooting for their fifth straight win – roll into town. Newcastle beat these boys back in Round 2, but North Queensland had a slow start to the season and are flying now.
Sydney Roosters ($1.45) vs St George Illawarra Dragons ($2.80)
Allianz Stadium (4:00pm)
The match of the round everyone is anticipating, and it should be a beauty. The Chooks went down by just one to the now ladder-leading Melbourne last week, while St George held on to beat Brisbane by two points. It will be another close one here, and even without the injured Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (pec) Sydney should be stretching that impressive Dragons’ defense.
Melbourne Storm ($1.28) vs Manly Warringah Sea Eagles ($3.80)
AAMI Park (6:00pm)
The Storm are now sitting No. 1 on the Ladder and were brave beating Sydney by the one point in Round 7. Manly meanwhile are looking pretty miserable down there in 16th with just the one win this season so far. They are the team everyone wants to play and even the current $1.28 at Ladbrokes.com.au for Melbourne to win looks generous when the top ranked take on the bottom dwellers at AAMI Park.
Brisbane Broncos ($1.35) vs Parramatta Eels ($3.30)
Suncorp Stadium (8:00pm)
Brisbane did a few things wrong in the first half last week and their completion rate was shocking. They came alive late and so only went down by two to St George. They need to work on turning up from the very first minute, getting more creative with their plays and teaching hulking winger Daniel Vidot to hang onto the ball. Bennett has dropped Vidot again however with Hodges confirmed to play despite the hamstring injury. They get things their way at home on Saturday night and Parra are 15th on the ladder, so if Brisbane can’t win this there’s trouble.
Sunday April 26, 2015
Penrith Panthers ($2.20) vs Cronulla Sutherland Sharks ($1.70)
Pepper Stadium (2:00pm)
There’s always one of these games in the round, the nothing match. This week Penrith (13th) play the Sharks (10th), and the latter can still make the finals if they show the kind of form that saw them score some big upsets earlier in the season. The Panthers played crappy footy when beaten 32 – 6 by the Titans last week, they need to do better than that to hold off Cronulla if the Sharks play sharp footy like they are capable of.
South Sydney Rabbitohs ($1.35) vs Canberra Raiders ($3.30)
Barlow Park (4:00pm)
The reigning Premiers started off so strongly but are weakening each week it seems. Last Monday the Sharks got the better of them, but despite that the Bunnies are still short-priced favourites to beat the Green Machine here. We are in South Sydney territory, and even though Canberra come off a win over Wests, the money is all on the home side to bounce back and move their way back up the ladder.
*All odds quoted are head-to-head through Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change