The 2015 NRL Telstra Premiership moves into Round 21 of the 26-round regular season and there are some cracking line-ups as we count down to the finals.
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Two Queensland teams sit top of the NRL Ladder with the Brisbane Broncos leading from the North Queensland Cowboys, both squads looking good for a win on the weekend playing Manly and Canberra respectively on Saturday night.
Friday night footy is headlined by the third-ranked Sydney Roosters taking on a depleted Bulldogs outfit at Allianz Stadium, while the nothing match of the round brings things to a close on Monday evening with the Gold Coast Titans (15th) hosting the Eels (13th).
For the last week this season the country’s premier online sportsbook Ladbrokes.com.au are offering their $2 NRL Favourites and are taking another risk with Brisbane at the juicy odds to beat the Sea Eagles on the Central Coast.
See below for the full NRL Round 21 draw and current odds available online at Ladbrokes – home of the famous $500 first depositor’s bonus.
Round 21 NRL Draw 2015
Friday July 31, 2015
Sydney Roosters ($1.32) vs Canterbury Bulldogs ($3.50)
Allianz Stadium (7:35pm)
Sydney sit in third spot and will be keen to keep inside the Top 4 with the finals just weeks away. There are a few milestones for some of their major players including Mitchell Pearce who becomes the youngest ever player to rack up 200 games. Last week the Chooks smashed the Tigers (33 – 8) and have all the momentum playing the Bulldogs who are short of a few including five-eighth Josh Reynolds (knee) who will miss six weeks. Frank Pritchard and Curtis Rona are both also in doubt for the Doggies.
Wests Tigers ($3.10) vs Melbourne Storm ($1.38)
Leichhardt Oval (7:35pm)
The Tigers will still be licking their wounds after a hiding from the Chooks last week and are at the big odds to hold off a Melbourne Storm outfit who are now sitting fifth in the competition and making a big run towards the finals. Hard to see current Wooden Spoon-positioned Wests win here, even with Melbourne on a five day turnaround and the Tigers welcoming backing Robbie Farah.
Saturday August 1, 2015
New Zealand Warriors ($1.83) vs Cronulla Sharks ($2.02)
Mt Smart Stadium (3:00pm)
The Warriors totally lost the plot last week after Shaun Johnson broke his ankle, ruling him out for the rest of the season, and they allowed Manly to beat them by 20 points. That was at Mt Smart where they get the home ground advantage again on Saturday night taking on Cronulla who come off a two point win over Canterbury. New Zealand were showing real Premiership potential but the confidence is down now and the Sharks could be ready to strike. The Warriors though do welcome back the colourful Manu Vatuvei and Konrad Hurrell, while Tuimoala Lolohea is Johnson’s fill-in.
North Queensland Cowboys ($1.20) vs Canberra Raiders ($4.75)
1300 Smiles Stadium (5:30pm)
There’s no stopping the Cowboys who have won 14 of their past 15 games coming into this clash against the Green Machine up at NQ headquarters. They are second on the ladder and deservedly so playing top class footy. Last week they had a practice match with the Eels putting up little in the way of worth competition, the Cowboys running away with a 46 – 4 win. Canberra also won, but beat Penrith who are the longest-priced team of this week’s draw, so that plus travelling north sees them at juicy odds. North Queensland’s Matt Scott also celebrates his 200th game.
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles ($2.65) vs Brisbane Broncos ($1.50)
Central Coast Stadium (7:30pm)
Manly are still clinging to a finals’ dream but have a tough run home and are still only 11th on the ladder after their impressive win over the Warriors in NZ last weekend. Brisbane though are looking down the barrel of their ninth win on the trot after keeping the Titans scoreless in Round 20. Defensively the Broncos have really picked up their game this year and are doing everything right to hang onto that No. 1 spot and secure the Minor Premiership.
Sunday August 2, 2015
St George Illawarra Dragons ($1.35) vs Newcastle Knights ($3.25)
Jubilee Oval (2:00pm)
The Dragons are favourites here at home but only because they take on the woeful Knights’ outfit. Last week Newcastle were smashed 52 – 6 by the Bunnies and they are without Tariq Sims (shoulder) who is replaced by Joseph Tapine this week. There are no changes to the Red V’s squad, St George having slipped down to 10th on the table after being embarrassed 22 – 4 by Melbourne in Round 20. At home against easier company it should be the Dragons’ night.
South Sydney Rabbitohs ($1.13) vs Penrith Panthers ($6.25)
ANZ Stadium (4:00pm)
Fourth-ranked South Sydney had it all too easy last week against Newcastle who they flogged (52 – 6) and their sweet run to the semis continues this weekend as they play Penrith who are out over $6 for what would be one of the season’s biggest upsets. The Panthers played at home and were beaten by 10 by Canberra last week and the same squad will line-up, perhaps though also including an early return from Dallin Watene-Zelezniak.
Monday August 3, 2015
Gold Coast Titans ($1.53) vs Parramatta Eels ($2.55)
Cbus Super Stadium (7:00pm)
With neither team capable of making the finals this game is more about pride than ladder position as the 15th-ranked Titans, who weren’t able to post a single point against Brisbane last weekend, host the Eels who were flogged 46 – 4 by the Cowboys last Monday night. Gold Coast at home are the favourites but both Nate Myles and Ryan James are in doubt for the squad. Their replacements on the bench if they don’t make it are David Hala and David Taylor. There’s been a bit of a hamstring concern for Will Hopoate for Parramatta but he’s got time on his side to prove his fitness.