Round 24 of the 2015 NRL Telstra Premiership kicked off on Thursday night and there are still seven games left to play out in one of the final regular weeks before we move into the highly anticipated finals.
In the round’s opener the Dragons held on in a pretty average performance to beat the Panthers 19 – 12 at WIN Stadium, but based on their high number of errors will need to improve to be a genuine threat come the semis.
Tonight the action heats up with one of the week’s premier clashes, the South Sydney Rabbitohs hosting the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium.
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The blockbuster of the round though is the Roosters v Broncos clash at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night, the second-ranked Chooks favourites to beat the ladder-leading Brisbane outfit who are chasing the Minor Premiership title with gusto.
See below for the full Round 24 NRL draw and odds then visit Ladbrokes.com.au to get in on the action at the right price!
2015 NRL Round 24 Draw
Thursday August 20, 2015
St George Illawarra Dragons 19 – 12 Penrith Panthers
WIN Stadium (7:45pm)
Friday August 21, 2015
South Sydney Rabbitohs ($2) vs Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs ($1.83)
ANZ Stadium (7:45pm)
The Rabbitohs are narrow underdogs in a super tight market for the Friday night footy feature with Isaac Luke ruled out of the clash. That’s a big loss for the fourth-ranked Bunnies who will need to dig deep to stop the Bulldogs who coach Des Hasler has spot on heading into the finals. Canterbury are seventh on the ladder and keen to keep in that Top 8. Both teams come off a win, South Sydney having beaten the Cowboys while Canterbury had an easy time over the Titans. Tonight is tougher, but without Luke and John Sutton also under a cloud of doubt the Bunnies look in trouble.
Saturday August 22, 2015
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks ($1.38) vs Wests Tigers ($3.10)
Remondis Stadium (3:00pm)
Cronulla were charging towards the finals with a number of notable wins before things came undone when they were smashed by 28 points by the Storm last Monday night. They are down to sixth spot and are now on the short turnaround as they look to atone and post more than the measly two points they were able to get against Melbourne. They are still the shorties in the market though to beat the Tigers, a team they haven’t been able to beat since 2011. Will the hoodoo be broken this weekend with the Wests’s Aaron Woods still not a confirmed run-on.
New Zealand Warriors ($5.10) vs North Queensland Cowboys ($1.18)
Mt Smart Stadium (5:30pm)
Since Shaun Johnson was ruled out of the season the Warriors have suffered woe after woe including their loss to the Panthers last week. They are back across the Tasman playing the third-ranked Cowboys this weekend, and while they will appreciate playing in New Zealand, after North Queensland went down in a shock loss to Rabbitohs last week, expect the visitors to come out seeking revenge in a big way.
Sydney Roosters ($1.53) vs Brisbane Broncos ($2.55)
Allianz Stadium (7:45pm)
This is the highlight of the round and Brisbane, despite sitting top of the table after their 32 – 6 thrashing of St George last weekend, are at juicy odds. If there’s going to be an upset this is the game. The Chooks didn’t turn up in the first half of last weekend’s game against the lowly Eels, trailing by an embarrassing margin before fighting their way back to win by 10 points come the full time siren. The Tri-Colours are after the win here and hoping to leapfrog the Broncos to sit No. 1 on the ladder with the Minor Premiership title only a couple of weeks from being secured. The Roosters have the same squad as last week after both Aidan Guerra and Blake Ferguson were cleared by the NRL judiciary, while the Brisbane’s dummy-half Andrew McCullough (ankle) is their only possible omission.
Sunday August 23, 2015
Gold Coast Titans ($3.10) vs Canberra Raiders ($1.38)
Cbus Super Stadium (2:00pm)
The Raiders travel to the Gold Coast to take on the current Wooden Spoon positioned Titans on Sunday afternoon and are favourites to head back to Canberra with the two points. The Green Machine are 11th on the ladder, so a Top 8 finish is probably unlikely, but they have more to play for than their hosts. Both teams should be the same as last weekend when the Gold Coast were defeated by the Bulldogs and the Raiders by Manly, albeit only by two points.
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles ($1.09) vs Parramatta Eels ($8)
Brookvale Oval (4:00pm)
The easiest game of Round 24 to tip, a resurgent Manly outfit can mathematically make the Top 8 if they win this game by around 26 points. That sounds like a lot, but they play Parramatta so it is more than possible. The odds say it can happen, the Sea Eagles the shortest of the week while the Eels are out to $8 for an upset. Manly are starting to fire on all cylinders and have strung together a couple of good wins and at Brookie they are going to be too hard for the Eels to defeat even with Parra welcoming back Will Hopoate.
Monday August 24, 2015
Melbourne Storm ($1.10) vs Newcastle Knights ($7.50)
AAMI Park (7:00pm)
The round comes to an end with the Storm playing in their second Monday night clash in as many weeks following an all-too-easy win over the Sharks that they secured by a surprising 28 points. Now they host one of the season’s worst in the Knights, and with the home ground advantage at AAMI Park.