There are just two rounds left of the regular 2015 NRL Telstra Premiership season and this weekend is a cracker with spots in the Top 8 and Top 4 up for grabs.
The weekend of top class footy kicks off on Thursday night with one of the round’s best, the fourth-ranked Bunnies hosting the Brisbane Broncos who are down to second spot after getting leapfrogged by the Roosters who beat them by just two points last Saturday night.
On Friday night we have our current NRL promo still going, double your money if your first tryscorer selection in the Manly v Roosters blockbuster scores the first four pointer in the first 10 minutes!
NRL Round 25 Promo – Manly v Sydney: Double your money on first tryscorer markets if your selection is first to score inside the first 10 minutes of play!
The other headline clash is then on Saturday afternoon at Melbourne’s AAMI Park with the Storm looking to atone for an embarrassing 6 – 20 loss to Newcastle last Monday night when they host the third-ranked Cowboys.
Check out our full 2015 NRL Round 25 preview and odds below.
South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Brisbane Broncos
Thursday, August 27 – 7:45pm (AEST) – Allianz Stadium
The Bunnies were defeated 32 – 18 by the rising Bulldogs last Saturday night and face another tough team in the Broncos who are keen to get back to top spot before the Minor Premiership is decided. Souths felt the loss of Isaac Luke last week, but he is back from suspension this week as is Luke Keary. They aren’t at full strength though with big Greg Inglis (knee) out, Alex Johnston at fullback for GI. Brisbane played tough footy last week against the Chooks only to go down by two points and if they are to regain their ladder-leader status they need to win this. Even with South’s injury woes, they are the narrow favourites, but an upset wouldn’t really be an upset to kick off the round.
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles vs Sydney Roosters
Friday, August 28 – 7:45pm (AEST) – Brookvale Oval
The Sea Eagles really looked like making a genuine charge into the Top 8 until last weekend’s brain snap where they showed up thinking they had already beaten the Eels, only to go down in a shock 16 – 20 loss the Parra in front of their home fans. They return to Brookie again this weekend and could get a frostier reception as they are sitting ninth on the ladder and need to win by a million points and have other results this round go their way to make it to the finals. They host Sydney who are now No. 1 on the ladder after their win over Brisbane last Saturday, and the Tri-Colours are favourites to win despite two massive omissions from the squad in the injured Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Mitchell Pearce. Michael Jennings is also out with suspension so it is a triple loss for the Chooks this week.
Parramatta Eels vs Cronulla Sutherland Sharks
Saturday, August 29 – 3:00pm (AEST) – Pirtek Stadium
The Eels scored one of the big upsets of last round and this weekend will shoot for another surprise win when they play at home at Pirtek. They aren’t fancied to go back-to-back in our markets though with the fifth-ranked Sharks still looking to sneak into a Top 4 finish to secure a home game final. Cronulla played some easy rivals in the Tigers last Saturday, but were still impressive scoring 40 points for the win. Parra shouldn’t put up too much tougher competition and think this will be another confidence-booster for the season’s wildcard premiership contenders.
Newcastle Knights vs Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs
Saturday, August 29 – 5:30pm (AEST) – Hunter Stadium
Newcastle kicked off the season in the best way possible and sat at the top of the table for a number of weeks before the ‘real’ Knights emerged and they have since slipped back to 14th on the ladder. The fans will still show up at Hunter this Saturday night to see their boys play one last time in 2015, especially after Newcastle were the shock 20 – 6 winners over Melbourne last Monday night. That was an impressive effort down in Melbourne and at home they look a little over the odds at nearly $4. Still, the Bulldogs are one of the form teams heading into the finals with Des Hasler’s boys cherry-ripe at the right time of the year after their smart win over the Rabbitohs last Friday night.
Melbourne Storm vs North Queensland Cowboys
Saturday, August 29 – 7:30pm (AEST) – AAMI Park
What is going on with Melbourne? Always a big threat this time of year, the Storm have been struggling over the past few weeks including only being able to score six points to the Knights’ 20 last Monday night. They are on the shorter turnaround then this weekend, returning home to AAMI Park again to host the Cowboys. North Queensland were back firing on all cylinders last Saturday across the Tasman when they scored a pretty 50 points in New Zealand to defeat the Warriors (16). The Cowboys are now third on the ladder and are still a big chance to finish No. 1 on the ladder, where they will automatically go if both the Broncos and Roosters lose this week. It won’t be an easy task however after they suffered some big injury-related losses from last round with Michael Morgan and James Tamou out.
Wests Tigers vs New Zealand Warriors
Sunday, August 30 – 2:00pm (AEST) – Campbelltown Stadium
Wests are in real trouble and are playing for nothing really. The news that their skipper Robbie Farah will leave before his contract is up due to a much-needed reshuffle of the squad and their salary cap woes is just the latest in a line of setbacks for a club that is likely to finish with the Wooden Spoon in their mouths this season. Last week the Tigers lost 40 – 18 to the Sharks, but their rivals on Sunday were also smashed in Round 24 with the Warriors going down 16 – 50. That was in NZ so travelling to Campbelltown puts the visitors at a big disadvantage here, and unsurprising the Warriors are underdogs here still without Shaun Johnson.
Gold Coast Titans vs St George Illawarra Dragons
Sunday, August 30 – 4:00pm (AEST) – Cbus Super Stadium
The Titans are second last on the ladder, but could slip to the bottom of the table with a big enough loss here, which our odds suggest as a real possibility. Last weekend they had the home ground advantage at Cbus and enjoyed a rare season win defeating the Raiders 28 – 12. They are back on the Gold Coast again on Sunday arvo taking on the eight-ranked Dragons who will be eager for a big win to stay in finals contention, St George on a nice lengthy turnaround having played the Thursday night match last week to beat the Panthers (19 – 12). Boosting the Dragons line-up is the return of Jason Nightingale from injury on the wing.
Canberra Raiders vs Penrith Panthers
Monday, August 31 – 7:00pm (AEST) – GIO Stadium
After losing to the Titans in a shock last Sunday on the Gold Coast, the Green Machine are back in Canberra on Monday night for the round’s closer. They host the Panthers who also come off a loss. Penrith though were far from disgraced losing by just seven points to the Dragons last Thursday night and get the long turnaround here so should be fresh on their feet. The visitors are still longer in our markets, but could be a genuine value bet in this 12th vs 13th nothing of a clash.