Ant’s Analysis – NRL Predictions Finals Week Three
And then there were four.
Maybe it’s just the Sydney papers, but all the talk has been about the Dragons choking, the Tigers reliving 2005, and the Roosters’ rags to riches story. Ahhhh, let’s not forget about the Titans, who have won seven of the last eight, and three of those scalps just happen to be the three other remaining contenders in the competition.
The Dragons are worthy favourites, and if they make it through this weekend, I reckon they’ll win, but the Titans are a real possibility, and the other two teams can beat anyone on their day. Gotta love finals footy.
The bookies are playing it safe, and going with the Titans and the Dragons. Makes sense. The Roosters and the Tigers have defences that are about as organised as the Delhi Commonwealth Games.
It was sad to see the Panthers go in the fashion they did with injuries destroying their chances, and the poor Green Machine couldn’t handle Benji. Maybe if Campo hadn’t destroyed his knee they would have reached a different result, but no one likes to play catch up footy. And no one likes to be Croker the poor bastard.
Fingers crossed for a Titans v Tigers final… Chances?
Titans v Roosters – 7:45pm Friday September 24, Suncorp Stadium
Both of these teams will be brimming with confidence. The Titans are coming in to this match, with hot form and a week off to knock out the niggles. Plus they beat the Roosters in round 24 by a margin of 9 points at the SFS. Sure the Roosters have Carney, Pearce and Anasta, but the Titans have Prince, Bird, Rogers and Campbell. The Titans should also be fairly confident with their record against the Chooks, winning four out of the last five games. The Roosters are also riding high after winning four straight, including a comprehensive last start win over the injury ravaged Panthers. While the Roosters were impressive in attack last week, their defence left a little to be desired, and it was only the Panthers’ ineptitude that stopped more points being piled on them. I’ve got a feeling that a Prince led Titans outfit will ask the right questions of the Bondi Boys. Especially when there will be a Suncorp Stadium full of rabid Queenslanders baying for the Roosters’ heads. If Sydney City can only get 26,000 at the SFS, I can’t imagine many of them will make the trek up to Brisbane. This will be the battle of the Minichiellos, with big Anthony coming out on top (of course).
Titans by 16.
Dragons v Tigers – 7:45pm Saturday September 25, ANZ Stadium
I hope we get the contest we deserve out of this game. Benji Marshall is the most entertaining player out there, and he’s got a fair bit of support around the park. It’s a shame Todd Payten is out injured, but the veteran Skandalis is not a bad replacement. He’s actually won a premiership which is more than can be said for most of the Dragons. He’ll certainly have his work cut out for him against the best defence in the comp. While the Dragons have conceded less than 300 points for the whole season, they’ve also been scoring a fair amount of points in the last couple of months. If Soward sticks to his strengths, and kicks nine times out of ten, then the one time he does run, he’ll probably set up a try or score himself. Look, my heart is definitely with the Tigers, and I’d love to see the Dragons choke again, but my wallet is without a doubt on St George. Defence is too important in finals footy, and the Dragons will frustrate the Tigers. As longs as Benji isn’t allowed to dance with the ball in hand, the Dragons will have no trouble stopping the Tigers across the park. The Tigers do have enough attacking prowess to get a couple of tries on the board at least, so I reckon it’ll be a close one…
Dragons by 6.
Progress Score Finals Week 2 – 114/198 57.6% (Last Week 0/2)
Multi-Magic … My long shot bets for the punter within…
- Titans v Roosters – Titans 13+
- Dragons v Tigers – Dragons 1-12