Tue, Jun 28, 11:16am by Staff Writer
With just four points separating fifth-placed Brisbane Broncos and 11th-placed New Zealand Warriors, there is still plenty to play for as the NRL reaches Round 17.
A colossal tussle for the top eight continues to keep fans engrossed in the action with two of those seven teams caught in the mid-table traffic jam, the Warriors and the Titans, facing off this week.
But we’ll start off our preview with Thursday night football, where the Canterbury Bulldogs will look to solidify their presence in the top eight as they take on second from bottom Sydney Roosters.
The Bulldogs head into the match on the back of comprehensive victories over the Dragons and Broncos. They appear to be finding form at just the right stage of the season. Their opponents, however, the Roosters are in dire straits in this season’s competiton but will enter this match with some confidence after a narrow loss against the Warriors in Round 15. Despite an improved performance by the Roosters, Sportsbet still hold the Bulldogs as favourites for this match priced at $1.60 to their opponents $2.35.
Fourth versus second place in the NRL will always bring about a quality match of rugby league and this is no exception as the Brisbane Broncos host the Melbourne Storm. The Storm are almost certainly a surety for finals footy but the Broncos need a win to keep themselves in the hunt for a double chance.
The sides head into the fixture in opposite form with the Storm fresh off one win and the Broncos reeling from a brutal demolition job inflicted by the Bulldogs. Home crowd advantage at Suncorp Stadium can have a massive bearing on fixtures and Sportsbet undoubtedly sees that as a factor as they edge the Broncos as favourites to win at $1.65. The Storm’s away record isn’t great this year and they are priced at $2.24.
Both the New Zealand Warriors and the Gold Coast Titans have struggled for consistency this season and are currently two points adrift of the playoff spots. Making this almost certainly a must win match for both teams. An agonising one-point loss to the table topping Cronulla Sharks for the Warriors can only have given them heart to push forward and Sportsbet have the Warriors priced at $1.47 to take the win here. The Gold Coast Titans ($2.55) will be hoping a trip across the Tasman can help boost their push for the playoffs.
Sportsbet has a full offering on all the action with these three matches highlighted here just the tip of the iceberg of which will be another thrilling weekend in world’s top rugby league competition.
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