Thu, Jul 28, 11:25am by Staff Writer
Cronulla Sharks continue to keep up their march towards the Minor Premiership after going 15 matches unbeaten heading into Round 21. Their place at the top, however, is under threat from the chasing Melbourne Storm and North Queensland Cowboys who meet in this weekend’s stand out fixture.
North Queensland v Melbourne Storm – Sat July 30, 7:30pm
As second place takes on third, Sharks fans will be hoping the Cowboys can do them a favour and end the Storm’s current run of impressive form. That form saw them replace the Sharks atop the ladder last weekend albeit briefly as only two points separate them on the ladder. Melbourne will be confident that can keep up the pressure with a win Townsville with Sportsbet holding them as favourites at $1.77. The loss of Johnathan Thurston will have a profound effect on the home side and is reflected in the Cowboys odds of $2.10. Expect the Storm to come away with a victory in Queensland to keep up with the Sharks.
Bet of the Match: Storm to Win at $1.77
Gold Coast Titans v Cronulla Sharks – Mon August 1, 7pm
League leaders Cronulla have to wait until Monday Night Football before they run out themselves in Queensland to face the Gold Coast Titans. The Titans hopes of the top four are long gone but they are still central characters in the fight for the top eight. Only six points separate fifth and 11th-place on the ladder.
The Titans face an almighty task to end the Sharks winning run with a price of $2.85 but stranger things have happened on the Gold Coast. Cronulla remain strong at $1.45 to make it a 16th victory in a row. The Titans are in desperate need of this victory to keep themselves in contention for the top eight, however, the Sharks are likely to prove just too strong for them.
Bet of the Match: Cronulla to Win at $1.45
New Zealand Warriors v Panthers – Sat July 30, 3pm
The New Zealand Warriors appear as if they peaked too early in their push for the top eight as recent form has seen them slip to ninth on the ladder. Two agonising defeats in a row have stalled their season and this match against the Penrith Panthers holds all the more importance for both sides. Penrith edge the Warriors by two points on the ladder to hold the final playoff spot. In Auckland the Warriors are often a different beast to that is witnessed on the road, both of those losses recently have been away from home.
They will therefore believe that they can turn their season around with a win here and Sportsbet are backing them to do so at $1.75 compared to the Panthers at $2.12. This will be a closely fought contest that could well go either way.
Bet of the Match: Warriors to Win at $1.75
Multi of the week: Storm, Sharks and Warriors all to win at $4.44
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