FIRE DOUSED | After returning to finals action in 2015, the St George-Illawarra Dragons struggled un...
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Here is the Round 23 game by game.
Last weeks HOG followers huffed and puffed and blew down the Bookies House.
7 from 8 off scratch, 6 from 8 at the line and 3 out of the 8 games within a half point of the actual game margin!
Come swill with me!
COWBOYS v. BULLDOGS. A very close game to start this weekends round. Very slight advantages to the Bulldogs in both the Forwards and the Backs, mainly due to the more seasoned reliable first graders in the Doggies ranks. The Dairy Farmers of North Queensland have the home ground advantage and have the ability to put on plenty of points against teams and the Dogs will have to be at their very best defensively to keep the cream of the milkers team, Bowen and Thurston from topping them. A few question marks over the ability under pressure of the Cowboys outside backs leans us ever so slightly to the visitors.
The Ratings.....Bulldogs by 0.5. For the margins, Bulldogs and Cowboys 1-12.
RABBITS v. TITANS. A very good record against the Titans in Sydney and a lot of confidence gained from the win over Manly last round points to the Rabbits getting the cash against the visiting Roller Coasters. A very good win last weekend and a firing backline just starting to believe in themselves, should be enough to see the Redfern Mob home. The Rabbits were liabilities at home earlier in the season but are averaging plenty of tries at ANZ now and even though there is no Asotasi, (I do not think that he has been setting the world on fire anyway) there is enough of a ratings advantage to suggest the Rabbits will win comfortably. One for Johnsy and Nanpig.
The Ratings.....Rabbits by 6.5. For the margins, Rabbits 1-12.
ROOSTERS v. MANLY. The Roosters had a real hot go against the rampaging Tigers last weekend and landed a nice victory at the line for the HOG Followers. Manly have had no trouble ruffling the Chooks feathers at SFS in previous encounters but may not have enough points in them to rip the Roosters apart. Both sides match up fairly evenly all over the park and apart from a home ground advantage most of the stats favour the Pelican less Sea Gulls. The Chooks have nothing to lose and the enormous 12.5 start on offer the Roosters is the way to go in this game.
The Ratings.....Manly by 4.5. For the margins, Manly 1-12.
RAIDERS v DRAGONS. The Raiders give the Dragons plenty to worry about every time they venture down to Bruce Stadium and this will be a very good test for the Dragons close to semi final time. The Dragons even without Poore Justin and Running Ronny Coote, still hold a significant rating advantage over the Raiders,( how do the Dragons fit that all in their salary trousers? ) Weyman who used to be the weightman ( The Moruya Chewer) when he was a bit green, will be keen to have a big one against his ol' mates, as will Big Bad Neville but the Greens pack are nothing if not game and on a freezing cold Saturday Night at they used to call it Bruce, CAMPese and the Tongue will keep the Bastards honest. Another game where it is best to take the big start being offered on the home side.
The Ratings.....Dragons by 5. For the margins, Dragons 1-12.
EELS v. WARRIORS. A very good test for the Electric Eels. The Warriors have a Big , Big pack of forwards and this will test the undermanned Eels pack. The Warriors have not produced much on either side of the ditch this season but the Eels six are among the smallest in the comp and this may spur the under achieving Warriors to have a bit of a go against the old mentor. The Eels have been up for a while now and they still have an inexperienced six and seven but have enough ratings points in the bank to suggest that they will get the points against the Worriers but the 14 start being offered the Warriors is very very enticing, especially with all the try scorers in the team and the Eels suspect on line defence.
The Ratings.....Eels by 8.5. For the margins, Eels by 1-12.
SHARKS v. TIGERS. Will Tim Sheens new half back Robert Lui, (Stephen's son), produce a happy ending to his half back problems, with the injury to the gallant Gallant forcing Red Hot Moltzen Back to the fullback position? Answer, it does not matter! The Tigers will have too much in their tank for the guppies. The Sharks were brave again on Monday against the Broncos and played to their potential but unfortunately their potential is park footy at the moment. The Tigers have played very attractive footy over the last few rounds and if the Sharks were to get close in this game it would be a major surprise. The Tigers are too strong all over the park and have a great record against the Guppies at Guppy Park. The Sharks have a very competitive forward pack and they aim up week in, week out but they lack any class in the backline and this is where the Tigers will get their claws into the Gupps.
The Ratings.....Tigers by 14. For the margins, Tigers 13+.
BRONCOS v. PANTHERS. A toss of the coin to which Bronco team runs out onto Suncorp. The Broncos were not impressive against the Sharkies on Monday Night but have classy players all over the Park. The Panthers have Lewis back and fitter for his hit out last week and the enigmatic 'Mount' Pritchard in the starting pack beside him in name but will it be in effort. If Franky was to get Cranky he has the ability to rip sides apart and his clash with the "Big Fish', Dave Taylor should be worth the price of admission itself. The Backs of the Broncos, with their representative experience, have a definite edge on the Penny's but the Penny's Pack, if Cranky fires, could upset the Broncos apple cart. A lot of ifs and butts ( not Sailors thankfully ) will decide this game but taking all the ifs and Wendell