Game 1 of the Origin series is only a week away and that can on mean one thing. Well, it can and does mean several things but in this instance, I’m referring to the first shortened NRL round of the season.
Only four games will be played from Thursday through ‘til Sunday and not all teams, but all games will be affected by Origin selections.
There’s value to be found in the market and NRL Round 12 tips can be found below.
A reasonably intriguing start to the round, given the players that both Penrith and Manly will be missing.
The Panthers finally put it all together as outsiders last week, but they’re now without Nathan Cleary, who clearly produced his best performance of the season in Round 11. The Sea Eagles have been doing it without DCE and Tommy Turbo for most of the season, so it’s pretty much business as usual on that front, but the loss of Jake Trbojevic is massive and, in my opinion, game changing.
I just don’t know if the Sea Eagles have the heart to do it without their three best players and with confidence down after a big loss at home to the Titans, they’ll really need to find something. Either way, I can’t imagine this will be a game to remember.
Friday night will see the Eels host the Rabbitohs, in what would have been a mouth-watering prospect in 1982.
Fergo’s (probably justified) omission from the Blues’ squad means that the Eels have literally no one out on Origin duty, while Souths will be fielding about 20 players from the Redfern Under 7’s, because pretty much everyone else is out on Origin duty.
The Eels failed to contain the out of form Panthers last week and even against a depleted Souths, they’ll need to improve. Even with all the stars away, Souths harbour a winning mentality.
At publish, the bookies cannot split the full-strength Eels and the Redfern Under 7’s and this looks like a terrific opportunity for Parramatta to record another much-needed win.
The players that the Raiders will be missing probably levels this playing field a lot more than any other game in Round 12 and I think we’ll be in for a tight contest at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night. The eight fans that turn up to this ludicrously large stadium really will be on the edge of their seats.
Unsurprisingly, the Dogs didn’t have the answers for the Storm in Round 11 and the enter this match with a disappointing, but probably understandable 3-8 record. With their poor for-and-against, that has them anchored to the bottom of the table.
The Raiders ran into a Cowboys outfit that managed to produce their best performance of the season in the nation’s capital, but there is no doubt that they have class in spades over the Dogs this season and I think they’ll comfortably bounce back into the winner’s stall here.
The round closes on Sunday afternoon with a Queensland Derby and it looks like being the match of the week.
The Neds Gold Coast Titans recorded an unprecedented 36-18 win over the Sea Eagles at Brookvale Oval last week and there is no doubt that they’ll take all of the momentum into this game. They’re without Jai Arrow, but they were without Jai Arrow for last week’s game so clearly, they can still do it.
The Cows produced their best performance of the season to beat the Raiders in Canberra last weekend but will be missing a couple of key players for this game. The remaining senior players will really need to step up in their absence, but I just feel that the loss of Michael Morgan in particular is going to change their structure too much. Two in a row for the Titans.