We’ll take one more big step towards the 2020 NRL Premiership season when two of the game’s oldest rivals square off in Saturday’s Charity Shield.
The South Sydney Rabbitohs and St George Illawarra Dragons have contested some of rugby league’s greatest ever matches, have produced some of the sport’s greatest ever players and have gained enormous, unwavering supporter bases.
Both clubs have named competitive squads but perhaps understandably, the Rabbitohs have opened as clear $1.44 favourites to beat the Dragons ($2.75) in the 2020 Charity Shield.
South Sydney Rabbitohs
Big things are expected of the Rabbitohs in 2020 and Wayne Bennett has confirmed that most of his stars will step out in Saturday’s Charity Shield.
He left a little to the imagination in last weekend’s All Stars game, but new recruit Latrell Mitchell will begin the Charity Shield at fullback, with all the usual suspects in Dane Gagai, James Roberts and Campbell Graham also selected in a speedy, experienced backline. Cody Walker and Adam Reynolds will partner in the halves, with the latter to take the captain’s armband.
An enormous pack that has become typical of South Sydney will be steered around by Damien Cook, and it really does appear as though the club is seeking to fire a warning shot prior to round one with a big Charity Shield win.
St George Illawarra Dragons
It is fair to say that the Dragons struggled in 2019 and the new year looks to be make-or-break for coach Paul McGregor, who has now been at the helm for six seasons and returned only three finals games.
News that captain and star hooker Cameron McInness will be sidelined for up to twelve weeks after suffering a medial ligament injury at the Nines a couple of weeks ago is sure to have turned the stomachs of the Dragons’ faithful, but the signing of veteran Issac Luke has now proven to be a masterstroke.
Luke will step out in a decent St George side rich with the best players at their disposal, including rep starts Ben Hunt, Paul Vaughn, Tariq Sims and Tyson Frizell. The return of club legend Trent Merrin is also sure to have some impact on this game and their NRL Premiership campaign.
2020 Charity Shield Betting
Regardless of class, experience and ability, there’s rarely much between the Rabbitohs and Dragons in this game each year, but South Sydney are fitting favourites in Charity Shield betting, and I think they’ll be hard to beat.
You can take advantage of a wide variety of Charity Shield betting markets here at Neds, including everything from head-to-head, to line, try scoring and winning margins.
At publish, the line is set at 6.5 points and I am more than happy to be with Souths to cover that, as the favourites. There’s little doubt that the battle between the two forward packs will be outstanding, but the experience of the South Sydney backline looks likely to be the difference.
All of the usual suspects are prominent in Charity Shield try scoring betting and I will be looking to back Dane Gagai to score the first try of the match.
Back South Sydney to cover the line (-6.5) @ $1.90
Back Dane Gagai to score the first try @ $8.50
Back South Sydney to win both halves @ $2.50