Round 3 of the NRL was probably the most highly anticipated event in Australia since Sydney 2000 and boy, was it great to have the footy back!
I’m more than happy to put the hand up and say that Round 3’s tips weren’t up to scratch, but I couldn’t be more confident of improvement for that effort and like the Raiders on Sunday afternoon, it’s going to take a herculean effort to stop me.
You can find a preview for each game and all of my NRL Round 4 tips below.
A lot was made of the canned crowd noise from literally the first minute of Brisbane’s game with the Eels last week and I must admit, in exciting moments like when Brodie Croft broke the line and scored, I actually forgot that it was fake, and it really added to the theatre of the evening.
If you’re going out of your way to complain about things like that, you’re merely having a whinge for the sake of it. Pull your head in, goose. The footy is back.
Now down to how these two teams performed, and it really was chalk and cheese.
The Broncos looked as though they’d make a game of it early, but the wheels completely fell off and they ultimately drifted $9 out to $15 in Premiership betting.
The Roosters, on the other hand, controlled their game with the Bunnies from literally the first hit-up and were rewarded with a big win.
I have absolutely no faith in the Broncos now, and I am happy to tip against them until they give me a reason not to.
A very intriguing contest, this one.
The Panthers looked to pick up where they left off when they skipped out to a handy lead over the Knights early in Round 3’s meeting, but they simply couldn’t break the Newcastle defence despite peppering it for near-on twenty consecutive minutes in the second half, ultimately leading to the first tied game in recent memory.
The Warriors meanwhile were the surprise packets of the round, absolutely flying the blocks in their game with the Dragons and keeping their opponents scoreless throughout.
A lovely win for a club who are going out of their way to satisfying us as fans this year, very well deserved indeed.
I’m actually finding it nearly impossible to split these two sides and for that reason, I can’t understand the $1.45 vs $2.75 that we’re seeing (at publish) in match betting.
The line is set at 6.5 points and I think that is a very gettable target for the Warriors.
Melbourne and South Sydney have been two of the league’s better clubs in recent seasons and this match should be one of the standout fixtures of Round 4.
Given how wildly mediocre both were last weekend, I’m now sure that it will be a close contest, albeit lacking the top-line quality that we all expected.
Boy, weren’t Melbourne found out by the Raiders?
They’ve been the benchmark for a long time but sitting there on Saturday night and watching that game unfold, it actually felt like we were watching the baton being passed over to the next dominant club.
South Sydney were absolutely savaged by injury and while I thought that they did stand some chance against a generally shaky (early in the season) Roosters outfit, in retrospect they never stood a chance.
They’ll still be without several key players this week and I think that Melbourne will improve for last week’s hit-out.
For mine, this will be the standout game of Round 4.
Here, we have a classic Rugby League rivalry with a genuine disdain for each other, as well as two live chances of finishing in the top four this season.
They also both returned enormous Round 3 performances, beginning with the Eels’ stunning win in Brisbane on Thursday night.
Maybe for ten minutes they were challenged, but they really took the game away from the home side in the most convincing way imaginable, and they’ll be confident of continuing their rise through the grades on Saturday.
The Sea Eagles controlled the Dogs from kick-off on Sunday evening and it took just three minutes for the game’s most influential player to cross the paint for the first time.
Good luck to anyone that is forced to (try to) mark Tommy Turbo in 2020. Barring injuries, he looks set for another enormous season and with that, Manly have live Premiership claims.
I actually think that the bookies are being far too generous towards Parramatta this week and I genuinely think that we can pinch a win from them, at a nice price.
While I think that the quality of contest will sharply decline after the Parra v Manly game, I do think that Saturday night’s contest in North Queensland will be a reasonably even affair.
I find it incredible that the Cowboys remain as high on the ladder as they are.
Sure, we’re only three rounds in, but I just cannot have them in 2020 and it’s probably a real indication as to the heart that they play with, that they enter this contest 2-1.
The Titans did prove to be a bit of a soft kill for them first-up from the break, and I am very interested to see what they can do against a better side in Cronulla.
The Sharks were yet another club that appeared to be in control of their Round 3 game with the Tigers, even at the 60-minute mark, they looked home and hosed.
Instead, they travel north with the tail between their legs and hoping for a better result than a twelve-point defeat.
I believe that this will prove to be a real indicator as to how both sides are travelling and because I legitimately think both can win, I’m going to stay away from match and line betting.
The Sunday footy last weekend was extremely enjoyable, but it’s going to be even better in Round 4 when the Raiders host Newcastle in the nation’s capital.
Wowee. I really don’t know what else I could say about the Raiders’ Round 3 performance and win over the Storm – their third in succession over that club and the first time in about fifteen years that they’ve started a season 3-0.
George Williams just went to another level and for the twentieth time, Ricky Stuart’s actual talent of finding the right pommy players for the NRL was proven fact.
Williams went triple figures into $21 to win this season’s Dally M Medal. His performance was THAT good.
The Knights lost Mitchell Pearce in a sickening collision early and immediately leaked points, but you’d be extremely proud as a long-suffering fan with what they managed to do in the second half.
It wasn’t a win, but a draw from the position that they were in what almost as good as the Raiders’ win over Melbourne.
While I’m sure the Knights will be spirited, I’m even more sure that the Raiders are just better than most other clubs in 2020.
And now the one we have all been waiting for – the time-honoured Neds Derby!
Our two partners will go head-to-head in Round 4 and I think that the bookies have just about nailed the match betting prices and the line (7.5 points).
As they have done for a little more than a season now, the Titans showed skill and determination for the first period of last week’s match with the Cowboys, but they just couldn’t maintain for eighty minutes and were comfortably defeat.
Weren’t the Tigers good, though?
Benji Marshall produced probably the second-best individual performance of the Round (after George Williams), in an effort that saw the clock wound back to 2010.
They fought back into the contest and comfortably iced the result, and I don’t think they’ll be taking a backwards step on Sunday.
It looks like being a bit of an anti-climax, but Round 4 of the NRL concludes with a rare Monday afternoon fixture between the lowly Bulldogs and Dragons.
Evidently, the break did nothing for them, and the Bulldogs continued a wretched start to the 2020 NRL season with a flogging at the hands of the Sea Eagles.
They scored a consolation try late in the picture, but with Reuben Garrick kicking terribly for the opposition, they were lucky to be spared a 50-point drubbing.
The Dragons started their game with the Warriors hot favourites and attracted some enormous, if not bizarre bets in the process.
They too did not have any answers for their opponents and perhaps most worryingly, failed to score a single point.
As all of that would suggest, the Dragons haven’t been any good, but the Dogs haven’t fired a single shot and I can’t see things getting any better for them here.