NRL – Finals Week 2 – Preview & Betting A...

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Finals Week 2 Preview NRL 2012

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Further to the positive use and feedback last weekend I will be doing a pre game update prior to each finals game through to Grand Final day. It certainly doesn’t appear as a weekend where we will have the various possibilities in play as we did last week but last minute weather and or key injury / outs may well impact in some areas. The online title message of this preview (and its content) will be updated to indicate any new update and a new sms will also be sent out. If you would like to be included in the free sms blast just drop an email request through to

Finals Week 2 Bet List

Cowboys 6 units H2H  $1.90       BEST BET

If you are looking for an additional interest around the Cowboys I would suggest a spec at the tri bet over 6.5 (around the $3 mark). I will wait until Saturday to finalise but at this stage I won’t be recommending any bet options into the Rabbits v Raiders game.

Eagles v Cowboys

SFS / Moore Park: 7.45pm Friday

Opening Pricing and Lines – Eagles $1.88 / -1.5 v Cowboys  $1.95 /+1.5

Any market moves: Numerous moves in and out for both on the back of negative or positive speculation surrounding various Eagles injury issues. I expect the Cowboys price to firm through the hours leading into the game.

Fourth plays fifth. Facts and figures: Eagles come off their 6 point loss to 1st placed Bulldogs having won their prior 6 straight. They have won their last 4 at the ground and 4 of their last 5 H2H, they are 9 from 19 when conceding the start. The Cowboys have won 2 of their last 3 at the ground, have won 7 from 12 on the road this season and have enjoyed a positive record when with the + line start winning 7 of 11.

The key issue with this game is the various injury issues surrounding the Eagles and their likely final line up. Matai is an out, Lyon highly unlikely (my info remains that he will not play) Tony Williams, Glenn Stewart, Watmough and Galuvao are all carrying injuries out of last or prior weeks (as would many for all sides at this time of the year), each are expected to play but their performance may well be hampered to some degree. The Cowboys have lost Payne but are lucky to have a suitable replacement in Segeyaro.

The likely out of Lyon and loss of Matai and David Williams (season ending injury) will leave the Eagles with two reshuffled edges whichever way Toovey chooses to go which will impact on the effectiveness of their edge attack but critically leave them very venerable in defence. One of the Cowboys key strengths is the quality, combination and finishing skills of either edge in attack, at various time this year they have lead the competition for line breaks and tries on either the right or then the left sides. With Thurston and Bowen’s ability read, direction and link of their play so effectively to either edge (as they did again in dismantling the Broncos last week) the Cowboys should be playing this to their advantage.

I’m sure the Eagles will improve, they lacked composure and patience in trying to play too tough last week and offered one of their poorer performances of recent months. Cherry Evans was ordinary, Foran quite, Whare exposed; they are far better than this but a) can they get the job done across 80 mins given the various injury issues they are dealing with and b) effectively defend their edges?

The Cowboys will also play this differently through the middle which should be to their advantage. They have two big international  front rowers in Scott and Tamou and like to plough forward and play direct to provide them room off which to play. A physical game through the middle might not necessarily be what the Eagles want right now.

The Cowboys hold the aces. They’ll need some patience and composure, they’ll also need to play physically through the middle. If they do Thurston and Bowen have the guile and skill to capitalise and they should then do the business via their edges. Cowboys

Last Word: Cowboys can win. It won’t be a walk in the park as the Eagles are a quality side and will improve, but this looks the week where they are right up against it. Keen on Cowboys.

Betting Interest: No need to get to fancy, back the Cowboys H2H. If you wish you could spec them with the tri bet option over 6.5 (around $3).  


Rabbits v Raiders

Homebush: 7.45pm Saturday

Opening Pricing and Lines – Rabbits $1.53 / -6.5 v Raiders $2.50 / +6.5

Any market moves: Rabbits have continued to firm all week, $1.53 > $1.43. The Raiders have blown to $2.90.

Facts and figures: The Rabbits are at their best at Homebush, they’ve won 9 of their last 10 here. H2H they have won the last 3 but lost the prior 4. The Rabbits have been good when conceding the start, they are 9 from 14 with most of those games against lower placed sides where they have consistently won. The Raiders away record has been good this yr, 7 from 12, they have a 50% record at the ground (across their last 10 games), they are 11 from 18 when with the plus start but interestingly they have won their last 5 straight with the start.

Both sides lose their left centre, King for the Rabbits and Croker for the Raiders. Both are notable outs but Croker is critical for the Raiders given his points scoring record (both tries and goals).

Whichever way we dice it the Rabbits were very poor last week. Yes they were on the wrong side of the early penalty count (5-1 against) but they were also their own worst enemy with some basic errors and ordinary edge defensive reads. But, once again when facing up to a credentialed contender they again fell well short as they had done recently against the Sharks and Eagles. The concern now has to be how they mentally handle things and the pressure moving forward.

As the side finishing 3rd with a near impeccable record at the ground they should be the $1.40 favs, and on their best they should be winning but this might not be straight forward. They need quality disciplined efforts from Luke and Taylor; Reynolds and Sutton need to play more direct and stand up amongst the semi final pressure and clearly they need a very strong game from Inglis. Some ball play from Sam Burges, Luke and or off Taylor will also help their cause as last week when under the pump they fell into a very pedestrian single pass game that became easy to defend.

The Raiders have a sizeable forward offering so the battle through the middle will be interesting. They’ve relied on a simple game plan through recent months of working forward with little second phase or offload play to then allow McCrone (right), Williams (left) or Dugan some room to play to either edge.

The Raiders will also benefit from the lack of pressure and expectation. They are now not expected to win, a finals position (and home finals win) is beyond what anyone would have thought and will now be applauded whenever it comes to an end. And right now off the back of their winning run they have some belief. They are certainly a momentum and confidence team (v Storm, Bulldogs, first half last week) but they to can quickly fall apart (first half v Warriors, 15 minute period through the second half last week). If they can start well here and or get some early points things could get very interesting.

The games there for the Rabbits to lose. They come through a far stronger form line, return home, are at near full strength and have some quality game winners in Burgess and Inglis. We keep expecting the Rabbits to deliver in these big games, as yet they haven’t, this week there’s no second chance. Tipping the Rabbits but I’m not convinced that it’s straight forward. Rabbits

Last Word: Rabbits should bounce up, but rolled gold long odds on good things they are not.  

Betting Interest: The Rabbits have faltered the last 3 times when expected to aim up, now is not the time to step in.



All bets are listed with –

1) a confidence rating (between 1 and 5, with 5 being the highest) and

2) a staking rating (up to 5 units)

For example a bet will be listed as:  Storm 4 units Line -9.5 $1.80

The number 4 represents both the confidence and staking rating (out of 5) for this suggested bet.


The total weekly bet outlay will vary each week but will be approximately 15 to 25 units. My recommendation is that you 1) settle on a weekly unit dollar outlay that suits your weekly betting bank, and then 2) bet consistently to the listed weekly recommended bets. Best Bets. An additional approach and bank is recommended to bet nominated Best Bets, either with a level stake or with the suggested unit outlay. A more detailed Staking outline and example sheet is available on request, email:

Finals Week 2 Bet List

Cowboys 6 units H2H  $1.90       BEST BET

If you are looking for an additional interest around the Cowboys I would suggest a spec at the tri bet over 6.5 (around the $3 mark). I will wait until Saturday to finalise but at this stage I won’t be recommending any bet options into the Rabbits v Raiders game.

Bet Prices: Nominated beside each bet is the price taken at the time of finalising this information (and will then be used when updating all results). Don’t hesitate to look around and obtain the best possible price and or option of your choice.

Alternative Line or Bet types: A broad range of alternate or pick your own lines or betting types are now available from all betting agencies. I chose to consider all options to suit each game and final betting recommendation, including the use of shorter and or longer lines, margins, tri bet or similar and suggest that members look to do the same so as to potentially frame your bet options to your possible advantage.

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