Game 3: Team Lists and Changes
The injury outs and late teams changes coupled with the multiple venue changes has moved the market many times. It started as 19.5 between them with NSW very warm favs, 18.5 then 16.5 the 14.5 and key NSW outs and the venue changed to Newcastle.
Now with the game at Robina we have 11.5 and NSW $1.28 QLD $3.90
I think 11.5 looks somewhat generous to QLD. No doubt they are stronger, and NSW weaker (key halves outs) but with a series that sits game results 2-0 and score line 76-6 and the back 5 in attack that NSW still retain we are only talking two converted tries.
Firstly a dead rubber game and then all of these key outs and out team changes muddies the water somewhat in trying to line up what might unfold.
Cleary and Luai are big outs, their combination has been first class and Nathan has the best kicking game in the competition. Ponga is a big in for QLD, he’s a 5 star game changer and or influencer who can make things happen with a rare touch of class and skill.
I take some confidence out of Fittler being coach and hopefully keeping his NSW lot off the soup and focused on a 3-0 result. All reports out of their camp this year in particular have been of a focused, united group with no ratbags or play out clowns as has been involved previously and that a stiff lemonade is about as strong a drink as most of they get into, os there is some credence in them wanting to again perform. Had it been Daly, Stuart or Gould it would have been the opposite, they’d have been partying all week long, but this is from all reports a different team and an different approach. The other plus for NSW may well be that Wighton and Moses have a point to prove that they can perform at this level and also offer a focused, quality offering. I’m yet to be a fan of Moses, but surrounded by quality he gets his chance. I do have a reservation with both that they each like to have the ball in hand and not pass as often as they should in club footy, with Turbo and Latrell outside them that’s the last thing NSW need. Turbo has had a free reign in each game, so that will work, he won’t die wondering or waiting for the ball, he’ll go looking for action.
QLD’s offering has been a disaster to date, now all three pre game preps a mess. Fifita and Arrow out in their forward line up is not what they need, and the worry for them is that even with Ponga in and any possible intent (at last) to shift the ball and play some attack on the back of a forward line up that has been dominated to date what room do they have to move and play?
NSW scored 50 in game 1 and 26 in game 2 (and left a few tries out there). If NSW have a real crack here then something like mid 20 to mid 30 is easily possible. For QLD to be anywhere in the hunt of victory they are going to need at least 4 tries and 22 to 26 and hope they are holding NSW back.
QLD have to play attack, and do something different to what they have done to date. They have to offload, they have to play lateral, play wide and play with lots of passes play after play, and predominantly to their strong left edge of Munster, Tabuai-Fidow, Ponga (on his favoured edge) and Holmes. Offloads, play wide, and come back through the middle, then play wide. But I have significant doubt looking at what was offered in both games to date that they have the smarts or capability to do either, or can sustain it past the opening 15 minutes.
The venue is interesting, and I’m sure helps both NSW and an attacking open game. Robina is the best surface of any ground in the comp, drains impeccably, lovely top surface and is fast. The days leading into this game will present sunny Gold Coast weather with tops each day of 20 to 22 and so perfect for Wednesday evening. The Titans have played 6 games here this season with total points of 44, 58, 70, 50, 69 and 80 at an average of 61.3 pts per game. Everything is set up for points – its just a matter of whether we can get QLD to contribute enough to get us somewhere around the mark of 50. I’m hopeful that with a) some attack intent, b) Munster getting more early ball, c) Ponga being in the game an weaving some of his influence and d) Tabuai-Fidow and Brimson off the bench there is enough spark for all of this to happen.
Once again I think points is the best angle to the game. I expect NSW win, and I expect that they do cover 12 pts or more. Very hard to see how the wizard in Tommy T doesn’t come up with at least one try, and so the best back up option is he as an anytime try scorer into NSW to win. If I went looking for QLD options to include then I think down their left edge is the play, Ponga and or Holmes to anytime score.
Bet 2 units points over 46.5 $1.90
Bet 2 units (same game muti) NSW to win $1.28 x Tom Trbojevic anytime try $1.86 / $2.19
My Podcast same game multi – NSW to win $1.28 x Tom Trbojevic anytime try $1.92 x Ponga anytime try $3.00 / $7.13
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