Free Preview & Bet – Cox Plate 2013 – Hor...

 

Cox Plate 2013
Current Results
177.12 units profit

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We have 10 selections now available for Cox Plate Day

Cox Plate Bet

Moonee Valley R10#14 LONG JOHN $7.50 (Betstar)

Moonee Valley R10#14 LONG JOHN

Did us a favour last start in winning the Caulfield Guineas and I have been tracking him since his CT debut win at Bendigo in Match this year. The actual fact that he started off in a 1300m race might tell us that from day 1 the stable didn’t think he was a pure sprinter, and he has only been beaten once (Guineas Prelude when easily best run in race) at that distance and beyond, handling the 1600m quite adequately last start in the Caulfield Guineas. Straight after that race the decision was made to go to this race, so it must always have been at the back of Peter Snowdens mind to target this with his light weight. It is always a dilemma for punters in backing a 3yo in this race, because it is more often that not their first go at the distance and we have little idea of how they will go against the older horses. Interesting though that last year the 2 placegetting 3yos out of the Caulfield Guineas ran very well here (2nd and 3rd) yet their Guineas time in comparison to the Toorak Handicap (same day) compares nowhere near as well as Long John this year. Also Divine Calling who finished 2nd to Long John in the Guineas had previously run a far better adjusted time at Moonee Valley (1500m) prior, in comparison to Fiorente who won the Dato Chin Nam at WFA on the same day. Times suggest the class is no problem for Long John and I have gone on record this week (on Twitter) anyway in saying this is a below par class Cox Plate. The possible exception to that statement is the favourite It’s A Dundeel but his preparation hasn’t been good, he failed to beat similar class horses home at this distance in the Autumn, and his only run at this track last year wasn’t overly encouraging in the 3yo Vase when 2nd to Super Cool in a time that was 4 seconds inferior to the Cox Plate on the day.

LONG JOHN is unbeaten 3/3 off a 2 week break and he will be going forward in the race which has proven so successful in this race recently with All Too Hard running 2nd last year, and So You Think and Manhattan Rain running the Quinella 4 years ago, not to mention Savabeel who won in 2004. Apparently his trackwork has improved since the Guineas, which hopefully translates to an even better performance today. He is yet to miss a place and arguably could be unbeaten with a little more luck in his career, which is eerily similar to what I said about Ocean Park before winning last years race. The only question mark is the distance but his 2nd dam Stockings sired a Hong Kong Gold Cup winner (2000m+) and his 3rd Dam was out of WA Derby winning mare Ngawyni. His sire Street Cry produced Whobegotyou who ran so well in this race in 2010 behind So You Think.

$7.50 on Betstar gives us an EACH WAY bet and he has every chance of running at least a place here.

Of the older horses I think Fiorente is the danger given his eye catching runs this preparation. If he gets a pace to suit up front he will be getting the last run at them here and it augurs well that he came from last on the turn to win the Dato Chin Nam here 2 starts back.

 

Horse Racing tips and previews will occur across the coming week. Friday (nights), Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday are the most likely days for selections. Any tips on any day will be published by approx 11am.

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Free Preview & Bet – Caulfield Guineas 2013 &#8...

 

Caulfield Guineas
Current Results
170.82 units profit

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Caulfield Guineas Bet

Caulfield R10#4  LONG JOHN $4.20 (Bet365)

I find it very hard to go past LONG JOHN here. He is yet to miss a place in 6 starts (4 wins). He has all the relevant historical factors in his favour, was the best run in the Guineas Prelude, meets the winner and 3rd placegetter 2kg better for that run, and is crying out for 1600m. I’d much prefer the race to be at Flemington for him, and Barrier 1 at Caulfield is a slight concern, but I think the speed of the race is likely to suit and Barriers 1-3 have won 3 of the last 4 editons. He drew an inside barrier in the Prelude and it didn’t seem to affect him there, more the distance that beat him rather than the draw. $4.20 on Unitab and Betstar this morning is good enough but that is about the minimum I want to take WIN ONLY.

Free Tip

Doomben R5#5  TORNADO MISS $5.50 (Bet365)

Caulfield Guineas History

Here are the last 15 winners of the race followed by the most pertinent historical factors which might lead us to this years winner.

2012 All Too Hard (3) D.Dunn

2011 Helmet (8) K McEvoy

2010 Anacheeva (1) L. Nolan

2009 Starspangledbanner (1)

2008 Whobegotyou (11) M. Rodd

2007 Weekend Hussler (2) B.Rawiller

2006 Wonderful World (8) L.Nolan

2005 God’s Own (12) G.Boss

2004 Econsul (4) C.Munce

2003 In Top Swing (4) N. Callow

2002 Helenus (7) S.King

2001 Lonhro (10) D.Gauci

1999 Redoutes Choice (1) J.Cassidy

1998 Kenwood Melody (4) R.Dye

1997 Encounter (4) R.Dye

a) Barriers 1 to 4 (8 of last 15)

b) Guineas Prelude easily best guide

c) An ability to race midfield or near the pace- The positive this year is that the track has been racing worse than Good all Spring and times have been Slowish. It is a decent sized field this year which appears to have a little more speed in it than usual which might give a backmarker it’s chance.

d) 18 of the last 23 winners have won or placed in a Group race at it’s previous start.

The 2010 edition was one by Anacheeva (barrier 1 sat 3rd just behind pace). 2011 Helmet (Barrier 8 but he crossed early to lead field) 2012 All Too Hard (barrier 3 got back a little but came around field on turn in fast run race).

2 of those 3 winners out of Guineas Prelude, the other came via Geoge Main Stakes 4th. Similar for Dissident on Saturday.

Looks a pretty even field with no actual standout which historically might suggest that those in barriers 1-4 could be the ones to have more confidence in. Conversely at first look there seems to be above average speed in this edition so a midfield/backmarker type should get it’s chance and a wide barrier might not be fatal.

Race History (c/. Trackdata)

Favourites < 6/4 have won 3 of 6 events (50%), while Favourites < 5/2 have won 5 of 13 events (40%).

Runners < 4/1 have won 8 of 19 events (40%), while Runners < 8/1 have won 12 of the last 14 events (85%), but 13 of 19 overall (70%)

Runners drawn Barriers 1 to 4 have won 9 of the last 14 events (65%), and 10 of 19 overall (55%).

Runners who had (a) won a Group 1 race during this preparation, or (b) finished 1st or 2nd in either the Guineas Prelude, Stutt Stks, Spring Stks or Stan Fox Stks have won 13 of the last 15 events (85%) – this stat looks a little out of date.

Runners placed in a Group race at their most recent start have won 14 of the last 17 events (85%), and 14 of 19 overall (75%), noting that Starspangledbanner (2009) was desperately unlucky at his last start.

Lead-up Runs

Without a doubt the best guides in recent years since the Prelude became a G3 in 2001 have been:

Prelude – 4 winners and all ran Top 4 in the Prelude

Stutt -2 winners and both won the Stutt

Stan Fox -2 winners and both won that race but only MASQUERADER (5th) comes from the race this time

The Beaten Favs Roll of Honour is littered with Stan Fox winners (5), Stutt winners (3) and Rupert Clark winners and r/up (3)

Barriers

Looking at the winners of the last 15 or so editions double figure gates have not been kind with only freakish performances or freak horses overcoming that handicap (WBGY (11), GOD’S OWN (12) & LONHRO (10). Incidentally all 3 of those were on Dead rated tracks. Trackdata’s stats do need updating but amazingly 13 of the last 18 winners came from 1 to 4.

Speed

Historically the first half mile tends to be run faster, the exceptions being HELENUS, LONHRO and STARSPANGLEDBANNER, the latter being extreme in that they ran a full 3 seconds faster for the last half mile

Position in the Run

The wide gate winners unsurprisingly came from worse than midfield but other than that it’s been a mixed bag though with those 3 exceptions, all those winning on Dead or better have been in the front half of the field at the halfway point.

 

Horse Racing tips and previews will occur across the coming week. Friday (nights), Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday are the most likely days for selections. Any tips on any day will be published by approx 11am.

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Free Preview – NRL Grand Final 2013

 

NRL 2013 – Preview – Grand Final

2013 Individual H2H Game Tips –  132 / 199   66.34%

Roosters

RTP Handicap

Roosters -5.5 v Eagles (market Roosters -2.5)

Key Team Stats

Head to Head: Roosters have won last 3 straight (prior had lost 4 straight)

At Ground:

Roosters have won 4 of their last 4, including 2 games this season

Eagles have won 7 of their last 8, including 1 game at ground this season

Key Finals Stats (with thanks to Mark Hull @footyassist follow Mark on twitter)

           Roosters defence has delivered 20 try less halves season to date, 3 of these have been against the Eagles

–          Over the last 10 years the margin outcomes are split 50/50

–          The 5 x 1-12 margin outcomes have had a total match points average of 27

–          The 5 x 13+ margin outcomes have had a total match points average of 40

–          The Eagles have not been beaten 13+ this season

–          The team to score the last try of the match have been Premiers in 9 of the last 10 Grand Finals

–          The team with a half time lead has won 8 of the last 10 Grand Finals

–          The team to score the first try of the match has won the last 6 Grand Finals, while 75% of teams have won throughout the 2013 season when crossing first.

–          In 6 of the 8 matches during this year’s Final Series the first try has not been scored until after the 8th minute (75%) as opposed to 46% during the regular season

–          A penalty goal has been the first scoring play in 3 of the 8 Finals matches (37.5%) as opposed to 6% during the regular season, interestingly the odds on this play have gone from $13 in Rd 26 to $11 in Week 1 and now down to $7.50 for the GF

–          The side trailing at half time has been restricted to 6 points or less in the second half in the last 10 Grand Finals

 

Game Preview
Roosters v Eagles

And so the big dance has arrived!!

Three weeks ago I suggested that this match up in the opening week of the finals series looked a potential Grand Final preview, and so it was providing for mine the highlight game to date of this finals series with the Roosters coming away with a 4-0 result. Both sides have significant ins here since that last meeting with Waerea-Hargreaves and Cordner for the Roosters and Brett Stewart in for the Eagles.

For mine we have the two best sides of the season meeting in the final title game, arguably the two best defensive and attacking sides – Roosters for 27 pts against 13.5 pts per game, the Eagles 25 pts for and 15.2 pts against per game. Interestingly, it’s often quoted that defence wins September – well in this instance that again rings true as we have the two best defensive teams of season 2013 facing off for the final prize.

And what of their form through this finals series? The Eagles may well hold a slight advantage through a stronger side of the draw (and form line), they are battle hardened off consecutive games and come through Rabbits, Sharks, Roosters (with the Storm and Cowboys in behind this form). The Roosters have had the benefit of a tough first up game through the Eagles, a week off and then a clear points result over the Knights last week.

The Eagles have stood up and been counted when it’s mattered through recent weeks. They bunkered down for the fight through the last 20 minutes against the Sharks when fatigue looked to have them beat and then rose to the occasion against the Rabbits with an amazing second half turn around win.

There is no doubting the quality of their halves, their ability to strike on either side of the field, the quality and speed of their edge shifts and the attack combinations of the Stewart brothers, Cherry-Evans x Lyon x Williams (right) and Foran x Matai x Taufua (left). I do now hold concerns about them being 4th week up and the possible mounting injury and or physical toll, they’ve now lost Fa’asao (thins their bench depth) while Watmough certainly looked a passenger for the most part last week (struggling with a crook ankle injury). Wear and tear impacts on every side through a finals campaign but if Watmough can not play anywhere near his best and or they have a depleted or thinning quality offering off their bench I have no doubt it will weaken them across the distance against a very big and physical opponent.

The Roosters look cherry ripe for their final outing. They have a choice of forward riches and depth up front with at least 13 players to choose from for their final list (more on this in a moment). Like the Eagles they have quality in form halves, classy edge combinations and a back 7 who have strike and points in them. They have on occasions been found out defensively on either edge (Pearce and Kenny-Dowall on their right and Maloney on their left), generally it’s been well managed but if isolated and targeted they do have some issues. Their attack was sharp last week, they played direct and split the Knights 11 times, a confidence building effort in the lead up to the final game.

Both sides play slightly different approaches to their attack. The Roosters like to roll forward with a big physical middle and then play on the back of any momentum or room with more direct shots from the 9, 7 or 6 or edge back rowers. While the Eagles play their yardage game well enough but have a far greater preference toward quick shifts to either edge and provide their wider combinations with greater opportunity to run the ball.

Defensively both sides are obviously very good – as we saw a few weeks ago with their 4-0 contest although the Eagles have since let through 3 tries in each of the following games. The Roosters efforts year to date are somewhat remarkable holding 20 halves of football try less, with three of them being across their last two games.

I have the Roosters marked with two points of advantage –

1/ Their forward size and depth – they have size and muscle to dominate through the middle with a big 4 man middle rotation (JWH, Moa, Nuuausala and either Nappa, O’Donnell or Kennedy) and then a quality list of edge backrowers in SBW, Guerra, Cordner and Aubusson. With Cordner’s likely return they have two key ins in addition to the forward list they played the Eagles with three weeks ago and for mine a heap of depth that will maintain sustained forward pressure deep into the second half.

2/ What should be an advantage of one week’s less wear and tear, and the fact that on the back of this they look on the up and peaking into the final decider.

I have no significant knock on the Eagles, they certainly can win and were only one line break away from the Roosters three weeks ago. But their best is with Watmough at his best (which he hasn’t looked) and I’m concerned at how easily they were able to turn last week’s second half against the Rabbits into a comfortable victory (but, to be fair there can be questions over both contestants second half opponents last week).

Looks a cracking game and match up and we should see a very physical opening 15 minutes. I expect the Roosters power through the middle to prevail, them to have their nose in front into half time and kick clear across the final 15 minutes.

Roosters by 10

Betting Options: There are various options through the Roosters, either at the Line -2.5, Tri Bet over 6.5 or a Margin 1-12. Try scoring options – Jennings as any time try scorer, Tuivasa-Sheck first try scorer. Man Of The Match – my preference (in order) Pearce, Friend, SBW.

 

Enjoy the big dance!!

 

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Bulldogs v Rabbits – NRL Free Game Preview

 

NRL Free Game Preview – Round 4 – Bulldogs v Rabbits – 2013

MrG’s recommended weekly betting plays for the 2013 NRL Season commence from Round 4 onwards, and are listed under “Bet List” in the weekly Preview thread.

Each NRL Weekly Preview thread will open each Wednesday morning and list any early betting plays. It will be updated each day and then detailed game by game Previews, Ratings and final Bet List will be published online by 8am on the morning of the first game of the round.

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Individual Game Tips –  17/24  71%

Eagles, Bulldogs, Storm, Sharks, Titans, Knights, Cowboys, Roosters

Game Preview
Bulldogs v Rabbits
Bulldogs Rabbits
RTP Rating -1
H2H Opened $2.00 $1.85
Line Opened -1.5
Head to Head Won 6 of last 7
At Ground Won 9 of last 10 Won 8 of last 10
Home/Away 90% 80%

 

Homebush: 4.00pm Friday

Be aware that both sides play out of Homebush as their home ground and importantly both sides have excellent records here. It is also of note that the Bulldogs have held a healthy H2H advantage through recent years, winning 6 of the last 7. Major key ins for the Bulldogs with Barba and Pritchard returning. While they may be short of a gallop they’ll strengthen the confidence of everyone around them and both have the quality to make an impact straight up. The Bulldogs lifted for the GF rematch in Melbourne last week. They keep making small steps of improvement and at 1/3 and off a loss I think they’ll again aim up and give this a real shake. I also think their ball shift attack to their edges, especially with the return of Barba will trouble the Rabbits but they are still missing the impact of their two big front rowers who remain out. Through the last two weeks the Sharks and Panthers have looked to move the Rabbits around with a lot of deliberate side to side attack and ball movement, obviously looking to run about and tire their bigger men and open up their defence – and with success. The Sharks looked like they could well have done more than they did (line breaks and scoreboard) while the Panthers gave them a fright and clocked up 32 points. The fact that 6 tries were conceded is a major concern for a potential top of the table team. I’m tipping the Bulldogs here off the back of their record in these big matches when it mattered, last year winning 8/13 against top 8 sides and a GF appearance, whereas the Rabbits although in winning form could only win 6/13 against the best sides in the comp (and come off two finals defeats). Looks a great contest, I lean slightly to the Bulldogs but we’ll learn a lot more from the contest.

Tip: Bulldogs

Last Word: Bulldogs have consistently come up and or won the big games through the last 12 months. The Rabbits are yet to convince us that they can. Great contest, slight lean to Bulldogs given their record.

Betting Interest: Close game, no betting play for mine.

 

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NRL Tips, NRL Selections, NRL Previews, NRL Betting

NRL Preview – Round 3 – 2013

 

NRL Preview – Round 3 – 2013
Storm v Bulldogs
Storm Bulldogs
RTP Rating
H2H Opened $1.22 $4.25
Line Opened -12.5
Head to Head Won 4 of last 5
At Ground Won last 6 straight Lost last 3
Home/Away 79% 75%

 

Melbourne: 8.00pm Thursday

Bellamy and his staff would be giggling at all of the suggestions that due to their UK trip they’d be underdone or suffer jetlag or alike. If ever there was to be a reinforcement of a) the quality of the off season program that they do (I’m regularly told by those in the know it’s one of if not the toughest off season program of any NRL club) and b) the systems and coaching process that they have in place that then delivers the end results that they do, then the last two weeks have provided it. The Storm are up and running, and right now a number of rungs above everyone else. They come off a quality win in Townsville against a legitimate title contender and line up at home for a grand final rematch but such is tempered with the fact of a 5 day turn around off the back of a distant away leg. The Bulldogs defended well in winning over the Eels last week but they are desperately missing their 4 key players who remain out (Kasiano, Graham, Pritchard and Barba). They don’t control the mid field as they normally do nor have the punch forward, Pritchards hit on an edge or the skill and polish of Barba’s classy line break or finishing. Right now there is also not the cohesion. Keatings kicking game needs significant improvement and they could well have had some much better questions asked of their defence by the Eels. Storm back at home should be winning and are priced accordingly but I’d suggest caution playing a 3 try line and expect the normal cohesion with a side off the back of a short turn around, distant away leg and a few days of light training.

Tip: Storm 

Last Word: Right now the Storm look at a different level to everyone else, and they get a significantly weakened opponent at home. 

Betting Interest: I expect the Storm to win but given the circumstances I’m happy to leave the long line alone.

 

Tigers v Eels
Tigers Eels
RTP Rating
H2H Opened $1.65 $2.25
Line Opened -3.5
Head to Head Won 5 of last 6
At Ground Won 3 of last 6 Lost 4 of last 6
Home/Away 67% 12.5%

 

Leichhardt: 7.00pm Friday

Key forward outs for both sides here – Galloway for the Tigers, Maitua for the Eels. Tigers got the job done last week over the Panthers but the form line through either (Tigers or Panthers) doesn’t look all that strong right now (and they’ve come up with a key up front injury which they don’t need), with both sides contributing poor key stats in an error riddled offering. Although not taken advantage of once again the yardage through the Tigers middle was soft which is I’m sure exactly where Stuart will want to play. The Eels plan and structure in general has improved considerably as has their general kicking game and they are playing off better field position more regularly than they have for some years. However, their final 30 metres attack red zone play needs a lot of work. With some brains and execution they could well have beaten the Bulldogs last week. But with Mannah, Moimoi and Lussick they should be able to work their way forward consistently and offer Sandow, Hayne and Paulo some room to play, I’d expect with greater ease than what the Tigers will. Certainly the home and away records here are factors, the Tigers are very good at Leichhardt (and Cambpelltown) while the Eels away record through the last two years has been abysmal but I’m happy to take that risk here and look to the visitors improvement and enthusiasm to be the difference.

Tip: Eels 

Last Word: The Eels have only been winning near 1 in 10 away through recent years and so are again a significant risk, but there has been some positive signs through the last two weeks that they might have the muscle and yardage answers through the middle here to be winning. 

Betting Interest: Play the Eels H2H at around the $2.25.

 

Titans v Sea Eagles
Titans Sea Eagles
RTP Rating
H2H Opened $2.25 $1.65
Line Opened -3.5
Head to Head Won 3 of last 5
At Ground Won 3 of last 5 Won last 2
Home/Away 42% 61%

 

Robina: 5.30pm Saturday

Nice test for the Titans which will tell us much more about the depth of their form. They come off a soft win over the Raiders where they were gifted a mountain of ball and some pathetic defensive offerings as they waltzed through for 36 unanswered points. They had few questions asked of their own defence – the Eagles will be a far different offering. The test here will be a) how they handle are far more physical opponent who will offer them far less room to move, and b) on the back of this how their 9, 7 and 6 then play, as I’d expect that they will be obvious targets. They do have the advantage of an extended home prep and be buoyed by their positive win last week. Right now the Eagles would be clearly marked as the next best behind the Storm off the back of impressive wins through the Broncos and Knights, they have the size and skill through the middle to dominate the advantage line and then the class of Foran and Cherry-Evans to then capatalise, the skill of their kicking game will also see the Titans have to earn field position. The Eagles have been very good away, and even better through the last 12 months with distant road games winning 6 of their last 7, but there remains some injury doubt over Brett Stewart and Matai. The Titans execution and handling struggled against a committed defence two weeks ago (Sharks), I think that’s again the key to this game where I think the Eagles have too many guns.

Tip: Eagles 

Last Word: Right now the Eagles look a key long term contender, we are yet to be convinced where the Titans stand. 

Betting Interest: I’d wait for the final pre game team lists before any betting play, should the Eagles be at or near full strength then I expect them to be covering the single try line.

 

Roosters v Broncos
Roosters Broncos
RTP Rating
H2H Opened $1.55 $2.45
Line Opened -4.5
Head to Head Lost 6 of last 8
At Ground Lost 7 of last 9 Won 4 of last 6
Home/Away 38% 43%

 

SFS: 7.30pm Saturday

The Broncos remain of the road with back to back Sydney away legs and are now to be without key outs of Hodges and McGuire. They carry the advantage of a healthy recent H2H and ‘at ground’ record but right now they look a long way off quality form. Hodges is a key out. He is a class game breaker who has arguably been their best through the last two weeks and whose absence weakens their attack strike power considerably. The Broncos defence was sound last week but let’s put it in context – the Dragons currently can’t buy execution let alone points so although getting through the work well enough there were few questions of quality put to them. The Roosters won what has been a difficult away leg for them for some time (Warriors in NZ) and again showed some positive signs through the first 50 or so minutes (including a 16-0 lead) but again two weeks in a row they have failed to run out a strong final 30 minutes. They do have plenty of size and grunt through the middle (Waerea-Hargreaves, Moa, Nuuausala and Kennedy) through which I’m sure they will look to play and I expect to trouble the Broncos, I also think they’ll target plenty of attack via their favoured left edge (SBW and Jennings) especially now against a weakened Broncos right edge offering missing Hodges. I am seeing upside and improvement in the Roosters through the last two weeks, I’m not so sure about the Broncos (nor a weakened Broncos facing another away leg), look for the Roosters to work them over through the middle then play with some speed and ball play to their edges (in particular to their left).

Tip: Roosters 

Last Word: Home side improving each week, expect then to take a further positive step here. 

Betting Interest: Roosters to cover the line.

 

Sharks v Warriors
Sharks Warriors
RTP Rating
H2H Opened $1.43 $2.85
Line Opened -7.5
Head to Head Won 3 of last 6
At Ground Won 3 of last 7 Lost 5 of last 7
Home/Away 62% 21%

 

Cronulla: 2.00pm Sunday

Lewis a key out for the Sharks but they do look to have stronger depth this year. If the Sharks are anywhere near 70% of their best then they will be winning this, the problem right now as we know is guessing from week to week how they might be faring under the weight of the current ASADA investigations. They showed a preparedness to ball play and or shift the ball to their edges and then return last week against Souths which worked well for them, quickly moving their opponents defence around, opening yardage and defensive holes and playing to their attacking strengths off Carney, Gordon and Graham. A similar approach here would have the Warriors spinning like a top as they do not have the defensive smarts nor structures to handle such a game. I think the final scoreboard flattered the Warriors last week. At 16-0 it could have and probably should have led to another blow out loss. Having saved a little face last week I would not be surprised to see them again drop their guard. The signs are there that the Sharks are committed and working as hard as they can against some very difficult circumstance right now, far more than any of the signs coming out of the Warriors. They get their chance here back at home and should be winning.

Tip: Sharks 

Last Word: Sharks have been rolling their sleeves up, with a similar commitment then they’ll be winning here. 

Betting Interest: I don’t like the Warriors at all, but I also don’t think the Sharks are a betting proposition at present.

 

Panthers v Rabbits
Panthers Rabbits
RTP Rating
H2H Opened $4.50 $1.20
Line Opened -12.5
Head to Head Won 3 of last 6
At Ground Won 3 of last 4 Lost 7 of last 8
Home/Away 39% 50%

 

Penrith: 3.00pm Sunday

Well the market gives you a clear lead as to what looks on offer here. The Panthers have a key out in losing Coote for what looks like the season which will disrupt and weaken their halves combination and blunted their key attacking options. Clearly the market is suggesting that the Panthers formline looks very questionable (Raiders, Tigers) against which I can’t argue. Those games were each of ordinary quality reflected in the poor handling, completions and defensive errors. Interestingly the Rabbits have had a very poor record at this ground, having lost 7 straight prior to their win here last year, they come off a win last Monday night and have the key in of Sam Burgess who’s presence and play will lift them significantly. For mine they bombed 4 opportunities on their left edge against the Sharks and should well have recorded a far more comfortable victory, I’d expect that coach Maguire will make some further adjustments to the attack combinations on their left and be somewhat forceful about the improvement he’d be looking for here. Realistically we have a top 4 contender playing a weakened bottom 4 side, evened up slightly by the venue.

Tip: Rabbits 

Last Word: Rabbits will win, the margin is the question. 

Betting Interest: I expect the Rabbits to cover the line.

 

Raiders v Dragons
Raiders Dragons
RTP Rating
H2H Opened $1.70 $2.15
Line Opened -3.5
Head to Head Won 13 of last 14
At Ground Won last 4 Lost last 10 straight
Home/Away 54% 21%

 

Canberra: 6.30pm Sunday

We have two season to date losers facing up against each other. After two weeks away the Raiders will welcome their first formal home game, and given their poor form what better than that of playing the side who has been your “bunny” for years. The lopsided advantage that the Raiders have held over the Dragons is quite amazing, they’ve won 13 of their last 14 H2H while the Dragons have lost their last 10 straight games in Canberra, now that’s what we might call “owning” someone. The Raiders were ordinary first up against the Panthers, then disgraceful against the Titans, all of which smells of attitude issues, we’d be only guessing if we thought any sort of shake up this week and or the fact of playing at home might well help them. The Dragons have their own problems, they had enough ball and field position to win 2 games last week, their line break and attack options are terrible, they too have a terrible away record (3 wins from their last 14 away starts) let alone the record of playing against the Raiders or at this ground. At least with the Raiders one knows that they do have upside in them, I’m not sure that the same can be said about the Dragons. Going with the home side on trust.

Tip: Raiders 

Last Word: Raiders have ‘owned’ the Dragons H2H for some time, and in particular at this Ground. 

Betting Interest: No, two losers H2H is not a place to play.

 

Knights v Cowboys
Knights Cowboys
RTP Rating
H2H Opened $1.90 $1.90
Line Opened -1.5
Head to Head Lost 3 of last 4
At Ground Won 4 of last 6 Won last 2 (4 from7)
Home/Away 46% 60%

 

Newcastle: 7.00pm Monday

Somewhat a rollercoaster ride through the opening two weeks for both sides, credible in not impressive wins first up followed by disappointing (Cowboys) if not very poor (Knights) results in round 2. The Knights also looked to have picked up a few key injuries which won’t help them short term, in particular with the loss of Gagai. The Knights problem through the last 12 months has been measuring up when it mattered against the contenders of the competition, especially when away, again shown up when trampled at Brookvale last Monday night. They will improve back at home but they’ll need to improve how they handle things through the middle considerable if they are to compete here. The Cowboys weren’t that far off the Storm for good periods of that game last week, they also made numerous line breaks and off loads and had at least 4 near try scoring opportunities, most of which was not reflected on the scoreboard, so the quality of what they were offering was ok, and thorough an impressive formline. Much like the Eagles they will come at the Knights with size and power through the middle, while I’m sure Thurston will also look to target the Knights right edge defence which has looked decidedly suspect through periods of the last two weeks (and from which they now lose Gagai). Cowboys road record has been very good, they’ve also won 7 of their last 13 distant games and their last two at the ground, I think they’ll win here.

Tip: Cowboys 

Last Word: The Storm formline will be strong, Cowboys weren’t that far away last week and can bounce back here. 

Betting Interest: Cowboys H2H

 

Individual Game Tips

Storm, Eels, Sea Eagles, Roosters, Sharks, Rabbits, Raiders, Cowboys

Interests

I won’t be firing a serious bullet till round 4 or 5 but for those looking for an interest this week I’d suggest these –

–          Eels – H2H, get their chance to break through on the road

–          Roosters – Line -4.5, at home, weakened opponent

–          Rabbits – to cover the line v Panthers

–          Cowboys – H2H, like the formline, will be keen to atone

RTP Ratings

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NRL Tips, NRL Selections, NRL Previews, NRL Betting

NRL Preview – Round 1 – 2013

 

NRL Preview – Round 1 – 2013

As always with Round 1 we are guessing to a large degree what the form and match ups might really look like. We have 4 new coaches (Roosters, Eels, Warriors and Tigers) and a host of player movements right across all 16 teams, in all reality it will take some weeks before and real form is exposed. But that won’t dampen our enthusiasm to have the footy back and the opening round upon us!!

2013 Season Preview – if you haven’t seen the detailed (19 pages) season preview it’s available here

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Roosters v Rabbitohs

Moore Park: 8.00pm Thursday

Roosters likely to be without Cordner and O’Donnell. SBW will play off the bench and they’ll play with key changes to their line up and patterns of play with a new coach and the inclusions of Maloney, Jennings and SBW. Rabbits welcome the return of Asotasi , Champion and the inclusion of T’eo. There is obviously plenty of arch rival history between these two sides, Roosters have won 4 of their last 6 H2H games and their recent record at home is a poor 2/7 however longer term their best form has been here. The Rabbits come off a successful season last year with a top 4 and semi final finish. Their recent record here is 3/7. From what little we have seen through the recent trials the Roosters look to be prepared to play a more mobile and up tempo game style. Maloney will prove a quality buy and offer them greater options in attack and a suitable pairing for Pearce while Jennings’ speed and step will be welcomed down their left edge. Discipline and basic error cruelled the Roosters more times than not in 2012. Let’s wait and see what and or how this might have changed. The Rabbits will be looking to pick up from where they left off last season, they have a stack of size and grunt and will look to play a power game through the middle. T’eo is class and will add some quality ball play to their right edge which will be a welcome foil for Inglis and Sutton who favour their play to the left. Roosters may need some time – a new coach, patterns of play and personal but I expect that they’ll be here to give this a real shake, Rabbits hard to go past on the back of list strength and combination, Inglis the obvious game breaker.    

Tip: Rabbits 

Last Word: Cracking game to open the season. Think it will be closer than many think, lean to Rabbits with their settled combinations. 

Betting Interest: No thanks, happy to just enjoy that the footy’s back!!   

 

Broncos v Sea Eagles

Suncorp: 7.00pm Friday

Broncos at home on a Friday night. Who’d have thought that! Prince is a key buy for the Broncos and should strengthen their direction, kicking game and short attack options especially down his favoured left edge. The Eagles look a work in progress here, they have made major rotations and changes (approx 14 players) to their top 25 list but more importantly will be without King and Glenn Stewart with whispers about to suggest that Brett Stewart is also very doubtful. The Eagles have near “owned” the Broncos through the last 4 or 5 seasons, they’ve won 8 of their last 10 H2H and won 5 of the last 6 H2H at the ground. They’ve also been very good on the road for distant games winning 5/6 last season, but they will play here with at least 4 if not 5 “new” list players. I’d expect Griffin to reshuffle his starting line up and push Thaiday back to the back row and his favoured right edge, with Hannant to start. Nice test for the Broncos first up at home, especially off the back of their very poor finish to last year when they limped in and then out of the finals. The use and combinations of Prince, Wallace and Norman will be key, while the Eagles will look to Cherry-Evans, Foran and Lyon. The Hodges v Matai match up won’t lack energy. Eagles look under strength with key outs, new faces and a 3 week break from their last trial, Broncos get their chance for a positive start at home. 

Tip: Broncos 

Last Word: Broncs look settled and fresh. Prince a key inclusion. Eagles key outs and new combinations. 

Betting Interest: Broncos H2H will be one of the best backed this week.  

 

Eels v Warriors

Parramatta: 5.30pm Saturday

Two sides with significant chances through the off season, including two new coaches (Stuart and Elliott). I think longer term both sides could well figure as bottom 4 contenders so it will be interesting to see what unfolds here first up. The Eels have new signing Lussick starting and have gone with Kelly at 6. The Warriors have Johnson in doubt while new buys Nielsen and Lowrie will play. The Eels only play 8 games at their true home venue (Parra Stadium) this season (only 9 last year) which negates a longer term advantage they have held with any winning form having been at this venue. They have won 4 of their last 6 here but only 2 of their last 8 H2H. The Warriors are 3 from their last 4 at the ground but have a shocking recent away record to overcome winning only 3 of 13 on the road last season. Defensive combination and attitude would have been Stuart’s key focus through the off season on the back of leaking 28 points a week. Now under game pressure we’ll start to see if and what changes have been made. Stuart is also a noted motivator for one off events and I’d suspect that he’ll have his team very pumped to start well here and in no need of having the dressing room doors opened for them. What to make of the Warriors? Johnson would be a key out and the halves combinations an obvious issue. They too have had some major defensive problems through the last 12 months, in particular down either outside edge. Going with Eels at home but this looks to be one game where we really need to wait and see what’s on offer from two new coaches.  

Tip: Eels 

Last Word: Eels at home, but nothing would surprise. 

Betting Interest: Don’t even think about it!  

 

Bulldogs v Cowboys

Gosford: 7.30pm Saturday

Bulldogs have a great record at Homebush but have chosen to move this game to Gosford. Numerous obvious questions over the Bulldogs with Barba not playing – they will also be without Graham, Kasiano and Pritchard – key outs up front especially against a big physical side like the Cowboys. As is well documented, Barba either scored or was involved in 50% of all of the Bulldogs scoring plays last season. His out is significant and will certainly change how they might attack. We’ll have to wait and see what and how that unfolds. Both Graham and more so Kasiano also offered both yardage and ball play which will also change how they might look to play these opening weeks. The Cowboys are another who look settled and ready to kick on from where they finished late last yr, they have two international big boppers up front, plenty of size and grunt behind them (and to their edge) and make no bones about the fact that they like to steamroll forward to allow Thurston and Bowen room to then play. Their recent away record is much better than many think (8/14 last year) although they have lost their last 5 games straight H2H vs Bulldogs. Great clash, numerous questions to be answered especially those about the Dogs attack, I like the Cowboys first up with the size and power game through the middle to trouble their opponents.

Tip: Cowboys 

Last Word: Power through the middle looks the key, question over Bulldogs attack and points? 

Betting Interest: If you wanted to play Cowboys look a nice interest. 

 

Panthers v Raiders

Penrith: 2.00pm Sunday

Panthers are another with a major list overhaul with some 14 or 15 new buys, 6 of them likely to play here first up including key forwards Manu, Brown and Segeyaro and the skillful Whare at fullback. Given such major change it’s going to take a few weeks to watch and work out Cleary’s intentions and more so the quality of that on field execution. I like Cleary as a coach and although it might take a few more years of development I’m sure that he is on the right track (franked by his record at the Warriors). Walsh, Coote and Whare will need to step up, Segeyaro will offer plenty of spark when he plays at 9. Raiders have a number of players in doubt (or are playing games), Dugan, Croker and Robinson supposedly yet to pass fitness tests. Where do we place them? Is it off the back of their enthusiastic and attacking run home into the finals last year? Surely we’d also have to expect they would have grown in combination and confidence off the back of that experience, but the Raiders of old have made a habit of under performing just when you think they might be on the up. I’m going with them on the back of confidence and combination, but I do expect the Panthers to be up and ready to play. Interesting clash.  

Tip: Raiders 

Last Word: backing the Raiders confidence and enthusiasm first up, but a game with more questions than answers. 

Betting Interest: Pass.  

 

Storm v Dragons

Melbourne: 3.00pm Sunday

Storm once again look the obvious here. Defending premiers marked a very short quote first up at home. Not only have the Storm been leaders on the park but their off season preparation has also become a benchmark for most to follow so I see the recent UK club challenge trip far less a hurdle for them than most and with 11 days back in Melbourne to prepare for this I expect little downside. They have again made their new home venue a fortress winning 11 of 14 here last season, I’d be staggered if they were upset here. I want to see what the Dragons really have to offer through the opening weeks, but right now there list on paper looks thin on quality, depth and in particular a quality game breaker.  Worst still they have had a shocking recent away record, losing 3 of 13 on the road last year, and coming up with zero from 4 when interstate. Hard to see anything else but the professional Storm back in their groove at home.

Tip: Storm 

Last Word: Hard to see anything but the obvious, Storm by a margin. 

Betting Interest: A two try line against the Storm doesn’t seem a hurdle for mine.  

 

Sharks v Titans

Cronulla: 6.30pm Sunday

Gee if we were guessing into many for these games for round 1, what on earth do we make of this on a Thursday morning? I’d expect the Sharks to play as named, but that’s  a guess, as would be what sort of mindset they might well be in given all of the current dramas that they are working through. It may well unite them for a major stand. It may well be too much of a burden. Some may not play and we won’t know until Sunday afternoon. I have a set against the Titans long term this season, but they get their chance here fresh and first up to put their hand up. They have named probably their strongest line up possible, have plenty of size, how they then use that and their attack will be most interesting. It’s a fact that sides with rookie 9’s, 7’s and 6’s just don’t keep winning at this level week in week out so I am also very interested to see how they combine and play. Titans have a poor longer term road record, but if ever they got their chance…

Tip: Titans 

Last Word: Who knows what might unfold between now and Sunday? Titans might get their chance. 

Betting Interest: No thanks, let’s just watch and learn.  

 

Knights v Tigers

Newcastle: 7.00pm Monday

If they can keep their list available (given all the other goings on right now) I like the look of the Knights this year and expect them to give the top 4 a real shake. The Master Coach has now had a year to mould things for this year, from preparation to playing list and he’s left no stone unturned it would appear stamping his want on all of this. He has bought well in particular with hard men Scott and Smith (themselves Bennett men) and importantly they get Gidley back. I also expect them to play off a strong home base with 30,000 odd supporters more often than not and what was once a home ground fortress to again return to being such this season. The Tigers, Potter is a positive, he can coach and has an excellent UK record, I’m sure he’ll also look to tighten up their attack and errors. My concern through the last 12 months and again reinforced through recent trials is the lack of size and grunt that they have through their middle, often being trampled and or opened up at will. Ellis and Heighington are key exits and so a lot of responsibility looks likely to be shouldered by a few and or the expectation of a few youngsters stepping up. The Tigers have also been poor away through recent years, 6 from 16 last season and had their pants well and truly pulled down by the Knights in this game at Newcastle mid last year. I like the Knights at home, lots to watch and review about both.

Tip: Knights 

Last Word: I’m sure the Knights will test the middle then use their edge speed and skill. 

Betting Interest: If I had to I’d be on the Knights but lets just see what’s on offer.  

Interests

I won’t be firing a serious bullet till round 4 or 5 as with so many changes across all 16 clubs I want to see the new offerings, changes and what form is starting to be disclosed before we play.

But given the level of interest and enquiry, for those who’d like to have a play this week if pressed I’d nominate the following for you to work around.

–          Broncos at home, Eagles look under strength and possibly underdone, play the H2H and short Line

–          Cowboys look a nice gamble either way H2H or Line, look likely to get the Bulldogs at the right time

–          Storm look the winner, look to play them via the Line or Tri bet options (over 7.5) and spec the 13+

 

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NRL Tips, NRL Selections, NRL Previews, NRL Betting