NRL 2008 ~ Round 3 Preview (March 28 – 31)

28 03 2008

What a shocker last week. If you followed my advice you would have only got two from eight in your tipping comp. This week throws up some more close calls with another QLD derby thrown into the mix.

Round 2 results:
Broncos 20 def Roosters 14
Bulldogs 25 def Rabbitohs 12
Raiders 20 def Panthers 16
Knights 13 def Sea Eagles 12
Tigers 30 def Cowboys 10
Warriors 30 def Eels 16
Sharks 17 def Storm 16
Dragons 30 def Titans 12

Round 3:
Eels vs Knights
With Tim Smith and Nathan Hindmarsh returning to the side, the Eels should be much better performed especially defensively. They missed 47 tackles last week against the Warriors so will need to improve drastically.

The Knights have uncovered another great your half in Scott Dureau, and in tandem with Jarrod Mullen they have a new halves pairing that will win them another premiership in a couple of years. Dureau looked like a veteran in the way he ordered his forwards around and was dead calm under pressure to kick the deciding field goal.
Eels by 4

Broncos vs Cowboys
Brisbane have come out firing with their new look side and have hardly been challenged. Full back Karmichael Hunt beat a charge at the judiciary this week for a mistimed shoulder charge and will play.

The Cowboys have started poorly, turning over too much possession to be a threat to anyone. Had the Tigers beaten last week until they started dropping the ball. Can’t do that at this level and expect to win games.
Broncos by 14

Late news sees Karmichael Hunt and Darren Lockyer succembing to injuries and not playing.
Cowboys by 8?

Roosters vs Storm
Roosters looked like backing up for two wins in a row when the led the Broncos 14 – 8 at half time last weekend. As with the Cowboys though, poor handling ended up as their down fall. If they control possession they will go close to winning.

Storm suffered a shock loss to the Sharks last weekend and will be without Brett White, suspended for 4 weeks for striking. Adam Blair takes his place in the front row so no big loss really. Will need to make more meters this week though.
Storm by 8

Raiders vs Dragons
Raiders put in a gutsy effort last week to beat the Panthers after being 2 men in the second half down due to injury. They missed just 9 tackles and completed 76% of their sets.

Dragons only missed 18 tackles and completed 83% for the match. The two props, Justin Poore and Dan Hunt, and second rower Beau Scott made around 25% of the total meters gained making lots of room forthe likes of Mark Gasnier and wingers Josh Morris and Jason Nightingale.
Dragons by 18

Titans vs Sharks

Titans will welcome their return to their home ground after hinting their poor away form last year is set to continue. Luke Bailey and Anthony Laffranchi were the only real shining lights for a disappointing Gold Coast side who missed a massive 48 tackles.

Sharks continued their early form with a gutsy win against Melbourne in the hardest away fixture in the competition. Ben Ross is out for 7 weeks after a high shot on Cooper Cronk but his place is taken by the reliable Adam Peek. At the time of his send off he’d made 95 meters. A huge effort from their forwards ensured the win.
Sharks by 10

Panthers vs Rabbitohs
Panthers last week lost the plot against injury hit Raiders and completed less than 50% of their second half sets. Were absolutely appalling and after leading 16 – 14 at half time, really should have run away with the game in the second half. Captain Petero Civoniceva put in a super effort playing only 53 minutes but still ran 14 times for 138m.

Rabbitohs are another side that led at half time, 12 – 6 against the Bulldogs, only to get run down in the second half. Again it was simply a matter of poor ball handling and bad defence. Fortunately this weeks opposition are below standard.
Rabbitohs by 20

Bulldogs vs Tigers
Bulldogs best player, Sonny Bill Williams returns from injury this weekend and will be a real bonus for the Bulldogs. An 80% completion rate in the second half last week certainly aided their win. Will compete well.

Tigers defence held up last week against a Cowboys barrage in the first 20 -30 minutes last Saturday and they will be looking to build on that effort. With the hard work done they extended their half time 14 – 4 lead to run out comfortable winners. Barn storming winger Taniela Tuiaki is back in the side – look for him to come in to take pressure off his forwards. Tim Moltzen played well last week in only his second game and continues to look a great prospect.
Tigers by 12

Sea Eagles vs Warriors
Last years runners up are looking to be one of this years also-rans based on early form. Should have won their first two matches this season and were beaten in extra time last week by a resurgent Knights outfit in a come from behind thriller. Match stats suggest they just choked.

Warriors win was due to a dominant performance in the back line. Often struggle away from home and will be without captain Steve Price due to injury. Should struggle with the Sea Eagles looking to regain some form at home.
Sea Eagles by 8

For friendly, informative but often biased Rugby League chat, I recommend The Ampitheatre

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One response

1 04 2008
Big Al

Close game…Eels had better get their act together if they want to be considered at the end of the season…I hardly knew any of the Knights names,,against an Eels team that have been together for a while…And it all came down to a field goal war at the end..
The Dragons woulda carved them up !!!!!!

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