NRL Preview: Rabbitohs v Broncos

NRL Preview
South Sydney Rabbitohs v Brisbane Broncos

Saturday, July 16, 7.30pm (AEST), ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Best Bet: Brisbane -4.5 ($1.90)
Other:  Brisbane HT/FT ($2.05)
Ben Hunt First Try ($17.00)

Two teams dreadfully out of form, South Sydney and Brisbane find themselves in a must-win situation when they meet at ANZ. For the Rabbitohs, it is all about dignity and the small hope of sneaking into the Top 8. For the Broncos, premiership favourites not that long ago, it is about keeping touch with the Top 4.

Selection Notes
George Burgess replace Tasi Tasi on the bench in Souths’ only changes. Sam Thaiday and Jordan Kahu return for Brisbane. Kodi Nikorima is out hurt. Souths have just Greg Inglis on Origin duty while Brisbane have a contingent of six that includes Corey Parker, Sam Thaiday, Josh McGuire, Matt Gillett, Corey Oates and Darius Boyd.

Origin Period Stats

The Broncos have won 23 of 33 all-time against the Rabbitohs and despite Souths putting together four on end between 2013 and 2015, Brisbane have won the last two convincingly. The teams met in Sydney in Round 25 last year with the Broncos winning 47-12 before winning 30-8 in Brisbane in Round 8. The teams have typically played high-scoring matches with the last seven all topping 38 points. Souths have won the two matches played between the teams at ANZ by margins of 20 (2006) and 26 (2014). Greg Inglis has scored 7 tries in his last 5 games against Brisbane while Ben Hunt has scored 4 tries in his last 2 games against the Bunnies. Broncos centre James Roberts debuted for Souths.

NRL betting odds database

South Sydney have been in awful form and are anchored in 12th place on the ladder with a 5-11 record and a -62 differential that ranks 11th in the NRL. The Rabbitohs have the 11th ranked attack and 13th ranked defence and have won just 1 of their last 5. Since Round 13 Souths have the second worst attack (16ppg) and the third worst defence (27.4ppg). They have conceded 20-plus in 10 straight games. Brisbane are down to sixth on the NRL ladder with a 9-7 record and a +79 differential. They rank sixth in both attack and defence. They have won just 1 of their last 6 though against teams outside the Top 8 they are 6-2 in 2016. They have conceded 40-plus in their last two.

Round 19 NRL Odds

Key Matchup
Sam Burgess v Corey Parker. Burgess is a legitimate superstar but he has struggled for both form and fitness of late with just one of his last four matches topping 110m. He has just three tries all year and without much support has struggled to assert his dominance. Parker has continued to rack up the run metres and has the most dangerous offload of any forward. He will be crucial to setting up second-phase play for Brisbane.

Stats That Matter
South Sydney are the worst cover team in the premiership with a 5-11 ATS record while they are 10-6 over. Brisbane are 7-9 ATS with an 8-8 total number. The Broncos have won and covered just two of their last six at ANZ while Souths are 18-26 ATS at the ground since 2013, covering just 2 of their last 9 at the venue. As an outsider at the ground, Souths are 1-4 ATS with a 4-1 over record. Brisbane have gone over in 5 of their last 7 as an interstate favourite while they are 8-7 ATS when the elect. Brisbane have covered 4 of their last 6 on a rest of 11-plus days. Brisbane have covered 8 of their last 10 off two straight losses while road faves of 4.5 or more off two losses are 17-14 ATS. Home underdogs off single digits are 31-16 ATS since 2013 but just 6-5 ATS this year. The under drops from 53% to 47% during the Origin period and is 15-27 this year. Favourites during the Origin period cover 55% of matches compared to 47% during the rest of the regular season and this season are 22-20 ATS.

In-Play Stat
Souths are 1-11 when trailing at the break. Brisbane are 9-2 when leading at halftime.

Behind The Curtains

Final Thoughts
Brisbane should start to settle down now the Origin period has come to a close and if they are remotely back in form they will embarrass South Sydney. The Rabbitohs are an utter mess at the moment and Brisbane have the talent and capability to run in a huge score here. There are some angles supporting the Broncos here and playing against Souths has been profitable all year.

How It’s Shaping Up
Brisbane by 12

Best Bet
Brisbane -4.5 ($1.90)

Best Exotic
Brisbane HT/FT ($2.05)

Best First/Last Tryscorer
Ben Hunt ($17.00)

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