|Match Preview||Recommended Bets|
|Wests Tigers v Sydney Roosters
Saturday, March 10, 4:30pm (AEDT)
ANZ Stadium, Sydney
|Best: Over 43.5 ($1,88)
Value: Sydney 1-12 ($3)
First Tryscorer: Daniel Tupou ($10)
The Tigers have been one of the most active sides over the off-season, with six players set to make their club debuts against the Roosters on Saturday. Coach Ivan Cleary is cracking the whip early and has made sure every player knows they’re on notice if their form doesn’t justify first grade selection. The biggest shock is the exclusion of David Nofoaluma from the Top 17. This match also marks the return of James Tedesco to take on his former club. He was a one-man show in Tigertown during his time with Wests and will no doubt relish the greener pastures of Bondi, especially playing alongside fellow new Roosters recruit, Cooper Cronk. The Roosters have the wood over the Tigers, but will a blowout be on the cards first-up?
The Wests Tigers defeated North Queensland 30-16 before going down to Cronulla 24-12. Recruit Corey Thompson crossed in both games. The Sydney Roosters went down to Penrith 30-18 in their opening trial sans star recruits James Tedesco and Cooper Cronk before prevailing over Manly 28-26 when the duo shone bright.
Tuimoala Lolohea v James Tedesco: It’s been a tough off-season for Lolohea. He was dropped to the Wests Magpies for the final trial of the pre-season and has unfair expectations on him, with many Tigers fans wanting him to fill the void left by Tedesco. It’s simply not going to happen! Instead, it will be up to Lolohea to focus on his strong running game and push up along the inside of both Luke Brooks and Josh Reynolds to provide support. Meanwhile, Tedesco can expect plenty of attention from Tigers fans, but it won’t worry the NSW fulback. He had 153 tackle-breaks for the Tigers in 2017, yet only scored the five tries. He is set for a massive season at the Roosters and would love to hit the ground running against his former club.
Stats That Matter
– The Roosters have won 10 straight and 14 of their last 15 against the Tigers.
– Nine of those 10 consecutive wins have come by 14-plus with the Chooks posting an average score of 38.5 in those victories.
– Nine of the last 10 matches have topped 40 points.
– Home underdogs of 4.5 or more in the first four rounds of the year are 34-11 ATS, one of the best angles in the NRL.
– Those getting a start of 8 or more are a perfect 6-0 ATS with four outright wins.
– The Tigers are 13-10 ATS since 2013 as a home underdog of more than 4.5 points.
– The Tigers are 17-12 ATS at ANZ since ’14, covering 8 of their last 11 at the ground.
– The Roosters are 5-5 ATS at ANZ since 2014 but have failed to win or cover a day game.
– The Roosters are 22-29 ATS away from Allianz including a 12-19 ATS record as a favourite away from their home ground.
Everything points to the Roosters winning this by a cricket score when you compare the team line-ups. However, The Wolf is banking on the Roosters being a little rusty, while the likes of Cronk and Tedesco work out their combinations with other members of the side. The Tigers know exactly where they stand with coach Ivan Cleary and should come out with a motivated performance, knowing that a poor effort will see them shaking hands with Magpies coach Brett Hodgson. The Wolf is leaning to the overs as the play here. Nine of the last 10 matches have topped 40 points. The Roosters have strike weapons across the park, while the Tigers are set to play a more expansive brand of football this season.
How It’s Shaping Up
Sydney by 8