|Match Preview||Recommended Bets|
|North Queensland Cowboys v South Sydney Rabbitohs
Saturday, May 19, 5:30pm (AEST)
1300SMILES Stadium, Townsville
|Best: South Sydney -2 ($1.91)
Value: South Sydney 1-12 ($3)
First Tryscorer: Cody Walker ($15)
It’s hard to believe that the Cowboys currently sit 14th on the NRL competition ladder, but that’s the predicament facing Paul Green’s men. They looked off the pace in last week’s loss to the Tigers and will need a big form reversal if they are to challenge the high-flying Rabbitohs. It’s mind-boggling that the Cowboys have named the same 1-17 which loss to the Tigers, so expect some late changes. The Rabbitohs were ultra-impressive in dismantling the front-running Dragons last week, but this looms as a massive danger game and they’ll need to be wary of an ambush by the home side.
North Queensland are down to 14th on the ladder following a 20-12 road loss to the Wests Tigers. The Cowboys rank 14th in scoring and 11th in defence. The Cowboys have conceded 18 or more in eight of 10 games this year. The Cowboys have been held to 14 points or fewer in six of their last eight. Souths enter this off a red-hot 24-10 win over competition leaders St George Illawarra, a super impressive victory. Souths have now won their last two and six of their last eight to ascend to fifth on the ladder. They rank third in scoring and sixth in defence. The Bunnies have scored at least 20 in seven of their last eight.
Jason Taumalolo v Sam Burgess: Expect fireworks when these two powerhouses clash in the middle of the field. Taumalolo was one of the Cowboys best in a beaten side against the Tigers last week and has been doing everything in his power to get the Cowboys’ season on track. Sam Burgess made a strong return against the Dragons and more importantly kept on the good side of the referees. The Rabbitohs pack is flying and will relish the challenge against the Cowboys pack, with Sammy B leading the charge!
Stats That Matter
– North Queensland are 3-7 ATS with a 5-5 total number while Souths are an NRL-best 8-2 ATS with a 5-5 total record.
– The Cowboys have won four straight and eight of their last nine against the Rabbitohs.
– The Cowboys have won five of the last six against the Rabbitohs in Townsville.
– The last three matches have tallied 33 points or fewer.
– The Cowboys are 20-23 ATS with a 26-17 under record at home since 2015 while they are 1-5 ATS with a 4-2 under record as an underdog at the ground.
– The Cowboys are 8-4 ATS with an 8-4 under record at home off scoring 12 or fewer while they are 9-12 ATS with a 15-6 under record after conceding 20 or more.
– Souths have covered just 2 of their last 8 interstate games.
– The over is 9-4 when Souths are interstate since 2015.
– The Rabbitohs have covered five straight away from ANZ.
– Souths have covered 6 of their last 9 as a favourite of less than a converted try.
There’s no denying that the statistics favour the Cowboys when it comes to recent clashes against the Rabbitohs, but how do you back against the Bunnies in their current form? The Rabbitohs are playing an expansive style of football which will stretch the aging Cowboys, while the Souths forward pack is becoming one of the most dominant in the NRL. The Cowboys have been hammered in the media, and The Wolf is expecting a more determined effort than what they dished up against the Tigers, but can’t touch the Cowboys until they show more and decide to make changes to their side.
How It’s Shaping Up
South Sydney by 4