It’s going to be another fantastic round for the NRL as the regular season heads into the final two weeks. Many of the top teams should have an easy go of it this round as they face off against some of the lower ranked teams. However, all eyes will certainly be on the number seven and eight ranked Warriors and Broncos as they face off in an all important match.
There’s been plenty of discussion surrounding key Broncos’ player Darren Locker. The veteran captain went out in round 22 with an injury to his ribs, and the Broncos haven’t fared well since. They’ve suffered two consecutive losses against the Eels and Knights. While their successes of the season put them in good shape for a Top 4 finish, the two most recent losses have put the team in a tough position. They’re facing a must win situation in this round’s match against the Warriors as a loss could see them dropping all the way down to 11th.
The Warriors are facing a similar conundrum as a loss in this game could see them dropping to number 9. They had a big loss to Manly last week, which put the team on shaky ground. They too are looking at a must win match if they want to secure their position within the Top 8. They too are going into this one with a man down as Michael Luck is out due to a horrendous leg cut in last week’s disappointing loss. Nevertheless, the Warriors are going into this rivalry match with confidence.
They’re the match favourites. Not only do they have the home ground advantage, but with Brisbane’s captain still riding the injury list, many are predicting a defining moment for the Warriors. If they can pull out a win it will see them through to September. It will also be the completion of a major turn around from last year’s train wreck of a season. However, the Broncos have been a staple in the NRL finals since 1991. Fans and punters are hoping that the chance of missing the playoffs for the first time in nearly 20 years will light a fire under this struggling team. History is on their side as they’ve won 16 of the 26 matches played against the Warriors. Do they have enough in the tank to make it number 17 and save their season?
Watch for the Broncos to take full advantage of New Zealand’s tendency to rack up penalties while the Warriors show off their stellar kicking abilities. The Warriors are listed as 1.52 favourites at Ladbrokes.com.au. The Broncos are 2.60 underdogs. Get to Ladbrokes.com.au right away to put down your last minute wager because it’s going to be the match to watch in a round filled with some stunners. Here’s a look at the rest of the matchups in round 25 (head-to-head odds courtesy of Ladbrokes.com.au):
|27/08/10||South Sydney Rabbitohs (2.50) v Parramatta Eels (1.55)||ANZ Stadium||07:35pm|
|27/08/10||New Zealand Warriors (1.52) v Brisbane Broncos (2.60)||Mt Smart Stadium||08:05pm|
|28/08/10||Cronulla Sharks (2.82) v Gold Coast Titans (1.45)||Toyota Stadium||05:30pm|
|28/08/10||New Castle Knights (2.40) v St George Dragons (1.60)||Energy Australia Stadium||07:30pm|
|28/08/10||Canberra Raiders (1.11) v North Queensland Cowboys (7.00)||Canberra Stadium||07:30pm|
|29/08/10||Wests Tigers (1.45) v Melbourne Storm (2.82)||Leichhardt Oval||02:00pm|
|29/08/10||Sydney Roosters (1.57) v Manly Sea Eagles (2.45)||Sydney Football Stadium||03:00pm|
|30/08/10||Canterbury Bulldogs (2.65) v Penrith Panters (1.50)||ANZ Stadium||07:00pm|