As we pass the halfway point of the 2011 NRL season the contenders have sorted themselves out from the pretenders at either end of the scale and as usual there is a log jam developing around the cut off point for the finals.
Those who bet on the likes of St George, Manly and Brisbane at the start of the year are feeling very happy while Canberra Fans and those to the west of Sydney are scratching their heads over what went wrong.
To clear things up a bit let’s have a look at the current state of your team in the 2011 NRL Premiership and see how they’re shaping up for the rest of the year.
Remember that the closer we get to the finals the more the tops teams will shorten in the betting markets so if you’re yet to back your team show some faith at the better value odds right now.
The best thing of all is that at Luxbet you can make a bet on your team risk free with a bonus bet worth up to $400!
All you need to do is register an account with Luxbet using the code BONUSBET and your initial deposit will be matched dollar for dollar.
It really is that easy to support your club and potentially even earn yourself a juicy reward at the same time!
2011 NRL Premiership Outlook
St George – $3.50 bet now at Luxbet
The premiership favourites and with good reason after showing a continuous professional edge over their opponents. The easily field the most players during the 2011 State Of Origin series and their younger crop of talent has filled in valiantly when required.
They’ve got the best coach in the game and as long as Jamie Soward stays fit their game of possession and field position will continue to strangle the opposition out of the contest.
Having said that they have shown signs of weakness of late after drawing with the low running Eels and falling to Brisbane last week. While it’s certainly not panic stations they are nowhere near as far ahead as they were last year and aren’t a sure thing.
Manly – $4.50 bet now at Luxbet
Surprises of 2011 after quietly going about their business for much of the year and sneaking up on a new teams early. Des Hasler would claim they’re going ‘under the radar’ but they’ve well and truly been spotted now with some big bets on them to land the 2011 Premiership.
The key to their side is the discovery of Daly Cherry-Evans in the halves, an unheralded Queensland Cup player who has risen to test level in less than half a year. As long as the forwards can keep aiming up they will continue, only question would be depth if injuries strike.
Melbourne – $6.00 bet now at Luxbet
Seems like pretty good odds for a team that knows how to win a grand final even if they were later stripped from them in the biggest scandal in rugby league history. Fact is the players know how to win and so does the coach and they certainly have the cavalry to get it done.
No other side can boast the likes of Smith, Slater and Cronk and while that combination remains they can beat any side in the comp. The difference between Melbourne this year though is probably their ruthlessness, they struggle to really put a team away when they’re on top. In fact regardless of where their opposition is on the table it seems to always be a tight game, while they’re winning that’s ok but it’s not an ideal scenario.
Brisbane – $9.00 bet now at Luxbet
Many said 2011 was going to be about ‘rebuilding’ at the Brisbane Broncos and that they should be preparing for life after Lockyer. Well as far as he’s concerned 2011 is about winning a premiership and his team’s coming along for the ride.
They can match it with anyone and when they get it right they can look really good. What they need though is a consistent playing group, plenty of chopping and changing as occurred due to origin and injury. The young players are the best in the league but Lockyer can’t do things all on his own. Wallace has been poor this year, his kicking game horrible at times. If they’re going to win he needs to improve a lot.
West Tigers – $11 bet now at Luxbet
They are fifth in the market but only due to promise not performance. If you were marking them off what you’ve seen they may as well be 100 to 1.
Nobody has ever doubted the Tigers ability but at time they are the most frustrating team in the game. Stupid decision at crucial moments and schoolboy errors detract from what can at time be such a brilliant side. Marshall has shown that the big mistake is still in his game just as much as the big play. They need to smarten up if they want to be genuine.
North QLD – $13 bet now at Luxbet
Talk about a turnaround, North QLD have gone from nowhere to a top team with no sign of it coming. Their roster isn’t overly different nor their style of play, what is different is the execution and attitude in both attack and defence.
They started the year with a flurry and many assumed it would die out, it hasn’t yet and who says it will at all in 2011. Much like the Tigers they have a howler in them still though, to win the title they need more consistent discipline.
New Zealand – $17 bet now at Luxbet
The Warriors are a fans nightmare, diamonds one day rocks the next. Talking about consistency, few teams have as little of it as the Warriors. Not only can they beat any team in the comp they can beat them convincingly. Unfortunately they can be belted by a bottom team just as easily.
For the warriors it’s a case of getting into the finals as high as possible. From there it’s just a couple of games to the title. If they’re on song they could do it but if they need seven or eight games in a row at the back end you can call it quits.
Bulldogs – $26 bet now at Luxbet
May as well make that $26 $260, the Dogs are gone in 2011. They’re actually still in the eight which is quite surprising given how much turmoil the club seems to be in both on and off the field. They’re facing a fan revolt, a mid season coach change and even a list of players who don’t look like they want to be there.
On points it seems realistic but for me the Dogs need a miracle to hold their spot in 2011, as for winning the title they’re no chance in the world.
Newcastle – $41 bet now at Luxbet
They look like they’re going a bit better than their position and i think their draw hasn’t been the kindest. Newcastle are capable of putting together a few in a row at the back end of this season and they could well build some momentum going into the finals.
They have a really good attack and their backs have plenty of points in them and Gidley has barely played for them all year. Once he’s back in fulltime and the business end rolls around look out, they could surprise a few.
South Sydney – $41 bet now at Luxbet
Souths fans made excuses for their team right up until halfway but from here even they seem to have lost hope. How a team with so much talent can get it so wrong is beyond most people and they continue to lose games they’re entitled to win.
Sandow can be good and he’s improved a lot this year but Sutton is a passenger at best. Dave Taylor has been soft all year until his Origin snub and only now is he starting to bend his back. Inglis has been highly disappointing even with his injury in mind. I know their roster is diminished but their fans deserved more, they could make the finals but hard to back.
Parramatta – $51 bet now at Luxbet
Well this was about the time they made their run last year so Parramatta fans load up and cheer them to glory. It’s a great idea but hard to see happening in reality even if they have improved a bit. Don’t read too much into their draw with the Dragons, it’s the next few weeks which will make or break them.
Love him or hate him Hayne is the key, his team relies on him for their entire game and they lack any other genuine scoring option. If they make the eight anything could happen but only the diehards will want a piece of that $51.
Penrith – $51 bet now at Luxbet
We’ve seen a change of coach work wonders before so Penrith may go a bit better after Elliot’s removal. Unfortunately though it’s an attitude which only lasts for a few weeks so as far as premierships go forget it.
Once again they just can’t score points and are relying on a kick and pray strategy. Jennings hasn’t got any ball and the injury of Gordon has been crucial. Even if they could sneak into 8th spot they’ll be gone in week one.
Roosters – $51 bet now at Luxbet
For plenty of this season the NRL would almost wish the Roosters didn’t exist. Off field dramas and on field flops, the red white and blue has been a disaster.
So much depended on Todd Carney in 2011 and unfortunately he just couldn’t hack it. They’ll try and pick up the pieces with a couple of wins late in the season but if you backed them early accept that your cash is gone.
Canberra – $126 bet now at Luxbet
There won’t be a late season finals charge this year, in fact Canberra’s only battle is avoiding the spoon. They seemed to be waiting for Campese as if when he came back everything would be better, unfortunately that’s not the case.
He lasted just five minutes and even then there wouldn’t be a lot he could do with a forward pack not going forward and a defence leaking way too many points. They were favourites for the spoon at the start of 2011, at least those punters are still in the game.
Cronulla – $201 bet now at Luxbet
Look the Sharks aren’t going to win the premiership but they sure as hell can get in the way over the next 10 weeks. They stuck it to the Storm, they took care of the Dogs and they won’t be an easy beat for anyone. Some say they can still make the finals and I won’t be putting any money against that. I think it’s highly unlikely though but a top 10 finish is a decent chance.
I’ll declare now they won’t finish last, I’d rather be on at least five others for that honour in 2011.
Gold Coast – $201 bet now at Luxbet
What happened on the Coast? Awesome facilities, awesome spot and plenty of money floating around. Once again they just can’t score and with a disappointing Scott Prince no one has stepped up to fill the void.
Nothing more can be said about the Titans in 2011, pack up and go home, try again next year.