Couch Critic previews the NRL semi finals taking place on the 16th and 17th October including best bets and tryscorer specials with @Olimp_SA
And then there were four…
It didn’t take long for my NRL weekend to begin poorly as the Roosters were over-powered by the Raiders last week. The Rabbitohs eventually delivered the victory I expected but they’re slow start meant it was down to a late Damian Cook score to at least pull back the NRL betting weekend. Here are my plays for the Semi-finals.
MELBOURNE STORM vs CANBERRA RAIDERS – Fri 16 Oct @ 10:50, Suncorp Brisbane
Melbourne return to action after enjoying a week off whilst the Raiders storm into the semi’s off the back of sending the Roosters packing. In a sublime opening half hour blitz the Canberra side had stung the defending Champions and ultimately secured their spot for this clash in Brisbane. The Storm put six tries past the Eels in their last outing yet also let in four. Against the Tigers and Cowboys (Round 18 & 19) they also conceded the same amount of scores. Against a potent Raiders attack Craig Bellamy will have to have his defence at its stingiest.
In the end I can’t get past the fact that the Storm thrive in finals footy and have the superior player intellect which should see them get across the line and into the Grand Final.
As a little value play I’m hoping to see the Raider edge something like a 6-4 lead before the Storm shut them out in the second stint and finally taking in the region of a 24-10 victory.
PENRITH PANTHERS vs SOUTH SYDNEY RABITOHS – Sat 17 Oct @ 11:50, ANZ Sydney
Since putting 60 past the Roosters in the lead-up to the Finals the Bunnies have been the team on the charge. Again, Souths took some time to get going against the Eels but eventually looked potent in a second half rampage. Ready to host the high flying Rabbitohs is the table topping Penrith. Having had a week to stew on their second half switch off against the Roosters, the Panthers will know they need to put in an 80-minute effort this time around if they are to book a spot in the main event. There is no arguing that this Panthers side have been the team of 2020, but can they deliver when it matters most in a win or bust match?
The Panthers will miss Kikau but I still see them getting the job done. The men in black have been able to shut teams out in the opening half and I expect them to do that again this week and then having enough to hold on for the win.
(Note, all odds quoted are subject to change)