Canterbury Bulldogs v Sydney Roosters Thursday, April 19, 7:50pm (AEST) ANZ Stadium, Sydney
The Bulldogs recorded their second win of the season after upsetting the Cowboys 27-10 in Townsville and will take plenty of confidence into this clash against the Roosters. However, they’ll need to be on high alert as the Roosters are coming off a shock loss to the Rabbitohs and have struggled for any consistency this season despite their star-studded line-up. Sio Siua Taukeiaho is expected to miss the encounter with a knee injury.
FormCanterbury are up to 14th on the ladder following their 27-10 win over North Queensland. They have a 2-4 record while they rank 11th in attack and 12th in defence. The Bulldogs have conceded 18-plus in five of six games. The Sydney Roosters are sixth on the ladder with a 3-3 record. The Roosters rank sixth defensively while they rate in eighth in scoring. The Roosters have been held to 14 or fewer on three occasions.
Key MatchupMichael Lichaa v Jake Friend: The Wolf is expecting this contest to be won in the forwards and it will be up to both Michael Lichaa and Jake Friend to provide good service from dummy-half and take on any lazy markers around the ruck. Lichaa a new lease on life after the departure of Des Hasler and is making a conscious effort to run the ball more which is one of his strengths. He made a line-break against the Cowboys last week and will need to test the big Roosters pack this week. Jake Friend has been one of the major disappointments for the Roosters six rounds into the NRL season, and Trent Robinson has made the decision to reduced Friend’s minutes over the past few rounds, with Victor Radley providing more impact off the bench. Friend’s discipline has also let him down this season, with nine penalties to his name this season which is tied for the second most conceded. Friend could be playing for his future, with Radley in the wings and will need to rediscover his form to get the Roosters back on track.
Stats That Matter– Canterbury are 2-4 ATS with a 4-2 under record while the Sydney Roosters are 3-3 ATS with a 3-3 total record. – Canterbury and the Sydney Roosters have played 172 times dating back to 1935 with the Roosters winning 87, Canterbury claiming 80 and five draws. – The Roosters have won three straight and nine of the last 12 meetings. – The Roosters have won four of the last five matches at Allianz. – The last seven matches have all topped 42 points. – Home underdogs of 4 or more in the first eight rounds of the season are 83-34 ATS since 2008 (66% Rounds 5-8). – Off a win those teams are 28-10 ATS. – The Bulldogs are 11-6 ATS as an underdog at ANZ Stadium since 2015. – The Bulldogs have covered six of their last nine at ANZ after scoring 25-plus points. – The Bulldogs have covered just 10 of their last 25 night games at ANZ. – The Roosters are 9-14 ATS as a favourite away from Allianz, including a 5-7 ATS when favoured by more than a converted try. – The Roosters have covered just one of their last six away from Allianz after scoring 14 or fewer.
Final ThoughtsThe Wolf was all over the Cowboys to get the job done against the Bulldogs last week and was one of many left with egg on their face. In saying that, he is going to take on the Bulldogs again and side with the Roosters here. The Tricolours have won three straight and nine of the last 12 meetings against the Bulldogs. They’ll also have extra motivation after their poor showing against their bitter rivals in the Rabbitohs last week. The Wolf is expecting a try to separate the teams and recommends backing the Roosters to win by a margin of 1-12 points.
How It’s Shaping UpSydney by 4
Recommended BetsBest: Sydney 1-12 ($3) Value: Sydney 1-12 & Over 39.5 ($6) First Tryscorer: Joseph Manu