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NRL Round 8 Tips and Predictions - 4 best bets and a multibet to back

Steve Bennett 25 Apr 2018
  • Four tips for Round 8 of the 2018 NRL season
  • Combine them in a multibet

We landed three out of four last week and are confident we can go one better here....

MELBOURNE STORM vs NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS

Both sides are coming off big wins and this game shapes up as a real battle. The Warriors were undefeated until the Broncos burst their bubble in round six but they bounced back with a vengeance last week and ended the unbeaten run of the Dragons in a solid display of defence.

The Storm continued their good record at Suncorp with another resounding victory against a lack-lustre Broncos outfit. Their attack showed more purpose than their efforts early in the season with fullback Billy Slater figuring prominently. 

The match-ups have been dampened a little with several key players missing through injury but there remains plenty of interest in other areas. The battle of the hookers should prove interesting with Issac Luke enjoying a new lease of life after his man of the match performance last week. Cameron Smith is still full of energy and played a leading hand in the win against the Broncos.

History shows there is isn’t great deal between these two sides with the Storm holding a slight edge winning 22 of the 40 matches played with two draws. It’s a 5-3 lead to the Storm at AAMI Park however both of last year’s clashes were won by Melbourne. On form it looks a real coin toss however we believe the Warriors will miss their injured brigade of Shaun Johnson and Tohu Harris more so than Jesse Bromwich not playing for the Storm here. The home crowd can get the premiers over the line.

MANLY SEA EAGLES vs NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS

Both these sides were flying high after the first couple of rounds but how quickly things can change. The Knights sprung a surprise win over the Tigers last week but at a huge cost, losing their captain Mitchell Pearce to injury. The Sea Eagles have more than their share of internal issues to deal with at the moment and it clearly affected their performance in last week’s embarrassing loss to the Eels. 

The Knights bounced back from a poor showing against Melbourne in round 6 and outplayed the Tigers whose defensive lapses cost them dearly, allowing the Knights to open up a lead they would not surrender. The Sea Eagles were a completely different side that put 54 unanswered points on the Eels in round 2. Just five weeks later, we saw an 88 point turnaround as the Eels posted 44 points against a very ordinary Manly defence.

The battle of the fullbacks could steal the show here with the experienced Tom Trbojevic matching up against the game breaking rookie Kalyn Ponga. Connor Watson’s return from injury is well timed with Pearce now missing for possibly the season and he will have his hands full keeping Cherry-Evans in check who is due for a big game.

When the Manly side walked off Lottoland last week, they were booed by their own fans. After a week of off-field turmoil, it is expected that coach Trent Barrett will have his side fired up for a return to form performance. The Knights will have their hands full trying to defend against a side who are hurting and have a point to prove to their own fan-base. With captain Mitchell Pearce missing, we believe the Sea Eagles will bounce back this week.

PENRITH PANTHERS vs CANTERBURY BULLDOGS

Battles between these two sides in recent years have gone down to the wire and with both of them coming off last round losses, it paints a picture for another close finish. The Panthers paid the penalty for a slow start last week and left their comeback too late against a fired up Sharks side who had to cover for key players missing through injury. The Bulldogs were on the receiving end of a 6-0 loss to the Roosters in what was a drawn out game that never really got hot at any stage.

The Bulldogs had a glut of possession in the first forty minutes and pressured the Roosters in their red zone on many occasions without really threatening. Similarly, the Panthers experienced the same outcome when pressuring the Sharks line, only breaking through in latter half of them game.

Both sides will be out to improve their attack this week and will be looking to strike early and look to gain the momentum in the match. With Nathan Cleary still unavailable, James Maloney will again play halfback and be at his best as he pushes for an Origin jersey. Keiran Foran will be out to keep Maloney at bay while Bulldogs forwards Aaron Woods, David Klemmer and Joe Jackson have the eyes on a Blues jersey as well and will have to lift if they are to remain in the running for a spot in Origin One.

Head-to-Head, the Bulldogs have a good lead with 52 wins from the 93 games played so far, however their lead is only two at Panthers Stadium with 23 wins to Penrith’s 21. Last year, the Panthers were too strong on both occasions, winning 38-0 at ANZ Stadium and then 16-8 on this ground in round 21.

Penrith have managed to win three of their last four games without Nathan Cleary as James Maloney has been leading the side around the park. He has formed a working partnership with Tyrone Peachey in the halves and we believe in front of a home crowd they can get the points here in a tight one.

PARRAMATTA EELS vs WESTS TIGERS

It took seven rounds but the Eels finally recorded their first victory of the season and it was a case of sweet revenge as they turned a 54-0 loss against arch-rivals Manly, into a 44-10 victory.  The Tigers on the other hand were caught by surprise and went down to an inspired Newcastle Knights side who lost their captain and playmaker Mitchell Pearce during the game through injury.

The Eels looked very impressive as they threw the ball around and found gaps all over the park in the Manly defence. It was a welcomed relief to Eels fans who have been waiting all season for their team to click. The Tigers looked a little drawn after a sensational start to the season which has seen the Ivan Cleary coached side register five victories from their first seven games including two wins over reigning premiers Melbourne.

The battle of the halves will be a highlight here as the in-form Benji Marshall and Luke Brooks will lock horns with Corey Norman and former Tigers five-eight Mitchell Moses who led the Eels attack so well last week. Chris Lawrence returns for the Tigers while Bevan French comes in to replace the injured Jarryd Hayne on the wing for the Eels.

Head-to-head, the Eels hold a 20-15 lead over the Tigers while the advantage is even bigger at ANZ Stadium winning nine of their 13 matches here. In 2017, they met on two occasions with the Eels winning both matches in very tight finishes. The Eels showed enough last week to suggest a revival is well on the cards and we believe they can get away with this one in another close encounter.


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NRL Round 8 Tips and Predictions - 4 best bets and a multibet to back

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