NRL round 4 kicks off on Friday with a doubleheader, the Broncos vs Cowboys, if it lives up to expectation, promises to be a cracker.
Thanks to some major upsets in round 3 the tournament is currently wide open with Melbourne Storm (perhaps surprisingly?) The only team in NRL 2016 to have won all 3 of their fixtures this far, will their winning streak continue in round 4?
This is rugby betting’s NRL round 4 preview providing expert Rugby League previews & Tips
South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs
Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs
With the Bulldogs having been favoured by all bookmakers to win their fixture against the Eels, the team at rugby betting disagreed (allow us to brag a bit) we made a very nice little profit. Hopefully, you did too if you followed our NRL tips & previews.
Looking at the current NRL round 4 fixture between the Bulldogs and Rabbitohs, the Bulldogs are highly favoured with Australian bookmaker Sportsbet offering odds as high as @2.52 for a straight up Rabbitohs win.
The Bunnies are coming off a narrow loss against the Dragons in last week’s fixture. The Rabbitohs were largely prevented from getting any fluency on attack in last week’s lost, due to terrible weather when the heavens opened over the SCG.
They (the Rabbitohs) fought a valiant fight, having had to adjust their strategy but couldn’t get there, in the end, losing by 2-points.
With that being, we believe the Rabbitohs are one of the better teams in the tournament, and they are especially dangerous when getting the ball to their outside backs.
We believe one shouldn’t read too much into last week’s result for the Rabbitohs, where they picked up their first loss of the season since the weather played such a large part in the match.
On the other end you have the visiting team, the Bankstown Bulldogs, who are also coming off a loss, however, the Bulldogs, unlike the Rabbitohs, were destroyed in a match they were favoured to win. Losing against an ever improving Eels team by 16-points!
The main reason for the Bulldogs loss in last week’s fixture was their inability to penetrate the Eels defence, and getting any momentum going on offence.
The Bulldogs forward pack, who many believed to be one of the best in the tournament, completely fell apart and eventually got dominated by the Eels.
Bulldogs fullback Will Hopoate had a game to forget, and the Dogs will desperately need him to bounce back in their round 4 fixture since the effect of losing Brett Morris is becoming more apparent for the Bulldogs as the tournament progresses.
All and all things are not looking good in the Bulldogs camp. Their big name players aren’t performing, hence the lack of offence, and their forwards….well something is very clearly wrong there.
Rugby Betting NRL round 4 Prediction – South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs
We believe the Bulldogs shouldn’t be touched until they have proven to redeem themselves.
The Rabbitohs, on the other hand, will enter this match with much more confidence, especially playing at home, no rain is predicted for the South Sydney round 4 fixture, which should allow the Rabbitohs to spread the ball and bring their dangerous backs into play.
Those who are feeling brave can take the Rabbitohs straight up at very generous odds of @2.52. However, the smarter bet will be to take the Bunnies with a handicap of +4.5 @1.91.
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Brisbane Broncos vs North Queensland
A Queensland thriller – which if it lives up to expectations should be the match, of NRL round 4, when the Brisbane Broncos hosts their arch enemies the North Queensland cowboys in a repeat of last year’s NRL final.
After a sluggish start to their season, the North Queensland Cowboys bounced back in magnificent fashion last week, smashing a young and inexperienced Sydney Roosters side 40-0.
Let it be said straight of the bat, as we mentioned in last week’s NRL preview the Roosters are currently in rebuilding mode, and is one of the poorer sides in the tournament this year.
What we mean with the above is that – punters should be cautious to read too much into the result and the thrashing the Cowboys gave the Roosters.
With that being said even if the Roosters are young and inexperienced the fact that the Cowboys defence could not be penetrated once in the entire 80-minutes speaks volumes about their defence.
However, the Cowboys true test will come in round 4 when they will face a Broncos team looking to bounce back from a disappointing round 3 loss against an average Panthers team.
The Broncos need to take a deep hard look at themselves, having led 22-6 at halftime against a very average Panthers side, all indications were there for a big Broncos win, which it should have been the case!
However, the Broncos came out in the second half, looking sluggish and perhaps thinking the game was already won, got the shock of their tournament thus far.
The Panthers managed to stage a remarkable comeback, to keep the Broncos scoreless in the 2nd half, while scoring 17-points to go on and win the match by 1-point.
For the Broncos to give up a 17-point lead in 40-minutes against an average side like the panthers is quite frankly unacceptable!
Perhaps most worryingly for the Broncos is the fact that they could not score a single point in the 2nd half – when the heat was turned up, they couldn’t produce.
While the Broncos have not been terrible on attack in NRL 2016 thus far, scoring an average of 21-points per match, they have yet to live up to expectations.
Broncos star recruit, Jamie Roberts, have largely been anonymous in his tenure at the broncos. Roberts being one of the quickest, and perhaps most skilful players in the NRL has not seen nearly enough ball thus far. The Broncos needs to get Roberts more involved in attack if they can do that they will be in business!
Rugby Betting’s NRL round 4 Prediction – Brisbane Broncos vs North Queensland
This will be a real tough one to predict. Looking at simple statistics thus far the Broncos are scoring an average of 21-points per match while the Cowboys are averaging 25-points per match.
On defence the Broncos allows 12-points per match thus far while the Cowboys are allowing are giving up 13-points on average in NRL 2016 thus far.
What is meant by the above? It shows how closely matched these two teams are both on attack and defence.
We believe home field advantage, and the Broncos “wake up call” in last week’s shock defeat will ultimately be the difference. Leading to a Broncos victory of approximately 4-points.
The Broncos are on offer at odds of @1.65 from William Hill Australia for a straight win, one just gets a feeling they are not going to lose this one at home, and we are relatively comfortable taking the Broncos for a straight win. (Confidence 80%)
Those looking to be a bit more brave can get the Broncos at -2.5 from William Hill Australia at odds of @1.91 (Confidence: 60%)
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Saturday Round 4 Matches To Follow
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