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Opposing St George Illawarra was lucrative in the previous Australian National Rugby League round and one is going to employ the same tactics when the Dragons face Parramatta on Saturday without a couple of the Red V’s star players.
In what was a truly abysmal advertisement for the Australian National Rugby League, St George Illawarra lost 2-16 to a Canterbury Bankstown team that dominated possession and territory but took an eternity to cross for a try during Monday’s match. Eventually, Canterbury Bankstown did the business but let’s not beat around the bush: regardless of what the Australian National Rugby League ladder says, both the Bulldogs and St George Illawarra are ordinary sides.
St George Illawarra’s next Australian National Rugby League assignment is versus a Parramatta team that it met once this season already and that game ended in tears for the Dragons. St George Illawarra thrashed Penrith 42-10 in the opening round of the Australian National Rugby League before losing 16-34 to Parramatta in the second week of competition in a result that, if anything, flattered the Dragons in front of their own fans at WIN Stadium. Parramatta raced to an 18-0 lead inside 32 minutes and St George Illawarra five-eighth Gareth Widdop’s try and conversion shortly before half time were against the run of play. Parramatta put the Australian National Rugby League match beyond doubt early in the second period and, of the many Eels who shone versus St George Illawarra, none did so more brightly than Semi Radradra, whose personal tally was two tries in each half.
As predicted, New South Wales won State of Origin I and, consequently, Blues boss Laurie Daley has decided to stick with the 17 men who defeated Queensland in its own backyard, which means that Josh Dugan and Tyson Frizell are off limits to St George Illawarra for its Australian National Rugby League game against Parramatta. Dugan and Frizell were on duty for St George Illawarra when Parramatta destroyed the Dragons three months ago and it is not as though the Blues centre and lock forward had bad matches for the Red V, either. One cannot see St George Illawarra turning the tables on Parramatta because the Dragons are in terrible form and without their best two players, whereas the Eels are at full strength and boast an outstanding head-to-head record. Parramatta has won five Australian National Rugby League games versus St George Illawarra in a row, scoring more than 25 points in four of those victories. Admittedly, four of the last five Australian National Rugby League matches between Parramatta and St George Illawarra have taken place in Eels territory but this season’s meeting occurred in the Dragons den and it was one-way traffic.
Parramatta is a shade of odds on to bring down the curtain on the 15th round of Australian National Rugby League games with a win over St George Illawarra but, in search of a bet at healthy odds, one has landed on the Eels to win both halves at odds of 11/5 3.20 +220 2.20 2.20 -0.45 with Betfair and Paddy Power. That wager is preferable to backing Parramatta to cover a handicap line of approximately 12 points, which is what would be required to generate the same kind of odds.
If you are looking for a bet at even greater odds, pardon the pun but try backing Radradra at odds of 7/1 8.00 +700 7.00 7.00 -0.14 with Betfair and Paddy Power to be the Australian National Rugby League match’s first try scorer. Radradra started his Parramatta career in late 2013 and, since then, he has scored nine tries in five games against St George Illawarra, including a brace, a hat-trick and a quad.
Parramatta Eels to win both halves
Sunday 18th June, 07:00 GMT
Odds: 11/5 3.20 +220 2.20 2.20 -0.45
Semi Radradra to score the first try
Sunday 18th June, 07:00 GMT
Odds: 7/1 8.00 +700 7.00 7.00 -0.14