Skip to main content

NRL Preliminary Finals Week 3 Previews

A couple of close calls last week, but no cigar for the debutant NRL analyst Shaun Beirne, @shaunbeirne. How's his luck this week?

--------------------------

NRL Previews
Preliminary Final (Week 3) History since 2000



Points of interest:
• Home teams win at a rate of 67%
• Higher ranked home teams win at 60%
• Matches at one teams home ground average 42.5 points and 9/15 are over 38.5 total points
• Higher ranked teams on a Neutral ground win at a rate of 82%

With small samples any new result has a higher than ideal influence over the figure, so something that looks like a strong trend can quickly look like a weak trend. That said it is interesting that the higher ranked Neutral team outperforms Higher ranked home teams. Perhaps a negative effect of the home fans expectations.

Cronulla v North Queensland
Friday 1955 AEST, 1055 BST
Allianz Stadium

#NRLSharksCowboys
These two teams met last season at the semi-final (week 2) stage with the Cowboys handing the Sharks a 39-0 hiding.

This season they have each won one of their head to head matches, the Cowboys 20-14 at home in round 1 and the Sharks 13-10 in R14.

Comparing the team’s statistics from last season we see that Cowboys finished third (38 points +133 points differential) last season and fourth (34 points +229) this season. The Sharks finished sixth (34 points -7) in 2015 and third (39 points +176) in 2016.

The Cowboys excelled away from home last season winning 9/12 (regular season only) scoring an average of 24.6 points to 18.7. However, this season they were 3/10 (neutral matches excluded) scoring 17.3 points to 19.4.

The commentary around this match has centred on whether the Cowboys can back up after that incredible match against the Broncos last week. I’m on the side of it is going to be extremely difficult but not impossible. I think one need only consider the fact that Jonathan Thurston elected to take a penalty goal after 34 minutes when down 8-4 as an indicator of just how fast the game was.

If you can see where I’m leaning with the recommended play I will leave you with the Sharks having two big inclusions from their last start win over Canberra Paul Gallen and Sam Tagatese.

Recommended plays:
As confident as one can be when betting against a team with arguably the greatest ever player who just seems to step up every time, I have to bet up on Cronulla at the head to head and 13+ for some cream.

Melbourne v Canberra
Saturday 1940 AEST, 1040 BST
AAMI Park

#NRLStormRaiders

Melbourne lost at home to the Cowboys at the corresponding stage last season taking their record in sudden death matches at AAMI Park to one win and three losses since 2011. Incredible given they have lost just 16 of 69 regular season matches in the corresponding period.

Melbourne earned the week off by strangling the Cowboys (16-10) in wet conditions a couple of weeks ago. Canberra bounced back from their loss to Cronulla to beat Penrith (22-12) a match they led 18-0 and should have been more comfortable than it turned out to be. Certainly it was concerning to see them so inept at shutting the game down late on.

Canberra welcomed back Hodgson and Austin last week and both turned in solid performances suggesting they will be better again for the run.

Minor Premiers Melbourne lost 5 matches this season, one was without their Origin stars. Of the other four losses, two came late in the season at home to Brisbane 16-26 and away to Canberra 8-22. Both these matches were significant in that their opponents played an expansive game moving the Storm defence around and exposing plenty of holes (something Cronulla did again in Rd 26 albeit in a 26-6 loss).

One final historical statistic of some note is that in the eight seasons from 2008-2015 only nine teams that had the week off have won their preliminary final.

Recommended Plays
I’m not terribly confident but happy to have a small play (about 33% of my stake on the 1st preliminary final) on Canberra at the head to head and +6.5.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

lay the field - my favourite racing strategy

Dabbling with laying the field in-running at various prices today, not just one price, but several in the same race. Got several matched in the previous race at Brighton, then this race came along at Nottingham. Such a long straight at Nottingham makes punters often over-react and think the finish line is closer than it actually is. As you can see by the number of bets matched, there was plenty of volatility in this in-play market. It's rare you'll get a complete wipe-out with one horse getting matched at all levels, but it can happen, so don't give yourself too much risk...

Gimcrack Stakes preview

The final day of the Ebor Festival has a great spread of races, and just one of them could be described as having a clear-cut favourite. A solid reward for anyone who can find a winner.

The 2yo feature of the day is the Gimcrack Stakes, and saddling up again for the preview is Darren Goodbody, @DarrenPGoodbody. You can read more of his work here.

----------------------

Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Gimcrack Stakes
Group 2, 6f, 2yo C&G
£220,000
1510 local 0010 AEST


What a week it has been on the Knavesmire, some impressive juveniles to keep on the note book especially Tasleet of William Haggas's and Wesley Ward's Acapulco who impressed me taking on older horses, but even though with the 29lb allowance he could not over come proven Group 3 winning sprinter Mecca's Angel.

Mark Johnston has not improved on his six percent average here at York and I have reservations that it is going to improve with Buratino or Ode the Evening. The Listed Woodcote Stakes and Group 3 Coven…

Villiers Stakes preview

The highlight of summer racing in Sydney is the Villiers Stakes. Tasked with the preview is Mitch Fenton.

-------------------

Villiers StakesRandwick, G2, 1600m
1615 local time, 0515 GMT

Form link

Website
Twitter: @weekndkngracing
Facebook: /weekendking


The most reliable guide to the Gr2 Villiers has always been the Festival Stakes.

I’m going to stick with that form line; here’s the horses who ran in the Festival, running today.

1 I'm Imposing (55.5) 20-1
2 [0.1] Estonian Princess (54) 7-1
3 [0.3] Strawberry Boy (57.5) 6-1
5 [1.7] Sir Moments (56) 11-2
6 [2.5] Multilateral (54) 60-1
7 [3.8] Scream Machine (56) 20-1
8 [4.3] Aomen (58.5) 30-1
11 [6.8] Monton (60) 16-1
12 [8.0] Keep Cool (54) 80-1

Out of all those runs in the Festival, Strawberry Boy was a clear top pick for mine.

He worked very hard out in front with his 1500m to 600m times and was 3L quicker than the average. He was entitled to drop out of the race but instead he fought on dogged…