Sat, Mar 18, 12:03pm by Christopher Duffy
Sunday once again has been reserved for some of the best clashes the NRL has to offer in Round Three. Canberra Raiders will host Wests Tigers while the reigning Premiers Cronulla Sharks welcome St George Illawarra Dragons.
Canberra Raiders v Wests Tigers, GIO Stadium, Sunday March 19, 4pm AEDT
With Tim Simona’s betting scandal rocking the Tigers this week, they could be excused for failing to focus on this match. Yet it is scenarios such as this, that can bring clubs together to fight even harder for the jersey. Wests need a win to bounce back from their demoralising 36-2 defeat at the hands of Penrith in Round Two.
The failure to cross the line at all will have concerned the coaching staff the most this weekend and it is a task that won’t get any easier in Canberra. They are priced at $3.00 with William Hill to get their season back on track amidst the off-field issues.
The Raiders themselves are heading into this fixture on the back of a thrashing in Round Two. Cronulla steamrollered them, 42-16. However, they will be boosted by the return of centre and captain Jarrod Croker for the clash against the Tigers.
In what could be a pivotal match for the Raiders as they go in search of their first win of the year and a confidence boost before a tough away trip to Brisbane. William Hill are backing the Raiders priced at $1.40 to claim victory over the Tigers.
Cronulla Sharks v St George Illawarra Dragons, Southern Cross Stadium, Sunday March 19, 6:30pm AEDT
The Sharks and Dragons meet on Sunday with both sides having made stuttering starts to their campaigns. Cronulla, who have been written off already by many pundits, showed glimpses of their form from last season, by dismantling Canberra in Round Two. However, that was on the back a poor performance in Round One.
Round Three could truly show which way they are heading this season. With no major changes to last season’s Premiership winning squad, the Sharks look good at $1.38 for their second straight win.
St George, meanwhile, have done the reverse of the Sharks, when they made a blistering start to the season, demolishing the Panthers but then losing out to the Eels on home soil. If they are to come out on top in their derby with Cronulla, then they need to fix the number of handling errors that they had last week.
The basics will be key in a tough, physical contest likely to be fought out in the forwards. History is on the side of the Dragons as they have won the last 6 out of 9 matches against the Sharks. Although the odds are against them with William Hill pricing a Dragons victory at $3.10.
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