The Sea Eagles and Knights offer up an interesting encounter on Sunday afternoon as both clubs look to bounce back following heavy Round 7 defeats. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs are looking for their second win of the 2020 NRL season when they host the Rabbitohs at Bankwest Stadium.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles v Newcastle Knights @ Lottoland
First Try-Scorer: Edrick Lee – $12
Poor in their defeat to the Cowboys in Round 7, expect the Knights to go back to what works to start Round 8.
Daniel Saifiti and David Klemmer will throw everything into getting the Knights up the field through the middle. In good ball, Mitchell Pearce directs traffic to get the team in a position to shift. Should things go to plan, that shift starts on the right post and goes left – Kalyn Ponga’s favourite.
Presented with options to hit Lachlan Fitzgibbon with a short-ball, provide Bradman Best with an early pass into space, throw a long ball to Edrick Lee ($12 – Neds) on the wing or simply run it himself, Ponga has a myriad of options to get his team across the line. With a rookie winger standing opposite him, Lee shapes as the most likely of the bunch.
Draftstars Suggested Plays: Addin Fonua-Blake ($13,300), Jake Trbojevic ($14,400), Herman Ese’ese ($9,720)
You only get one guess at where the majority of this game is expected to be played.
The centre-third of the field will decide this one and Addin Fonua-Blake, Jake Trbojevic and Herman Ese’ese will play significant roles.
Fonua-Blake has been in outstanding form all season and comes into this one off a monster effort of two tries, nine tackle breaks and 207 running metres for 96.7 points. Our predictive model doesn’t project a repeat of that haul, but his projected score of 56 points is a value option at his price.
As good as Founa-Blake has been, Trbojevic is the picture of NRL consistency. Of his seven games this season, six have produced between 52.1 and 59.9 points. The lock-forward is projected to fall in there again with 58 points on Sunday afternoon.
And presented with another opportunity to start, Ese’ese is a low-cost value option in the middle at $9,720 with a projected score of 44 points.
DFS Fade: Lachlan Croker ($8,400)
We all know who the main man in this Manly spine is. Meanwhile, we can’t even guarantee Lachlan Croker plays the full 80 minutes with Cade Cust named on the bench. Projected to score only 26 points, look elsewhere in this position.
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v South Sydney Rabbitohs @ Bankwest Stadium
First Try-Scorers: Kieran Foran – $56, Alex Johnson – $10
In a game that could produce anything on the day, Kieran Foran ($56 – SportsBet) and Alex Johnson ($10 – BetEasy) seem like the perfect combination of potential try-scorers.
Foran needs the ball in his hands if the Bulldogs are to compete. Only total domination from the Kiwi international will be enough for them to win. Not afraid to engage the line before handing off a try assist, Foran can skip through it if this dodgy Rabbitohs edge-defence isn’t up to it.
In Johnston, we have the tried and tested. Perched out on the wing of South Sydney’s most potent attacking edge, Johnston can get the ball over the line from any angle. The Bunnies will be looking to take control of this game early on Sunday night. Look for them to go left from kickoff.
Draftstars Suggested Plays: Latrell Mitchell ($11,230)
Latrell Mitchell is improving as a fullback. He’s shown some lovely touches and genuine potential at the position. Last week, however, he did neither.
“Howler” doesn’t begin to describe Mitchell’s four-error performance that ended with a sin-bin. His 19.65 Draftstars points fell well short of the 45 he managed in Round 6 and 75 in Round 5. Our predictive model projects Mitchell to bounce back this week, though.
Up against a Bulldogs outfit that hasn’t been allowed to develop any cohesion in their defence out wide, Mitchell is projected to score 45 points in this one.
DFS Fade: Adam Elliott
Adam Elliott has produced the goods over the last fortnight scoring 59.4 and 64 points. Our predictive model isn’t backing him to keep the purple patch alive, though. His projected 42 points come at a heavy price. That’s without considering the unexpected and unwanted attention that has come his way off the field this week either.