New Zealand Warriors worth betting on handicap against Sydney Roosters
June 17, 2016
New Zealand Warriors and Sydney Roosters meet at the Mt Smart Stadium in the NRL Telstra Premiership in a game that represents a great opportunity for Warriors to push into the top eight against an out of sorts Roosters’ team that currently sit next-to-bottom of the table.
The Roosters were trounced 46-0 at home to table-topping Melbourne Storm last time out, unsurprisingly their heaviest defeat of the campaign, whilst Warriors knocked up a half century of points in winning 50-14 away to bottom of the table Newcastle Knights.
The Warriors victory included a four try haul from David Fusitua and maintained their recent good form. They will be without Jacob Lillyman, who is with the Maroons in the Origin series and Manu Vatuvei misses out with a hamstring injury. Toafofoa Sipley comes in for Lillyman, while Ken Maumalo starts on the wing.
Forward Dylan Napa returns from suspension for the Roosters, who also have Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Isaac Liu back from injury. Aidan Guerra and Blake Ferguson are on Origin duty though and Abraham Papalii and Eloni Vunakece are both out, so Joseph Manu Chris Smith are both set for debuts.
The teams met in Round 5 earlier in the season, with the Warriors eventually prevailing 32-28 in a dramatic golden point game. It’s the Roosters who have generally had the better of things in recent meetings though, with six wins in the last nine.
The Warriors can be hugely unpredictable, but if they are fully focused on the task in hand and avoid complacency, it’s difficult to see past them winning again here. The Roosters failed to make the most of what opportunities they did create against Storm which, when coupled with conceding some very poor tries themselves, didn’t make for a great combination. Failing to even trouble the scorers can’t do a great deal for confidence in the ranks either.
The Roosters do seem able to rebound from heavy defeats and could be capable of keeping this relatively close. That being the case, backing the Warriors to overcome a seven point Handicap looks to be a reasonably secure punt here.