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NRL Tips Round 1 | Free


Experienced pro MrG aka Gerard Condon provides expert NRL tips and content each week for our Reading The Play followers and subscribers.

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NRL Tips Round 1

NRL Round 1 | Draw

Sea Eagles v Rabbitohs | Allegiant Stadium Las Vegas

Roosters v Broncos | Allegiant Stadium Las Vegas

Knights v Raiders | McDonald Jones Stadium Newcastle

Warriors v Sharks | Go Media Stadium Auckland

Storm v Panthers | AAMI Park Melbourne

Eels v Bulldogs | CommBank Stadium Parramatta

Titans v Dragons | Cbus Stadium Gold Coast

Dolphins v Cowboys | Suncorp Stadium Brisbane

NRL Tips Round 1

Eagles by 6
Roosters by 4
Knights by 10
Warriors by 8
Storm by 6
Eels by 4
Titans by 4
Dolphins by 4

NRL Tips Round 1 | Free Game Preview

Eagles v Rabbits

NRL in Vegas!

Of note this ground is the same venue that the NFL Super Bowl was played at only 4 or so weeks ago, and it is 6 mtrs short and 5 mtrs narrow of what a normal NRL field is and I’m sure all of this in particular the narrow width come in to influence on the game play.

So we will have 13 on 13 on a much tighter width. Do we see the refs given an off the record directive to pull them back a much wider 13 to 14 mtrs to create bigger space to allow for more attack and ball work and create a spectacle given the international audience? Hard to know, but an interesting watch to see what unfolds.

Notably in this first game Ash Klein is the ref, he normally struggles on a good day to keep a big 10 mtrs and keep the teams apart, so if we get his closer to norm here then attack and points might well be at a premium, and defence the more dominant feature.

Eagles look to present here with a strong list, good lead in prep and possibly some pre work to really target this game first up. The additions of Brooks, Paulo and Brown to their offering this year strengthens their overall starting team, and obviously we have Turbo back fit to return, he is elite and the Eagles have a win record something near mid 60% when he plays.

The Rabbits have some notable players missing and a question mark remaining over Cody Walker’s full fitness and how much of a role he might play in the game. Graham, Wighton and Munro are outs and so a somewhat weakened back 5 line up.

I believe the Eagles arrived in the US four days prior to the other teams to then have a few days bonding and social get together before then a focused week long prep and lead in to this contest. They have looked fit and well advanced through what little pre season work and trial form we have seen, have some notable ins and attack combination and strike and look without excuse and set to go. I like the look of the halves combination, less pressure on Cherry-Evans to make it all happen, less pressure on Brooks to carry it all as was the case at the Tigers, and with a lot more quality around him some fresh air in which to just get about playing to his strengths. Turbo at the back, strike and some workman down each edge, looks a well balanced offering.

Cody Walker playing and doing so without any niggling injury important for the Rabbits given a few of the outs they have, and also their reliance on his quality of attacking smarts. Graham a significant out now for much of the season, an Australian rep in the last 12 months for good reason the quality of his work on both sides of the ball will be sorely missed.

Overall, I want to watch the Rabbits through the opening 4 to 6 weeks and try and get a good handle on where they are and what sort of form and team combination is or isn’t building. There is no doubt the quality, Wighton and Keppie look quality ins, but have they sorted out all of their off-field issues of the later few months of last year, under a bit of pressure and focus are they all pulling together and can the #7 take the next step and grow into a marquee play maker. All an interesting watch.

Difficult to have a great deal between these especially when first up and off a trip to the US, and on a smaller field. Small advantage to the Eagles given they look all but a full strength vs a Rabbits line up missing three of their back five. The best betting angles for these opening weeks are a) teams with the plus start (underdogs) and b) game points under. Given we have a long travel leg, narrow field and the Rabbits have a number of outs siding with the plus and under here looks the right options. As suggested, the Eagles have arrived in the US early and looked to have made this a real target game to start their season, plus look to have a strong list offering with Turbo and Brooks also a plus. 

Suspect that the Eagles will target a lot of play at the less experienced Kennar and Gagai defensive edge. With Klein in the middle I have to lean to a close 10 mtrs and that we likely see under 40 points.

Tip: Eagles
Play: Eagles +1.5
Points: Under 41.5
Anytime Try: Play those on the Eagles left edge

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Jimmy Smith takes you through the afternoon from 12-3PM from Monday to Friday on 1170 SEN Sydney.

Gerard Condon joins Jimmy each week through out the season to talk all things NRL and offer his tips and game previews.

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Gerard is a weekly contributor to the highly popular NRL Market Watch Podcast with co hosts Jimmy Smith and Tristan Merlehan – a weekly look at all things NRL as the team preview and discuss all the happenings and key topics in the game and preview the full round of match ups and markets in the NRL! We even look to find a weekly Best Bet, maybe an anytime try scorer or same game multi that we like and try and work out who’s turn it is to pay for Lunch with our Lunch Bet challenges!

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MrG is also a weekly contributor to the Northern Rivers of NSW based long running sports and guset interview series the Ball and All Podcast (here).

At its core, The Ball and All is a podcast aimed at normalising adversity. From a humble farm shed in Lennox Head, former Wallaby Berrick ‘Barnesy’ Barnes, sports business mentor, Steve ‘Condo’ Condon and former Junior World Surfing Champion, James ‘Woody’ Wood chat community, connection, challenges and of course, a little sport too. From former and current sportspeople to coaches through to parenting experts, artists and musicians, The Ball and All keeps things light while often

NRL – MrG – Reading The Play

Having coached at a senior level for 16 years including 3 years on the coaching staff of an NRL club Gerard Condon is a long term avid student of the game. He’s coached sides to win titles at a senior level, run the football arm of a successful district club, managed professional players and worked in various development roles, so it’s fair to say the game of Rugby League is certainly in his blood and supports an experienced and unique offering.

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