NRL Betting: Anzac battle up forward
The team that can keep its nerve, steer the ship and kick well will control the play.
The NRL isn't renowned for its ability to self-promote through major events, but for Matt Adamson and many other NRL supporters, the annual Anzac Day match is always a special moment of the season.
For rugby league lovers, Anzac Day is rich in history and this traditional clash between the Roosters and Dragons always attracts a huge, vocal crowd.
If Brian Smith's team was at war at present, he'd have to be satisfied with their determination. They are not showing any great style or finesse, but they've been getting the results.
Mitchell Pearce is favourite to be named halfback for New South Wales for State of Origin one, but as a former Blue, I hope that is not the case. He was poor last year for the Blues and his form this year for the Roosters is not consistent. I also disagree with the plaudits being thrown around about his efforts in the recently played City v Country.
A State of Origin 'number 7' should be able to turn a game on its head and Pearce has no history at being able to do that.
The real battle will be between the respective forward packs on Wednesday. The team that can keep its nerve, steer the ship and kick well will control the play.
Dragons' captain Ben Hornby has shown at club level he is able to do this more consistently than Pearce, and while Jamie Soward has been cast aside as an Origin contender, he will be keen to remind selectors of his credentials.
For a match that means much too both teams, the Dragons have dominated the last four years:
2011 - Dragons 24-10
2010 - Dragons 28-6
2009 - Dragons 29-nil
2008 - Dragons 26-6
And once again, I see the Dragons being a little to classy for the Roosters.
I also like Brett Morris to have a standout game, score the first try, and, in doing so, cement his place in the NSW team.