NRL Betting: Canberra in crisis
There is no bigger jinx in the NRL when it comes to these two sides...
It's crisis time in Canberra, in more ways than one, although its the Raiders James Sweeney is more worried about than the politicians...
Parramatta v Newcastle
2 units on Newcastle @ Betfair Match Odds of (1.82)
Newcastle bounced back like a talented team should after a bye filled with crisis meetings and heavy introspection: they put the beat on a very good team.
The Knights floored the Tigers 38-20 but put on 38 unanswered points, only the second time the side has scored more than four tries all season. It was an impressive win with the most notable impact coming from the Knights' much-maligned outside backs: Timana Tahu played his best game in a half-decade, Dane Gagai continues to improve, and Akuila Uate has plenty to prove since being dropped from Origin.
A similar showing should see the Knights better an Eels side who have not won consecutive games since July 2010 - nearly two full years back. The Knights have won seven of 11 against the Eels including the last three, keeping Parramatta to just one try in each. Parramatta have lost nine of 11 at Parramatta Stadium while Newcastle have lost three of the last four at the venue. The two respective fullbacks - Darius Boyd and Jarryd Hayne - are the only two missing on Origin duty from this.
Newcastle should prove too strong - and will need this if they are to go on a late run.
Canberra v St George Illawarra
1 unit on Canberra @ Betfair Match Odds of (2.70)
There is no bigger jinx in the NRL when it comes to these two sides - for reasons not entirely clear, the Canberra Raiders have had it all over St George Illawarra over the last decade despite the fact the Dragons have nearly exclusively had a stronger side over that time.
In the 16 games dating back to 2001, the Dragons have been successful just twice - in 2001 and 2007. Over that timeframe, the Raiders have won nine straight at Canberra Stadium, with long-serving players like Ben Hornby and Dean Young never successful at the venue.
Canberra have without question been whipped by an injury crisis - Josh Dugan, Joel Thompson and Trevor Thurling being the latest casualties. The Dragons have not been strong this season though and only just overcame the Titans at home. On the road, the Dragons have lost six straight, by an average of 14 points.
The Raiders look outmatched on paper but should lift for the team they have an absolute hold on.