NRL Betting: Dogs still barking
Des Hasler has built a side this year that is willing to get down and dirty.
Matt Adamson knows who let the Dogs out, and expects more bite from them this weekend in their NRL match-up against the Tigers.
With State of Origin done and dusted for another year, it's business as usual for the 16 sides all trying to live out their boyhood dreams and go all the way in season 2012.
Both the Tigers and Bulldogs come into this one with the ideal preparation. They enjoyed the week off after having mixed results in round 16. Canterbury were too strong for the highly-fancied Storm, while the Tigers were dismantled at the hands of an underperforming Knights outfit on Monday night.
If there has been one problem area for the Tigers this season it has undoubtedly been their inability to outmuscle their opposition and physically compete, and if I take you back to the start of the year, let's not forget Matty Johns having a crack at Robbie Farah for playing soft.
Maybe a reminder of that will spark them into action this weekend.
Des Hasler has built a side this year that is willing to get down and dirty. It was a formula that gave him great success at Manly, and on top of that this year a few members of his squad have performed at a level few thought possible. The form of Krisnan Inu, which Hasler basically pulled off the NRL scrap heap, has been a joy to watch - there was never any doubt he had the talent, but no coach prior has had the ability to extract it the way Hasler has.
If the Tigers are going to prevail in this one it certainly won't play out like an old fashioned arm wrestle. The Bulldogs will be too tough and it will play right into their hands. I can see them pushing the Dogs, but only if they play a free-flowing game style and get out in the wide open spaces.
The problem I foresee, however, is that they are still a little gun shy.
Dogs to win @ Betfair odds of (1.70).
The Knights take on the Bunnies this week, and I couldn't be happier.
I'm tipping that this weekend is when the rugby league world will find out how far off the mark the Knights actually are in season 2012.
The overpaid team of the year have enjoyed consecutive wins over the Eels and Tigers in their last two fixtures, but this week they run into the form team of the competition.
Michael Maguire is nothing short of a genius. He has taken a fair squad that boasted a few big names and has turned them into a genuine premiership threat, and it must be noted that it is their style of play, rather than their big names, that has them sitting pretty.
The Bunnies hunt in packs, and have formed a winning culture to go with an internal respect for each other that will enable them to go all the way in season 2012.
That's right, you heard it here first. The Bunnies can go all the way.
Put simply, Maguire has been able to implement a style of play that allows his big name players to produce the goods when it matters most.
South Sydney by 25+ @ Betfair odds of (1.70).