Canterbury Bulldogs vs. New Zealand Warriors
MATCH UP STATS
Canterbury Bulldogs vs. New Zealand Warriors
Line betting:Canterbury Bulldogs: +4 ($1.90 @ Sportsbet)New Zealand Warriors: -4 ($1.90 @ Sportsbet)
First try-scorer:Canterbury Bulldogs: Brett Morris $9New Zealand Warriors: Manu Vatuvei $10
Season record:Canterbury Bulldogs: 0-2New Zealand Warriors: 1-1
Friday, March 17, 8pm, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, New Zealand.
DUE to a fixturing quirk and the need for a few extra dollars, the Canterbury Bulldogs play a ‘home game’ this Friday night against the New Zealand Warriors in Dunedin.
Both teams enter this game under serious pressure and the loser will be pushed to the brink of crisis, despite it being only the third game of the season.
For the Warriors, the addition of Manu Vatuvei will be a welcome return for the club’s leading try-scorer and he will surely attract plenty of attention from punters.
Bulldogs fans are hanging on by a thread after the club extended its losing streak from 2016 into the new year. Two losses to start the season has dented the confidence of the once-proud team, which is desperate for a return to form.
The narrow loss to the Roosters last week had plenty of merit, but losing both Kerrod Holland and Will Hopoate won’t help its chances. It hasn’t been an easy start for the Bulldogs after taking on the Storm in week one, so facing the Warriors will be a welcome sight.
Playing in an indoors stadium should provide plenty of action and we’re expecting offense to take centre stage. The Warriors have given up an average of 24 points per game this season and the Bulldogs are coming off a game where they gave up 28 points to the Roosters, so expect tries to be scored.
Bulldogs team and first try-scoring tips
Chances have been made to the Bulldogs team due to significant injuries. Brad Abbey makes his season debut at fullback and Marcelo Montoya is a fresh-faced winger who could provide some excitement.
1. Brad Abbey – $21
2. Brett Morris – +1100
3. Josh Morris – $17
4. Brenko Lee – $12
5. Marcelo Montoya – $12
6. Josh Reynolds – $26
7. Moses Mbye – $23
8. Aiden Tolman – $67
9. Michael Lichaa – $36
10. James Graham – $41
11. Josh Jackson – $31
12. Greg Eastwood – $46
13. David Klemmer – $36
The Bulldogs twin pairing of Brett and Josh Morris are used heavily in attack and they’re the best try-scoring options this Friday night.
Josh Morris has scored two tries already this season, but is the lesser-fancied first try-scoring option at $17 with Sportsbet.com.au.
The centre doesn’t get the same opportunities as his winger brother, but he’s in the better form and the $2.88 to score at any time is good value. Expect Morris to get involved with the action with some new faces surrounding him on the field.
Brenko Lee is a “rocks and diamonds” type player who has yet to score this season, but is knocking on the door. The rangy centre has more offloads, try assists and errors than any other player in the Bulldogs back line, which makes him a threat.
To have more try assists than his two play making teammates is a big reason why the Bulldogs have gone months without a win, but punters will be hoping Lee can show his best form and cross the line.
He’s currently +130 to score with CrownBet and in what should be a high-scoring game, that looks a nice multi-bet addition.
Warriors team and try-scoring tips
The changes made to the Warriors team can only be seen as positives. Manu Vatuvei returns to the wing for the first time this season and the Blake Ayshford also returns to an extended bench.
The Warriors have a good team across the park, but the try scoring duties have been largely placed on David Fusitua’s shoulders. Expect that to change this week as the Warriors boast an impressive line up.
1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck – $14
2. Ken Maumalo – $10
3. Solomone Kata – $10
4. David Fusitua – $16
5. Manu Vatuvei – $11
6. Ata Hingano – $23
7. Shaun Johnson – $14
8. Albert Vete – $56
9. Issac Luke – $36
10. Jacob Lillyman – $71
11. Bodene Thompson – $23
12. Ryan Hoffman – $31
13. Simon Mannering – $31
Rust won’t be an issue for Manu Vatuvei and we’re backing the Warriors all-time try scoring leader. Vatuvei is a class act and he’s extremely tough to stop close to the line.
His defense might be suspect, but he has never lacked the ability to find the line and punters should expect plenty of action to come his way. He’s short at $10 to score first, but we prefer taking the $2.10 to score at any time.
Another tackle-busting threat for the Warriors is Solomone Kata. The weight lifting champion has enormous power and he’s almost unstoppable close to the line.
Kata is always a favourite with punters and the $10 to score first at Sportsbet is a bet which should be in with a shot.
Our smokey for the Warriors in the try scoring ranks is Albert Vete. The big prop is a workhorse on defense, having made 50 tackles already this season, but he’s a chance at scoring a close range try this Friday night.
Vete is unlikely to score first, but he could crash over at odds of $10 later in the game and return punters a huge dividend.
Bulldogs vs. Warriors game tip
The Warriors don’t have a good record when playing away from Mount Smart, but its team across the park is too good to overlook.
They will always be an enigmatic team and rarely live up to expectations, but it only takes a glimmer of confidence to get the ball rolling for the Warriors.
They meet the Bulldogs in the middle of a significant losing streak, so the timing couldn’t be better for the host nation and the odds on offer are rather generous from the bookmakers.
The $1.48 for the win is a touch shorter than what we want to take for the Warriors, but lay into the -4 ($1.90 at Sportsbet) as we’re predicting a solid 8-10 point victory in the way of the New Zealand Warriors.
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