NRL Preliminary Finals

Melbourne  will rightly start as favourite for the Preliminary Final against Manly  at AAMI Park on Friday night but the Sea Eagles might still represent value. These two sides have built an intense, and at times bitter rivalry over recent seasons and while coaches Craig Bellamy and Geoff Toovey say that those animosities are in the past, rest assured that they won’t be far from the surface. The Storm looked very much like the brilliant side of old with their win over South Sydney in the first weekend of finals, while Manly was the better side in the controversial win over North Queensland. The big question is this; how many of their players are carrying injuries that may count against them either this week or in a Grand Final? Melbourne is hard to beat at home but history shows there is little between these two sides and at the price on offer with TattsBet, Manly by 1-12 could be attractive. Manly Sea Eagles 1-12

Home ground advantage is taken out of the equation for Saturday night’s Preliminary Final between the Bulldogs  and Rabbitohs  as both sides use ANZ Stadium as their home ground. Souths played poorly in the first week of finals being comprehensively beaten by Melbourne but looked to have put aside the finals’ stage-fright with a comfortable win over Canberra. The Rabbitohs have match winners and players with big game experience but Canterbury will be the real test. The Bulldogs always play tough, hard finals’ football but leaving aside the win over Manly in the first qualifying final, their late season form had been patchy. Canterbury is the favourite, however South Sydney will fancy their chances and if they are to win it is imperative that they get away to a good start. Not much in this game but maybe Canterbury has a slight edge. Canterbury Bulldogs 1-12

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