2015 NRL Round 4 Betting Preview for Warriors vs Brisbane thanks to William Hill Australia.
12pm AEDT, Sunday, March 29
Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland
The Warriors and the Broncos celebrate the 20th anniversary of New Zealand’s first match in the NRL on Sunday afternoon in what shapes as the most compelling match of the round. New Zealand have won their last two but have fallen well short of expectation while the Broncos blasted back into title contention with a devastating win over the Cowboys.
New Zealand have lost fullback Sam Tomkins to a PCL injury meaning Tuimoala Lolohea shifts to fullback and Matt Allwood comes into the centres though Konrad Hurrell could be a late inclusion. Brisbane are unchanged with Todd Lowrie travelling as 18th man.
New Zealand and Brisbane have played 35 times with the Broncos victorious on 20 occasions and the Warriors winning 15 times. The Warriors have had a slight edge recently winning six of the last 10 and three of the last four though the Broncos saluted 28-22 last time out. Four of the last five matches have been decided by single figures. The Warriors have won the last four at Mt Smart and six of the last seven at the ground.
New Zealand opened the season with a loss before putting together back-to-back wins against Canberra (away) and Parramatta (home). They dominated the Eels early last week before handing on to win by 13. The Warriors lead the NRL in run metres and have missed the fewest tackles while their kick-chase has been the best in the NRL with opponents averaging just 59.5 kick return metres a game, less than half the competition average. The Broncos were humiliated in Round 1 by Souths at home but ground out a road win at Cronulla and the dominated North Queensland at home last Friday in one of the most impressive performances of the year. Brisbane have improved every week this season.
There is a lot of pressure on young fullbacks Tuimoala Lolohea and Jordan Kahu in this one. Lolohea played the season opener at fullback and was excellent racking up 204m and 10 tackle busts. A former pivot, he has the requisite ball-playing skills to have a major impact on this match. Kahu had a shocker in his first game at the back but has improved dramatically the last two games with coach Wayne Bennett reportedly ecstatic with his development. He scored a try and set up two in a dominant performance against the Cowboys.
Stats That Matter
The Warriors have won 14 of their last 20 at Mt Smart with 12 covers. In day games they are 10-5 with a 9-6 ATS numbers while they have covered their only start of less than a converted try at home. The Broncos are 8-13 with an 11-12 ATS interstate over the same time while they are 5-2 ATS as an interstate outsider. This is just Brisbane’s fourth day match of the last three seasons. They have won and covered two. Road teams off 40-plus are 16-21 ATS since 2013. The Warriors are 7-3 straight and ATS on back-to-back home games. The under is 14-7 in Broncos games off two back-to-back wins with covers.
The Warriors got the job done last week and can get it done again on what should be a fast surface against a team that can go to pieces defensively. The edge Brisbane defence is a huge concern and the Warriors can exploit on the fringes, particularly with Ryan Hoffman dominating for the club. The Broncos haven’t shown a huge ability to win on the road and Mt Smart is not an easy venue to win at. Though the two teams have played close matches recently it wouldn’t surprise at all if this final margin got into double digits.
How It’s Shaping Up
New Zealand by 12
New Zealand -2.5 ($1.90)
Other Recommended Bets
New Zealand 13+ ($3.30)
Warriors vs Brisbane Comparison Betting Odds
Below we have 2015 NRL Round 4 comparison betting odds from leading Australian and International online sportsbooks for the game.