Kick-off: 0630, 21/03/2020
Stadium: Leichhardt Oval
TV: Sky Sports Arena
Back-to-back NRL champions the Sydney Roosters will be keen to kick-start their 2020 campaign by seeing off the Sea Eagles at Leichhardt Oval.
Both of these teams suffered defeats in round one, but Trent Robinson’s side did have the excuse of returning from World Club Challenge duties.
With another week to get over that trip to England, we’re backing the favourites to cover a 6.5 points handicap at 91/100 for our first Roosters vs Sea Eagles prediction.
A Look At Sydney Roosters’ Betting Odds
The Roosters ran out convincing 20-12 victors when facing Super League Grand Final winners St Helens at Totally Wicked Stadium last month.
However, such an arduous journey had to hamper preparations for the new domestic season and almost certainly took its toll in a 20-14 loss at Penrith.
All looked well when the Roosters led by six points inside the final quarter of that match, but the Panthers turned things around with two late tries.
Robinson moaned: “I thought it was disappointing. Early season, you need to finish your sets well and we didn’t have one good end of set in the second half.”
Getting Angus Crichton back from a chest infection is a boost this week, though, especially with Boyd Cordner still absent.
Half-backs Luke Keary and Kyle Flanagan should also be sharper, so a big improvement is expected.
Giant winger Daniel Tupou has scored seven tries in his last six encounters with Manly and the 6ft 5in ‘Giraffe’ is one to watch out for this weekend.
Looking at the Roosters vs Sea Eagles odds, he is a worthy favourite at 7/1 to cross the whitewash first.
A Look At Manly Sea Eagles’ Betting Odds
Manly exceeded expectations when finishing sixth in the table last year, six points adrift of the Roosters in second.
The Sea Eagles then beat Cronulla 28-16 in the play-offs, before crashing out to the South Sydney Rabbitohs in a 34-26 loss.
Keeping hold of Trbojevic brothers Tom and Jake over the winter was a welcome relief and should ensure another solid campaign.
However, Des Hasler’s side looked off the pace in attack when beaten 18-4 by Melbourne Storm on home turf last weekend.
Manly did only concede tries from kicks through, though, so it would be harsh to criticise their effort in defence.
That makes us lean towards taking 2/1 for them to go down by 1-12 points in our Roosters vs Sea Eagles betting tips.
For those keen to cheer Manly on, 81/50 for ‘Turbo’ Tom Trbojevic to score a try at any time catches the eye, as he will be keen to enhance his claims of ousting opposite number James Tedesco as Australia’s full-back.
Penrith 20-14 ROOSTERS
SEA EAGLES 4-18 Melbourne
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