As well as providing his best value bets every week, our NRL guru Steve Green also previews every NRL game for members. Each week on the blog we’ll feature some of his match previews from the eight games. Check out his Raiders v Cowboys preview below
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Raiders v Cowboys: NRL Round 5
The Raiders have not won a game convincingly all year, with poor ball control a regular issue. Against the Storm, they never really looked in the contest, which was the same thing that happened against the Cowboys and Manly. Their forwards are not performing the way they need to and without momentum through the middle, their backs are pushing passes and making silly errors.
This can be seen in the fact that the Raiders are running last for metres made and fourth-worst for errors. Not a single Raiders player is exceeding expectations for 2022. Wighton has had some blinders, but also played poorly on occasion. While Starling looks great at times, but also lacks the consistency of other top-notch number 9s.
Most of these issues have to be tracked back to Stuart, who continues to leave out players that have the potential to provide the Raiders with much needed spark. Although having Savage at 14 is a good improvement, Stuart has confirmed he will only use Savage if injury requires it… so there is a chance that Stuart leaves Savage on the bench for 80 minutes.
Tonight’s team lists for Raiders v Cowboys!
Kick off at 7:50pm from GIO stadium pic.twitter.com/8rdlnsCNYu
— Nrl Live Blogs (@nrl_blogs) April 14, 2022
As for the Cowboys… they choked against Warriors after dominating for opening half. In contrast to the Raiders lack of yardage, the Cowboys are running fourth-best for metres made and sixth for tackle breaks. Despite having a forward pack that was much maligned in the pre-season, their forwards are always aggressive and going forward. With the rejuvenated Hess back in the line-up, I think the Cowboys forwards have the edge here.
Cowboys head into this one in better form, but the home ground a factor is in favour of the Raiders.
I cannot pick who will win this one and think that the head start on the Cowboys is decent value.
Predicted score: Raiders v Cowboys