Round 17 of the 2020 NRL season is in the books. While the end can’t come soon enough for some teams, the Eels need more time to recapture their form.

Clinical: Storm & Roosters Impress

Crazy things happen in rugby league, but those crazy things don’t seem to happen to the Melbourne Storm and Sydney Roosters all that often. They know what their job is every week. More often than not, they go to work and return home as winners.

As the Eels crumble as premiership contenders and questions remain over how deep this relatively inexperienced Penrith Panthers team can go remain unanswered, the Storm and Roosters looked primed to compete for the Provan-Summons Trophy once again. Whether they meet in the NRL Grand Final or a week earlier, one of these two will likely be the favourites on October 25.

The Roosters are the favourites to make the Grand Final at $1.75. The Storm sit on the second line at $1.95 with the Panthers slightly back at $2. From there, the Roosters have reclaimed their premiership favouritism at $3.50 with the Storm at $3.75 and Panthers at $4.20.

While anything can happen on any given day in the NRL, you can rely on the Storm and Roosters to be two of the premier sides in the competition at the pointy end of the season.

Eels Win While Slipping In Premiership Market

A win is a win and all of that, but not every win instils confidence in a premiership push.

While the Parramatta Eels held on to beat the New Zealand Warriors 24-18 on Sunday afternoon, the performance itself only hurt their premiership chances further. They slipped in the market last week to $9. In struggling to beat a bottom eight side in the Warriors, the Eels have drifted further to $12 to win the premiership.

With Dylan Brown already out for an extended period and Reed Mahoney failing to finish in Round 17, the wheels appear to be falling off the Eels as the finals approach.

Cleary Buries 1-12

There has been a sense around the Brisbane Broncos that they’d start to look like a competent footy side at some stage this season. While they weren’t brilliant against the Penrith Panthers on Thursday night, it’s the best the Broncos have played in months. With Panthers 1-12 punters revelling in the Broncos improvements and the likelihood of a little win growing when Jordan Riki scored in the 62nd minute, Nathan Cleary soon stuck the knife in.

Brian To’o scored in the 69th minute to push the lead out to 12. They weren’t going to lose it from there. Nonetheless, just three minutes from time expiring, Cleary put one through the posts to for the Panthers to win 25-12.

It’s one that got away from Panthers 1-12 punters while those at 13+ count their lucky stars.

Game Saver Moment Of The Round

The Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles had a Round 17 win over the Wests Tigers all but locked in after 67 minutes. Morgan Harper crossed the line, Daly Cherry-Evans knocked over the conversion, and the Sea Eagles took a 32-18 lead over a hapless Tigers side. Even as Adam Doueihi scored two minutes later, the expectation was for the try to snap the Sea Eagles back into action.

But they didn’t…

David Nofoaluma scored in the corner just three minutes later to make it 32-28. By the time Doueihi scored his second and knocked over the conversion for 34-32, the Sea Eagles had less than 90 seconds to find a match-winner.

The Sea Eagles can’t catch a trick at the moment. Those that used their Game Saver token on them this week did, though.

NRL Against The Spread Standings

While the Broncos covered their line in Round 17, it’s not enough to lift them off the bottom of the NRL’s ATS ladder. They’ll no doubt receive plenty of interest as +1.5 underdogs to the Gold Coast Titans in Round 18.

After Round 17

Top 8Bottom 8
Storm (12-5)Eels (8-9)
Sharks (11-6)Titans (8-9)
Knights (10-6-1)Bulldogs (8-9)
Panthers (10-7)Dragons (7-10)
Warriors (10-7)Cowboys (7-10)
Roosters (9-8)Tigers (6-10-1)
Rabbitohs (8-8-1)Sea Eagles (6-11)
Raiders (8-8-1)Broncos (6-11)