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NRL: A look at the week ahead

It is time for NRL fans to get excited as the 2023 season gets underway this week while there is also Super Rugby, A-League soccer and Test match cricket to look forward to in a busy week of action.

Another gripping NRL season looks to be on the cards with the Penrith Panthers looking complete the three-peat and win the Grand Final once again. However the competition will be fierce and there is a real belief that the Sydney Roosters could be the side to beat this season.

They are priced at 6.00 to win the Grand Final with the Panthers available at 4.00. Only time will tell and the excitement gets underway on Thursday.

There is also another jam-packed week of action in the A-League with Matchday 19 already upon us and there are a couple of huge games taking place towards the top of the ladder.

Super Rugby is now up and running and week two will get underway on Friday, while in Test match cricket Australia will be out to restore some pride in the third Test against India. Let’s take a closer look at what is on the agenda this week.

NRL – Eels must weather a Storm

The NRL gets underway on Thursday night with a clash between Parramatta Eels and Melbourne Storm. These two sides are expected to play finals but it remains to be seen if they can challenge for the premiership following an off-season of changes.

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The Eels are priced at 2.15 to start with a win, the Melbourne Storm 1.72. Reigning premiers Penrith begin their season on Friday night with a home game against Brisbane Broncos on Friday night and are 1.20 to win the clash.

The other game on Friday night sees two sides keen to pull away from the lower reaches of the ladder. New Zealand Warriors are priced at 1.50 to beat Newcastle Knights.

There are three games on Saturday with Cronulla Sharks versus South Sydney arguably the highlight while Manly Sea Eagles face Canterbury Bulldogs and North Queensland entertain Canberra Raiders.

On Sunday the Dolphins play their first ever game in the NRL and it does not get much harder than the Sydney Roosters. The Dolphins are on home soil and are priced at 6.00 to cause an upset. Round one concludes on Sunday afternoon when Wests Tigers take on the Gold Coast Titans.

A-League - Big Reds test for City

Matchday 19 gets underway with a cracking game on Friday night as fourth-placed Adelaide United take on ladder-leaders Melbourne City at Coopers Stadium. Adelaide are unbeaten in five games and this will be a real test for City.

However the leaders have only lost two games all season and are priced at 2.10 to win the Grand Final.

There are four games to look forward to on Saturday with a big top-of-the-ladder clash taking place between Western Sydney Wanderers and the Central Coast Mariners. It is third versus second and with the two clubs and Adelaide all locked on 28 points it could not be tighter in the race for second spot on the ladder.

There is no love lost between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory so expect some fireworks when the two sides clash in the late kick-off. To wrap up the action on Saturday Wellington Phoenix take on Newcastle Jets, while Western United entertain Perth Glory.

And to wrap up Matchday 19 there is just the one game on Sunday which sees Macarthur FC entertain Brisbane Roar.

Super Rugby – Crusaders need a response

The Crusaders lost the opening game of the season against the Chiefs and will need to respond when they take on the Highlanders in the opening game of week two on Friday night. In the other game on Friday night the Hurricanes will be looking to make it two wins from two when they travel to take on the Rebels.

On Saturday Moana Pasifika face a tough test on home soil against the Chiefs, while Fijian Drua entertain the Waratahs. There are two games to wrap up week two on Sunday when the Blues face the Brumbies and the Force entertain the Reds.

Australian Cricket – Baggy Greens playing for pride

It has been a Test series to forget for Australia. The Border-Gavaskar trophy may have gone but there is still a chance to draw the series or at the very least try and rescue some pride.

There will need to be a huge improvement though as the Aussies have been humiliated in the opening two Tests. The third gets underway at the Holkar Stadium on Wednesday and Australia are priced at 5.50 to pull off a shock and win the Test.

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