PUNTING SPECTATOR: Back to earth

Backing a winner is normally something to crow about, but Kate Ritchie was always a shoe-in for the Gold Logie. This week's Rugby League form is going to be much more difficult to assess, but Dr Turf gives it his best shot anyway.

Well, I suppose we came back to earth with a bit of a thud last week – you can’t be too chuffed when one of your winners was Kate Ritchie in that highly competitive Gold Logie league. People complain about waiting for five days to collect when you have a bet on a test match, but that seems like a mere nanosecond compared to watching the Logies for four hours to collect. That’s four hours you’re never going to get back. Fancy having to rely on a TV soap to find a winner!

Not that I’m a sore loser or anything (yeah, not much) but did anyone see the 'penalty try' awarded to the Stormers against the Brumbies? I felt as though I had been violated when I had to pay my bookie for the losing bet on the Brumbies with the handicap start. In fact, I think it’s time we introduced protests in to sporting events just like we have in racing. That one would have been upheld.

Anyway, that’s gone, but this weekend is very, very hard. With the Australia versus New Zealand rugby league test on Friday night, it’s dicey to try and tip this weekend without knowing how the players in that game will back up for their club games. But I cannot go three days without a punt on the league, so here goes. This week’s prices are from Lasseters and as always, are subject to change.

TeamPrice
Sydney Roosters
1.42
Canberra Raiders
2.95
Bulldogs
1.64
Penrith Panthers
2.32
Brisbane Broncos
1.60
Manly Sea Eagles
2.40
Parramatta Eels
1.60
St George-Illawarra
2.40
Melbourne Storm
1.34
Newcastle Knights
3.40

Cronulla will take on North Queensland in Townsville, and they are one side who have travelled there in the past and returned some positive results (six wins from 10 starts). Bowen is out of the Cowboys side, and it now looks like Jonothan Thurston will miss as well. Some bookies are giving a couple of points start to the Sharks – take it and run.

The other one I like for the weekend is the Bulldogs to roll Penrith. Somebody is due to tell the Panthers that an 80 minute game of football actually goes for 80 minutes – they continually get themselves into a winning position and fade out. The Bulldogs have Luke Patten and Reni Maitua back this week and I will be taking a piece of the $1.68 for the Bulldogs to win.

TeamPrice
Hurricanes
1.26
Western Force
4.00
Bulls
1.38
ACT Brumbies
3.15
Highlanders
2.87
Blues
1.44
QLD Reds
4.50
Crusaders
1.22
Sharks
1.16
Cheetahs
5.50
Lions
2.87
Chiefs
1.44
Stormers
1.62
NSW Waratahs
2.35

On to the Super 14, which also has a few 'ifs and buts' as the season draws to a close. Some of the teams are out of the race already, but at least a few of the 'name' sides have to be full tilt as they try and grab a slice of finals action. The Chiefs are one such side, and they will be in Johannesburg to play the Lions. Whilst the Lions were miserable against the Stormers last week, the Chiefs made plenty of errors when beaten by the Force. Two weeks ago the Lions were beaten by the Brumbies right on the siren in Canberra, and if they can play like they did on that occasion, they can rack up a victory here. It is also worth noting that they have beaten the Chiefs both times they have played in Jo’burg, so I will be having something small on the Lions to win at $3.00, and going in hard on them with the 8 point start.

We’ve been travelling ok on the AFL but there is just no business to be done this week with the 'Big V' versus the 'Dream Team' game at the G. Just sit back and enjoy the class on display.

I was hoping to give you all some late mail on Big Brother but after watching it for two nights last week, but I cannot. In fact, I would rather rub broken glass into my eyes than watch another episode of that garbage. None of them deserve to win – it would be difficult to find a more charmless, obnoxious group of empty heads assembled in the one place. Bottom-shelf television. Having said that, I’ll try and get some mail from my kids, who not only watch that show but, more importantly, know how to bet and frame markets.

The good news in the wonderful world of gambling on entertainment, is that the Eurovision song contest is only a week or so away. I’ve just got to listen to another 42 songs and I’ll form an opinion. I’ll let you know who I like, but from what I’m told, Armenia is under the odds at $5. Mind you, no-one’s got no idea what they’re singing about.

See you next week punters and hey, let’s be careful out there.