Tigers the night's best bet

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Tigers the night's best bet

Post by weststigers4life » Sun 17 Feb, 2013 12:54 am

YOU could get $1.55 for a Wests Tigers win on Saturday night.

Yes, it is possible to bet on trial games. No matter that there were no competition points at stake. Or that one team fielded more players than the other. What's more, it was one of five games with a betting market on Saturday night.

This, less than two weeks after po-faced government ministers unveiled the Australian Crime Commission's report into the integrity - or lack thereof - in Australian sport. We are not suggesting anything untoward happened at Campbelltown Stadium or at any of the weekend's other trial matches. But the TAB's decision to offer odds on Mickey Mouse games, so soon after the darkest day in Australian sport, is likely to raise eyebrows.

TAB Sportsbet representative Matt Jenkins said it was nothing out of the ordinary, as the agency had offered markets on trials for the past three years. ''It's something we've done before, there's a demand there for it, so we're happy to offer it,'' Jenkins said. ''The interest is there and people want to follow their teams early in the season.''

The NRL's preference is for betting to be offered only on major trials, such as the Charity Shield, with officials poised to discuss the matter with the agency.

The Tigers looked a safe bet against Parramatta from the outset. In his first touch for the joint-venture club, in the 13th minute, Braith Anasta scored. It was one of two tries for the former Roosters captain. Like most of the plays which resulted in points, they were the result of lead-up work from Benji Marshall. The Kiwis captain set up four of the opening five tries, the best of them a kick for flying winger Marika Koroibete from his side of halfway after a scrum win.

The Eels were missing only Jarryd Hayne, Ben Smith and Reni Maitua from their top squad but were constantly carved up. The visitors conceded the opening 36 points and the bleeding only momentarily stopped when Marshall and Robbie Farah headed for the showers with half an hour remaining.

It was not the ideal start for Ricky Stuart in his first fair-dinkum trial for Parramatta. Fuifui Moimoi had a dig for the Eels but none of the others clad in blue and gold covered themselves in glory. Can you spray a team after a trial match?

It was better news for a newbie to the NRL clipboard brigade, Mick Potter. The Wests Tigers coach would have enjoyed the sight of big Keith Galloway striding into - and often through - the defence after an injury-riddled season. Anasta looked at home in a foreign jersey, Marshall was clearly the most influential figure on the field and in Koroibete they have unearthed a genuine speedster.

New halfback Jacob Miller iced the cake with a field goal on the buzzer.

In what could perhaps be a sign, Tim Mannah led the Eels out on to the field. As yet, no captain has been appointed. But after a lacklustre performance, Stuart has more pressing issues. His players will front a fan day at their training field on Sunday. Some of them will struggle to look their supporters in the eye.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-league/leag ... z2L4P4vMnl

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