BENJI AKUILA TO SCORE IN 2012

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Leading online bookmaker sportsbet.com.au has opened gun Wests Tigers five-eighth Benji Marshall as the $3.25 favourite to score the most points in the NRL this season.

Warriors playmaker James Maloney is on the second line of betting at $5.00 with Australian, Queensland and Cowboys star Jonathan Thurston close behind at $5.50 – the trio are the only players quoted in single figures.

Kurt Gidley and Panther Michael Gordon are next in the market at $11 followed by Todd Carney ($13), Cameron Smith ($15) and Jamie Soward and Corey Parker (both $21).

“Benji scored the most points last season and we can’t see it being any different this time around,” sportsbet.com.au’s Ben Hawes said. “Not only does he set up plenty of points, he scores plenty himself and is a very good goal kicker.”

“James Maloney had an excellent season in leading the Warriors to the Grand Final last year and is a class goal kicker so we see him as a real contender while not much more needs to be said about Thurston and his point scoring exploits so $5.50 looks to be good value.”

Meanwhile, barnstorming Newcastle winger Akuila Uate is the $6.00 favourite to the take out the crown for the most tries in 2012 however Bulldogs fullback Ben Barba is hot on his heels at $6.50.

The pair are well ahead of Nathan Merritt ($13), Brett Stewart, Brett Morris, Kevin Locke and Manu Vatuvei (all $15) and Josh Dugan, Jarryd Hayne and Greg Inglis (all $21).

Market courtesy of sportsbet.com.au 2012 NRL Leading points scorer $3.25 Benji Marshall $5.00 James Maloney $5.50 Jonathan Thurston $11 Kurt Gidley, Michael Gordon $13 Todd Carney $15 Cameron Smith $21 Jamie Soward, Corey Parker $26 Nathan Merritt Others quoted

2012 NRL Leading try scorer $6.00 Akuila Uate $6.50 Ben Barba $13 Nathan Merritt $15 Brett Stewart, Brett Morris, Kevin Locke, Manu Vatuvei $21 Michael Oldfield, Jason Nightingale, Benji Marshall, Michael Gordon, Josh Dugan, Jarryd Hayne, Greg Inglis $26 Lachlan Coote, David Mead $31 Nathan Gardiner $34 Chris Lawrence, Jharal Yow Yeh, Matt Duffie, Josh Hoffman, Kevin Gordon, Kalifa Faifai Loa Others quoted

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