The following are previews with betting tips for Round 10 of the 2017 NRL season.
Bulldogs v Cowboys
Thu May 11, 7:50 pm, ANZ Stadium
The Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs will take on the North Queensland Cowboys this Thursday night after the Cowboys were hit with another injury blow after Jonathon Thurston injured his shoulder in the ANZAC test. The Queenslanders will be keen to make amends for a poor performance against the Eels last week, while the Bulldogs will want to continue their winning momentum after an impressive win over the Raiders in round nine.
Matt Frawley will start for the ‘Dogs, replacing the injured Josh Reynolds as Raymond Faitala-Mariner joins an extended interchange. For the Cowboys, Lachlan Coote, Jake Granville and Shaun Fensom all return from injury in a huge boost to the Cowboys side.
The absence of Jonathan Thurston has seen the Bulldogs installed as favourites, but the return of Coote and Granville for Queensland will be a huge boost, particularly in easing the play-making workload on the under-pressure Michael Morgan. However, the Cowboys are still light in the forwards, with the usually intimidating forward rotation looking vulnerable against the Bulldogs pack. Expect the forwards to decide the game and the Bulldogs to get the points.
Betting Tip: Bulldogs -3.5 @ $1.90 (Madbookie)
Dragons v Sharks
Fri May 12, 6:00 pm, Jubilee Oval
The Cronulla Sharks will take on the St George Illawarra Dragons this Friday night in a huge clash between second and third on the NRL competition ladder. Both teams have had impressive seasons so far, but with success comes representative football and both coaches will be keenly aware of the need to bank premiership points through a potentially difficult Origin period.
The Dragons were hit with another injury blow as Josh Dugan was ruled out for at least three weeks with a fractured cheekbone as Jai Field joins the interchange. The Sharks will replace the injured Tony Williams with Luke Lewis in the second row in their only change.
The Dragons clearly struggled in their last game against the Storm without captain Gareth Widdop. Widdop has been the focal point of his team’s attack this year, and with Dugan now missing, expect the Sharks to rely on their more experienced spine to get the win.
Betting Tip: Dragons +7.5 @ $1.94 (Topbetta)
Tigers v Rabbitohs
Fri May 12, 7:50 pm, ANZ Stadium
The Wests Tigers will take on the South Sydney Rabbitohs this Friday night as Tigers’ coach Ivan Cleary stamped his authority at the club as star players James Tedesco, Aaron Woods and Mitchel Moses announcing their departures. The joint-venture club were impressive against the Sharks in their last game, but with so many off-field variables impacting their form, it is difficult to predict how they will play. Their opposition in the Rabbitohs are still looking for answers after a 46-8 loss against Manly in round 9.
The Tigers will replace the injured Aaron Woods with Tim Grant on the bench, while the Rabbitohs will bring Braidon Burns onto the wing in the only change for both clubs.
With both teams fielding under-strength squads and displaying inconsistent form it is difficult to pick a winner. The Rabbitohs will go into the match as narrow favourites, and expect a fired-up performance from Souths as they look to make amends for their loss to Manly. The Tigers were brave against the Sharks last week but without Aaron Woods, expect the desperate Rabbitohs to take the points.
Betting Tip: Rabbitohs Head to Head @ $1.84 (CrownBet)
Panthers v Warriors
Sat May 13, 3:00 pm, Pepper Stadium
A desperate Penrith Panthers outfit will host the New Zealand Warriors this Saturday afternoon after the home-team were woeful against the Broncos last week. Penrith have posted only two wins from nine games, and they face a Warriors squad brimming with New Zealand representatives eager for redemption after a poor performance in the ANZAC test.
James Fisher-Harris returns for the Panthers in the back-row, while Solomone Kata comes into the centres for the Warriors in the only change for both teams.
Both teams are known for the free-flowing style of attacking football, neither have executed that game-plan in recent weeks. The Warriors are facing their third loss in four games – although their losses have come against the highly-rated Storm and Raiders – while the Panthers have produced error-riddled performances which lack cohesion. Heading into the representative period, if the Panthers forward rotation can play to their potential they could drag themselves into the finals, but don’t expect miracles to come against a fired-up Kiwi’s outfit. Warriors to get the points.
Betting Tip: Warriors Head to Head @ $2.20 (Ladbrokes)
Storm v Titans
Sat May 13, 5:30 pm, Suncorp Stadium
The Melbourne Storm will take on the Gold Coast Titans this Saturday night in a double-header clash at Suncorp stadium after both teams were humbled after senior forwards Kevin Proctor and Jesse Bromwich were stood down from the Titans and Storm respectively after becoming embroiled in a drug controversy in the aftermath of the ANZAC test. Neither player will take the field but the absence of Proctor will hurt the Titans as their depth is tested further in an ongoing injury crisis.
Tohu Harris, Mark Nicholls and Ryley Jacks will join the bench for the Storm, while the Titans will welcome back Dale Copley on the bench as Joe Greenwood replaces Kevin Proctor in the back-row.
The Storm will go into the match as favourites, and given their recent form it is difficult to build a case to tip against the Victorians. Billy Slater’s return has been a revelation for Melbourne with the returning superstar slotting seamlessly into their backline. Expect Melbourne to get the points in a high-scoring affair.
Betting Tip: Storm -7.5 @ $1.92 (CrownBet)
Sea Eagles v Broncos
Sat May 13, 7:50 pm, Suncorp Stadium
The Brisbane Broncos will play the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles this Saturday night in a massive double-header clash at Suncorp stadium with both in-form teams looking to impress with several players from each side pushing for Origin selection. Both clubs impressed in their last outing, with the Broncos producing a clinical first half to put the Panthers away, while Manly demolished Souths.
The Broncos have named George Fai to make his NRL debut from the interchange as David Mead shifts to the backline to cover for James Roberts, while Manly have named an unchanged squad.
The Broncos have been impressive in recent weeks, but still look to be lacking the direction Ben Hunt provides with the star halfback still on the sideline. It will be the performance of the respective halves combinations which decides the contest, particularly the match-up between Queensland Origin hopefuls Daly Cherry-Evans and Anthony Milford. A tough match to pick but expect the class of Daly Cherry-Evans to get Manly over the line.
Betting Tip: Sea Eagles Head to Head @ $2.40 (Ladbrokes)
Knights v Raiders
Sun May 14, 2:00 pm, McDonald Jones Stadium
The Newcastle Knights will take on the Canberra Raiders this Sunday afternoon after a poor loss to the Titans in their last game sees the Novocastrians sitting outright last on the competition ladder. While they have been brave throughout the season, the Raiders will look to cut off any chance of an upset after their own disappointing loss against the Bulldogs.
Luke Yates will shift to lock for the Knights, while the Raiders will replace the suspended Josh Papalii with Sio Soliola as Dunamis Lui joins the interchange.
The Raiders will go into the contest as heavy favourites, outmatching the struggling Knights across the park. The Knights’ best chance of victory would be to put the Raiders off their game-plan, which will likely be a power-game through the middle of the field, but unless they can seriously impact their opposition’s performance, expect the Raiders to get the win.
Betting Tip: Raiders -14.5 @ $1.96 (Topbetta)
Roosters v Eels
Sun May 14, 4:00 pm, Allianz Stadium
The Parramatta Eels will take on the Sydney Roosters this Sunday afternoon after the Parramatta club made an emphatic statement in their big win over the Cowboys last week. Their opposition in the Roosters will be disappointed after their field-goal loss to the Warriors last week, but expect the ‘Chooks’ to bounce back as many in their squad will be pushing for representative selection.
With Shaun Kenny-Dowall stood down over a drug charge, Latrell Mitchell will come into the Roosters’ lineup at centre in their only change. The Eels have elected to field an unchanged side from their last-start win over North Queensland.
The Roosters will go into the match as heavy favourites but don’t expect a one-sided contest after the Eels performing well in recent weeks. Parramatta will be looking for their fourth consecutive win against the Roosters, and both sides will be pushing to take their game to the next level to crack the top four. While the Eels won’t make it easy, expect the class of the Roosters to get them over the line.
Betting Tip: Eels +5.5 @ $1.93 (Bet365)
Warriors Head to Head @ $2.20 (Ladbrokes)
Sea Eagles Head to Head @ $2.40 (Ladbrokes)