NRL Round 12 – Preview and Tips



BYE: Warriors, Sharks


Melbourne Storm v Brisbane Broncos

AAMI Park, 7:35pm (local).

STORM: Billy Slater, Matt Duffie, Dane Nielsen, Will Chambers, Justin O’Neill, Gareth Widdop, Cooper Cronk, Jesse Bromwich, Cameron Smith, Jason Ryles, Bryan Norrie, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Todd Lowrie. Interchange: Anthony Quinn, Rory Kostjasyn, Michael Greenfield, Jaiman Lowe, Luke Kelly, Maurice Blair, Kenny Bromwich

BRONCOS: Josh Hoffman, Gerard Beale, Jack Reed, Matt Gillett, Dale Copley, Corey Norman, Peter Wallace, Scott Anderson, Andrew McCullough, Josh McGuire, Alex Glenn, Ben Te’o, Corey Parker. Interchange: Ben Hunt, David Hala, Dunamis Lui, Mitchell Dodds

The Storm enter this post-Origin encounter having won 8 of the last 10 matchups and 4 of the last 5. The Melbourne Storm are a tough enough opponent as it is and Broncos coach is adamant about sticking by his player resting policy around Origin time and says he will do just that for this match, making the Storm look that little bit better.

The Storm have rightfully opened as $1.45 favourites and when playing at home against a weakened team such as the Origin affected Broncos, they are hard to go past.

Chance of winning: Storm 57%, Broncos 42%, Draw 1%

Mike’s Tip: Storm

Mike’s Suggested Bet: Take the ‘Over’ option in ‘Under/Over betting.


South Sydney Rabbitohs v Canberra Raiders

ANZ Stadium, 7:35pm (local).

RABBITOHS: Nathan Merritt, Andrew Everingham, Matt King, Dylan Farrell, Justin Hunt, John Sutton, Adam Reynolds, Scott Geddes, Issac Luke, Dave Tyrrell, Eddy Pettybourne, Sam Burgess, Michael Crocker. Interchange (from): Ben Lowe, Luke Burgess, Josh Starling, Jason Clark, Dave Taylor, Greg Inglis, Chris McQueen

RAIDERS: Reece Robinson, Edrick Lee, Jarrod Croker, Joel Thompson, Jack Wighton, Josh McCrone, Sam Williams, David Shillington, Travis Waddell, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, Josh Papalii, Bronson Harrison, Shaun Fensom. Interchange (from): Shaun Berrigan, Joe Picker, Sam Mataora, Dane Tilse, Dimitri Pelo, Mark Nicholls

The week has not started well for the Raiders with their senior playing group agreeing to have Josh Dugan and Blake Ferguson dropped for this week’s match after they were caught in breach of a team alcohol ban. The loss of Dugan and Ferguson will place the Raiders under the pump from minute one in this game and accordingly, the Rabbitohs have been instated as short priced favourites.

Souths’ Origin representatives, fullback Greg Inglis and second-rower Dave Taylor have been named on the bench but it is yet to be seen if they will back up at the Rabbitohs home ground just two days after their rep duties.

The Raiders aren’t completely out of this one, but you’d be mad to tip them.

Chance of winning: Rabbitohs 60%, Raiders 39%, Draw 1%

Mike’s Tip: Rabbitohs

Mike’s Suggested Bet: none.



Newcastle Knights v Gold Coast Titans

Hunter Stadium, 5:30pm (local).

KNIGHTS: Darius Boyd, James McManus, Junior Sa’u, Timana Tahu, Akuila Uate, Jarrod Mullen, Tyrone Roberts, Kade Snowden, Danny Buderus (c), Willie Mason, Chris Houston, Zeb Taia, Neville Costigan. Interchange: Matt Hilder, Joel Edwards, Adam Cuthbertson, Alex McKinnon

TITANS: William Zillman, Kevin Gordon, Jamal Idris, Beau Champion, David Mead, Aidan Sezer, Jordan Rankin, Luke Bailey, Matt Srama, Nate Myles, Greg Bird, Mark Minichiello, Ashley Harrison. Interchange (from): Luke Douglas, Brenton Lawrence, Ben Ridge, Luke O’Dwyer, Matt White

Danny Buderus has been named to make his return from injury and captain the Knights in a fairly crucial game heading through the middle of the season. It will be confirmed closer to game time whether or not Buderus will actually take the field.

The Knights are still in touch with the top 8 albeit two competition points away and a loss here will make their 2012 prospects a little bit harder.

The Titans however sit 3rd last and it’s probably now or never if they are to head towards the top 8.

I’m tipping the Knights to win this one. The home crowd will prove crucial in their support, especially when playing an interstate team. Willie Mason has added some real experience and maturity to the team and his on field talk amongst the troops provides some real security to the troops.

Chance of winning: Knights 54%, Titans 45%, Draw 1%

Mike’s Tip: Knights

Mike’s Suggested Bet: Newcastle to win 1-12


St George Illawarra Dragons v Parramatta Eels

WIN Jubilee Oval, 7:30pm (local).

DRAGONS:  Brett Morris, Daniel Vidot, Kyle Stanley, Matt Cooper, Jason Nightingale, Jamie Soward, Ben Hornby (c), Dan Hunt, Mitch Rein, Jeremy Latimore, Beau Scott, Ben Creagh, Dean Young. Interchange (from): Cameron King, Leeson Ah Mau, Trent Merrin, Jack de Belin, Atelea Vea, David Gower, Chase Stanley, Jake Marketo

EELS: Jarryd Hayne, Luke Burt, Ryan Morgan, Cheyse Blair, Ken Sio, Casey McGuire, Chris Sandow, Tim Mannah, Matt Keating, Justin Poore, Nathan Hindmarsh, Matthew Ryan, Reni Maitua. Interchange (from): Joseph Paulo, Fuifui Moimoi, Mitchell Allgood, Taniela Lasalo, Taulima Tautai

The Dragons must be wondering what they have to do to win after their last two matches resulted in losses, both in golden point extra time. They must be quietly feeling good about their chances against an Eels side that sits last on the ladder and funnily enough, the last time these sides encountered each other resulted in a draw at the end of golden point extra time. In the 7 games previous to that, the Dragons have won 6 and don’t look like letting up now after they showed against the Rabbitohs that they know how to play some solid point scoring footy.

Casey McGuire has moved into 5/8th for the Eels but it’s hard to see any certain evidence that the Eels are ready to improve here.

Chance of winning: Dragons 62%, Eels 37%, Draw 1%

Mike’s Tip: Dragons

Mike’s Suggested Bet: Take the Dragons -8.5 @ $1.90




Penrith Panthers v Manly Sea Eagles

Centrebet Stadium, 2:00pm (local).

PANTHERS: Lachlan Coote, Etu Uaisele, Geoff Daniela, Brad Tighe, Josh Mansour, Blake Austin, Luke Walsh, Sam Mckendry, Kevin Kingston, Tim Grant, Clint Newton, Cameron Ciraldo,  Luke Lewis. Interchange (from): Ryan Simpkins, Nigel Plum, Dayne Weston, Travis Burns, Danny Galea

SEA EAGLES: Brett Stewart, Dean Whare, Jamie Lyon, Steve Matai, Jorge Taufua, Kieran Foran, Daly Cherry-Evans, Jason King, Matt Ballin, Brent Kite, Anthony Watmough, Tony Williams, Glenn  Stewart. interchange (from) Jamie Buhrer, Joe Galuvao, Darcy Lussick, George Rose, Vic Mauro, Daniel Harrison, Liam Foran   

Manly have named an extended bench thanks to a host of their stars returning from State of Origin duties and being given up until kick off to prove to coach Geoff Toovey that they are ready to back up 4 days after their representative assignments.

Penrith have turned their season around in the last two games having a narrow win and a narrow loss which were both improvements on their poor start to the year.

However, with Manly having won the last 3 times against the Panthers, I can see them making it 4 but with some tired players backing up from Wednesday night I won’t be surprised if they take their foot off the pedal towards the end and only win by 1-12 points.

Chance of winning: Panthers 44%, Sea Eagles 55%, Draw 1%

Mike’s Tip: Sea Eagles

Mike’s Suggested Bet: Sea Eagles to win by 1-12 points.


Wests Tigers v North Queensland Cowboys

Campbelltown Sports Stadium, 3:00pm (local).

TIGERS: Tim Moltzen, Matt Utai, Beau Ryan, Chris Lawrence, Lote Tuqiri, Blake Ayshford, Benji Marshall, Aaron Woods, Robbie Farah (c), Keith Galloway, Adam Blair, Liam Fulton, Chris Heighington. Interchange (from): Ben Murdoch-Masila, Curtis Sironen, Matt Bell, Tom Humble, Joel Reddy.

COWBOYS: Matthew Bowen, Ashley Graham, Brent Tate, Kane Linnett, Antonio Winterstein, Johnathan Thurston, Ray Thompson, Matthew Scott, Aaron Payne, James Tamou, Gavin Cooper, Glenn Hall, Dallas Johnson. Interchange (from): James Segeyaro, Ricky Thorby, Ashton Sims, Jason Taumalolo, Scott Bolton, Kalifa Faifai Loa, Cory Paterson 

The Cowboys will prove to be the Tigers toughest opponents in over a month and I think the Tigers are going to have to work mighty hard to nab a 5th straight victory. Playing at your home ground is often very advantageous when playing the Cowboys but the boys from North Queensland are a different looking side from the one in previous years. They have Johnathan Thurston backing up from his role as the Queensland halfback but that has never affected his game in the past and is unlikely to in this match. With the Tigers posted as favourites I’m taking the Cowboys with at the line as they are certainly good value.

Chance of winning: Tigers 48%, Cowboys 51%, Draw 1%

Mike’s Tip: Cowboys

Mike’s Suggested Bet: You can get $1.92 for the Cowboys with a +4.0 start on Sportsbet




Sydney Roosters v Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs

Allianz Stadium, 7:00pm (local).

ROOSTERS: Anthony Minichiello, Peni Tagive, Joseph ‘BJ’ Leilua, Tautau Moga, Sam Perrett, Braith Anasta, Mitchell Pearce, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jake Friend, Martin Kennedy, Aidan Guerra, Mitchell Aubusson, Boyd Cordner. Interchange (from): Lama Tasi, Brad Takairangi, Mose Masoe, Daniel Mortimer, Tinirau Arona

BULLDOGS: Ben Barba, Luke MacDougall, Josh Morris, Jonathan Wright, Timoteo Lafai, Josh Reynolds, Kris Keating, Aiden Tolman, Michael Ennis, Sam Kasiano, Frank Pritchard, Dene Halatau, Greg Eastwood. Interchange (from): James Graham, David Stagg, Corey Payne, Trent Hodkinson, Joel Romelo

With the Roosters the outsiders in betting, there is another good chance of an upset in this one and I have both teams rated an even chance of winning.

The Roosters have won the last 3 games played at this venue but overall, both teams are struggling to find week to week consistent winning ways.

It’s an especially big game for the Roosters who have a bye next week and a win here could possibly see them sitting amongst the top 8 in two weeks time.

Chance of winning: Roosters 49%, Bulldogs 49%, Draw 1%

Mike’s Tip: Roosters

Mike’s Suggested Bet: Take the Roosters +2.5 @ $1.95

(Team lists sourced from

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