NRL Round 8 Preview and Tips





Friday 3rd May, 7:35pm, Suncorp Stadium

Broncos: Corey Norman, Josh Hoffman, Jack Reed, Justin Hodges, Lachlan Maranta, Scott Prince, Peter Wallace, Ben Hannant, Andrew McCullough, Sam Thaiday (c), Alex Glenn, Matt Gillett, Corey Parker. Interchange: Ben Hunt, Scott Anderson, David Hala, Josh McGuire

Rabbitohs: Greg Inglis, Nathan Merritt, Beau Champion, Bryson Goodwin, Andrew Everingham, John Sutton, Adam Reynolds, David Tyrrell, Issac Luke, Roy Asotasi, Chris McQueen, Ben Te’o, Sam Burgess. Interchange: Nathan Peats, Jason Clark, Ben Lowe, George Burgess, Jeff Lima, Justin Hunt

Another tough matchup looms for the Bunnies after they managed to leave Brookvale oval on Friday night having defeated competition heavyweights Manly. They take on the Brisbane Broncos who have shown a great deal of improvement in recent weeks despite a few close calls. I get the feeling that last week the Broncos thought they may have been able to leave Campbelltown with a fairly easy win and although they did, it almost went awry for them. Coach Griffin must surely understand that his Broncos must assert themselves for the full 80 minutes if they are to stand any chance of winning.

It’s a tough game to pick and I’ll be opting towards the Rabbitohs but don’t despair Broncos fans; I truly expect that a loss in this game will only help improve your side’s attitude which will manifest itself in more wins down the track.

Mike’s Tip: Rabbitohs

Mike’s Suggested Bet: Half Time/Full Time – Rabbitohs/Rabbitohs @ $1.97 (Luxbet)

Mike’s Best Bet: None

Friday 3rd May, 7.35pm, ANZ Stadium

Bulldogs: Ben Barba, Mitch Brown, Josh Morris, Tim Lafai, Sam Perrett, Josh Reynolds, Trent Hodkinson, Aiden Tolman, Michael Ennis (c), Martin Taupau, Tony Williams, Frank Pritchard, Greg Eastwood. Interchange: Dene Halatau, Josh Jackson, James Graham, Dale Finucane, Tim Browne

Wests Tigers: James Tedesco, Marika Koroibete, Joel Reddy, Bodene Thompson, Matt Utai, Curtis Sironen, Jacob Miller, Aaron Woods, Robbie Farah (c), Jack Buchanan, Liam Fulton, Adam Blair, Shaun Spence. Interchange: Ben Murdoch-Masila, Eddy Pettybourne, Suaso Sue, Tim Simona, Ava Seumanufagai

Round 7 tossed up some highly contrasting results for the Bulldogs and Tigers. The Bulldogs nabbed a win and got their premiership tilt back on track for the time being. The Tigers, who went in to round 7 with an injury riddled squad, came out of it with only 12 men left standing in the match which has left their premiership tilt in tatters.

There’s not too much to look at in this game; I can’t take the Tigers given this is their 3rd major team reshuffle in as many weeks minus some top quality players. Couple that with the Bulldogs being posted at the prohibitive odds of $1.15 and we don’t have much of a betting game either. Sit back and relax!

Mike’s Tip: Bulldogs

Mike’s Suggested Bet: None

Mike’s Best Bet: None


Saturday 4th May, 5:30pm, AAMI Park

Storm: Billy Slater, Sisa Waqa, Will Chambers, Justin O’Neill, Mahe Fonua, Gareth Widdop, Cooper Cronk, Jesse Bromwich, Cameron Smith (c), Bryan Norrie, Kevin Proctor, Ryan Hoffman, Tohu Harris. Interchange: Jason Ryles, Junior Moors, Slade Griffin, Lagi Setu, Kenneath Bromwich

Raiders: Reece Robinson, Sandor Earl, Jack Wighton, Blake Ferguson, Edrick Lee, Terry Campese (c), Josh McCrone, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, Matt McIlwrick, Brett White, Joel Edwards, Jake Foster, Shaun Fensom. Interchange: Anthony Milford, Joe Picker, Dane Tilse, Paul Vaughan, Jarrad Kennedy, Shaun Berrigan

Another team making their way into round 8 at prohibitive odds is the Melbourne Storm who are at about $1.15 to knock off the Raiders in front of their home crowd.

Melbourne hasn’t lost a game this year and the Raiders are 0 from 3 in games away from Canberra. The contrasting stat however is that in this game played at AAMI Stadium in the past two years, the Raiders have won both of them at very long odds.

Terry Campese has been named in the starting line up for the first time this year and if he’s fit enough now to last the full 80 minutes that will be a big bonus for the side.

However, and surely not surprising to many, I’ll be tipping the Storm and if you’re game enough to tip the Raiders and be successful then I salute you!

Mike’s Tip: Storm

Mike’s Suggested Bet: First Scoring Play – Storm Try @ $1.50 (Luxbet)

Mike’s Best Bet: None


Saturday 4th May, 7:30pm, Parramatta Stadium

Eels: Jarryd Hayne (c), Ken Sio, Ryan Morgan, Api Pewhairangi, Vai Toutai, Luke Kelly, Chris Sandow, Mitch Allgood, Matt Keating, Fuifui Moimoi Reni Maitua (c), Kelepi Tanginoa, Joseph Paulo. Interchange: Kaysa Pritchard, Darcy Lussick, Peni Terepo, Matthew Ryan

Cowboys: Matthew Bowen, Ashley Graham, Brent Tate, Kane Linnett, Kalifa Faifai Loa, Johnathan Thurston (c), Michael Morgan, Matthew Scott (c), Rory Kostjasyn, James Tamou, Tariq Sims, Glenn Hall, Dallas Johnson. Interchange: Ray Thompson, Gavin Cooper, Scott Bolton, Joel Riethmuller, Ashton Sims, Jason Taumalolo

Another big loss for the Eels could spell panic stations for coach Ricky Stuart and rumours are already starting to spread that someone on the Eels board is already unhappy with his coaching methods. To calm any potential furore a victory will be vital but I have my doubts as to whether this current crop of Eels have the mettle to compete with a Cowboys side that thrives on fast paced footy.

Despite a 30-12 victory over the Raiders at home last week, the Cowboys still have plenty of areas in their game that need work, particularly holding their concentration for the full 80- minutes.

In a bid to avoid suffering what would be deemed a bad loss to a side of the Eels calibre, the Cowboys should win comfortably.

Mike’s Tip: Cowboys

Mike’s Suggested Bet: Half Time/Full Time – Cowboys/Cowboys @ $1.85 (Luxbet)

Mike’s Best Bet: None


Sunday 5th May, 2:00pm, Mt Smart Stadium

Warriors: Kevin Locke, Bill Tupou, Jerome Ropati, Ben Henry, Manu Vatuvei, Thomas Leuluai, Shaun Johnson, Sam Rapira, Nathan Friend, Russell Packer, Feleti Mateo, Simon Mannering (c), Todd Lowrie. Interchange: Ben Matulino, Jacob Lillyman, Elijah Taylor, Pita Godinet, Ngani Laumape

Titans: William Zillman, Kevin Gordon, Brad Takairangi, Jamal Idris, Anthony Don, Aidan Sezer, Albert Kelly, Luke Douglas, Beau Falloon, Luke Bailey, Greg Bird, Mark Minichiello, Nate Myles. Interchange: David Taylor, Mark Ioane, Ryan James, Sam Irwin, Steve Michaels

The bookies have seemingly written off the Titans who are travelling across the ditch to take on the last placed Warriors. Looking closely at the match up I can see plenty of good reasons why the Titans could snatch a win, or at least go close. I was surprised when reading’s preview of the match which said there were no excuses for the Titans 30-6 loss last week against the Knights. I’m not sure what game that particular writer was watching but the one I saw had an injury plagued Titans team contesting 75% of the match with just one man on the bench. In the modern era of Rugby League, 14 men against 17 is not going to end well for you.

Now here are the positives for the Titans: Their depth gives them a list of players that are more than capable of filling the holes left by the injured ones. Brad Takairangi comes in for O’Dwyer, Nate Myles moves to lock for Ash Harrison which sees perennial workhorse Luke Bailey move to the starting line up. Hooker Matt Srama is replaced by the eager Beau Falloon who grabs any opportunity he is afforded with two hands. Speed demon Kevin Gordon returns to the wing.

To the Warriors and strike weapon Konrad Hurrell is out with injury and will be replaced by Ben Henry. Jerome Ropati resumes his position in the centres from last week where the Storm outside backs turned the poor guy into a chicane. I do like Ropati and I hope he isn’t getting past it.

So far in 2013 the Warriors have only won one game and it was by 2 points against the Cowboys. These sides could be compared as being fairly even and that makes the Titans with a points start a good looking proposition.

Mike’s Tip: Titans

Mike’s Suggested Bet: See Best Bet

Mike’s Best Bet:


Sunday 5th May, 2:00pm, Hunter Stadium

Knights: Darius Boyd, James McManus, Dane Gagai, Timana Tahu, Akuila Uate, Jarrod Mullen, Tyrone Roberts, Kade Snowden, Kurt Gidley (c), Willie Mason, Robbie Rochow, Alex McKinnon, Chris Houston. Interchange: Travis Waddell, Neville Costigan, Adam Cuthbertson, David Fa’alogo, Korbin Sims

Sharks: Michael Gordon, Nathan Stapleton, Ben Pomeroy, Jonathan Wright, Beau Ryan, Todd Carney, Jeff Robson, Andrew Fifita, John Morris, Ben Ross, Luke Lewis, Wade Graham, Paul Gallen (c). Interchange: Chris Heighington, Jayson Bukuya, Isaac De Gois, Anthony Tupou, Sam Tagataese

The glaring stat here is that in 2013 the Knights have won 4 from 4 games at home and the Sharks are 0 from 3 when playing away from home. The ASADA saga is continuing to have its affect on the Sharks and one has to pity the side and especially its fans.

I’m taking the Knights to win and with the poor old Sharks only averaging 18 points per game this year, it’s easy to surmise that if they are expected to lose then they will struggle to beat the Knights to 10 points. Especially when goal kicker Kurt Gidley has only missed 4 goals from 21 attempts this year.

Mike’s Tip: Newcastle

Mike’s Suggested Bet: Newcastle First to 10 points @ $1.53 (Centrebet)

Mike’s Best Bet: None

Sunday 5th May, 3:00pm, Allianz Stadium

Roosters: TBA

Panthers: Matt Moylan, Travis Robinson, Lewis Brown, Dean Whare, David Simmons, Tom Humble, Luke Walsh, Sam McKendry, Kevin Kingston (c), Tim Grant, Sika Manu, Matthew Robinson, Nigel Plum. Interchange: Adam Docker, Mose Masoe, James Segeyaro, Clint Newton, Nathan Smith

Without taking anything away from the Panthers, their victory last week was impressive but against the lowly ranked Eels nonetheless. This game against the Roosters is where they need to show their stuff and make people take notice.

The Roosters are coming off the back of their ANZAC Day walloping of the Dragons and I can now confirm that Coach Trent Robinson will be starting the game with the same 17 from that match.


Mike’s Tip: Roosters

Mike’s Suggested Bet: Roosters -13.5 @ $1.66 (Sportsbet)

Mike’s Best Bet: None


Monday 6th May, 7:00pm, WIN Jubilee Oval

Dragons: Jason Nightingale, Brett Morris, Chase Stanley, Matt Cooper, Daniel Vidot, Jamie Soward, Nathan Fien, Dan Hunt, Mitch Rein, Jack Stockwell, Tyson Frizell, Ben Creagh (c), Trent Merrin. Interchange: Bronson Harrison, Matt Prior, Jack de Belin, Damien Cook, Michael Weyman, Will Matthews

Sea Eagles: Brett Stewart, Jorge Taufua, Jamie Lyon (c), Tom Symonds, David Williams, Kieran Foran, Daly Cherry-Evans, Brenton Lawrence, Matt Ballin, Brent Kite, Anthony Watmough, Justin Horo, Glenn Stewart. Interchange: Peta Hiku, David Gower, Jamie Buhrer, Jesse Sene-Lefao, Esi Tonga, George Rose

The Dragons will be looking to bounce back after they were pounded into submission last week by the Roosters. They head to the former Kogarah Oval where they hold the record of 5 wins from the last 5 matches against Manly.

Manly will be looking for a bounce back of their own after they were beaten to the tune of 20-12 last week by the Rabbitohs. It was a game that they were more than good enough to win were it not for some 50/50 calls not going their way.

When the Dragon’s defence is at its peak it holds a particular style that should oppose the Sea Eagles well. With their strong intentions of making up for last week’s loss, I think the Dragons can take it to the Sea Eagles here but will ultimately come up short in a close one.



Mike’s Tip: Sea Eagles

Mike’s Suggested Bet: Sea Eagles 1-12 @ $3.10 (Centrebet)

Mike’s Best Bet: None

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7 Responses to "NRL Round 8 Preview and Tips"

      1. Well that was a rough weekend, among other things who in their right mind could have seen the Raiders rolling the Storm?. That cost plenty but Bellyache will have them “in a better frame of mind” against the Panthers next week so taking a big spread and clawing back some money should be on the cards.

        I need a drink!.


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