NRL Round 15 Previews and Tips


Raiders v Bulldogs

Fri 20 Jun, 7:45pm, GIO Stadium

Raiders: 1. Anthony Milford 2. Matthew Allwood 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Jack Wighton 5. Sami Sauiluma 6. Terry Campese 7. Josh McCrone 8. David Shillington 9. Glen Buttriss 10. Brett White 11. Jake Foster 12. Jarrad Kennedy 13. Shaun Fensom
Interchange: 14. Mitch Cornish 15. Kyle O’Donnell 16. Dane Tilse 17. Shannon Boyd
Bulldogs: 1. Mitch Brown 2. Corey Thompson 3. Krisnan Inu 4. Timoteo Lafai 5. Drury Low 6. Josh Reynolds 7. Trent Hodkinson 8. Sam Kasiano 9. Michael Ennis 10. James Graham 11. Josh Jackson 12. Tony Williams 13. Greg Eastwood
Interchange: 14. Dale Finucane 15. Tim Browne 16. Pat O’Hanlon 17. Reni Maitua 22. Lloyd Perrett

Please keep in mind that I’m writing the preview for this match on Wednesday and State of Origin game 2 has not been played yet, so any potential injuries or omissions that could affect the Bulldogs in the fallout from the game will not have been observed by me yet.

As circumstances stand, the Bulldogs are $1.65 favourites despite having to make the trip down south to play Canberra. But is it any wonder with the way the Raiders have been playing?

There was an air of gallantness surrounding the Raiders’ last performance against the Broncos but the fact stands that they were still behind on the scoreboard by 24 points at the end of the 80 minute period.

I still see a distinct lack of running in Terry Campese’s game and I think it’s time for him to either;

– Play halfback and inject some more running into his attack in order to create at least an ounce of doubt in defenders’ minds.

– Play lock and continue to play the same style of game but as a 3rd half and allow Mitch Cornish into the number 7 jumper with McCrone at 6.

The Raiders have always seemed to be a bit mixed up positionally in the post Todd Carney era and new coach Ricky Stuart hasn’t offered anything positive in the halves.

I applaud his idea to try Jack Wighton in the halves but that proved to be a failed experiment that needed to be killed off a lot earlier than it was.

Not much to say about the Bulldogs and I’m apprehensive to do so without having seen how Origin plays out.


Mike’s Tip: Bulldogs

Mike’s Best Bet: None

Mike’s Casual Bet: Bulldogs Head to Head @ $1.65 (Sportsbet)



Warriors v Broncos

Sat 21 Jun, 5:30pm, Mt Smart Stadium

Saturday June 21, 5:30pm (local), Mt Smart Stadium

Warriors: 1. Sam Tomkins 2. David Fusitua 3. Konrad Hurrell 4. Ngani Laumape 5. Manu Vatuvei 6. Chad Townsend 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Jacob Lillyman 9. Nathan Friend 10. Sam Rapira 11. Jayson Bukuya 12. Simon Mannering 13. Sebastine Ikahihifo
Interchange: 14. Feleti Mateo 15. Suaia Matagi 16. Charlie Gubb 17. Ben Henry
Broncos: 1. Ben Barba 2. Daniel Vidot 3. Jack Reed 4. Dale Copley 5. Lachlan Maranta 6. Josh Hoffman 7. Ben Hunt 8. Josh McGuire 9. Jake Granville 10. Ben Hannant 11. Alex Glenn 12. Corey Oates 13. Todd Lowrie
Interchange: 14. Jarrod Wallace 15. David Stagg 16. David Hala 17. Francis Molo

The Warriors make a seemingly rare trip to their home ground at Mt Smart Stadium to host the Brisbane Broncos with both teams fresh off a bye and looking to make significant progression up the premiership ladder.

A win for the Warriors could launch them to within striking distance of the top 8 whilst the Broncos could find themselves in the top 4 if round 15’s results favour them.

The Warriors have become one of the most improved sides in the last 10 rounds and look likely to become a force to be reckoned with at the back half of the season.

The Broncos have done plenty of improving themselves and it would appear that the odd 5 to 10 minute lapses that plagued their game earlier in the season may have been eradicated now that we have seen them play out some impressive wins off the back of genuine intensity that has lasted the full 80 minutes.

That intensity will be tested this week as it always becomes a test to travel across the Tasman and take on the Warriors on their own turf. Then comes the Warriors’ forwards trying to bash your side up the middle which really tests your mettle. If an opponent’s defensive line becomes slightly fractured, the Warriors are capable of running right through it, and if a hard running forward attracts plenty of defenders, then you can expect a quick shift to the centres where you have another challenge on your hands, particularly when Konrad Hurrell comes running at you like a bull on the streets of Pamplona.

It all sounds pretty good for the Warriors yeah? So I’ll be tipping them to bounce back from the thumping they received from the Rabbitohs in their last game and I expect them to take advantage of some tired Broncos players who will be backing up from State of Origin, assuming they are even selected.


Mike’s Tip: Warriors

Mike’s Best Bet: Warriors -6.0 @ $1.92 (Sportsbet)



Sharks v Sea Eagles

Sat 21 Jun, 7:30pm, Remondis Stadium

Sharks: 1. Nathan Gardner 2. Sosaia Feki 3. Blake Ayshford 4. Jonathan Wright 5. Michael Gordon 6. Todd Carney 7. Jeff Robson 8. Siosaia Vave 9. Michael Lichaa 10. Bryce Gibbs 11. Luke Lewis 12. Wade Graham 13. Paul Gallen
Interchange: 14. Fa’amanu Brown 15. Chris Heighington 16. Anthony Tupou 17. Sam Tagataese 18. Tinirau Arona
Sea Eagles: 1. Brett Stewart 2. Jorge Taufua 3. Jamie Lyon 4. Steve Matai 5. Peta Hiku 6. Kieran Foran 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Josh Starling 9. Matt Ballin 10. Brenton Lawrence 11. Anthony Watmough 12. Justin Horo 13. Jamie Buhrer
Interchange: 14. Jesse Sene-Lefao 15. Dunamis Lui 16. Tom Symonds 17. Jason King 18. James Hasson 20. Jack Littlejohn


When these two sides met back in Round 6 the Sharks were in a pretty ordinary place and really failed to show up for that particular game resulting in an easy 24-4 win for Manly.

Unfortunately the Sharks aren’t much better off at this stage of the season having not scored a try since Round 10 and it’s highly unlikely they can get the better of a Sea Eagles side that is currently equal 1st on the ladder.

Injuries still plague the Sharks and a few players could be backing up just four days after State of Origin, if they decide to back up at all.

Also in the last few weeks ASADA has once again been mentioned a lot in the same sentences as the Sharks and this will no doubt provide the players with a new set of distractions.

The Sea Eagles head into the game without Anthony Watmough after he copped a 4 game suspension through the week for a lifting tackle in Origin game 2 but will be a strong force to be reckoned with regardless.

Line bets would be the only genuine betting option in this game but I’m not confident on either team’s option with some doubt as to whether or not Daly Cherry-Evans will front up for Manly after carrying injury into Origin on Wednesday night. His absence tends to cost the Sea Eagles a try or two.


Mike’s Tip: Sea Eagles

Mike’s Best Bet: None

Mike’s Casual Bet: Manly/Manly in HalfTime/Fulltime betting @ $1.68 (Ladbrokes)



Storm v Eels

Sun 22 Jun, 2:00pm, AAMI Park

Storm: 1. Billy Slater 2. Sisa Waqa 3. Will Chambers 4. Mahe Fonua 5. Young Tonumaipea 6. Ben Hampton 7. Ben Roberts 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Cameron Smith (c) 10. Bryan Norrie 11. Kevin Proctor 12. Ryan Hoffman 13. Ryan Hinchcliffe
Interchange: 14. Kenny Bromwich 15. Tohu Harris 16. Junior Moors 17. Jordan McLean 18. Tim Glasby 19. Joel Romelo 20. Kurt Mann
Eels: 1. Jarryd Hayne 2. Semi Radradra 3. William Hopoate 4. Willie Tonga 5. Vai Toutai 6. Corey Norman 7. Chris Sandow 8. Tim Mannah 9. Isaac De Gois 10. Junior Paulo 11. Ken Edwards 12. Pauli Pauli 13. Joseph Paulo
Interchange: 14. David Gower 15. Lee Mossop 16. Peni Terepo 17. Luke Kelly


The Storm might be playing out of sorts lately but this will prove to be a tough road trip for the Eels nonetheless.

It’s hard to believe that after 14 rounds of the competition that the Storm are sitting outside the top 8 and even this week must win by more than 22 if they are to penetrate the finals positions.

A lot is going to depend on the whether or not Billy Slater and Ryan Hoffman back up for the game and I’m going on the assumption that Cam Smith will back up as the only thing likely to stop him from playing would be a nuclear bomb.

On the Eels side there will also be doubt as to whether or not Hayne backs up; you can read all the news publications, gossip and rumours as to whether or not these players will take the field, but when you’re throwing money at matches you learn not to make hasty decisions until about half an hour before the game when things are a bit more clear cut.

The Eels haven’t won in Melbourne since 2005 but one must remember that 2006 was when the Storm began their reign of high class footy that saw them compete in 4 consecutive grand finals whilst Parramatta eventually fell by the wayside.

I’ll tip the Storm in any tipping comps for this match but you’d have to really twist my arm to get me too put money on this match.


Mike’s Tip: Storm

Mike’s Best Bet: None

Mike’s Casual Bet: Storm Head to Head @ $1.68 (Bet365)



Titans v Dragons

Sun 22 Jun, 3:00pm, Robina Stadium

Titans:  1. William Zillman 2. Kevin Gordon 3. Brad Tighe 4. James Roberts 5. David Mead 6. Brad Takairangi 7. Maurice Blair 8. Luke Bailey 9. Beau Falloon 10. Luke Douglas 11. Greg Bird 12. Mark Minichiello 13. Ashley Harrison
Interchange: 14. Matt White 15. Caleb Binge 16. Ben Ridge 17. Matt Srama 18. Dave Taylor 19. Nate Myles
Dragons: 1. Adam Quinlan 2. Charly Runciman 3. Josh Dugan 4. Gerard Beale 5. Jason Nightingale 6. Gareth Widdop 7. Benji Marshall 8. Ben Creagh 9. Mitch Rein 10. Mike Cooper 11. Leeson Ah Mau 12. Joel Thompson 13. Trent Merrin
Interchange: 14. Jack de Belin 15. Will Matthews 16. Shane Pumipi 17. Bronson Harrison

The Dragons arrive at this point of the season being known as not much more than cellar dwellers whilst many still hold hopes for the Titans to make the finals after their stellar start to the season. The funny thing is though, that if the Dragons defeat the Titans in this week’s match by 5 points or more they will actually move past them on the ladder.

The Titans seem to be falling apart but it doesn’t come as a surprise to many with their results in recent rounds essentially reflecting the stats they were producing early in the season despite racking up wins.

The main thing killing the Titans is the ill discipline manifesting in handling errors and attempts at silly offloads late in games out of pure desperation. With other teams in the competition obviously a lot more well drilled in their set pieces compared to the start of the season, the Titans are finding themselves being punished a lot more as opponents make the most of their opportunities.

And when speaking of teams on the improve, the Dragons are at the forefront now that new halfback Benji Marshall has found his feet in the top grade once more.

Having watched the Dragons and Marshall’s efforts against the Panthers last week, it was clear that Benji offers a lot more patience now in attack and the team was not afraid to repeatedly attack the Panthers’ right hand side defence until they got it right.

For some fairly new combinations, the Dragons can be pretty proud of only going down by four points against a Panthers side at home.

Once more, and continuing the trend of this round, it’s hard to find anything of value to bet on here with so much doubt over both sides’ representative players and whether or not they will back up for this game, not to mention how they will perform.

It would be best to just sit back and watch this game in my opinion and take notes on the Dragons in particular.


Mike’s Tip: Dragons

Mike’s Best Bet: None

Mike’s Casual Bet: Dragons +4.0 @ $1.90 (Centrebet)



Knights v Cowboys

Mon 23 Jun, 7:00pm, Hunter Stadium

Knights:  1. Darius Boyd 2. James McManus 3. Dane Gagai 4. Joseph Leilua 5. Akuila Uate 6. Jarrod Mullen 7. Tyrone Roberts 8. David Fa’alogo 9. Kurt Gidley 10. Willie Mason 11. Beau Scott 12. Robbie Rochow 13. Jeremy Smith
Interchange:  14. Adam Clydsdale 15. Korbin Sims 17. Chris Houston 18. Joseph Tapine 19. Clint Newton
Cowboys: 1. Michael Morgan 2. Matthew Wright 3. Brent Tate 4. Kane Linnett 5. Antonio Winterstein 6. Johnathan Thurston 7. Ray Thompson 8. Matthew Scott 9. Rory Kostjasyn 10. James Tamou 11. Ethan Lowe 12. Tariq Sims 13. Scott Bolton
Interchange: 14. Robert Lui 15. Glenn Hall 16. Ashton Sims 17. Jason Taumalolo

Monday night footy between the Knights and the Cowboys wraps up a fairly sombre round for punters and perhaps fans alike after being littered with so many uncertainties as to who is playing in each game thanks to State of Origin.

This one is no different with the Knights unlikely to field Beau Scott or Darius Boyd and if either player does make it onto the paddock, it would be with injury.

The Cowboys have lost Brent Tate with yet another knee injury and Matt Scott has all but been ruled out of the match with a facial injury that will hurt his side considerably.

This game would have tossed up enough mysteries without all the doubts over who is, and isn’t playing, as does any game that sees the Cowboys playing away from home. After many years being touted as a side with so much potential, the Cowboys are still, a general failure when playing away from 1300 Smiles Stadium. It’s obviously a mental issue because they have proven they can be giant killers on any given day when playing at home in Townsville.

Surely at some stage they Cowboys have to take a long hard look at themselves and decide to knuckle down on the road to kill their 7 game losing streak in away games.

I’m tipping they can do that in this game but once more it will be no easy task with Scott and Tate missing against a Newcastle side that are slowly but surely getting their act together.

Placing money on this match is a big no go for mine but if you’re keen to create some interest perhaps you might like to lean towards the Cowboys like I will be doing and have a stab at the $2.17 on offer from Pinnacle.


Mike’s Tip: Cowboys

Mike’s Best Bet: None

Mike’s Casual Bet: Cowboys Head to Head @ $2.17 (Pinnacle)



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2 Responses to "NRL Round 15 Previews and Tips"

  1. watch for the dragons to come together this week.
    although titans showed some significant signs of scoring,
    dragons will step it up today. 1-12 dragons!!

  2. knights will win tonight,
    they cant lose this one or else its one too many for wayne.
    cowboys havent won an away game for a while.
    they always struggle from home ground.
    will be another close one but i think knights will get the job
    done here for wayne!!


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