NRL Round 5 Previews and Tips

NRL Round 5 Previews and Tips

Bulldogs v Rabbitohs

Fri 3 Apr, 4:00pm, ANZ Stadium

The Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs will head into Friday night’s Grand Final rematch with the South Sydney Rabbitohs buoyed by the return of star trio Brett Morris, Tim Lafai and Josh Reynolds, while the Rabbitohs will be reeling from their first defeat since round 26 last year still missing Premiership winners Dylan Walker and John Sutton.

After a narrow victory over the Tigers last week, Bulldogs coach Des Hasler has named the man who kicked the winning field goal in Moses Mbye at 18th man on an extended bench, in a testament to the Bulldogs’ depth.

Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire has named an unchanged squad, but will be looking for his men to lift after his team’s loss to the Eels last week.


The Rabbitohs proved that they indeed haven’t ‘forgotten how to lose’ as they are now able to put the dream of an undefeated 2015 NRL season out of their minds. While the Rabbitohs will undoubtedly put in a better performance after their loss last week, the Bulldogs will be out for blood as their monster forward rotation will look to dominate a Rabbitohs pack with more skill than power.

Ben’s Tips: Bulldogs +4.0 @ $1.94 (Pinnacle Sports)



Titans v Broncos

Fri 3 Apr, 8:35pm, Cbus Super Stadium

This Friday night will see another local Queensland derby take place between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans as the Gold Coast club managed to find their first victory in 2015 against the Sharks last week through a James Roberts’ intercept try. The Broncos won their first victory in New Zealand since 2009 after holding off a fast finishing Warriors side in a gritty defensive performance.

Whether or not the Broncos will be able to emulate the efforts that have seen them undefeated since round one remains to be seen with Justin Hodges, Adam Blair and Jordan Kahu deemed unavailable for the derby match, Neil Henry has been forced into making only one change as suspended Titans’ hooker Beau Falloon makes way for young gun Kieran Mosely.


Despite injuries to important pillars in the Broncos squad, expect replacements Dale Copley, Daniel Vidot and Sam Thaiday to impress as they fight for starting positions. There wasn’t too much to like about the Titans’ performance last week, and it was only some James Roberts magic that saw the Gold Coast walk away with the two points. Expect a disciplined Broncos squad to outclass and outmuscle a Titans squad struggling to find their feet.

Ben’s Tips: Broncos -4.0 @ $1.91 (Centrebet)



Knights v Dragons

Sat 4 Apr, 7:30pm, Hunter Stadium

The Newcastle Knights will be bolstered by the addition of Tariq Simms and James McManus as they head into Saturday night’s clash with the Dragons looking to extend their winning streak to five NRL games for the 2015 season.

It will be an emotional match for both teams as they play for the Alex McKinnon cup in honour of the young forward who played for both clubs in his short NRL career. Dragons coach Paul McGregor has named an unchanged squad after last week’s impressive win over the Sea Eagles, while Newcastle coach Rick Stone will be hoping for more of the same as the Knights continue to surprise in the wake of their victory over finals favourites the Penrith Panthers.


While the Dragons were good in their win over Manly last week, expect a high-flying Knights squad to trample them as they quickly become the NRL’s dark horse for the 2015 season. Now the outright leaders of the competition, the injection of Tariq Simms and James McManus will only add more hunger to Rick Stones’ squad.

Ben’s Tips: Knights -6.5 @ $1.91



Sea Eagles v Raiders

Sat 4 Apr, 5:30pm, To Be Confirmed

The Manly Sea Eagles will face the Canberra Raiders this week as both sides look to restore some pride in their club’s jersey after disappointing losses last week. Raiders coach Ricky Stuart has dropped young halfback Mitch Cornish in favour of Sam Williams in the only change to the Raiders squad that was dominated by the Roosters last week.

Geoff Toovey will be ruing his squad’s luck with injuries as Feleti Mateo, Jaime Lyon and Josh Starling all succumbed to injuries in last week’s loss to the Dragons and are unavailable for the Saturday clash.


While the Sea Eagles face an injury crisis, the core of the squad which has been so successful in recent years remains. The Raiders face some soul searching after their capitulation to the Roosters last week, but expect a desperate Manly outfit to extend their misery.

Ben’s Tips: Total Match Points under 41.5 @ $1.90 (Centrebet)



Roosters v Sharks

Sun 5 Apr, 4:00pm, Allianz Stadium

Sydney Roosters will take on the Cronulla Sharks this Sunday afternoon in the wake of the AFL’s Essendon players being cleared of wrong-doing in what seems to be the conclusion of the ASADA drug scandal. The Sharks players and staff will be scratching their heads after many accepted bans for their part in the supplement scandal.

Sharks coach Shane Flanagan has named a revamped squad as rookies Valentine Holmes and Jack Bird are named at fullback and five-eighth respectively. Star prop forward Andrew Fifita has been relegated to the bench in a change-up that Flanagan hopes will provide results against the Roosters.

The injury to Blake Fergusson last week forces the only change to the Roosters squad as Shaun Kenny-Dowall moves back into the centres and Nene Macdonald come in on the wing.


This Roosters squad is touted by many as the best in the competition after dismissing the Raiders last week. Expect a ruthless Roosters outfit to dominate the Sharks as the Cronulla club searches for their first victory of 2015.

Ben’s Tips: Roosters -13.5 @ $1.90 (Bet365)



Eels v Tigers

Mon 6 Apr, 3:00pm, ANZ Stadium

The Parramatta Eels will take on the Wests Tigers on Monday afternoon as both squads come off impressive performances last week. After defeating reigning Premiers the South Sydney Rabbitohs, the Eels confidence will be sky-high as boom rookie John Folau moves to centre for Brad Takairangi and Bureta Faraimo comes in on the wing.

Tigers coach Jason Taylor will be happy with his young squad’s performance against Grand Finalists the Bulldogs last week after they lost at the death through a field goal. The young squad will be bolstered by the return of Pat Richards, Dene Halatau and Aaron Woods.


The Eels proved exactly what they were capable of after their victory over the Rabbitohs last week as they thrive in life after Jarryd Hayne. While the Tigers certainly won’t make it easy on Brad Arthur’s squad, expect the Parramatta club to come away with the points.

Ben’s Tips: Eels Head to Head @ $1.87 (Bet365)



Panthers v Cowboys

Mon 6 Apr, 7:00pm, Sportingbet Stadium

The North Queensland Cowboys will face the Penrith Panthers this Monday night after managing to scrape a win against the Storm last week in a golden point match. They will take some much needed confidence into their match against the Panthers as Kelepi Tanginoa comes onto the bench for John Asiata.

The Panthers will be bolstered with reinforcements as Isaac John, James Segeyaro and Nigel Plum return after the club’s disappointing loss to the Knights last week. Lachlan Coote will face the man who displaced him at Penrith in Matt Moylan, and will be looking to show his old club what they are missing out on.


After the Cowboys’ win last week, it’s easy to see them return to the form that saw them touted as Premiership favourites in the off-season. The Panthers have been struggling in recent weeks after disappointing losses to the Roosters and Knights. Expect the Cowboys to fire for the first time this year as their star-studded roster finally looks to start performing.


Ben’s Tips: No bet.



Storm v Warriors

Mon 6 Apr, 5:00pm, AAMI Park

The Melbourne Storm will play the New Zealand Warriors this Monday after their disappointing golden point loss to the Cowboys last week. The Warriors will be equally disappointed with their efforts in round 4 as they were unable to crack the Broncos’ defense.

Warriors Coach Andrew McFadden will be hoping his squad can emulate their second half performance last week after losing the game to a few tight calls, while Craig Bellamy won’t be blaming his squad for their defeat last week after Jonathan Thurston almost single handedly stole victory from the jaws of defeat.


Power through the forwards has been something the Melbourne Storm has lacked in recent times, but expect their pack to fight fire with fire against a dominant Warriors forward rotation. Ryan Hoffman will play his 250th game against his old club and will be sure to lift his teammates’ performance. Expect a disciplined Storm squad to outclass the Warriors.

Ben’s Tips: Total match points over 39.5 @ $1.90 (William Hill)



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