NRL Round 7 Previews and Tips

NRL Round 7 Previews and Tips

Bulldogs v Sea Eagles

Fri 17 Apr, 7:35pm, ANZ Stadium

The Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs will kick off round seven against the Manly Sea Eagles this Friday night as both clubs named rag-tag outfits due to injury and suspension. Battling Sea Eagles coach Geoff Toovey will be grateful for the return of experienced Captain Jaime Lyon but it looks like a case of one step forward and two steps backward after injuries to Brett Stewart, Tom Trbojevic and Jesse Sene-Lefao.

Critics are questioning whether Geoff Toovey can dig his team out of their current predicament as the Manly club look to be firmly entrenched in the bottom four with the fewest premiership points in the competition. Questions also remain over the Bulldogs and incumbent Blues halves duo Josh Reynolds and Trent Hodkinson as the pair have displayed indifferent form to start the season.


Bulldogs coach Des Hasler will be disappointed after his squad’s loss to the Dragons last week as the ‘Dogs miss the strike of Brett Morris and Tim Lafai in their backline. Despite the absence of James Graham and David Klemmer, the Bulldogs will field another giant pack against a desperate Manly side. Expect Des Hasler to get one up over his former club, and Geoff Toovey’s predicament to only become worse with another loss.

Ben’s Tips: Bulldogs H2H @ $1.91 (Bet365)



Dragons v Broncos

Fri 17 Apr, 7:35pm, Jubilee Oval

After their heroic win against premiership heavyweights the Sydney Roosters, competition leaders the Brisbane Broncos will take on a St George Illawarra Dragons outfit with the best defence in the NRL. Despite a disappointing start to the year, the Dragons have now won four in a row and boast the fewest points scored against them in the competition as well as third place on the competition ladder.

A defensive emphasis is looking more and more likely for Paul McGregor on Friday night as last week’s win for the Broncos put them third overall for points scored in 2015 with 132.

The Broncos will be buoyed by the return of Justin Hodges from injury, which will shift outside back Corey Oates to the wing in place of suspended prop Jarrod Wallace, while the Dragons only loss is forward Tyson Frizell to suspension.


While the Dragons have performed well in their four game winning streak, they have yet to face one of the heavyweights of the competition after the Bulldogs fielded a team missing five regular stars last week. Conversely, the Broncos proved their top four credentials with their win over the Roosters last week, so expect them to extend their winning streak to six.

Ben’s Tips: Broncos -2.0 @ $1.93 (Pinnacle)



Cowboys v Warriors

Fri 18 Apr, 5:30pm, 1300Smiles Stadium

A high-flying North Queensland Cowboys outfit will take on the New Zealand Warriors in Townsville after the club’s massive win over reigning premiers the South Sydney Rabbitohs last week as Jonathan Thurston has cemented himself as one of the greatest of all time with three consecutive man-of-the-match performances to drag his squad back into premiership contention.

The Warriors will be similarly buoyed after Shaun Johnson showed glimpses of the form that won him the Golden Boot last year in their win against the Tigers last week as the New Zealand club looks to overcome their inconsistent start to 2015.


The Cowboys are on fire and it’s difficult to see how this Warriors side could do anything to douse the flame. Off the back of a powerful forward rotation, the halves duo of Jonathan Thurston and Michael Morgan is quickly becoming one of the most potent in the competition. Expect the Cowboys forwards to fight fire with fire against a big Warriors pack, and expect them to come out on top as well.

Ben’s Tips: Cowboys -8.5 @ $1.93 (Bet365)



Storm v Roosters

Fri 18 Apr, 7:30pm, AAMI Park

A wounded Sydney Roosters outfit will take on the Melbourne Storm at the former’s home ground after their gutting loss to the Broncos last week. Halves duo James Maloney and Mitchell Pearce will be ruing their missed attempts at a field goal as they failed to close out the match, but will have to hit back against a dangerous Melbourne side that are flying under the radar in 2015.

Storm fans would have been assured that life will go on after Billy Slater as stand in rookie fullback Cameron Munster starred in their win against the Raiders last week. Melbourne have named an unchanged side, while Roosters firebrand Dylan Napa and Jake Friend have been promoted to the starting side after Sam Moa’s suspension.


It is rare for the Roosters under Trent Robinson to lose three in a row, but if anyone can make it happen, it’s the Storm. The Melbourne side look very dangerous this year, even with Billy Slater out, but expect premiership heavyweights the Roosters to hit back after consecutive losses to prove they still have the gumption for the top four.

Ben’s Tips: Roosters Head to Head @ $1.83 (William Hill)



Titans v Panthers

Fri 18 Apr, 3:00pm, Cbus Super Stadium

Saturday afternoon football will see the Penrith Panthers take on the Gold Coast Titans after both struggling clubs chalked up a win last week. Penrith coach Ivan Cleary will debut yet another Jennings brother as Robert – the younger brother to NSW centre Michael – moves into the centres for Jamal Idris, who has been ruled out for the season with a ruptured ACL. After beating the Sea Eagles comfortably last week, the Penrith club will be hoping for a win amongst a horror injury toll to start the season.

Neil Henry will be happy with his squad’s performance after they were impressive last week in their 16-38 win over Parramatta, and will benefit from the return of suspended hooker Beau Falloon, which relegates Kieran Mosely back to the bench in place of Eddy Pettybourne.


Last week Penrith managed to out-enthuse a struggling Sea Eagles side but they will face much harder opposition in the Titans. After the cocaine scandal the club looks to have recovered after their big win last week over the Eels, so expect the Gold Coast to come away with the points.

Ben’s Tips: Titans Head to Head @ $1.84 (CrownBet)



Knights v Eels

Sat 19 Apr, 4:00pm, Hunter Stadium

Two struggling teams in the Newcastle Knights and Parramatta Eels will play each other this Sunday as they will be desperate to reboot their stuttering seasons. After encouraging starts to the year, both clubs have offered little resistance in disappointing consecutive losses in the past two rounds and will be looking to dig themselves out of the log-jam trying to enter the top 8.

Eels coach Brad Arthur has named an unchanged squad in the aftermath of his side’s loss to the Titans, whilst Knights coach Rick Stone has swapped out Sione Mata’utia with Tyler Randell on the bench for his utility.


The Knights were flying high with an unbeaten start to the season but questions are now being asked of a team that has only scored one try in its last 160 minutes of football. Conversely, the Eels will be looking to shore up their defence after conceding 60 points in their last two games. It’s a difficult one to pick, but expect the Eels to return to winning ways this weekend.

Ben’s Tips: Total Match Points under 40.5 @ $1.90 (Sportsbet)



Tigers v Raiders

Sat 19 Apr, 2:00pm, Leichhardt Oval


The Wests Tigers will play the Canberra Raiders after both clubs impressed despite losing last week. Both new at their respective clubs, Jason Taylor and Ricky Stuart seem to be getting the best out of their inexperienced rosters.

The Tigers fell last week to a Warriors side building momentum into the Origin period, whilst the Raiders were the better team on the field in their loss to the storm. Ricky Stuart would have been concerned after star lock Shaun Fensom went down with an ankle injury, but the workhorse backrower has been named in the starting side. The Tigers have named an unchanged squad ahead of the clash.


With both clubs struggling for consistency and with inexperienced spines, expect the forwards to determine the result. Despite an inexperienced spine, the Tigers win out in the forward department, so expect them to get the two points against the Raiders this Sunday.

Ben’s Tips: Tigers -8.0 @ $1.96 (Pinnacle)



Sharks v Rabbitohs

Sun 20 Apr, 7:00pm, Remondis Stadium

Giant killers the Cronulla Sharks will play the reigning premiers the South Sydney Rabbitohs this Monday night as the Cronulla club’s resurgence is spearheaded by the inexperienced rookie duo Jack Bird at five-eighth and Valentine Holmes at fullback.

The Sharks will miss the impact of the Fifita twins against Souths, with Sam Tagataese and Jayson Bukuya coming into the side, while the Rabbitohs will play second rower Glenn Stuart at five-eighth to cover for Adam Reynolds, with Chris Grevsmuhl coming into the starting back-row.


Given the Sharks recent bout of good form, and the premiers meek loss to the Cowboys last week, this is a difficult game to pick after both squads have displayed inconsistent form this season. It’s difficult to see the reigning premiers lose two in a row but the absence of Adam Reynolds has send shockwaves through the club as they struggle for form. Conversely, a Sharks outfit with little to lose and everything to gain will take the field confident that they can only improve, so expect the Sharks to come away with the points.

Ben’s Tips: Sharks H2H @ $2.35 (Betfair)



Share this:
Filed in: NRL


Post Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.