NRL Round 13 Previews and Tips
Broncos v Sea Eagles
Fri 5 Jun, 7:35pm, Suncorp Stadium
The Brisbane Broncos will play the Manly Sea Eagles this Friday night as the contract saga surrounding Daly Cherry Evans finally seems to have been resolved with the star Halfback sensationally back-flipping on a contract with the Gold Coast Titans to stay with Manly until the end of the 2018 season.
Seen as a major coup by the Titans earlier in the season, Cherry-Evan’s retention by the Sea Eagles should see a massive boost in morale for the club struggling on the bottom of the NRL ladder, giving under-pressure coach Geoff Toovey a much needed reprieve.
The Broncos will welcome back Justin Hodges and Sam Thaiday for the clash, with the returning skipper pushing Jordan Kahu to the wing, and Lachlan Maranta from the team. Broncos coach Wayne Bennett has erred on the side of caution with his experienced Origin stars after star Lock-forward Corey Parker will be rested this week.
Manly coach Geoff Toovey’s only change from last round is Feleti Mateo’s inclusion on the bench at the expense of James Hasson. There has also been speculation that Daly Cherry Evans will take the field despite not being named on Tuesday.
With speculation that Daly Cherry Evans could play and his retention by the Manly club, an upset by the last placed Sea Eagles on the equal 1st placed Broncos wouldn’t be surprising, particularly after Manly’s narrow loss the Cowboys last week. However, the Broncos look to be building towards something big as their halves pairing combined for a phenomenal performance against the Raiders last week. Expect the class of the Broncos to see them come out on top.
Ben’s Tip: Total Match Points Over 40.0 @ $1.90 (Luxbet)
Tigers v Titans
Fri 5 Jun, 7:35pm, Leichhardt Oval
The Wests Tigers will play the Gold Coast Titans on Friday as the Queensland club faces the debilitating prospect of repairing their roster left in a shambles after Daly Cherry Evans’ contract backflip. The Titans’ morale is sure to have taken a serious blow as the light at the end of the tunnel that was a three year contract with the star Manly Halfback has been snuffed out, particularly as the club faces their fourth consecutive loss.
Similarly facing their fourth consecutive defeat, the Tigers will welcome back David Nofoaluma to the centres for the injured Tim Simona, while the return of Aaron Woods and Keith Galloway pushes Matt Lodge and Brendan Santi from the side. The Titans’ only change is Mark Iaone coming onto the bench for Matthew White.
With the Titans’ tumultuous contract controversy finally coming to an end, coach Neil Henry faces an uphill battle to motivate his troops for the rest of the season. After their narrow loss the Cowboys in their last match, expect the Tigers to be too much for the struggling Titans.
Ben’s Tip:Tigers -2.0 @ $1.92 (Luxbet)
Knights v Raiders
Sat 6 Jun, 3:00pm, Hunter Stadium
The Newcastle Knights will play the Canberra Raiders on Saturday afternoon in a match between two clubs that have both managed only one win from their last four starts. With new coaches at each club, both teams have a dangerous attacking prowess, but currently lack the consistency to play finals football.
The Knights will welcome back captian Kurt Gidley at Halfback in a straight swap for the injured Tyrone Roberts while Kade Snowden’s return also relegates Korbin Sims to the bench. For the Raiders, Jordan Rapana returns to the wing from injury, pushing Sisa Waqa into the centres, and Jarrad Kennedy onto the bench at the expense of Luke Bateman.
Both sides bring an exciting, offence orientated style of football to their games, but expect the side who can find defensive supremacy to come away with the points. Despite their loss to the Broncos last week, expect the Raiders to win in a high-scoring affair.
Ben’s Tip: Total Match Points Over 42.5 @ $1.91 (Bet365)
Panthers v Storm
Sat 6 Jun, 7:30pm, Sportingbet Stadium
The Penrith Panthers will play the Melbourne Storm this Saturday night as Ivan Cleary was only briefly granted his wish of a healthy spine after Matt Moylan came off with an injured ankle in Penrith’s loss to the Eels last week. Moylan’s injury prompts a huge backline shuffle for the Panthers, with Dallin Watene Zelezniak moving to fullback and Dean Whare’s return to the centres pushing Waqa Blake to the wing. Isaah Yeo also moves into the centres, with Sika Manu starting in the Second Row and Tyrone Peachy returning to the bench from suspension.
Expect coach Craig Bellamy to have the Storm back to their disciplined best after their disappointing loss to the Roosters last week as Billy Slater’s return from injury shapes as the only change from last round.
The Panthers injury crisis never seems to end as the club continues to take one step forward, two steps back in the injury ward. The Storm will be hungry after their loss last week, and the return of star Fullback Billy Slater will only lift Melbourne’s intensity. Expect the Storm to come away with the points.
Ben’s Tip: Storm Head to Head @ $1.77 (Pinnacle)
Rabbitohs v Warriors
Sat 6 Jun, 5:30pm, NIB Stadium
The South Sydney Rabbitohs will play the New Zealand Warriors on Saturday as the New Zealand club finally looks to be hitting their straps in 2015 with the return of Fullback Sam Tomkins from injury and Shaun Johnson’s return to form.
In the Rabbitohs, the Kiwis will face staunch opposition as the Sydney club searches for their third consecutive win after naming an unchanged side from their victory over the Titans last week. Similarly, the Warriors’ only change comes with Nathan Friend and Siliva Havili swapping between the starting side and the bench.
The Rabbitohs should be a good test for the resurgent Warriors, who will try to use their bigger, mobile forwards to play the Rabbitohs at the same game that secured them the 2014 NRL premiership, but expect the defending premiers’ discipline to give them an edge. The men in green and red are likely come away with the points.
Ben’s Tip: Tribet – Either Team Win Under 6.5 Points @ $2.90 (Palmerbet)
Sharks v Roosters
Sun 7 Jun, 4:00pm, Remondis Stadium
The Cronulla Sharks will play the Sydney Roosters on Sunday as the former will welcome back NSW skipper Paul Gallen from injury in a massive boost for the Cronulla club. Gallen’s return relegates Jayson Bukuya to the bench, while Chris Heighinton pushes Tinirau Arona from the side.
The Sharks will face an unchanged Roosters side after their massive defeat at the hands of the Dragons, but will be desperate after only managing one win from their last four starts.
The Roosters will rightly go into this game as heavy favourites after easily beating the 4th placed Melbourne Storm last week. Trent Robinson finally looks to have his squad firing after overcoming a turbulent start to the season to be one of the favourites for the 2015 premiership. While the Sharks will undoubtedly be desperate after their big loss last week and more composed with the return of Paul Gallen, expect the Roosters to come away with the points.
Ben’s Tip: Sharks +8.5 @ $1.92 (Bookmaker.com.au)
Bulldogs v Dragons
Mon 8 Jun, 4:00pm, ANZ Stadium
The Canterbury Bulldogs will play the St George Illawarra Dragons on Monday afternoon as the struggling ‘Dogs welcome back inspirational skipper James Graham with Josh Morris, Josh Jackson and Trent Hodkinson all returning from the Origin arena after the bye last week, relegating Sam Kasiano and Tony Williams to the bench.
The Dragons meteoric rise continues as they now find themselves leading the competition after their massive win over the Sharks last week, and will welcome Joel Thompson back into their Second Row with Will Matthews dropping back to the bench.
The Bulldogs will likely see a dramatic improvement in form with their injury list has been shortened to Tim Lafai and Brett Morris. As Canterbury’s halves look to be finding form, expect them to straighten the ‘Dogs attack against the best defensive team in the competition. However, the Dragons look the more likely after they managed to back up their superb defence with an attacking masterclass against the Sharks last week, so expect St George to come away with the points.
Ben’s Tip: Dragons Head to Head @ $2.00 (CrownBet)
Eels v Cowboys
Mon 8 Jun, 7:00pm, Pirtek Stadium
The North Queensland Cowboys will take on the Parramatta Eels this Monday night as the Queensland club looks to extend their winning streak to a record breaking ten consecutive games. With coach Paul Green naming an unchanged squad from their win at the death against Manly last week, the Cowboys should be wary of a desperate Eels outfit placed 2nd last on the NRL ladder.
For the Eels, David Gower returns to the bench in place of Joseph Paulo, while Junior Paulo and Danny Wicks swap between the starting side and the interchange bench.
The Cowboys winning every week almost seems to be becoming a sure thing, and once again it’s difficult to find a reason to tip against them after they somehow found a way to win against Manly last week. With a red hot halves pairing playing off the back of Matt Scott and James Tamou – who look to have rediscovered the form that made them the most formidable bookend combination in the world – expect the Cowboys to win once again.
Ben’s Tip: Eels +4.5 @ $1.95 (Ladbrokes)