NRL Round 21 Previews and Tips

NRL Round 21 Previews and Tips

Tigers v Storm

Fri 31 Jul, 7:45 pm, Leichhardt Oval

The Wests Tigers will play the Melbourne Storm on Friday night as the joint-venture club has slumped in recent weeks to sit last on the NRL ladder. The struggling club will be boosted by the return of Robbie Farah as Ava Seumanufagai and Brendan Santi also come into the side.

Many have questioned the Storm’s potency in the absence of Billy Slater, but Craig Bellamy’s men turned a run of poor form around after their win over the Dragons last week. On the cusp of the top four, the Storm’s finals chances will be shown in their form in the next few weeks as they name an unchanged side from last round.


The Storm are the clear favourites as the Tigers will likely struggle to keep pace with Melbourne’s discipline. While Robbie Farah will be a massive boost, Martin Tapau and Chris Lawrence leave a large hole in the Tigers’ forward pack on which Craig Bellamy’s men will undoubtedly capitalise. Storm to come away with the win.

Ben’s Tip: Storm -7.5 @ $1.90 (Luxbet)


Roosters v Bulldogs

Fri 31 Jul, 7:45 pm, Allianz Stadium

The Sydney Rooster will play the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs this Friday night as the latter continue to display patchy form heading into the NRL finals after their disappointing loss to the Sharks last week. Coach Des Hasler will be eager to establish a consistent winning culture for his 2015 squad before the finals against a high flying Roosters outfit.

The Roosters are peaking at the right time this year after their dominating win over the Tigers last week gave the club its 6th consecutive win. The Roosters will be looking to consolidate their position in the top four at 3rd against the Bulldogs as the only change heading into this match is Moses Mbye in a straight swap for the suspended Josh Reynolds for the Bulldogs.


The Roosters will be the clear favourites heading into this match as they look to replicate the form that lead to their premiership in 2013. Trent Robinson looks to have them humming along nicely, though Des Hasler will likely have his squad on point against a top four side. Expect the Roosters to come away with the points.

Ben’s Tip: Total Match Points Under 37.5 @ $1.90 (Centrebet)


Warriors v Sharks

Sat 1 Aug, 3:00 pm, Mt Smart Stadium

The New Zealand Warriors will play the Cronulla Sharks this Saturday evening as the Kiwi club is still reeling from Shaun Johnson’s season ending injury. Taking a lot of the sting out of the Warriors’ attack, the New Zealand club will have to find their feet quickly with finals fast approach as Tuimoala Lolohea shifts to Halfback as Konrad Hurrell returns at Centre. Sam Lisone, Ken Maumalo, Manu Vatuvei, Charlie Gubb and Raymond Faitala-Mariner also come into the side in a major shake-up for the Warriors after their disappointing loss against the Sea Eagles last week.

The Sharks will welcome back Anthony Tupou from injury for Luke Lewis while Chris Heighington starts at Prop for Andrew Fifita and Tinirau Arona comes onto the bench.


The Warriors will struggle without Shaun Johnson, and will at least take a few weeks to adjust to the star playmaker’s absence, while the Sharks good form of late should see them come away with the points.

Ben’s Tip: Sharks +1.5 @ $1.92 (Crownbet)


Cowboys v Raiders

Sat 1 Aug, 5:30 pm, 1300SMILES Stadium

The North Queensland Cowboys will play the Canberra Raiders on Saturday evening after the Raiders kept themselves in the finals race with their win against the Panthers last week. Ricky Stuart will have his men fired up for the trip up to Queensland as both sides name unchanged squads for the match.

Cowboys coach Paul Green has his squad singing at the right time after their massive win over the Eels last week continued the Cowboys’ good run of form that should see them finish inside the top four.


Canberra are one of the few teams that can play a forward-power game but they will find staunch opposition in the Cowboys’ pack. It will be the battle in the forwards between two dominant packs that will decide the outcome of the contest, but if the Cowboys are given 50% possession they should come away with the points with their much more disciplined defensive structures.
Ben’s Tip: Total Match Points Under 45.5 @ $1.90 (Centrebet)


Sea Eagles v Broncos

Sat 1 Aug, 7:30 pm, Central Coast Stadium

The Brisbane Broncos will play the Manly Sea Eagles in the wake of a major controversy at the Manly club which will see coach Geoff Toovey and a number of players sacked for the 2016 season. Toovey’s sacking comes as a shock to many Sea Eagles fans given his coaching credentials as Justin Horo returns to the Second-row as Michael Chee Kam and Jesse Sene-Lefao come onto the bench.
For the Broncos, the return of Jack Reed from suspension will push Jordan Kahu back to the wing and Corey Oates to the bench. The suspension of Adam Blair will also see Jarrod Wallace start at Prop as Joe Ofahengaue comes onto the bench.
The Broncos must be wary of their opposition given the strong response that is likely from the Sea Eagles’ playing group in support of Geoff Toovey. The Broncos have not lost a match since round 10, but their recent good form should see them continue this winning streak to stay at the top of the NRL ladder.

Ben’s Tip: Broncos -6.0 @ $1.93 (Pinnacle Sports)


Dragons v Knights

Sun 2 Aug, 2:00 pm, Jubilee Oval

The St George Illawarra Dragons will play the Newcastle Knights on Sunday afternoon as the latter is still reeling from the sacking of former coach Rick Stone after club legend Danny Buderus steped into the breach as the temporary coach for the remainder of the 2015 season. Buderus has instituted a number of changes, with Carlos Tuimavave coming in at five-eighth and Tyler Randell coming onto the bench.
The Dragons will look to salvage the remains of the season and push for the finals as Craig Garvey replaces Heath L’Estrange on the bench.
The Dragons will look to capitalise on the Knights’ poor form to come away with an easy win. The Knights response to Stone’s sacking may produce results, but the Dragons have  a lot more to play for heading into this match. Expect St George to come away with the win.

Ben’s Tip: Total Match Points Under 37.5 @ $1.90 (Sportsbet)


Rabbitohs v Panthers

Sun 2 Aug, 4:00 pm, ANZ Stadium

The South Sydney Rabbitohs will play the Penrith Panthers on Sunday afternoon as the Sydney club happily welcome back Kyle Turner after a serious neck injury, who replaces Ben Lowe on the bench. Kyle Turner’s inclusion will be the only change for the Rabbitohs after their massive win over the Knights last week.
The Panther’s season was summed up after their disappointing loss to the Raiders last week as captain Peter Wallace succumbed to a knee injury. Waqa Blake also moves into the centres to make way for Josh Mansour’s return on the wing. Sam McKendry comes in at Prop as Apisai Koroisau comes back onto the bench.
The Rabbitohs will be clear favourites heading into this match as the Panthers’ injury curse continues with Peter Wallace and Dean Whare suffering serious injuries from last round. The Rabbitohs will look to consolidate their position in the top four as the Storm nip at their heels and should do exactly that against an injury ravaged Panthers.

Ben’s Tip: Total Match Points Under 43.5 @ $1.95 (Bet365)


Titans v Eels

Mon 3 Aug, 7:00 pm, Cbus Super Stadium

The Gold Coast Titans will play the Parramatta Eels on Monday night as the Sydney club is still reeling from their capitulation against the Cowboys last week. For the Titans, Daniel Mortimer returns to the bench for Chad Redman while Eddy Pettybourne and Agnatius Paasi go back to the bench for Nate Myles and Lachlan Burr.
The Eels have named an unchanged squad heading into this match, with Cody Nelson coming in as 18th man.
Given both clubs recent poor form and position on the ladder, a game between 15th and 13th on the ladder will be decided by the pride of each clubs’ players. The Eels shape as the likely winners as they will be eager to restore lost pride after their massive loss to the Cowboys last week while the Titans will be in a similar position after their loss to the Broncos. Eels to come away with the points

Ben’s Tip: Eels Head to Head @ $2.55 (Ladbrokes)


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