NRL Round 24 Previews and Tips

NRL Round 24 Previews and Tips

Dragons v Panthers

Thu 20 Sep, 7:45 pm, WIN Stadium

The St George Illawarra Dragons will take on the Penrith Panthers this Thursday night as the joint-venture club sounds an SOS to Benji Marshall after coach Paul McGregor’s bold plan to play Prop Jack de Belin at Halfback backfired against the Broncos last week. Marshall’s return pushes Jack de Belin back to the bench as Dylan Farrell comes onto the Wing in place of Nathan Green.

After the Panthers put what will likely be the last nail in the coffin for the Warriors season last week, coach Ivan Cleary has named Tyrone Peachy to return in the back row, while Isaac John returns in the halves.


The Dragons have a lot more to play for than the Panthers, who sit two wins outside the finals with only three games of the season remaining. The St George club will be desperate for a win as the Sea Eagles nip at their heels for 8th spot on the ladder and expect the return of Benji Marshall to give them the attacking spark they missed against the Broncos last week. Dragons to come away with the points.

Ben’s Tip: Total Match Points Under 36.5 @ $1.91 (Bet365)


Rabbitohs v Bulldogs

Fri 21 Oct, 7:45 pm, ANZ Stadium

The South Sydney Rabbitohs will play the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs on Friday night as the reigning Premiers face a raft of changes after the suspension of key players Luke Keary and Issac Luke. John Sutton will shift from the Second-Row to five-eighth as Glenn Stewart returns to the bench from suspension, while Paul Carter will start at Hooker for Issac Luke.

The Bulldogs regular Hooker Michael Lichaa has a suspected season ending injury in a major dent to the Bulldogs’ Premiership hopes. Damien Cook comes into the side as cover.


Both sides are missing key players from their spine heading into this match, but expect the Rabbitohs to fare better as they draft capable replacements John Sutton and Paul Carter to cover for the absence of Luke Keary and Issac Luke. The Bulldogs will be vulnerable with the untried Damien Cook at Hooker and have banked on the rookie after naming a four-forward bench. Expect the Rabbitohs to come away with the points.

Ben’s Tip: Rabbitohs Head to Head @ $2.10 (Bet365)


Sharks v Tigers

Sat 22 Nov, 3:00 pm, Remondis Stadium

The Cronulla Sharks will play the Wests Tigers this Saturday afternoon after the Shire club’s resurgence was cut short by a 30-2 flogging by the Storm last week. The loss dropped the Sharks to 6th spot on the ladder and they will be looking to recover against a dejected Tigers squad who handed the Knights their first win under the tutelage of Danny Bederus last week.

Sam Tagataese returns from suspension for the Sharks at Prop as Matt Prior moves to the bench to cover the absence of Ben Barba. For the Tigers, Martin Taupau returns, shifting Sauaso Sue to Prop and Keith Galloway to the bench.


After the Tigers’ disappointing loss last week against the Knights, they will be keen to restore lost pride but expect the Sharks to get their surge up the NRL ladder back on track as the loss last week snapped a five game winning streak for the Cronulla club. The Sharks have a lot more to play for and should come away with the points.

Ben’s Tip: Sharks -7.5 @ $1.93 (Bet365)


Warriors v Cowboys

Sat 22 Dec, 5:30 pm, Mt Smart Stadium

The New Zealand Warriors will take on the North Queensland Cowboys on Saturday night after the Kiwi club slumped to their 5th consecutive loss last week against the Panthers. The Warriors’ season has gone off a cliff after a season ending injury to star Halfback Shaun Johnson, but there will be hope for next year with the signings of Issac Luke and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck coming to the club in 2016.

Bodene Thompson returns to the Warriors on the bench as Sione Lousie comes in for Raymond Faitala-Mariner in the Second-Row. For the Cowboys, Coen Hess will make his NRL debut as John Asiata replaces Gavin Cooper in the Second-Row.


The Cowboys have displayed worrying lapses in their last two games that have led to losses so the Queensland club will be looking to re-establish their dominance for the whole 80 minutes with a consistent performance. They will be more concerned with their inconsistency this late in the season as a few losses before the finals often proves healthy to a team’s premiership hopes. Cowboys to come away with the points.

Ben’s Tip: No Bet


Roosters v Broncos

Sat 22 Jan, 7:30 pm, Allianz Stadium

The Brisbane Broncos will take on the Sydney Roosters this Saturday night in a massive clash between 1st and 2nd that shapes as a potential Grand Final preview between the two top teams in the competition. The Broncos snapped a two game losing streak in style last week against the Dragons as the consecutive losses shape to aid the Broncos in their finals campaign. The Roosters have also been dangerous in the last month after their win over the Eels last week.

The Broncos’ only change comes as Justin Hodges returns from suspension, while the Roosters will welcome back Brendan Elliot as Blake Fergusson and Mitch Aubusson move to the centres and bench respectively.


Despite not having lost in over a month, the Roosters are far from the top of their game just as the Broncos need to improve to threaten for the Premiership. Both teams will relish this game as an indication of their form so expect both teams to put on a show. Both these sides are a sight to behold at their best, so whichever can reach the closest to their potential should come away with the win. Expect the Roosters’ big game experience to show against the Broncos and the ‘Chooks should come away with the win.

Ben’s Tip: Total Match Points Over 38.5 @ $1.90 (Sportsbet)


Titans v Raiders

Sun 23 Feb, 2:00 pm, Cbus Super Stadium

The Gold Coast Titans will play the Canberra Raiders on Sunday afternoon as the Australian capital’s club lost much of their finals hopes with their defeat against the Sea Eagles last week. Now two wins outside the top eight with a poor points differential, other results would have to fall heavily in the Raiders’ favour for them to be a chance of making the playoffs

The Titans have had a tough 2015 season marred by the Daly Cherry-Evans backflip and will miss star players Nate Myles and Aiden Sezer in 2016. The Queensland club will play Daniel Mortimer at Halfback as Beau Falloon moves to hooker. Kieran Moseley and Ryan James will also come into the side. For the Raiders, Joey Leilua and Luke Bateman join the 17.


The charismatic Ricky Stuart will likely have his Raiders fired up for this clash, but neither team’s seasons will be impacted by the outcome. Both clubs will be playing for pride as they look to take a positive finish to the 2016 season, but expect the Raiders to win against the Queensland opposition as they will be frustrated for missing the finals.

Ben’s Tip: Raiders -7.5 @ $1.92 (Crownbet)


Sea Eagles v Eels

Sun 23 Mar, 4:00 pm, Brookvale Oval


The Manly Sea Eagles will play the Parramatta Eels on Sunday afternoon as the resurgent Manly club look for payback for the flogging they received at the beginning of the season at the hands of Brad Arthur’s men. Now sitting outside the top eight on only points differential, the Sea Eagles could find themselves slip into finals contention should they post a big win.

For the Eels, Will Hopoate, Isaac De Gois and Daniel Alvaro join the squad while the Sea Eagles are unchanged for the game.


The Sea Eagles have a lot to play for heading into this match as a win could very well mean the difference between making and missing the finals. The Eels will miss Nathan Peats as the Parramatta club will be looking to finish 2015 strong as they look forward to the 2016 season. Expect the Sea Eagles to come away with the points.

Ben’s Tip: Eels +20.0 @ $1.92 (Crownbet)


Storm v Knights

Mon 24 Apr, 7:00 pm, AAMI Park


The Melbourne Storm will play the Newcastle Knights on Monday night after the Victorian club got their season back on track with a massive 30-2 win over the Sharks last week, moving to 5th on the NRL ladder. The Knights will be buoyed by their last start win over the Tigers last week in what was the club’s first win under interim coach Danny Buderus. Both clubs have named unchanged squads for the game.


The Storm rightly go into this match heavy favorites after their win last week, but they should be wary of an upset against a spirited Knights squad. The Storm have a history of proving critics wrong but the absence of Billy Slater will tell against top teams. Expect the Knights to fight hard, but Craig Bellamy will have his squad singing heading into the finals as they push for a top 4 berth.

Ben’s Tip: Knights +20.5 @ $1.92 (Palmerbet)


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