NRL Round 2 Previews and Tips

NRL Round 2 Previews and Betting Tips



Panthers v Bulldogs

Thu 10 Mar, 8:05PM, Pepper Stadium


The Penrith Panthers will take on the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at their home-ground on Thursday night after both clubs suffered significant injuries from round one alongside a number of other teams in a tumultuous start to the season.

The Panthers will be without hooker James Segeyaro for the match as the explosive rake suffered a broken arm in Penrith’s loss to the Raiders last week. Segeyaro will be replaced by Tyrone Peachy as Elijah Taylor comes onto the bench.

Similarly, the Bulldogs will be without hooker Michael Lichaa after the young star suffered a knee injury in his side’s powerful win over the Sea Eagles in round one. The Canterbury club will also be without centre Chase Stanley as Kerrod Holland comes into the backline and Craig Garvey starts at hooker for the injured Lichaa. David Klemmer will also make his return from suspension on the bench.

After a loss last week the Panthers will be keen to make amends but still missing the likes of Matt Moylan, Dean Whare and now James Segeyaro it will be a tough task ahead for the men from Penrith. While also suffering from an injury in a key position, the Bulldogs’ forward pack is far more established than the more inexperienced Panthers and coach Des Hasler will work closely with Craig Garvey to get the best from the journeyman rake. Expect the Bulldogs to get the better of the rudderless Panthers.

Betting Tip: Bulldogs Head to Head @ $1.62 (Sportsbet)



Broncos v Warriors

Fri 11 Mar, 8:05PM, Suncorp Stadium


The Brisbane Broncos will take on the New Zealand Warriors this Friday night in the Queensland capital in the first home game at Suncorp stadium for the 2016 season.

Despite their win last week over the Eels, the Broncos perhaps looked too comfortable against the Parramatta club, idling in third gear for most of the match. The Broncos will need to bring a hard edge to the match as they play a Warriors side embarrassed by the Tigers in round one.

Jordan Kahu suffered a thigh tear as Jack Reed comes into the centers. Joe Boyce has also been named on an extended bench and with an injury cloud over both James Roberts and Jack Reed, there may be some last minute shuffling before the game.

For the Warriors, Raymond Faitala-Mariner comes into the side for the injured Ben Henry as Bodene Thompson starts in the back row.

The Warriors are a side that play on emotion, so expect them to make a strong showing after their poor loss last week as they soak up the occasion of the first NRL game at Suncorp stadium this year. If the Broncos play near their best, they should come away with the win, but the Brisbane club don’t have a history of making life easy for themselves.

Betting Tip: Total Match Points Under 42.0 @ $1.90 (Sportsbet)



Raiders v Roosters

Sat 12 Mar, 3:00PM, GIO Stadium


The Canberra Raiders will play the Sydney Roosters in the Australian capital this Saturday afternoon after the Sydney club was embarrassed by traditional rivals the Rabbitohs in round one. This encounter shapes to be an interesting insight into how the Roosters bounce back after their loss, but also for the Raiders, who lost both halves Aiden Sezer and Blake Austin last week.

For the Roosters, Daniel Tupou returns to the wing in place of Super League product Joe Burgess in the only change for the club. The Raiders will partner Sam Williams with NRL debutant Lachlan Croker in place of the injured Sezer and Austin.

The Roosters are a proud club and will be reeling after their loss against the Rabbitohs last week. Trent Robinson will have worked extensively with his inexperienced spine and leadership players to ensure another lapse will not happen again, so expect the ‘Chooks’ to get the better of the Raiders as Ricky Stuart’s men struggle without the halves they trained with all pre-season.

Betting Tip: Total Match Points Under 40.5 @ $2.00 (Bet365)



Rabbitohs v Knights

Sat 12 Mar, 5:30PM, ANZ Stadium


The South Sydney Rabbitohs will play the Newcastle Knights this Saturday evening as the Rabbitohs’ massive win over the Roosters last week was soured by injuries to key players Adam Reynolds and John Sutton. Reinforcements have arrived just in time for Souths with Luke Keary and George Burgess returning to the side, pushing Sam Burgess to his preferred position of lock.

Knights’ coach Nathan Brown has named Korbin Sims in the front row, pushing Kade Snowden back to an extended bench alongside Sione Mata’utia, Danny Levi, and Lachlan Fitzgibbon. An injury to Chanel Mata’utia means Nathan Ross will come onto the wing as Pauli Pauli misses selection due to suspension.

Despite their injury losses, the Rabbitohs have extremely capable replacements in Luke Keary and George Burgess returning to fill the breach. The Sydney club may have to simplify their game in the absence of Adam Reynolds, but Cody Walker and Luke Keary remain a potent halves combination.

The Knights are in a rebuilding phase, and after blooding so many rookies for their loss in round one, it is clear that Nathan Brown has his work cut out for him with his young squad. Expect the more seasoned Rabbitohs to come away with the win.

Betting Tip: Souths -8.0 @ $1.80 (Bet365)



Eels v Cowboys

Sat 12 Mar, 7:30PM, Pirtek Stadium


The Parramatta Eels will take on the North Queensland Cowboys at their home ground on Saturday night with newly appointed captain Kieran Foran named to make his club debut in place of Luke Kelly as Danny Wicks also returns on the bench in a near full-strength Eels lineup.

The Cowboys have remained lucky on the injury front, again naming an unchanged side and the same lineup that took the field in the 2015 Grand Final.

It was a chaotic first hit-out for the Eels last week, but the team kept their composure against a dangerous Broncos outfit in the face of a significant injury toll. With the addition of Foran and the recovery of Corey Norman from a neck injury, the Eels will have a lot more direction than they did last week. Despite the quality of the Eels squad, if the Cowboys can maintain their momentum, they should pull ahead with their grand-final winning roster. Expect the Queensland club to come away with another close win.

Betting Tip: Total Match Points Over 40.5 (Bet365)



Sharks v Dragons

Sun 13 Mar, 4:00PM, Shark Park


The Cronulla Sharks will take on the St George Illawarra Dragons at their home ground on Sunday afternoon after the Shire club impressed despite their round one loss against the Cowboys. After a solid performance from their spine, the Sharks should continue to build as Jayson Bukuya comes into the side at lock for the injured Paul Gallen as Gerard Beale and Joseph Paulo will come off the bench. Chris Heighington will miss selection due to suspension.

The Dragons’ only positional change is the swap of Jack de Belin and Tyson Frizell between the back-row and bench after the team’s loss to the Storm last week.

Expect a physical match between two defensively-orientated sides looking to develop their attacking game. While the Dragons looked solid in their loss to the Storm last week, expect the Sharks to continue to build as their new spine forms combinations. The Cronulla club should come away with the win.

Betting Tip: Sharks -6.0 @ $1.99 (Pinnacle Sports)



Storm v Titans

Sun 13 Mar, 6:30PM, AAMI Park


The Melbourne Storm will play the Gold Coast Titans this Sunday night in Melbourne after their win over the Dragons last week extended their impressive round-one record in the NRL. The match will be an interesting test for the new look Titans after the Queensland club won comfortably against the inexperienced Knights last week.

Both teams will fortunately field the same lineups from round one after many clubs were hit with significant injury tolls.

The Titans looked impressive in their win against Knights last week as their new recruits look to be fitting in well, although the Storm will be a more dangerous opposition. The Storm benefited from the return of Billy Slater last week from an extended absence and the Queensland and Australian fullback will be better for the hit-out.

While they look to be on a steep upward trend of improvement, the Titans should struggle to match the intensity of the Storm for the full 80 minutes. Expect the experience and composure in the Melbourne club to show in the latter stages of each half. Storm to come away with the win.

Betting Tip: No bet



Tigers v Sea Eagles

Mon 14 Mar, 7:00PM, Leichhardt Oval

Sea Eagles

The Wests Tigers will play the Manly Sea Eagles at their home ground Leichhardt Oval on Monday night in what shapes to be an interesting clash between the two up and coming clubs.

After much hype around their recruitment drive in the off-season, the Sea Eagles clearly have some work left after their poor loss to the Bulldogs last week and Trent Barrett will be looking to get more from his talented roster.

The Tigers stunned the Warriors last week, withstanding a comeback from the New Zealand club to come away with an impressive victory.

The Tigers will welcome back Luke Brooks and Dene Halatau from suspension as both players take the starting halfback and hooker roles respectively. The Sea Eagles have reshuffled their forward rotation after their round one loss as Josh Starling and Brenton Lawrence return to the side. Jake Trbojevic moves to lock as Martin Taupau shifts to the back-row, with Nathan Green relegated to the bench.

With the injection of the quality of Josh Starling and Brenton Lawrence into the Sea Eagles’ pack, the Manly club may find their problems solved as their extremely talented roster is undoubtedly capable of more than what they produced last week. Despite the Tigers’ reinforcements, expect the quality in the Manly lineup to show and the Sea Eagles to come away with the win.

Betting Tip: Tigers +5.5 @ $1.91 (Unibet)


Best Bet

Souths -8.0 @ $1.80 (Bet365)


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