NRL Round 5 Previews and Tips

NRL Round 5 Previews and Betting Tips


Sea Eagles

Sea Eagles v Rabbitohs

Thu 31 Mar, 8:05PM, Brookvale Oval


The Manly Sea Eagles will play the South Sydney Rabbitohs this Thursday night after the northern beaches club’s first win of the season was mired by an injury to star halfback Daly Cherry-Evans. Conversely, the Rabbitohs will welcome back Burgess Brother Sam and Tom to their front-row rotation after their absence was felt in Souths’ poor loss against the Bulldogs.

Kirisome Auva’a will also return for the Rabbitohs with Paul Carter and Michael Oldfield named on an extended bench. For the Sea Eagles, Apisai Koroisau will play at halfback as Steve Matai, Brenton Lawrence and Martin Taupau all return to the starting side.

Despite the Rabbitohs poor loss last week, they face a Manly outfit whose most established play-maker is centre Jamie Lyon. The loss of Kieran Foran in the off-season would have shifted a majority of the structural organisation of the Sea Eagles in Daly Cherry-Evans hands’ but in the Queenslander’s absence that load will need to be shouldered by the inexperienced spine of Matt Parcell, Apisai Koroisau, Dylan Walker and Brett Stewart. The more experienced South Sydney outfit should be bolstered by the return of Sam Burgess and their wounded pride from their capitulation against the Bulldogs last week. Expect the Rabbitohs to come away with the points.

Betting Tip: Souths -3.5 @ $1.87 (Unibet)



Titans v Broncos

Fri 1 Apr, 8:05PM, Cbus Super Stadium


The Brisbane Broncos will take a trip south to play the Gold Coast Titans this Friday night after an historic grand final rematch against the Cowboys last week. The Broncos will look to take the same momentum into their next match against the Titans, who will undoubtedly be prepared to host the 2015 grand finalists.

The Broncos will return to full strength with Jack Reed and Corey Oates returning to form their deadly centre-wing combination in an otherwise unchanged side. For the Titans, Nathan Friend will return at hooker, pushing Daniel Mortimer to the bench at the expense of Kierran Moseley.

Despite their successful start to the season, the Broncos have looked almost apathetic at some stages throughout the year. They will need to be hungry against a highly motivated Titans outfit who have started the season with three wins in four matches. If the Broncos bring their A-game they should win comfortably, but if complacency creeps in as it did in their second half against the Panthers a few weeks ago, the Broncos will be against the ropes. Expect Brisbane to come away with the win.

Betting Tip: Total Match Points Over 40.5 @ $1.90 (Luxbet)



Storm v Knights

Sat 2 Apr, 3:00PM, AAMI Park


The Melbourne Storm will host the Newcastle Knights in the Victorian capital this Saturday afternoon after the Storm lost their first match of the year against the Sharks last week. With the disciplinary coaching style preferred by Craig Bellamy, it’s no surprise the Melbourne club is known for starting the season strongly, but it was the sheer physicality of the Sharks that put the Storm off their game last week.
An injury to Curtis Scott will shift Ben Hampton to the centres for the Storm as Kevin Proctor returns in the back row, pushing Kenny Bromwich to the bench. The Knights only change will see Sione Mata’utia return in the centres at the expense of Jake Mamo.
The Knights slumped to another loss against the Warriors last week with a draw being the best result they have managed so far this season. The Newcastle club will need to improve drastically to get their season back on track, but don’t expect that improvement to come against a Storm outfit eager to make up for their first loss of the year. Storm to come away with the win.

Betting Tip: Storm 13+ @ $1.58 (Luxbet)



Tigers v Sharks

Sat 2 Apr, 5:30PM, Campbelltown Stadium


The Wests Tigers will host the Cronulla Sharks at their home ground this Saturday evening after the Shire club upset the Storm last week in a sloppy affair. The young Tigers outfit will look to match the Sharks’ physicality with the joint-venture club bolstered by the return of star hooker Robbie Farrah.
In addition to Farah, Chris Lawrence and Dene Halatau will return in the back row as Josh Aloiai moves to the bench with Jack Buchanan relegated to 18th man. The Sharks will benefit from the return of captain Paul Gallen at the expense of Gerard Beale.
The Tigers have made a good start to the season and will benefit immensely from the return of New South Wales hooker Robbie Farah, but the Sharks have a talent for putting sides off their game through their sheer physicality. With the return of Paul Gallen, expect the Sharks to bash their opposition into submission in a sloppy affair.

Betting Tip: Total Match Points Under 41.5 @ $1.90 (Sportsbet)



Cowboys v Dragons

Sat 2 Apr, 7:30PM, 1300SMILES Stadium


The North Queensland Cowboys will play the St George Illawarra Dragons this Saturday night in Townsville after the Queensland club went down against the Broncos last week in an historic grand final rematch. Looking to redeem themselves from their one point loss, the Cowboys will be keen to make amends after producing mixed results to start the year with two wins and losses.
Cowboys coach Paul Green has named Javid Bowen to make his NRL debut in place of the injured Kane Linnett, while the Dragons will similarly make one change with Benji Marshall returning to he starting side, pushing Josh McCrone to the bench.
While the Dragons impressed in their win over the Panthers last week, the Cowboys will be hungry following their golden-point loss to the Broncos. Since Dugan has returned to the custodian role, the Dragons have looked dangerous, but don’t expect the return of Benji Marshall to tip the balance in the Dragons’ favour. The reigning premiers should come away with the win.

Betting Tip: Total Match Points Under 39.5 @ $1.88 (William Hill)



Roosters v Warriors

Sun 3 Apr, 2:00PM, Allianz Stadium


The Sydney Roosters will play the New Zealand Warriors this Sunday afternoon as the minor premiers of 2015 now find themselves winless at the bottom of the NRL competition ladder. The only side to sit on zero competition points, Roosters coach Trent Robinson will be desperate for a win but his squad face a tough assignment against the Warriors.
The Warriors have named the same squad as last week after their win over the Knights, with the Roosters also naming the same outfit after their tight loss to the Sea Eagles.
The Warriors capitalized against an inexperienced Knights side last week, and expect them to play the same expansive football against a young Roosters outfit whose forwards will struggle to match the power of their opposition. The Warriors’ new spine looks to be slowly warming to each other after an impressive performance against the Knights, so expect the New Zealand club to come away with the points.

Betting Tip: Warriors -4.0 @ $1.94 (Luxbet)



Eels v Panthers

Sun 3 Apr, 4:00PM, Pirtek Stadium


The Parramatta Eels will host the Penrith Panthers this Sunday afternoon at their home ground after the Parramatta based club produced an impressive defensive performance against a dangerous Tigers outfit last week in their third win for 2016.
The Eels have named an unchanged side for the clash, while the Panthers will welcome back fullback and captain Matt Moylan as Elijah Taylor and Jeremy Latimore come on to an extended bench.
Expect the Panthers to improve drastically with the return of Matt Moylan, although it may take more time than Penrith faithful would prefer. The Eels have produced impressive performances so far this year, particularly in defense and with their new signings coming into some form, the Panthers face a tough assignment this week. In a match between an attacking oriented side in the Panthers against the defensively focused Eels expect the old saying ‘defense wins premierships’ to ring true with the Eels to come away with the win.

Betting Tip: Eels -6.0 @ $1.92 (Ladbrokes)



Bulldogs v Raiders

Mon 4 Apr, 7:00PM, Belmore Sports Ground


The Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs will host the Canberra Raiders this Monday night as the Canberra based club welcome back their preferred halves in Aiden Sezer and Blake Austin in a massive boost for the team. Despite the absence of their first-choice halves, the Raiders have managed to take two wins and a draw out of the opening four rounds in an impressive start to the year.
In addition to Sezer and Austin, the Raiders will welcome back Joey Leilua into the centres as Brenko Lee and Sam Williams drop out of the side while the Bulldogs will name an unchanged squad for the match.
The Bulldogs will come into the match on the back of three wins in four games, which puts them on the top of the NRL competition ladder. Despite the return of the Raiders’ halves, expect the talented duo of Sezer and Austin to be rusty as they reform their combinations with each other and the rest of the Canberra spine. The Bulldogs should follow on from their powerful performance over South Sydney last week to come away with the win.

Betting Tip: Bulldogs -6.5 @ $1.90 (Palmerbet)


Best Bets

Storm 13+ @ $1.58 (Luxbet)

Warriors -4.0 @ $1.94 (Luxbet)


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