NRL Round 6 Previews and Betting Tips
Broncos v Dragons
Thu 7 Apr, 7:50PM, Suncorp Stadium
The Brisbane Broncos will host the St George Illawarra Dragons in the Queensland capital this Thursday night as the joint-venture club back up from a 36-nil drubbing at the hands of the Cowboys last week. Conversely, the Broncos came away with their fourth win of the season this year to place them first on the NRL competition ladder, but despite their success, the Broncos have displayed some concerning weaknesses of late which the Dragons will hope to exploit.
Both clubs have named unchanged sides from last week heading into the clash.
With the Dragons backing up from a thrashing, expect the Illawarra club to be on their toes against the 2015 grand finalists as the Broncos return to their home-ground from another seemingly lethargic win. Wayne Bennett will need to address the Broncos’ energy with lacklustre second half performances in recent weeks, but despite the Broncos failure to produce the form that saw them installed as premiership favourites this year, the Brisbane club should get up over the struggling Dragons.
Betting Tip: Total Match Points Under 38.5 @ $1.90 (Sportsbet)
Rabbitohs v Roosters
Fri 08 Apr, 7:50PM, ANZ Stadium
The South Sydney Rabbitohs will play the Sydney Roosters this Friday night in a clash that would usually be considered a blockbuster, but with the struggling Roosters having failed to produce a win in their first five rounds of the season, the Rabbitohs will be eager to repeat their round one thrashing of their traditional rivals.
The Roosters will remain unchanged after their heartbreaking extra-time loss against the Warriors last week as Bryson Goodwin returns on the wing for the Rabbitohs, with Michael Oldfield shifting to an extended bench.
After leading the club to three consecutive minor premierships, Roosters coach Trent Robinson will understand the realities of working with a young and inexperienced roster. Still missing the likes of Mitchel Pearce, Jarred Waerea-Hargreaves and Boyd Cordner, the 2013 premiers desperately need someone to stand up to lead their inexperienced outfit.
Despite their win last week, Souths coach Michael Maguire will have pushed his squad hard at training after they only just held out a Manly comeback to get away with a win. Expect the Rabbitohs to produce a better performance against their traditional rivals to come away with the points.
Betting Tip: Rabbitohs 13+ @ $2.85 (Pinnacle)
Eels v Raiders
Sat 09 Apr, 3:00PM, Pirtek Stadium
The Parramatta Eels will take on the Canberra Raiders this Saturday afternoon in a match between two clubs truly on the rise. Having struggled in previous years, both teams have produced impressive results to start the season with three wins from five games each.
The Eels will back up from their heartbreaking loss to the Panthers last week with Nathan Peats returning at hooker as Isaac De Gois is pushed to the bench. Daniel Alvaro will also replace David Gower in the front row.
The Raiders will cover the injured Sia Soliola with Luke Bateman on the bench in the only change for the Canberra club.
This match will be an extremely tight contest between two teams who will not fully understand what they are capable of after only five rounds of NRL football with their new signings. But with the Raiders’ performance against the Bulldogs last week, expect the deadly halves combination of Blake Austin and Aidan Sezer to continue developing as the Canberra club come away with the win in a close contest.
Betting Tip: Raiders +4.5 @ $1.95 (Pinnacle)
Warriors v Sea Eagles
Sat 09 Apr, 5:30PM, Mt Smart Stadium
The New Zealand Warriors will host the Manly Sea Eagles at their home ground in Auckland this Saturday evening as the Kiwi club look to be turning around their slow start to the season with impressive showings from their previously under-performing spine.
The Warriors will replace the injured Manu Vatuvei with Jonathan Wright on the wing, while Tom Symonds and Jake Trbojevic will return in the back row at the expense of Feleti Mateo as Darcy Lussick shifts to the bench. Josh Starling and Brenton Lawrence will also swap between the starting front row and bench respectively.
It will be a close match to call as both sides look to be recovering some form after poor starts to the season. Dylan Walker and Apisai Koroisau combined nicely in Manly’s loss against the Rabbitohs last week, but the continued absence of Daly Cherry-Evans will once again require a more unstructured style from the Sea Eagles, which should fall heavily in the Warriors favour. Expect the Warriors to come away with the points for their third consecutive win.
Betting Tip: Total Match Points Over 42.5 @ $1.95 (Unibet)
Panthers v Cowboys
Sat 09 Apr, 7:30PM, Pepper Stadium
The Penrith Panthers will host the North Queensland Cowboys this Saturday night after the Panthers breathed life into their season with their dramatic last gasp win over the Eels last week. Despite backing up from an impressive performance against a dangerous Eels outfit, the Penrith club face a difficult assignment against the reigning premiers after the Cowboys dismantled the Dragons last round in a 36-nil drubbing.
Both sides will name unchanged sides for the clash as Suaia Matagi and Elijah Taylor come into an extended bench for the Panthers.
It will be an interesting contest after both teams produced impressive results last week. The Cowboys showed they are still a force to be feared after their loss to the Broncos, while the Panthers finally seemed to have cracked the right spine combinations with the return of captain Matt Moylan and the continued absence of James Segeyaro. While the Panthers won’t head into the match lacking confidence, expect the Cowboys to come away with the points.
COWBOYS def PANTHERS 24-20
Betting Tip: Cowboys H2H @ $1.70 (William Hill)
Sharks v Titans
Sun 10 Apr, 2:00PM, Shark Park
The Cronulla Sharks will play the Gold Coast Titans this Sunday afternoon in a clash between two previously struggling clubs that have managed to turn their poor form around. Having both struggled with controversy both on and off the field in recent years, the Titans and Sharks now look to be among the most exciting teams in the NRL.
The Sharks will name the same 17 that won against the Tigers last week, whilst the Titans will debut Cameron Cullen at five-eighth, meaning Greg Bird will shift to lock with Agnatius Paasi relegated to the bench. David Shillington has also been named to start with Lachlan Burr dropping out of the side.
Of the two sides, the Sharks have looked more convincing so far through out 2016. With the further instability in the Titans’ spine with the absence of Tyrone Roberts and Will Zillman, the Gold Coast club will struggle to keep pace with a dangerous Sharks outfit who will benefit immensely from the return of Paul Gallen. Expect the Sharks to come away with the points.
Betting Tip: Total Match Points Under 44.5 @ $1.90 (Palmerbet)
Knights v Tigers
Sun 10 Apr, 4:00PM, Hunter Stadium
The Newcastle Knights will play the Wests Tigers this Sunday afternoon as the Hunter Valley club has been rocked by another injury blow with Robbie Rochow reportedly breaking his arm at training, which worsens the club’s already mounting injury problems.
For the Knights, Tariq Sims will return from suspension, with Jacob Saifiti named on the bench. The Knights will likely retain Jacob Saifiti in the back row to cover for the injured Rochow. An injury cloud also hangs over Sione Mata’utia, with Jaelen Feeney discussed as an option for injury cover.
The Tigers have named Curtis Sironen to return from a hamstring injury on the bench in place of Manaia Cherrington, while the Tigers are yet to name cover for the suspended Tim Simona in the centres.
While the Knights will benefit from the return of Tariq Sims, don’t expect the enforcer’s first appearance for 2016 to set the world on fire as he will look to lead the struggling outfit to their maiden win of the season. With the absence of Rochow, expect an underrated Tigers outfit to come away with the points.
Betting Tip: Wests Tigers H2H @ $1.90 (Crownbet)
Storm v Bulldogs
Mon 11 Apr, 7:00PM, AAMI Park
The Melbourne Storm will host the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs this Monday night as the ‘Dogs back up from their surprise loss to the Raiders last week. Falling victim to the potent halves combination of the Raiders in their first full outing, the Bulldogs will be fired up against traditional rivals the Storm after the Canterbury club was denied a premiership by their Victorian opposition in 2012.
For the Storm, Marika Koroibete will return from suspension with Richie Kennar dropping to an extended bench. Kerrod Holland will replace the injured Chase Stanley for the Bulldogs in the centres in the only change by coach Des Hasler.
While the Bulldogs lost poorly against the Raiders last week, the Storm are also backing up from a poor showing after only edging the Knights by four points. Expect the Bulldogs to be a real test for the Storm as the Melbourne club has benefited from an easy start to the season, facing many struggling sides. Expect a much improves Bulldogs to come away with the points.
Betting Tip: Bulldogs 1-12 @ $3.85 (William Hill)
Rabbitohs 13+ @ $2.85 (Pinnacle)
Bulldogs 1-12 @ $3.85 (William Hill)