NRL Round 8 Previews and Betting Tips
Broncos v Rabbitohs
Fri 22 Apr, 7:50PM, Suncorp Stadium
The Brisbane Broncos will play the South Sydney Rabbitohs this Friday night in the Queensland capital after both teams back up from a massive win and loss respectively. The Broncos produced their first half-century score in a number of years against the Knights, while the Rabbitohs were helpless to stop a rampaging Cowboys.
Both sides will remain unchanged, with Damien Cook coming onto an extended bench for the Rabbitohs in the only change for both sides from last week.
Darius Boyd and Greg Inglis will lock horns for both the Australian and Queensland fullback jersies with both custodians being front-runners in the absence of Billy Slater. They won’t be the only ones keen to impress selectors, with a number of representative hopefuls taking the field.
The Broncos have an almost perfect record for 2016, and don’t expect that to change against the Rabbitohs this week. After their performance last week, the Broncos may be ascending to the form that saw them make the competition decider last year, as the Rabbitohs have only managed three wins in seven games. Broncos to come away with the points.
Betting Tip: Total Match Points Over 40.5 @ $1.91 (Bet365)
Bulldogs v Titans
Sat 23 Apr, 3:00PM, ANZ Stadium
The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs will take on the Gold Coast Titans in the New South Wales Capital this Saturday afternoon in a clash between two teams keen to make ammends after disappointing losses last week. The Bulldogs went down against the Warriors in a tight contest last week as the ‘Dogs seem unable to shake their inconsistent form, while the Gold Coast were similarly disappointed in a close match against the Dragons.
Craig Garvey and Lloyd Perrett have been named on an extended bench for the Bulldogs, while the Titans will swap Daniel Mortimer with Kierran Moseley as Greg Bird’s return relegates Eddy Pettybourne to an extended bench.
The Bulldogs’ season so far has included both extremely impressive wins and concerning losses but expect coach Des Hasler to have his men primed against an underrated Titans outfit. With the return of Greg Bird, expect the Gold Coast to fight fire with fire as they look to match the Bulldogs’ forward power, but expect the class of the ‘Dogs backline to get them over the line in a sloppy contest.
Betting Tip: Titans +9.5 @ $1.92 (Ladbrokes)
Raiders v Tigers
Sat 23 Apr, 5:30PM, GIO Stadium
The Canberra Raiders will host the Wests Tigers in the Australian Capital this Saturday evening after poor results from both teams will make them eager to make amends. The Tigers will be disappointed in their one-point loss against the Storm last week and will rue the lack of execution which lead to the loss, while the Raiders were reminded yet again of their structural problems against the Sharks last week after their defense conceded 40 points.
Coach Ricky Stuart has included Clay Priest, Jarrad Kennedy and Mitchell Barnett on an extended bench as injury cover for the Canberra club, while the Tigers will welcome back Sauaso Sue at lock, pushing Joel Edwards to 18th man.
Both teams heading into this game have displayed the same inconsistency as many other sides typical of 2016 so far, but with only one win between them on the NRL ladder, both outfits will head into the match confident they can produce a good result.
It will be a tough contest to tip as the Tigers not having won since round 2, and the Raiders coming into the match on the back of two poor losses. With their previous record this year, expect the Raiders to get the better of a Tigers outfit minus their captain Aaron Woods in a see-sawing contest.
Betting Tip: Raiders -6.5 @ $1.92 (Crownbet)
Cowboys v Eels
Sat 23 Apr, 7:30PM, 1300Smiles Stadium
The North Queensland Cowboys will take on the Parramatta Eels this Saturday night in Townsville after the 2015 Premiers showcased the class gap between themselves and the rest of the competition with a dominant attacking performance against Souths last week. Their opposition were also impressive in their win over the Sea Eagles last week but fans should temper their expectations for the Parramatta club with persistent rumours the team will be docked premiership points for salary cap infractions.
Both teams have named unchanged sides from last week.
The Cowboys will go into the match as heavy favourites on the back of their recent form and strong home record. That shouldn’t take away from the Eels’ confidence however as the Parramatta outfit continues to build momentum looking for their third consecutive win. The Eels certainly have the defensive mettle to match the Cowboys’ explosive attack, and while the Queensland club should come away with the points, they will have to be near their best to do so.
Betting Tip: Cowboys -8.0 @ $1.92 (Crownbet)
Sharks v Panthers
Sun 24 Apr, 4:00PM, Shark Park
The Cronulla Sharks will take on the Penrith Panthers this Sunday afternoon after a dominant performance from the Shire club against the Raiders last week put the club equal second on the NRL ladder. The Panthers face staunch opposition in the Sharks, but with reports coach Anthony Griffin cannot produce results in tight contests the playing squad should be looking to defend their mentor’s record.
The Sharks will welcome back Luke Lewis in place of Joseph Paulo in the only change to their team, while Anthony Griffin has included Elijah Taylor and Jeremy Latimore on an extended bench.
The Panthers will continue to struggle while they adjust to a new coach, and without rake James Segeyaro, expect the Sharks to pounce on their opposition in another dominant performance as they continue to build the foundations of a very successful season.
Betting Tip: Total Match Points Over 38.5 @ $2.00 (Bet365)
Knights v Sea Eagles
Mon 25 Apr, 2:00PM, Hunter Stadium
The Manly Sea Eagles will be hosted by the Newcastle Knights this Monday afternoon to open the fixtures for ANZAC day with both teams coming off poor losses last week. The Sea Eagles were outclassed by the Eels last week in a stark reminder of the absence of Daly Cherry-Evans, while the Knights were fundamentally outclassed by the Broncos.
For the Knights, Jeremy Smith will return in place of Jack Stockwell with Pauli Pauli also missing selection due to suspension. Danny Levi will also be included in the side, with Mickey Paea coming onto an extended bench. For the Sea Eagles, Brayden Wiliame and Brenton Lawrence will be a straight swap for Jorge Taufua and Josh Starling as Matt Parcell’s return pushes Blake Leary to an extended bench.
On recent form, the Sea Eagles will go into the match as favourites. After the Knights’ performance against the Broncos last week, they will be down on confidence, so expect Manly to come away with the points.
Betting Tip: Sea Eagles -5.5 @ $1.92 (Pinnacle)
Dragons v Roosters
Mon 25 Apr, 4:00PM, Allianz Stadium
The St George Illawarra Dragons will take on the Sydney Roosters this Monday afternoon with both sides coming off a narrow win and loss respectively. The Roosters were again denied victory at the last moment by the Panthers but will be primed for the impending return of representative trio Mitchell Pearce, Jarred Waerea Hargreaves and Boyd Cordner.
Both sides will remain unchanged for the clash, with the Roosters including Abraham Papalii on an extended bench.
With the Dragons’ inconsistent performances last year and the Roosters’ continued struggle with a slew of injuries, it will be a difficult contest to tip. The absence of Benji Marshall from the Dragons halves will be felt by the St George club as they have struggled to produce in attack. The Roosters should get the better of the Dragons as the 2013 premiers’ form looks to be stabilising at the right time for the return of their injured players. Roosters to come away with the points.
Betting Tip: Roosters -2.0 @ $1.92 (Luxbet)
Storm v Warriors
Mon 25 Apr, 7:00PM, AAMI Park
The Melbourne Storm will take on the New Zealand Warriors this Monday night in the Kiwi club’s first match without star representative fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. The injury was a major blow for the New Zealand club after starting to build momentum heading into the mid-season as their depth is set to be put to the test.
Manu Vatuvei will come into the side to replace Tuivasa-Sheck as winger Tuimoala Lolohea moves to the custodian role, while Young Tonumaipea will return in place of Suliasi Vunivalu.
Both sides will be without their preferred fullback with Billy Slater and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck injured but the Storm will be far more accustomed to life without their representative star. The Warriors will be trialing a new five-eighth and fullback for the match so expect the Storm to come away with the result in their home-ground.
Betting Tip: Storm H2H @ $1.70 (Bet365)
Sharks v Panthers: Total Match Points Over 38.5 @ $2.00 (Bet365)
Storm H2H @ $1.70 (Bet365)