NRL Round 12 Previews and Betting Tips
Broncos v Tigers
Fri 27 May, 7:50PM, Suncorp Stadium
The Brisbane Broncos will host the Wests Tigers this Friday night in the wake of the 2016 Origin game one squad announcements. The Broncos will field six players for Queensland after their field-goal loss to the Cowboys last week, with boom winger Corey Oates called up for his Origin debut as the Tigers look to capitalise on an Origin-depleted Broncos outfit.
Greg Eden and Lachlan Maranta will come onto the wings for Brisbane in place of Darius Boyd and Oates, while Josh McGuire, Corey Parker, Matt Gillett and Sam Thaiday will be covered by Herman Ese’ese and Jai Arrow with Tevita Pangai Junior and Jaydn S’ua set to make their NRL debuts. The Tigers will be missing captain Aaron Woods with Sauaso Sue and Kevin Naiqama coming into the side.
While the Broncos will be missing a lot of troops to the representative period, Wayne Bennett has instilled a lot of experience into Jo Ofahengaue and Jarrod Wallace, which he will call on as the pair start in the forward pack. The Broncos spine remains largely intact, and that will be the difference against a struggling Tigers outfit missing their captain.
Betting Tip: Tigers +12.0 @ $1.92 (Crownbet)
Dragons v Cowboys
Sat 28 May, 7:30PM, WIN Stadium
The St George Illawarra Dragons will play the North Queensland Cowboys this Saturday night after the Queensland club produced a carbon-copy performance of their 2015 Grand Final victory with a field-goal win over Brisbane last week. The Cowboys will face a struggling Dragons outfit desperate to capitalise on their opposition’s heavy Origin representation.
The Dragons will welcome back Benji Marshal, Joel Thompson and Kurt Mann for the clash, with Josh Dugan absent for representative duties. Tyson Frizell should also be available after being released from Blues camp. The Cowboys will be without their regular halves as Jahrome Hughes and Ray Thompson come in as cover with Coen Hess, Javid Bowen and Rory Kostjasyn also included in the squad.
Exactly how the Cowboys react to the absence of five representative stars remains to be seen, but expect the Dragons to fire against their vulnerable opposition. It will be a tough match to predict with so many variables, but expect the St George club to get the points.
Betting Tip: Dragons -2.0 @ $1.92 (Luxbet)
Raiders v Bulldogs
Sun 29 May, 4:00PM, GIO Stadium
The Canberra Raiders will take on the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs this Sunday afternoon as ‘Dogs fans will be both happy and disappointed by their limited State of Origin representation. The Bulldogs have seemingly found form once again after a scratchy start to the year, but they face a dangerous Canberra outfit with a very limited Origin representation.
For the Bulldogs, Adam Elliot and Danny Fualalo will come into the side to replace Blues players David Klemmer and Josh Jackson, while the Raiders will welcome back Shaun Fensom and Iosia Soliola to cover for Queensland’s Josh Papalii as Clay Priest moves to 18th man.
Despite the absence of Klemmer and Jackson for the Bulldogs, the Canterbury club is backing up from two impressive wins and will be chasing a third as they look to secure a top four position during the representative period. Against their less consistent opposition, expect the Bulldogs to get the win.
Betting Tip: Bulldogs +4.5 @ $1.92 (Luxbet)
Knights v Eels
Mon 30 May, 7:00PM, Hunter Stadium
The Newcastle Knights will host the Parramatta Eels this Monday night after the struggling Hunter Valley club recovered from their massive 62-nil loss against the Sharks with an improved performance against the Tigers. They will face an Eels outfit battling off-field controversy with five-eighth Corey Norman charged with drug related offences.
Knights coach Nathan Brown has again instituted a raft of changes, with Sam Mataora, Pat Mata’utia, Corey Denniss and Jaelen Feeney coming into the 17, while the Eels will swap out their lone Origin representative Michael Jennings with Vai Toutai in the centres.
It is hard to back a Newcastle outfit with a number of injuries and missing Dane Gagai due to Origin. Despite the controversy off the field, the Eels remain a proud club and will be determined to perform against the cellar-dwelling Newcastle. Expect Parramatta to get the points.
Betting Tip: Eels -8.5 @ $1.92 (Crownbet)
Bulldogs +4.5 @ $1.92 (Luxbet)