NRL Round 17 Previews and Betting Tips
Roosters v Bulldogs
Thu 30 Jun, 7:50PM, Allianz Stadium
The Sydney Roosters will take on the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs this Thursday night after the ‘Dogs performance against the Broncos last week cemented Des Hasler’s outfit as genuine premiership contenders. Their opposition in the Roosters will return from a bye after a forgettable performance against the Warriors in their last game as the 2015 minor premiers continue to struggle for form.
The Bulldogs will welcome back Greg Eastwood in the backrow with Raymond Faitala-Mariner also included on an extended bench. The Roosters will welcome back Blake Fergusson and Aidan Guerra from Origin, as well as Mitchell Pearce at halfback in a massive boost for the club.
The Bulldogs will go into the match as heavy favourites as the Bankstown club now find themselves knocking on the door of the top four. Their performance against the Broncos last week was a demonstration of the power and confidence within the Bulldogs team, but expect the Roosters to make it difficult for their opposition with a number of returning players and an intimidating forward pack of their own. Expect the Bulldogs to get the points.
Betting Tip: Bulldogs -4.5 @ $2.00 (Pinnacle)
Broncos v Storm
Fri 1 Jul, 7:50PM, Suncorp Stadium
The Brisbane Broncos will host the Melbourne Storm in a massive clash this Friday night in Queensland’s capital with the Victorian club last losing at Suncorp Stadium in 2009. The Victorian outfit have been a surprise packet in recent months, climbing their way to outright second on the NRL competition ladder.
Melbourne will replace the injured Nelson Asofa-Solomona with Matt White as Curtis Scott and Slade Griffin join an extended bench while the Broncos will welcome back much needed reinforcements Alex Glenn, Andrew McCullough and Lachlan Maranta in place Greg Eden, Herman Ese’ese and Tom Opacic.
The Broncos will hope the return of key members of their forward rotation in Andrew McCullough and Alex Glenn will give the struggling Brisbane outfit the confidence to return to their formidable best. While their returning players will surely make a difference, the Storm will go up to Brisbane confident they have the Bronco’s measure on the back of their recent form. Storm to get the win.
Betting Tip: Storm +3.5 @ $1.92 (Ladbrokes)
Warriors v Titans
Sat 2 Jul, 3:00PM, Mt Smart Stadium
The New Zealand Warriors will take on the Gold Coast Titans in New Zealand on Saturday afternoon after the Kiwi club went down in controversial circumstances in a tight contest against the Sharks last week. Despite the result, the field-goal loss is a credit to the Warriors’ recent form with the New Zealand club determined to crack the top-eight.
The Titans will welcome back co-captain William Zillman at fullback with a back-line shuffle to cover the injured Nathan Davis, while the Warriors will welcome back Nathaniel Roache at the expense of Jonathan Wright as Tuimoala Lolohea moves to fullback.
The Titans have chalked up some impressive wins in a form resurgence to match the Warriors’, but the Gold Coast club will also be disappointed by a number of narrow losses in recent times. Coach Neil Henry will be looking for consistency from his men against a dangerous Warriors outfit but against the Warriors recent form, he may be disappointed. Expect the Warriors to get the points.
Betting Tip: Warriors -8.5 @ $1.92 (Ladbrokes)
Tigers v Panthers
Sat 2 Jul, 5:30PM, ANZ Stadium
The Wests Tigers will take on the Penrith Panthers this Saturday evening with both teams coming off a loss and win respectively. The Tigers mounted an impressive second-half comeback against the Storm last week that the Melbourne outfit managed to withstand, while the Panthers narrowly overcame a desperate Rabbitohs side by a two point margin.
Robbie Farrah will return on the Tigers’ bench in the only change for the joint-venture club, while Sam McKendry has been included on an extended interchange by Panthers’ coach Anthony Griffin.
The Titans have struggled to produce consistency so far in their 2016 campaign, and expect more of the same from Wests against the Panthers. The Penrith club have been dangerous in recent times on the back of the the form of Bryce Cartwright and with recent results, Anthony Griffin’s men look like they’ll get the points.
Betting Tip: Panthers -3.0 @ $2.00 (Pinnacle)
Sharks v Eels
Sat 2 Jul, 7:30PM, Shark Park
The Cronulla Sharks will host the Parramatta Eels this Saturday night with the seemingly unending off-field controversy surrounding the Eels continuing this week with star winger Semi Radradra accused of domestic violence by his former partner.
It has been a tumultuous time but despite the controversy the Eels will be looking for their fourth consecutive win on Saturday night. Though three wins in a row is an impressive feat considering the circumstances, the Parramatta outfit will face the ladder leading Cronulla Sharks in what will be a difficult task for the team.
Sosaia Feki will join the Sharks 17 on the wing, pushing Ricky Leutele to the bench. For the Eels Michael Jennings returns in the centres at the expense of Vai Toutai, with Cody Nelson also coming onto the bench for the injured Kaysa Pritchard.
It is difficult to see the Sharks losing this one on the back of their recent form. While the Eels certainly have the heart and physicality to match their opposition, expect the sheer class of the Sharks to get the better of the Parramatta outfit. Sharks to get the points.
Betting Tip: Total Match Points Under 37.5 @ $1.95 (Unibet)
Raiders v Knights
Sun 3 Jul, 2:00PM, GIO Stadium
The Canberra Raiders will play the Newcastle Knights this Sunday afternoon in the Australian Capital with the Canberra club performing extremely well in recent times to climb the ladder to seventh overall. The Knights are backing up from yet another disappointing loss against the Dragons with the Hunter Valley club looking sure to take the wooden spoon.
Both sides have named unchanged squads for the upcoming clash, with Josh King coming on to an extended bench for the Knights in the only change for the club.
Ricky Stuart’s recruitment drive for the Raiders over the last few seasons finally seems to be paying dividends with the Raiders playing to their potential. It is a situation Newcastle coach Nathan Brown will surely hope to emulate as the Knights look to rebuild.
The Raiders will go into this match as heavy favourites and they will be confident they can match and exceed Newcastle all across the park. Expect the Raiders to get the points.
Betting Tip: Total Match Points Over 52.0 @ $1.90 (Luxbet)
Rabbitohs v Cowboys
Sun 3 Jul, 4:00PM, Barlow Park
The North Queensland Cowboys will play the South Sydney Rabbitohs this Sunday afternoon with the Rabbitohs continuing to struggle for form. Despite a number of positional shuffles, coach Michael Maguire will be at his wit’s end turning the form of his usually disciplined outfit around and his squad face a tough task against the reigning premiers.
For the Cowboys, Ray Thompson comes into the side for Patrick Kaufusi, while Adam Reynolds and Jack Gosiewski will return at halfback and bench respectively for the Rabbitohs at the expense of Ed Murphy and Patrice Siolo.
The Cowboys will be heavy favourites for this match, even with the absence of Michael Morgan. While the Rabbitohs certainly have the talent to match the Cowboys, the South Sydney club will be their own worst enemy down on both confidence and form. It would take a monumental effort for the club to win the match, so expect the Cowboys to get the points.
Betting Tip: Rabbitohs +8.5 @ $1.92 (Crownbet)
Sea Eagles v Dragons
Mon 4 Jul, 7:00PM, Brookvale Oval
The Manly Sea Eagles will take on the St George Illawarra Dragons this Monday night after coach Trent Barrett dubbed their last round loss against the Cowboys the Manly club’s best performance of the year. Their opposition in the Dragons are backing up from a solid wins over the Knights and Storm, but will be on high alert for a Manly outfit facing it’s eighth consecutive loss.
Matthew Wright has joined an extended bench for the Sea Eagles in an otherwise unchanged squad, while Tariq Sims inclusion on the bench pushes Will Matthews to 18th man.
Despite their losing streak, the Sea Eagles will go into this match as favourites, which is understandable on the back of their performance against the Cowboys last week. The Manly outfit have dealt with a number of injuries throughout the year and they face a Dragons outfit backing up from two wins against underwhelming opposition. Expect the Sea Eagles to get the points.
Betting Tip: Sea Eagles Head to Head @ $1.65 (Ladbrokes)
Storm +3.5 @ $1.92 (Ladbrokes)
Raiders v Knights Total Match Points Over 52.0 @ $1.90 (Luxbet)