NRL Round 20 Previews and Tips

NRL Round 20 Previews and Betting Tips



Cowboys v Bulldogs

Thu 21 Jul, 7:50PM, 1300Smiles Stadium


The North Queensland Cowboys will host the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs this Thursday night after the Queensland club were once against exposed without their Origin players last week against the Raiders. The Cowboys will face an in-form Bulldogs outfit looking for its 5th consecutive win and even with their Origin players’ return, they will have to be on their toes.

For the Cowboys, Origin representatives Gavin Cooper, James Tamou, Justin O’Neill, Matthew Scott, Michael Morgan and Jonathan Thurston will return in addition to Javid Bowen in massive changes for the squad. The Bulldogs will welcome back their own Origin players David Klemmer and Josh Jackson, with Craig Garvey also coming on to an extended bench.

Despite the Cowboys’ poor performance without their representative contingent last week, the club should be back to their best with all their Origin players taking the field. While the Bulldogs have been in good form, expect the Cowboys to get the win on the back of their returning players with the reigning premiers undoubtedly keen to retain their title.

Betting Tip: Bulldogs +7.5 @ $1.93 (Bet365)



Broncos v Panthers

Fri 22 Jul, 7:50PM, Suncorp Stadium


The Brisbane Broncos will play the Penrith Panthers this Friday night after the Brisbane club impressed last week with a dominant performance against the Rabbitohs. Having fallen as low as 7th position on the ladder after leading the competition earlier this year, last week’s win will be an important stepping stone as the Broncos look to force their way back into the top four.

The Panthers have elected to name an unchanged side for the clash with Moses Leota and Viliame Kikau joining an extended bench. The Broncos will welcome back Corey Parker and Tom Opacic from suspension and injury respectively with Jordan Kahu re-injuring his pectoral against the Rabbitohs last week.

The Broncos should go into this match as hot favourites on the back of their performance last week with the Brisbane club looking to be back on track. Despite the odds however, Panthers’ coach Anthony Griffin and former Brisbane mentor holds a remarkable record against current Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett. The Broncos should get the points, but don’t be surprised if Penrith trouble the Brisbane club more than they should.

Betting Tip: Total Match Points Under 42.5 @ $1.90 (Sportsbet)



Raiders v Warriors

Sat 23 Jul, 3:00PM, GIO Stadium


The Canberra Raiders will host the New Zealand Warriors this Saturday afternoon as losses in two of the Warriors’ last three games have tempered the form surge that saw the Kiwi club sneak its way into the top eight. Conversely, the Raiders are looking for their fourth consecutive win after good form during the Origin period has seen the Canberra club climb to fifth on the NRL competition ladder.

For the Warriors, the suspended Charlie Gubb will be replaced with Jacob Lillyman in the front-row, while the Raiders will welcome back Josh Papalii and Luke Bateman at the expense of Clay Priest and Kurt Baptiste.

While losing two of their last three may be concerning for Warriors’ fans, those losses against the Sharks and Manly respectively were both decided by a field goal. They will face an in-form and dangerous Raiders squad looking for their fourth consecutive win, so expect an exciting, high-scoring affair. On recent form and with their home ground advantage, expect the Raiders to get the points.

Betting Tip: Total Match Points Over 46.5 @ $2.00 (Bet365)



Titans v Eels

Sat 23 Jul, 5:30PM, Cbus Super Stadium


The Gold Coast Titans will play the Parramatta Eels this Saturday evening after the embattled Parramatta club put in a wonderful performance against the Panthers last week that was a testament to the quality of the coaching staff and playing roster at the Eels, despite losing the game. Their opposition in the Titans were also impressive last week with a big win against the Dragons.
Both clubs have named only one change to their rosters for the game, with Nathaniel Peteru coming into the Titans’ 17 for the suspended Greg Bird. Brad Takairangi will also replace an injured Michael Jennings for the Eels.

The Titans will go into the match as favourites and will hold a particular advantage in their halves with an in-form Tyrone Roberts and Ashley Taylor up against a rag-tag Eels’ halves combination of Clint Gutherson and Jeff Robson. While the Eels have been going through constant controversy, the Titans have been resurgent this year under Neil Henry and the Gold Coast club will be desperate to up a win against a proud Eels outfit to secure their position in the top eight. Expect the Titans to get the points.

Betting Tip: Titans -6.5 @ $1.92 (Ladbrokes)



Storm v Roosters

Sat 23 Jul, 7:30PM, AAMI Park


The Melbourne Storm will host the Sydney Roosters this Saturday night after the Victorian club secured another win last week after holding out the Knights. Currently sitting at second on the NRL competition ladder, Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy will be keen to continue his squad’s momentum in the post-Origin period with only seven rounds to go in the regular season.

The Roosters have elected to name an unchanged outfit for the clash with Kane Evans coming on to an extended bench, while the Storm have similarly named the same team as last week.
The Storm will go into the match as heavy favourites and rightly so considering their recent form. The Roosters have continued to struggle with their last win back in round 13 and sitting second last on the competition ladder. Despite their position on the ladder, the Roosters have been putting together some solid performances in recent times but expect the Storm to get the points.

Betting Tip: Storm -10.5 @ $1.93 (Bet365)



Sharks v Knights

Sun 24 Jul, 2:00PM, Shark Park


The Cronulla Sharks will play the Newcastle Knights this Sunday afternoon in a match between two clubs in opposite circumstances. The Sharks are the competition leaders, resurgent after their recovery from the ASADA controversy and set for a top four position in the finals, while the Knights are last on the competition ladder and face a long road to recovery before they threaten for the NRL premiership title.

For the Sharks, Andrew Fifita will return from suspension at the expense of Fa’amanu Brown, while the Knights will welcome back Dane Gagai, Jacob Saifiti, Mickey Paea and Pauli Pauli with David Bhana on an extended bench after a number of injuries and suspensions.

The Sharks will go into this match as heavy favourites against a lowly Knights on recent form but a number of forced changes to the Knights’ 17 is more bad news for the struggling club. Expect the Sharks to get the points.

Betting Tip: Sharks -23.5 @ $1.92 (Crownbet)



Dragons v Tigers

Sun 24 Jul, 4:00PM, ANZ Stadium


The St George Illawarra Dragons will play the Wests Tigers this Sunday afternoon with former Tigers’ captain and club legend Robbie Farah sensationally being dropped to reserve grade with coach Jason Taylor indicating Farah’s inability to gel with the talented Tigers’ spine of James Tedesco, Luke Brooks and Mitchell Moses as the reason for the controversial decision. The Tigers will hope the decision doesn’t impact their performance against the Dragons, with both clubs desperate to break their way into the top eight.

For the Dragons, Taane Milne will come into the side in place of Tim Lafai, while Adam Quinlan and Benji Marshall will return for Kalifa Faifai Loa and Josh McCrone in big changes for the Dragons. The Tigers will similarly name a number of changes with Aaron Woods, James Tedesco and Joel Edwards coming into the side.

Both teams will head into this contest with patchy NRL form but after their poor performance against the Titans last week, the Dragons have some serious work to do to recover their season. The Dragons will struggle to match the Tigers’ attacking prowess, so expect the joint-venture club to come away with the win.

Betting Tip: Total Match Points Over 40.5 @ $1.88 (Ladbrokes)



Rabbitohs v Sea Eagles

Mon 25 Jul, 7:00PM, Allianz Stadium

Sea Eagles

The South Sydney Rabbitohs will play the Manly Sea Eagles this Monday night after Souths’ poor loss against the Broncos last week all but ruled the club out from finals contention as they now must win each of their seven remaining games to potentially qualify for the play-offs. Their opposition in the Sea Eagles are facing a similar dilemma and will look to make the most of every game in the back end of the season as they look for a finals berth.

The Rabbitohs will welcome back Adam Reynolds and Bryson Goodwin from injury as Ed Murphy drops out of the side in a massive boost for the team. The Sea Eagles will also get reinforcements in Brayden Wiliame and Nate Myles at the expense of last-round debutant Brad Parker.

The Rabbitohs would be disappointed with their performance against the Broncos last week, but it was ultimately their execution that let them down. The addition of Adam Reynolds will make a massive difference to the side after he was ruled out in the warm-up last week. Manly are backing up from an impressive field-goal win against the Warriors and will rightly head into this match as favourites and with the addition of Brayden Wiliame and Nate Myles, expect the Sea Eagles to get the win.

Betting Tip: Sea Eagles Head to Head @ $1.75 (Sportsbet)


Best Bet

Dragons v Tigers Total Match Points Over 40.5 @ $1.88 (Ladbrokes)


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