NRL Round 4 Previews and Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for Round 4 of the 2017 NRL season.

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Rabbitohs v Roosters

Thu March 23, 8:05 pm, ANZ Stadium


The South Sydney Rabbitohs will take on the Sydney Roosters this Thursday night with the rivalry between the two clubs intensifying after star Roosters’ five-eighth Luke Keary’s defection to the ‘Chooks’. Where the Roosters’ recruits have fitted in seamlessly, their opposition in the Rabbitohs have struggled, particularly after captain Greg Inglis suffered a long-term injury in the early rounds.

The Roosters will go into this match unchanged from last week, while the Rabbitohs will replace the suspended George Burgess, Hymel Hunt and Braidon Burns with Siosifa Talakai in the centres and Tom Burgess in the front-row. Anthony Cherrington will also join the Souths’ bench.

The Roosters are getting back to their best with Luke Keary and Michael Gordon continuing to prove great buys after performing well in the ‘Chooks’ impressive win over the Panthers last week.  While the Rabbitohs still have enormous talent in their roster, expect coach Michael Maguire to take time to develop stand-in fullback Alex Johnston in the absence of Greg Inglis. The Rabbitohs’ form has been patchy this year, and while there is plenty of time to work on their game, don’t expect them to light the competition on fire anytime soon. Roosters to get the points.

Betting Tip: Roosters -6.0 @ $1.94 (Crownbet)



Panthers v Knights

Fri March 24, 6:00 pm, Pepper Stadium


The Penrith Panthers will host the Newcastle Knights this Friday night with both clubs looking to improve enormously after their performances in the opening rounds. The Panthers continue their disappointing start to the season after a narrow loss to the Roosters last week, while the Knights came up short against the Rabbitohs in what was still an encouraging performance.

The Knights will go into the match unchanged from last week, while the Panthers will replace the injured James Fisher-Harris with Bryce Cartwright.

The Panthers will go into the match as heavy favourites, but after the Knights broke a long losing streak against the Titans they are no longer an easy win after a difficult few years. The Panthers will be wary of an upset after a poor start to the season, but unless there is a major lapse of concentration for the Penrith club, expect Anthony Griffin’s men to get the points.

Betting Tip: Total Match Points over 42.5 @ $1.95 (Unibet)



Broncos v Raiders

Fri March 24, 8:05 pm, Suncorp Stadium



The Brisbane Broncos will host the Canberra Raiders this Friday night in the Queensland capital after a heartbreaking loss to the Storm last week in the last five minutes of the game will leave Broncos fans disappointed for the second week in a row. Both teams will go into the contest with only one win from three starts, despite being considered premiership heavyweights over much of the pre-season.

Tevita Pangai Jr will return on the Broncos’ bench after his last-minute scratching last week, while the Raiders have named an unchanged squad.

The Raiders are backing up from a dominant win over a struggling Tigers outfit but a short turnaround may yet prove a hindrance for the Canberra club. Both teams have among the best rosters in the competition and coaches Wayne Bennett and Ricky Stuart will be disappointed with their results so far. Based on the quality of the Broncos’ performances this year, they will go into this match with no excuses and keen to put some premiership points on the board. The Broncos look more settled than the Raiders, particularly in defence in this early stage of the year. Expect the Broncos to have the advantage in the latter stage of each half. Brisbane to get the points.

Betting Tip: Broncos -3.5 @ $1.93 (Bet365)


Sea Eagles

Sea Eagles v Bulldogs

Sat March 25, 4:30 pm, Brookvale Oval


The Manly Warringah Sea Eagles will take on the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs this Saturday afternoon after both teams kicked off their premiership campaign with their first win of the season last week. The Sea Eagles produced a massive win over a depleted Cowboys outfit in Townsville in a convincing performance, while the Bulldogs got the better of the Warriors in New Zealand.

The ‘Dogs 17 is unchanged from last week, while the Sea Eagles will welcome Martin Taupau and Addin Fonua-Blake from suspension at the expense of Shaun Lane and Bill Bainbridge.

It will be a difficult game to pick but the Bulldogs look to be slight favourites heading into the match. With both teams tasting victory last week, it is hard to say whether that will be a catalyst for improved form. Manly will be boosted by the return of Taupau in the front-row – a position in which they have struggled for depth in recent times – but expect the Bulldogs’ still-intimidating forward rotation to give them the edge. Bulldogs to get the points.

Betting Tip: Bulldogs -0.5 @ $1.96 (Crownbet)



Eels v Sharks

Sat March 25, 7:00 pm, ANZ Stadium


The Parramatta Eels will take on a wounded Cronulla Sharks outfit this Saturday night after the reigning premiers produced a poor performance against the Dragons last week. It will sting the pride of a still-dangerous Sharks squad and they will look to this match to turn around an average start to the season after the club was boosted by the signing of James Segeyaro.

For the Eels, Corey Norman will return at halfback as David Gower and Siosaia Vave join the interchange. Sosaia Feki will replace Edrick Lee on the Cronulla wing with James Segeyaro joining the reserves.

While Segeyaro has the potential to play an enormous impact on Cronulla’s premiership defence, if he does take the field this week, expect coach Shane Flanagan to use the former Penrith rake sparingly as his match fitness is likely poor after so long out of the game. The return of Norman should be a huge boost for the Eels, but expect the Sharks to recover after last week to get the points.

Betting Tip: Sharks Head to Head @ $1.92 (Ladbrokes)



Titans v Cowboys

Sat March 25, 9:00 pm, CBus Super Stadium


The Gold Coast Titans will host the North Queensland Cowboys this Saturday night with both clubs struggling with injuries in the early stages of the season. The Titans overcame their injury woes last week to beat the Eels, while a depleted Cowboys squad were poor against the Sea Eagles at home.

New-signing Dale Copley will make his club debut at centre for the Titans as Daniel Vidot comes onto the wing. For the Cowboys, highly rated rookie Gideon Gela-Mosby will join the side on the wing in the only change for the North-Queensland club.

Missing key members of their forward pack and back-line spells trouble for the Cowboys and they clearly struggled against Manly last week. The Titans will hope to take advantage of their opposition’s disrupted structures, while the Cowboys will be desperate to get back to good form. The full impact of the key absences from the Cowboys squad is still unclear, but a return to good form is not impossible for Paul Green’s men. Despite their injury concerns, the Cowboys will go into the match as favourites, however, the key absences in both the Cowboys’ forward pack and backline should play strife with their form once again. Expect the Titans to get the points.

Betting Tip: Titans Head to Head @ $2.35 (Crownbet)



Tigers v Storm

Sun March 26, 4:00 pm, Leichhardt Oval


The Wests Tigers will take on the Melbourne Storm this Sunday afternoon after the joint-venture club made the huge call to sack coach Jason Taylor after Wests’ poor loss to the Raiders last week. It has been a difficult few years for the struggling Tigers, and their efforts to turn a new leaf put to the test by a dangerous Storm outfit boosted by Billy Slater’s return to the starting side.

For the Tigers, Elijah Taylor will return at lock with Matt Ballin coming onto the bench, while the Storm will replace the injured Suliasi Vunivalu with Young Tonumaipea on the wing as Riley Jacks retains the five-eighth jersey after an injury to Cameron Munster. Vincent Leuluai will also join Melbourne’s bench.

The Storm will go into the contest as heavy favourites and once again snatched a last-gasp win last week over the Broncos. The Storm will look to satiate coach Craig Bellamy’s high expectations with a perfect four wins from four starts, and expect the Victorians to do just that against a struggling Tigers squad with a temporary coach.

Betting Tip: Storm -6.0 @ $1.92 (Crownbet)



Dragons v Warriors

Sun March 26, 6:30 pm, Jubilee Oval


The St George Illawarra Dragons will take on the New Zealand Warriors this Sunday evening with the joint-venture club producing an impressive start to the season with a win against the highly-rated Panthers in round one and a victory over the reigning premiers last week. St George will face a desperate Warriors outfit suffering from their traditional poor start to the season as new coach Stephen Kearney has yet to make an impact.

The Dragons will go into the match unchanged from last week, while the Warriors will be boosted by the return of captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, who replaces the injured Manu Vatuvei in the backline.

The odds look quite even for both teams heading into the game, but despite the return of the Warriors’ captain, expect the Dragons to have the edge. The Warriors’ attack has looked stunted so far this year and the Dragons should dominate the middle of the field to get the points.

Betting Tip: Dragons Head to Head @ $1.92 (Crownbet)


Best Bet

Titans Head to Head @ $2.35 (Crownbet)

Dragons Head to Head @ $1.92 (Crownbet)



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