NRL Round 6 Previews and Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for Round 6 of the 2017 NRL season.

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Broncos v Roosters

Thu April 6, 7:50 pm, Suncorp Stadium


The Brisbane Broncos will host the Sydney Roosters in the Queensland capital this Thursday night after both teams produced narrow losses last week against the Bulldogs and Manly respectively. Each club has enormously high expectations and will be disappointed with their results last week, so expect a high intensity clash between these two teams as they seek to make amends.

The Broncos will go into the match with an unchanged 17 but with an injury cloud over James Roberts the speedy centre could be a late scratching. Kodi Nikorima is also a chance to make a return, with one of Brisbane’s bench forwards to make way if coach Wayne Bennett opts for the utility. The Roosters will replace the injured Dylan Napa with Kane Evans in their only change from last week.

The Roosters have looked a rejuvenated outfit this season, while their opposition has looked sluggish at times. Faced with an extremely difficult opening draw, the argument could be made that the Broncos have performed well this year, but with mounting criticism over their attack and ability to close out tight contests, expect the pressure to be on.  Expect the Roosters’ firing spine to make the difference as their Queensland opposition clearly still has much to work on.

Betting Tip: Roosters +2.0 @ $1.90 (Palmerbet)



Knights v Bulldogs

Fri April 7, 6:00 pm, McDonald Jones Stadium


The Newcastle Knights will take on the Canterbury Bulldogs this Friday night after the ‘Dogs silenced critics with a powerhouse performance over the Broncos last week. Showing glimpses of their best, the Bulldogs out-enthused their opposition but they will face an eager Knights outfit who went down in a one-point loss to the Sharks last week.

Moses Mbye will return for the Bulldogs, relegating Matt Frawley to an extended bench. Nathan Ross will return from injury to replace Jacob Gagan in the only change for the Knights.

Both teams are under enormous pressure to perform in the early stages of the season. Des Hasler’s Bulldogs have only taken two wins from five games, while the Knights have only one win from as many matches. The Bulldogs will go into the match as favourites and will hope they can replicate the energy they found against the Broncos last week. Expect the Bulldogs to get the points in a scrappy contest.

Betting Tip: Bulldogs -4.5 @ $1.92 (Crownbet)



Panthers v Rabbitohs

Fri April 7, 7:50 pm, Pepper Stadium


The Penrith Panthers will take on the South Sydney Rabbitohs this Friday night with Penrith captain Matt Moylan dropped from the side for disciplinary reasons. It is adding insult to the Penrith club’s injuries after they were humbled by the Storm last week in a disappointing loss, but their opposition in the Rabbitohs are equally vulnerable after a poor start to the season.

Waqa Blake and Peta Hiku were also suspended alongside Matt Moylan as Dylan Edwards, Michael Oldfield and Malakai Watene-Zelezniak come into the Panthers backline with Sitaleki Akauola joining the interchange. The Rabbitohs have named an unchanged 17 from last week with Robbie Farah coming from the bench.

The Panthers will still go into the match as favourites despite their absences, which is not surprising given the Rabbitohs recent form. The Rabbitohs are clearly struggling this year having only won against Manly and Newcastle but with both sides significantly weakened expect the more composed outfit to win. Panthers to get the points.

Betting Tip: Penrith -4.0 @ $1.94 (Crownbet)


Sea Eagles

Sea Eagles v Dragons

Sat April 8, 3:00 pm, Brookvale Oval


The Manly Warringah Sea Eagles will host the St George Illawarra Dragons this Saturday afternoon in a match between two clubs who have defied all expectations. Both coaches were under enormous pressure to start the year but shrewd off-season recruitment has paid off with both teams producing wonderful form in encouraging signs for both clubs going forward.

Darcy Lussick will join the Manly interchange in place of Jackson Hastings, while the Dragons will replace the injured Josh Dugan with Jason Nightingale at fullback. Euan Aitken will return in the centres and Kurt Mann looks set to play on the wing.

With both teams in top form it will be a hard game to pick but expect Manly to go into the match as favourites after beating the highly-rated Roosters last week. Both teams have distinctly different playing-styles. The Dragons rely on their mobile forward rotation to dominate the middle of the field in a defensively orientate game-plan, while the Sea Eagles rely on the brilliance of their backline to give them an edge. Expect a wonderful contest but the Dragons should get the points.

Betting Tip: Dragons +6.0 @ $1.91 (William Hill)



Titans v Raiders

Sat April 8, 5:30 pm, CBus Super Stadium


The Gold Coast Titans will take on the Canberra Raiders this Saturday night in a match between two teams who will be desperate to get their seasons back-on-track. The Titans’ injury woes continue this week but they are facing a Raiders outfit struggling for consistency.

Elliot Whitehead will return for the Raiders at the expense of Dave Taylor, while Anthony Don and Konrad Hurrell will return to the Titans backline.

The Raiders will go into the match as heavy favourites, particularly as they have yet to lose a game to a team who are not genuine premiership contenders. Ricky Stuart will hope a win against one of the lesser teams in the competition can provide his troops some confidence, while the Titans will simply be desperate for a points.

Expect the Raiders to use their size and speed through the ruck to their advantage but the Titans forwards are certainly no slouches, and despite their massive injury list the Titans still have a lot of quality in their starting 13. Expect the Raiders to get the points.

Betting Tip: Raiders -8.0 @ $1.91 (William Hill)



Cowboys v Tigers

Sat April 8, 7:30 pm, 1300Smiles Stadium


The North Queensland Cowboys will host the Wests Tigers this Saturday night after Ivan Cleary was confirmed as the new Tigers coach until 2020. It will be a baptism of fire for Cleary’s tenure at the Tigers playing the Cowboys at home, but with the Cowboys facing injury woes the result is still up in the air.

The Tigers only change will come as the injured Matt Ballin is replaced by Jacob Liddle, while the Cowboys will replace the injured Jake Granville with Kalyn Ponga on the bench as Ben Hamptom moves to hooker.

The Cowboys have been immense this season, winning four from five games despite a horrendous injury toll. The Queensland club will go into the match as favourites but the Tigers squad will be eager to impress Ivan Cleary in their first game under his tutelage. Barring a significant lapse in concentration, expect the Cowboys to get the points.

Betting Tip: Total Match Points Over 44.5 @ $1.95 (Palmerbet)



Warriors v Eels

Sun April 9, 2:00 pm, Mt Smart Stadium


The New Zealand Warriors will host the Parramatta Eels this Sunday afternoon with both clubs sitting on two wins from five games to start the season. With high expectations and an extremely talented roster, the Warriors will hope Kieran Foran’s encouraging start to his Warriors careers will continue on the same trend after they won against the Eels last week.

The Warriors will replace Ata Hingano with Nathaniel Roach on the bench in their only change, while the Eels will welcome back Tepai Moeroa from suspension at the expense of David Gower.

Both teams are in similar positions to start the year but the Warriors home-ground advantage will see them installed as favourites for this game. Each squad has enormous potential, but expect the addition of Kieran Foran to an already potent Warriors spine to give Stephen Kearny’s outfit much needed confidence and direction. Foran will also ease pressure on Shaun Johnson, with fans hoping the sporadic playmaker can return to his best. Warriors to get the points.

Betting Tip: Warriors -1.5 @ $1.90 (Bet365)



Storm v Sharks

Sun April 9, 4:00 pm, AAMI Park


The Melbourne Storm will host the Cronulla Sharks this Sunday afternoon in a massive grand-final rematch game to conclude round 6 of the NRL competition. In the first time these two clubs have met since the 2016 grand final, the competition leading Storm will hope to gain revenge over an inconsistent Sharks outfit.

Both teams have named unchanged squads from last week.

Despite the news star halfback Cooper Cronk will leave the Storm for Sydney in 2017, don’t expect Craig Bellamy’s professional outfit to be distracted against the Sharks. The Storm do not lose grand finals often and they will hope to correct the balance of the rugby league world with a win over the Sharks on Sunday.

While the Storm have been slowly working their way to competition leaders after an impressive performance against the Panthers last week, the Sharks have been struggling with injuries disrupting their structures. The Storm still look more likely and with the motivation of a lost grand final expect Melbourne to get the points.

Betting Tip: Total Match Points Under 33.5 @ $1.91 (Bet365)


Best Bet

Dragons +6.0 @ $1.91 (William Hill)


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