The following are previews with betting tips for Round 13 of the 2017 NRL season.
Storm v Knights
Fri June 2, 6:00 pm, AAMI Park
The Melbourne Storm will host the Newcastle Knights in the Victorian capital this Friday night after the massive state of Origin clash on Wednesday saw Queensland fall in their biggest loss ever at Suncorp stadium. While a number of representative stars will back up from the interstate series, expect a high-quality contest as both teams return from a bye.
Jesse Bromwich will return in the front row for the Storm, with Jordan McLean shifting to the bench. Melbourne have named their representative trio to take the field, but don’t be surprised if that changes with an extended bench. The Knights will welcome back Nathan Ross, Josh Starling and Mitchell Barnett to the starting side in their only changes.
The Melbourne Storm will be keenly aware of the need to maintain momentum through the Origin period, but it won’t be premiership points that inspire their performance. The veterans Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith were humbled in QLD’s loss to the Blues, and the superstar duo will be eager to make up for their team’s quiet performance with a win at club level. Expect the Victorians to get the points.
Betting Tip: Knights +16.5 @ $1.87 (Unibet)
Eels v Warriors
Fri June 2, 7:50 pm, ANZ Stadium
The Parramatta Eels will play the New Zealand Warriors this Friday night in a match between two sides who returned to form with encouraging wins last week. The Warriors played one of their best games of the season against the Broncos, reminding the competition what they are capable of at their best, while the Eels continued their trend of improvement against the Rabbitohs as new half Mitchell Moses put in an improved performance.
The Warriors will welcome Solomone Kata in the centres, while the Eels will benefit from the returning Nathan Brown at lock in both teams’ only changes.
Each club has struggled to start the season, but with limited Origin representation and having returned to the winners’ circle last week, look for a high intensity contest with both coaches very aware of the need to climb the ladder during the Origin period. If the Warriors can replicate their form against the Broncos last week, they will be hard to beat – but don’t expect the Eels to make it easy for their Kiwi opposition. Warriors to get the points.
Betting Tip: Warriors Head to Head @ $2.35 (Ladbrokes)
Dragons v Tigers
Sat June 3, 3:00 pm, ANZ Stadium
The St George Illawarra Dragons will take on the Wests Tigers this Saturday afternoon after the joint venture club was boosted by the signing of former Warriors utility Tuimoala Lolohea. Wests will face a red-hot Dragons outfit who sit third on the competition ladder and expect a high-quality contest with both teams returning from a bye.
The Dragons have named Josh Dugan and Tyson Frizell on an extended interchange but the talented duo could still take the field after a gruelling Origin match. Jacob Host joins the bench in the Dragons’ only change. The Tigers have named Tuimoala Lolohea in the halves as Ava Seumanufagai, Chris Lawrence and JJ Felise join the squad. NSW stars James Tedesco and Aaron Woods have also been named to return after Origin I.
The Dragons will go into the match as favourites, and have displayed impressive form despite a number key absences from their squad. The Tigers will certainly be boosted by the signing of Lolohea, but expect the more disciplined Dragons to win the game through their defensive prowess.
Betting Tip: Dragons -10.5 @ $1.95 (Unibet)
Roosters v Broncos
Sat June 3, 5:30 pm, Allianz Stadium
The Brisbane Broncos will take on the Sydney Roosters this Saturday evening in what will be an interesting insight into the mental fortitude of each club with a number of players set to back up from the Origin series. Both teams will be eager to make amends for poor losses last week as the Broncos produced their worst game of the season against the Warriors without their Origin players, while their opposition in the Roosters were similarly poor against the Raiders missing their rep stars in an error riddled display.
The Broncos have named a near full-strength outfit with Queensland players Darius Boyd, Corey Oates, Matt Gillett, Josh McGuire and Sam Thaiday returning to the side with Andrew McCullough and Tevita Pangai Junior also making returns from injury. The Roosters have also named Origin stars quintet of Boyd Cordner, Aidan Guerra, Dylan Napa and Blake Fergusson in their only changes. Mitchell Pearce and Anthony Milford have been ruled out of the match with no replacements yet named.
Mental and physical fatigue will play a huge role in this contest with a total of nine origin players set to play. Both teams are keenly aware of the importance to maintain form through the Origin period, but they will be stretched to their limits in a difficult contest. Expect a full-strength Broncos outfit to edge their NSW opposition.
Betting Tip: Broncos +2.5 @ $1.92 (Ladbrokes)
Cowboys v Titans
Sat June 3, 7:30 pm, 1300Smiles Stadium
The North Queensland Cowboys will take on the Gold Coast Titans this Saturday night and with both teams in poor form and slipping quickly down the competition ladder, expect a high intensity contest with both clubs returning from a bye as they look to rebound from poor season starts. The Cowboys produced another disappointing loss against the Sharks in their last game, clearly missing the class of captain Jonathan Thurston. Similarly, the Titans were embarrassed against the Sea Eagles in their last match – so expect both sides to come out firing with their pride on the line.
Both teams have named unchanged squads heading into the clash with representative stars Justin O’Neill and Michael Morgan backing up for the Cowboys as Jarryd Hayne also returns for the Titans.
The Cowboys will go into the match as favourites, but with both teams fielding inexperienced spines, expect a scrappy contest. Both sides have a shot to take the match out, but expect the big-game experience of the Cowboys’ squad make the difference with the North Queenslanders to get the win.
Betting Tip: Cowboys -6.0 @ $1.91 (William Hill)
Sea Eagles v Raiders
Sun June 4, 2:00 pm, Brookvale Oval
The Manly Warringah Sea Eagles will host the Canberra Raiders this Sunday afternoon after both teams produced impressive wins in their last game. The Sea Eagles dominated the Titans in the match before their bye last week while the Raiders edged a Roosters outfit minus their representative stars in a confidence boosting win.
The Sea Eagles have elected to name an unchanged squad for the clash, with Origin stars Jake Trbojevic and Nate Myles named to return. Josh Papalii will also return from Origin for the Raiders, replacing the injured Luke Bateman.
Both teams had a slow start to the year but some handy wins in the last month has seen each squad build some form heading into the Origin period. With limited representation in the interstate series, both clubs will be eager to climb the ladder, but expect a more balanced Raiders outfit to edge a Sea Eagles side still missing Tom Trbojevic.
Betting Tip: Raiders Head to Head @ $1.91 (William Hill)
Bulldogs v Panthers
Sun June 4, 4:00 pm, ANZ Stadium
The Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs will play the Penrith Panthers this Sunday afternoon with both clubs looking to recover from their mediocre season starts. The Panthers took out consecutive wins for the first time this season in their last match against the Knights as they look to make a mid-season push for the top eight. The Bulldogs went down to the Sharks by a field goal last week and are facing their fourth consecutive defeat should they lose.
The Bulldogs have named Origin trio Brett Morris, Josh Jackson and David Klemmer to return in their only changes, while the Panthers will shift Matt Moylan to five-eighth as Dylan Edwards, Josh Mansour and Isaah Yeo return to the starting side. Mitch Rein will also replace injured hooker Peter Wallace.
The Panthers’ returning troops are a massive boost for the struggling club, who have been installed as narrow favourites to win the game. Expect heavy resistance from a Bulldogs outfit desperate to avoid their fourth consecutive loss, as the Panthers will struggle to adjust to the personnel changes in their spine. Canterbury to get the win.
Betting Tip: Buldogs Head to Head @ $2.15 (Unibet)
Warriors Head to Head @ $2.35 (Ladbrokes)