The following are previews with betting tips for Round 13 of the 2018 NRL season.
Sea Eagles v Cowboys
Thu, May 31, 7:50pm
A depleted Cowboys outfit will meet Manly this Thursday night with both clubs looking to compensate for their poor performance over the first half of the season with a winning run through the State of Origin period. It will be a tough ask after each team conceded a disappointing field-goal loss to the Storm and Raiders respectively last week and with key players missing this should shape as a desperate encounter.
The Cowboys have drafted Lachlan Coote and Sam Hoare at fullback and on the bench respectively to cover Queensland representatives Gavin Cooper and Michael Morgan. Matt Scott will also miss the match after being charged at the judiciary with his replacement yet to be named. Meanwhile, Manly will welcome back Api Koroisau at hooker with Brad Parker and Jack Gosiewski joining the bench to cover the Trbojevic brothers’ Origin absence.
Manly will head into the contest as favourites but this match will be hard to call with so many missing players. Koroisau’s return will be a big boost for the Sea Eagles but expect a response from retired Origin great Jonathan Thurston. Could go either way but expect Manly to get the win.
Betting Tip: Sea Eagles -2.0 @ $1.91 (William Hill)
Rabbitohs v Sharks
Fri, Jun 1, 7:50pm
After crossing the mid-way point of the season, fans will be treated to another top-four clash with Souths taking on Cronulla as the ever-important State-of-Origin period begins. After shaky starts to their respective seasons, both clubs taking the field have displayed some wonderful form to get themselves into the top four with the Rabbitohs producing an impressive 30-10 win over the Warriors and the Sharks dominating the Knights in their last games.
Souths will lose Greg Inglis, Damien Cook, Angus Crichton and Dane Gagai to Origin as Braidon Burns and Hymel Hunt both join the side at centre with Tyrell Fuimaono and Mark Nicholls coming onto the bench. Former NSW Origin stalwart Robbie Farah will also join the side at hooker. The Sharks will lose only Valentine Holmes to Origin as Andrew Fifita and Sosaia Feki return in the front-row and wing respectively.
With the recent form and limited Origin representation, Cronulla will enter the match as favourites. The Rabbitohs are missing a number of their best players and may struggle to compete with so many changes to their back-line and losing Damien Cook could impact their dominance in the ruck. Cronulla to get the win.
Betting Tip: Sharks -4.5 @ $1.93 (Bet365)
Eels v Knights
Sat, Jun 2, 7:30pm
After yet another disappointing loss to the Broncos last week, Eels coach Brad Arthur has made the big decision to drop Corey Norman with rumours circling the struggling half may be on the outer at the club. Their opposition in the Knights conceded their own poor loss to the Sharks last week in a 38-10 capitulation but each team will be looking to bounce back over the State-of-Origin period.
Josh Hoffman will return on the wing for the Eels with Bevan French moving to fullback in an otherwise unchanged squad. Corey Denniss joins the Knights’ back-line to replace the injured Nathan Ross with Josh King joining the bench to cover the suspended Herman Ese’Ese.
Despite their recent results, the Eels will head into the match as favourites. Both teams will be disappointed with their performance last week and expect a response from both squads that should make for a physically intense match. Could go either way but the Eels should come out on top.
Betting Tip: Eels -7.5 @ $2.09 (William Hill)
Roosters v Tigers
Sun, Jun 3, 4:10pm
The Roosters flexed their muscle against the Titans in a powerful 20-point victory last week but they will face a Tigers outfit eager to return to the consistent form that saw them enter the top-four earlier in the year. Wests won a narrow victory against the ‘Dogs last week and will be looking to capitalise on a Roosters’ outfit sapped by State-of-Origin representation.
The ‘Chooks’ will miss Dylan Napa, Boyd Cordner, Latrell Mitchell and James Tedesco to Origin duty as Daniel Tupou makes his long-awaited injury return alongside debutant Matthew Ikuvalu on the wing. Ryan Matterson and Frank-Paul Nuuausala will also join the starting front-row and bench respectively. The Tigers have only made one change as Tim Grant joins the bench to cover the injured Jacob Liddle.
Given the Roosters heavy Origin representation, the Tigers will enter the match as favourites. With many of their stars hailing from across the ditch, Wests’ coach Ivan Cleary will have impressed upon his outfit the massive importance of the Origin period, particularly in securing a top-four berth. Expect a big response with the Tigers to get the win.
Betting Tip: Tigers 1-12 @ $3.05 (Unibet)
Tigers 1-12 @ $3.05 (Unibet)