NRL Round 16 Previews and Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for Round 16 of the 2018 NRL season.

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Dragons v Eels

Thu, Jun 28, 7:50pm
WIN Stadium


Thursday night will see the first placed Dragons take on this year’s likely wooden-spooners in Parramatta in the aftermath of the Blues’ triumphant victory in Origin II that gave them the 2018 Origin series. The Dragons dispelled thoughts of a mid-season slump with a dominant 32-8 victory over Manly in their last game, but coach Paul McGregor should still be wary of the mental and physical drain of Origin on his squad. Both teams will be fresh from a bye last week but Parramatta last produced a disappointing loss to the Rabbitohs as their struggle for form continues.

First position on the competition ladder gives St George the luxury of resting Blues’ back-rower Tyson Frizell, while Jack De Belin, Ben Hunt, Paul Vaughan and Leeson Ah Mau have all been named to back up from their representative duties. The Eels will welcome Mitchell Moses to return from a knee injury as Siosaia Vave joins the back-row for the injured Manu Ma’u. Will Smith will also come onto the bench. 

The Eels are a passionate football team but have lacked the composure to channel their enthusiasm into the execution of a game-plan. Parramatta will aim to play a physical game and while the Dragons will be fatigued from their short representative turnaround, they should have the Eels’ measure.

Betting Tip: Dragons -9.5 @ $1.91 (Sportsbet)



Warriors v Sharks

Fri, Jun 29, 6:00pm
Mt Smart Stadium


In the aftermath of the NRL’s representative bye-round, a clash between the Sharks and Warriors could be a key factor in the make-up of the top four. Despite both clubs’ history of heavy representative tolls, there are only two players set to back up from Origin II and none from the Denver test match. With both teams fresh from a bye, this should shape as a good test of each team’s form as they look to build momentum heading into the finals.

The Sharks’ new mid-season signing Aaron Woods will join their interchange in a huge boost to the club’s front-row stocks. Kurt Capewell and Scott Sorensen will also join Cronulla’s second-row to replace the injured Luke Lewis and Wade Graham. Warriors’ coach Stephen Kearney has not named any players to back up from the Denver test after their flight was delayed from the US. David Fusitu’a will join the wing with Anthony Gelling at centre, while Jazz Tevaga and Sam Cook join the interchange.

With both teams missing a number of their top-line players, it is difficult to predict who will come out on top. The Warriors produced a solid win over the Cowboys in their last game, while the Sharks will be fired up after a four-point loss to Brisbane. Could go either way but expect their home-ground advantage to get the Warriors the win.

Betting Tip: Warriors +1.0 @ $1.92 (Crownbet)



Roosters v Storm

Fri, Jun 29, 7:50pm
Allianz Stadium


In the pre-season, a game between the Storm and Roosters would have been billed as a certain top four clash, but with the resurgence of a number of clubs – both teams will be fighting to break into the hallowed top-four position. The tri-colours made a statement with a dominant victory over the 3rd placed Panthers in their last game, while the Storm were similarly dominant in an easy win over Newcastle.

Melbourne will welcome back Billy Slater with the veteran fullback a stand-out in Origin II. Sam Kasiano will be missing as the Victorian club remain hopeful Nelson Asofa-Solomona can return from the US with enough time to recover for the match. The Roosters will similarly be missing forwards in Boyd Cordner and possibly Jared Waerea Hargreaves after the Kiwi’s delayed flight home. Siosiua Taukeiaho will return in the front-row as Lindsay Collins and Matthew Ikuvalu join the bench.

The Storm will enter the match as favourites but with representative fatigue likely to play a massive part in this game, it could go either way. Melbourne will miss Kasiano and look light in the middle. If the Roosters are to win it will be through dominance in the ruck but expect Cam Smith to lead his outfit well to take the points.

Betting Tip: Total Match Points Over 35.5 @ $1.91 (Ladbrokes)



Panthers v Sea Eagles

Sat, Jun 30, 3:00pm
Panthers Stadium

Sea Eagles

After a disappointing 32-6 point loss to the Roosters, Penrith will be looking to make a statement and arrest any possible form slump as they face staunch opposition to hold their top-four spot. They will take on a struggling Manly outfit who were last dominated by the Dragons as the Sea Eagles’ horror season continues.

Penrith have named their full representative contingent to return with Moses Leota joining the bench. Viliame Kikau will also return in the second-row to cover the injured Corey Harawira-Naera. Manly will welcome Dylan Walker back at five-eighth as Brad Parker replaces the injured Akuila Uate on the wing. Rookie dummy-half Manase Fainu has been cleared to play despite not being in the top-30 squad.

Penrith will be eager to bounce-back from their disappointing last-start loss to the Roosters. With all their representatives names, they should be wary of fatigue but should be a safe bet to take the win.

Betting Tip: Sea Eagles +10.0 @ $1.92 (Crownbet)



Knights v Bulldogs

Sat, Jun 30, 5:30pm
McDonald Jones Stadium


The Bulldogs’ year of horrendous luck has continued with a season ending injury to Kieran Foran further reducing their attacking potency after the club released both Aaron Woods and Moses Mbye to other teams. Canterbury’s disappointing last-start loss to the Titans is a concerning sign for the club and they now face a spirited Knights outfit fired-up after a poor loss to Melbourne in their last game.

Will Hopoate will shift to fullback for the ‘Dogs as Lachlan Lewis has been named to debut at five-eighth. Brett Morris and Rhyse Martin will also return in the second-row and wing respectively. The new faces on the bench are Ofahiki Ogden, Fa’amanu Brown and Danny Fualalo. Newcastle have named just one change for the match with Jacob Lilleyman joining the bench.

The Bulldogs made the tough call to let Woods and Mybe depart the club with short-term pain but long-term gain very much in mind concerning the decision. Canterbury will miss their talent and expect the Knights to capitalise to take the points.

Betting Tip: Knights -6.0 @ $1.95 (William Hill)



Broncos v Raiders

Sat, Jun 30, 7:30pm
Suncorp Stadium


The Broncos face the unenviable task of taking on a resurgent Raiders outfit with the return of hooker Josh Hodgson making a huge difference for the Canberra club. The Englishman’s presence inspired his team to a massive 48-12 win over the Tigers but they will face no easy opposition after a tough and physical Brisbane victory against the Sharks in round 15.

Brisbane have named all their representative players to back up, with Tom Opacic replacing Sam Tagataese on the bench in an otherwise unchanged line-up. Canberra will welcome Hodgson back to their starting side with Junior Paulo also set to make his injury return from the interchange.

While the Broncos are fielding a quality football side, they lack play-making and direction in their spine. The Raiders have enjoyed a massive injection of just that with Hodgson’s return – so expect a controlled performance from the Raiders as they look to out-smart an enthusiastic Brisbane team. Canberra to get the win.

Betting Tip: Raiders Head to Head @ $2.40 (Unibet)



Tigers v Titans

Sun, Jul 1, 2:00pm
Leichhardt Oval


After conceding a disappointing 48-12 loss to the Raiders in their last game, the Tigers will inject mid-season recruits Robbie Farah and Moses Mbye straight into their starting line-up in a massive boost for the joint-venture club. Their opposition in the Titans last enjoyed a dominant win over the Bulldogs but will face much stauncher opposition in Wests’ – who should produce a big response after their last game.

Jarrod Wallace will return from suspension in the Titans front-row in an otherwise unchanged squad. In addition to Farah and Mbye, the Tigers have named Josh Reynolds to make his injury return at five-eighth with Matt Eisenhuth and Sauaso Sue joining the bench.

Expect Farah and Mbye to make a huge difference to a West Tigers outfit that have boasted a quality roster all year that has looked to lack direction at times. It will be an emotional return for Robbie Farah to his old club and expect a big response from the veteran hooker. The Gold Coast won’t make it easy but expect the Tigers to get the win.

Betting Tip: Tigers -5.5 @ $1.91 (Ladbrokes)



Rabbitohs v Cowboys

Sun, Jul 1, 4:10pm
Barlow Park


In a reversal of pre-season expectations, the second placed Rabbitohs will take on a struggling Cowboys outfit as the South Sydney club look to consolidate their top-four position, while the North Queenslanders finals hopes have been virtually dashed before the end of the Origin period. The Rabbitohs will back up from the bye and a dominant last-start win over the Eels, while the Cowboys were not far off the pace against the Warriors in their last game.

The Cowboys will miss Michael Morgan for the rest of the season in a massive blow to the club as Lachlan Coote returns at fullback. Antonio Winterstein and Matt Scott will also return on the wing and at prop respectively. Souths have named all their representatives to back up with Campbell Graham replaces Hymel Hunt on the wing in an otherwise unchanged squad.

Souths will enter the contest as heavy favourites and will look to dominate the Cowboys across the park. Much of the Rabbitohs dominance this year can be attributed to their effective forward rotation and subsequent dominance of the ruck. The Cowboys will struggle to compete and barring a masterclass from Jonathan Thurston expect the Rabbitohs to get the win.

Betting Tip: Rabbitohs -9.5 @ $1.92 (Crownbet)


Best Bet

Raiders Head to Head @ $2.40 (Unibet)


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