NRL Round 4 Previews and Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for Round 4 of the 2019 NRL season.

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Roosters v Broncos

Thu, Apr 4, 7.50pm
Sydney Cricket Ground


An under-strength Roosters outfit held their ground against a resurgent Parramatta squad and will now look to the highly-rated Broncos who have failed to produce consistent form in 2019. Backing-up from a powerhouse performance over the Cowboys, Brisbane were poor in key areas in their field-goal loss to St George last week with coach Anthony Seibold sure to emphasize the importance of the fundamentals for Thursday night’s clash.

Cooper Cronk and Linsday Collins will return at halfback and on the bench respectively in a huge boost for the Roosters as Victor Radley shifts to hooker to cover the injured Jake Friend. For the Broncos, star centre James Roberts has succumbed to an Achilles injury with Kotoni Staggs shifting to the starting side and Gehamat Shibasaki joining the bench. Matt Lodge has also been named in the front-row in a big boost for Brisbane’s pack.

Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold will still be looking for consistent performances from his forward-rotation and will have a constant leadership figure in Matt Gillett on the field with the Maroons veteran switching to his preferred position of second-row. Both teams will be primed for the contest but expect a big improvement from the Roosters after they played poorly for a majority of their game against the Eels. Chooks to get the win.

Betting Tip: Roosters -6.5 @ $2.15 (Sportsbet)



Warriors v Titans

Fri, Apr 5, 6.00pm
Mt Smart Stadium


The luckless Titans were brave in their narrow loss to the Rabbitohs last week and will be looking to aim up against a New Zealand Warriors team who have conceded 80 points in their last two games. A 46-12 drubbing by Manly in round two spells trouble for the Kiwis with effort and attitude a persistent problem for coach Stephen Kearney.

Injuries are set to have a major impact on the Titans’ season once again with hooker Nathan Peats ruled out for three months with a pec injury. First-choice halves Ash Taylor and Tyrone Roberts will walk back into the Gold Coast line-up in a huge boost for the club with Moeaki Fotuaika also joining the bench. For the Warriors, Chanel Harris-Tevita will start at five-eighth as Karl Lawnton and Liligiifo join the squad at hooker and on the bench respectively.


Despite their last-start loss to Manly, the Warriors will enter the match as favourites. Both teams have been in poor form over the opening rounds but expect a big improvement from the Titans out with Ash Taylor and Tyrone Roberts running the show. Both teams’ patchy form makes a result difficult to predict but unless the Titans forwards can make a big statement, expect the Kiwis to get the points.

Betting Tip: Warriors -4.0 @ $1.90 (Sportsbet)



Panthers v Tigers

Fri, Apr 5, 7.55pm
Panthers Stadium


Penrith and Wests are set for a grudge match on Friday night with Panthers coach Ivan Cleary facing his old club for the first time since his controversial off-season departure. While the Tigers have shown further improvement under Michael Maguire, they will be looking to bounce back from a poor performance against Canterbury last week. Meanwhile, Penrith were dismantled by the Storm in a 30-point rout.


Isaah Yeo and Viliame Kikau will form a new second-row pairing for Penrith in a revamped pack. For the Tigers, Josh Reynolds will return at five-eighth to cover the injured Benji Marshall in an otherwise unchanged squad.


Despite their massive loss to the Storm last week, Penrith will enter the match as firm favourites. The Tigers’ new halves pairing may take some time to click but expect Reynolds to bring his trademark intensity and competitiveness to Wests’ game. Ivan Cleary will be hoping the inclusion of Yeo and Kikau will help his squad’s edge defense, but they may take some time to re-form solid combinations. Could go either way but expect the Tigers to get the win.

Betting Tip: Tigers H2H @ $2.50 (Bet365)


Sea Eagles

Sea Eagles v Rabbitohs

Sat, Apr 6, 3.00pm


After a shaky start to the season had fans and critics alike predicting a bottom-four finish for Manly, Des Hasler’s troops produced a massive victory over the Warriors last week to kick-start their season. They will face an unbeaten Rabbitohs outfit who need to be wary of complacency after a sloppy win over the Titans in round two, particularly against a Sea Eagles attack spear-headed by Tom Trbojevic and Daly Cherry-Evans.

NRL rookie Moses Suli has been dropped, with Brendan Elliot shifting to centre in an otherwise unchanged Sea Eagles line-up. For the Rabbitohs, George Burgess and Greg Inglis will return to the run-on side at prop and centre respectively in a big boost for the South Sydney club in Wayne Bennett’s only changes.
Expect the leadership of Greg Inglis to make a big impact for South Sydney with the Rabbitohs captain surely eager to make a big statement after much conjecture over his fitness. Manly will be looking to play a looser, more attacking style game-plan but their opposition are known to thrive on speed through the ruck. The halfback battle between Daly Cherry-Evans and Adam Reynolds will be mouth watering to watch but expect Bennett’s Bunnies to come away with the points.

Betting Tip: Rabbitohs -4.5 @ $1.95 (Pointsbet)



Cowboys v Raiders

Sat, Apr 6, 5.30pm
1300Smiles Stadium

Ricky Stuart’s shift to a more mobile forward rotation has paid huge dividends for his club, as has his off-season emphasis on defense. Canberra showed encouraging resilience and composure against the Knights last week to close out the game for a victory and they will face a Cowboys outfit whose disturbed pre-season looks to be catching up with them after a woeful 42-16 last-start loss to the Sharks.
Paul Green has elected to make no changes to his North Queensland outfit from last week, while Raiders’ mentor Ricky Stuart has unsurprisingly made the same call.
Canberra’s control of the ruck through Josh Hodgson is superb but if the Cowboys can limit his influence on the contest, they will go a long way toward winning the game. Expect the Raiders to move the ball in an effort to tire the Queenslanders’ massive middle rotation with the battle in the ruck hugely important for either side to win. Could go either way but expect Canberra’s new-found nerve to hold for their third win of the season.

Betting Tip: Raiders 1-12 @ $3.30 (Sportsbet)



Eels v Sharks

Sat, Apr 6, 7.35pm
ANZ Stadium

Despite some impressive performances over the opening two rounds, the Eels were handed a reality-check last week after the reigning premiers produced a three-try blitz in the last 20 minutes to win the game. Meanwhile, the Sharks look to have re-discovered their hard-edge in enormously encouraging signs for new coach John Morris after a big 42-16 win over the Cowboys.
Boom Eels’ rookie Dylan Brown has succumbed to a back injury as Jaeman Salmon takes his place at five-eighth in an otherwise unchanged squad. For the Sharks, Josh Dugan will shift to fullback to cover the injured Matt Moylan with rookie Bronson Xerri set to make his NRL debut in the centres.
The Sharks have benefited from fantastic form from new recruit Shaun Johnson, with the Warriors import immediately making a big impact at his new club. Both teams will be missing key players from their spine and may be a bit off the pace with their control of the match, but expect a massive contest between two hardened forward rotations with the experience within the Sharks’ line-up to prove the difference.

Betting Tip: Total Match Points Under 41.5 @ $1.91 (Bet365)



Storm v Bulldogs

Sun, Apr 7, 4.05pm

Canterbury face a massive test in the Melbourne Storm this week after the Doggies scored their first win of the season against the Tigers in round two. The Victorians have enjoyed a perfect start to the year with their last-start 30-point win over the Panthers sure to give their for and against a massive boost.
Melbourne have named an unchanged squad for the clash, while the Bulldogs have been dealt a massive blow as star five-eighth Kieran Foran faces a lengthy stint on the sidelines with an ankle injury. Rookie Jack Cogger will come into the side as cover as Rhyse Martin and Adam Elliott swap between the bench and lock.
Canterbury will need to play at their absolute best against a Storm outfit who show no signs of slowing down. The loss of Kieran Foran can not be understated for Canterbury, with the former Kiwi regular providing enormous stability and leadership for the young Bulldogs on and off the field. Melbourne will be heavy favourites with the Dogs to struggle with their inexperienced spine. Storm to get the points.

Betting Tip: Storm -17.5 @ $1.91 (Bet365)



Knights v Dragons

Sun, Apr 7, 6.10pm
McDonald Jones Stadium

The elation of St George’s spectacular field-goal victory over the Broncos last week – their first win of the year – was tempered by the long term absence of captain Gareth Widdop, with the Englishman requiring immediate shoulder surgery. The Dragons will come up against an inconsistent Knights squad who have ended Kayln Ponga’s controversial five-eighth experiment as the boom rookie shifts back to the familiar custodian role.
Mason Lino will join the Knights’ halves, relegating Kurt Mann to the interchange. Daniel Saifiti will also make his return from injury on the bench in an otherwise unchanged side. Meanwhile, the Dragons’ spine dilemma has been solved – albeit in undesirable circumstances – with Matt Dufty taking the fullback role and Tyson Frizell also a chance of returning after the NSW stalwart was included in the reserves.

Gareth Widdop is a huge loss for the Dragons and any team would struggle with their captain ruled out with a long-term injury. Both teams have rookies joining their respective spines who may struggle to find their feet, but expect the Dragons to continue the energetic, physical style of football on display against the Broncos to get the points with Mason Lino likely to take some time to build combinations with his new team-mates.

Betting Tip: Total Match Points Over 39.5 @ $1.91 (Bet365)


Best Bet

Tigers H2H @ $2.50 (Bet365)

Raiders 1-12 @ $3.30 (Sportsbet)


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