The following are previews with betting tips for Round 6 of the 2019 NRL season.
Sharks v Panthers
Thu, Apr 18, 7.50pm
Cronulla will be looking to bounce back from a mauling at the hands of the reigning premiers after the Roosters put 30 points on the shire club last week. They will face a Panthers outfit who were well below their best in a narrow last-start loss to the Titans with the top-four tag is fading fast for the Penrith outfit.
Cronulla will welcome back captain Paul Gallen at lock in an otherwise unchanged side. Meanwhile, Tim Grant has been elevated to the starting side for Penrith as Wayde Egan also takes the hooker role.
The Sharks will enter the match as favourites and expect a big response from John Morris’ troops, especially with the return of veteran Paul Gallen. Panthers mentor Ivan Cleary will be frustrated by his squad’s performance, particularly in their shaky defensive resolve. Cronulla to get the points.
Betting Tip: Sharks -2.5 @ $1.91 (Bet365)
Bulldogs v Rabbitohs
Fri, Apr 19, 4.05pm
Rocked by the sudden retirement of inspirational captain Greg Inglis, Souths will be hoping the Maroons and Kangaroos stalwart’s absence from their line-up doesn’t impact their premiership chances. Their opposition in the Bulldogs were mauled 40-4 by a dominant Dragons last week, with Dean Pay’s inexperienced squad struggling to string together consistent performances.
Souths have named an unchanged squad for the clash, while Canterbury will replace the suspended Sauaso Sue with Danny Fualalo on the bench.
Whether or not the Rabbitohs’ form will be impacted by the absence of Greg Inglis is unknown, though he has been missing from the squad with injury since round two. Coach Wayne Bennett will be pushing his troops for consistency after a narrow victory over the Warriors last week, while Canterbury’s Dean Pay will again be imploring his squad to compete in every play after they were outclassed by St George. Expect Souths to get the win.
Betting Tip: Rabbitohs -8.0 @ $1.90 (Sportsbet)
Storm v Roosters
Fri, Apr 19, 7.55pm
Friday night will see one of the most highly anticipated Grand-Final rematches for a number of years take place. Both the Storm and Roosters have been in red-hot form throughout this year and will be eager to test themselves against each other with 2018’s grand finalists well ahead of the rest of the competition on form.
Melbourne will welcome back Suliasi Vunivalu on the wing in place of Sandor Earl in an otherwise unchanged squad. For the Roosters, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves will return in place of the injured Isaac Liu after he withdrew from last week’s match before kick-off. Joseph Manu will also miss the game due to suspension, but the Roosters are yet to name a replacement.
What sets both the Roosters and Storm apart from the rest of the competition is execution and consistency. It will be a fantastic litmus test for both teams to gauge themselves against a top-four outfit, but the Roosters’ recent form is hard to look past. In consecutive weeks they have produced impressive victories, while Melbourne have been very scrappy of late. Roosters to get the points.
Betting Tip: Roosters Head to Head @ $2.02 (Topbetta)
Warriors v Cowboys
Sat, Apr 20, 5.30pm
Both the Cowboys and Warriors have enduring a disappointing start to the 2019 season but while the North Queenlanders’ pathway back to top form is unknown, Kiwis’ faithful should not be too disappointed as their club’s spine still looks to be finding their feet. Their opposition in the Cowboys were brave against the Storm, but will ultimately need to start banking premiership points consistently to be any chance of making the finals.
After being ruled out before kick-off, Blake Green will return in a massive boost for the Warriors, while the Cowboys will inject some valuable experience into their bench rotation with the return of Scott Bolton. Justin O’Neill will also replace the injured Nene Macdonald on the wing.
North Queensland face a battle to contain the energetic Warriors, particularly at the Kiwis’ home-ground. Rookie five-eighth Chanel Harris-Tavita will take enormous confidence from his performance last week in the absence of Blake Green, but the Cowboys brains-trust will target the veteran halfback in a bid to stifle his influence. Expect an improved performance from the Warriors with the Cowboys’ struggles to continue.
Betting Tip: Warriors -7.5 @ $1.91 (bet365)
Dragons v Sea Eagles
Sat, Apr 20, 7.35pm
The loss of Gareth Widdop and some early-season inconsistency spelled trouble for the Dragons premiership campaign, but the form of their spine in their captain’s absence has been phenomenal. After a dominant performance against the Bulldogs last week, St George will now face a Manly squad who have discovered fantastic resolve under new coach Des Hasler to win three of their opening five games.
Both teams have named unchanged squads for this clash in a rare luxury in the NRL. Naming the same 17 week in, week out provides a massive advantage for the continuity of defensive structures in particular, though Manly have yet to name a replacement for the suspended Addin Fonua-Blake.
St George will look to capitalise on a lack of experience in Manly’s middle rotation, but face a difficult task with Des Hasler providing a massive boost to his team’s defensive resolve. The Sea Eagles certainly won’t make life easy for the Dragons, but St George’s class across the park will see them get the points.
Betting Tip: Dragons Head to Head @ $1.49 (Betfair)
Titans v Knights
Sun, Apr 21, 2.00pm
The Knights slumped to their fourth consecutive loss against Manly last week with Newcastle’s massive injection of new talent over the off-season struggling to gel together. Their opposition in the Titans are similarly sitting on only one victory this year but a rousing comeback win over Penrith last week will have the Queensland club keen to steal some momentum to make up for their poor start to the year.
Newcastle will bring Herman Ese’ese onto their interchange to cover the injured Aidan Guerra in an otherwise unchanged squad. For the Titans, Shannon Boyd will return from injury to cover the suspended Jarred Wallace as Phillip Sami also joins the bench.
Both teams are going through a rebuilding phase after a few tough seasons and their respective coaches face a massive challenge to extract form from their squad with constant changes forced by injuries. Defense will be the ultimate decider in this contest and if either club want to go deep into the finals, they must correct their defensive structures to absorb pressure more effectively. Could go either way but expect the Titans to get the points.
Betting Tip: Titans by 1-12 @ $3.35 (Palmerbet)
Raiders v Broncos
Sun, Apr 21, 4.05pm
Brisbane slumped to their third consecutive loss last week against a spirited Wests’ team and now face a massive challenge in a red-hot Raiders outfit in Canberra. Ricky Stuart’s squad boast the best defensive record in the competition so far this year and will push the inexperienced Broncos with their composure and ability to absorb pressure.
Brisbane will lose Matt Lodge to injury as David Fifita shifts to lock and Gehamat Shibasaki joins the interchange. James Roberts is also a chance of making his return from injury. Meanwhile, the Raiders will replace the injured Joe Tapine with Junior Collins on the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad.
The size and fitness in the Raiders’ squad will prove a massive challenge for Brisbane, particularly in the back-end of each half of football. While the Broncos will be lacking confidence, expect Canberra to rise to the occasion to produce another class defensive performance and get the win.
Betting Tip: Raiders -3.5 @ $1.90 1.90 (BetEasy)
Eels v Tigers
Mon, Apr 22, 4.00pm
The Eels will be eager to reset after they were shut out by the classy Raiders last week, but they face a Tigers squad who were buoyed by an inspirational last-gasp win over Brisbane. After encouraging starts to their respective seasons, both coaches will be eager to establish a culture of responding well to losses, with Wests doing exactly that last week.
Eels coach Brad Arthur will bring rookies Oregon Kaufusi and Ray Stone onto his bench at the expense of Kane Evans and David Gower in an otherwise unchanged squad. Unsurprisingly, Michael Maguire has named the same 17 as last week.
It will be a tough match to call with both teams capable of playing fantastic football. Expect a big response from the Eels after they failed to get on the scoreboard against the Raiders but the Tigers’ defense will make it difficult. Could go either way but expect the Tigers to compound the Eels pain and get the win.
Betting Tip: Total Match Points Under 39.5 @ $1.90 (Unibet)
Titans 1-12 @ $3.35 (Palmerbet)