NRL Round 7 Previews and Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for Round 7 of the 2019 NRL season.

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Roosters v Dragons

Thu, Apr 25, 4.05pm
Sydney Cricket Ground


The Roosters displayed their premiership credentials in a nail-biting field-goal victory over the Storm last week but will now face an in-form Dragons outfit who last won a narrow victory over the Sea Eagles in controversial circumstances. It will be a massive litmus test for the form of St George against quality opposition with their only game against a current top-four club being a 16-point loss to the Rabbitohs in round two.

Luke Keary has been ruled out as he recovers from a concussion, with Joseph Manu’s return in the centres allowing Latrell Mitchell to shift to five-eighth. Jake Friend will also make his return from injury as Lachlan Lamb joins the bench. St George have named an unchanged squad from their last-start victory over Manly.
While the Dragons have had limited opportunities against quality opposition, the Roosters have produced impressive wins over the likes of the Storm, Eels, Sea Eagles and Sharks so far this season. St George will need to lift their intensity to compete with the quality of the Roosters line-up, but Luke Keary is a massive loss for the reigning premiers. If Jake Friend can produce in his return from a shoulder injury, expect the ‘Chooks’ to get the win.

Betting Tip: Roosters -6.5 @ $1.90 (Sportsbet)



Storm v Warriors

Thu, Apr 25, 7.50pm

The Storm will be burning after the Roosters held off a second-half comeback to steal a field-goal victory in last week’s grand final rematch. After conceding 20 unanswered points in the first half, Melbourne mentor Craig Bellamy will focus on his team’s start against an under-performing Warriors outfit. The Kiwis went down in a narrow loss to the Cowboys last week with the New Zealand club’s form in the absence of Blake Green becoming problematic.
Melbourne have named an unchanged squad for the match, while the Warriors will welcome back Blake Green from injury in a massive boost for their spine. Peta Hiku and Gerard Beale will also join the side at centre and wing respectively in an otherwise unchanged outfit.
Blake Green will bring a controlled kicking game to the Warriors, whose back three were exposed by the boot of Michael Morgan last week. Expect a big response from the Storm after a woeful first half from the Victorians lost them the grand final rematch last week. Melbourne to get the points.

Betting Tip: Warriors +15.5 @ $1.90 (Beteasy)



Bulldogs v Cowboys

Fri, Apr 26, 6.00pm
ANZ Stadium


Canterbury were accused of flagrant slow-down tactics in the ruck after their loss to the Rabbitohs last week, but they will be looking to deploy the same tactics against a North Queensland outfit buoyed by a settling win over the Warriors. Cowboys coach Paul Green will be relieved by the victory with captain Michael Morgan launching himself back into the frame for Origin selection after a shaky start to the season.

North Queensland have unsurprisingly named an unchanged side, although Jason Taumalolo could be a late inclusion after the powerhouse lock was named in the reserves. Canterbury have similarly named an unchanged squad.
Expect a firmer hand from the referees this weekend, particularly against Canterbury after Wayne Bennett put ruck-speed back in the headlines. The Cowboys are reliant on Michael Morgan for their direction but if he can reproduce his second-half form from last week, the Queenslanders should get the points.

Betting Tip: Cowboys H2H @ $2.00 (Ladbrokes)



Panthers v Rabbitohs

Fri, Apr 26, 7.55pm
Panthers Stadium

The Panthers were run down by the Sharks last week with the club’s defensive frailty a persistent issue this year. They will face Wayne Bennett’s Rabbitohs, who looked sloppy in another ugly win over the Bulldogs but have still dropped only one game all year.
Caleb Aekins has been named at fullback with Dallin Watene-Zelezniak shifting to the centres to cover the injured Dean Whare. Meanwhile, the Rabbitohs have named an unchanged team heading into this clash.
Penrith fans will be extremely frustrated with their team’s patchy form, particularly given the lengths the club went to recruit Ivan Cleary. While Souths are far from their best, their consistent victories will build a belief in their systems for the back-end of the year, particularly their defense. The Panthers will need to be much more consistent over 80 minutes of football to threaten the top-four placed Rabbitohs. Souths should get the points.

Betting Tip: Rabbitohs -3.5 @ $1.90 (Beteasy)



Tigers v Titans

Sat, Apr 27, 5.30pm
Scully Park Tamworth

The Tigers fell back to earth hard last week after a massive 51-6 loss to the Eels. Fans and critics alike thought such poor form was a thing of the past after Michael Maguire joined the club, but there is clearly still work to be done on their defensive systems. They will face an in-form Titans outfit who scored their second win of the year against the hapless Knights.
Surprisingly, Michael Maguire has named the same 17 as last week, while the Titans have lost Ryan James to a season-ending ACL injury with Kevin Proctor to join the second-row as cover and Keegan Hipgrave the new face on the bench.
The loss of captain Ryan James is a massive blow for the Titans with the hard-working forward capable of playing in the middle or on the edge. In-form five-eighth Tyrone Roberts has been named as the club’s new captain.
No one predicted the Tigers’ performance last week, particularly after their heroic effort against Brisbane in round five. Their response will be hard to gauge, but expect the Titans to be desperate as they look to recover from four consecutive losses to start the season. Could go either way but expect the Titans to get the points.

Betting Tip: Titans H2H @ $2.25 (Bet365)



Broncos v Sharks

Sat, Apr 27, 7.35pm
Suncorp Stadium

The Broncos slumped to their fifth loss of the year against the Raiders last week for their equal worst start to a season in the Brisbane club’s history. This week, they will face a dangerous Cronulla outfit who impressed in a comeback win over Penrith in their last game.
Rookie Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold has stuck solid with his halves, as James Roberts shifts back to the starting side, relegating boom rookie Kotoni Staggs to the bench. Tevita Pangai Junior will also return from suspension at lock in a massive boost for the club’s struggling middle rotation. For the Sharks, Jason Bukuya will join the bench with Scott Sorensen shifting to the second-row to cover the suspended Briton Nikora.
The only silver lining to Brisbane’s dismal start to the season is the quality of their opposition so far this year, but they should be wary against the battled-hardened Sharks. Cronulla’s experience – particularly in the middle of the field – is a major advantage for the Shire club. Expect Cronulla to get the win.

Betting Tip: Sharks +4.5 @ $1.90 (Beteasy)


Sea Eagles

Sea Eagles v Raiders

Sun, Apr 28, 2.00pm

The Raiders held firm against Brisbane last week for their fifth win of the year, putting them equal first on the competition ladder. They will face an in-form Manly outfit who were edged in controversial circumstances by St George in their last match with Des Hasler’s troops facing a massive test against the best defensive outfit in the competition.
Canberra mentor Ricky Stuart will bring Emre Guler and Jack Murchie onto his bench in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, Manly have named the same squad as last week.
The Sea Eagles were terribly unlucky against the Dragons last week after an incorrect decision not to award a penalty failed to send the game into golden-point. Canberra once again displayed their new-found nerve against the Broncos but will face a sterner defensive line against the Sea Eagles, particularly on their goal-line. Expect the form and class of the Raiders to get them over the line.

Betting Tip: Raiders H2H @ $1.75 (Topbetta)



Knights v Eels

Sun, Apr 28, 4.05pm
McDonald Jones Stadium

The Eels produced a masterclass attacking performance last week to christen their new stadium with a massive 51-6 win over the Tigers. They will face a Knights squad who went down to the Titans in a concerning performance that handed them their fifth loss of the year.
Blake Ferguson will return on the wing for the Eels in a massive boost to an otherwise unchanged squad, while Knights coach Nathan Brown has surprisingly opted for the same 17 as his team’s last-start loss to the Titans.
Newcastle are running out of excuses after their latest performance. The disappointment of their previous losses were tempered by their competitiveness in those matches, but they were fundamentally out-enthused by the Titans last week. The Eels showed pride in their jersey against the Tigers in a fantastic response to being shut-out by the Raiders in round five. If Newcastle are any chance of making the finals, their form an attitude must turn around quickly. Eels to get the win.

Betting Tip: Eels -2.5 @ $1.90 (Pointsbet)


Best Bet

Cowboys H2H @ $2.00 (Ladbrokes)


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