NRL Round 8 Previews and Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for Round 8 of the 2019 NRL season.

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Rabbitohs v Broncos

Thu, May 2, 7.50pm
ANZ Stadium


Brisbane and Souths will face off for the first time since their infamous off-season coaching swap, with both teams entering the contest under very different circumstances. With only two victories from their opening five games, Brisbane’s impressive last-start victory over the Sharks will give their squad much needed confidence against a high-flying Rabbitohs outfit who were triumphant against a much-improved Penrith last week.


With reports Brisbane halfback Kodi Nikorima will move to the Warriors, Brisbane will debut rookie Tom Dearden at halfback in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, Souths have made no changes to their 17.


Anthony Milford found a new gear for Brisbane with his precise kicking game giving his side a big boost. It has been widely reported that there is bad blood between Bennett and Brisbane, and no doubt the veteran coach will have his men primed for a grudge match against the club who poached the reigning coach of the year. Could go either way but expect Souths to get the win in a tight contest.

Betting Tip: Broncos +6.0 @ $1.90 (Pointsbet)



Cowboys v Titans

Fri, May 3, 6.00pm
1300Smiles Stadium


The Cowboys failed to back up their impressive round six win over the Warriors with a poor performance against the lowly Bulldogs last week, and they will face a Titans outfit who were similarly out-enthused by the Tigers in their last match. Both clubs are sitting with only two wins from seven rounds this year and should be desperate to get a result to keep themselves in the race for a finals berth.


Jason Taumalolo will make his return for the Cowboys in a massive boost as Jordan Kahu shifts to fullback to cover the absence of Te Maire Martin. Tom Opacic has also earned a recall in the centres in an otherwise unchanged squad. The Titans will also receive a big boost as Jarrod Wallace and AJ Brimson return at prop and interchange respectively in Garth Brennan’s only changes.


The Titans’ round six win over the Knights – their second consecutive win of the year – looked a turning point for the Gold Coast club, but the Queenslanders were unable to back that form up after conceding 30 unanswered points in the last 60 minutes against Wests. The Cowboys looked similarly flat against Canterbury last week, and with both teams introducing key players back into the contest, a winner is difficult to pick. Expect the superstar Jason Taumalolo to get his team over the line in a high-scoring affair.

Betting Tip: Cowboys -2.0 @ $1.91 (Bet365)



Sharks v Storm

Fri, May 3, 7.55pm
Shark Park


The Sharks endured a torrid injury toll against the Broncos and now face a massive test against a Storm outfit who won a miraculous field-goal victory against the Warriors last week in controversial circumstances. Cronulla’s injury toll will likely dampen the intensity of the contest with matches between the Storm and Sharks usually brutal affairs due to their strong rivalry.


Melbourne have welcomed an unchanged squad for the clash, while the Sharks will welcome back Sione Katoa on the wing at the expense of rookie Ronaldo Mulitalo. Kyle Flanagan and Briton Nikora will also join the side at five-eighth and second-row respectively in an otherwise unchanged squad.


With Cronulla missing the likes of Wade Graham, Shaun Johnson, Josh Dugan, Matt Moylan and Aaron Woods – the club did a good job defensively against Brisbane last week. Melbourne are well below their best and will be focussing on their start to the game with a concerning trend for coach Craig Bellamy forming with their first-half performances. Storm to get the points.

Betting Tip: Sharks +7.5 @ $1.91 (Betstar, Ladbrokes)



Raiders v Panthers

Sat, May 4, 3.00pm
McDonalds Stadium, Wagga


Penrith fans were left heart-broken after their improved outfit went down in a narrow loss to the red-hot Rabbitohs last week, but they will now face an arguably even bigger challenge against the Raiders, who were outpointed by Manly in their last game. Canberra coach Ricky Stuart will be eager to avoid consecutive losses to sustain his squad’s massive on-field improvement, but Penrith will be similarly desperate to bank premiership points leading into the Origin period.

The Raiders will replace the injured Jordan Rapana with Bailey Simonsson on the wing as Hudson Young and Cory Horsburgh join the bench. Panthers’ coach Ivan Cleary has named an unchanged squad for this game.
While the Panthers look to be improving as a team under Ivan Cleary’s new coaching structures, they will struggle to contend for a top-four berth if they fail to start winning consistently. Both teams should be highly motivated heading into this game and are well placed to produce a good performance. Could go either way but expect the Raiders to return to the winner’s circle.

Betting Tip: Raiders -3.5 @ $1.90 (Betstar, Ladbrokes)


Sea Eagles

Sea Eagles v Bulldogs

Sat, May 4, 5.30pm

Former Bulldogs coach Des Hasler will face his old club for the first time with his Manly outfit surprising fans and critics alike to sit in sixth position on the competition ladder. Both teams have fared very differently in the face of salary-cap pressure, but Dean Pay’s inexperienced Canterbury outfit will take some much needed confidence out of their solid last-start victory over the Cowboys.
Manly have suffered a huge injury blow with Daly Cherry-Evans succumbing to an ankle injury. The captain will be replaced by Kane Elgey with Abbas Miski joining the wing to cover the injured Jorge Taufua. Addin Fonua-Blake will also return in a big boost to their middle-rotation in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs have named the same 17 as last week in a positive sign for the struggling club.
With their opposition missing the likes of Daly Cherry-Evans and Tom Trbojevic, Canterbury should fancy themselves a good chance in this game if they can muscle up against the Sea Eagles’ dominant forward pack. The lack of experienced in both teams’ spines will make a result difficult to pick but expect Manly to sneak home in a sloppy affair.

Betting Tip: Sea Eagles -1.5 @ $1.95 (Pointsbet)



Roosters v Tigers

Sat, May 4, 7.35pm
Sydney Cricket Ground

Wests have the enormous task of facing the competition-leading Roosters this week with the reigning premiers looking for their seventh consecutive win of the year. The Tigers still look to be settling into Michael Maguire’s structures but their comeback win over the Titans last week was an encouraging response to their round six capitulation to the Eels.
The Roosters have suffered a massive blow as hooker Jake Friend faces a lengthy stint on the sidelines with a bicep injury. Meanwhile, Luke Keary will return at five-eighth to continue his crusade for a Blues jersey with Isaac Liu also returning at lock. Benji Marshall will make a timely return for Wests to cover the injured Josh Reynolds as Luke Garner joins the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad.
The Roosters have already proven they can replicate their premiership-winning form without Jake Friend, particularly with Luke Keary back on the field. The Tigers will need to play a near-perfect game of football to challenge their opposition and the joint-venture club still look a ways off their best. Roosters to get the win.

Betting Tip: Tigers +12.5 @ $1.91 (Bet365)



Warriors v Knights

Sun, May 5, 2.00pm
Mt Smart Stadium

A controversial penalty robbed the Warriors of a win over Melbourne last week for the New Zealand club’s third consecutive loss. It would have been a massive result for the Kiwis but they will now look to break their streak of losses against a Knights side who may have found a match winning formula after producing an impressive performance against Parramatta.
Warriors coach Stephen Kearney will bring back Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, David Fusitu’a and Blake Green at fullback, wing and halfback respectively in a huge boost for his struggling team. Meanwhile, the Knights have named an unchanged line-up for this match.
Blessed with enormous talent, the pressure will be on the Knights to turn their poor start to the year around, but facing a Warriors outfit burning from a narrow loss to the Storm – particularly with captain Tuivasa-Sheck and Blake Green back in the side – the Novacastrians will need to replicate their effort and energy from last week. Could go either way but expect the Warriors to get the win.

Betting Tip: Knights +4.0 @ $1.90 (Sportsbet)



Eels v Dragons

Sun, May 5, 4.05pm
Western Sydney Stadium

St George were brave to lose by only 10 points to the red-hot Roosters, but continue to show encouraging signs with a number of key players in red-hot form. Meanwhile, Eels fans will be frustrated with their club’s lack of consistency in failing to back up their powerhouse round-six performance after a disappointing loss to the Knights last week.
The Dragons have named an unchanged squad for this clash, but a back-line shuffle will see Euan Aitken shift to the bench with Zac Lomax moving to centre. Daniel Alvaro will return to the Eels’ front-row in an otherwise unchanged squad.
Brad Arthur will be looking his for squad to tighten up their defense, particularly in the middle of the field after Newcastle dominated the ruck in their last match. Despite their performance last week, the Eels will enter the match as narrow favourites. This one could go either way but the Dragons to get the win.

Betting Tip: Dragons Head to Head @ $2.06 (Palmerbet)


Best Bet

Dragons Head to Head @ $2.06 (Palmerbet)


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