The following are previews with betting tips for Round 12 of the 2019 NRL season.
Panthers v Sea Eagles
Thu, May 30, 7.50pm
The Panthers will hope last week’s ugly win over the Eels will kick-start a mid-season form surge to resurrect their spluttering season. They will face a Manly outfit who were humbled by the Titans in a disappointing last-start loss for the club, particularly in comparison to a number of upsets they produced earlier in the year.
Injuries to centres Waqa Blake and Dean Whare have forced the Panthers to shift Isaah Yeo to centre with Brent Naden joining the starting side. James Maloney will also make his return from suspension in an otherwise unchanged squad. For the Sea Eagles, the absence of Jake Trbojevic to Origin will mean Abbas Miski joins the wing and Taniela Paseka returns on the bench.
Given both teams’ performance last week, this is a tough match to call. Manly’s form this year has been fantastic and Des Hasler will be eager to quickly arrest a form slump from his inexperienced squad. Meanwhile, Penrith will be desperate to post consecutive victories, particularly with limited Origin representation giving them an opportunity to climb the ladder. Tough one to pick but expect Manly to get the win.
Betting Tip: Sea Eagles H2H @ $1.91 (Bet365)
Eels v Rabbitohs
Fri, May 31, 7.55pm
After producing one of their worst performances of the season last week against the Panthers, Parramatta mentor Brad Arthur has made wholesale changes to his squad, well aware his team can climb the competition ladder if they hit form during the representative period. They will face a huge test against the Rabbitohs with fans and critics alike eager to gauge the Rabbitohs’ form without their Origin stars.
Michael Jennings will return in the centres for the Eels as Kane Evans and Tepai Moeroa also join the starting side at prop and lock respectively. The Rabbitohs will be missing Cameron Murray, Damien Cook, Dane Gagai and Cody Walker to Origin with Adam Doueihi and Bayley Sironen joining the starting 17 as Billy Brittain and Connor Tracey look set to make their NRL debut at hooker and halfback respectively.
Given the absence of the Rabbitohs Origin quartet, the Eels will enter the match as favourites, but Brad Arthur’s troops will need to lift against the Wayne Bennett-coached South Sydney who have only dropped one game this year. Expect a big response from the Eels to get them over the line for a win.
Betting Tip: Eels -3.5 @ $1.85 (Beteasy)
Bulldogs v Raiders
Sat, Jun 1, 7.35pm
A brave performance from the Bulldogs was not enough to get them over the line against an in-form Melbourne outfit last week and they face another huge test in a wounded Raiders outfit who will be looking to avoid their fourth consecutive defeat after a number of heart-breaking narrow losses in recent times.
Raymond Faitala-Mariner will join the Canterbury bench to cover the absence of Maroons’ enforcer Dylan Napa in an otherwise unchanged squad. For the Raiders, the absence of Nick Cotric, Jack Wighton and Josh Papalii to Origin was made worse by an injury to star hooker Josh Hodgson. Sebastian Kris and Aiden Sezer will both shift to the starting side with Tom Starling also set to make his NRL debut off the bench.
The start of the representative period is perhaps the best time for the Bulldogs to challenge the Raiders for an upset but the Canberra club will still enter the contest as narrow favourites. Much will depend on the form of Sezer and Havili for Ricky Stuart’s men, but without Josh Hodgson, expect Canterbury to get the win.
Betting Tip: Bulldogs H2H @ $2.00 (Pointsbet)
Titans v Cowboys
Sun, Jun 2, 4.05pm
The Titans produced an encouraging win over Manly last week but are still under an enormous amount of pressure to make the finals with only three wins from 10 games this year. They will face a North Queensland outfit who were impressive in their victory over the Raiders last week, but face a big test with a depleted roster.
The Cowboys will be missing key players to Origin selection with Michael Morgan and Josh McGuire absent from the side. Corey Jensen and Jake Clifford will join their squad on the bench and at halfback respectively, while the Titans have named an unchanged 17 in positive signs for the club.
The Cowboys’ play-making role now rests on the shoulder of rookie Jake Clifford, who has shown glimpses of brilliance in his limited number of first-grade matches. The form produced by the Gold Coast last week will see the club enter the match as favourites, but if the makeshift halves pairing of Jake Clifford and John Asiata can direct their team around the park, this one could go either way. Titans to get the points.
Betting Tip: Tri-Bet: Either Team By 6 or Less @ $2.76 (Sportsbet)
Sea Eagles H2H @ $1.91 (Bet365)
Bulldogs H2H @ $2.00 (Pointsbet)