NRL Finals Week 1 Previews and Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for the Qualifying and Elimination Finals of the 2019 NRL season.

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Roosters v Rabbitohs

Fri, Sep 13, 7.50pm


The first week of the 2019 finals series will begin with a rematch between the Rabbitohs and Roosters with Souths fans hoping for a repeat of their team’s heroic victory against the reigning premiers in round 25 last week. While it was a disappointing second-half performance from the Roosters, coach Trent Robinson should have his troops primed for their campaign for back-to-back premiership victories.

Souths’ victory last week came at a massive cost with Dane Gagai and Sam Burgess ruled out due to injury and suspension respectively. In positive news, James Roberts will return from his own suspension in the centres with Tom Burgess and Dean Britt joining the bench. George Burgess is also a chance to return from suspension after he was named in the reserves.
While the Rabbitohs will be missing key personnel, the Roosters will welcome back a number of their own with Luke Keary, Siosiua Taukeiaho, Brett Morris and Mitch Aubusson returning to the 17 in a massive boost for the club.
While South Sydney did a tremendous job to come away with a victory last week, their opposition were unlucky to take only a 10-point lead into the second-half. Expect a big response from the reigning premiers – particularly with the return of so many key players in their team. After the brutality of their encounter last week, Souths may struggle to replicate the result – but if Damien Cook, Adam Reynolds and Cody Walker combine well, anything is possible. Expect the Roosters to get the win.

Betting Tip: Rabbitohs +8.0 @ $1.90 (Beteasy)



Storm v Raiders

Sat, Sep 14, 5.30pm

After a disappointing loss to the Warriors last week, Canberra face an enormous test against the Storm at their home-ground in Melbourne. The Victorian club has impressed in recent weeks with coach Craig Bellamy elevating rookie fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen to the starting side to devastating effect – but the new combinations will face stern test up against the fourth-placed Raiders.
Cameron Munster, Josh Addo-Carr and Brandon Smith will return to Melbourne’s 17 in a big boost for the Victorian club. Meanwhile, the Raiders will welcome back a number of rested stars with Iosia Soliola, John Bateman, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Jordan Rapana back in the starting side. Joey Leilua and Joseph Tapine will also join the squad from suspension and injury respectively in an otherwise unchanged squad.
The Raiders have the personnel to beat the competition’s best, but their consistency in doing so – particularly when compared to the Storm – leaves some doubt over their premiership credentials. Canberra will be hoping for a repeat of their heroic round 22 victory over the Victorians, but expect the big-game experience within Melbourne’s 17 to get them over the line. Storm to get the win.

Betting Tip: Raiders +6.5 @ $1.91 (Pointsbet)


Sea Eagles

Sea Eagles v Sharks

Sat, Sep 14, 7.50pm

Manly’s premiership campaign has taken a number of dents in recent weeks with injuries to key players. Des Hasler’s troops produced a disappointing loss against the Eels in their last match but the veteran mentor will be instilling his trademark siege-mentality that may give his struggling squad an edge. They will come up against a Cronulla team who have done a tremendous job to finish seventh on the competition ladder after their impressive victory over the Tigers in round 25.
The NRL have given the Sea Eagles permission to play reserve-grader Tony Williams after the former Bulldogs and Manly regular was included in the reserves. Jack Gosiewski will join the second-row to cover the injured Curtis Sironen, while Huamole Olakua’atu and Toafofoa Sipley have been brought onto the bench. Meanwhile, Aaron Gray will replace the suspended Ronaldo Mulitalo on the wing an in otherwise unchanged Cronulla squad.
Despite their ladder position, the Sharks are bursting with big-game experience and talented rookies with many critics labeling them the most-likely of the finals contenders outside the top-four to push deep into the play-offs. Manly will need to produce a Herculean performance to win with so many key players missing from their squad. Expect the Sea Eagles to be on song under Des Hasler’s tutelage but the class within this Sharks team should get them over the line.

Betting Tip: Sharks -5.5 @ $1.90 (Sportsbet)



Eels v Broncos

Sun, Sep 15, 4.05pm
Bank West Stadium

While they have done an admirable job to get themselves into the top-eight – Brisbane’s disappointing last-start loss to the Bulldogs on the eve of the finals series does not bode well for the Queensland club’s chances – particularly as they come up against an in form Eels outfit who boast a superb record at their home-ground. Parramatta notched an impressive victory over a depleted Manly outfit last week in a welcome confidence boost leading into this game.
Joe Ofahengaue will return at lock for the Broncos with Gehemat Shibasaki also joining the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad. For the Eels, the absence of Kane Evans to suspension will be offset by the return of Nathan Brown at lock. Evans’ replacement has yet to be named but expect Tepai Moeroa or Peni Terepo to join the bench after the duo were included in the reserves.
While the Broncos boast enormous talent in their squad, their makeshift halves combination has been their persistent Achilles heel all season. Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold should direct his troops to focus on dominating the ruck with their massive middle rotation, while Parramatta’s focus will be on their discipline and fifth tackle options. The experience and form of the home-team’s spine should prove the difference in this game with the Eels to get the win.

Betting Tip: Eels -5.5 @ $1.91 (Pointsbet)


Best Bet

Eels -5.5 @ $1.91 (Pointsbet)


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