The following are previews with betting tips for Round 5 of the 2020 NRL season.
Sea Eagles v Broncos
Thursday, Jun 11, 7:50 PM AEST
Brisbane slumped to their worst loss in the history of the club against the Roosters in their last game but now face yet another massive test in the Sea Eagles. Manly faithful were left heartbroken after a refereeing error robbed them of victory against the Eels in a scintillating contest last week, but with the form Des Hasler’s troops have shown to start the season it is doubtful there will be any shortage of premiership points for the northern beaches club come season’s end.
The Broncos have instituted mass changes after last week with winger Corey Oates switching to the second-row alongside prop Joe Ofahengaue. Kotoni Staggs will return from suspension at centre to partner rookie Xavier Coates on the wing, who is playing his first game of season 2020. New signing Ben Te’o has also been included on the bench in his first game of NRL football since the 2014 grand-final. Meanwhile, Manly have named an unchanged squad for this game.
The Sea Eagles will enter this match as firm favourites with Brisbane clearly still searching for answers after conceding 93 points in two games. Unless the Queensland club can produce a miraculous form turnaround, expect Manly to get the win comfortably.
Betting Tip: Sea Eagles -12.5 @ $1.95 (Unibet)
Warriors v Cowboys
Friday, Jun 12, 6:00 PM AEST
After an impressive round-three performance, the Warriors produced a disappointing result against the Panthers last week in which the Penrith club held them scoreless. The New Zealand outfit will now look to an equally disappointed North Queensland squad who were soundly beaten by a depleted Cronulla team as the Cowboys look set to make some major changes to their line-up in the search for consistency.
The New Zealanders have named an unchanged squad heading into this game, although Lachlan Burr and Isaiah Papali’i have swapped between the bench and starting front-row respectively. For the Cowboys, speedster Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow will make his NRL debut on the wing as Reece Robson and Coen Hess join the starting side at hooker and in the second-row respectively. Reuben Cotter and Gavin Cooper will also join the bench with Jason Taumalolo also a possible late inclusion after he was named in the reserves.
North Queensland will enter this match as firm favourites but their middle rotation in particular will be looking to stand-up after they failed to make a statement last week in Taumalolo’s absence. The Kiwis should be wary of the energy Reece Robson will bring to the hooking position, but the focus for Paul Green’s troops should be discipline after their high error-rate last week. This match could go either way but expect the Cowboys to get the win.
Betting Tip: Warriors +6.5 @ $1.91 (Beteasy)
Eels v Panthers
Friday, Jun 12, 7:55 PM AEST
Friday night will bring a blockbuster clash between the Panthers and Eels in what shapes as a sneak preview between two of the competition’s three unbeaten teams. Penrith were dominant against the Warriors last week and have continued to develop their defensive discipline under Ivan Cleary after holding their opposition scoreless, while the Eels were the beneficiaries of a refereeing error that handed them victory in a tight match with Manly.
For Penrith, Nathan Cleary will return at halfback, pushing Matt Burton to the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad. Nathan Brown will return at lock in a big boost for the Eels with Ray Stone also joining the bench in Brad Arthur’s only changes.
The up-tempo style of both these clubs looks to suit the new rule changes perfectly as both teams boast energetic hookers capitalising on a devastating forward rotation. Despite their close victory last week, the Eels will enter this match as firm favourites given their recent form. Penrith certainly have the star-power to match their opposition but expect Nathan Cleary to take some time to get back to his best. Expect Parramatta to get the points.
Betting Tip: Eels -5.5 @ $1.91 (Beteasy)
Rabbitohs v Titans
Saturday, Jun 13, 3:00 PM AEST
Despite conceding their third consecutive loss against the Storm last week, Souths’ faithful will not be unhappy with their club’s form as the team looks to adjust to the rule changes. They will face a Titans outfit this week who produced a stunning upset victory over the Tigers in new coach Justin Holbrook’s first win at the Gold Coast club.
James Roberts and Cody Walker will return for South Sydney at centre and five-eighth respectively as Patrick Mago and Bayley Sironen join the bench, which will be an enormous boost. Meanwhile, the Titans have named an unchanged squad for this clash in a very good signs for the struggling Gold Coast club.
While the Rabbitohs will enter this match as firm favourites, Wayne Bennett’s troops should be wary of a Titans squad who look to be buying-in to Justin Holbrook’s process after a gritty defensive performance last week that saw them come-back from a 10-point deficit at two different stages in the game. For the Rabbitohs, Latrell Mitchell’s continued development at fullback and Cameron Murray’s shift back to the middle should place the club well to hit top-form, but the team will need to turn their on-field results around quickly if they are a chance of making the top-four. Expect the returning class of James Roberts and Cody Walker to get them over the line.
Betting Tip: Titans +12.0 @ $1.90 (Sportsbet)
Knights v Storm
Saturday, Jun 13, 5:30 PM AEST
Newcastle made a massive statement to the competition last week after their stunning 34-18 upset over the Canberra Raiders in a highly impressive performance. Newcastle mentor Adam O’Brien will face his old club for the first time with Melbourne producing a solid bounce-back against Souths in their last match after a poor performance in round three.
Newcastle have named an unchanged squad heading into this clash. For the Storm, halfback Jahrome Hughes will be absent with a broken hand with Ryley Jacks named as his replacement in an otherwise unchanged squad.
While Melbourne will enter this match as favourites, Newcastle’s unbeaten start to the season and fantastic defensive form should make this a tight contest. Several Storm players have gone on record that the club has struggled to transition from their structured game-plan with the new ruck infringement rules as Newcastle look like they are thriving on the changes. This match could go either way but with their recent form, expect the Knights to get the win.
Betting Tip: Knights H2H @ $2.30 (Unibet)
Tigers v Raiders
Saturday, Jun 13, 7:35 PM AEST
Canberra were brought back to earth by a resurgent Knights outfit last week in an uncharacteristically disappointing performance from the Canberra club. They will face a Tigers outfit left heart-broken after a poor loss to the Titans in which the joint-venture club conceded a 10-point lead at two different stages in the game.
The Raiders have named an unchanged squad heading into this match, while Wests’ will look to make significant changes. Benji Marshall has been dropped with Josh Reynolds replacing him at five-eighth while Zane Musgrove and Chris Lawrence will join the starting side at prop and in the second-row respectively. Russell Packer and Michael Chee-Kam will also join the interchange.
Raiders’ coach Ricky Stuart will be hoping for a quick bounce-back from his troops this week but his squad face a big test against a Tigers squad who will be burning after yet another inconsistent performance. Coach Michael Maguire’s patience looks to be wearing thin with his mercurial team, as shown by the mass changes he has instituted. Expect an intense performance from the Tigers but the class and cohesion of this Raiders outfit should see them win the game.
Betting Tip: Raiders -8.5 @ $1.95 (Bet365)
Bulldogs v Roosters
Sunday, Jun 14, 4:05 PM AEST
The Roosters produced a massive win over the hapless Broncos last week as the club looks to shake-off a rocky start to their season to reassert themselves as the competition’s best. They will face a Bulldogs outfit who notched their first win of the season against an underperforming Dragons club last week in a morale boosting performance.
James Tedesco will return for the ‘Chooks after he was ruled out prior to last week’s match due to the NRL’s biosecurity protocols in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, Canterbury have named only one alteration with Christian Crichton replacing Kerrod Holland on the bench.
Despite their under-performing opposition, the return of Kieran Foran from injury and a back-line reshuffle looks to have paid dividends for the Canterbury club. The club will take some time to put themselves into the position of challenging the reigning premiers however with the class and composure of Trent Robinson’s troops sure to prove the difference.
Betting Tip: Roosters -17.5 @ $1.92 (Beteasy)
Dragons v Sharks
Sunday, Jun 14, 6:30 PM AEST
The Sharks notched their first win of the year against the Cowboys last week in an encouraging performance given the number of missing players. They will face a struggling Dragons outfit who slumped to their fourth consecutive loss last week as pressure mounts on the coaching staff and playing group to turn their form around.
Andrew Fifita and Chad Townsend have been named to return in the Sharks’ starting side in a massive boost for the club as Mawene Hiroti comes onto the wing in an otherwise unchanged squad. For St George, Euan Aitken and Tyrell Fuimaono will join the squad at centre and in the second-row respectively with Matt Dufty the new face on the bench.
Cronulla’s last-start upset over the Cowboys proved a sorely needed morale boost, but the return of Andrew Fifita and Chad Townsend will add some much needed leadership and experience back into their starting line-up. St George are struggling with the fundamentals of rugby league and while they certainly have the talent to compete, expect the Sharks to be hungry after a difficult start to the season. Cronulla to get the win.
Betting Tip: Sharks -6.5 @ $1.91 (bet365)
Eels -5.5 @ $1.91 (Beteasy)
Knights H2H @ $2.30 (Unibet)
Sharks -6.5 @ $2.00 (bet365)