NRL Round 16 Previews and Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for Round 16 of the 2020 NRL season.

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Eels v Rabbitohs

Thursday, Aug 27, 7:50 PM AEST
Bankwest Stadium


South Sydney produced a massive 40-point win over Manly last week in a wonderful performance as Wayne Bennett’s troops look to be hitting top-form at the right time of the season. They will face a huge test in a red-hot Eels team who outclassed the injury-depleted Storm in their last match as the Parramatta club firms for a top-four position.

Dane Gagai and Corey Allan will return for the Rabbitohs at centre and wing respectively alongside Liam Knight on the bench. Meanwhile, Eels’ coach Brad Arthur has named an unchanged squad heading into this game.

This match shapes as a huge test of the Rabbitohs’ premiership chances with the South Sydney club winning only one game against a current top-eight club this season. The Eels will be eager to put any lingering concerns of a form slump to bed after the shine of their dominant win over Melbourne was somewhat tempered by the Victorian club’s massive injury toll. Souths have struggled to dominate the ruck against the competition’s elite teams and expect the Eels to exploit that vulnerability to take the win.

Betting Tip: Eels -6.0 @ $1.91 (Beteasy)



Dragons v Titans

Friday, Aug 28, 6:00 PM AEST
Netstrata Jubilee Stadium


The Titans were outclassed by an in-form Raiders outfit in their last match, and they will face another massive challenge this week against an in-form Dragons squad hunting for their third consecutive win. St George continued their run of good form in a solid performance against an improved Broncos team last week with the joint venture club desperate to break into the top-eight.  

Moeaki Fotuaika will be absent for the Titans with a suspension in a blow to their middle-rotation. Ash Taylor will return at five-eighth alongside Mitch Rein at hooker with Erin Clark also joining the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad. For the Dragons, Korbin Sims and Paul Vaughan will be missing due to injury and suspension respectively with Jackson Ford and Billy Brittain joining the bench in rookie coach Dean Young’s only changes.  

St George will enter this match as firm favourites given their recent form, but the joint-venture club should be extremely wary of this improved Titans outfit. While the Gold Coast club have struggled to compete with the competition’s elite teams, they certainly have the discipline and talent to overcome St George. Could go either way but expect the Dragons to get the win.  

Betting Tip: Dragons -9.5 @ $1.90 (Sportsbet)



Roosters v Broncos

Friday, Aug 28, 7:55 PM AEST


Given their woeful form this season, the Broncos’ decision to part-ways with coach Anthony Seibold should come as no surprise. Interim coach Peter Gentle will take the reins of Queensland’s flagship club but he faces a baptism of fire against an in-form Roosters outfit who will welcome the return of a number of top-line stars.  

After their dominant performance against the Tigers last week, the reigning premiers will welcome captain Boyd Corder’s return in the second-row in a massive boost for the injury depleted team. Daniel Tupou will also return on the wing in an otherwise unchanged squad. For the Broncos, Sean O’Sullivan will replace the injured Anthony Milford with Brodie Croft also returning on the bench to cover the suspended Issac Luke.  

The Roosters will enter this match as firm favourites, particularly with the return of inspirational captain Boyd Cordner. While Brisbane showed improvement against the Dragons last week, they will need a Herculean effort to overcome their opposition. Roosters to get the points.  

Betting Tip: Roosters -23.4 @ $1.82 (Beteasy)



Warriors v Knights

Saturday, Aug 29, 3:00 PM AEST
Scully Park, Tamworth


The Knights produced a dour victory against the Cowboys last week as the Hunter Valley club’s injury toll mounts in terrible luck for the club in Adam O’Brien’s first year at the helm. The Novacastrians will need to be particularly wary of the Warriors with the Kiwi club producing some wonderful performances in recent weeks to prove they should not be taken lightly.  

Mid-season recruit Blake Green suffered a season-ending knee injury in terrible luck for this Newcastle outfit already ravaged by injuries. Mason Lino will come into the squad at five-eight in an otherwise unchanged squad. For the Warriors, Chanel Harris-Tavita will return at halfback alongside Eliesa Katoa in the second-row in a huge boost for the New Zealanders.  

While Newcastle will enter this match as favourites, there is some uncertainty over their form in the absence of an experienced game-manager in Blake Green. While the Warriors will certainly compete hard as they have all year, expect the discipline and ‘next-man-up’ mentality instilled by Newcastle coach Adam O’Brien to get his squad the win. 

Betting Tip: Knights -6.0 @ $1.91 (Bet365)



Sharks v Cowboys

Saturday, Aug 29, 5:30 PM AEST
Netstrata Jubilee Stadium


Despite firming for a top-eight position, Cronulla’s defensive frailty against elite squads was again on display against the Panthers last week and the eighth-placed Shire club will need to work quickly to remedy the problem leading into the finals. They will face a Cowboys outfit who struggled to make an impact after being held scoreless in their last-start loss to Newcastle.  

The Sharks will welcome back star prop Andrew Fifita in a massive boost for their forward-rotation. They will be fielding a new halves combination of Connor Tracey and Shaun Johnson with Matt Moylan dropped due to some woeful defensive play. Briton Nikora will also return in the second-row in an otherwise unchanged squad. For the Cowboys, Valentine Holmes makes his long-awaited return from injury on the wing, alongside Murray Tuilagi at centre. Jason Taumalolo will be absent with an injury in a massive blow with Tom Gilbert joining the bench. Daejarn Asi will also return in the halves at the expense of Ben Hampton.  

Cronulla will enter this match as firm favourites, particularly given the Cowboys’ poor attacking form and inconsistency in their spine. Expect the return of Andrew Fifita to inspire his team to victory.  

Betting Tip: Sharks -10.5 @ $1.91 (Unibet)



Panthers v Tigers

Saturday, Aug 29, 7:35 PM AEST
Panthers Stadium


Penrith recorded their 10th consecutive victory in a powerful performance against Cronulla last week, but the first-placed club should be wary of a Tigers outfit who were humbled by the reigning premiers in a disappointing 22-point loss that was a hammer-blow to Wests’ finals prospects.  

Penrith will be without key duo Viliame Kikau and Api Koroisau due to suspension and injury respectively in a massive blow. Mitch Kenny has been named at hooker with Billy Burns returning on the bench. Brian To’o will also make his injury return on the wing, while Kurt Capewell could be a late inclusion from injury after he was named in the reserves. Meanwhile, Wests’ will welcome Harry Grant’s return at hooker in a massive boost with Shawn Blore’s inclusion on the bench the only other change to Michael Maguire’s squad.  

Despite the loss of Kikau and Koroisau, Penrith will enter this match as firm favourites. The competition leaders should be extremely wary of the Tigers however, particularly with the inclusion of Harry Grant set to add another dimension to their attack. Expect the class within this Penrith outfit to get them over the line.  

Betting Tip: Panthers -11.5 @ $1.90 (Sportsbet)



Storm v Sea Eagles

Sunday, Aug 30, 4:05 PM AEST
Sunshine Coast Stadium

Sea Eagles

Manly’s form slump was compounded by a horror 40-point loss to a red-hot South Sydney outfit last week, but the struggling Northen Beaches club face an enormous test against the Storm. Melbourne were left frustrated after being held scoreless against the Eels, so expect a big response from the Victorian club, particularly on the back of the return of some big names.  

Manly mentor Des Hasler has named Tevita Funa at fullback with Jack Gosiewski set to line-up at centre following a season-ending injury to Moses Suli. Joel Thompson will also return in the second-row in an otherwise unchanged squad. For the Storm, Cameron Smith, Cameron Munster, Jahrome Hughes and Jesse Bromwich will all return to the starting side in a huge boost. Marion Seve will also join the wing as Tom Eisenhuth shifts to the second-row to cover the injured Kenny Bromwich.  

Melbourne should regain much of their attacking fluency with the return of Cameron Smith and Munster. Des Hasler will have his troops well-primed for this contest but expect a big response from the Storm after their loss last week to propel the Victorians to victory.  

Betting Tip: Storm -13.5 @ $1.90 (Sportsbet)



Raiders v Bulldogs

Sunday, Aug 30, 6:30 PM AEST
GIO Stadium


A dominant last-start victory over an improved Titans outfit has the Raiders looking for their third consecutive win and well in the race for a coveted top-four position. The Canberra club will face the Bulldogs, who were left heart-broken after conceding a narrow loss to the Warriors in their last game.  

Canberra’s only change comes with the inclusion of Matthew Timoko on the bench to make his NRL debut. Meanwhile, Canterbury will shake-up their squad with Lachlan Lewis returning at halfback, Marcelo Montoya at centre and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak on the wing. Dylan Napa will also return from suspension at prop with Dean Britt and Renouf To’omaga on the bench.  

The Raiders should be wary of complacency against a Bulldogs outfit who have proven they are no easy beats. Canterbury have produced some gritty performances of late, but the Raiders will be desperate to bank premiership points as they sit equal fourth on the competition ladder. Canberra to get the win.  

Betting Tip: Bulldogs +16.5 @ $1.92 (Unibet)


Best Bet

Knights -6.0 @ $1.91 (Bet365)

Bulldogs +16.5 @ $1.92 (Unibet)


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