NRL Round 7 Previews and Betting Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for Round 7 of the 2021 NRL season.

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Panthers v Knights

Thursday, April 22, 7:50pm AEST
Panthers Stadium


Penrith last produced a poor performance by their lofty standards against a courageous Brisbane outfit, but still managed a narrow victory through the brilliance of halves Nathan Cleary and Jahrome Luai in the final quarter. They will face a Knights squad who came up with a miraculous comeback victory over the Sharks in a vital morale boosting win for the Newcastle club.

Penrith have unsurprisingly named an unchanged squad for this match but stars Dylan Edwards and Api Koroisau could yet be late additions after they were included in the reserves. For the Knights, Starford To’a will replace the injured Hymel Hunt on the wing in an otherwise unchanged squad.
This match shapes as a huge test for a Knights outfit who have managed three victories from six games despite a torrid injury toll. Panthers coach Ivan Cleary will be disappointed with his squad’s lack of physicality against the Broncos last week and will be pushing for a big response from his troops as Newcastle finally look to have some settled combinations after being forced into a number of changes due to injury early this season. Expect the Panthers to be eager to arrest any form slump after a poor showing last week. Penrith to get the points.

Betting Tip: Knights +17.5 @ $1.90 (Unibet)



Titans v Rabbitohs

Friday, April 23, 6:00pm AEST
Cbus Super Stadium


The Titans were humbled by the lowly Sea Eagles last week in a woeful 36-0 loss in concerning signs for the Gold Coast club. Coach Justin Holbrook will be looking for his troops to produce a big turnaround against an in-form Rabbitohs outfit after the Bunnies produced an inspirational comeback victory over an improved Tigers outfit last week.

Souths will be missing Latrell Mitchell for four weeks due to suspension in a massive blow. Alex Johnston has been named at fullback with Steven Marsters joining the squad at centre, pushing Dane Gagai to the wing. Jaxson Paulo will join the squad on the wing to cover the injured Josh Mansour with Keaon Koloamatangi also coming into the second-row. Meanwhile, the Titans will be missing their own star to suspension in Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, with Sam McIntyre joining the bench as cover. Anthony Don will also return from injury on the wing in an otherwise unchanged squad.
The absence of Mitchell could have a huge impact on Souths, who have been one of the best attacking outfits in the competition thus far. Expect a big response from the Titans after their squad showed a poor attitude last week. While Souths’ attack may stutter at times without Latrell Mitchell, expect the class and experience of the Rabbitohs’ spine to prove the difference.

Betting Tip: Titans +6.5 @ $1.87 (Bet365)



Eels v Broncos

Friday, April 23, 7:55pm AEST
TIO Stadium

The Broncos showed some encouraging improvement against the Panthers last week but were still unable to overcome the competition leaders in a courageous performance. They face another massive test against the Eels this week, particularly after Parramatta flexed their premiership muscles in a dominant 35-10 win over the Raiders.
Brisbane will welcome Herbie Farnworth back into the centres, while mid-season signing Danny Levi will also join the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad. For the Eels, Dylan Brown will return from suspension in a big boost in Brad Arthur’s only change.
Kevin Walters deployed Tevita Pangai Jr in the second-row to devastating effect in a move that looked to improve Brisbane’s edge-defence enormously. Brisbane will need to back-up their 80-minute defensive effort against the Eels who will have plenty of points in them off the back of Dylan Brown’s return. Expect Brisbane to implement a similar game-plan of ruck dominance that worked so well against the Panthers, but the Eels forwards should be ready for the contest as one of the best packs in the competition. Eels to get the win.

Betting Tip: Eels -12.5 @ $1.90 (Sportsbet)



Sharks v Bulldogs

Saturday, April 24, 5:30pm AEST
Netstrata Jubilee Stadium

Cronulla began life after John Morris with a heartbreaking lasp-gasp loss to Newcastle last week in a continuation of the club’s struggles against quality opposition. They will face a winless Bulldogs outfit who were soundly beaten by the Cowboys last week as Trent Barrett’s troops search desperately for a winning formula.
Sharks mid-season signing Will Chambers has been included in the reserves in a big boost to the Sharks’ outside-backs stocks while Josh Dugan and Shaun Johnson also return from injury at centre and off the bench respectively. For the Bulldogs, Brad Deitz, Matt Doorey and Ava Seumanufagai have been named to return on the bench with Ofahiki Ogden dropped and Dylan Napa and Luke Thompson set to form a new front-row combination.
Interim-coach Josh Hannay faces a massive headache with the return of Shaun Johnson putting pressure on in-form halves Chad Townsend and Matt Moylan. Expect a big response from Cronulla as the club looks to avoid their third consecutive loss and the Bulldogs to continue their struggles to put together a complete performance. Sharks to get the points.

Betting Tip: Bulldogs +16.0 @ $1.90 (Winnersbet)



Cowboys v Raiders

Saturday, April 24, 7:35pm AEST
QCB Stadium

Canberra produced a disappointing performance against the Eels last week in a humbling result that has the Raiders desperate to avoid their third consecutive loss and get their season back on track. They will face a Cowboys outfit coming off an important victory over the Bulldogs for their second-win of the season in a confidence boosting result for the North Queensland club.
Ricky Stuart has swung the axe on a number of under-performing players, with Joe Tapine dropped and Josh Papalii going back to the bench. Sebastian Kris will join the squad on the wing to cover the injured Bailey Simonsson while Corey Harawira-Naera and Corey Horsburgh join the bench and Ryan James comes into the front-row. Meanwhile, North Queensland have named an unchanged squad.
Valentine Holmes looks to be finding his feet at fullback for the Cowboys with the North Queensland club’s attack producing 64 points in their last two games. Ricky Stuart will be expecting a big response from his troops after a poor showing last week and the Canberra club’s attack could be improved enormously by Tom Starling’s shift to the starting hooker role. Could go either way but expect Canberra to get the win.

Betting Tip: Cowboys +9.5 @ $1.95 (Bluebet)



Tigers v Sea Eagles

Sunday, April 25, 1:45pm AEST
Bankwest Stadium

Sea Eagles
While the Tigers displayed a vastly improved defence against a red-hot Rabbitohs squad last week it was not enough to secure victory in what was a heart-breaking loss for the joint-venture club. They will now face a Sea Eagles outfit who returned to the winner’s circle in style in an impressive 36-0 win over the Titans in their last game in an impressive return for superstar fullback Tom Trbojevic.
Wests have been dealt a huge blow with rookie Asu Kepaoa suffering a season-ending ACL injury. Michael Chee-Kam has been named to return in the centres as cover as Alex Seyfarth joins the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, Des Hasler has named an unchanged line-up from last week.
Despite their woeful early-season form, Manly will enter this match as favourites off the back of a vastly improved performance against the Rabbitohs. Tom Trbojevic is vital for Manly’s success in both attack and defence, and the Tigers will be looking to contain the NSW dynamo. This match could go either way but expect the Sea Eagles to build on last week’s improvement to notch their consecutive third consecutive victory.

Betting Tip: Sea Eagles -5.5 @ $1.91 (Bet365)



Roosters v Dragons

Sunday, April 25, 4:05pm AEST

The Roosters fared poorly in their first test against an elite team without Luke Keary after a disappointing performance against Melbourne last week. They will now look to the Dragons, who failed to back up a physical round-five performance against the Eels in a poor loss to the Warriors.
Brett Morris has been named to return from injury after he was a late withdrawal last week, while Sam Verrills will return at hooker in a huge boost for the Roosters’ hooking depth. For the Dragons, Ben Hunt could be a chance to return from a broken leg after he was included in the reserves as Blake Lawrie returns at prop in an otherwise unchanged squad.
The Roosters will be eager to bounce back after failing to go with the Storm last week, while St George will be looking to quickly return to the form that saw them physically dominate Parramatta in round five. Expect an intense contest between these forward packs but the Roosters should get the win.

Betting Tip: Roosters -6.0 @ $1.80 (Sportsbet)



Storm v Warriors

Sunday, April 25, 6:15pm AEST

Melbourne looked comfortable in a 20-4 win over the Roosters last week as Craig Bellamy’s troops now look to an inconsistent Warriors squad for their fourth consecutive win. The Kiwis bounced-back from a heartbreaking round-five loss to Manly with an impressive performance against the Dragons last week and will be looking for a massive performance against the Melbourne juggernaut.
Melbourne will be missing Ryan Papenhyzen to a shoulder injury with Nicho Hynes set to play fullback. Veteran lock Dale Finucane will play his first game of 2021 in a big boost for the Storm’s middle rotation. For the Warriors, Peta Hiku and Adam Pompey will both be absent due to injury as David Fusitu’a makes his own timely injury return as Marcelo Montoya shifts to centre alongside usual second-rower Jack Murchie. Bayley Sironen will also join the Warriors’ bench in an otherwise unchanged squad.
Melbourne’s ruck play has been particularly effective since the return of Harry Grant in round-five with the rookie dummy-half posting producing an extremely impressive workload on the field. Expect the Warriors’ edge defence to struggle to adjust to the absence of centres Peta Hiku and Adam Pompey as Melbourne gets the points.

Betting Tip: Storm -16.0 @ $1.90 (Playup)


Best Bet

Bulldogs +16.0 @ $1.90 (Winnersbet)


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