NRL Round 12 Previews and Betting Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for Round 12 of the 2021 NRL season.

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Broncos v Storm

Thursday, May 27, 7:50pm AEST
Suncorp Stadium


The Broncos produced a stunning upset victory over the Roosters last week in a massive result for the struggling club, but they will face a huge test against an in-form Melbourne squad. The Storm displayed their wonderful depth against the Raiders last week, producing a classy performance despite the absence of a number of high-profile stars.

Brisbane will be without Matt Lodge and Tyson Gamble due to suspension with maligned play-maker Anthony Milford recalled in the halves and highly-rated rookie TC Robati named to make his NRL debut off the bench. Meanwhile, Melbourne will welcome back Jahrome Hughes in a huge boost to their otherwise unchanged squad.
The Storm will enter this match as firm favourites, but missing the likes of Munster, Grant Papenhyzen – this Melbourne outfit will be well below their best. Brisbane have a massive opportunity to produce consecutive wins for the first time this year, expect Kevin Walters’ troops to play a simple game-plan that centres on dominating through the middle – a plan deployed to devastating effect against the Roosters. Expect Brisbane’s middle to struggle without Matt Lodge with the Storm’s middle-rotation largely unaffected by their injury woes. Melbourne to get the win.

Betting Tip: Broncos +21.5 @ $1.95 (Unibet)



Cowboys v Warriors

Friday, May 28, 6:00pm AEST
QCB Stadium


The Warriors staved off a late come-back from the Tigers in an impressive attacking display last week, but the Kiwi club now faces a huge test against an in-form North Queensland outfit. The Cowboys have won five of their last seven games and after an impressive last-start victory over the Knights, Todd Payten’s troops now sit equal seventh on the competition ladder.

The Warriors have named an unchanged squad heading into this clash with rookie sensation Reece Walsh retaining his position at fullback after a scintillating attacking performance last week. For the Cowboys, the absence of Jason Taumalolo and Connolly Lemuelu to suspension and injury respectively will be a blow, but is somewhat offset by the return of Coen Hess and Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow.
Both these clubs have found some wonderful attacking combinations and have no troubles laying on tries. With both teams on an upward trajectory after some lean years, both coaches will be looking for a harder edge in defence to propel their team into premiership contention. This match could go either way but expect the Warriors to get the points in a high-scoring affair.

Betting Tip: Warriors -1.5 @ $1.91 (Bet365)



Tigers v Dragons

Friday, May 28, 7:55pm AEST
Bankwest Stadium

Despite showing enormous improvement, the Tigers were again left heart-broken after a narrow loss to the Warriors in a game in which the joint-venture club were highly competitive. They will face a Dragons outfit who suffered some heart-break of their own after conceding a gut-wrenching field-goal loss to Cronulla with the Wollongong club now facing their third consecutive loss if they cannot find a way to win.
The Tigers will welcome James Roberts back into their squad on the wing with Tommy Talau shifting to the centres at the expense of Joey Leilua with Tom Amone also set to join the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad. For the Dragons, the suspended Josh Kerr will be covered nicely by Tariq Sims, who will make his own return from suspension, while winger Max Feagai will be replaced by Brayden Wiliame after suffering a head-knock last week.
St George have been far from their best in recent weeks, with their only win from their last six games coming against last-placed Canterbury. Conversely, Wests have looked a much-improved outfit since Michael Maguire’s bold call to shift Adam Doueihi into the centres. Both clubs have a pathway to victory in this game but expect a Tigers outfit desperate to get their season back on track to get the points.

Betting Tip: Tigers -4.5 @ $1.95 (Bluebet)



Panthers v Bulldogs

Saturday, May 29, 3:00pm AEST
Panthers Stadium

The Bulldogs face the unenviable task of playing the unbeaten Penrith Panthers in the aftermath of the competition leader’s dominant 56-12 victory over South Sydney – a result which for many has ruled Souths out of premiership contention. Canterbury produced a 10-point loss to an out-of-form Titans squad last week and will need to produce a Herculean effort to stay competitive in this match.
Penrith will be missing Kurt Capewell to suspension, with Liam Martin set to shift to the second-row to accommodate Moses Leota’s return at prop. Fullback Dylan Edwards will also miss the match with Paul Momirovski’s shift to centre allowing Stephen Crichton to move into the custodian role in an otherwise unchanged squad. For Canterbury, Jack Hetherington and Josh Jackson will return at prop and lock respectively in a huge boost, while rookie Jackson Topine covers the suspended Sione Katoa at hooker in Trent Barrett’s only changes.
Penrith will enter this match as red-hot favourites, and Canterbury would need to produce the upset of the century to overcome their competition-leading opposition.  The return of Hetherington and Jackson to their middle-rotation will certainly make the Bulldogs more competitive, but expect the Panthers to get the win.

Betting Tip: Total Match Points Over 51.5 @ $1.91 (Unibet)



Rabbitohs v Eels

Saturday, May 29, 5:30pm AEST
ANZ Stadium

South Sydney were at the receiving end of a 56-12 drubbing by the competition-leading Panthers, a result which has many critics ruling the Rabbitohs out of premiership contention. They will face a massive task against a Parramatta outfit humbled in a 28-6 loss to a resurgent Manly squad with some concerning defensive signs for Brad Arthur’s troops.
The Rabbitohs will welcome back Jacob Host and Cameron Murray in a big boost with Taane Milne and Hame Sele also joining the squad on the wing and bench respectively. Meanwhile, the Eels have named only one forced change due to Reagan Campbell-Gillard’s suspension as Oregon Kaufusi shifts to the starting side with Marata Niukore set to join the bench.
Both these teams have enjoyed wonderful starts to their respective seasons which look to have covered some concerning structural issues with their defence. Both clubs will be looking for an immediate turnaround with Brad Arthur certainly looking for a better defensive performance from his right-edge combination of Waqa Blake and Blake Fergusson, while Rabbitohs’ faithful will be hoping Cameron Murray’s return allows Damien Cook to return to his devastating best. This match could go either way but expect a big response from the Eels to heap further misery on their struggling rivals.

Betting Tip: Eels H2H @ $2.25 (Sportsbet, Unibet)



Roosters v Raiders

Saturday, May 29, 7:35pm AEST
HBF Park

The Roosters suffered a humbling upset loss to the Broncos last week, albeit with a heavily depleted squad and in controversial circumstances that saw star lock-forward Victor Radley sin-binned twice in the game. They will now face a Canberra outfit backing up from a disappointing loss to the Storm and embroiled in controversy of their own following the club’s shock decision release star halfback George Williams effective immediately.
The Roosters will be missing both Angus Crichton and Victor Radley to suspension in a devastating blow as Josh Morris makes his injury return at centre and Daniel Suluka Fifita joins the bench. Meanwhile, Canberra will welcome back reinforcements in Jack Wighton, Josh Hodgson and Jordan Rapana with Sam Williams retaining the halfback jersey in the absence of George Williams. Sia Soliola will also join the Raiders’ bench  in an otherwise unchanged squad.
Both of these clubs were billed as certainties for the top-four but are struggling in the absence of so many key players. Despite their loss last week, the Roosters will enter this match as firm favourites, but will need to overhaul their attack in the absence of Victor Radley with the lock-forward’s absence a massive blow. This game could go either way but expect a big response from this Roosters team as Trent Robinson’s troops get the points.

Betting Tip: Raiders +11.5 @ $1.95 (Bet365)



Sharks v Titans

Sunday, May 30, 2:00pm AEST
C.ex Coffs International Stadium

Cronulla produced a hugely important win in a scintillating field-goal victory in extra time against the Dragons last week, for the club’s first win since round four and the departure of former coach John Morris.  They will face a Titans outfit backing up from a 10-point win over Canterbury with the Gold Coast club’s defence still a massive concern for coach Justin Holbrook.
Cronulla will be missing Josh Dugan, Tieg Wilton and Mawene Hiroti in a massive blow that will be somewhat offset by the return of Jesse Ramien and Ronaldo Mulitalo at centre and wing respectively, while Siosifa Talakai and Andrew Fifita also join the bench. For the Titans, David Fifita and Patrick Herbert will return at second-row and centre respectively in a welcome boost to an otherwise unchanged squad.
The Titans will enter this match as favourites but should be wary of a Sharks squad buoyed by the first win under interim coach Josh Hannay. This match could go either way but expect the Titans to storm to victory off the back of David Fifita’s return from suspension.

Betting Tip: Titans -2.5 @ $1.90 (Playup)



Knights v Sea Eagles

Sunday, May 30, 4:05pm AEST
McDonald Jones Stadium

Sea Eagles
Manly’s form resurgence this season has been unprecedented and in one of the first true examinations of their premiership credentials against an elite opposition Des Hasler’s troops produced a dominant 28-6 victory over a highly-rated Eels squad. They will now look to the Knights, who were poor against the Cowboys last week as the Hunter Valley club scrambles to avoid their third consecutive loss in a season in which they have only won four games so far.
Manly will welcome back Curtis Sironen on the bench in a huge boost to their dwindling depth in the second-row in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, Newcastle will welcome back key players in Kayln Ponga and Bradman Best, who will be hugely important inclusions for Adam O’Brien’s team.
Manly are quickly establishing themselves as genuine top-four contenders given their recent form. They are a completely different team to the one that struggled earlier in the season. Newcastle should expect a big improvement with the return of Ponga and Best set to make a massive difference to their game, but expect this clinical Manly squad to come away with the win.

Betting Tip: Sea Eagles -11.5 @ $1.90 (Sportsbet)


Best Bet

Eels H2H @ $2.25 (Sportsbet, Unibet)


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