NRL Round 15 Previews and Betting Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for Round 15 of the 2021 NRL season.

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Broncos v Rabbitohs

Thursday, June 17, 7:50pm AEST
Suncorp Stadium


Brisbane produced a disappointing loss to the struggling Raiders last week with Kevin Walters’ troops notching only three wins so far this season. They will now face a massive test against the Rabbitohs, who looked comfortable in victory against Newcastle in their last game despite missing several Origin stars.

Brisbane will retain Tesi Niu at fullback after the rookie was a late inclusion last week following Xavier Coates’ last-minute withdrawal. Keenan Palasia will also replace Corey Paix on the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad. For the Rabbitohs, Dane Gagai, Jai Arrow, Cameron Murray and Damien Cook will all return to the starting side after being rested last week.
Brisbane have been poor on both sides of the ball this year and with the worst defensive record in the competition, Kevin Walters will be looking for his squad to build combinations and produce a positive end to the season to build momentum for 2022. Souths may be rusty given their massive representative toll, but the class and experience in this squad should prove the difference.

Betting Tip: Rabbitohs -16.5 @ $1.90 (Bluebet)



Cowboys v Sharks

Friday, June 18, 6:00pm AEST
QCB Stadium


North Queensland conceded a disappointing loss to Manly last week as Todd Payten’s troops still struggle with consistency, despite showing enormous improvement. They will face an improved Cronulla outfit in the hunt for their fourth consecutive win after coming up with a scintillating field-goal victory over the Panthers, albeit without their Origin stars.

Kyle Feldt will return for the Cowboys after being rested last week with Mitch Dunn also returning in the second-row from suspension in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, Cronulla will be missing captain Wade Graham to concussion in concerning signs for the veteran second-rower given his history with similar injuries. Siosifa Talakai has been named as cover in the starting side in Josh Hannay’s only changes to his squad.
Cowboys’ coach Todd Payten will be looking for a big response from his squad after a poor showing against Manly last week, particularly with Manly missing superstar fullback Tom Trbojevic. Cronulla look to have settled nicely after the departure of John Morris and are returning to their best football. The Cowboys’ attack may take some time to build combinations but with Cronulla missing their hugely influential skipper in Wade Graham, expect the Queenslanders to come away with the points.

Betting Tip: Cowboys -2.5 @ $2.00 (Bet365)



Panthers v Roosters

Friday, June 18, 7:55pm AEST
Panthers Stadium

The Panthers have endured a tough start to the Origin period, with consecutive losses to the Tigers and Sharks seeing the Penrith club lose the top-spot on the competition ladder to the Melbourne Storm. Penrith will face another big test against the Roosters this week, who managed to stave off a desperate second-half comeback against the Titans in a wonderful field-goal victory.
Penrith’s Origin stars in Kurt Capewell, Nathan Cleary, Jarome Luai, Brian To’o and Isaah Yeo will all return to the starting side in a massive boost for the Panthers. For the Roosters, Sam Verrills will make his comeback from a long injury layoff in a huge inclusion for the tri-colours, replacing the suspended Ben Marschke in an otherwise unchanged squad.
Penrith coach Ivan Clearly will not be too unhappy with his squad’s performances given the unprecedented representative toll on the former competition leaders, particularly after an encouraging second-half performance against the Sharks last week. Trent Robinson’s troops morale may be down with the shock announcement of the retirement of Boyd Cordner due to repeated concussions. The Roosters are still struggling with depth in key positions, and while Sam Verrills could make a huge difference on that front, expect the inexperienced rake to take some time to get back to his best. Panthers to get the points.

Betting Tip: Roosters +12.0 @ $1.91 (Winnersbet)



Knights v Warriors

Saturday, June 19, 3:00pm AEST
McDonald Jones Stadium

The Warriors struggled to compete against a classy Melbourne Storm outfit last week and will now look to a Jekyl and Hyde Knights squad who were solid in defeat against the improving Rabbitohs, particularly with the talent they have sitting on the sideline.
While Newcastle have been struggling, they will welcome back some vital reinforcements in Mitchell Pearce, Kalyn Ponga, David Klemmer and Hymel Hunt in a massive boost to their squad. Their return is particularly good timing with star centre Bradman Best set for an extended stint on the sidelines with a knee injury. Meanwhile, the Warriors also named their own contingent of returning players with Reece Walsh, Eliesa Katoa and Rocco Berry coming back into the side. Wayde Egan will be absent with injury as Jazz Tevaga shifts to the hooking role, while Sean O’Sullivan will also cover the injured Chanel Harris-Tavita at halfback in an otherwise unchanged squad.
The Knights have been desperately missing the leadership and composure of the likes of Ponga, Pearce and Klemmer, and their return will improve the Newcastle outfit enormously. Expect a big response from the Newcastle outfit against a Warriors team that may struggle with so many changes to their spine combinations. Knights to get the points.

Betting Tip: Knights -1.5 @ $1.90 (Bluebet, Unibet)



Dragons v Raiders

Saturday, June 19, 5:30pm AEST
WIN Stadium

The Dragons season appears to be in freefall after a woeful performance against the last-placed Bulldogs last week has the joint-venture club on the cusp of dropping out of the top-eight. They will face a desperate Raiders squad who snapped a concerning form slump in a classy win over the Broncos last week as Ricky Stuart’s troops look set for a big run towards the finals series.
Both coaches have named unchanged squads heading into this clash in positive signs for their respective clubs. Star centre Zac Lomax could yet be a late inclusion to return from a thumb-injury after he was included in the Dragons’ reserves.
Much of St George’s early-season form has evaporated, with Anthony Griffin’s troops unable to emulate the defensive resolve they displayed over the first six weeks of the season. The Raiders have endured similar troubles, but with Bailey Simonsson’s wonderful display at fullback and Josh Hodgson’s classy return to the starting hooker role, Canberra look to be on the path back to their best form. Expect the Dragons to struggle to contain an opposition desperate to break back into the winner’s circle. Raiders to get the points.

Betting Tip: Raiders -2.5 @ $1.95 (Unibet)



Storm v Tigers

Saturday, June 19, 7:35pm AEST

Melbourne have gone from strength to strength this season, reclaiming first position on the competition ladder despite a heavy representative toll after an impressive win over the Warriors last week. They will now look to a Tigers squad who were humbled by a much-improved Parramatta outfit in a disappointing result for the joint-venture club.
In wonderful news for both Melbourne and the Maroons, Christian Welch looks set to return from a nasty concussion after being named to start at prop. Jesse Bromwich will be absent with injury, but giant Nelson Asofa-Solomona will be a handy replacement in the front-row. George Jennings will also be recalled on the wing in an otherwise unchanged line-up. For Wests, mid-season signing Ken Maumalo is set to make his club debut in a welcome boost to the Tigers’ outside backs stocks, as James Roberts shifts to the centres to cover the injured Adam Doueihi in Michael Maguire’s only change.
Melbourne will enter this match as firm favourites but should be wary of a Tigers squad who have a habit of lifting against elite opposition. Expect a brutal contest through the middle but with the return of Asofa-Solomona and Welch, expect the Storm to get the points.

Betting Tip: Tigers +24.5 @ $1.90 (Playup)



Eels v Bulldogs

Sunday, June 20, 2:00pm AEST
Bankwest Stadium

The Eels produced a much-improved defensive performance against the Tigers last week as the Parramatta club looks to cement its position in the top-four and bank premiership points against the last-placed Bulldogs. Canterbury were dominant in a rare win over the Dragons last week for only their second victory all season in a vital morale boost for the struggling club.
Veteran winger Blake Ferguson has been snubbed by coach Brad Arthur with Sean Russell set to make his NRL debut to cover the suspended Maika Sivo. Keegan Hipgrave will also join the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad. Canterbury have understandably named an unchanged team this week after their victory over St George, but Dallin Watene-Zelezniak could yet make his return from injury after he was included in the reserves.
The Eels will enter this match as firm favourites, but should be wary of a Bulldogs outfit who may have reached a turning-point under new coach Trent Barrett. Canterbury controlled possession and momentum to great effect against the Dragons, but expect them to struggle to replicate that performance against the likes of Parramatta. Eels to get the win.

Betting Tip: Bulldogs +20.5 @ $1.91 (Bet365)



Titans v Sea Eagles

Sunday, June 20, 4:05pm AEST
Cbus Super Stadium

Sea Eagles
Manly produced a wonderful win over the Cowboys last week in a classy performance that was even more impressive given the absence of superstar Tom Trbojevic. Des Hasler’s troops have seemed too reliant on Trbojevic in the past but did not struggle to score points without the Blues stalwart. They will face a struggling Titans squad who will be lamenting a terrible first-half after they fell just short of a miraculous comeback against the Roosters in their last game.
Jayden Campbell has retained the fullback jersey in an unchanged Titans squad, but could be replaced by AJ Brimson after the dynamo was included on an extended bench as he struggles to manage a knee injury. For Manly, Tom Trbojevic will return at fullback after he was rested last week with Sean Keppie also set to return from suspension on the interchange.
Manly will enter this match as firm favourites, and will be licking their lips at the prospect of taking on the third-worst defensive team in the competition. The Gold Coast desperately need to improve their defensive performances if they want to compete with elite teams. Expect Manly to get the win.

Betting Tip: Sea Eagles -6.5 @ $1.90 (Sportsbet)


Best Bet

Raiders -2.5 @ $1.95 (Unibet)


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