NRL Round 22 Previews and Betting Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for Round 22 of the 2021 NRL season.

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Storm v Raiders

Thursday, August 12, 7:50pm AEST
Sunshine Coast Stadium


Canberra’s quest to make the finals will face a daunting test in the form of a red-hot Melbourne Storm outfit who notched 17 consecutive wins in an impressive performance against the resurgent Sea Eagles last week. Their opposition produced a solid win over a relatively full-strength St George outfit as Ricky Stuart looks to prime his troops for a massive game.

The Storm will edge closer to their preferred 17 with the return of Felise Kaufusi and Nelson Asofa-Solomona in the second-row and off the bench respectively in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, the Raiders will be boosted by the return of Bailey Simonsson, who will line-up at fullback despite being named on the wing with Jordan Rapana tipped to shift to the flank in his place. Iosia Soliola will also return on the bench in Ricky Stuart’s only team changes.
The Storm will enter this match as firm favourites, but should be highly cautious after Manly came very close to producing an upset last week. Expect Canberra to attempt to emulate the early-set ball movement deployed so effectively by the Sea Eagles, but the class and composure within this Melbourne team should see them get the points.

Betting Tip: Storm -23.5 @ $1.90 (Sportsbet)



Dragons v Panthers

Friday, August 13, 6:00pm AEST
Suncorp Stadium

An understrength Penrith outfit managed a narrow victory over the Roosters last week in an impressive performance which blocked their opposition’s advancement into the top-four. They will now face a struggling Dragons outfit desperate to break back into the top-eight after a narrow loss to the Raiders last week saw them slide to 11th on the competition ladder.
Penrith will be without Api Koroisau, Spencer Leniu and Kurt Capewell in a blow to their depth. Mitch Kenny will shift to starting dummy-half with his bench replacement yet to be named, while Brent Naden and Stephen Crichton will join the backline on the wing and centre respectively. Meanwhile, St George will be missing Cody Ramsay and Tariq Sims with Gerard Beale and Tyrell Fuimaono set to come into the starting side as cover. Josh Kerr will also join the bench in an otherwise unchanged line-up.
Penrith will enter this match as firm favourites and both fans and their coaches will be hoping  star halfback Nathan Cleary can make his long-awaited return from a shoulder injury. While Penrith have struggled without their halfback and captain, rookie Matt Burton has been a capable deputy in his absence. Expect the Dragons to struggle to match their opposition’s class across the park. Penrith to get the win.

Betting Tip: Panthers -21.5 @ $1.87 (Unibet, Bet365)



Broncos v Roosters

Friday, August 13, 7:55pm AEST
Suncorp Stadium

Brisbane once again produced an improved performance last week in a narrow loss to Newcastle and a result that bodes well for the Broncos. The Queensland club will face a huge test coming up against the Roosters, who were beaten in a narrow loss to the Panthers in their last match. Trent Robinson’s troops will be particularly disappointed with their loss last week given a victory would have elevated the club into the top-four.
Brisbane will be missing Keenan Palasia to injury while Jesse Arthars, Brodie Croft and Jamayne Isaako have all been dropped. Tom Flegler will return from suspension in the front-row, while rookie Selwyn Cobbo and Xavier Coates will form a new edge combination at centre and wing respectively. Albert Kelly will replace Croft at halfback with TC Robati also joining the bench. The Roosters will be missing Jared Warea-Hargreaves and Angus Crichton to injury and suspension respectively in a huge blow. Former Bronco Dale Copley will come onto the wing, allowing Sitili Tupouniua to shift to the second-row to cover the absence of Crichton.
The Roosters will enter this match as firm favourites but should be cautious against a Brisbane outfit who have proven troublesome for Trent Robinson’s squad. The tri-colours have lost six of their past seven games at Suncorp Stadium and while Brisbane faithful will be hoping this trend continues, expect the experience and back-line class of the Sydney-siders to get them over the line.

Betting Tip: Broncos +13.5 @ $1.93 (Winnersbet)



Rabbitohs v Titans

Saturday, August 14, 3:00pm AEST
Cbus Super Stadium

The Titans produced a comprehensive victory over the Cowboys last week for their third consecutive win as the Gold Coast club looks well placed to make the top-eight, despite a tough run of games before the finals series. They will face a massive test against an in-form Rabbitohs outfit who last produced a dominant victory of their own over the Eels with Wayne Bennett’s troops still in the race for the minor premiership.
The Titans’ only change comes with Tyrone Peachey’s inclusion on the bench in some welcome stability for Justin Holbrook’s squad. Meanwhile, Souths have named an unchanged line-up.
After an inconsistent start to the season, South Sydney have produced a number of improved defensive performances in recent games. Their defensive structures will face another big test against an unconventional Titans attack and while both teams boast scintillating back-lines, it will be the contest between these two superstar forward packs which determines the result. Expect the composure and class of the Rabbitohs to get them over the line in a high-scoring affair.

Betting Tip: Rabbitohs -16.5 @ $1.93 (Winnersbet)



Cowboys v Tigers

Saturday, August 14, 5:30pm AEST
QCB Stadium

The Cowboys produced a poor loss to the Titans last week for their eighth consecutive defeat with rookie coach Todd Payten desperate to finish the year on a positive note. They will face a similarly struggling Tigers squad who will be resigned to missing the finals once again despite a solid victory over Canterbury last week.
2021 has seen North Queensland suffer a horror injury toll and this week is no different with news powerhouse forward Jason Taumalolo has a broken hand. Griffin Neame and Jeremiah Nanai will come onto the bench, while Francis Molo and Daejarn Asi will come into the starting side at prop and centre respectively. Meanwhile, Wests have named an unchanged 17.
Wests will enter this match as firm favourites given their opposition’s form and injury woes. Both clubs will not have realistic expectations of making the playoffs and will be playing with a view to establishing effective combinations and finishing their respective seasons on a high-note. Tigers to get the points.

Betting Tip: Tigers -3.5 @ $1.90 (Sportsbet)


Sea Eagles

Sea Eagles v Eels

Saturday, August 14, 7:35pm AEST
Sunshine Coast Stadium

Manly came agonisingly close to producing an upset over the Storm last week, but Des Hasler’s troops will now face another big test coming up against an out-of-form Eels squad desperate to hold onto their tenuous top-four berth. Parramatta were disappointing against the Rabbitohs last week and coach Brad Arthur’s squad will be looking to arrest their form slump quickly and build back into form throughout the rest of the regular season.
Manly will be missing front-rowers Taniela Paseka and Toafofoa Sipley to injury and suspension respectively, with Josh Aloiai set to shift to the starting side and Kurt De Luis and Curtis Sironen set to join the bench. Meanwhile, the Eels have been dealt a devastating blow with star hooker Reed Mahoney suffering a season-ending shoulder injury with Joey Lussick named as his replacement. Michael Oldfield will play his first game for the club on the wing with Makahesi Makatoa also set to make his NRL debut off the bench.
The loss of Mahoney is a huge blow for the Eels and they will face a highly motivated Manly squad who could well secure a top-four position with a victory. Expect Parramatta to struggle to generate the ruck-momentum their game-plan is based around in the absence of Mahoney with Manly to get the win.

Betting Tip: Sea Eagles -14.5 @ $2.00 (Bluebet)



Warriors v Bulldogs

Sunday, August 15, 2:00pm AEST
Moreton Daily Stadium, Redcliffe

The Warriors enjoyed a courageous victory over the Sharks in a result that bodes well for the future of the club despite failing to make the top-eight this season. They will face the likely wooden-spooners in Canterbury, who were brave in defeat to the Tigers last week with Trent Barrett’s squad now looking to build combinations and confidence heading into next season.
The Kiwis will be missing Matt Lodge and Kane Evans to suspension but will welcome back a number of reinforcements as Adam Pompey and Jackson Frei join the starting side at centre and prop respectively. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown will also join the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad. For the Bulldogs, Canberra loan players Ryan James and Corey Horsburgh will line-up at prop and off the bench respectively with Joe Stimson also set to join the interchange.
The Warriors will enter this match as firm favourites but in the absence of front-row enforcers Matt Lodge and Kane Evans, they should be wary of a Canterbury outfit who will likely deploy a simple game-plan focussed on dominating the ruck. This match could go either way but expect this more balanced Kiwi squad to get over the line.

Betting Tip: Warriors -8.5 @ $1.95 (Unibet, Bluebet, Playup, Bet365)



Sharks v Knights

Sunday, August 15, 4:05pm AEST
Moreton Daily Stadium, Redcliffe

Cronulla suffered a devastating loss to the Warriors last week in a hammer blow to their finals chances as the race heats up for the top-eight. They will face one of their fiercest competitors for a finals berth in the Newcastle Knights, whose last-start victory over the Broncos placed them just one position in-front of Cronulla at 9th on the competition ladder.
Cronulla have chosen to drop Will Chambers in the wake of the veteran centre’s sledging controversy. Siosifa Talakai will shift to centre as cover as Billy Magoulias also joins the bench. For the Knights, Jayden Brailey will return at hooker after he was rested last week in a welcome boost with Simi Sasagi set to join the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad.
Newcastle will enter this match as clear favourites but both clubs should be highly motivated for this game. Newcastle sit equal seventh on the competition ladder but are still sitting below the Raiders and Titans, while Cronulla’s finals series could rest on this result given Newcastle are their rivals for a top-eight berth. Expect a fiery, passionate contest between these two clubs but the improved form of the Novacastrians off the back of the likes of Mitchell Pearce and Kalyn Ponga should get them the points.

Betting Tip: Knights -7.5 @ $1.90 (Sportsbet)


Best Bets

Sea Eagles -14.5 @ $2.00 (Bluebet)

Warriors -8.5 @ $1.95 (Unibet, Bluebet, Playup, Bet365)


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