NRL Round 25 Previews and Betting Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for Round 25 of the 2021 NRL season.

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Raiders v Roosters

Thursday, September 2, 7:50pm AEST
BB Print Stadium


Canberra produced an impressive victory over an understrength Warriors outfit to keep their finals hopes alive leading into the last game of the regular season. They will face a massive test against a Roosters outfit who were humbled in a disappointing 54-12 loss to Souths that saw the tri-colours lose star outside back Joseph Manu to a season-ending facial fracture in controversial circumstances.

Canberra have named Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad to start at fullback for the first time since returning from a lengthy injury layoff, allowing veteran Jordan Rapana to cover the injured Bailey Simonsson on the wing. Sia Soliola has been named to start at lock, pushing Ryan Sutton to the bench. For the Roosters, the loss of Joseph Manu is a huge blow to their premiership hopes, but Trent Robinson will have a number of reinforcements drafted into the starting side as Josh Morris and Adam Keighran form a new centre combination with Angus Crichton and Jared Warea-Hargreaves also coming in at second-row and prop. Matt Ikuvalu will also join the wing in an otherwise unchanged squad.
The Roosters will enter this match as firm favourites, but should be highly cautious of this courageous Canberra outfit whose entire finals series relies on victory in this match. While the loss of Joey Manu will be hugely impactful for the tri-colours’ premiership tilt, expect the return of a number of key players to lift Trent Robinson’s troops to victory and cost the Raiders a top-eight berth.

Betting Tip: Roosters -2.5 @ $1.90 (Sportsbet)



Sharks v Storm

Friday, September 3, 6:00pm AEST
Cbus Super Stadium

After an impressive victory over the Broncos last week, Cronulla have likely done enough to make the finals as they now sit in eighth position but with the Raiders also on the same premiership-points as the Shire club, they will face a massive test against the Melbourne Storm to lock up eighth position on the competition ladder. Melbourne’s 19-game winning run was unceremoniously snapped by a resurgent Eels squad last week with the Victorian club desperate to get back to their best football on the eve of the finals.
The Sharks have named the same 17, with Matt Moylan and Luke Matcalfe swapping between starting five-eighth and bench in Josh Hannay’s only changes. Meanwhile, Melbourne have the luxury of resting eight of their top line stars in Cameron Munster, Christian Welch, Felise Kaufusi, Jesse Bromwich, Josh Addo-Carr, Kenneath Bromwich, Reimis Smith and Tom Eisenhuth with Aaron Pene, Dale Finucane, Dean Ieremia, George Jennings, Jordan Grant, Marion Seve, Nelson Asofa-Solomona and Ryley Jacks coming in as cover.
Melbourne’s decision to rest so many players will likely pay dividends deeper into the finals series but also gives Cronulla a huge chance to win this game. While they will undoubtedly be understrength, the return of the likes of Dale Finucane and Nelson Asofa-Solomona should give the Storm the firepower to overcome their opposition, and coach Craig Bellamy will be expecting a big response from his squad after such a disappointing result last week.

Betting Tip: Sharks +9.5 @ $1.91 (Bet365)



Eels v Panthers

Friday, September 3, 7:55pm AEST
Cbus Super Stadium

The Eels surged back into form after the Parramatta club snapped a 19-game winning streak for the Storm last week in an impressive performance on the eve of the finals series. They will face yet another massive test against an in-form Panthers outfit after Ivan Cleary’s troops notched a solid win over the Tigers in their last game.
Parramatta will rest a number of top-line stars in Nathan Brown, Isaiah Papali’i, Dylan Brown, Clint Gutherson, Junior Paulo, Marata Niukore, Mitchell Moses and Waqa Blake in a curious move that shows coach Brad Arthur is not banking on breaking into the top-four. Hayze Perham, Jake Arthur, Ky Rodwell, Michael Oldfield, Samuel Loizou, Sean Russell, Tom Opacic and Will Smith have been named to come into the squad as cover. Meanwhile, Penrith have named a full-strength 17 with no changes after their win last week.
The Panthers will enter this match as firm favourites, particularly given Parramatta will be resting a number of key players. While the Eels will doubtless be up for this game given their massive morale boost after their victory over the Storm, expect Penrith to get the points.

Betting Tip: Eels +28.5 @ $1.90 (Bluebet)



Broncos v Knights

Saturday, September 4, 3:00pm AEST
Suncorp Stadium

An improved Broncos outfit were unable to overcome the Sharks last week in a narrow loss, and they will now face an in-form Knights outfit who are gunning for their sixth consecutive win as the Newcastle club firms for a big finals series.
The Broncos will be missing Brendan Piakura and Thomas Flegler to suspension with Jordan Riki and Corey Paix coming into the second-row and bench respectively as cover. For the Knights, coach Adam O’Brien has elected to rest a few players in Jacob Saifiti, Jayden Brailey, Mitch Barnett and Hymel Hunt with Starford To’a, Phoenix Crossland, David Klemmer and Jack Johns joining the squad as cover.
Newcastle will enter this match as firm favourites but should be wary of a vastly improved Broncos outfit who have finished their season strongly. While Brisbane have shown they have plenty of talent across their squad, expect the more experienced spine-players for the Knights to guide their squad to a win.

Betting Tip: Knights -3.5 @ $1.90 (Playup)



Cowboys v Sea Eagles

Saturday, September 4, 5:30pm AEST
QCB Stadium

Sea Eagles
North Queensland snapped a concerning losing streak with a solid victory over the struggling Dragons last week, but they will now face a massive test against a Manly outfit who will need a win to secure their top-four berth. The Cowboys have had a difficult year in Todd Payten’s maiden season at the club, but the rookie coach will be looking for his squad to close out their last game on a positive note.
Manly will welcome Taniela Paseka back from injury on the bench, with Sean Keppie also joining the interchange after re-entering the team bubble following the birth of his child in Des Hasler’s only changes. For the Cowboys, Coen Hess has been named to replace the injured Reuben Cotter in the pack in an otherwise unchanged outfit.
Manly will enter this match as firm favourites but Des Hasler could yet decide to rest any of his key players with the veteran coach known for making secretive selection calls. North Queensland will need to summon a Herculean effort to topple this red-hot Manly squad. Expect a dominant performance from Des Hasler’s troops on the eve of the finals with the Sea Eagles to get the win.

Betting Tip: Sea Eagles -21.5 @ $1.90 (Bluebet)



Rabbitohs v Dragons

Saturday, September 4, 7:35pm AEST
Sunshine Coast Stadium

Souths’ dominant victory over the Roosters last week was an enormous confidence boost for the club, but also came at a devastating cost with star fullback Latrell Mitchell suspended for the remainder of the season after a brutal high-shot on Joey Manu. Their opposition in the Dragons have endured a horror end to their season, mired in a seven-game losing streak as coach Anthony Griffin moves desperately to end the year on a positive note.
Souths have elected to rest a majority of their top-line stars with Jai Arrow, Cameron Murray, Alex Johnston, Cody Walker, Adam Reynolds, Damien Cook, Dane Gagai, Liam Knight and Tom Burgess absent alongside the suspended Latrell Mitchell. Rookie Blake Taafe has been named at fullback, with Braidon Burns, Davvy Moale, Dean Hawkins, Jed Cartwright, Lachlan Ilias, Patrick Mago, Peter Mamouzelos, Taane Milne and Tautau Moga joining the 17. Meanwhile, St George will replace the injured Zac Lomax with Gerard Beale at centre in their only change.
With their top-four berth secured, South Sydney will be comfortable taking such an understrength team into this match, but the quality of depth across their squad will still see them installed as favourites. St George have struggled this season and morale will likely be low after seven consecutive losses. This match could go either way but expect the reserve players for the Rabbitohs to be highly motivated to impress their coach. Souths to get the points.

Betting Tip: Rabbitohs -2.5 @ $1.91 (Bet365)



Titans v Warriors

Sunday, September 5, 2:00pm AEST
Cbus Super Stadium

The Titans suffered an agonising field-goal loss to the Knights last week in a crushing result which likely ended their finals contention. The Gold Coast club’s finals chances now rest on other results, as well as a victory over a Warriors squad who were brave in defeat to the Raiders last week.
The Titans have named an unchanged 17 in encouraging signs for the club, while the Warriors will welcome Chanel Harris-Tavita and Jamayne Taunoa-Brown at halfback and off the bench respectively in coach Nathan Brown’s only changes.
Sitting 10th on the competition ladder, the Titans will be relying on both Canberra and the Sharks losing their final games of the year and a big winning margin to drag themselves into finals contention. The Warriors have endured an extremely difficult season but should be proud of their courageous efforts in the face of hardship. Expect the desperation of this Titans squad to get them over the line

Betting Tip: Titans -10.5 @ $1.91 (Bet365)



Tigers v Bulldogs

Sunday, September 5, 4:05pm AEST
Moreton Daily Stadium, Redcliffe

Both the Tigers and Bulldogs have endured horror campaigns in 2021 and while they are well outside finals contention, both teams will be playing for pride and a desire to finish their respective seasons on a positive note. Canterbury were unable to capitalise on a fast start in a poor loss to Manly last week, while the Tigers were unable to overcome Penrith despite an improved defensive performance.
The Bulldogs’ only change comes with Corey Waddell’s return from suspension in the second-row. Jake Averillo is also a chance of returning from a foot injury after he was named in the reserves. For the Tigers, Kelma Tuilagi is the new face on the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad.
Wests will be disappointed with their finish to the year but should also acknowledge the huge disruption injuries have had on their season. Expect a highly motivated Tigers outfit to produce a physical performance to finish their year off strongly with the Bulldogs setting their sights on 2022 as the club firms for the wooden-spoon. Tigers to get the win.

Betting Tip: Tigers -7.5 @ $1.92 (Unibet)


Best Bet

Titans -10.5 @ $1.91 (Bet365)


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