NRL Round 2 Previews and Betting Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for Round 2 of the 2022 NRL season. Best bets for the round are also provided.

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Storm v Rabbitohs

Thursday, March 17, 8:05pm AEDT

Form guide for Storm vs Rabbitohs


The Storm’s run of round-one victories continued against the Tigers last week, albeit with a massive injury toll in a courageous performance from the Victorian club. Their opposition in South Sydney last suffered a shock upset loss against an improved Brisbane line-up with rookie head-coach Jason Demitriou facing a big job to get the Rabbitohs back to their best.

Melbourne have lost George Jennings and Christian Welch to season ending leg injuries in a devastating blow to their season, as Brandon Smith also faces a stint on the sidelines with a broken hand. Cameron Munster, Dein Ieremia, Harry Grant and Jesse Bromwich will all return to the starting squad in a welcome boost given their injuries. For Souths, Latrell Mitchell will return at fullback, pushing Alex Johnston to the wing at the expense of Josh Mansour in an otherwise unchanged squad.

After losing Dale Finucane, Max King and potentially Tui Kamikamika for this season, the loss of Welch and Smith will put enormous pressure on the Storm’s middle rotation. Souths experienced their struggles in the middle last week so this match shapes as a fascinating physical contest. While the battle through the middle could go either way, expect the more settled playmaking combinations of the Storm to get them over the line while South Sydney continue to adjust to rookie halfback Lachlan Ilias. Melbourne to get the win.

Betting Tip: Storm -7.5 @ $1.90 (Bluebet)



Dragons v Panthers

Friday, March 18, 6:00pm AEDT
Netsrata Jubilee Stadium

Form guide for Dragons vs Panthers


Penrith kicked off their premiership defence in style with a dominant victory over a highly-rated Manly outfit – a particularly impressive result given the absence of superstar Nathan Cleary. Meanwhile, Anthony Griffin’s new look Dragons squad looked slick in a high-scoring win over the Warriors in positive signs for the joint-venture club.

Penrith’s forward rotation suffered a blow with prop Moses Leota ruled out for eight weeks with a shoulder injury as Spencer Leniu shifts to the starting side and Matt Eisenhuth comes onto the bench. St George will similarly make only one forced change with the injured Adam Woods replaced by George Burgess on the bench, giving Francis Molo a starting berth.

The performance of Penrith’s reserve halfback Sean O’Sullivan and rookie Izack Tago was impressive and bodes well for the Panthers’ Origin period this year. Moses Leota is a massive loss in the middle for Penrith, but the positive signs for St George to start the season will not be enough to overcome the reigning premiers. Penrith to get the win.

Betting Tip: Panthers -10.5 @ $1.95 (Winnersbet)



Roosters v Sea Eagles

Friday, March 18, 8:05pm AEDT
Central Coast Stadium

Form guide for Roosters vs Sea Eagles

Sea Eagles

The Sea Eagles fell well short of the lofty expectations set during pre-season in their humbling last-start loss to Penrith as the Manly club looks set to continue their struggles against elite opposition after they were dominated in the second-half. Meanwhile, the Roosters were similarly disappointing against Newcastle in a rare poor performance from Trent Robinson’s troops, albeit under difficult injury circumstances.

Manly will welcome Dylan Walker back onto the bench in a boost to an otherwise unchanged squad. For the Roosters, Victor Radley and Billy Smith have both been named but will need to clear concussion protocols to play with no other changes to the squad.

Despite the poor performance, coach Trent Robinson admitted post-match that many of his stars were underdone after limited minutes throughout the trials with Manly hoping any improvement in their opposition is deferred another week. The Chooks will try to emulate the Panthers’ success in nullifying Tom Trbojevic so effectively last week but expect Des Hasler’s squad to be working overtime to support their best player. Both teams have a long way to improve before they reach their best, so this match could go either way. Expect the Roosters to get the points.

Betting Tip: Roosters -1.0 @ $1.90 (Winnersbet) or -1.5 @ $2.00 (Sportsbet)



Titans v Warriors

Saturday, March 19, 3:00pm AEDT
Cbus Super Stadium

Form guide for Titans vs Warriors


The Titans’ trademark flamboyant style of play was on full display in a high scoring affair against the Eels last week, although coach Justin Holbrook and fans alike will be disappointed with the defensive effort of conceding 32 points. Their opposition in the Warriors were similarly disappointed to lose their round one clash against an improved Dragons squad as the New Zealand club faces yet another forced injury reshuffle.

The Titans will welcome AJ Brimson’s first appearance in the five-eighth jersey after he was ruled out last week, while the Warriors will be boosted by the return of Reece Walsh and Matt Lodge from suspension. Chanel Harris-Tavita will shift to five-eighth at Kodi Nikorima’s expense while new signing Ash Taylor replaces the injured Shaun Johnson at halfback. Injuries to Dallin Watene Zelezniak and Viliami Vailea will see Jesse Arthars and Adam Pompey come in at centre and wing respectively to form a new edge combination.

While their defensive effort was disappointing, the Titans should be unconcerned given the Eels wonderful attacking performance last week. With a new halves combination and fullback coming in, the Warriors’ attack and game-management may suffer. Expect another high-scoring effort from the Gold Coast with the return of AJ Brimson in the halves spurring his team to a win.

Betting Tip: Warriors +8.5 @ $1.91 (Unibet)



Sharks v Eels

Saturday, March 19, 5:30pm AEDT
PointsBet Stadium

Form guide for Sharks vs Eels


Cronulla’s new era under Craig Fitzgibbon got off to a spluttering start with a disappointing loss to the Raiders. The Sharks’ will need to work on their combinations as newly recruited playmaker Nicho Hynes struggled to control the game at halfback. They face a massive test against a dangerous looking Eels squad, despite some poor defence after conceding 28-points to the Titans in a high scoring victory.

Cronulla have named an unchanged squad for this clash, although Cameron McInnes could yet make his return from a knee injury after he was included in the reserves. Meanwhile, an injury to winger Sean Russell will give Tom Opacic an opportunity at centre with Waqa Blake pushed out to the wing. Nathan Brown will also replace the injured Ryan Matterson on the bench in an otherwise unchanged Eels line-up.

Parramatta will rightly enter this match as firm favourites, but coach Brad Arthur will be hoping his team’s defensive structures hold against the less settled play-making combinations of the Sharks after they struggled against the Titans last week. The Sharks will be bitterly disappointed with last week’s loss and with the return of their new coach from covid isolation, expect a big response from the Sharks. This match could go either way but expect Parramatta to get the win.

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



Cowboys v Raiders

Saturday, March 19, 7:35pm AEDT
QCB Stadium

Form guide for Cowboys vs Raiders


North Queensland were disappointing in their last-start loss to the Bulldogs in a dour performance that could spell trouble for their 2022 season. They will face a Raiders outfit who looked composed in victory against Cronulla in their last game, although they head into this match with a number of player disruptions.

An injury to Jamayne Taunoa-Brown will see Jordan McLean come into the Cowboys starting line-up with Griffin Neame joining the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad. For the Raiders, a knee injury to Josh Hodgson will give Adrian Trevilyan his NRL debut off the bench with Josh Starling starting at hooker. Rookie halfback Brad Schneider will also be absent due to covid with Matt Frawley named as his replacement.

The Cowboys new halves combination of Chad Townsend and Tom Dearden struggled to control the game and produce points. North Queensland have a lot to work on if they are any chance of making the finals this season. Expect the Raiders to get the win.

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



Knights v Tigers

Sunday, March 20, 4:05pm AEDT
McDonald Jones Stadium

Form guide for Knights vs Tigers


Newcastle produced a shock upset over the Roosters last week in an impressive performance that bodes well for their 2022 season. They will face a Tigers outfit who were unable to overcome the Storm in round one but showed impressive defensive commitment and encouraging signs in attack from new five-eighth Jackson Hastings.

The Knights have named an unchanged squad in good signs for Adam O’Brien’s team, particularly given a lack of squad continuity has been a huge issue for Newcastle in previous seasons. Meanwhile, Wests will welcome James Tamou back from suspension at prop, pushing Alex Twal to the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad.

Wests will be looking to improve their late-game performance after conceding four tries in the second-half against Melbourne. Newcastle’s experimental move to shift Kurt Mann to lock looks to be paying dividends, as does the acquisition of the experienced centre Dane Gagai in the off-season. While the Tigers’ new combinations looked promising, expect this improved Knights outfit to get the win.

Betting Tip: Knights -7.5 @ $1.91 (Unibet)



Bulldogs v Broncos

Sunday, March 20, 6:15pm AEDT
Stadium Australia

Form guide for Bulldogs vs Broncos


Brisbane produced a shock upset victory over last year’s grand-finalists in South Sydney in a very promising sign for their finals chances. They will face a Bulldogs outfit who were similarly elated at victory over a poor Cowboys outfit in a low-quality game of football but nevertheless a good start for Trent Barrett’s troops.

Brisbane have included some big names in their squad with new recruit and captain Adam Reynolds set to make his club debut, while Kobe Hetherington and Tesi Niu also return on the bench and fullback from covid and injury respectively. Meanwhile, Canterbury have named only one change with former Bronco Tevita Pangai Jr coming into the second-row.

Both teams have made some impressive improvements to their forward rotations over the off-season so this match shapes as a fascinating contest through the middle – particularly given the aggression of Pangai Jr. The difference should come in Brisbane’s more experienced play-making combinations with Albert Kelly and Adam Reynold partnership a massive advantage. Brisbane to get the win.

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


Best Bet

Roosters -1.0 @ $1.90 (Winnersbet) or Roosters -1.5 @ $2.00 (Sportsbet)


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