The following are previews with betting tips for Round 5 of the 2022 NRL season. Best bets for the round are also provided.
Knights v Sea Eagles
Thursday, April 7, 7:50pm AEST
Newcastle’s promising form to start the season has been tempered by consecutive losses to the Panthers and Sharks and now facing an in-form Manly outfit, Adam O’Brien’s squad will be looking to prove they can match the competition’s best. Manly’s dominant victory over the Raiders last week was spearheaded by a resurgent Tom Trbojevic but with the superstar injured Des Hasler’s troops will again need to prove they can win without their fullback.
Manly have named promising rookie Tolutau Koula to cover the injured Tom Trbojevic while Brad Parker will also be replaced with Christian Tuipulotu at centre. Meanwhile, the Knights have named an unchanged line-up heading into this match.
Newcastle will enter this game as narrow favourites given the absence of Tom Trbojevic and Manly will be hoping captain Daly Cherry-Evans can emulate his wonderful kicking display against Canberra. Newcastle still look far from their best given the disruption to their squad but Manly will need a massive collective effort to cover Trbojevic’s workload. This match could go either way but expect Newcastle to come away with the win.
Warriors v Cowboys
Friday, April 8, 6:00pm AEST
The Warriors produced their most complete performance of their season last week in an impressive display against Brisbane, a result which bodes well for the New Zealand club given it was the first time halves Shaun Johnson and Chanel Haris-Tavita combined with rookie sensation Reece Walsh. Their opposition in North Queensland will be burning after a disappointing loss to the in-form Roosters has the Cowboys sitting with two wins and losses to start their season.
North Queensland have been struck a big blow with the absence of fullback Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow with Scott Drinkwater set to come into the side as cover in an otherwise unchanged team. For the Warriors, Addin Fonua-Blake is unlikely to play after being named in the reserves with Aaron Pene and Jack Murchie set to join the bench to cover the absence of Jazz Tevanga and Ben Murdoch-Masila. Bailey Sironen will also join the starting team in the second-row.
While both these teams have displayed encouraging signs to start their respective seasons, the playmaking combination between Reece Walsh, Shaun Johnson and Chanel Harris-Tavita looks set to be a productive one for the Kiwi club. North Queensland will be desperate for a big game to overcome their disappointment from last week but expect the Warriors to come away with the points.
Betting Tip: Warriors H2H @ $1.91 (bet365)
Broncos v Roosters
Friday, April 8, 7:55pm AEST
Brisbane slumped to their second loss of the year in a disappointing performance against the Warriors that spells trouble for the Broncos’ season ahead. They face a massive test against an improving Roosters outfit as the tri-colours new combinations came together in style in an impressive victory over North Queensland last week.
The Broncos have been rocked by further squad instability through injury with Patrick Carrigan and Albert Kelly facing extended stints on the sideline. Billy Walters and Keenan Palasia will shift to five-eighth and prop respectively as cover with Corey Jensen and Corey Paix joining the bench. In a massive boost, edge back-rowers Kurt Capewell and Jordan Riki will return from injury to take their positions in the starting line-up.
Brisbane’s season is in danger of going off the rails and facing a tough month of football ahead, pressure is mounting on coach Kevin Walters to deliver results. The Roosters have been forced to form new combinations between playmakers Sam Walker, Luke Keary and Victor Radley but Trent Robinson’s troops are closing in on their best football. Expect the Roosters to get the points.
Betting Tip: Roosters -10.5 @ $1.55 (Picklebet)
Raiders v Storm
Saturday, April 9, 3:00pm AEST
The Storm enjoyed a dominant 44-0 victory over the Bulldogs last week as Craig Bellamy’s new signings look to be settling in their combinations nicely. They will face a Raiders outfit who have produced a mixed bag so far this year with courageous wins over the Titans and Sharks tempered by capitulations to the Cowboys and Manly. Ricky Stuart will be looking for some consistency from his troops after they were unable to compete with the Sea Eagles last week.
Both teams have named unchanged line-ups heading into this clash in encouraging signs particularly for the Raiders given their injury woes this season.
Losing their halfback for an extended period and their hooker for the season in Jamal Fogarty and Josh Hodgson, Canberra have been forced to recalibrate their style of play. Tom Starling and Matt Frawley look to be forming an effective dummy-half combination while rookie halfback Brad Schneider is doing an admirable job. The Storm look to be returning to their best football with the new faces in their squad – expect Melbourne to get the win.
Betting Tip: Storm -13.5 @ $1.90 (Picklebet)
Rabbitohs v Dragons
Saturday, April 9, 5:30pm AEST
Souths have faced a torrid start to their season including games against the Panthers, Storm and Roosters and although Jason Demitriou’s troops have notched only one win heading into round five his squad will be confident they can return to their grand-final form. Their opposition in the Dragons are struggling off the back of heavy defeats against the Sharks and Parramatta.
Second-rower Jaydn Su’A will return from injury for the Dragons to face his old club in a welcome boost to an otherwise unchanged line-up. For the Rabbitohs, Jaxson Paulo and Mark Nicholls will be absent with injury with Josh Mansour replacing the winger as Davvy Moale and Blake Taafe also join the bench at the expense of Siliva Havili.
With the return of Latrell Mitchell and rookie halfback Lachlan Ilias settling into his new role, Souths will relish this match against local rivals as they cement their new combinations. Anthony Griffin is still figuring out his squad’s best combinations with the St George coach persisting with Moses Mbye and Jack Bird’s shift to fullback and five-eighth respectively. Expect a tough contest through the middle but the control and experience of this Rabbitohs outfit should get them over the line.
Betting Tip: Rabbitohs H2H @ $1.31 (bet365)
Titans v Eels
Saturday, April 9, 7:35pm AEST
Parramatta came up with a dominant win over the Dragons last week in a 34-point drubbing but Brad Arthur’s troops will need to tighten their defensive structures against the Gold Coast, particularly after their see-sawing contest in round one that saw the Eels notch a narrow victory. The Titans will need to aim up after a poor display in their last-gasp victory over the struggling Tigers, albeit with a number of players missing.
The Eels have named Shaun Lane to return in the second-row with Mitch Rein set to join the bench. Meanwhile, the Titans will receive a welcome boost with Beau Fermor, Phillip Sami and Isaac Liu returning in the second-row, centres and front-row respectively.
Parramatta have cemented a dominant style of play since their round-one clash with the Titans and while the Gold Coast outfit have shown some wonderful attacking football their second-half capitulation against Canberra and a desperate last-minute win over the Titans could spell trouble. Expect an improved performance from the Queensland club with their returning stars but the class within this Eels line-up should get Parramatta over the line.
Betting Tip: Eels H2H @ $1.40 (bet365)
Sharks v Tigers
Sunday, April 10, 4:05pm AEST
Cronulla have gone from strength to strength since their narrow round-one loss to the Raiders after an impressive 18-nil victory put the Shire club firmly on track to go deep into the finals. They will face the luckless West Tigers, whose hearts were broken in a desperate last-minute loss to the Titans last week after the Gold Coast scored in the last minute of play from a goal-post deflection.
Both teams have named an unchanged squad heading into this clash.
As the only team yet to notch a victory, the Tigers will be desperate to avoid their fifth consecutive loss, particularly after a morale-sapping loss last week. They face a massive test against a red-hot Cronulla outfit who have displayed enormous improvement under new coach Craig Fitzgibbon with a tough defensive resolve complementing wonderful game-control. Wests need to learn to convert narrow losses to victories before they can play finals football again. Sharks to get the win.
Betting Tip: Sharks -12.5 @ $1.57 (Picklebet)
Bulldogs v Panthers
Sunday, April 10, 6:15pm AEST
Pressure is mounting on Trent Barrett after Canterbury regressed to the defensive woes of recent seasons with a 44-0 loss to the Storm last week. They face a massive test against an undefeated Penrith squad who outclassed their 2021 grand-final rivals South Sydney as the Penrith club looks to push for consecutive premiership victories.
The Bulldogs have recalled Kyle Flanagan at halfback with Brandon Wakeham moving to the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, Penrith have named the same 17 that beat the Rabbitohs.
Canterbury will be hoping an off-field controversy involving Penrith winger Taylan May will knock their opponents off balance but the Bulldogs will need to summon a Herculean effort to overcome the reigning premiers. Canterbury will hope Kyle Flanagan improves their form after struggling on both sides of the ball. Penrith to get the points.
Betting Tip: Panthers -17.5 @ $1.71 (Picklebet)
Eels H2H @ $1.40 (bet365)