The following are previews with betting tips for Round 7 of the 2022 NRL season. Best bets for the round are also provided.
Sharks v Sea Eagles
Thursday, April 21, 7:50pm AEST
After a difficult start to the season was compounded by the loss of superstar Tom Trbojevic, Manly are developing nicely with their last-start win over the Titans, their fourth in a row. Meanwhile, their opposition in the Sharks had their own four-game winning streak snapped by a powerful Melbourne Storm outfit for a disappointing result against their arch-rivals.
Manly will welcome Morgan Harper back into the centres after he missed last week due to covid. Des Hasler will be missing Josh Aloiai and Sean Keppie in a blow to their middle rotation with Ethan Bullemor and Kurt De Luis set to join the bench. Cronulla will cop a similar blow to their front-row depth with Dale Finucane and Braden Hamlin-Uele injured with Cam McInnes set to shift to lock and Briton Nikora and Royce Hunt joining the second-row and bench as cover.
The Sharks will enter this match as firm favourites and the Cronulla club represent a huge challenge for a Sea Eagles outfit who have been found wanting in their clashes with top-four opponents. While Cronulla’s dominance through the middle may come harder in the absence of Finucane and Hamlin-Uele, the Sea Eagles will also be missing the likes of Aloiai, Keppie and Taupau in their middle-rotation. This game could go either way but expect the Sharks to come up with the win.
Betting Tip: Sea Eagles +6.5 @ $1.85 (Bluebet)
Broncos v Bulldogs
Friday, April 22, 7:55pm AEST
Brisbane suffered a heavy loss to the Panthers last week and now facing their fifth consecutive loss, the Broncos will be desperate to get back to the winner’s circle despite a number of squad disruptions. They will face the similarly struggling Bulldogs facing their sixth loss as Trent Barrett’s new look squad struggle for cohesion.
The Broncos will be missing Tesi Niu and Jake Turpin to injury in a blow to their spine. Tyson Gamble will return in the halves with Walters back to the bench, and Te Maire Martin will make his long-awaited return from a brain-bleed at fullback. Payne Haas, Tom Flegler and Herbie Farnworth will also return at prop, bench and centre respectively. Meanwhile, Canterbury have been forced into a host of changes with Brent Naden, Jake Averillo and Ava Seumanufagai late withdrawals due to covid. Jacob Kiraz, Billy Tsikrikas and Jayden Okunbor will come in as cover. Aaron Schoupp and Corey Waddell will also replace the injured Braiden Burns and Chris Patolo at centre and second-row
Given the disruption to their opposition and the result when these teams met earlier in the season, Brisbane will enter this match as firm favourites, particularly off the back of a number of returning players. Broncos to get the win, however they won’t get it all their own way.
Betting Tip: Broncos +11.5 @ $1.90 (Sportsbet)
Cowboys v Titans
Saturday, April 23, 5:30pm AEST
North Queensland produced an impressive second-half comeback against the Raiders last week, albeit after a woeful display in the first 40 minutes. They will face a Titans outfit who were unable to mount their own second-half comeback over Manly as coach Justin Holbrook looks for more consistent performances from his squad.
The Cowboys will welcome Griffin Neame will join the bench in an otherwise unchanged line-up. Boom rookie Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow was also named in the reserves and could be a late inclusion. Meanwhile, the Gold Coast will field an unchanged team, although Jayden Campbell could come in late for Jamayne Isaako as the rookie battles to overcome a rib injury.
Both teams in this Queensland derby have shown positive signs at different stages this season but particularly struggle to produce their best over 80 minutes. Both coaches will be desperate for their team to fulfill the basics and avoid chasing a big lead as they have been forced to in recent weeks. This match could go either way but expect the form and cohesion in this Cowboys spine to prove the difference.
Betting Tip: Cowboys -1.5 @ $2.02 (Bet365)
Tigers v Rabbitohs
Saturday, April 23, 7:35pm AEST
Wests produced a stunning field-goal upset over the highly rated Eels last week in an enormous result for the club and a massive pressure release for coach Michael Maguire and his embattled squad. They will face no easier opposition against Souths, who dominated a hapless Canterbury squad as the Rabbitohs gun for their third consecutive win.
In positive signs, the Tigers have named an unchanged squad heading into this clash, while Souths will make only one as Davvy Moale replaces Isaiah Tass on the bench.
Michael Maguire’s bold move to shift Luke Brooks from his preferred halfback position to accommodate Jackson Hastings proved a masterstroke, giving Wests some much needed leadership in their spine. The big test for the joint-venture club will be to repeat their performance, and they will need to if they are a chance of toppling this improving Rabbitohs outfit. Souths to get the win.
Betting Tip: Tigers +11.5 @ $1.95 (Playup)
Knights v Eels
Sunday, April 24, 2:00pm AEST
Parramatta suffered a heart-breaking field-goal loss to the Tigers last week for their second loss of the season in a shock upset. They will face a struggling Newcastle outfit whose form has dipped sharply off the back of a massive injury toll with their last-start loss against the Dragons their fourth consecutive defeat. This match shapes as a huge test for the Novacastrians with the club surely desperate to stay in touch with the top-eight.
The Eels will welcome Junior Paulo back at prop, with Hayze Perham set to join the wing, pushing Will Penisi into the centres in an otherwise unchanged line-up. Adam Clune will return at halfback in a welcome boost to the Knights in Adam O’Brien’s only change.
Given their opposition’s struggles, the Eels will enter this match as firm favourites and will be eager for a big response after such a disappointing loss last week. Newcastle will need to find form quickly if they want to make the finals but expect Parramatta to get the win.
Betting Tip: Eels -8.5 @ $2.05 (Bet365)
Panthers v Raiders
Sunday, April 24, 4:05pm AEST
Canberra’s form slump continued last week with a woeful second-half performance costing them victory over the Cowboys. They now face a massive test against the Panthers, who were at their dominant best against Brisbane in round six as the reigning premiers remain the only unbeaten team this season.
Raiders’ fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad has been demoted to the bench with Jordan Rapana set to take over the custodian role and Xavier Savage joining the wing. Elliot Whitehead will be a late withdrawal due to a training injury with Hudson Young the likely replacement. Harry Rushton is also set to make his NRL debut from the bench. Meanwhile, Penrith have named an unchanged squad.
Ricky Stuart’s squad were again unable to produce an 80 minute performance against the Cowboys, conceding a 12-point lead and scoring no points in the second-half. The veteran coach will be rueing the lack of experience in his line-up and desperate for his squad to produce form in the face of enormous disruption. Particularly given their opposition’s struggles expect Penrith to get the win.
Betting Tip: Panthers -18.5 @ $1.91 (Bet365)
Dragons v Roosters
Monday, April 25, 4:00pm AEST
St George snapped a four game losing streak with a vital win over a struggling Newcastle outfit in a huge pressure release for coach Anthony Griffin. The joint-venture club now have the unenviable task of facing an in-form Roosters outfit gunning for their fourth consecutive victory after a narrow win over the improved Warriors.
St George have the luxury of naming an unchanged line-up for this game in welcome signs for the embattled club. Roosters mentor Trent Robinson has named only one change with Paul Momirovski replacing Kevin Naiqama at centre.
With the return of Sam Verrills last week, Trent Robinson can finally field his preferred spine and in ominous signs for their rivals, the tri-colours still look far from their best. St George will benefit from some much needed continuity in their team after a disrupted start to the season. Expect the class and game-management in this Roosters line-up to prove the difference.
Betting Tip: Roosters -12.5 @ $1.95 (Bluebet)
Storm v Warriors
Monday, April 25, 7:00pm AEST
The Storm will be looking for their fourth consecutive win this week after a dominant performance over a highly-rated Cronulla outfit. The Victorians will face a Warriors team much-improved by the return of star halfback Shaun Johnson in recent weeks, producing impressive victories over the Broncos and Cowboys.
Melbourne will receive a big boost with the return of Jesse and Kenny Bromwich at prop and second-row respectively, relegating Trent Loiero and Brandon Smith to the bench. For the Kiwis, Matt Lodge will return in the front-row in Nathan Brown’s only change but Jazz Tevaga could make a return from suspension after he was included in the reserves.
The Warriors’ improved game-management has lifted the standard of football at the club enormously, allowing Nathan Brown’s troops to play for field-position and build pressure far more effectively. This improvement will face a stern test against a red-hot Storm outfit. While the Warriors have certainly proved troublesome for Melbourne in the past, expect the Victorians to capitalise on their home-ground advantage to take the win.
Betting Tip: Warriors +18.5 @ $1.91 (Bet365)
Tigers +11.5 @ $1.95 (Playup)