The following are previews with betting tips for Round 8 of the 2022 NRL season. Best bets for the round are also provided.
Broncos v Sharks
Thursday, April 28, 7:50pm AEST
The Broncos recorded a sorely-needed win over the struggling Bulldogs last week to snap a four game losing streak but the Brisbane club will now face one of their biggest tests this season against an in-form Sharks outfit currently sitting fourth on the competition ladder. Cronulla produced a near-perfect opening half but will be looking for an 80 minute performance after failing to score a try in the second stanza.
Betting Tip: Sharks -11.5 @ $1.90 (Bluebet)
Titans v Panthers
Friday, April 29, 6:00pm AEST
The Titans were humbled by the Cowboys last week in a woeful 30-4 loss that spells trouble for the Queensland club’s season. Coach Justin Holbrook will be desperate for a big response from his troops coming up against an unbeaten Penrith outfit who demolished Canberra 36-6 in their last game.
The Panthers have the luxury of again naming an unchanged squad for this match. For the Titans, AJ Brimson has been named at fullback with Will Smith joining the halves. Phillip Sami’s return on the wing will push Patrick Herbert back into the centres, with David Fifita also returning to the second-row after an ill-fated cameo at centre last week.
After a run of woeful form, Titans coach Justin Holbrook will be hoping AJ Brimson’s experience with this back-line provides some spark with the club desperate to avoid their fourth consecutive loss. Penrith have shown no signs of slowing down and should get the points.
Betting Tip: Panthers -18.5 @ $1.93 (Winnersbet)
Rabbitohs v Sea Eagles
Friday, April 29, 7:55pm AEST
Souths’ continued their inconsistent start to the year under rookie coach Jason Demitriou, suffering a heart-breaking field-goal loss to a resurgent Tigers outfit for their fourth loss of the year. They will play a Manly outfit similarly frustrated by a lack of consistency after the northern beaches club conceded 34-points in their opening 40 against Cronulla last week and were unable to overcome the margin with an impressive second-half.
Isaiah Tass will replace the suspended Taane Milne at centre for the Rabbitohs with Siliva Havili set to join the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad. For the Sea Eagles, Martin Taupau and Sean Keppie will return in the front-row in a massive boost to Des Hasler’s middle-rotation.
Both of these teams have produced patchy form to start their seasons, showing some concerning lapses and ill-discipline they will need to rectify before the finals. Manly will be looking for a big improvement through their ruck off the back of Taupau and Keppie’s return, particularly after they struggled for metres against the Sharks. Souths desperately need to tighten their discipline and ball-control and should get the points if they can nail the fundamentals.
Betting Tip: Rabbitohs -4.5 @ $2.00 (bet365)
Warriors v Raiders
Saturday, April 30, 3:00pm AEST
The Warriors were smashed 70-10 by the Storm last week in a devastating result which heaps pressure on coach Nathan Brown and his struggling squad. They will face an out-of-form Raiders team staring down their fifth consecutive loss after they were soundly beaten by a 30-point margin against Penrith in round seven.
Canberra will welcome Elliott Whitehead back in the second-row to inject some much-needed experience into the team. Meanwhile, the Kiwis have named an unchanged line-up, although Ben Murdoch-Masila could make a return from injury after he was included in the reserves.
While the Warriors will be eager to put the tough loss behind them with a good performance, the margin of the loss speaks to an attitude problem at the club that may take some time to resolve. Canberra will be desperate to fulfil the fundamentals after getting very little ball against Penrith last week. This match could go either way but expect the big-game experience and class within this Raiders forward rotation to get them the win.
Betting Tip: Raiders -1.5 @ $1.87 (Picklebet)
Bulldogs v Roosters
Saturday, April 30, 5:30pm AEST
Canterbury recorded their sixth consecutive loss against Brisbane last week as pressure mounts on coach Trent Barrett given the improved roster the coach has to work with this season. Their opposition in the Roosters were unable to make a late comeback against St George last week in a frustrating two-point loss.
Canterbury have been hit with more covid disruptions with captain Josh Jackson set to miss the clash with a replacement yet to be named. Brent Naden, Jake Averillo and Ava Seumanufagai will all return from their own covid-enforced layoff in a much-needed boost. Kevin Naiqama will join the Roosters’ wing in place of the suspended Daniel Tupou in Trent Robinson’s only changes.
The Roosters will enter this match as firm favourites, particularly after the frustration of their narrow loss to an improved St George outfit last week. Canterbury are struggling with players missing across the park and a lack of continuity in their team. While the Bulldogs will bring physicality in spades and a desperation to win, expect the game-management of this Roosters outfit to secure them the points.
Betting Tip: Roosters -13.5 @ $1.91 (Unibet)
Eels v Cowboys
Saturday, April 30, 7:35pm AEST
After an inconsistent start to their season, North Queensland have rallied to produce some impressive form in recent weeks, with a 26-point victory over the Titans last week. The Cowboys’ form resurgence will be tested against a red-hot Parramatta outfit backing up from a 39-2 drubbing of Newcastle.
North Queensland have the luxury of naming an unchanged line-up for this game. Parramatta will similarly persist with the same 17 after Dylan Brown’s late shift to centre last week took pressure off the Eels’ back-line injury crisis.
Todd Payten’s new-look Cowboys squad have settled nicely, with the rookie coach’s personnel changes paying dividends. Dearden and Townsend have formed a potent playmaking combination and Scott Drinkwater’s form at fullback since his return to first-grade has been scintillating. This match will be a good litmus test for the Cowboys chances against the competition’s best, and with Parramatta seemingly on a warpath to the finals and a top-four berth despite their injury toll, expect a fiery, physical contest. North Queensland are certainly capable of producing an upset but expect the big-game experience of this Eels outfit to get them over the points.
Betting Tip: Cowboys +10.5 @ $1.87 (bet365)
Knights v Storm
Sunday, May 1, 2:00pm AEST
Melbourne produced a devastating 70-10 victory over the Warriors last week for a winning margin rarely seen in the NRL era. The Storm have gone from strength to strength this season in spite of a disruptive injury toll and the Victorian club will be a massive test for a struggling Newcastle outfit desperate to avoid their sixth consecutive loss after a 39-2 drubbing at the hands of Parramatta.
Melbourne will bring Tyran Wishart onto the bench after he was a late omission last week. Meanwhile, the Knights have named an unchanged line-up.
The Knights run of poor form will be difficult to turn around, particularly missing so many players with injury. The Storm have set the competition alight in recent weeks with Cameron Munster looking to be in career-best form, ably supported by Melbourne’s superstar spine. Newcastle will need a Herculean effort to produce an upset. Expect the Storm to get the points.
Betting Tip: Storm -19.5 @ $1.90 (Playup)
Dragons v Tigers
Sunday, May 1, 4:00pm AEST
The Tigers produced a stunning field-goal victory for the second consecutive week in a scintillating performance against the Eels as the club goes from strength to strength since Jackson Hasting’s shift to halfback. They will face a Dragons squad enjoying a resurgence of their own off the back of an gritty win over the Roosters as Anthony Griffin’s squad look for their third consecutive win.
The Tigers have been dealt a cruel blow with the injury-forced absence of fullback Dane Laurie. Starford To’a will shift to the custodian role with Oliver Gildart joining the centres as cover in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, St George have named an unchanged squad but five-eighth Jack Bird could be a late withdrawal with an arm injury with Talatau Amone the likely replacement.
Jackson Hastings’ new role at halfback has transformed the Tigers attacking game and left Luke Brooks unburdened with game-management since his shift to five-eighth. Both these teams are desperate for on-field results after poor starts to their respective seasons. Expect a brutal physical contest that could go either way. Dragons to get the win.
Betting Tip: Tigers +4.5 @ $1.90 (Bluebet)
Rabbitohs -4.5 @ $2.00 (bet365)