The following are previews with betting tips for Round 9 of the 2022 NRL season. Best bets for the round are also provided.
Rabbitohs v Broncos
Thursday, May 5, 7:50pm AEST
The Broncos produced their best performance under coach Kevin Walters in a gritty win against an in-form Sharks outfit last and it will be no easier task coming up against a Rabbitohs squad who produced an impressive 40-22 win over Manly, albeit against 12-men for the majority of the contest.
Brisbane’s win was soured somewhat by injuries to Kurt Capewell and Payne Haas in a huge blow to their forward-rotation. Patrick Carrigan will make a timely return from a knee injury at prop with rookie Teui Robati coming into the second-row in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, Souths only change will be Liam Knight replacing Davvy Moale on the bench.
Souths will enter this match as firm favourites but given it will be the first time former captain Adam Reynolds faces his old club, Jason Demitriou’s troops should be on high alert for an upset. Brisbane will need to aim up defensively against the Rabbitohs fast-improving attack, particularly in the absence of Haas and Capewell. Expect a fiery contest but the cohesion and attacking-class of the Rabbitohs’ spine should prove the difference. Souths to get the win.
Betting Tip: Souths -8.5 @ $1.62 (Picklebet)
Raiders v Bulldogs
Friday, May 6, 6:00pm AEST
The Bulldogs held off a fast-finishing Roosters outfit last week in an impressive and desperately needed win for the Canterbury club. Their opposition in the Raiders are also struggling, after a woeful second-half saw the club lose by a golden-point field-goal after leading by 8 points at halftime as pressure mounts on coach Ricky Stuart.
Canterbury will welcome Josh Jackson back at lock from a covid absence, with Brent Naden also set to join the wing. Meanwhile, Ricky Stuart has made a number of changes in a bid to snap Canberra’s five-game losing streak. Skipper Jarrod Croker has been named to return from a long injury layoff alongside Elliot Whitehead in the second-row. The suspended Jack Wighton will be replaced by Matt Frawley as Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad reverts to fullback and Adam Elliot retains the hooking role after a late switch last week.
Canberra look like a shadow of the team that prided themselves on gritty defence and toughness. Canterbury are showing some encouraging signs of improvement but with both teams sitting 14th and 15th on the competition ladder respectively with only two wins, each club will be desperate for a victory. This match could go either way but expect Canterbury to get the points.
Betting Tip: Bulldogs H2H @ $2.00 (Bet365)
Panthers v Eels
Friday, May 6, 7:55pm AEST
Parramatta produced an uncharacteristically poor performance against the Cowboys last week in a 35-4 drubbing that saw the club drop out of the top-four. They will face a tough assignment against the unbeaten reigning premiers with the Panthers looking comfortable in their win over the Titans last week.
Tom Opacic will return at centre for the Eels in a massive boost to their decimated back-line depth, with Dylan Brown set to return to his preferred five-eighth position. Meanwhile, Penrith are unchanged but could welcome Brian To’o and Moses Leota back from injury after they were included in the reserves.
After their attack was so effectively contained last week, Parramatta faithful will be hoping Dylan Brown’s return to the halves can spark their team back into form. Penrith have shown their remarkable consistency again this year as the only unbeaten team in the competition. If the Eels can produce their best football they are certainly a chance but expect Penrith to get the win.
Betting Tip: Eels +12.5 @ $1.90 (Bluebet)
Sea Eagles v Tigers
Saturday, May 7, 3:00pm AEST
Manly were brave in defeat against South Sydney last week, producing a wonderful first half despite playing with 12-men for most of the contest. They will face a resurgent Wests Tigers outfit who were unable to notch their third consecutive win in a narrow loss to St George.
Superstar fullback Tom Trbojevic has been named to make his return from a hamstring injury for Manly, pushing Reuben Garrick back to the wing as Ben Trbojevic replaces the injured Brad Parker. Haumole Olakau’atu will make a timely return from suspension in the second-row to replace Karl Lawnton, who is facing an extended stint on the sidelines after an ugly lifting tackle against Souths. For the Tigers, injuries to Ken Maumalo and Luciano Leilua will see Ken Maumalo join the wing, Alex Seyfarth shift to the second-row with Stefano Utoikamanu named on the bench.
Manly have done an admirable job in the absence of their best player in Tom Trbojevic. His return will see the Sea Eagles enter this match as firm favourites, but Des Hasler’s troops should be wary of a Tigers outfit who have improved enormously on both sides of the ball. Wests are certainly capable of producing an upset but expect Tom Trbojevic’s return to inspire Manly to bring their best. Sea Eagles to get the win.
Betting Tip: Tigers +14.5 @ $1.90 (Unibet)
Roosters v Titans
Saturday, May 7, 5:30pm AEST
After a promising start to the year the Titans slumped to their fourth consecutive loss last week against Penrith with coach Justin Holbrook making the bold move of abandoning AJ Brimson’s shift to the halves. The Titans looked better for the move last week but they face another tough opposition in a Roosters outfit burning from a narrow last-start loss to Canterbury.
The tri-colours will welcome Paul Momirovski and Daniel Tupoi back to form a new centre-wing combination in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, the Gold Coast will be missing enigmatic talent David Fifita with Sam McIntyre his replacement on the bench.
The Roosters will enter this match as firm favourites but should be on high alert against a desperate Titans outfit that has troubled them in the past with their unconventional style of play. Expect a big response from a Roosters squad burning from consecutive narrow defeats. Roosters to get the win.
Betting Tip: Titans +10.5 @ $1.90 (Playup)
Cowboys v Knights
Saturday, May 7, 7:35pm AEST
North Queensland produced their best performance of the season in a scintillating 35-4 win over the Eels last week in a result that pushed Todd Payten’s troops into the top-four. They will face a struggling Newcastle outfit desperate to avoid their seventh consecutive loss after being dominated 50-2 by Melbourne in their last game.
The Knights have named Lachlan Fitzgibbon and Dom Young to return from injury at second-row and wing respectively in a big boost for the struggling club. Jake Clifford has been dropped with Tex Hoy his replacement, while Phoenix Crossland replacing injured halfback Adam Clune. Meanwhile, the Cowboys have named an unchanged squad.
Newcastle’s poor form has been heavily compounded by a massive injury toll with eight first-graders missing with injury. The Knights face a tough season ahead if they cannot turn around their fortunes but expect this well drilled Cowboys squad to capitalise on the chaos in their opposition’s ranks to get the win.
Betting Tip: Cowboys -15.5 @ $1.95 (Bet365)
Storm v Dragons
Sunday, May 8, 2:00pm AEST
The Dragons have fought back from a form slump to notch three consecutive wins in an impressive turnaround for the joint-venture club. They last recorded a narrow victory over an improved Tigers squad, but will face a massive test against a red-hot Melbourne outfit. The Storm dominated Newcastle 50-2 as Craig Bellamy’s troops hunt for their sixth consecutive win.
Jack Bird will return from an arm injury at five-eighth, pushing Talatau Amone to the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad. Craig Bellamy will also make only one change with the injured Tepai Moeroa replaced with Jordan Grant on the bench.
The Dragons’ on-field success this year has been built off their brutal forward rotation and a lightning-quick defensive line. They will need to bring both in spades to compete with a dangerous Melbourne forward rotation. Even if St George can match their opposition through the ruck, expect the attacking genius of this Melbourne spine to get them over the line.
Betting Tip: Storm -20.5 @ $1.71 (Picklebet)
Sharks v Warriors
Sunday, May 8, 4:05pm AEST
Cronulla will be looking to bounce back from an uninspiring performance against an improved Broncos last week, and the Shire club will be eager to overcome the Warriors to consolidate their top-four position heading into the Origin period. The Kiwi club’s win over the Raiders last week did little to make up for their 60-point loss to Melbourne and Nathan Brown’s troops will be desperate to prove their mettle against elite opposition.
Cronulla’s only change comes with the return of veteran Dale Finucane at lock. For the Warriors, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak will replace the injured Jesse Arthurs in a welcome boost. Daejarn Asi will also retain the five-eighth role after the mid-season signing was a late inclusion last week.
Given their recent form, Cronulla will enter this match as firm favourites and coach Craig Fitzgibbon will be hoping the return of Finucane tightens up his squad’s ruck defence. This should be a high-scoring game but expect a big response from the Sharks’ attacking brains-trust to get Cronulla over the line.
Betting Tip: Warriors +13.5 @ $2.00 (Winnersbet)
Bulldogs H2H @ $2.00 (Bet365)