The following are previews with betting tips for Round 12 of the 2022 NRL season. Best bets for the round are also provided.
Storm v Sea Eagles
Thursday, May 26, 7:50pm AEST
The Storm were uncharacteristically poor in a massive last-start loss to a resurgent Cowboys outfit in a concerning 30 point defeat for the Melbourne club. They will now face arch-rivals in the Sea Eagles, who were last left heartbroken by a narrow loss to a red-hot Parramatta squad.
Manly’s premiership campaign has been dealt a brutal body-blow with revelations superstar fullback Tom Trbojevic will miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury. Reuben Garrick will shift to fullback with Jorge Taufua recalled on the wing as cover. Ethan Bullemore will also replace Martin Taupau on the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, Melbourne’s only change comes with the return of Jahrome Hughes from injury at halfback.
Manly face a challenging task re-shaping their game-plan to cover the long-term absence of their best player in Tom Trbojevic. Expect Manly to rely heavily on ball movement and the kicking game of their experience halves to control the match. Melbourne will be highly motivated for this contest after experiencing a rare drubbing last week. Storm to get the points.
Betting Tip: Storm -13.5 @ $1.90 (Unibet)
Panthers v Cowboys
Friday, May 27, 6:00pm AEST
North Queensland faced their biggest test last week against the Storm after the club’s huge resurgence this year. They passed with flying colours, notching an impressive 30-point win over the Storm to firmly entrench the club in the top-four. They will face another massive test against the Panthers this week, who dominated the Roosters for the club’s 10th win this season.
An injury to Jason Taumalolo will see Coen Hess shift to lock and Jamayne Taunua-Brown come onto the Cowboys’ bench alongside the returning Jake Granville. Meanwhile, Penrith have named an unchanged squad.
After such an encouraging win last week, the Cowboys’ confidence will be sky-high but with Penrith certain to be a major obstacle to any would-be premiership hopeful, this match could be a sneak-preview of a finals match-up. Expect a very physical opening quarter with both these clubs basing their game around a high-energy, up-tempo style of play. Expect the big-game experience of Penrith to get them over the line.
Betting Tip: Cowboys +14.5 @ $1.95 (Bluebet)
Broncos v Titans
Friday, May 27, 7:55pm AEST
Brisbane are on the hunt for their sixth consecutive win after a comprehensive victory over Newcastle last week saw the club move to equal fourth on the competition ladder. Their opposition in the Titans have struggled to produce consistency this season and a poor last-start loss to the Sharks has the club’s finals aspirations on life support.
Brisbane have named an unchanged squad for this match, with exciting rookie Ezra Mam holding the halfback jersey in the absence of Adam Reynolds. For the Gold Coast, Brian Kelly will replace the injured Phillip Sami at centre with David Fifita also a chance of making his return from injury after he was included in the reserves.
Brisbane will enter this match as firm favourites but should be highly cautious of a Titans outfit desperate to turn their season around. The Gold Coast club has struggled with an inexperienced spine and with Reynolds’ absence for Brisbane, this match should be decided in the middle. Both teams boast devastating forward-rotations. Expect a physical contest but the form and confidence within this Brisbane outfit should see them get the win.
Betting Tip: Broncos -6.5 @ $1.91 (Bet365)
Warriors v Knights
Saturday, May 28, 3:00pm AEST
The Knights were on the receiving end of a 36-12 hammering by the Broncos last week as the Newcastle club moves desperately to save their season. They will face a struggling Warriors outfit who were unable to overcome St George in a narrow defeat as pressure mounts on coach Nathan Brown given his team have only won four games all year.
Newcastle’s horror injury toll continues with Bradman Best out after dislocating his elbow against Brisbane. Enari Tuala will replace him at centre with Jake Clifford also recalled at halfback. Meanwhile, the Kiwis’ depth in the front-row is being tested with the mid-year departure of Matt Lodge and Addin Fonua-Blake out injured. Jazz Tevaga and Ben Murdoch-Masila are the new props with Freddy Lussick shifting to hooker. Chanel Harris-Tavita and Taniela Otukolo will also join the squad at five-eighth and off the bench.
Both of these teams have struggled for form and consistency. The Warriors will enter the match as narrow favourites but the Kiwi club may struggle in the absence of both starting front-rowers in Lodge and Fonua-Blake. This match could go either way but expect the desperation of Newcastle to turn their season around to get the Novocastrians over the line.
Betting Tip: Knights H2H @ $2.10 (Playup)
Rabbitohs v Tigers
Saturday, May 28, 5:30pm AEST
After a poor loss to an underperforming Raiders outfit, pressure is mounting on South Sydney to turn their season around, particularly heading into what will likely be a difficult Origin period for the club. They will face a Tigers outfit who snapped a three game losing streak against Canterbury last week but the joint-venture still has a long way to go before they reach their best.
Souths will welcome Mark Nicholls back from an ankle injury on the bench with captain Cameron Murray also a chance of returning after he was named in the reserves. The Tigers will benefit enormously from the return of Daine Laurie and Luke Brooke at fullback and five-eighth respectively in an otherwise unchanged squad.
The Tigers’ form has been inconsistent since recording impressive field-goal victories in round six and seven. Coach Michael Maguire will be hoping the return of Daine Laurie and Luke Brooks will give some much needed stability to his squad as they look to build momentum heading into the Origin period. Souths have been far from their best but their big-game players should get them over the line in what is an important match for the club.
Betting Tip: Tigers +7.5 @ $2.00 (Unibet)
Sharks v Roosters
Saturday, May 28, 7:35pm AEST
The Roosters’ struggled in a 20-point loss against a red-hot Panthers team last week with coach Trent Robinson’s troops still unable to perform consistently against the competition’s best. They will face a Cronulla outfit who notched a comfortable win over the Titans in their last game as the Sharks chase consecutive wins for the first time since round five.
Sitili Tupouniua will return from injury on the Roosters’ bench in a welcome boost to an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, Cronulla’s only change comes with Will Kennedy’s return at fullback, relegating exciting rookie Lachie Miller to the reserves.
The Sharks and Roosters could well be vying for a top-four position and with both clubs experiencing inconsistent starts to their respective seasons, this game shapes as an important contest heading into the bye and Origin period. The restoration of their preferred spine will be a massive boon for Cronulla but expect a big response from the Tricolours after a disappointing result against Penrith. Roosters to get the win.
Bulldogs v Dragons
Sunday, May 29, 2:00pm AEST
Canterbury did not fare well in their first hit-out under interim coach Michael Potter, with a scoreless opening half spelling trouble for the club’s sputtering attack. Their opposition in St George produced a narrow victory over the Warriors in their last game with the joint-venture club managing to keep themselves in touch with the top-eight despite their inconsistency.
Canterbury have named Josh Addo-Carr and Corey Waddell to return on the wing and second-row respectively in a massive boost to an otherwise unchanged line-up. Meanwhile, St George will add some experience to their bench with the return of Andrew McCullough, but he could make a late swap with Moses Mbye after the utility was named at hooker.
A fantastic performance from Cody Ramsey at fullback for the Dragons has solved a previously problematic position for the club. Anthony Griffin’s team will need to do well over the Origin period to stay in finals calculations, while Canterbury will likely struggle for cohesion for some time under new coach Mick Potter. Dragons to get the win.
Betting Tip: Dragons -4.5 @ $2.00 (Playup)
Raiders v Eels
Sunday, May 29, 4:05pm AEST
Parramatta bounced back from a disappointing round 10 loss with a stunning comeback victory over the Sea Eagles and they will now face a big test in a resurgent Canberra line-up. The Raiders have overcome a difficult start to the year with three consecutive wins and will be desperate to keep their streak going and break into the top-eight.
The Eels’ backline injury crisis has finally eased with Waqa Blake set to return on the wing and Maika Sivo a possible late addition after he was included in the reserves. For the Raiders, Jarrod Croker is out despite being named, with Sebastian Kris his likely replacement at centre. Jamal Fogarty will make his club debut at halfback in a massive boost with Xavier Savage set to retain the fullback role after covering the injured Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad last week. Ryan Sutton will also join the bench.
Raiders’ fans will be excited to see Jamal Fogarty make his long-awaited club debut and will hope his influence adds some much-needed stability to the club’s spine. This match shapes as a huge test for the Raiders’ newfound form but expect the big-game experience in this Eels’ line-up to prove the difference.
Betting Tip: Raiders +5.5 @ $1.90 (Unibet)
Cowboys +14.5 @ $1.95 (Bluebet)