The following are previews with betting tips for Round 16 of the 2022 NRL season. Best bets for the round are also provided.
Sea Eagles v Storm
Thursday, June 30, 7:50pm AEST
Manly produced a woeful second-half against the Cowboys in their last game, conceding three tries in the last eight minutes of play to lose the match by two-points. Veteran coach Des Hasler will have worked overtime during the representative round to get his team up for the Storm, who looked comfortable in a solid win over the resurgent Broncos.
Melbourne will be missing Felise Kaufusi due to personal reasons while Maroons star Cameron Munster is in serious doubt with a shoulder injury, despite being named. The club’s pacific island contingent will all return after rep round with star fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen also a possible late inclusion. Manly will miss Josh Aloiai after he was concussed in rep-round with Taniela Paseka joining the bench. All of Manly’s representative stars have been named to back-up.
Manly’s poor showing against North Queensland last week spells trouble for Des Hasler’s finals chances with the club sitting 10th on the competition ladder. While the Storm are always cautious of a Des Hasler coached side given his record against Craig Bellamy, expect Melbourne to come away with a comfortable win.
Betting Tip: Storm -7.5 @ $1.90 (Bluebet)
Knights v Titans
Friday, July 1, 6:00pm AEST
Newcastle’s struggles continued with a disappointing last-start loss to the Raiders in round 15. Their opposition in the Gold Coast have been experiencing a similarly difficult season with the Queensland club desperate to avoid their sixth consecutive loss.
Dane Gagai has been named to back-up from Origin II, while star fullback Kalyn Ponga is out with a concussion. Daniel Saifiti and Bradman Best are a chance of making their respective injury returns after they were included in the reserves in what would be a massive boost for Adam O’Brien’s squad. Meanwhile, the Titans will welcome David Fifita back on the bench as Tino Fa’asuamaleaui and Moeaki Fotuaika return from duty with the Maroons and Tonga respectively.
While both teams have struggled this season, representative round would have afforded each team a much-needed rest and a solid block of training. Both teams are fielding inexperienced spine combinations so expect this match to be decided in the middle. This match could go either way but expect a desperate Titans squad to come away with the win.
Betting Tip: Titans H2H @ $2.15 (Bet365)
Panthers v Roosters
Friday, July 1, 7:55pm AEST
The Roosters’ premiership hopes took a major dent with consecutive losses to the Storm and Eels putting serious doubt on their ability to compete with the competition’s best. They will face a Penrith outfit looking for their seventh consecutive win after thrashing the Warriors 40-6 in round 15 with the Panthers juggernaut showing few signs of slowing down.
With veteran half Luke Keary still out with concussion, Drew Hutchison will slot into the halves with Origin reps Angus Crichton, Daniel Tupoi, James Tedesco and Lindsay Collins all named to back up. Victory Radley will also return at lock in a massive boost for the Tri-colours. For Penrith, their Origin contingent of Korisau, Cleary, Luai, Yeo, Crichton, Martin and To’o will all return in an unchanged squad from round 15.
Penrith will enter this match as firm favourites and represent a massive challenge for a Roosters outfit desperate to break back into the top eight. Victor Radley’s return will be a massive boon for the Chooks, particularly in the absence of Luke Keary, but expect Penrith to come away with the win.
Betting Tip: Panthers +15.5 @ $1.95 (Playup)
Bulldogs v Sharks
Saturday, July 2, 3:00pm AEST
Canterbury face the biggest test since the form resurgence that saw them lay on 70-points in their last two games this week against Cronulla. The Sharks’ have bounced back from a turbulent period with consecutive wins to get themselves back into the top-four, but the shire-club will be desperate to consolidate their position heading into the back-end of the season.
In encouraging signs, both teams have named unchanged lineups. Matt Burton will back-up from Origin II for the Bulldogs, while Siosifa Talakai and Ronaldo Mulitalo will return from the respective Blues and Kiwis camps.
The Bulldogs’ newfound attacking prowess will be put to the test against Cronulla. This match will be a fascinating litmus test for how far the Dogs have come but expect their defensive structures to struggle against Cronulla’s elite spine. If Canterbury can reproduce their physicality in their stunning upset win over Parramatta in round 14 they are certainly capable of winning but expect the Sharks to come away with the points.
Betting Tip: Bulldogs +8.5 @ $1.86 (Unibet)
Cowboys v Broncos
Saturday, July 2, 5:30pm AEST
Brisbane were brave in defeat to an in-form Melbourne outfit in their last game, and now the injured depleted Broncos face a huge test against an red-hot Cowboys squad looking to secure their top-four berth. North Queensland produced a stunning upset over Manly in their last game, scoring three tries in the last eight minutes of play to come away with a narrow two-point victory.
Captain Adam Reynolds will return at halfback for Brisbane in a welcome boost to their injury depleted squad. Origin reps Patrick Carrigan, Kurt Capewell, Selwyn Cobbo and Payne Haas will all back up alongside Kotoni Staggs and Keenan Palasia after rep round. The Cowboys have similarly named all their representatives stars to return with Murray Taulagi, Jeremiah Nanai, Val Holmes and Jason Taumalolo all named. Tom Gilbert will return from injury in the second-row, while Luciano Leilua will also make his club debut off the bench in exciting news for Cowboys fans.
Expect the Broncos to struggle to match the Cowboys ruck dominance and defensive prowess, particularly in the absence of bench hooker Cory Paix. Cowboys to get the win.
Betting Tip: Cowboys -5.5 @ $1.91 (Bet365)
Rabbitohs v Eels
Saturday, July 2, 7:35pm AEST
Souths produced a horror first-half against the Dragons last week, conceding 32-points in only 28 minutes to sink their chances of winning the game in a frustrating performance. They will face a Parramatta squad desperate to break back into the top-four and build momentum heading into the finals after a classy win over the Roosters in their last game.
Latrell Mitchell will make his long-awaited return from a hamstring injury in a massive boost for this struggling Rabbitohs squad. Origin reps Damien Cook, Jai Arrow and Cameron Murray are all set to back up in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, the Eels have named an unchanged squad with Junior Paulo, Marata Niukore, Dylan Brown, Maika Sivo and Waqa Blake all backing up from rep round.
After a period of injury disruption, the leadership of Latrell Mitchell will be enormous for South Sydney and coach Jason Demitriou will be desperately hoping his superstar custodian can spearhead a late-season charge into the top-four. Parramatta will be a tough task for Souths, expect a brutal contest between these two dangerous forward-rotations but the combinations and cohesion of this Eels outfit should get them over the line.
Betting Tip: Eels -4.5 @ $2.00 (Bet365)
Warriors v Wests Tigers
Sunday, July 3, 2:00pm AEST
With the Wests Tigers and Warriors sitting at 14th and 15th respectively, both teams will be desperate to lift themselves from the bottom of the ladder and build some momentum to finish their respective seasons. The Warriors were dominated by Penrith in their last game, while Wests produced a poor showing against Canterbury for a 36-12 loss.
The Warriors have named Jazz Tevaga, Addin Fonua-Blake and Bunty Afoa to back up from rep round with Euan Aitken and Eliesa Katoa also returning at centre and off the bench respectively. For Wests, James Roberts and Stefano Utoikamanu will make their injury return at centre and interchange with Fonua Pole also named to make his NRL debut off the bench.
While the Warriors have struggled in recent times, their opposition in the Tigers have shown few signs of improvement under interim coach Brett Kimmorley. This match could go either way but expect the Warriors to get the win.
Betting Tip: Warriors -6.0 @ $1.90 (Playup)
Dragons v Raiders
Sunday, July 3, 4:05pm AEST
St George produced an impressive 20-point win over Souths in their last match, elevating the joint-venture club to eighth on the competition ladder. Their opposition in the Raiders enjoyed a narrow win over a determined Newcastle outfit and Ricky Stuart’s troops will be well aware they will likely need to leap-frog the Dragons on the ladder if they are a chance of making the finals.
St George have named an unchanged squad with captain Ben Hunt set to back-up from Origin II. Josh Papalii, Joseph Tapine and Jordan Rapana will back up from rep round while Jack Wighton and Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad will return at five-eighth and off the bench respectively in Ricky Stuart’s only changes.
Canberra will be burning from narrow losses to the Broncos and Eels in recent weeks, particularly with the club’s newfound physicality largely off the back of the likes of Tapine and Papalii. St George are at their best in bruising forward battles and with both teams boasting plenty of strike in their respective backlines, this match should be decided through the ruck. Could go either way but expect the return of Jack Wighton to inspire Canberra to a win.
Betting Tip: Raiders -2.5 @ $1.95 (Bluebet)
Titans H2H @ $2.15 (Bet365)