The following are previews with betting tips for Round 20 of the 2022 NRL season. Best bets for the round are also provided.
Sea Eagles v Roosters
Thursday, July 28, 7:50pm AEST
Manly’s season sits on a knife edge after a disappointing loss to a dominant Dragons outfit last week, albeit with several players pulling out last minute to covid and finishing the game with only 15 men. They face a massive test up against an in-form Roosters outfit buoyed by a massive 42-12 win over the Knights with the Tri-colours finding their attacking form off the back of Luke Keary’s return having scored 96 points in their last two games.
Manly’s season has been hit with a hammer-blow with a number of players standing down due to their personal beliefs. Tolutau Koula, Toafofoa Sipley, Josh Schuster, Josh Aloiai, Jason Saab, Haumole Olakau’atu and Christian Tuipulotu will be missing, alongside the injured Ben Trbojevic. Jake Trbojevic, Lachlan Croker and Andrew Davey will all return from covid protocols in a welcome boost, with Pio Seci and Alfred Smalley named to make their NRL debuts on the wings and Ethan Bullemore and Kurt de Luis coming in at second-row and prop respectively. James Segeyaro will also make his club debut in his long-awaited return to first grade, alongside Morgan Boyle on the bench. For the Roosters, Lindsay Collins and Joey Manu will return at prop and centre respectively in an otherwise unchanged squad.
Given the controversy around this match, expect Des Hasler to get his troops up for a massive game in the contest of Manly’s season. They should struggle up against an in-form Roosters outfit. Tri-colours to get the win.
Betting Tip: Sea Eagles +18.5 @ $1.91 (Bet365)
Warriors v Storm
Friday, July 29, 6:00pm AEST
The Warriors slumped to their ninth loss from the last ten games after a woeful second-half against the Raiders in which they failed to score a point while conceding four tries. They will face a big test against an underperforming Melbourne squad facing their fourth loss in an almost unprecedented losing streak for supercoach Craig Bellamy. The Storm were again uncharacteristically poor against a rejuvenated South Sydney last week, which saw the Victorian slip to fifth on the competition ladder.
Melbourne’s only change comes with Jordan Grant replacing Tom Eisenhuth on the bench. For the Warriors, Reece Walsh has been recalled to the custodian role with Ed Kosi joining the wing to cover the injured Jesse Arthars. Jackson Frei will also join the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad.
While the Storm will enter this match as firm favourites, their recent form and a difficult away-trip to New Zealand should have the Victorians prepared for an upset. The Warriors may push Melbourne in the first half but expect the Storm to come away with the win.
Betting Tip: Warriors +13.5 @ $1.91 (Bet365)
Eels v Panthers
Friday, July 29, 7:55pm AEST
The Eels conceded a shock upset loss to the Broncos at their home-ground in a hammer-blow to their top-four chances in a frustrating result for the Parramatta club. They will face a massive test coming up against the reigning premiers, who overcame a poor start over an energetic Cronulla outfit for a solid 10-point win.
Parramatta will replace Jakob Arthur with Bryce Cartwright on the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad. For Penrith, Stephen Crichton will be absent after a nasty head knock last week with Robert Jennings his replacement at centre. Jarome Luai will also be missing with a knee injury with Sean O’Sullivan coming into five-eighth as cover. Charlie Staines will also join the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad.
With a top-four berth on the line last week, the Eels produced a poor performance with pressure mounting on coach Brad Arthur as the club’s premiership window closes with a number of important players departing next season. Panthers to get the win.
Betting Tip: Panthers -9.5 @ $1.91 (Unibet)
Titans v Raiders
Saturday, July 30, 3:00pm AEST
The Titans slumped to their eighth consecutive loss in another poor showing against the Bulldogs last week and with the Queensland club sitting equal last on the competition ladder, they will be desperate to avoid the wooden-spoon. They face a massive challenge against an in-form Raiders squad who have been courageous in victories over the Storm and Warriors in recent weeks as Ricky Stuart’s troops make a late-season charge into the top-eight.
The Gold Coast will replace Corey Thompson with Brian Kelly, pushing Patrick Herbert to the wing in an otherwise unchanged line-up. Meanwhile, the Raiders have named an unchanged squad after their victory last week.
Canberra head into this match as firm favourites given the struggles of their opposition. Expect a tough contest through the middle, particularly with Erin Clark’s wonderful form as a middle-forward, forcing Maroons hardman and captain Tino Fa’asuamaleaui to prop. The experience and cohesion the Raiders have built within their spine should prove the difference. Canberra to get the win.
Betting Tip: Raiders -7.5 @ $1.95 (Playup)
Sharks v Rabbitohs
Saturday, July 30, 5:30pm AEST
The return of Latrell Mitchell has inspired Souths to four consecutive wins but the Rabbitohs will now face their biggest test since their form resurgence against an in-form Cronulla squad. The Sharks pushed the reigning premiers hard in a narrow 10-point loss last week. Cronulla will enjoy a relatively easy run to the finals, with ninth-placed Manly their most difficult opponent remaining.
Souths will replace the injured Mark Nicholls with Daniel Suluka-Fifita at prop in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, the Sharks have named the same 17 that fell to Penrith last week, though they will be missing lock Dale Finucane to suspension. Expect Cam McInnes to shift to lock with Aiden Tolman the likely replacement on the bench.
Cronulla will enter this match as favourites but should be wary of a Rabbitohs squad on a warpath to the finals series, chasing their fifth consecutive win. Both these teams will be highly motivated heading into this match, with Souths facing a tough run home and desperate to bank premiership points, while the Sharks will be eager to consolidate their top-four position. This match could go either way but expect Cronulla to bounce back from their last-start loss to get the win.
Betting Tip: Sharks -2.5 @ $1.95 (Bet365
Broncos v Tigers
Saturday, July 30, 7:35pm AEST
Brisbane produced a shock upset over the Eels last week to launch themselves back into the top-four in an impressive performance that solidified the Broncos as a genuine premiership contender. They will face a Tigers squad backing up from a hugely controversial loss to the Cowboys, with a penalty blown in the last few seconds of play to hand the North Queenslanders a one-point win. Wests will be fired up for a huge performance against the Broncos at Suncorp stadium with the struggling club desperate to avoid the wooden-spoon.
Boom rookie Deine Mariner has been named to make his NRL debut at centre for Brisbane with Brenko Lee dropping out. Billy Walters also set to return at dummy-half at the expense of Jake Turpin in an otherwise unchanged squad. For the Tigers, Austin Dias will join the bench with Luke Garner dropping out of the side in interim coach Brett Kimmorley’s only changes.
Brisbane will enter the match as firm favourites but should be prepared for a fired-up Tigers squad after they were robbed of a win last week. Expect a fiery start from Wests but the form and playmaking class of this Brisbane outfit should get them over the line.
Betting Tip: Tigers +17.5 @ $1.95 (Bluebet)
Knights v Bulldogs
Sunday, July 31, 2:00pm AEST
The Bulldogs produced a scintillating attacking performance in a high-scoring win over the struggling Titans as the Canterbury club continues their streak of good form in encouraging signs for season 2023. They will face the struggling Newcastle Knights, who were dominated in a woeful 30-point loss at the hands of the Roosters last week.
Jake Averillo will return from covid protocols at fullback for the Bulldogs with Jackson Topine also joining the second-row to cover the injured Raymond Faitala-Mariner. Corey Waddell was suspended for five games for a nasty eye gouge with interim coach Michael Potter yet to name a replacement. For Newcastle, Kayln Ponga and Lachlan Fitzgibbon will be missing in a massive blow. Tex Hoy will come in at fullback with Matt Croker joining the bench as Brodie Jones shifts to the second-row.
Given their opposition’s struggles, particularly without the ball – the Bulldogs will enter this match as firm favourites and with the likes of Matt Burton and Josh Addo-Carr in vintage form, Newcastle’s ailing defensive structures may struggle to contain Canterbury’s attack. Bulldogs to get the points.
Betting Tip: Bulldogs -6.5 @ $1.92 (Unibet)
Dragons v Cowboys
Sunday, July 31, 4:05pm AEST
St George produced a massively important victory over Manly in the context of their season. Sitting at the back of four teams on 20 competition-points due to a poor for and against, the joint-venture club faces an uphill battle to make the top-eight. They will face a massive challenge against the second-placed Cowboys, with the North Queensland club the beneficiaries of a controversial penalty in the last seconds of play against Wests to win the game.
An injury to Cody Ramsey will see Moses Mbye shift to fullback with Jack Bird shifting to centre and Aaron Woods joining the interchange. Tyrell Sloan will also join the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, North Queensland have named an unchanged squad heading into this clash.
The Cowboys will enter this match as clear favourites but face a staunch battle with a Dragons outfit desperate to claw their way back into the top-eight. Expect St George to bring plenty of physicality to his match but the class within this Cowboys line-up should get them over the line.
Betting Tip: Cowboys -7.5 @ $1.92 (Unibet)
Sharks -2.5 @ $1.95 (Bet365)