NRL Round 21 Previews and Betting Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for Round 21 of the 2022 NRL season. Best bets for the round are also provided.

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Roosters v Broncos

Thursday, August 4, 7:50pm AEST
Sydney Cricket Ground

Form guide for Roosters vs Broncos


Brisbane’s top-four prospects suffered a massive blow after conceding a poor loss to the Tigers in a devastating upset Broncos. They will face a big test coming up against a resurgent Roosters outfit chasing their fourth consecutive victory after a tidy last-start win over Manly catapulted the club back into the top-eight.

Maroons hero Patrick Carrigan has been suspended for four weeks in a huge blow to the Broncos’ middle rotation. Kobe Hetherington will shift to lock with Rhys Kennedy joining the bench, alongside Jake Turpin at the expense of Cory Paix. Selwyn Cobbo will return from concussion on the wing in a welcome boost with boom rookie Deine Mariner retaining his position at centre. For the Roosters, Linsday Collins and Egan Butcher will be missing due to concussion and suspension respectively. Matt Lodge will shift to prop with Ben Thomas and Terrell May joining the interchange.

Brisbane will enter this match as firm favourites but should be on high-alert for an upset against this resurgent Roosters outfit. The Tri-colours have been in vintage attacking form with the restoration of their preferred spine some weeks ago, and they will present a huge challenge for the Broncos’ improved defensive structures. This game should bring a brutal contest through the middle but with the Roosters missing key forwards in Taukeiaho, Tupouniua, Collins and Butcher – expect Brisbane to get the win in a tight contest.

Betting Tip: Broncos +4.5 @ $1.95 (PlayUp)



Storm v Titans

Friday, August 5, 6:00pm AEST

Form guide for Storm vs Titans


Melbourne snapped a four-game losing streak with a solid win against the Warriors last week, but the Victorian club still has a long way to go this season before they are assured of a top-four berth in the face of a horror injury toll. They will face a Titans squad who were poor against a spirited Raiders outfit for the club’s ninth consecutive loss.

Brandon Smith will return from suspension on Melbourne’s bench in a massive boost, with star winger Xavier Coates also a possible late call-up after he was included in the reserves. For the Titans, Jayden Campbell will return to the starting side at fullback with AJ Brimson shifting to five-eighth and Toby Sexton dropped from the halfback position in favour of Tanah Boyd.

Melbourne have done a wonderful job this season in the face of a horror injury toll to get themselves into the top-four but coach Craig Bellamy will be pushing his troops hard to recover from a poor four-game losing streak with good form heading into the finals. The Titans have shown some signs of improvement in what has otherwise been a disappointing season. Kieran Foran’s arrival can not come soon enough for the Queensland club. Storm to get the win.

Betting Tip: Storm -17.5 @ $1.85 (PlayUp)


Sea Eagles

Sea Eagles v Eels

Friday, August 5, 7:55pm AEST
4 Pines Park

Form guide for Sea Eagles vs Eels


The Eels produced a stunning upset over Penrith last week in a dominant 24-point win over the reigning premiers for an impressive response to the club’s poor loss to Brisbane in round 19. They will face a Manly outfit whose finals chances are slipping further out of grasp following a 10-point loss to the Roosters last week with the Northern Beaches club effectively two wins behind the eighth-placed Tri-colours given their poor for and against.

The Sea Eagles’ controversial contingent of Jason Saab, Christian Tuipulotu, Tolutau Koula, Haumole Olakau’atu and Toafofoa Sipley will all join the starting side after sitting last week out in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, the Eels’ only change is forced by injury with halfback Mitch Moses out in a big blow. Jake Arthur will be his replacement.

The absence of Mitch Moses is a huge concern for the Eels heading into this match, particularly with their opposition boasting the experience of Daly Cherry-Evans and Kieran Foran in the halves. Expect a fiery contest but Parramatta’s devastating forward rotation should get them over the line.

Betting Tip: Eels H2H @ $2.00 (PlayUp)



Rabbitohs v Warriors

Saturday, August 6, 3:00pm AEST
Sunshine Coast Stadium

Form guide for Rabbitohs vs Warriors


Souths’ top four chances suffered a blow with a devastating field-goal loss in extra time to a red-hot Cronulla outfit. The result snapped a four game winning streak for the Rabbitohs and the foundation club will be looking for a big response against the Warriors as they strive for a top-four berth. The Warriors conceded a 12-point loss to the Storm last week in their 14th loss this season.

Jed Cartwright and Tom Burgess will be absent for Souths through injury and suspension respectively with Taane Milne and Mark Nicholls coming in at centre and the bench. Blake Taafe will also join the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad. For the Warriors, Wayde Egan and Jazz Tevanga are injured with Egan to the halves to cover the injured Chanel Harris-Tavita as Taniela Otukolo, Jack Murchie, Bailey Sironen and Aaron Pene come into the side in a big boost.

Souths were unlucky to lose last week after missing two field-goal attempts in extra time. Expect a big response from the Rabbitohs and while the Warriors’ forward rotation will be improved with the return of a number of important players, expect the Bunnies to get the win.

Betting Tip: Rabbitohs -18.5 @ $1.91 (bet365)



Raiders v Panthers

Saturday, August 6, 5:30pm AEST
GIO Stadium

Form guide for Raiders vs Panthers


Penrith conceded a shock 24-point upset against the Eels for their second loss to Parramatta this season in a costly result which also saw captain Nathan Cleary suspended for an extended period. They will face an in-form Raiders squad who overcame the Titans in a high-scoring affair last week on their war-path to a finals berth.

Nathan Cleary is facing a five-week suspension after a nasty spear tackle on Dylan Brown, compounding the absence of Jahrome Luai with a knee injury for the Penrith club. Jaeman Salmon will come into the halves as cover as Stephen Critchton and Mitch Kenny return at centre and off the bench. Meanwhile, the Raiders will welcome Jordan Rapana’s return from suspension on the wing in an otherwise unchanged squad.

Despite missing both halves and a poor showing last week, Penrith will enter this contest as favourites. The Panthers have performed well this year in the absence of their big-name players, but the Raiders will be looking to exploit their inexperienced play-making combinations as much as possible. This match could go either way but expect the Panthers’ class across the field to get them over the line.

Betting Tip: Panthers -3.5 @ $1.91 (bet365)



Sharks v Dragons

Saturday, August 6, 7:35pm AEST
PointsBet Stadium

Form guide for Sharks vs Dragons


The Sharks produced an inspirational field-goal win in extra time against a red-hot Rabbitohs outfit last week to keep the Shire club in prime position for a top-four berth. They will face a St George outfit who were dominated in a 34-8 loss to the Cowboys last week with a disappointing second-half collapse that saw them concede four tries in the last 25 minutes of play.

The Sharks’ win last week came with a heavy price with star fullback Will Kennedy ruled out with injury until the finals. Kade Dykes will make his NRL debut at fullback as cover in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, Dragons coach Anthony Griffin has named the same 17.

Cronulla will enter this match as heavy favourites but will need to work overtime to maintain their momentum without Will Kennedy. While St George have shown enormous resilience and physicality at times, their game management has let them down and they should struggle to match the Cowboys’ composure. North Queensland to get the points.

Betting Tip: Sharks -9.5 @ $1.91 (bet365)


Bulldogs v Cowboys

Sunday, August 7, 2:00pm AEST
Salter Oval, Bundaberg

Form guide for Bulldogs vs Cowboys


The Cowboys were at their dominant best in a 34-8 rout over St George last week and are firming for an ever-important top-four berth this season in Todd Payten’s second year at the club. They will face a passionate Canterbury club, whose energetic attacking play has given fans enormous hope after a number of lean years. The Bulldogs will be chasing their third consecutive win, although their last two victories have come against the lowly Knights and Titans.

North Queensland have made only one forced injury change with Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow shifting to the wing to cover Kyle Feldt. Reuben Cotter will also join the bench in a welcome boost. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs have named an unchanged squad for this clash.

Given the fantastic season they have put together, North Queensland will enter this contest as firm favourites and with few injury concerns heading into the finals, Todd Payten’s troops will be looking to fine-tune their potent attacking combinations. Expect Canterbury to answer in kind with their own flamboyant style of play but the composure and class within North Queensland’s spine will prove the difference.

Betting Tip: Cowboys -10.5 @ $1.91 (bet365)



Tigers v Knights

Sunday, August 7, 4:05pm AEST
Campbelltown Sports Stadium

Form guide for Tigers vs Knights


Wests produced a stunning upset over Brisbane with a disciplined, physical performance that will give long suffering fans some hope heading into next year. Their opposition in Newcastle have been under enormous pressure this season and facing their fifth consecutive loss and a tough run to end the year, the Knights will be desperate to avoid the wooden spoon.

Interim Tigers coach Brett Kimmorley has named rookie Fonua Pole at lock to cover the injured Jackson Hastings with Tom Freebairn also set to make his NRL debut off the bench. Meanwhile, Newcastle have dropped former Blues and Kangaroos prop David Klemmer for disciplinary reasons with Jacob Saifiti shifting to prop as cover and Simi Sasagi joining the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad.

Wests will enter this match as clear favourites given their spirited form since the Cowboys controversy and Newcastle’s on-field struggles. Pressure is mounting quickly on Knights coach Adam O’Brien and the former Storm and Roosters assistant will be desperate to turn his squad’s form around before the end of the season. This match could go either way but expect the Tigers to get the points.

Betting Tip: Tigers -6.0 @ $1.90 (PlayUp)

Best Bet

Eels H2H @ $2.00 (PlayUp)


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