The following are previews with betting tips for Round 24 of the 2022 NRL season. Best bets for the round are also provided.
Broncos v Eels
Thursday, August 25, 7:50pm AEST
A hapless Broncos outfit were thrashed 60-12 by the Storm in a devastating defeat that has the club in danger of missing the finals altogether. It has been a sudden fall from grace for Brisbane and their task to shore-up a finals berth will become no easier against the Eels. Parramatta bounced back from a disappointing round-22 loss to Souths in which they were kept scoreless with a powerful 42-6 win over Canterbury to keep their slim top-four chances alive.
Brisbane have made some late changes coming into this game with Selwyn Cobbo, Rhys Kennedy and Ryan James set to be replaced with Jordan Peirera, Keenan Palasia and Zac Hosking respectively. Brenko Lee will also return from injury at centre in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, Parramatta have named an unchanged starting squad with Jacob Arthur and Makahesi Makatoa joining the interchange.
Brisbane’s impressive defensive structures they showcased earlier this year have fallen to pieces in recent weeks, with the club conceding a whopping 136 points in their last four games. While Parramatta have been patchy themselves this season, expect the big-game experience and a closing premiership window to motivate the Eels to get the win.
Betting Tip: Eels -3.5 @ $2.00 (PlayUp)
Panthers v Warriors
Friday, August 26, 6:00pm AEST
An understrength Penrith outfit showed enormous courage and resilience against a red-hot South Sydney squad last week, producing a stunning last gasp victory over Souths with a match-winning try in the 78th minute of play. The Panthers will now face a struggling Warriors outfit who were dominated in a 48-4 drubbing at the hands of North Queensland.
Penrith will welcome key players Jahrome Luai and James Fisher-Harris from injury and suspension respectively at five-eighth and prop in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, the Kiwis will welcome Chanel Harris-Tavita’s return from a knee injury in the halves with Ben Murdoch-Masila also set to join the interchange.
The reigning premiers will enter this match as firm favourites, particularly given their heroics last week. Penrith fans will be hopeful the return of Jahrome Luai in the halves will improve their squad’s attack, but expect the Warriors ailing defensive structures to struggle against such elite opposition. Panthers to get the win.
Betting Tip: Warriors +29.5 @ $1.95 (PlayUp)
Storm v Roosters
Friday, August 26, 7:55pm AEST
Melbourne flexed their considerable premiership muscle against Brisbane last week, producing a 60-12 drubbing of the Broncos to keep themselves in the box-seat for a hugely important top-four berth. They will face a Roosters outfit in vintage form and hunting for their seventh consecutive win after putting an unprecedented 72 points on Wests last week with Trent Robinson’s troops showcasing their superb attacking structures.
The Storm will benefit from the return of Felise Kaufusi in the second-row as he returns from personal leave in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, the Tri-colours’ middle rotation will receive a huge boost with the return of middle-forwards Lindsay Collins and Siosiua Taukeiaho from injury on the interchange in Trent Robinson’s only changes.
Melbourne will enter this match as favourites. Despite the Roosters massive seven-game winning streak, only one of those victories has come against a top-four opponent in North Queensland. The Storm will represent a huge litmus test for this Roosters outfit in terms of their ability to compete with the competition’s elite clubs. This match could go either way but expect Melbourne to get the points in a narrow contest.
Betting Tip: Roosters +4.5 @ $1.90 (Unibet)
Raiders v Sea Eagles
Saturday, August 27, 3:00pm AEST
A stunning second-half comeback against Newcastle last week has kept the Raiders’ finals hopes alive, with the club needing wins against Manly and the Tigers to finish their season and needing one of the Roosters, Souths or Broncos to drop just one of their remaining matches. The Sea Eagles have had a difficult year this season, and were on the receiving end of a 40-6 drubbing at the hands of Cronulla in another disappointing result for the club.
Unsurprisingly, Ricky Stuart has named an unchanged squad leading into this clash as his team hunts for their third consecutive win. For Manly, Raymond Tuaimalo Vaega will make his NRL debut on the wing, with Andrew Davey also coming in to the second-row in an otherwise unchanged line-up.
Manly’s form on the field has clearly been impacted by the off-field controversy that has been hounding the club. Expect a highly motivated Raiders outfit who must win their two remaining games to make the finals to overcome this struggling Manly outfit.
Betting Tip: Manly +14.5 @ $1.91 (Bet365)
Sharks v Bulldogs
Saturday, August 27, 5:30pm AEST
Canterbury’s mid-season form resurgence was well and truly halted after a 42-6 drubbing at the hands of the Eels last week. They will face the third-placed Sharks after the Shire outfit dominated Manly 40-6 as the club looks set to drive deep into the finals in rookie head-coach Craig Fitzgibbon’s first year with the club.
Bulldogs coach Mick Potter has made a big call to drop powerhouse forward Tevita Pangai Jr, with Luke Thompson promoted to the starting side and Chris Patolo set to join the bench. For the Sharks, Siosifa Talakai will return from a shoulder injury at centre to replace the injured Connor Tracey in an otherwise unchanged squad.
Hunting for their fifth consecutive win, Cronulla are entrenched in the top-four and carry powerful momentum heading into the finals series. While Canterbury have undoubtedly improved this season and stand to go even further next year upon the arrival of Viliame Kikau and Reed Mahoney – expect the experience and potent playmaking combinations within this Cronulla outfit to get them over the line.
Betting Tip: Bulldogs +21.5 @ $1.91 (Unibet)
Rabbitohs v Cowboys
Saturday, August 27, 7:35pm AEST
Saturday night will bring a mouth-watering clash between two of the competition’s elite clubs in the Cowboys and Rabbitohs with both clubs looking to take momentum into the finals. Souths’ confidence will have been rocked by a last-gasp defeat to an understrength Penrith team and they will have a massive point to prove against the second-placed Cowboys. North Queensland bounced back impressively from a poor round-22 showing against the Roosters with a massive 48-4 domination of the Warriors last week.
Rabbitohs coach Jason Demitriou will welcome Thomas Burgess back onto the bench alongside utility Kodi Nikorima. Jaxson Paulo has also been replaced by Izaac Thompson on the wing after an error-riddled performance against Penrith. Tom Dearden is out injured for North Queensland in a big blow with Scott Drinkwater shifting to the halves and Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow moving into the custodian role. Brendan Elliot will also join the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad.
Souths were unlucky to be defeated last week given half their errors can be attributed to an off-night for Jaxson Paulo along with a couple of bombed tries. North Queensland’s potent attacking structures could struggle to adjust to the absence of the lion-hearted Tom Dearden. This match could go either way but expect a desperate South Sydney to get the points.
Betting Tip: Souths -6.5 @ $1.90 (Bluebet)
Tigers v Dragons
Sunday, August 28, 2:00pm AEST
Wests were thrashed in an unprecedented 72-6 scoreline against a red-hot Roosters last week in an embarrassing result for the club which illustrates the monumental task ahead for incoming coach Tim Sheens. They will face a St George outfit well out of finals contention but an exciting 46-26 victory giving fans some hope for future seasons.
Wests have been hit with a number of injuries with Luke Garner, Ken Maumalo, Alex Seyfarth out injured alongside the suspended James Tamou. Jake Simpkin, Tom Freebairn and Junior Pauga will join the starting side at hooker, second-row and wing respectively with Jacob Liddle and Kitione Kautoga joining the bench. Meanwhile, St George have a number of missing players as well with Moses Mbye and Francis Molo suspended with Andrew McCullough also missing due to a knee injury. Tyrell Sloan, Jaiyden Hunt and Jackson Ford will all join the bench as cover.
Fans will be demanding a big response from the Tigers after such a woeful loss last week and with the Dragons missing a number of top-line players, this match could go either way. While Wests may get off to a fast-start, expect St George to run them down over the 80 minutes to get the win
Betting Tip: Dragons -8.5 @ $1.91 (Bet365)
Titans v Knights
Sunday, August 28, 4:05pm AEST
The Titans conceded yet another poor loss to the lowly Dragons last week with the Gold Coast club managing only four wins so far this season. They will face a similarly struggling Newcastle Knights squad who were on the receiving end of a stunning second-half Canberra comeback, conceding three tries to nil in the second-half to lose by a margin of six-points in a heart-breaking result for the club.
Younger brother of superstar Payne, Klese Haas has been named to make his NRL debut off the bench for the Titans with Brian Kelly also returning at centre. Sam McIntyre will retain the hooking role after he was a late switch last week. For Newcastle, Tyson Frizell and Daniel Saifiti will return to the squad at second-row and prop in coach Adam O’Brien’s only changes.
Both of these teams are a chance of winning the dreaded wooden-spoon and will be desperate for a win to build some positive momentum heading into the off-season. This match could go either way but expect the return of experienced Origin players Tyson Frizell and Daniel Saifiti to get Newcastle the points.
Betting Tip: Knights +7.5 @ $1.87 (Moneyball)
Knights +7.5 @ $1.87 (Moneyball)