The following are previews with betting tips for Round 25 of the 2022 NRL season. Best bets for the round are also provided.
Eels v Storm
Thursday, September 1, 7:50pm AEST
The last round of the regular season will bring a huge blockbuster clash on Thursday night as the Eels take on the Melbourne Storm with a top-four berth on the line. Parramatta found redemption for their woeful round-19 loss to Brisbane last week, notching a massive 53-6 win over the ailing Broncos in a vital win for the club. Melbourne suffered a disappointing last-start loss to a red-hot Roosters outfit last week, with the Victorian club now on the same premiership points as Parramatta.
Eels coach Brad Arthur has the luxury of naming an unchanged 17 after his squad’s dominant performance last week. For Melbourne, Tom Eisenhuth is out for the season with an ankle injury. Felise Kaufusi will shift back to the starting side with Chris Lewis set to join the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad.
With this match set to decide which of these teams make the top-four, expect a fiery, physical clash between these two arch-rivals, especially given Parramatta’s narrow victory over the Storm all the way back in round three. This match could go either way but expect a big response from Melbourne after a frustrating loss last week. The Eels have not produced consistent runs of form and after two big wins over the Bulldogs and Broncos, fans will be hoping their club turns up on the night. Storm to get the win.
Betting Tip: Storm -1.5 @ $1.95 (Bluebet)
Bulldogs v Sea Eagles
Friday, September 2, 6:00pm AEST
Despite enduring enormous adversity throughout the season, Manly has done surprisingly well this season, notching nine wins from 23 games so far this year. They will face a Canterbury outfit similarly disappointed with their 2022 campaign but with fresh recruits coming for next season including exciting rookie coach Cameron Ciraldo, the future is looking bright for the Bulldogs.
After a poor 48-6 last-start loss to Canberra, rookie Kaeo Weekes will move to fullback, pushing Tolutau Koula back to centre and Ben Trbojevic to the interchange. Dylan Walker and Andrew Davey will come in at lock and second-row respectively in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, Corey Waddell will return from suspension in the second-row for Canterbury with Tevita Pangai Jnr also set for a recall on the bench after he was dropped last week.
Given their poor loss to the Raiders, Manly will enter this match as clear underdogs. Des Hasler has a squad with a number of exciting rookies and while they have had a poor end to their season, expect the veteran coach to be planning his team’s pre-season already. Canterbury were solid in defeat against the Sharks last week and expect them to repeat the result to come away with the win.
Betting Tip: Sea Eagles +6.5 @ $1.91 (Bet365)
Roosters v Rabbitohs
Friday, September 2, 7:55pm AEST
Having both narrowly missed the top-four, the last round of the competition will bring a huge blockbuster clash between Souths and the Roosters and with both clubs sitting sixth and seventh on the competition ladder respectively, this game could be a sneak preview of an elimination final. Both these teams produced impressive victories over quality opposition last week with the Rabbitohs claiming the scalp of the third-placed Cowboys and the Roosters edging Melbourne in a scintillating contest.
Both of these teams have been struck with player absences with the Roosters set to miss Victor Radley, Daniel Tupou and Lindsay Collins through injury and suspension. Paul Momirovski will join the wing with Terrell May and Fletcher Baker coming onto the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad. For the Rabbitohs, Damien Cook is still missing after he was a late withdrawal last week due to covid. Campbell Graham is also injured and will be replaced by Jaxson Paulo at centre. Peter Mamouzelos will also join the bench in Jason Demitriou’s only changes.
With both these teams in red hot form and missing key players, this match could go either way. The loss of Victor Radley is huge for the Tri-colours, particularly if he is unable to return from the nasty concussion before the finals series. After a brutal, grinding win against Melbourne, the Roosters may struggle in the absence of some key players. Souths coach Jason Demitriou looks set to miss this clash due to covid in a devastating blow to South Sydney. This match could go either way but expect the Roosters to get the win.
Betting Tip: Roosters -1.5 @ $1.90 (Playup)
Warriors v Titans
Saturday, September 3, 3:00pm AEST
The Warriors have had a season to forget, last being dominated 46-12 by Penrith in a disappointing performance from the struggling club. They will face an ailing Titans squad who look to have done enough to avoid the wooden spoon this year after a 10-point win over the ailing Knights.
The Kiwis will welcome Wayde Egan and Jesse Arthars back into their squad at hooker and centre respectively in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, Phillip Sami will cover the suspended Brian Kelly at centre for the Titans in coach Justin Holbrook’s only changes.
With both these clubs well out of finals contention, these teams will be playing for pride and for the development of combinations that will aid them in their 2023 campaign. Given the form of both these teams, the Warriors will hope their home-ground advantage in Auckland gives them an edge. This match could go either way but expect the Warriors to give their long-suffering fans a win to end the year.
Betting Tip: Warriors -5.5 @ $1.91 (Unibet)
Dragons v Broncos
Saturday, September 3, 5:30pm AEST
Brisbane completed their total fall from grace this season with a woeful 53-6 loss to Parramatta, seeing the club drop out of the top-eight and now relying on other results if they are any chance to make the finals. They will play a St George outfit who have rallied late in their season despite being no chance of playing finals with solid wins in the last two weeks, albeit against the lowly Titans and Tigers.
Brisbane will welcome Patrick Carrigan back from suspension at lock in a welcome boost, alongside Maroons rookie Selwyn Cobbo on the wing. Tyson Gamble will come into the squad for rookie Ezra Mam as Delouise Hoeter replaces the injured Brenko Lee at centre an in otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, St George has named an unchanged squad.
Brisbane will enter this match as clear favourites and will be highly motivated in a desperate bid to make the finals. The Raiders sit 43-points above Brisbane on points-differential and Canberra play the likely wooden-spooners in Wests this week. Expect a physical contest but Brisbane should come away with the points.
Betting Tip: Broncos -3.5 @ $1.87 (Moneyball)
Cowboys v Panthers
Saturday, September 3, 7:35pm AEST
The last round of the competition will see the third-placed Cowboys take on this year’s minor premiers in the Panthers, albeit with a severely understrength squad after electing to rest almost their entire team. North Queensland conceded a disappointing loss to the Rabbitohs last week, while Penrith dominated the Warriors in a 46-12 thrashing.
Penrith have rested 10 players with Api Koroisau and Spencer Leniu also injured. Scott Sorensen will return from injury in the second-row, with Matt Eisenhuth and Mitch Kenny shifting to the starting side with the trio the only three players in the Panthers’ regular 17. Thomas Jenkins will come in for his NRL debut at centre, with Liam Henry and Jack Cole also set to debut off the bench. For the Cowboys, Tom Dearden is a chance of returning after being included in the reserves. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow has been named at five-eighth in his absence. Griffin Neame will join the bench to cover the suspended Coen Hess in an otherwise unchanged squad.
Given the quality of their opposition, North Queensland will enter this match as heavy favourites with a near full-strength team. North Queensland to get the win.
Betting Tip: Panthers +19.5 @ $1.95 (Bluebet)
Knights v Sharks
Sunday, September 4, 2:00pm AEST
Cronulla have surged into the top-four with a wonderful run of form that has seen them drop only one game from their last 10 outings, now hunting for their sixth consecutive win. They will face a lowly Knights squad who were unable to overcome the Titans in a disappointing loss.
Phoenix Crossland will cover for the injured Anthony Milford at five-eighth for Newcastle, with Chris Randall set to join the bench, alongside Jack Johns in an otherwise unchanged line-up. For Cronulla, Matt Ikuvalu will return from injury on the wing in coach Craig Fitzgibbon’s only changes.
With Newcastle facing some off-season soul-searching after a horrendous year, the Sharks will enter this match as firm favourites. Craig Fitzgibbon has made an interesting call not to rest any of his star players. Given their week-one opponent in the finals is certain to be North Queensland, Cronulla may be backing themselves to win that game and earn a much-needed rest. Sharks to get the win.
Betting Tip: Sharks -18.5 @ $1.87 (Moneyball)
Tigers v Raiders
Sunday, September 4, 4:05pm AEST
Canberra put the cherry on top of their late-season charge into finals contention with an emphatic 48-6 win over the Sea Eagles. While they will likely make the eight even with a loss, a win against the wooden-spooners in Wests will guarantee their finals position. The Tigers were edged in a narrow, two-point loss to St George last week in yet another disappointing loss for the club.
Canberra will welcome Nick Cotric back from injury on the wing in an otherwise unchanged squad. For the Tigers, James Tamou will return from suspension for possibly his last game in the NRL. Luke Garner and Ken Maumalo will form a new edge combination at centre and wing respectively with Tyrone Peachey also joining the bench.
The Raiders will enter this match as firm favourites and expect a determined performance from Ricky Stuart’s troops as they look to complete their redemption after a poor start to their season. Wests have a mountain of work ahead of them in the off-season. Expect the Raiders to get the win.
Betting Tip: Raiders -12.5 @ $1.91 (Bet365)
Warriors -5.5 @ $1.91 (Unibet)