NRL Round 5 Previews and Betting Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for Round 5 of the 2023 NRL season. Best bets for the round are also provided.

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Roosters v Eels

Thursday, March 30, 7:50pm AEDT
Allianz Stadium

Form guide for Roosters vs Eels


Parramatta made an emphatic statement in a powerful field-goal victory over the reigning premiers as they brutally extracted revenge for the 2022 grand-final. With last week’s result being their only victory, Eels coach Brad Arthur will be eager to maintain the momentum against an in-form Roosters outfit coming off a bye last week after an impressive win over Souths in round three.

Parramatta’s only change comes with the loss of Junior Paulo to suspension. Wiremu Greig will shift to prop with Jack Murchie joining the bench. A one-week suspension for Joey Manu will add to the Roosters injury woes as Corey Allan and Naufahu Whyte are the new faces on the bench while Drew Hutchison lines up at centre in an otherwise unchanged squad.

While they will enter this match as favourites, Trent Robinson is still missing six top-line stars and his squad should be highly cautious of an in-form Parramatta outfit. The Eels returned to the grinding physicality that saw them advance to the grand final last year and expect Brad Arthur’s troops will again be looking to win this match through the ruck, particularly given the absence of Crichton, Tupouniua, Watson and Lodge for the Tri-colours. This match could go either way but expect the Eels’ brutal forward rotation to prove the difference.

Betting Tip: Eels +5.5 @ $1.96 (BoomBet)



Raiders v Panthers

Friday, March 31, 6pm AEDT
GIO Stadium

Form guide for Raiders vs Panthers


The Panthers fell agonisingly close to a last-gasp win over the Eels last week in a much-hyped grand-final rematch, despite a miraculous two-point field goal from halfback Nathan Cleary to send the game into golden-point. They will face a Raiders who produced a poor second half against Newcastle, surrendering a six-point lead for a disappointing loss.

Lindsay Smith and Tyrone Peachey will join the Panthers’ bench in place to cover the injured Luke Garner and Sini Luke, with Scott Sorensen promoted to the starting team. Meanwhile, Canberra have suffered a huge blow with star five-eighth Jack Wighton suspended for two games. Jamal Fogarty will make a timely return at halfback with Jordan Rapana also displacing James Schiller on the wing in an otherwise unchanged line-up.

Penrith will be looking to shake-off their uncharacteristically poor start to the season as they adjust to the absence of Kikau and Koroisau. Canberra possess the physicality to unsettle their opposition’s gameplan but face a huge challenge producing that across 80 minutes of football, particularly with so much change in their spine positions. Panthers to get the win.

Betting Tip: Panthers H2H @ $1.25 (Dabble)



Rabbitohs v Storm

Friday, March 31, 8:05pm AEDT
Stadium Australia

Form guide for Rabbitohs vs Storm


Friday night will bring a blockbuster clash between the Rabbitohs and Storm and with both teams sure to hold aspirations of a top-four berth and only two wins to their name, this game should be an intense physical contest.The Storm were solid in victory against Wests, while Souths’ impressed with a clutch field-goal from Lachlan Ilias for a rousing victory over an in-form Manly outfit to celebrate club legend John Sattler.

Melbourne will bring Tom Eisenhuth onto the bench in place of Tyran Wishart in an otherwise unchanged squad. The Rabbitohs only change comes with Hame Sele’s return from concussion protocols in a welcome boost to their middle-rotation.

Souths will enter this match as firm favourites after their heroics last week. Melbourne’s composure has been impacted by constant disruptions to their spine this season and expect Souths’ in-form playmakers to control the match and inspire their team to a win.

Betting Tip: Rabbitohs H2H @ $1.56 (BoomBet)


Sea Eagles

Sea Eagles v Knights

Saturday, April 1, 3pm AEDT
Glen Willow Oval, Mudgee

Form guide for Sea Eagles vs Knights


Manly’s hearts were broken last week after a crushing field-goal loss in golden-point against Souths robbed the club of an undefeated start to their season. They will face a Newcastle outfit who produced a vital win over the Raiders in an impressive second-half comeback as the under pressure club look to settle into their season after so much disruption.

Kurt Mann suffered a nasty concussion and will be stood down for 11-days as per the new concussion rules. Jack Johns will come in at lock as cover in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, Morgan Harper will replace boom rookie Tolu Koula at centre with veteran Lachlan Croker also returning at hooker in a welcome boost. Josh Schuster is a late withdrawal with a quad injury with Cooper Johns likely to come in as cover.

Given the inconsistency of their opposition this season, Manly will enter this contest as clear favourites. Newcastle showed some promising signs against Canberra last week but still need a lot of improvement to compete with the competition’s elite. Sea Eagles to get the win.

Betting Tip: Sea Eagles H2H @ $1.25 (bet365)



Dragons v Dolphins

Saturday, April 1, 5:30pm AEDT
WIN Stadium

Form guide for Dragons vs Dolphins


The Dolphins suffered their first ever defeat in the NRL last week at the hands of the Broncos in a courageous performance in the face of huge adversity for the new club. They will face a struggling Dragons outfit who have conceded 80 points in their last two losses to Brisbane and Cronulla respectively with Anthony Griffin’s tenure as Dragons head-coach hanging by a thread.

While Tesi Niu bravely finished the game, the winger suffered a serious knee injury and will be replaced by Jack Bostock on the Dolphins’ wing. Jeremy Marshall-King makes a timely return at dummy-half with Herman Ese’ese also returning from injury at prop. St George have named an unchanged squad for this game but veteran middle Jack De Belin could be a late inclusion as he works his way back from a calf injury.

The loss of Sean O’Sullivan to a long-term pectoral injury is a huge blow for the Dolphins but presents a huge opportunity for veteran playmaker Anthony Milford to step up after being named at halfback. The Dragons certainly have the physicality to match the Dolphins grinding style of play but expect the class within the new club’s forward rotation to prove the difference. Dolphins to get the points.

Betting Tip: Dolphins +2.5 @ 1.90 (Colossalbet)



Broncos v Tigers

Saturday, April 1, 7:35pm AEDT
Suncorp Stadium

Form guide for Broncos vs Tigers


The Broncos took home bragging rights in the inaugural ‘Battle of Brisbane’ derby against the Dolphins in a packed-house at Suncorp stadium in what was a gritty but sloppy victory. They will face a winless Tigers outfit under enormous pressure to perform after a disappointing loss to the Storm last week.

Unsurprisingly, Brisbane have named an unchanged squad heading into this clash as they continue to have a relatively fortunate run with injuries. Meanwhile, veteran Tigers mentor Tim Sheens has named a new look bench with Jake Simpkin, Justin Mamamua and Starford To’a joining the interchange at the expense of Shaun Blore, Alex Seyfarth and Daine Laurie in an otherwise unchanged line-up.

Brisbane will enter this match as firm favourites but should be highly cautious against a desperate Wests outfit that has won the last four encounters between these teams. Expect Brisbane to continue their run as undefeated competition leaders with another win.

Betting Tip: Broncos -9.5 @ $1.48 (bet365)



Sharks v Warriors

Sunday, April 2, 4pm AEST
PointsBet Stadium

Form guide for Sharks vs Warriors


After a patchy start to their season, Cronulla returned to their devastating best last week, piling 40-points on the hapless Dragons in a wonderful attacking display inspired by returned superstar halfback Nicho Hynes. They will face a Warriors squad who produced a gritty victory over an improved Canterbury club in their last match as the Kiwi club strive for their first finals appearance since 2018.

Cronulla will replace the injured Oregon Kaufusi with Braydon Trindall on the bench in an otherwise unchanged team. For the Warriors, Te Maire Martin is out with a concussion in a huge blow, with Ronald Volkman coming in at five-eighth, alongside the returning Wayde Egan at hooker. Skipper Tohu Harris is also under an injury cloud and could be a late withdrawal.

While the Warriors have been hugely impressive this year, they face an uphill battle against an in-form Sharks outfit at their home-ground. They certainly have the talent to produce an upset but in the absence of Te Maire Martin and possibly their club captain in Tohu Harris, expect Cronulla to get the win.

Betting Tip: Sharks 1-12 @ $3.10 (BoomBet)



Bulldogs v Cowboys

Sunday, April 2, 6:15pm AEST
Stadium Australia

Form guide for Bulldogs vs Cowboys


Canterbury’s start under new coach Cameron Ciraldo has been encouraging but still inconsistent, with two losses from four games after an agonising two-point loss to the Warriors last week. They will face a Cowboys outfit who have similarly struggled to reach their considerable potential in the face of significant disruption to their squad with the Queenslanders backing up from a solid 12-point win over the Titans.

Club legend Josh Reynolds will return on the bench for the first time since 2017 to cover the injured Fa’amanu Brown, with Franklin Pele also joining the interchange in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, the Cowboys’ injury woes continue with James Tamou, Murray Taulagi and Gehamat Shibasaki out injured. Peta Hiku makes a timely return from injury at centre with utility Brendan Elliot set to join the wing. A suspension for superstar Jeremiah Nanai will see Heilum Luki come into the starting side with Mitch Dunn returning from a long-term knee injury on the bench alongside promising rookie debutant Riley Price.

This game could go either way given the disruption to their both squads and their fluctuating form. Canterbury will be fired-up in front of their home crowd and with North Queensland missing the strike of Nanai, Drinkwater, Taulagi and Cotter – expect the Bulldogs to get the points.

Betting Tip: Bulldogs H2H @ 1.91 (bet365)


Best Bet

Eels +5.5 @ $1.96 (BoomBet)


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