The following are previews with betting tips for Round 6 of the 2023 NRL season. Best bets for the round are also provided.
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Storm v Roosters
Thursday, April 6, 7:50pm AEST
Thursday night will bring a massive blockbuster clash between the Storm and Roosters. Both teams enjoyed powerful victories last week over Souths and Parramatta respectively, despite their starting line-ups being decimated with injuries. With both clubs yet to play their best football in 2023, expect an intense physical contest.
Melbourne will welcome back halfback Jahrome Hughes in a welcome boost, while veteran Tariq Sims will make his club debut from the bench. The Roosters have suffered a big blow with James Tedesco out with concussion. Joey Manu will revert to fullback with Drew Hutchison coming in at centre with Terrell May set to join the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad.
Melbourne will enter this match as favourites but this is sure to be a tight contest. While the Storm conceded a couple of uncharacteristic losses early in the season, Craig Bellamy’s troops look to be settling into their new combinations and in the absence of Roosters’ captain James Tedesco, expect the reunion of Hughes and Munter to get their team over the line.
Betting Tip: Roosters +2.5 @ $1.95 (Playup)
Bulldogs v Rabbitohs
Friday, April 7, 4pm AEST
An improved Bulldogs outfit surged to their third consecutive win over the Cowboys courtesy of a Matt Burton field-goal in extra time for a wonderful result for the Canterbury club. They will face a massive test against the Rabbitohs and backing up from a disappointing last-start loss to the Storm – this should be a cracking match.
The Bulldogs have suffered an injury blow with Raymond Faitala-Mariner and Franklin Pele absent alongside the suspended Jayden Okunbor. Harrison Edwards will come in at lock with Jackson Topine and Dayden Tanner the new faces on the bench. Meanwhile, Souths’ middle will receive a welcome boost with the return of in-form prop Tevita Tatola in an otherwise unchanged squad.
Spurred by a poor showing by their high standards against Melbourne last week, expect an intense performance from South Sydney with Jason Demitriou’s troops yet to produce their best football this season. Canterbury have shown enormous courage and grit in their improvement but will struggle to compete with the Rabbitohs’ playmaking class. Souths to get the win.
Betting Tip: Bulldogs +10.5 @ $1.95 (Bluebet)
Cowboys v Dolphins
Friday, April 7, 8pm AEST
North Queensland’s indifferent start to season 2023 continued with a crushing field-goal loss to the Bulldogs in golden-point last week. They will face a big test in their inaugural game against new Queensland rivals in the Dolphins after the Redcliffe club suffered their second-consecutive loss at the hands of St George.
The Cowboys’ torrid injury toll continued last week with Heilum Luki and Jordan McLean absent with injuries. Star middle-forward Reuben Cotter will make a timely return at prop, while Scott Drinkwater will also return from suspension in a massive boost. Edrick Lee is set to make his club debut for the Dolphins on the wing in place of rookie Jack Bostock with Kurt Donoghue displacing Mason Teague on the bench. Anthony Milford suffered a hamstring injury in another huge blow to the club’s playmaking stocks with Kodi Nikorima drafting into the starting side as cover.
The vital importance of Scott Drinkwater to the Cowboys’ expansive style of play that saw them achieve so much last season became very apparent given the club’s struggle in his absence. With the Dolphins fielding yet another halves pairing after Milford’s injury last week – expect the Cowboys attack spearheaded by the return of Cotter and Drinkwater to get them over the line.
Betting Tip: Cowboys -10.5 @ $1.90 (Boombet)
Panthers v Sea Eagles
Saturday, April 8, 5:30pm AEST
Penrith returned to their devastating best in a massive 53-12 win over Canberra last week as the reigning premiers look to reestablish themselves as top-dog in the NRL after a couple of uncharacteristic losses to start their season. They will face a Manly outfit who battled Newcastle to a standstill for a rare draw in a draining result for the Sea Eagles given the gruelling 10 minutes of additional time.
Penrith will be without star prop James Fisher-Harris with Matt Eisenhuth coming in as cover. Soni Luke will also return from concussion on the bench in an otherwise unchanged line-up. Meanwhile, Jason Saab will return on the wing with Karl Lawton also replacing the injured Ben Trbojevic on the bench in Anthony Seibold’s only changes. Josh Schuster was a late withdrawal with Cooper Johns his likely replacement.
Penrith will enter this match as firm favourites but should be wary of an improved Manly outfit who seem capable of anything off the back of Tom Trbojevic’s brilliance. Expect the toll of last weeks’ performance to make a difference for the Sea Eagles with the Panthers to get the win.
Betting Tip: Sea Eagles +9.5 @ $1.95 (Colossalbet)
Broncos v Raiders
Saturday, April 8, 7:35pm AEST
The competition-leading Broncos produced a dominant 34-point win over Wests last week for their fifth consecutive win for Brisbane’s best start to a season since 1998. They will host a Raiders outfit burning from a devastating 53-12 loss to Penrith with Ricky Stuart’s troops facing another uphill battle to make the finals with only one win from five games so far this season.
Brisbane have the luxury of naming an unchanged 17 heading into this clash in positive signs for the club. For Canberra, club veteran Jarrod Croker will return after a long absence at centre in a welcome boon as he closes in on 300 NRL games.
Given their form Brisbane will enter this match as firm favourites. The competition leaders should be cautious of complacency up against a Raiders outfit burning from an embarrassing performance last week, particularly given Canberra’s devastating middle-rotation is uniquely placed to challenge Brisbane through the ruck with their physicality. Ricky Stuart’s troops are certainly capable of producing an upset but expect Brisbane to get the points at their home-ground.
Betting Tip: Raiders +15.5 @ $1.91 (Bet365)
Titans v Dragons
Sunday, April 9, 4:05pm AEST
An embattled St George squad produced an emphatic statement in support of under-pressure coach Anthony Griffin with a dominant win over the Dolphins last week. They will face a Titans squad who enjoyed a bye last week, but the Gold Coast outfit should be fired-up after an indifferent start to the season and a disappointing 12-point last-start loss to North Queensland.
St George have named an unchanged squad heading into this match in welcome sign of some much-needed continuity in the playing group. Meanwhile, the Titans will replace the injured AJ Brimson with Jayden Campbell at fullback in an otherwise unchanged squad. After a long-term injury to key signing Sam Verrills, the Gold Coast have made an astute mid-season signing, with Super-League veteran Kruise Leeming name in the reserves and a potential late inclusion to the hooking rotation.
The Gold Coast will enter the match as narrow favourites but St George will be confident given their last meeting only four weeks ago in round two resulted in a 14-point win to the Dragons. The Titans hooking depth looked dire before the signing of Kruise Leeming and the speed with which the UK hooker can get acclimated to the NRL could have a big impact on their season. This match could go either way but expect St George to come away with the win.
Betting Tip: Dragons +1.5 @ $1.90 (Bluebet)
Knights v Warriors
Sunday, April 9, 6:15pm AEST
Newcastle bravely fought Manly to a standstill last week, scoring 32 points in a rare draw in the NRL. They will face a resurgent Warriors outfit who produced an outstanding upset over Cronulla in a high-scoring affair, with the defensive grit and composure under new coach and former Penrith assistant Andrew Webster plain to see.
Newcastle will welcome Kurt Mann back from injury on the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, the Kiwis will be boosted by the return of Te Maire Martin and Tohu Harris at five-eighth and lock respectively after Webster made a bold call to rest 12 players from training during the week due to the Warriors’ gruelling travel schedule.
Given their improvement this season and the return of Martin and Harris, the Warriors will go into this match as narrow favourites but they should be highly cautious of a Newcastle outfit who look to have found their resolve after a shaky start to the season. These clubs last met in round one, which the Warriors won by eight points. This match could go either way but expect the Kiwis to emulate their round one performance for another win.
Betting Tip: Warriors -1.5 @ $1.90 (Picklebet)
Tigers v Eels
Monday, April 10, 4pm AEST
Parramatta’s high from their round-four grand-final revenge against Penrith came crashing down in a disappointing eight-point loss to an understrength Roosters outfit and with only one win from four games, Brad Arthur will be looking for a big performance from his troops. They will face the winless Tigers who were dominated by Brisbane last week in yet another poor result for the joint-venture club.
Parramatta’s shortage of edge-forwards has eased significantly with the return of Shaun Lane from a broken jaw for his first game of the season in a welcome boost. Haze Dunster will replace the suspended Bailey Simonsson on the wing with Sean Russell also coming into centre at Waqa Blake’s expense. Meanwhile, Wests have overhauled their spine once again with Charlie Staines’ shift to fullback pushing Adam Doueihi to the halves and Asu Kepaoa joining the wing. Joe Ofahengaue will also join the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad.
The media pressure on Wests is enormous and with a tough run ahead of them there is no end in sight to the huge spotlight on Tim Sheens’ coaching team. Expect a big response from Parramatta after a devastating loss last week. Eels to get the win.
Betting Tip: Eels -13.5 @ $1.90 (Unibet)
Bulldogs +10.5 @ $1.95 (Bluebet)
Sea Eagles +9.5 @ $1.95 (Colossalbet)