The following are previews with betting tips for Round 12 of the 2023 NRL season. Best bets for the round are also provided.
Broncos v Panthers
Thursday, May 18, 7:50pm AEST
The Broncos were courageous in defeat against Melbourne last week, losing three players to the sin-bin in controversial circumstances as question marks remain over the club’s ability to compete with the competition’s best. Their top-four credentials will be closely examined by their opposition in the reigning premiers this week after the Panthers put a hapless Roosters outfit to the sword in a devastating 44-point win.
Adam Reynolds has been rested after a nasty head-knock in a huge blow to the Broncos. Jock Madden will come in at halfback in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, the Panthers are also unchanged with boom prop Spencer Leniu’s injury return cut short by a ruptured testicle at training.
Boasting some of the best middle-forwards in the competition with the likes of Patrick Carrigan and Payne Haas, Brisbane have shown they can produce the physicality of the competition’s elite, but particularly in the absence of Adam Reynolds they will struggle to compete with Penrith across 80 minutes. Expect an intense physical contest but the red-hot Panthers should get revenge for their round-one loss and come away with the points.
Betting Tip: Panthers -7.5 @ $1.90 (BoomBet)
Dragons v Roosters
Friday, May 19, 6pm AEST
A woeful last-start loss to the Cowboys spelled the end for embattled Dragons coach Anthony Griffin, with the veteran coach axed after a six-game losing streak. He will be replaced by assistant coach Ryan Carr on an interim basis as the struggling club look to salvage their season. They will face a similarly struggling Roosters outfit who were dominated in a disappointing 44-point loss with Trent Robinson’s troops struggling for confidence and cohesion.
Ryan Carr has made some big team changes, dropping veteran Moses Mbye with Jacob Liddle promoted to the starting side at hooker. Ben Hunt will return to halfback with Zac Lomax also earning a recall at centre. For the Roosters, an ankle injury to Joey Manu will see Drew Hutchison come into the halves. Egan Butcher will also return in the second-row in an otherwise unchanged line-up.
It is difficult to predict how St George will respond to the axing of Griffin, but the Roosters should be wary of their opposition given the physicality the Dragons are capable of despite running second-last on the competition ladder. Expect a tough physical contest but the big-game experience of the Roosters’ star players should prove the difference.
Betting Tip: Dragons + 6.5 @ $1.90 (Unibet)
Rabbitohs v Eels
Friday, May 19, 8pm AEST
Parramatta will receive a huge boost with the return of star halfback Mitchell Moses. Shaun Lane is missing with a hamstring injury with Bryce Cartwright shifting to the second-row and Makahesi Makatoa joining the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, Souths have named only one change with Daniel Suluka-Fifita displacing Jed Cartwright on the bench.
Given the quality of their opposition, this game presents a huge opportunity for the Eels to prove they are not a spent force against the competition’s elite clubs. The Rabbitohs have built into some devastating form across their squad and with the recent return of Liam Knight and Keaon Koloamatangi’s own return from injury imminent, they are only going to get more dangerous. Souths to get the win.
Betting Tip: Rabbitohs -8.5 @ $2.00 (bet365)
Sharks v Knights
Saturday, May 20, 3pm AEST
In great signs for the continuity of their squad, Newcastle have named an unchanged squad. Meanwhile, the blow to Cronulla’s middle-rotation with the forced absence of Cameron McInnes will be offset by the return of Oregon Kaufusi at prop. Braden Hamlin-Uele is also a chance at making his return from a knee injury after he was included in the reserves in an otherwise unchanged squad.
Cronulla represent a massive opportunity for the Knights to show they are finals contenders after overcoming a devastating injury toll earlier this season. While the Sharks have produced some woeful performances at times this season, expect the cohesion of their elite spine-combinations to prove the difference, particularly at the back-end of each half. Sharks to get the points.
Betting Tip: Knights + 8.5 @ $1.85 (Colossalbet)
Tigers v Cowboys
Saturday, May 20, 5:30pm AEST
In encouraging signs after much injury disruption, the Cowboys have named a largely unchanged squad with the injured Jamayne Taunoa-Brown replaced with Riley Price on the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, Wests have named the same 17.
One of the defining features of the Cowboys blistering form of 2022 was fast-paced, devastating attacking play. After scoring seven tries against St George, fans will be hoping their club can unlock their potent potential with the ball and climb back into finals contention. The Tigers have similarly taken big strides in improving their form, but with an inexperienced spine they will struggle to match their opposition on the scoreboard. Cowboys to take the win.
Betting Tip: Cowboys -3.5 @ $1.91 (bet365)
Dolphins v Storm
Saturday, May 20, 7:35pm AEST
Brenko Lee and Jesse Bromwich will return from injury at prop and centre respectively in a big boost and injection of experience for the Dolphins for Wayne Bennett’s only changes. Meanwhile, Melbourne are unchanged after a tough contest against Brisbane.
The Dolphins’ tenacity and unwillingness to go away will be huge assets against the Storm juggernaut. Facing a team led by their former captain, do not expect Melbourne to underestimate their opponents, something many teams have been guilty of this season. While Wayne Bennett’s troops are certainly a chance to produce an upset, expect the class and consistency of the Storm to prove the difference.
Betting Tip: Dolphins + 6.5 @ $1.90 (Unibet)
Bulldogs v Titans
Sunday, May 21, 2pm AEST
Exciting rookie Karl Oloapu has been promoted to five-eighth for Canterbury, pushing Josh Reynolds back to the bench. Josh Addo-Carr will return from injury on the wing in a massive boost, with Samuel Hughes also joining the interchange. For the Titans, Erin Clark will return on the bench to shore up their middle-rotation. Alofiana Khan-Pereira is also reported to be a late omission, with Aaron Schoupp set to come in at centre, pushing Jojo Fifita to the wing.
Both these clubs are very capable with the ball but their defensive structures struggle to limit opposition tries. The Bulldogs have been classy in defeat the last few weeks and while the Titans will be desperate for a win after their drubbing at the hands of the Knights last week, expect Canterbury to get the points.
Betting Tip: Bulldogs H2H @ $2.05 (bet365)
Raiders v Sea Eagles
Sunday, May 21, 4:05pm AEST
Hooker Danny Levi will make a timely return from a broken jaw on the bench to cover the injured Zac Woolford with Tom Starling promoted to the starting 13 in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, Manly will welcome stalwart Jake Trbojevic back at lock with Josh Schuster also set to return to first-grade at five-eighth.
Canberra will enter this match as firm favourites given Manly’s recent struggles but with Trbojevic and Schuster back on deck, Ricky Stuart’s troops should be highly wary of a team that has produced some wonderful football at times this season. This match could go either way but expect Canberra to get the points in a close contest.
Betting Tip: Raiders -3.5 @ $1.84 (Colossalbet)
Cowboys -3.5 @ $1.91 (bet365)