The following are previews with betting tips for Round 17 of the 2023 NRL season. Best bets for the round are also provided.
Dragons v Warriors
Friday, June 23, 8pm AEST
The Dragons and Warriors enjoyed a bye last week and with limited involvement in the Origin series both teams will come into this contest fresh. St George last produced a huge upset against the Rabbitohs, albeit without a number of key players. The Warriors were similarly impressive against Canberra, showcasing their newfound composure and defensive resolve in a result which elevated the club to equal fourth on the competition ladder.
St George will be boosted by the return of Jack De Belin and Jack Bird at lock and second-row respectively in an otherwise unchanged squad. Given his limited minutes in Origin II, Ben Hunt is expected to back-up. Meanwhile, the Kiwis will welcome Dylan Walker’s return on the bench in place of the suspended Mitch Barnett in an otherwise unchanged squad.
St George showed plenty of character to produce an upset against an understrength Rabbitohs outfit in their last game but the Warriors have been in wonderful form of late and after consecutive 22-point wins over the Dolphins and Raiders, expect Andrew Webster’s troops to maintain their momentum in a bid to break into the top-four.
Betting Tip: Warriors -6.5 @ $1.91 (bet365)
Dolphins v Eels
Saturday, June 24, 3pm AEST
An understrength Parramatta squad produced an emphatic statement to the competition last week in a dominant 30-point win over Manly for the club’s fourth consecutive win – elevating them to eighth on the competition ladder. They will face a Dolphins outfit coming off a bye but looking to bounce back from woeful consecutive losses to the Warriors and Manly.
Parramatta have named Blues duo Mitchell Moses and Junior Paulo to back-up from Origin II. Shaun Lane could be a late inclusion to return from injury after he was named in the reserves in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, the Dolphins have made a raft of changes with Valynce Te Whare replacing the injured Brenko Lee at centre with Felise Kaufusi also returning from suspension in the second-row. Sean O’Sullivan could make his return from injury after he was included in the reserves list, with mid-season Dragons’ import Josh Kerr joining the bench. Rookie Brayden McGrady has been named for his NRL debut on the wing in an otherwise unchanged squad.
The Dolphins’ have face a big challenge this year with a lack of continuity in their squad, and master-coach Wayne Bennett will be hoping his troops can form new combinations quickly. This match could go either way but expect another intense physical performance from Parramatta to get them over the line.
Betting Tip: Eels -6.5 @ $1.96 (Boombet)
Panthers v Knights
Saturday, June 24, 5:30pm AEST
Penrith were on the receiving end of a shock-upset to the Cowboys last week, albeit in challenging circumstances in an away-game without their representative stars. Their opposition in Newcastle were poor in a crushing two-point loss to the Roosters last week as pressure continues to mount on Adam O’Brien after his club slipped to 14th on the competition ladder.
Penrith have named all five of their Origin stars to return, with Moses Leota also returning after missing last week for family reasons. Given several of their stars significant workload in Origin II, a number of players could yet drop out but Penrith will back their fantastic depth to cover any absences. For the Knights, Daniel Saifiti and Greg Marzhew are back from injury and suspension at prop and the wing respectively with Tyson Frizell also named to back up from Origin II in an otherwise unchanged squad.
Expect a big response from Penrith after a shock upset last week, but Newcastle will also be desperate to restore some pride as their opportunity to play finals slips away. The Knights will need a huge turnaround to produce an upset. Expect Penrith to get the win.
Betting Tip: Panthers -10.5 @ $1.92 (Unibet)
Storm v Sea Eagles
Saturday, June 24, 7:35pm AEST
Manly were woeful in a disappointing 30-point loss to the Eels last week and their task will get no easier coming up against the Storm. Melbourne were at their dominant best against Wests and sitting equal second on the competition ladder, Craig Bellamy’s troops will be looking to consolidate their top-four berth heading into their run into the finals.
Tom Trbojevic sustained a torn pec in Origin II, ruling him out for an extended period in a massive blow to Manly’s season. Daly Cherry-Evans has been named to back-up at halfback while Kaeo Weekes retains the fullback position in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile. Melbourne have named Maroons trio Cameron Munster, Xavier Coates and Harry Grant to back-up, while Justin Olam will return from concussion at centre in Craig Bellamy’s only changes.
Given Manly’s woeful performance last week and the long-term loss of Tom Trbojevic, Melbourne will enter this match as firm favourites. The intense rivalry between these two clubs has produced brutal physical encounters in the past but expect Melbourne’s composure and class in key positions to prove the difference.
Betting Tip: Storm -12.5 @ $1.93 (PlayUp)
Broncos v Titans
Sunday, June 25, 2pm AEST
Brisbane enjoyed a bye last week but impressed in a sloppy win over Newcastle in round 15. They will face a Titans outfit scrapping to break into the top-eight after snapping a three-game losing streak in a solid performance over the struggling Tigers. Justin Holbrook was controversially axed in favour of experienced mentor Des Hasler in 2024, with assistant Jim Lenihan named interim coach.
Selwyn Cobbo has been named to return from a hip-injury on the wing in a big boost for Brisbane. The four-day turnaround from Origin will see representative quartet Reece Walsh, Tom Flegler, Payne Haas and Patrick Carrigan all named to play, but they could be rested depending on how they pull-up. Meanwhile, the Titans will benefit enormously from an injection of experience with the return of Kieran Foran at five-eighth. Maroons stars David Fifita, Tino Fa’asuamaleaui and Moeaki Fotuaika have all been named to back-up in an otherwise unchanged squad.
With similar representative commitments and a generous turnaround, Origin II should not impact this game too heavily. Brisbane will enter as firm favourites but should be highly cautious given their local derbies against the Titans are invariably nail-biting affairs, particularly with the return of Kieran Foran. The Titans are certainly capable of producing an upset but expect the competition-leading Broncos to get away with the win.
Betting Tip: Titans +9.5 @ $1.96 (Unibet)
Rabbitohs v Cowboys
Sunday, June 25, 4:05pm AEST
North Queensland produced a massive golden-point upset over Penrith last week, courtesy of a scintillating try by Josh Drinkwater in the 88th minute of play in a huge result for the Queensland club, albeit with both teams missing their Origin stars. They will face a Rabbitohs outfit who enjoyed a bye last week but still burning from a disappointing upset loss to St George in round 15. With only one win from their last four outings, Souths will be eager to return to their best with the club in danger of slipping out of the top-four.
North Queensland will benefit from the extended turnaround from Origin II with their full representative contingent named to back-up. Jason Taumalolo will also return to the starting side after making his return from injury off the bench last week in positive signs for the Cowboys. Meanwhile, Souths will also benefit enormously from the return of Cody Walker, Tom Burgess and Davy Moale at five-eighth and the bench respectively. Damien Cook and Cameron Murray have both been named to back-up but given their heavy work-load they could be late withdrawals.
Souths will enter this match as firm favourites but should be highly cautious of a Cowboys outfit who finally look to be returning to their heroics of 2022. The relentless speed and physicality in defence are crucial for North Queensland but expect a big-response from the Rabbitohs with their top-four berth under threat. Souths to get the win.
Betting Tip: Cowboys +7.5 @ $2 (bet365)
Raiders v Roosters
Sunday, June 25, 6:15pm AEST
Tri-colours fans breathed a sigh of relief after Luke Keary was cleared of a facial fracture last week. Captain James Tedesco and Lindsay Collins have been named to back-up from Origin II at fullback and prop respectively, pushing Joey Manu to centre. Victor Radley will also make a return from a lengthy stint on the side-line at lock in an otherwise unchanged squad.
The Roosters will enter this match as favourites but Canberra will be confident they can knock the inconsistent Roosters off their game with their trademark physicality. Expect an intense physical contest with both teams on the cusp of breaking into the top-four. This match could go either way but expect the Raiders to get the points.
Betting Tip: Raiders +3.5 @ $1.96 (Picklebet)
Cowboys +7.5 @ $2 (bet365)