The following are previews with betting tips for Round 22 of the 2023 NRL season. Best bets for the round are also provided.
Broncos v Roosters
Thursday, July 27, 7:50pm AEST
Brisbane produced an emphatic statement against an almost full-strength Rabbitohs outfit last week, keeping them equal first on the competition ladder as the Broncos firm for a top-four berth. They will face a Roosters side who surged back into form with an impressive 18-point victory over the Titans last week and sitting one win outside the top-eight, Trent Robinson’s troops will be desperate to keep their slim finals hopes alive.
The Broncos will be without Jesse Arthars and Martin Taupau due to suspension with boom rookie Deine Mariner set to join the wing and Maroons prop Tom Flegler returning from injury at prop in a welcome boost to an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, the Roosters’ only change comes with the return of Victor Radley at lock in some welcome continuity for a team that has struggled to field the same combinations week to week this year.
Brisbane will enter this match as heavy favourites but should prime themselves for a tough physical contest after the Roosters’ commanding physicality in the ruck. While the Roosters certainly have the talent to produce an upset, expect the star-power and consistent play-making combinations that has seen the Broncos achieve so much this year to get them over the line.
Betting Tip: Broncos -7.5 @ $1.88 (Picklebet)
Tigers v Rabbitohs
Friday, July 28, 6pm AEST
Souths welcomed back a huge number of players last week with the club enduring a torrid injury toll. They will be further boosted by the return of superstar Latrell Mitchell at fullback, who is sure to improve the Rabbitohs struggling defence enormously. Jed Cartwright will also replace Tallis Duncan on the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad. For the Tigers, the return of five-eighth Luke Brooks from a long-term injury absence will be a massive boost given they have struggled to score points without experienced playmakers. Charlie Staines will also return on the wing with Will Smith and Shawn Blore added to the interchange.
Now sitting ninth on the competition ladder, Souths will be desperate to claw their way back into the top-eight and should be inspired to produce a big performance with the return of Latrell Mitchell. Expect a powerful response after such a disappointing loss last week and Wests will face a tough job staying competitive in this contest. Souths to get the win.
Betting Tip: Rabbitohs -22.5 @ $2 (bet365)
Storm v Eels
Friday, July 28, 8pm AEST
Melbourne were uncharacteristically poor in a shock upset to the Newcastle Knights last week and facing a tough run home, the Storm are under pressure to keep their top-four berth. They will face an Eels outfit in a battle of their own to make the finals after their last start loss to the Cowboys saw the Queensland club overleap them on the ladder. Parramatta will also need to be firing if they are a chance of making the finals with matchups against heavyweights in the Broncos, Storm, and Penrith before the end of the season.
Craig Bellamy has swung the axe on the experienced Justin Olam with Young Tonumaipea coming in at centre. Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Reimis Smith and Tariq Sims will all be absent due to injury or suspension with Eliesa Katoa and Tyran Wishart included on the bench and Marion Seve also joining the centres in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, Parramatta’s hooking depth has received a huge boost with the mid-season signing of Joey Lussick in a massive coup for the club. Lussick will join the bench, with Andrew Davey shifting to the second-row to cover the injured Shaun Lane in an otherwise unchanged 17.
Expect a big response from the Storm after a very inconsistent performance by their lofty standards last week. Parramatta will attempt to emulate Newcastle’s physicality and tenacity deployed in their upset victory, but with Melbourne in danger of falling from the top-four – expect Craig Bellamy to have his troops firing for a big performance. Storm to get the win.
Betting Tip: Eels +6.5 @ 1.95 (bet365)
Raiders v Knights
Saturday, July 29, 3pm AEST
Newcastle’s only change comes with an injury to Blues prop Daniel Saifiti. Jacob Saifiti will shift to the front-row with Brodie Jones joining the bench. Meanwhile, the Raiders have named an unchanged squad.
The Knights will be hunting for their fourth consecutive win with the Newcastle club rediscovering their mongrel to surge back into finals contention. Canberra lost few admirers in their narrow loss to the Warriors last week and expect Ricky Stuart’s troops to fight fire with fire given this is almost a must-win contest if the club still hopes to break back into the top-four. This game could go either way but expect Canberra to get the points in a narrow contest.
Betting Tip: Knights +4.5 @1.90 (Colossalbet)
Dragons v Sea Eagles
Saturday, July 29, 5:30pm AEST
Manly will be without Josh Aloiai and Taniela Paseka due to injury with Toafofoa Sipley and Ethan Bullemor coming in at prop and interchange respectively. Meanwhile, Connor Muhleisen will join the Dragons’ bench with utility Moses Mbye’s departure from the club.
Despite being out of finals contention, the Dragons’ squad should be highly motivated to prove they have a place in Shane Flanagan’s vision for the club. Manly will be disappointed with their second-half effort after conceding five tries in the last 25 minutes of play against Cronulla – but expect the Sea Eagles’ potent playmaking combinations to fire in their race into the finals. Given this is a must win game for their season, Manly to get the points.
Betting Tip: Sea Eagles -6.5 @ $1.95 (bet365)
Panthers v Sharks
Saturday, July 29, 7:35pm AEST
Cronulla suffered a crushing loss to a resurgent Manly outfit last week, failing to mount a miracle comeback after scoring a flurry of tries in the dying stages of play. A woeful defensive performance which saw them concede 30 unanswered points as they face an uphill battle to break back into the top four. Their opposition in the Panthers were at their dominant best against Canterbury in a commanding performance off the back of Nathan Cleary’s return.
The Sharks’ horror injury toll continues to mount with stalwart Dale Finucane ruled out for the season. Wade Graham’s return in the second-row will bring some valuable experience in his absence with Siosifa Talakai also set to join the bench. Penrith will replace the injured Spencer Leniu with Matt Eisenhuth on the bench alongside Zac Hosking in an otherwise unchanged 17.
With the Panthers firming for their third consecutive minor premiership, the Sharks would need to produce a Herculean effort to produce an upset. The absence of Finucane’s experience will put more pressure on Cronulla against the competition’s elite clubs. Penrith to get the points.
Betting Tip: Panthers -15.5 @ $1.87 (bet365)
Bulldogs v Dolphins
Sunday, July 30, 2pm AEST
The Dolphins will shift Maroons star Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow back to fullback with Kodi Nikorima pushed to the halves. Jeremy Marshall King looks set to play in a massive boost for the club as he manages an ongoing shoulder injury. For Canterbury, a number of stars will return with Josh Addo-Carr, Viliame Kikau, Jacob Preston, Toby Sexton and Braidon Burns set to join the starting side in a huge boost for the struggling club.
Given their opposition’s recent struggles, the Dolphins will enter this contest as heavy favourites but they should be highly cautious of a Bulldogs team restored to near full-strength and eager to finish their season on a positive note. This match could go either way but expect the invaluable big-game experience within this Dolphins line-up to get them the win.
Betting Tip: Bulldogs +4.5 @ $1.82 (bet365)
Titans v Cowboys
Sunday, July 30, 4:05pm AEST
The Gold Coast have named an unchanged 17 in positive signs for their squad. Meanwhile, the Cowboys will be missing Jeramiah Nanai and Griffin Neame to injury in a big blow, with Sam McIntyre and Jamayne Taunoa-Brown joining the bench as cover in an otherwise unchanged squad.
Given their purple-patch of form, North Queensland will enter this contest as heavy favourites and sitting only two competition points behind the third-placed Warriors, a top-four finish is a realistic goal for the Cowboys. Expect the Titans to struggle in the absence of inspirational skipper Tino Fa’asuamaleaui with the Cowboys to produce another dominant performance to get the win.
Betting Tip: Cowboys -8.5 @ $1.91 (bet365)
Sea Eagles -6.5 @ $1.95 (bet365)