NRL Round 23 Previews and Betting Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for Round 23 of the 2023 NRL season. Best bets for the round are also provided.

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Roosters v Sea Eagles

Thursday, August 3, 7:50pm AEST
Sydney Cricket Ground

Form guide for Roosters vs Sea Eagles

Sea Eagles

Manly kept their finals hopes alive with a solid win over the Dragons last week, now sitting one win outside the top eight. They will face a struggling Roosters squad who were dominated by the red-hot Broncos in a brave performance, pushing the proud club to 14th on the competition ladder.

An injury to Manly’s Christian Tuipulotu will see rookie Raymond Tuaimalo Vaega join the wing with Ben Trbojevic also returning from a hamstring injury in place of Sean Keppie on the interchange. Meanwhile, the Roosters will miss Egan Butcher to concussion with Siua Wong named as cover at second-row and Drew Hutchison displacing Jake Turpin on the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad.

With five games remaining this season, Manly’s finals hopes are very much alive but with looming showdowns with premiership heavyweights in the Panthers and Warriors – this game is a must-win for Anthony Seibold’s troops to make the eight. The Roosters lost few admirers against a very good Brisbane team last week, bringing great physical intensity despite the loss. Expect a tough contest but the Roosters should come away with the points.

Betting Tip: Roosters -3.5 @ $1.90 (Unibet)



Titans v Warriors

Friday, August 4, 6pm AEST
Cbus Super Stadium

Form guide for Titans vs Warriors


The Titans’ finals dream may be all but over, but the Gold Coast club still managed to produce a wonderful victory over an in-form Cowboys outfit in a hammer blow to their Queensland rivals’ finals chances. They will now look to spoil the Warriors’ party after the Kiwi club enjoyed a bye last week. Andrew Webster’s troops consolidated their top-four berth with a crucial victory over Canberra in round 21 and will be looking to remain consistent heading into the finals.

An injury to Jojo Fifita will see Aaron Schoupp come into the centres for the Titans in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, the Warriors will also make only one change in wonderful news for their squad’s continuity, with Marata Niukore set to return from concussion in the second-row.

While the Titans are showing very positive signs before the impending arrival of premiership winning coach Des Hasler next season, the Warriors have stunned the competition with their consistency and discipline this year. Expect another focussed performance from the Kiwis for their fourth consecutive win.

Betting Tip: Titans +9.5 @ $1.90 (Playup)


Panthers v Storm

Friday, August 4, 8pm AEST
BlueBet Stadium

Form guide for Panthers vs Storm

Friday night will bring a mouth-watering top-four clash between an in-form Penrtih and Storm as both teams jostle for premiership bragging rights. The Panthers were at their devastating best last week, holding one of the best attacking outfits in the game in Cronulla scoreless. Meanwhile, the Storm responded to their shock round 21 upset loss to Newcastle in emphatic fashion with a 30-point win over the Eels to stay inside the top-four.

The suspension of Tyrone Peachy will see second-rower Zac Hosking drafted into the centres in an otherwise unchanged line-up, although boom rookie centre Izack Tago could be a late inclusion to return from injury after he was named in the reserves. Meanwhile, the Storm’s only change comes with the return of Nelson-Asofa Solomona from a finger injury in the second-row.

With star fullback Ryan Papenhyzen set to return from a long-term injury absence in reserve grade, Melbourne fans will be hopeful the pint-sized dynamo can return in time for the finals. Penrith have been in devastating form of late and enter this contest as heavy favourites. Melbourne will need to be at their very best to produce an upset but expect the reigning premiers to come away with the points.

Betting Tip: Storm +9.5 @ $1.91 (bet365)


Cowboys v Broncos

Saturday, August 5, 3pm AEST
Queensland Country Bank Stadium

Form guide for Cowboys vs Broncos


Brisbane made an emphatic statement that the club will not be suffering the late-season fade out they endured last year after a dominant win over a courageous Roosters outfit has the club firming for a top-two finish with a massive shot at the 2023 premiership trophy. They will face a Cowboys squad desperate to consolidate their finals berth after a disappointing loss to the Titans last week. Sitting just one win ahead of Newcastle and Manly, this game is almost a must-win for the eighth-placed Cowboys considering they will face Cronulla and Penrith before the end of the season.

Brisbane will welcome the return of Brendan Piakura and Jesse Arthars at second-row and wing respectively in an otherwise unchanged squad as they firm for their first finals campaign since 2019. Meanwhile the Cowboys will benefit from the returns of Griffin Neame and Heilum Luki on the interchange. The club’s finals chances suffered a hammer blow with Maroons centre Valentine Holmes suspended for the rest of the regular season with Kyle Feldt likely to join the 17 as cover.

Queensland derbies between these two teams are always full of drama and often go down to the wire. The Cowboys desperately need the premiership points to keep their season alive, but with Brisbane enjoying their best attacking season in 21 years and hitting top-form at the perfect time of the year – expect the Broncos to get the points in a narrow contest.

Betting Tip: Cowboys +4.5 @ $1.91 (Unibet)



Dolphins v Knights

Saturday, August 5, 5:30pm AEST
Optus Stadium, Perth

Form guide for Dolphins vs Knights

The Dolphins were left absolutely gutted after their slim finals hopes were dashed by a missed conversion at full-time, conceding a crushing one-point loss to the Bulldogs in a brave performance from the NRL’s newest team. They will face a huge test against an in-form Newcastle squad gunning for their fifth consecutive win on their warpath to break into the top-eight after they dominated the Raiders in a powerful 22-point last-start win.

A knee injury to Euan Aitken will see talented utility Kodi Nikorima shift to centre for Wayne Bennett’s Dolphins, with Anthony Milford coming into the starting team at five-eighth and Isaiya Katoa joining the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, Newcastle have named an unchanged squad in fantastic news for the club.

The enormous experience and class within the Dolphins line-up has seen the club do a wonderful job to stay in finals contention so late into the season. The Knights are in the best form they have shown all year, largely off the pack of Kayln Ponga’s return to fullback and a good balance with the club’s spine players between Phoenix Crossland, Tyson Gamble and Jackson Hastings. This match could go either way but expect Newcastle’s enormous momentum to continue as they desperately move to break into the eight.

Betting Tip: Dolphins +9.5 @ $1.97 (Unibet)



Rabbitohs v Sharks

Saturday, August 5, 7:35pm AEST
Optus Stadium, Perth

Form guide for Rabbitohs vs Sharks

Souths produced a vital win last week to keep their club within the top-eight, albeit against the wooden-spooners in Wests Tigers. Souths will take on a struggling Cronulla outfit whose top four hopes have been dashed by three consecutive losses. The club run the risk of falling from the top-eight if they cannot arrest their slump but with key players ruled out for the season, Craig Fitzgibbon’s troops face an uphill battle to make an impact in this year’s finals series.

An injury to Heme Sele will see Thomas Burgess join the starting squad at prop with Michael Chee Kam also displacing Jacob Host at second-row in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile Cronulla’s premiership hopes suffered a huge body-blow with injuries to Will Kennedy and Oregon Kaufusi. Connor Tracey will shift to fullback with Ronaldo Mulitalo joining the wing as cover. Siosifa Talakai will shift to centre and Jesse Colquhoun will come onto the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad.

Souths will be eager to hit top-form before the finals off the back of Latrell Mitchell’s scintillating return from injury last week. Cronulla will struggle in the absence of a crucial part of their team in Will Kennedy and with Souths still a slim chance of breaking into the top-four, the Rabbitohs should come away with the points.

Betting Tip: Rabbitohs -12.5 @ $1.91 (bet365)



Eels v Dragons

Sunday, August 6, 2pm AEST
CommBank Stadium

Form guide for Eels vs Dragons

The Eels’ finals chances suffered a massive blow after the club’s woeful 30-point loss to the Storm last week. Still yet to face heavyweights in the Broncos and Penrith before the end of the regular season and sitting one win outside the top-eight, this is a crucial game for Parramatta to keep their finals hopes alive. Their opposition in St George suffered a disappointing loss to Manly last week but are showing plenty of positive signs for season 2024.

Parramatta will receive a massive boost with Dylan Brown set to return at five-eighth after an extended absence due to suspension. Isaac Lumelume will also join the wing in place of Waqa Blake in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, St George have named an unchanged squad but will need a replacement for the suspended Jack De Belin with Jack Bird or Zane Musgrove likely to come into the 17 as cover.

The restoration of their preferred halves combination is a massive boon for the Eels, but fans should remain hopeful despite the club needing to rely on other results to make the eight. Expect a highly motivated Eels line-up to put away their inexperienced opposition to come away with the win and keep their finals hopes alive.

Betting Tip: Eels -15.5 @ $1.88 (Unibet)



Raiders v Tigers

Sunday, August 6, 4:05pm AEST
GIO Stadium

Form guide for Raiders vs Tigers

Consecutive losses to the Warriors and Knights have been a devastating blow to the Raiders’ top-four aspirations with the club sitting two wins behind the fourth-placed Storm on for and against. They will face a lowly Tigers squad who were outclassed by a resurgent Souths squad in their last game with the joint-venture club firming for another dreaded wooden-spoon.

Raiders’ mentor Ricky Stuart has made a big selection call to drop veteran Jarrod Croker, shifting fullback Sebastian Kris into the centres and promoting the experienced Jordan Rapana into the custodian role with Nick Cotric also coming onto the wing. Boom rookie Adrian Trevilyan will also make his long awaited return from an ACL injury off the bench to strengthen the club’s hooking rotation. Meanwhile, injuries to Shawn Blore and Stefano Utoikamanu will see Asu Kepaoa and Jake Simpkin join the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad.

Given their heart-breaking recent losses that have likely cost the club an invaluable top-four finish, the Raiders should be highly motivated to get back into form and position themselves to challenge for the premiership from outside the top-four. The Tigers have shown some positives this season but still face an enormous journey to get back into finals contention. Raiders to get the win.

Betting Tip: Raiders -9.5 @ $1.70 (bet365)


Best Bet

Dolphins +9.5 @ $1.97 (Unibet


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