Round 6 of the 2015 NRL season brought more injuries to key players. The Panthers were hurt the most as centre Jamal Idris will miss the rest of the season with an ACL injury whilst halfback Peter Wallace will be sidelined for the next 4-6 weeks. This weekend has a lot of key match ups, continue reading for our round 7 NRL preview and betting tips.
Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs vs Manly Sea Eagles (Friday 7.35pm AEDT)
The Sea Eagles have only one win from the opening six rounds and sit on the bottom of the ladder. This is unknown territory for a side that has played finals for the last decade. With the futures of their halves sorted and Steve Matai and captain Jamie Lyon returning to the side, they can begin to focus on playing football. The Sea Eagles will also benefit as they are coming up against a Bulldogs outfit that will be without international players James Graham, David Klemmer and Brett Morris. Josh Morris has been named to play but is in some doubt. The Bulldogs were awful last week without their big men in the middle and lacked a lot of go forward. I expect them to struggle again this week and the Eagles should escape with a win.
TIP: Manly Sea Eagles @ $2.10 with Luxbet
St George Illawarra Dragons vs Brisbane Broncos (Friday 7.35pm AEDT)
This match has the two inform teams going head to head. The Broncos sit on the top of the table after winning their last five matches. They opened their season with a disappointing loss to the Rabbitohs by over 30 points but since then they have improved every week and they topped it all off with a come from behind victory against premiership favourites the Roosters last week. The Dragons have shocked the rest of the competition. After losing their first two matches, they have won four straight and it is no surprise that it coincided with the return of Josh Dugan. The fullback has taken his game to another level this year and is likely to be playing origin in a few weeks time. The Dragons should compete with the Broncos but the Broncos should get over the line.
TIP: Broncos -2.5 @ $1.92 with Ladbrokes
Gold Coast Titans vs Penrith Panthers (Saturday 3pm AEDT)
The Titans are another side that are on the resurgence after a poor start to their season. Since the return of key players they have looked like a completely different side. The Titans were flogged 40-0 by the Panthers in Round 2 but the team lists look very different this weekend to the sides that faced each other in Bathurst. The Panthers have lost their halves Jamie Soward and Peter Wallace, both of their centres Jamal Idris and Dean Whare and the Titans have Greg Bird and Dave Taylor in the backrow. James Roberts has hit career best form and he could have a field day as he comes up against debutant and 19-year-old Robert Jennings. The Titans should win at home against a depleted Panthers outfit.
TIP: Gold Coast @ $1.97 with Luxbet
North Queensland Cowboys vs New Zealand Warriors (Saturday 5.30pm AEDT)
The Cowboys win against the Rabbitohs showed what they can accomplish as they came back from a 12-4 halftime deficit to win 30-12. Johnathan Thurston is a big reason for their recent success as he has three man of the match performances. However, it is no coincidence that Thurston’s return to form comes with the move of Michael Morgan to five-eighth and Lachlan Coote returning from injury to play at fullback. The spine of the Cowboys looks set and it shouldn’t change throughout the season like they have had to in the past. The combination between the three should continue to grow and if the Cowboys forwards continue to dominate then Thurston will continue to shine off of the back of the go forward. The Warriors escaped with a victory at home again last week against the Tigers and they still can’t manage to put a full 80-minute performance together. The Cowboys are short priced favourites and the Warriors are a very unpredictable side, because of that I suggest steering clear of this one.
TIP: No Bet
Melbourne Storm vs Sydney Roosters (Saturday 7.30pm AEDT)
The Storm are coming off a two game winning streak whilst the Roosters are the complete opposite as they have lost their previous two. The Storm are at home but the tri-colours have won two of the four matches played at AAMI park and they will be fresh as they come off of an eight day turn around. The Roosters will want to bounce back and they receive a massive boost through the return of Jake Friend at hooker. Melbourne will be without star fullback Billy Slater who is still sidelined with a shoulder injury. The Roosters should overcome the Storm and get back to winning ways this weekend.
TIP: Roosters -1.5 @ $1.92 with Sportsbet
Wests Tigers vs Canberra Raiders (Sunday 2pm AEDT)
Both of these sides are coming off relatively close losses as the Tigers went down to the Warriors away from home and the Raiders lost to the Storm in Canberra. The Tigers are just inside the top eight and if they want to maintain their position on the ladder then they need to win these matches at home against their lower opponents. Despite being named in the side, the green machine are likely to be without their consistent lock Shaun Fensom. Aaron Woods is leading the Dally M race after six rounds as he continues to lead from the front for the Tigers and they will need his go forward again this weekend to set the platform for halves pairing Aaron Brooks and Mitchell Moses as they look to create space for their ouside backs and star fullback James Tedesco.
TIP: Tigers 1-12 @ $3.00 with Sportsbet
Newcastle Knights vs Parramatta Eels (Sunday 4pm AEDT)
The Knights have come crashing back down to Earth with back-to-back losses after starting the season undefeated through the opening four rounds. They are still in a good position but can’t afford to continue this losing streak any longer. The Eels are in a worse position. They have had two big wins against the Sea Eagles and Rabbitohs but other than those two victories they have struggled. A lot of their poor performances can be accounted for the injuries they have suffered to a lot of their key players. It is a possibility that Semi Radradra and Brad Takairangi will return despite not being named. It would be a huge boost for their backline that has struggled to fire in their recent matches. The Knights are without Beau Scott and Robbie Rochow but have Tariq Sims back in the starting line up. The Eels are inconsistent and the Knights always seem to perform at home.
TIP: Knights -6.5 @ $1.90 with Palmerbet
Cronulla Sharks vs South Sydney Rabbitohs (Monday 7pm AEDT)
The Rabbitohs suffered a big loss last week at the hands of the Cowboys. South Sydney lacked direction without halfback Adam Reynolds there to steer the side around. They also missed his kicking game as they failed to find the turf the majority of the match. They are likely to have John Sutton and possibly Dylan Walker to return from injury despite both players not being named. The return of Sutton will push Glenn Stewart to the backrow. The Sharks have won back-to-back games on the back of rookie Jack Bird’s performances at five eighth. Bird has been a revelation for the Sharks and he has forced coach Shane Flanagan to leave former Dally M medallist Ben Barba on the bench. I expect the Rabbitohs to come out firing and the return of Sutton will help them get the win.
TIP: Rabbitohs -2.5 @ $1.90 with Palmerbet
Take note: Any of the tips in this article are simply the author’s opinion, so bet at your own risk and always gamble responsibly. Also be sure to check out the Before You Bet Twitter Page for all our thoughts in the lead up to bets! Happy punting!
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