This Sunday sees two of the early Premiership heavyweights coming up against two sides struggling to stay in touch with the top 8, in two games that could be blowouts. In game 1, the impressive Cronulla Sharks will look to win their 4th straight, when they play host to the winless Wests Tigers. The Tigers’ and coach Michael Maguire will be desperate to get the monkey off the back after a gut-wrenching loss last weekend.
Then, in the final game of the round, Premiership favourites the Penrith Panthers head to CommBank Stadium where they take on the Canterbury Bulldogs. The Panthers will look for their fifth straight to start the season, whilst the Bulldogs will just be hoping not to lose by too many.
As always, make sure you keep up to date with our match-by-match previews throughout the 2022 NRL season, where we will give you all the best bets to beat the bookie throughout the year. Last Sunday, we smashed it, going 2-0 on best bets for +4.88 units and 3-1 on prop bets! Hopefully, we can pick some more winners here today.
NRL Round 5 Sunday Betting Tips
Cronulla Sharks vs Wests Tigers
PointsBet Stadium, Sunday 10th April, 4:05pm (AEST)
1. Will Kennedy 2. Sione Katoa 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Siosifa Talakai 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Matt Moylan 7. Nicho Hynes 8. Toby Rudolf 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Braden Hamlin-Uele 11. Briton Nikora 12. Teig Wilton 13. Dale Finucane. INTERCHANGE: 14. Aiden Tolman 15. Cameron McInnes 16. Braydon Trindall 17. Andrew Fifita. RESERVES: 18. Jack Williams 19. Mawene Hiroti 20. Lachlan Miller 21. Royce Hunt 22. Jonaiah Lualua 23. Kade Dykes 24. Franklin Pele
1. Daine Laurie 2. David Nofoaluma 3. James Roberts 4. Oliver Gildart 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Jock Madden 7. Luke Brooks 8. James Tamou 9. Jacob Liddle 10. Zane Musgrove 11. Kelma Tuilagi 12. Luciano Leilua 13. Joe Ofahengaue. INTERCHANGE: 14. Tyrone Peachey 15. Alex Twal 16. Luke Garner 17. Alex Seyfarth. RESERVES: 18. Starford To’a 19. Jake Simpkin 20. Thomas Mikaele 21. Austin Dias 22. Tukimihia Simpkins 23. Junior Tupou 24. Ruatapu Ngatikaura
Two teams that have had vastly different starts to the season collide at PointsBet Stadium, as the ever-improving Cronulla Sharks host the winless Tigers. This is a match-up that could get away from the Tigers early and could be another Sunday afternoon bloodbath.
The Sharks have been ultra-impressive. Barring a late blip in round 1 at GIO Stadium against the Raiders, the Sharks have been a top 4 worthy side. The integration of a new halfback, new coach and new captain has taken no time at all, and the Sharks look every bit the top 4 contender.
The Tigers on the other hand started as the favourites for the wooden spoon and have only firmed in that market. They have struggled to score points (9 per game) and look rudderless in attack. Luke Brooks almost refuses to touch the ball during attacking sets inside the opponents 20, and that has led to halves pairings Jock Madden, and in earlier games Jackson Hastings, having to conjure up any sort of attack. The service out of dummy half has also looked clunky, and they just do not seem to create any pressure with the ball in hand.
Last week, the Sharks were never in danger as they systematically took apart the Knights, winning 18-0 in horrible windy conditions. They ran for over 600m more than the Knights and missed only 19 tackles on the way to their 3rd straight, putting them inside the top 4.
The Tigers played in the worst game I have seen in many years, failing to score a try in an 8-6 bludger of a game against the Titans. Granted, they defended well, but the Titans were their own worst enemy and both sides appear to be long shots at making the finals this year. After an impressive first round showing against the Storm, the Tigers seem destined for the spoon, with coach Maguire surely a dead man walking.
The Sharks are close to the top of the league in all key defensive statistics, whilst the Tigers are on the opposite side with their attack. I would lean the full game under based on the Tigers showing some desire in defence, but the best bet is surely Tigers team total unders. I would not be surprised to see a duck egg from the Tigers, and that will be my best bet.
In late mail, Aiden Tolman drops off the bench for the Sharks, with Royce Hunt his likely replacement, whilst the Tigers lose James Roberts, with Starford To’a taking his place in the centres.
Shark 13+ ($1.60 at Neds)
Under 41.5 Total ($1.97 at Palmerbet)
Tigers Under 11.5 Points
$2.03 (2 Units)
Canterbury Bulldogs vs Penrith Panthers
CommBank Stadium, Sunday 3rd April, 6:15pm (AEST)
1. Matt Dufty 2. Brent Naden 3. Braidon Burns 4. Jake Averillo 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Matt Burton 7. Kyle Flanagan 8. Luke Thompson 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Corey Waddell 12. Tevita Pangai Junior 13. Josh Jackson. INTERCHANGE: 14. Brandon Wakeham 15. Chris Patolo 16. Max King 17. Joe Stimson. RESERVES: 19. Bailey Biondi-Odo 20. Reece Hoffman 21. Aaron Schoupp 22. Jayden Okunbor 23. Ava Seumanufagai 24. Josh Cook 25. Jackson Topine
1. Dylan Edwards 2. Charlie Staines 3. Izack Tago 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Taylan May 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Matt Eisenhuth 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo. INTERCHANGE: 14. Mitch Kenny 15. Scott Sorensen 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Jaeman Salmon. RESERVES: 18. Robert Jennings 19. Chris Smith 20. J’maine Hopgood 21. Lindsay Smith 22. Soni Luke 23. Christian Crichton 24. Sean O’Sullivan
Where to for the Bulldogs? After a gutsy 6-4 first round win over Cowboys, which was followed up by two 1 possession losses, things have gone south fast. Last week, they were destroyed by the Storm, and have since named their third different halfback in 5 weeks, with Kyle Flanagan recalled from reserve grade. Much has been made of the selection, with media types saying that Flanagan has been thrown to the wolves, or in this case, the Panthers.
Speaking of the Panthers, whilst they haven’t quite hit top gear in the first month of the competition, they are still the only undefeated team in the NRL, despite being without star halfback Nathan Cleary for 3 weeks. Cleary looked rusty last week, but will be better for the run, and should look more like the Cleary of 2021 the longer the season progresses.
Whilst on last week, the Panthers played in the 2021 Grand Final rematch, as they played host to the Rabbitohs. In some respects, it was a tight match, but in all honesty the Panthers never really looked in trouble. They had 56% possession, ran for almost 500m more than the Rabbitohs, and scored 5 tries to 2. The Rabbitohs showed that they have improved since their early loss to the Broncos, but they are still a ways off their 2021 form.
Statistically speaking, like last year’s story with the Bulldogs, they look to have all the hallmarks of a good team. They are towards the top of the league in completion %, run metres, post contact metres and offloads. But as has been the case for a few years now, they cannot convert these opportunities into points. The scary thing for the Bulldogs in this game, is their opposition. The Panther’s defence has stifled opposition teams so far this year, and with a team as one dimensional in attack as the Bulldogs, the Panthers can afford to bunch their defence and come up and in to suffocate the Bulldogs.
We have continued going to the well on Bulldogs unders and with all the statistics in front of us it’s hard not to go there again. I am concerned that scores are up this round (conveniently after PVLs comments), but I still don’t know if the Bulldogs score two or more tries and I’ll keep going back to the tried and tested formula until the Dogs show me otherwise. Maybe it is the week that this strategy fails with the inclusion of Flanagan, but I don’t think so.
Bulldogs Under 0.5 Points ($6.00 at Palmerbet)
1st Half Bulldogs Under 1.5 ($2.40 at Palmerbet)
Crichton Anytime Try ($2.40 at Bet365)
Bulldogs Under 10.5 Points
$1.80 (3 Units)