The following are previews with betting tips for Round 25 of the 2019 NRL season.
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Rabbitohs v Roosters
Thu, Sep 5, 7.50pm
The last round of the regular season will kick off with a bang with a massive top-four clash between the Roosters and Rabbitohs. The arch-rivals had a fiery clash earlier in the year and both teams produced impressive performances last week with Souths finding their attacking rhythm against the Warriors, while the Roosters looked classy in their victory over Penrith – particularly with the absence of a number of stars.
Souths’ mentor Wayne Bennett has named only one change with Tom Amone joining the bench in place of the injured Kyle Turner. Meanwhile, the Roosters will have some big inclusions with Boyd Cordner and Cooper Cronk joining the starting side in a massive boost for the reigning premiers.
While South Sydney have done a good job to get themselves back into form after a concerning mid-season slump, Thursday night’s match will be a huge test to see if they can match it with the competition’s best. The Roosters have been playing fantastic footy in recent weeks and with the return of key leaders in Cooper Cronk and Boyd Cordner – expect the reigning premiers to get the win.
Betting Tip: Roosters -4.5 @ $1.95 (Unibet)
Eels v Sea Eagles
Fri, Sep 6, 6.00pm
Western Sydney Stadium
Parramatta will be looking to recover from their heart-breaking golden-point loss to Brisbane last week and will face a Sea Eagles outfit whose finals prospects took a major hit after a disappointing 36-6 loss to Melbourne. Both these teams have played fantastic football at times this year but have lacked the consistency of the competition’s elite.
Manly lost star fullback Tom Trbojevic to a season ending pectoral injury last week in a huge blow for the club as Brendan Elliot joins the squad as cover. Sean Keppie will also make his
NRL debut off the bench alongside Lloyd Perrett in an otherwise unchanged 17. Eels’ coach Brad Arthur has only made minor changes to his team as Tepai Moeroa and Ray Stone join the interchange.
While Brendan Elliot has proven a capable replacement, the loss of Tom Trbojevic is a massive loss for the Sea Eagles. Despite failing to post a victory last week, expect the Eels to be burning after their field-goal loss to Brisbane last week. Manly are still good enough to win but unless they produce a massive performance, expect the Eels to get the points.
Betting Tip: Eels -4.0 @ $1.90 (Beteasy)
Storm v Cowboys
Fri, Sep 6, 7.55pm
Having tied up the minor premiership, Melbourne will host an in-form North Queensland Cowboys squad in the final round of the regular competition in an important game for both clubs. While the Cowboys have chalked up consecutive victories, the fact the 2015 premiers have missed the finals for the last two years is building pressure on coach Paul Green and an upset victory over the Storm will go a long way to restoring faith in the veteran mentor.
After their impressive last-start victory over Manly, the Storm will rest star winger Josh Addo-Carr with Sandor Earl drafted into the squad as cover. Brodie Croft will cover for the injured Cameron Munster at five-eighth with Tui Kamikamica joining the interchange. The Cowboys have named only one change with enforcer Josh McGuire returning on the bench.
Melbourne will enter this match as firm favourites but should be wary of complacency heading into this match given the importance of taking form and confidence into the finals series. North Queensland will need to produce a Herculean performance to take this match but despite a number of missing stars, expect Melbourne to get the win.
Betting Tip: Storm -13.5 @ $1.90 (Beteasy)
Raiders v Warriors
Sat, Sep 7, 3.00pm
The Raiders have produced a massive turnaround this season and their effort has been rewarded with an ever-coveted top-four berth. After the club’s inspirational golden-point victory over Cronulla last week, the Raiders will host a struggling Warriors outfit who were humbled in their last-start loss to the Rabbitohs as the New Zealand club looks to finish their season on a positive note.
Canberra will rest a number of stars in Charnze-Nicoll-Klokstad, Jordan Rapana, Iosia Soliola and John Bateman as Michael Oldfield, Sebastian Kris, Emre Guler and JJ Collins join the 17 as cover. For the Warriors, Blake Ayshford will line up at centre with Adam Keighran and Bunty Afoa joining the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad.
Despite resting a number of star players, the Raiders will enter this match as firm favourites – largely off the back of the quality of depth the club has within its roster. Canberra should still be wary of a Warriors squad who will no doubt be eager to make-up for their poor performance last week, but veteran coach Ricky Stuart will impress the importance of taking confidence and a winning habit into the finals series. Raiders to get the win.
Betting Tip: Warriors +10.0 @ $1.90 (Sportsbet)
Bulldogs v Broncos
Sat, Sep 7, 5.30pm
The Broncos produced a fantastic golden-point victory over the Eels last week in a performance that all but secured their finals berth. Facing a Bulldogs outfit who were brave in a 15-8 loss at the hands of the Cowboys this week, Brisbane should be wary of complacency heading into this match, particularly with Canterbury producing a number of upset wins in their recent performances.
Jake Turpin will re-join the Broncos 17 at halfback, with Izaia Perese returning to the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad. For Canterbury, a knee injury to Dallin Watene-Zelezniak will give Morgan Harper an opportunity to make his NRL debut in the centres alongside the Reimis Smith, who is also returning from suspension.
Brisbane’s recent form will see them enter this match as favourites and while they certainly have more strike across the park, the Broncos should be wary of being drawn into an 80-minute grind in which Dean Pay’s squad excel. The Broncos will look to use their larger forward rotation to dominate the ruck, but the defensive resolve of Canterbury will make this contest a fascinating one. Broncos to get the points.
Betting Tip: Broncos -4.5 @ $1.96 (Unibet)
Titans v Dragons
Sat, Sep 7, 7.35pm
CBus Super Stadium
Both St George and the Titans will be playing for pride on Saturday night after they were humbled by massive losses last week. The Dragons fell well short of a desperate Tigers squad now only one victory away from securing a top-eight berth, while the Titans would have been disappointed in last week’s 34-point loss to Newcastle.
Mitch Rein and Jack Stockwell will join the Titans’ squad at hooker and from the bench respectively, while the Dragons will welcome Corey Norman’s return at fullback. Reece Robson will replace the injured Cameron McInnes with Jeremy Latimore joining the interchange.
The Dragons will enter this match as favourites given the Titans’ recent form. Injuries to key players will make the Gold Coast club’s task somewhat easier but expect a big response from the representative stars within the St George line-up after last week’s result. While the outcome is tough to predict with both teams performing well below their best, the class within the Dragons roster should get them over the line.
Betting Tip: Dragons -2.5 @ $1.91 (Bet365)
Tigers v Sharks
Sun, Sep 8, 2.00pm
Sunday’s contest between the Tigers and Sharks will be a hugely important sudden-death match with the winner set to walk-away with a finals berth. Wests have produced massive consecutive victories over the Knights and Dragons in recent weeks but will face a much sterner test against the Sharks. Cronulla fell just short in a heart-breaking golden-point loss to the Raiders last week in an impressive performance despite the result.
In what would be his final regular match for Wests before retirement, Robbie Farah is a chance to return from a fractured leg after he was named in the reserves. Captain Moses Mbye could also a possible late inclusion to an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, Cronulla will welcome back Shaun Johnson and Sosaia Feki at halfback and on the wing respectively. Jack Williams will also replace Jason Bukuya on the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad.
While Cronulla have demonstrated their class against quality opposition, fatigue could play a big role in the outcome of this match after the Sharks were left empty-handed after 88 minutes of tough football last week. It should be a highly emotional match for the Tigers at their traditional home-ground of Leichhardt Oval and the club has produced massive performances in their last two games, albeit against the likes of Newcastle and St George. This will be a desperate encounter between two tough football teams. The result could go either way but expect the big-game experience of Cronulla’s key players to prove the difference.
Betting Tip: Sharks H2H @ $1.80 (Ladbrokes)
Panthers v Knights
Sun, Sep 8, 4.05pm
Now out of finals contention, both the Panthers and Knights will be looking to finish the regular season on a positive note as both clubs look to season 2020. The Panthers’ last-start loss to the Roosters was their third consecutive defeat and saw them drop out of the race for a top-eight berth, while the Knights produced an impressive performance against the Titans in a 38-4 victory.
The Panthers will welcome Jarome Laui’s return on the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad. Meanwhile, Newcastle have similarly named only one change with Kurt Mann joining the bench in place of Jacob Saifiti.
While Penrith will enter this match as narrow favourites, last week’s performance from the Knights suggests there is life yet in this Newcastle squad. Their coach for 2020 has been announced in current Roosters assistant Adam O’Brien and the playing group will be eager to impress their coach-in-waiting in their final game of the year. Could go either way but expect Newcastle to get the win.
Betting Tip: Knights +2.5 @ $1.91 (Pointsbet)
Broncos -4.5 @ $1.96 (Unibet)
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