Rugby League

2015 NRL Round 1 Preview


The 2015 NRL season officially kicks off this weekend, with all 16 teams aiming to begin their quest for an appearance on the first Sunday of October in the best way possible.

Spread over an action-packed five days, Round 1 of the NRL season will begin with Wayne Bennett’s Brisbane homecoming as the Broncos host reigning premiers South Sydney on Thursday night, and will culminate with a sure-to-be fiery hit-out between the always physical Storm and Dragons on Monday.

Keep up to date with all the NRL action and results with the best odds available online at Ladbrokes this weekend!

Brisbane Broncos vs South Sydney Rabbitohs

Thursday, March 5 – 8:05pm AEST – Suncorp Stadium

Brisbane bolstered their squad with several impressive signings over the offseason and will be brimming with confidence when lining up against the premiers on Thursday. While missing the likes of Sam Burgess and Ben Teo, Souths should have enough firepower remaining to pick up where the left off in 2014, particularly after a 39 point demolition of English champions St Helens last week.

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Parramatta Eels vs Manly Sea Eagles

Friday, March 6 – 7:45pm AEST  – Pirtek Stadium

Parramatta looked a far-more competitive side in 2014 after appointing Brad Arthur as coach, and were unlucky to miss a finals berth on for and against. While adding the likes of Anthony Watmough, Beau Champion and Englishman Ben Crooks to their line-up, the loss of superstar Jarryd Hayne to American Football will likely have a big impact on their early season successes and may find Manly too great a task first-up on Friday night.

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Newcastle Knights vs New Zealand Warriors

Saturday, March 7 – 4:30pm AEST – Hunter Stadium

The Knights host the Warriors in Saturday’s first NRL fixture, in what undoubtedly figures as one of the more interesting Round 1 match-ups. The Newcastle faithful will be excited to see the return of Captain Kurt Gidley to fullback, however the always-dangerous flair of New Zealand halfback Shaun Johnson and talented backline may be too much for the locals to handle.

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Gold Coast Titans vs Wests Tigers

Saturday, March 7 – 7:00pm AEST – Robina Stadium

Gold Coast have experienced a tumultuous few weeks to say the least, but are offered a great opportunity to let their football do the talking against the Tigers in Round 1. Wests boast one of the best front lines in the league, but will need to weather the Titans early if to take all the points on Saturday evening.

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North Queensland Cowboys vs Sydney Roosters

Saturday, March 7 – 9:00pm AEST – 1300 Smiles Stadium

In what is arguably the weekend’s most exciting, talent-filled game, the Cowboys host the Roosters in a replay of last season’s semi-final thriller. North Queensland have added Jake Granville and Ben Hannant to their squad this year, while the return of Blake Ferguson to the NRL completes an exceptional backline for the Roosters. Cowboys to win in a nail-biter.

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Penrith Panthers vs Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

Sunday, March 8 – 4:00pm AEST – Pepper Stadium

The Panthers were the surprise packet of the 2014 NRL season, bowing out to their Round 1 opponents in an exciting preliminary final. While losing captain Michael Ennis to the Sharks, the addition of Brett Morris in the backline is sure to add another dimension to the Bulldogs’ attack, who should have no issue registering a comfortable Round 1 victory.

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Cronulla Sharks vs Canberra Raiders

Sunday, March 8 – 6:30pm AEST – Remondis Stadium

Widely tipped to languish at the bottom of the table this season, both the Sharks and Raiders will be keen to post as many early season points as possible; making this game an interesting one. The addition of Ben Barba and Gerard Beale most notably may help the Sharks sneak past the Raiders in Cronulla on Sunday.

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St George Illawarra Dragons vs Melbourne Storm

Monday, March 9 – 7:00pm AEST – WIN Jubilee Oval 

St George have sourced many of their recent signings from the ever-threatening Melbourne roster, and will be keen to build momentum off a gritty win over Warrington in England two weeks ago. Confirmed to field club legends Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith, the Storm look likely to begin their 2015 NRL campaign in style with a win away from home on Monday night.

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