2024 NRL Round 12 Preview

After a wild weekend in Brisbane, NRL Round 12 features a host of pivotal encounters clouded by injuries, form funks and coach sackings.

See where the value lies in Indigenous Round, the last batch of matches before State of Origin muddies the premiership waters further.

Canterbury Bulldogs vs St George Illawarra Dragons
Thursday May 23, 7:50pm, Accor Stadium

Two vastly improved 2023 battlers lock horns for the first time this season at a crucial juncture in both teams’ seasons, with Canterbury and St George Illawarra striving to stay in touch with the Top 8.

The Bulldogs – who had won four of their previous seven and enhanced their reputation in tight losses to Melbourne and Penrith – produced arguably their most disappointing display since Round 2 in Magic Round, letting a handy lead slip against the sin-bin-hit Raiders in a 24-20 loss.

The 5-5 Dragons sat out the Suncorp Stadium extravaganza with the bye, having halted a two-game slide with a fairly convincing 28-14 win over embattled Souths in Round 10.

Jaemon Salmon returns in the second-row for, pushing Josh Curran to the Bulldogs’ bench and Poasa Faamausili out of the 17. The Dragons’ only change sees Luciano Leilua back at the expense of Ben Murdoch-Masila.

All eyes will be on the likes of fringe NSW contenders Matt Burton and Zac Lomax, who are also vital to their teams’ chances in this clash.

The Dragons have won five of the long-suffering clubs’ last eight encounters, but the Bulldogs took out the sole 2023 clash – an 18-16 eclipse in Wollongong. The Bulldogs have also won 10 of their last 13 against the Saints at Accor Stadium.

The Saints are a miserable 4-14 at Homebush since 2015 and haven’t won there in almost five years. The Bulldogs have won three straight at the venue since the start of April – perhaps the edge the 4.5-point favourites need in what shapes as a showdown between two evenly-matched outfits.

Tip: Back the Bulldogs to Win by 1-12 Points @ $2.80


North Queensland Cowboys vs Wests Tigers
Friday May 24, 6:00pm, Queensland Country Bank Stadium

North Queensland scooped a drought-breaking win in Magic Round but is by no means out of the woods form-wise, while Wests Tigers are currently mired in a seven-match losing streak.

The Cowboys arrested an alarming five-game slide – culminating in narrow losses as favourites to the Dolphins and Titans – with a patchy 28-22 victory over embattled Souths. Todd Payten’s side is still yet to concede less than 18 points in a game this season.

The 2-8 Tigers went down 24-12 to the Dolphins on Sunday. Their average losing margin is a modest 13.5 points, but they have scored more than 18 points just once this season and no more than 14 in their last six games.

Declan Casey and Josh Feledy come in for suspended Tigers centres Brent Naden and Justin Olam. Isaiah Papali’i is back from suspension while Justin Matamua comes in at lock.

The Cowboys have won four of their last six against the Cowboys, but last season’s series was one of the most remarkable on record. The Tigers romped to a 66-18 win at Leichhardt, while the Cowboys turned the tables in a 74-0 obliteration in Townsville just six weeks later.

The Tigers’ lack of attacking potency makes it hard to get behind them for an upset, particularly against a firepower-laden outfit like the Cowboys, who should be able to come away with another crucial win before the Origin drain begins to bite.

Tip: Under 48.5 Total Points @ $1.90


Manly Sea Eagles vs Melbourne Storm
Friday May 24, 8:00pm, 4 Pines Park

Manly’s promising campaign is slipping away, but the Sea Eagles get a chance to halt a three-game spiral against an injury-hit Melbourne Storm side.

After blowing big leads against Canberra and the Dolphins – losing Tom Trbojevic to a long-term injury in the latter – Manly showed some grit to stay in the Magic Round fight against Brisbane before being pipped 13-12.

Second-placed Melbourne bounced back from a top-of-the-table loss to Cronulla in Round 10 with a 48-16 cakewalk against Parramatta, winning the second half 32-6 with Harry Grant and Eliesa Katoa producing blinders.

The bad news was a groin injury that will sideline talisman Cameron Munster for some time. Jahrome Hughes has been named to return in his place after missing the last two weeks but is no certainty to line up.

Jason Saab makes a surprise early return for Manly and Nathan Brown is also back, but Matt Lodge is set for a long stint on the sidelines and Lachlan Croker remains out.

The Storm have won seven of the teams’ last nine showdowns, but it was split last season with the Sea Eagles grafting out an 18-8 win at home in Round 7 before going down 24-16 at AAMI Park in Round 17. Manly has a 12-11 edge over Melbourne at Brookvale since 1998.

The Sea Eagles are 3-1 at 4 Pines Park this season and will be out to atone for coughing up a 20-0 lead to the Raiders in their last home game.

Hughes’ availability could swing this one the Storm’s way, but the DCE-inspired Sea Eagles are capable of turning the screws on a depleted line-up. Expect a big game from Haumole Olakau’atu as he looks to clinch a NSW debut.

Tip: Back the Sea Eagles to Cover the Line (+3.5) @ $1.90


Canberra Raiders vs Sydney Roosters
Saturday May 25, 3:00pm, GIO Stadium

After a two-week blip in the wake of Jamal Fogarty’s long-term injury, Canberra has roared back into Top 8 contention with a pair of gutsy comeback wins either side of the Round 10 bye.

The Raiders revived their campaign by clawing from 20-0 down to sensationally beat Manly 26-24 on the road. Showing similar spirit, they recovered from two sin-binnings and a 20-12 deficit to beat the Bulldogs 24-20.

Elliott Whitehead has been an inspiration since returning, novice halves Ethan Strange and Keano Kini are on fire, and Hudson Young is playing his way into the NSW side. Peter Hola replaces a suspended Josh Papalii in the Raiders’ only change this week.

Sydney Roosters’ three-game winning streak concluded with a 38-30 loss in a heavyweight shootout against Cronulla in Magic Round.

The Roosters have scored a whopping 168 points in their last four games, but they have conceded at least 18 in eight straight games and complete performances on both sides of the ball are proving elusive.

The Roosters get Joey Manu (concussion) back with Junior Pauga dropping to the bench. Connor Watson is a big out, which sees Brandon Smith start at hooker and Sandon Smith come onto the pine. Nat Butcher is out of the 17 with Naufahu Whyte at lock and Victor Radley shuffled to an edge.

The Raiders are searching for three straight wins over the Roosters, having taken out the clubs’ sole encounters in 2022 (22-16 at GIO Stadium) and 2023 (20-18 at Allianz Stadium).

Canberra is 3-1 at home this season and can put some pressure on the far-too-short $1.28 favourites with the same sort of defensive spirit that has underpinned their recent wins…though they’d be well-advised to not give up another sizeable lead against a quality team like the Roosters.

Tip: Back the Raiders to Cover the Line (+11.5) @ $1.90


Cronulla Sharks vs Penrith Panthers
Saturday May 25, 5:30pm, Shark Park

A third straight high-profile showdown for ladder leaders Cronulla, though Nathan Cleary’s ongoing absence takes the sting out of this one somewhat – and pitches Penrith into the unfamiliar underdog role.

The Sharks’ only loss was their bewildering capitulation to the Tigers in Round 3. Since then they’ve won seven straight by at least seven points, carrying on the momentum from a soft early draw to outlast heavyweights Melbourne (25-18) at AAMI Park and Sydney Roosters (38-30) in Magic Round.

Nicho Hynes missed the Storm game – where rookie Daniel Atkinson stepped up brilliantly – but was best on ground as they finished over the top of the in-form Roosters. William Kennedy was also superb, while Cam McInnes, Jesse Ramien and Tom Hazelton pushed the NSW Origin causes.

The Panthers’ four-match winning streak came to an end in the most unexpected circumstances, stunned by a severely undermanned Warriors side 22-20 in an uncharacteristically sloppy performance on both sides of the ball.

Cleary’s poise was clearly missed, though Blues hopeful Jarome Luai was one of the best players on the park.

Scott Sorensen goes into the Panthers’ starting side with Luke Garner dropping out altogether and Liam Henry returning from concussion on the bench. The Sharks are unchanged.

The Panthers have won six of their last seven against the Sharks. The Sharks’ sole win during that period was a 19-18 result at Kogarah against an Origin-depleted Panthers outfit. Last season’s sole encounter finished 28-0 in the premiers’ favour at Penrith.

This is the clubs’ first meeting at Shark Park since 2019, with the Sharks winning the last five against the Panthers at this venue.

Penrith hasn’t lost two in a row in more than a year, but near-full-strength, $1.60 favourite Cronulla’s stability and confidence from knocking over some fellow big guns has them ideally placed to go 5-0 at home for the season.

Tip: Back Sharks/Sharks Half-time/Full-time Double @ $2.05


South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Parramatta Eels
Saturday May 25, 7:35pm, Accor Stadium

A deliciously timed showdown with Parramatta joining South Sydney in the mid-season coaching sacking brigade during the week, with Wayne Bennett also confirming his 2025 return to the Rabbitohs after spurning the Eels.

The 1-9 Rabbitohs are looking to avoid seven straight losses for the first time since 2016, coming up short against Penrith (42-12), St George Illawarra (28-14) and North Queensland (28-22) since cutting coach Jason Demetriou loose.

Latrell Mitchell has made an impact on attack since returning from injury, but Souths have conceded less than 28 points just once this season.

Ben Hornby continues to look for solutions with Jack Wighton moving to five-eighth and Cody Walker to halfback. Taane Milne and Michael Chee Kam are in the cenres with Izaac Thompson axed, and Jacob Host comes back from suspension to bump Saliva Havili to the bench.

Things came to a head for Parramatta and Brad Arthur after their sixth loss in seven games, a 48-16 thrashing from Melbourne in Magic Round after trailing by just six at the break.

You have to feel for Arthur with spearheads Mitch Moses and Clint Gutherson sidelined, though – which give caretaker Trent Barrett an unenviable task. On the bright side, Blaize Talagi has been a revelation at fullback.

The only change to Barrett’s first team as interim coach is Ryan Matterson returning from illness and Luca Moretti dropping out of the side, with Moses not returning to make a last-ditch appeal for an Origin spot.

Parramatta snapped a six-match losing streak against Souths in the clubs’ only 2023 meeting, a 36-16 romp in Round 12 at Allianz Stadium. The head-to-head market can’t split the teams, which is no surprise.

The over holds plenty of appeal, however: the Eels’ last six games have produced totals of 44-plus (including three of the last four with 50-plus), and only one of the Rabbitohs’ last five has not seen 50 or more scored.

Tip: Back Over 47.5 Total Points @ $1.90


Brisbane Broncos vs Gold Coast Titans
Sunday May 26, 2:00pm, Suncorp Stadium

Brisbane has impressively walked the injury barrage tightrope with five wins from their last six outing, but they’ll be eager to pick up another pre-Origin victory over a Gold Coast side beset by absentees themselves.

The Broncos, without Reece Walsh on top of Adam Reynolds’ long-term setback, held off Manly 13-12 in Magic Round with stand-in fullback Selwyn Cobbo superb, Pat Carrigan leading the forward charge as per usual and Jock Madden slotting the decisive field goal.

The return of Walsh and Billy Walters has been tempered by Kotoni Staggs’ injury, which allows Josiah Karapani to keep a spot. Blake Mozer makes way with Walters back.

The 2-8 Titans, coming off two wins from their previous three games, lost few admirers in a 28-24 loss to Newcastle with Kieran Foran and AJ Brimson headlining a new batch of players introduced to the casualty ward.

Tom Weaver added spark at halfback while David Fifita, Brian Kelly and Erin Clark also had strong games, but it was nevertheless disappointing to blow a 24-10 halftime lead.

Aaron Schoupp left for Manly after Magic Round, which sees Jojo Fifita go to centre and Tony Francis line up on the wing. Jaiman Joliffe (pec) is replaced in the 17 by Joe Stimson with Josiah Pahulu to start.

The near neighbours’ last eight encounters were split four apiece.

Last year, the Broncos came from behind to win 43-26 on the Gold Coast, while the Titans pulled off one of the upsets of the season after Justin Holbrook’s sacking with an 18-12 win at Suncorp Stadium over an ill-disciplined Brisbane side. Alofiana Khan-Pereira scored three tries across the two games.

The latter result – along with some of their recent rearguard performances – is a reminder the Titans can pull the pants down of any team that doesn’t turn up with the requisite attitude. Another upset might appear unlikely for the $4.40 underdogs but they are tempting with a massive start.

Tip: Back the Titans to Cover the Line (+13.5) @ $1.90


New Zealand Warriors vs Dolphins
Sunday May 26, 4:05pm, Go Media Stadium

The Warriors pulled off one of the great Magic Round upsets – and one of the finest backs-to-the-wall victories in their history – to potentially save their season. But can their unlikely heroes maintain that intensity for another week against the in-form Dolphins before a much-needed bye?

The Warriors came from behind three times to edge Penrith 22-20 in amazing scenes. Andrew Webster’s line-up tweaks (many of them injury-enforced) worked a treat, with Te Maire Martin and Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad excellent in the halves.

Fill-in hooker Paul Roache and match-winning fullback Taine Tuaupiki came of age, while Jazz Tevaga, Mitch Barnett and Dylan Walker led an aggressive engine-room effort.

More casualties for the Warriors, though, with Ali Leiataua and Wayde Egan out. But Freddy Lussick, Rocco Berry and Marata Niukore have all been named to return, as has Chanel Harris-Tavita in the reserves. Roache is demoted to 18th man despite a stellar showing after Egan went off.

The fourth-placed, 7-3 Dolphins have won three on the trot, following up spirited, high-scoring comeback wins over the Cowboys and Sea Eagles with a dour 24-12 defeat of the lowly Tigers in Magic Round, which was sporadically lit up by returning Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow’s attacking spark.

Max Plath (concussion) returns for the Phins, with Kenny Bromwich reverting to the bench and Kurt Donoghoe dropping out.

Both teams picked up a convincing home win over the other in 2023. Shaun Johnson inspired the Warriors to a 30-8 win in Round 14 in a second-half landslide, while the Dolphins cruised to a 34-10 final-round win over a side that featured just 10 first-choice players.

The Warriors have been underwhelming at Mt Smart this season – winning one and drawing one of four matches – and it’s tough to gauge whether the Magic Round miracle was the harbinger of a turnaround or a flash in the pan.

The Dolphins, still light on big scalps, could expect to pick up the two points in this pick ’em the comparative strength of these line-ups. But this is only their second game outside Queensland in 2024, the other being against the Eels in steamy Darwin.

Heading into hostile territory shapes as a potential shock to a smooth-running system.

Tip: Back the Warriors to Win @ $1.90



A blockbuster between the streaking Cowboys and front-running Panthers headlines NRL Round 12, while the Broncos are searching for six in a row in a derby showdown.
Melbourne and Manly could both do with a boost from Thursday’s grudge match, fourth spot goes on the line in a Sharks-Roosters barnburner and the resurgent Raiders will attempt to keep their roll going against the up-and-down Eels.

Melbourne Storm vs Manly Sea Eagles
Thursday May 26, 7:50pm, Suncorp Stadium

Melbourne and Manly both have bigger fish to fry than focusing on one of the NRL’s most bitter rivalries, with the injury-hit Storm in the rare position of coming off heavy back-to-back losses and the Sea Eagles reeling from a season-ending blow to their marquee player.

The Storm’s attack has understandably suffered with Jahrome Hughes and Ryan Papenhuyzen sidelined against the two best defences in the league. But the worrying aspect of heavy losses to the Panthers (32-6) and Cowboys (36-6) has been their uncharacteristic leaking of points.

Meanwhile, Manly’s run of four losses in five games – including a Magic Round hammering from Brisbane – has been compounded by a shoulder injury slated to keep Tom Trbojevic out for the rest of 2022. The Sea Eagles were gutsy and unlucky in a 22-20 loss to Parramatta last week, running out of steam amid some tough calls.

Reuben Garrick is a very capable No.1 replacement and has been superb on the wing or at the back all season, while Jorge Taufua returns on the wing for his first NRL appearance since 2020. Ethan Bullemor comes into the side for Martin Taupau.

The Storm are on a five-match winning streak against the Sea Eagles, winning 28-18 in Round 21 at Suncorp Stadium last year before carving out an emphatic 40-12 victory during the first week of the finals.

The return of Hughes – which allows Harry Grant to return to hooker – is almost enough on its own to be ultra-confident of the Storm avoiding a third straight loss since 2015.

Tips: Back the Storm to Win by 11-20 Points @ $3.10


Penrith Panthers vs North Queensland Cowboys
Friday May 27, 6:00pm, Panthers Stadium

Penrith has opened up a four-point lead on the field, following up the first loss of its title defence to Parramatta in Round 9 with big statements against high-profile rivals Melbourne (32-6) and Sydney Roosters (32-12).

Jarome Luai’s form spike continued against the Roosters with two tries and three Dally M votes. But the Panthers have rarely had a subpar performer in their 17 throughout 2022.

Third-placed North Queensland is on a six-match winning streak for the first time since its 2015 premiership season. The Cowboys’ attack is humming, scoring 30-plus points in five straight games with the likes of Murray Taulagi and Jeremiah Nanai starring in recent weeks.

But their defence is only a shade behind the Panthers’ as the NRL’s best statistically, while the Cowboys showed impressive resolve to overcome the loss of Jason Taumalolo and Kyle Feldt in the first half to blow the Storm away 36-6 with a four-try burst early in the second half.

Coen Hess and Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow come into the starting side for Taumalolo and Feldt this week, with Jake Granville and Jamayne Taunoa-Brown joining the interchange. The Panthers are unchanged and will roll out the same starting line-up for the fourth straight game.

Penrith took out the teams’ sole 2021 clash 24-0 at home in Round 1. The Cowboys last won at the foot of the mountains in 2016.

Todd Payten’s Cowboys are a different proposition in 2022, but their line-up disruptions could prove a decisive factor against the relentless Panthers machine. The visitors are getting a huge start, though, and are capable of taking the champs to the wire.

Tips: Back the Cowboys to Cover the Line (+14.5) @ $2.00


Brisbane Broncos vs Gold Coast Titans
Friday May 27, 7:55pm, Suncorp Stadium

Gold Coast Titans have gained a belated foothold in their biggest rivalry with five wins in their last eight encounters with Brisbane Broncos. Honours were shared in 2021, with the Titans winning 28-16 in Round 2 in Robina and the Broncos getting up 36-28 at Suncorp in Round 8.

The balance of southeast Queensland power has shifted in 2022, however, with the Broncos winning five straight games for the first time in five years. They were aided by some dubious calls in a 36-12 defeat of struggling Newcastle last Thursday, but it was ultimately another encouraging display with Adam Reynolds out.

Selwyn Cobbo was again electric, grabbing a double to take his tally to nine tries in the Broncos’ last five games.

The 3-8 Titans have shown signs of improvement after arresting a five-match losing streak with a golden point win over the Dragons in Magic Round. They arguably had the better of the first half and produced a plucky late comeback in a 25-18 loss to the Sharks last Sunday.

The return of fullback Jayden Campbell has had an enormous impact. Brian Kelly returns for Phillip Sami this week, while Jaiman Joliffe comes onto the bench for Herman Ese’ese.

Reynolds remains sidelined for the unchanged Broncos, with rookie Ezra Mam to wear the No.7 again after a solid NRL debut last week.

The absence of the influential veteran is reason enough to take a serious look at the Titans, who are $3 underdogs in this derby but have enough offensive threats to cause the hosts plenty of headaches.

Tips: Back the Titans to Cover the Line (+8) @ $2.00


New Zealand Warriors vs Newcastle Knights
Saturday May 28, 3:00pm, Moreton Daily Stadium

Both sides are coming into this make-or-break showdown in Redcliffe at a low ebb.

The 4-7 Warriors have won just one of their last six and have been little short of diabolical, despite narrow losses to Souths (32-30) and St George Illawarra (24-18) in the past fortnight. Shocking edge defence and lack of cohesive attack have emphatically overshadowed any individual positives.

Meanwhile, the Warriors have lost elite front-row pair Matt Lodge (released) and Addin Fonua-Blake (injury) in a matter of days. Jazz Tevaga is the surprise prop replacement, though mid-season pick-up Dunamis Lui is in the extended squad and could be a late addition.

Freddy Lussick is named to start at hooker while Chanel Harris-Tavita returns at five-eighth despite announcing his rugby league hiatus from the end of 2022. Expect under-pressure Nathan Brown to bring Jesse Arthars and/or Daejarn Asi from the reserves into a battling backline.

Newcastle have lost eight of their last nine, copping some terrible Bunker calls but nevertheless crumbling in disappointing style 36-12 to a Reynolds-less Brisbane outfit at home in Round 11. Kalyn Ponga’s form resurgence continued, while Anthony Milford’s inclusion provided genuine improvement in the halves.

Jake Clifford comes in at halfback for Adam Clune, while Enari Tuala replaces injured centre Bradman Best.

The Knights grabbed a pair of late wins over the Warriors in 2021. Best set up a go-ahead try Hymel Hunt with five minutes left in a 20-16 victory in Gosford in Round 2, while Brodie Jones scored a deadlock-breaking try with four minutes left for a 10-6 win in horrendous Newcastle conditions in Round 15.

Expect the loser of this match to duke it out with the Bulldogs for the wooden spoon. It’s a lottery with the NRL’s two worst defences on display – and there’s a sense whoever wins the fullback duel/Origin selection audition between Ponga and Reece Walsh will get the result. The underdog Knights look better head-to-head value.

Tips: Back Over 40.5 Total Points @ $1.90


South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Wests Tigers
Saturday May 28, 5:30pm, Accor Stadium

South Sydney and Wests Tigers square off for the second time in six weeks. The Tigers pulled off a 23-22 upset in Round 7 on the back of Jackson Hastings’ inspiration and Luke Brooks’ last-minute field goal.

Since then the 3-8 Tigers have lost three straight before outlasting embattled Canterbury 36-22 last Friday. They almost blew an 18-0 halftime lead but did enough down the stretch to get the two points, with Hastings again the catalyst.

The 5-6 Rabbitohs are clinging to eighth spot but are struggling to build any momentum, stuck in a win-loss pattern for the past six weeks. Their lack of defensive steel is a real concern, almost getting run down by the woeful Warriors in a 32-30 Magic Round win before getting trounced 32-12 by the Raiders in Dubbo.

Souths were never in the hunt against the Raiders, missing 48 tackles and lacking punch in attack. The Rabbitohs’ pack is bolstered by Mark Nicholls’ return from a seven-week layoff, while Cameron Murray could be a much-needed late inclusion after being named in the reserves.

The Tigers welcome back key playmakers Daine Laurie and Luke Brooks, with Starford To’a moving back to centre. Asu Kepaoa returns from COVID protocols to replace fellow tyro Junior Tupou on the wing, Jake Simpkin is back at hooker and the Tigers will be hopeful of David Nofoaluma (concussion) being a late inclusion.

The Rabbitohs have a much higher ceiling of the two sides, but errors and substandard defence are killing them at present. The Tigers remain miles off being Top 8 material but are more of a chance than their $3 underdog billing would suggest.

Tips: Back the Tigers to Cover the Line (+8) @ $1.90


Cronulla Sharks vs Sydney Roosters
Saturday May 28, 7:35pm, Shark Park

Potentially the game of the round as the fourth-placed, 7-4 Cronulla Sharks host the seventh-placed, 6-5 Sydney Roosters.

The Sharks have dipped after their sizzling start to 2022 and haven’t won back-to-back games since Round 5. But they bounced back from an insipid 30-10 Magic Round loss to Canberra with a Nicho Hynes-led 25-18 defeat of Gold Coast in Round 11.

Lachlan Miller impressed on NRL debut but the Sharks will be considerably more polished for fullback Will Kennedy’s return from suspension.

The Roosters were building nicely with consecutive wins over the Titans (44-16) and Eels (31-24) but received a blunt reality check via a 32-12 loss at home to Penrith. Sitili Tupouniua returns from a head knock, while Jared Waerea-Hargreaves is free to play despite a contrary conduct charge for swearing at the referee.

The Roosters are on a six-match winning streak against the Sharks, including a 26-18 victory in the teams’ only 2021 encounter – in Round 5 at the SCG.

There’s little between the teams statistically, both ranked top-six in points scored and conceded, as well as being in the top bracket of teams for running metres. It will be a fascinating duel between two of the NRL’s most firepower-laden offensive units, both capable of piling on long-range tries.

Just two teams have won in 2022 after facing the Panthers a week earlier, while the Sharks’ 5-0 record in the Shire this season is hard to overlook.

Tips: Back the Sharks to Win by 1-12 Points @ $2.80


Canterbury Bulldogs vs St George-Illawarra Dragons
Sunday May 29, 2:00pm, Belmore Sports Ground

Canterbury moves into its second week of the post-Barrett era, having put up a decent fight in a 36-22 loss to Wests Tigers with interim Mick Potter taking the reins. The Bulldogs fought back from 18-0 down at halftime to trail by just two before fading late.

St George Illawarra arrested a two-game slide and improved to 5-6 with a sloppy 24-20 win over the Warriors in Kogarah wet last Saturday. The positives outweighed the negatives in a patchy effort – particularly in the shape of Cody Ramsey’s sizzling display at fullback and a two-try showing from strike centre Zac Lomax.

Josh Addo-Carr is a big inclusion for the Bulldogs, replacing the maligned Jayden Okunbor on the flank. Corey Waddell returns for Joe Stimson. The Dragons have named veteran Andrew McCullough (thumb) to return in a boost to their stability around the ruck.

The Dragons have won four of their last six against the Bulldogs but the rivals split their two 2021 clashes. The Saints powered to a 32-12 win in Round 9 at Jubilee Oval, but the Dogs turned the tables at Homebush five weeks later with a rousing 28-6 victory.

This is a huge opportunity for the Dragons to potentially leapfrog a few teams into the Top 8. Lose to the bottom-placed team who are scoring just 10.7 points per game and you can just about draw a line through the Red V as a finals hope.

Tips: Back the Dragons to Cover the Line (-4.5 Points) @ $1.90


Canberra Raiders vs Parramatta Eels
Sunday May 29, 4:05pm, GIO Stadium

Are Canberra Raiders back? They’re playing arguably their best football since 2020 and have won three on the trot, following up an ugly drought-breaker against the Bulldogs with a gallant 30-10 thrashing of the Sharks and a scintillating exhibition in a 32-12 defeat of the Rabbitohs last week that harked back to their 2019 grand final run.

Josh Papalii and Hudson Young led the way, but it was a tremendous collective effort built on attitude and attacking enterprise.

Sixth-placed Parramatta hasn’t won back-to-back since Round 5 and was perhaps fortunate to escape with a 22-20 victory over Manly via a late sideline conversion from Mitch Moses. The Eels clawed back from a 10-point second-half deficit to claim their seventh win of the season.

Jamal Fogarty’s earlier-than-expected return to make his Raiders debut is a huge boost, but Ricky Stuart has been forced to name talented but-flighty Xavier Savage at fullback with Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad ruled out. Jarrod Croker is also back. Impressive Eels wing fill-in makes way for Waqa Blake’s return.

The Eels broke a nine-match losing streak at GIO Stadium with a 35-10 thrashing of the Raiders in Round 6 last year – their biggest-ever win at the venue. The Raiders hit back with a 12-10 upset on the Gold Coast in Round 19.

The Raiders’ gritty, confident form of the past two weeks is good enough to get over the Eels if they replicate their piecemeal performances of the past fortnight. The blue-and-golds are the better side, no question, but the Green Machine have run into a purple patch and look a solid option with a try’s start.

Tips: Back the Raiders to Cover the Line (+5.5 Points) @ $1.90



We’ve officially reached the halfway point of the NRL season as we prepare for another thrilling Indigenous Round starting on Thursday.

The Broncos, fresh from a stirring upset over the Roosters last week, kick us off at home against the Storm, followed by an intriguing clash on Friday between the Cowboys and Warriors from Townsville.

The game of the round kicks off on Saturday when the Rabbitohs and Eels meet in a battle between third and fourth, while there’s also some strong value on offer for Sharks v Titans on Sunday.

Tipping has become even more difficult thanks to some recent rule changes, but we’re confident we’ve found some winners in our 2021 NRL Round 12 Preview.

Brisbane Broncos vs Melbourne Storm
Thursday May 27, 7:50pm, Suncorp Stadium

The Broncos pulled off one of the upsets of the season last week with a controversial win over the Roosters, but this shapes as a much tougher test against a Storm side that has held their number for the better part of the last five seasons.

Melbourne is shooting for its 10th straight win over the Broncos on Thursday night at Suncorp, with the most recent meeting between these two sides resulting in a 40-6 bloodbath last month.

That kicked off the Storm’s current eight-game winning streak, and it’s very difficult to imagine that run coming to an end, even with Ryan Papenhuyzen sidelined for a few more weeks.

Fortunately, the Storm could potentially welcome Kenny Bromwich and Cameron Munster back into the squad this week – two huge inclusions for a team that already leads the league in points and tries.

The Broncos could be boosted by Katoni Staggs’ inclusion but considering the Storm haven’t lost a game at Suncorp in over three years, it’s hard to get on board with a Brisbane upset.

The last three games between these two sides have also gone Over the Total, so a high-scoring contest could be in order.

Tip: Back the Storm to Win & Over 49.5 Total Points @ $2.10

North Queensland Cowboys vs New Zealand Warriors
Friday May 28, 6:00pm, Queensland Country Bank Stadium

These two sides have everything to play for on Friday night in what should be a telling game between ninth and tenth.

The Cowboys were sensational from start to finish last week in their 16-point win over the Knights, while the Warriors saw off a late comeback from the Tigers to win by four in Gosford.

North Queensland has been a real handful at home this year and it is a little surprising to find them as the underdogs.

The Cowboys have posted a strong 4-2 mark in Townsville, which reads much better than New Zealand’s 2-3 record away from home.

These two sides have split their previous 38 meetings with 19 wins apiece, adding further intrigue to a game that could determine the makeup of the top eight.

As far as betting goes this is probably one of the toughest games to pick of the round, but it’s very difficult to back the Warriors to win two games in a row based on their recent history.

There really shouldn’t be anything more than a converted try between the two, but the current price on offer for North Queensland looks generous.

Tip: Back the Cowboys to Win @ $1.94

Wests Tigers vs St George-Illawarra Dragons
Friday May 28, 7:55pm, Bankwest Stadium

The Tigers and the Dragons were both victims of narrow losses last week as they look to bounce back on Friday night at Bankwest.

Having defeated Dragons when they met earlier in the month with a gutsy eight-point win in Wollongong, a performance Michael Maguire will be hoping his side can replicate.

Wests dominated possession that day after forcing the Dragons into 45 missed tackles and based on everything we’ve seen from St George recently it’s no real surprise to find the Tigers as the short-priced favourites ahead of the rematch.

There’s also good news on the injury front with Wests expecting James Roberts and Russell Packer to play.

The Dragons, meanwhile, have further concerns after Cody Ramsey failed to pass his HIA last week in the loss to the Sharks.

Obviously, it’s difficult to feel overly confident in the Tigers, but the fact they’ve won three straight over the Dragons dating back to last season is reason enough to believe they can pick up their fourth win of the season.

Tip: Back the Tigers 1-12 @ $3.15

Penrith Panthers vs Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs
Saturday May 29, 3:00pm, Panthers Stadium

The line between first and last has been set at a whopping -31.5 points in favour of the Panthers on Saturday.

Penrith mauled the Bunnies last week to remain undefeated on the season, and it appears they’ll have no trouble making it 12 in a row against a Bulldogs side that ranks dead last in scoring.

Speaking of points, the Panthers have outscored the Bulldogs 70-0 in their last two meetings combined, and we could certainly see another blowout with Dylan Edwards potentially returning from a hamstring issue.

A line this long makes this a difficult game to bet on, but if you fancy a flutter, the Panthers to cover looks the only sensible (and valuable) play.

Tip: Back the Panthers to Cover the Line (-31.5 Points) @ $1.90

South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Parramatta Eels
Saturday May 29, 5:30pm, Stadium Australia

A Saturday matinee between the Rabbits and Eels is the headline act this week as both sides hope to atone for last week’s disappointment.

Souths came up well short against premiership favourites Penrith, while the Eels felt the full force of Manly’s wrath in their own blowout defeat.

Both teams have typically been a strong bounce-back bet over the last calendar year, but this does look a more winnable game for South Sydney with a few stars potentially returning to the side.

Josh Mansour and Cameron Murray are both a good chance to play, while it’s worth noting the Bunnies have won four of their last five games against Parramatta, the most recent coming in last year’s Semi-Final.

The Eels showed some familiar problems last week in their loss to Manly as they again failed to string together two halves.

With the Rabbitohs needing a win to close the gap on the ladder, Parramatta’s inconsistencies could prove costly again.

Tip: Back the Rabbitohs to Win 1-12 @ $3.20

Sydney Roosters vs Canberra Raiders
Saturday May 29, 7:35pm, Central Coast Stadium

These two sides have played out some absolute classics in recent years and it would not be surprising if we’re treated to another on Saturday.

Fresh from a controversial loss to the Broncos last week, a win could prove crucial for the Roosters with the Eels and the Rabbitohs squaring off only a few hours earlier.

Likewise, the Raiders could also move a step closer to rejoining the eight after suffering another thrashing at the hands of the Storm last week at home.

No more than eight points has separated these two sides in their last nine meetings, but there is a decent chance this one gets a little out of hand based on Canberra’s long list of injuries.

While Jarrod Croker has reportedly recovered well from his shoulder injury, the captain still remains on the sidelines for the next few weeks alongside Elliott Whitehead, Jack Wighton, and Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad.

Also working in the Roosters’ favour here is their outstanding record on the back of a loss.

Sydney has played to a 6-3 record at the line in this situation, and with the Raiders still struggling to play defence in the second half, they might just add to that record this week.

Tip: Back the Roosters to Cover the Line (-12 Points) @ $1.90

Cronulla Sharks vs Gold Coast Titans
Sunday May 30, 2:00pm, Coffs International Stadium

The Sharks have held the wood over the Titans over the last few years as they hope to win back-to-back games on Sunday for the first time since March.

Cronulla secured an overtime win last week over the rival Dragons thanks to the boot of Chad Townsend, but this does shape as a tougher task against a Titans team that is desperate to hold onto a spot in the eight.

Justin Holbrook’s side picked up a much-needed 10-point win over the Bulldogs last week at home, but again, it’s tough to read too much into a win over the cellar dwellers.

These two teams really don’t fill me with any confidence, particularly on the defensive end.

The Sharks currently rank second in the league in missed tackles, while the Titans have looked very vulnerable up the middle in recent weeks.

The trends also support the idea of a high-scoring game.

The last three meetings between these sides have all gone Over the Total, so if you’re struggling to separate them, keep it simple.

Tip: Over 50.5 Total Points @ $1.90

Newcastle Knights vs Manly Sea Eagles
Sunday May 30, 4:05pm, McDonald Jones Stadium

A game against the red-hot Sea Eagles couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Knights.

Newcastle has suffered back-to-back blowout defeats over the last fortnight to the Tigers and Cowboys, but there could be some reprieve on the horizon with Bradman Best and Kalyn Ponga both a chance at returning this week.

Even so, the Sea Eagles have shown no signs of slowing down after flexing their muscle last week in a convincing 28-6 win over the Eels.

Manly has been an outstanding bet as the away favourite over the last year 12 months playing to a 3-0 record at the line, and the way they are playing defensively right now suggests they should have no trouble holding the Knights to a low total.

Playing on the road in Newcastle is always tricky, but with a chance to bridge the gap between themselves and the top four, the Sea Eagles look a safe bet to keep rolling against a Knights team still battling through injury.

Tip: Back the Sea Eagles to Cover the Line (-11.5 Points) @ $1.90


Only eight rounds remain in the home/away season and one look at the ladder suggests we’re still no closer to determining who might play finals.

Only four points separate fourth from 10th, but we might see things take shape this week with a top-eight battle on Saturday night between Manly and Penrith.

Favourites proved a valuable commodity last week for bettors, but we’ve mixed things up by tipping a few upsets in our 2020 NRL Round 12 Preview below.

St George Illawarra Dragons vs South Sydney Rabbitohs
Thursday July 30,7:50pm, Nestrata Jubilee Stadium

The Dragons and the Rabbitohs both suffered respective losses last week to leave both sides clamoring for a spot in the eight.

St George were a little hard done by in their controversial loss to the Sharks, while the understrength Bunnies came up short to the Raiders in Canberra.

Neither side was disgraced on the scoresheet and with a couple of big names returning from suspension, we should be in for another close one.

Latrell Mitchell returns at fullback for the Bunnies, while the Dragons are welcoming Tariq Sims back into the second row.

The Bunnies have had the wood over the Dragons recently with wins in four of their last five meetings, and it appears the bookies are favoring Souths to add another.

St George had a real problem last week defending the wing against Cronulla and they’ll have their hands full again this week against the likes of Alex Johnston, Braidon Burns and Campbell Graham.

It’s tough to see this game being decided by more than a try, but stick with Souths to win a tight one.

Tip: Back the Rabbitohs 1-12 @ $2.75

Wests Tigers vs New Zealand Warriors
Friday July 31, 6:00pm, SCG

The Tigers and the Warriors both hung tight with the competition heavyweights last week.

Wests put up a good fight in their 10-point loss to the Eels, while the Warriors actually led at half-time against the Roosters in their eventual eight-point defeat.

Warriors interim coach Todd Payten is facing his former club on Friday night, so you can expect another spirited performance from the Kiwis – even without several of their top line stars.

The Tigers, meanwhile, have proven themselves a valuable commodity on the back of a previous loss playing to a 5-3 record over the last 12 months.

Wests are set to receive an added boost with Luke Garner and Robert Jennings expected to return, while the news isn’t quite so positive on the Warriors’ end with David Fusitu’a and Ken Maumalo heading home.

While it wouldn’t be surprising to watch the Warriors build on last week’s big performance, unfortunately, the aforementioned names make this a very tough ask.

Tip: Back the Tigers 1-12 @ $3.00

Brisbane Broncos vs Cronulla Sharks
Friday July 31, 7:55pm, Suncorp Stadium

A win on Friday could be huge for the Sharks as they look to not only cement their spot in the eight but also edge their way closer to the top four.

Cronulla put in a huge effort last week against the Dragons and they have been well-supported to carry on with it against the Broncos.

Brisbane were embarrassed last week at home against the Storm, but they might be able to draw some confidence from the fact they’ve won each of their last six games against the Sharks.

The Broncos are moving Darius Boyd to fullback this week with Anthony Milford sidelined due to injury.

Cronulla, meanwhile, are sweating on Sione Katoa’s HIA report, while Matt Moylan and Andrew Fifita are still a week away from returning.

Plenty went wrong last week for the Broncos, particularly in the second half.

Brisbane surrendered six second-half tries to the Storm, which has become an emerging trend of late.

The Broncos have also given up a league-leading 11 tries in the final 10-minutes of games this year, so take the Sharks to pile on the points in the second half.

Tip: Sharks Over 11.5 2nd Half Total Points @ $2.00

Sydney Roosters vs Gold Coast Titans
Saturday August 1, 3:00pm, SCG

Roosters coach Trent Robinson will be hoping to see some urgency from his side this week after a slow start against the Warriors in Round 11.

The Titans will be looking to capitalize on where the Warriors left off, and they only need to draw on last week’s close call against the Panthers for some added motivation.

Gold Coast fought back from two unanswered tries to trail by only two points at half time, a performance the Titans are sure to build on.

The Titans have lost each of their last five games against the Roosters, but if they string together 80-minutes of solid footy, there’s nothing stopping them from at least covering this enormous line.

It just so happens the Titans have covered in four of their six games as the away underdog against the Roosters, so take the Gold Coast to keep things respectable.

Tip: Back the Titans to Cover the Line (+22.5 Points) @ $2.00

North Queensland Cowboys vs Canberra Raiders
Saturday August 1, 5:30pm, Queensland Country Bank Stadium

A spot back in the top four might be up for grabs if the Raiders can take care of business on Saturday night against the Cowboys.

Canberra held on for a six-point win over the Rabbitohs last week, but they did lose star fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad in the process to a dislocated finger.

The Raiders only need to ask the Cowboys how much injuries can derail a team’s season.

North Queensland lost their fourth game in a row last week against Manly, and it appears the bookies are favouring the Raiders heavily to add to that record.

The Cowboys might receive some good news on the Jordan McLean front on Tuesday, while the Raiders will be without CNK for at least two weeks.

The Raiders have won their last two trips to North Queensland though, and with the fifth-best record in the league at the line (6-4-1), they should have no trouble covering.

Tip: Back the Raiders to Cover the Line (-8.5 Points) @ $2.00

Manly Sea Eagles vs Penrith Panthers
Saturday August 1, 7:35pm, Brookvale

Manly find themselves back in the eight for another week after dusting off the Cowboys, but they’ll do well to hold their position with the top of the table Panthers up next.

Penrith survived a first-half scare to walk away with a comfortable 22-14 win over the Titans on the Gold Coast last week, while a win for Ivan Cleary’s side is just as crucial with the second-placed Eels facing a very winnable game against the Bulldogs on Sunday.

The Panthers chances are set to improve drastically should Viliame Kikau return from his calf injury.

Manly, on the other hand, are still left waiting at least another week for Dylan Walker.

The Panthers have won their last two games at Brookvale and they do look good value here to add to that record.

The last six games between these two sides have been decided by less than 12 points, so it’s worth taking a look at the Margin Market.

Tip: Back the Panthers 1-12 @ $2.60

Canterbury Bulldogs vs Parramatta Eels
Sunday August 2, 2:00pm, ANZ Stadium

The Eels have an enormous opportunity to reclaim the top spot on the ladder should results go their way.

Parramatta will be licking their lips knowing they face the hapless Bulldogs on Sunday, especially after the top of the table Panthers face off against Manly on Saturday night.

Following their loss to the Sea Eagles a fortnight ago, the Eels bounced back last week in a hard-earned win over the Tigers at Bankwest.

Head coach Brad Arthur must ensure his team doesn’t overlook the Bulldogs however, much like the Knights did last week in Newcastle.

A win for the Eels would even up the slate between these two sides with 22 wins apiece since their first meeting in 1998.

The only real issue of concern for Parramatta is the status of second-rower Ryan Matterson, who undergoes HIA protocols later in the week.

Taking nothing away from Canterbury, their win last week in Newcastle largely boiled down to the wet conditions.

Considering the Eels are perhaps the most prolific attacking team in the competition, don’t be surprised if they force a litany of errors against a Bulldogs team renowned for missing tackles.

Tip: Back the Eels to Cover the Line (-16.5 Points) @ $2.00

Melbourne Storm vs Newcastle Knights
Sunday August 2, 4:05pm, Sunshine Coast Stadium

The Storm are well-rested coming off last Friday’s massive win over the Broncos, so it is no surprise to find them at odds-on in the market.

Newcastle have enjoyed a few days to regroup and reflect on last week’s shortcomings against the Bulldogs, a loss that has sent the Knights spiraling down to sixth on the ladder ahead of another tough game.

Another loss for the Knights would put them in real danger of slipping out of the eight, while a win for the Storm (and other results going their way) could leave them on top of the table by the end of the round.

The Knights have been a quality outfit all year, but much like last season, the injury bug has taken its toll.

Andrew McCullough and Connor Watson both suffered season-ending injuries last week, while the Storm will also go without Paul Momirovski for the next few months.

The obvious play here is to take the Storm to cover, but beware a Knights team with everything to play for.

Newcastle has been an outstanding betting play on the back of a previous loss covering in six of their eight games over the last 12 months.

On the somewhat neutral ground Sunshine Coast Stadium, take the Knights to keep it tight.

Tip: Back the Knights to Cover the Line (+13.5 Points) @ $2.00


The battle for bragging rights kicks off next week, meaning we’re in for a shortened round of NRL action as we turn our attention towards State of Origin Game 1.

This week, the Broncos, Dragons, Knights, Sharks, Storm, Roosters and Warriors all take a seat, leaving an action-packed four-game slate to look forward to with a handful of ladder implications on the line.

Whether you’re Maroon or Blue, we’ve got all the tips just for you. Be sure to read on below for our complete 2019 NRL Round 12 Preview.

Penrith Panthers vs Manly Sea Eagles
Thursday May 30, 7:50pm, Panthers Stadium

Things looked bleak early last week for the Panthers before Tim Grant crossed the line against the run of play, kick-starting a much-need win over Parramatta.

The 16-10 victory was marred by sloppy penalties, but Blues fans must feel confident in Nathan Clear ahead of next week’s Origin opener after scoring the game-winning try in the 58th minute.

Manly wasn’t quite so fortunate last week at home to the Titans. The Sea Eagles lost 36-18 at Brookvale largely due to a lack of possession and of course, second half scoring.

After showing plenty of fight defensively in recent weeks, Des Hasler’s side was left wondering as the Titans piled on five tries in the second half, two of which completed Dale Copley’s hat-trick.

Looking ahead, these two sides have plenty to play for this weekend with a few names potentially missing due to Origin duties.

In their two meetings last year, the Panthers and Sea Eagles split the wins one game apiece – but it’s the Panthers who hold the better record having won three of their last five games against Manly.

The market offers tremendous value this week, but unfortunately, Penrith’s 1-4 record at home is tough to trust. The Panthers may have earned the points against the Eels, but their ill discipline is still a concern.

Manly are 2-1 as the road favourite against Penrith, so back the Sea Eagles to hold strong inside the eight.

Tip: Back Manly To Win @ $1.80

Parramatta Eels vs South Sydney Rabbitohs
Friday May 31, 7:55pm, Western Sydney Stadium

Just when we thought we had the Eels all figured out, they go and lose their third straight game to one of the wooden spoon favourites.

Parramatta finds themselves barely clinging to a spot inside the eight, but that mightn’t be the case once Round 12 is said and done.

South Sydney still hold a two-point lead ahead of the Storm atop the table, and if last week’s 32-16 demolition over the Tigers is anything to go by, the Bunnies should have no trouble traveling to the lavish Bankwest Stadium to pinch the points.

These two sides met twice last year with Souths winning on both occasions. The Bunnies tore apart the Eels 42-24 in Round 15 before recording a narrow 26-20 victory four weeks later. Due to Origin commitments though, the Bunnies find themselves as the outsiders at a pretty handy price.

The Rabbitohs are 2-1 as the away underdog against Parramatta while the Eels are a less than impressive 7-7 on the back of a loss.

Given Parramatta have scored no more than 10-points in each of their last three games, back the understrength Rabbitohs to stand up to this test.

Tip: Back the Rabbitohs To Win @ $2.10

NRL Same Game Multi

Canterbury Bulldogs vs Canberra Raiders
Saturday June 1, 7:35pm, ANZ Stadium

The Raiders showed some fight last week against the Cowboys, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a sloppy defensive performance.

Canberra struggled with North Queensland’s forwards all game long, and although the Bulldogs find themselves sitting bottom on the ladder, the Raiders need to be wary of Canterbury with so many big-name players out due to Origin.

Having now won just one of their last five games, things aren’t about to get any easier following Josh Hodgson’s broken thumb. The likes of Nick Cotric, Jack Wighton and Josh Papalii have all been selected for Origin, leaving Canberra looking a little thin in all areas.

The Dogs, on the other hand, have only lost Dylan Napa to the Maroons’ bench, giving reason to the handy odds on offer.

Canterbury has won only one of their last five games against the Raiders, and with a sloppy 1-6 record as the away underdog, you can’t take on the Dogs head-to-head.

Instead, take faith in Canterbury’s 7-5 record as the line underdog. Canberra are 6-5 on the back of a loss, but if the Dogs can get Jayden Okunbor involved early, they could keep this close.

Tip: Back the Bulldogs to Cover the Line (+1.5 Points) @ $1.90

NRL Same Game Multi

Gold Coast Titans vs North Queensland Cowboys
Sunday June 2, 3:00pm, CBus Super Stadium

A win this week could vault the Cowboys inside the eight as they head to the Gold Coast for a battle against the Titans.

North Queensland coach Paul Green has to be happy with his side’s execution last week after taking down the Raiders 22-16 in Canberra. The Cowboys forward line played exceptionally well, while Jordan Kahu’s clutch kicking made a difference on the scoreboard.

Gold Coast won’t hold particularly fond memories of this fixture though having last beaten the Cowboys way back in 2014. The Titans will, however, take full confidence into Round 12 on the heels of last week’s sorely needed win over Manly at Brookvale.

The Titans have won only two of their five games at home this year, but with the Cowboys missing Josh McGuire and Michael Morgan due to Origin, this is a huge opportunity for the Gold Coast to prove themselves.

Head coach Garth Brennan will have to do without Jai Arrow this week, who was also selected to start for Queensland. To win this game, Gold Coast simply need to slow down North Queensland’s halves – something easier said than done.

With a handful of talented players missing this week, your best bet is probably on the Total. The last two Titans home games have gone Over the Total, while the same can be said for North Queensland’s last two games on the road.

Tip: Back Over 41.5 Total Match Points @ $1.88

NRL Same Game Multi


It was another controversial round in the NRL last weekend and the biff returned for the first time in a number of seasons!

We are set for more excitement this weekend and there are a host of big games spread right across the round.

We have analysed every game set to take place and our complete 2018 NRL Round 12 tips can be found below.

Brisbane Broncos vs Parramatta Eels
Thursday 24 May, 7:50pm, Suncorp Stadium

The Brisbane Broncos overcame a horror injury toll to record an upset win over the Sydney Roosters last weekend and they will go into this clash with the Parramatta Eels as clear favourites.

There was plenty to like about the performance of the Broncos and they showed plenty of character to bounce back from their horror defeat at the hands of the Manly Sea Eagles.

Brisbane have won six of their past eight games as home favourites, but they are only 3-1-4 against the line in this scenario.

The Eels suffered their third loss on the trot when they went down to the New Zealand Warriors last weekend and they have still won only two games this season.

Parramatta have won only two of their past seven games as away underdogs, but they are 4-3 against the line in this scenario and they have won their past two games against the Broncos.

Stringing together quality performances has been an issue for the Broncos and I am keen to take them on in this contest.

Back Parramatta To Cover The Line (+6.5 Points)

Canberra Raiders vs Manly Sea Eagles
Friday 25 May, 6:00pm, GIO Stadium

The Manly Sea Eagles are back on track after recording back-to-back wins, but it is the Canberra Raiders that will still start this clash as favourites.

Canberra have not been disgraced in recent weeks against either the Cronulla Sharks or the St George Illawarra Dragons, but they have been unable to finish off games.

The Raiders have won only six of their past 12 games  as home favourites and they are a poor 4-8 against the line in this scenario.

Manly made it two wins on the trot with a comprehensive defeat of the Melbourne Storm, but they will go into this clash without Api Koroisau and Dylan Walker following their roles in last Saturday night’s brawl.

The Sea Eagles have won two of their past six games as away underdogs and they are a middling 3-3 against the line in this scenario.

Defence has generally been an issue for both these sides this season – although Manly were excellent against the Storm – and backing the Over in games involving either of these teams has been a profitable betting play.

Back Over 41.5 Points

North Queensland Cowboys vs Melbourne Storm
Friday 25 May, 7:55pm, 1300SMILES Stadium

The Melbourne Storm struggled badly without Cameron Smith last weekend, but they will still go into this clash with the North Queensland Cowboys as favourites.

Smith will be back for the Storm this weekend and is a big inclusion for a side that lacked structure without him.

Melbourne have dominated their recent meetings with the Cowboys and they have won the past seven games played between the two sides, which includes a comfortable win earlier this season.

The Storm have won six of their past eight games as away favourites and they have covered the line in five of those wins.

North Queensland looked as though they had stolen victory with a late Michael Morgan field goal against the South Sydney Rabbitohs last weekend, but a costly late penalty saw them denied a must-needed win.

The season is not over for the Cowboys just yet, but they desperately need to start winning games if they are going to be any chance of making the NRL Finals.

The Cowboys have won only one of their past five games as home underdogs and their record against the line in this scenario isn’t much better.

There is no doubt that the market continues to overrate the Cowboys and the line of 3.5 points will not be enough.

Back Melbourne To Cover The Line (-3.5 Points)

Sydney Roosters vs Gold Coast Titans
Saturday 26 May, 3:00pm, Central Coast Stadium

The Gold Coast Titans were able to end their losing streak last weekend, but it is still the Sydney Roosters that will go into this clash as favourites.

Sydney flew out of the blocks against the Brisbane Broncos and really looked set to record a big win, but a host of defensive errors let down and they lost a game they should have won.

The Roosters have elected to take their home game to Central Coast Stadium and they have a simply shocking record at this venue.

They have won only one of their past ten games at the venue – although that win did come at the hands of the Titans.

The Titans maintained their composure at key moments to beat the Newcastle Knights last weekend, but they are still a tough side to trust from a betting perspective.

The Gold Coast have won only one of their past 12 games as away underdogs and they are a poor 3-9 against the line in this scenario.

This is another clash where the value does lie in the Total Points betting market.

The Under has saluted in nine of the past 13 games played by the Titans and has also been a profitable betting play in games involving the Roosters.

Back Under 47.5 Points

New Zealand Warriors vs South Sydney Rabbitohs
Saturday 26 May, 5:35pm, Mt Smart Stadium

This is set to be one of the most interesting games of the weekend.

The New Zealand Warriors recorded a big win over the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the opening round of the season, but there is no doubt that that the Rabbitohs have improved significantly since then.

New Zealand have struggled for consistency in recent weeks and they weren’t overly impressive in their win over the Parramatta Eels last weekend.

The Warriors have won five of their past eight games as home favourites and they have covered the line in each of these wins.

They required a late penalty to do so, but the Rabbitohs were able to make it three wins on the trot with their victory over the North Queensland Cowboys and they have also won five of their past six games.

South Sydney have won only two of their past eight games as away underdogs, but they are an impressive 6-2 against the line in this scenario.

This is a game that the market does look to have just about right and I am happy to stay out from a betting perspective.

No Bet

Penrith Panthers vs St George Illawarra Dragons
Saturday 26 May, 7:35pm, Panthers Stadium

This is a top-of-the-table clash between two teams that have defied expectations in 2018 to date.

The St George Illawarra Dragons returned to winning form with a tough win over the Canberra Raiders and they will go into this clash with the Penrith Panthers as favourites.

Winning away from home continues to be something of an issue for the Dragons and they have won only one of their past six games as away favourites for a big loss.

The Penrith Panthers ground out a win over the Wests Tigers last weekend and they are a side that continues to fly under the radar.

Penrith are always very tough to beat in front of their home fans at Panthers Stadium and they have won ten of their past 11 matches at the venue for a clear profit.

Taking on the Dragons on the road has been a winning play and the Panthers do appeal at their current odds of $2.10.

Back Penrith To Win @ $2.10

Newcastle Knights vs Cronulla Sharks
Sunday 27 May, 2:00pm, McDonald Jones Stadium

The Cronulla Sharks have recorded five wins on the trot and they will go into this clash with the Newcastle Knights as clear favourites.

Cronulla just continue to grind out victories and they are a team that have shown they are capable of finishing over the top of their rivals.

The Sharks have won four of their past five games as away favourites, but they are only 2-3 against the line in this scenario.

Life without Mitchell Pearce has been tough for the Knights and they have now lost three wins on the trot following their defeat at the hands of the Gold Coast Titans last weekend.

The Knights have not beaten the Sharks since 2014 and they have won only two of their past seven games as home underdogs.

There is no reason that the Sharks can’t continue their winning ways, but once again the margin is unlikely to be large.

Back Cronulla To Win By 1-12 @ $2.80

Wests Tigers vs Canterbury Bulldogs
Sunday 27 May, 4:10pm, ANZ Stadium

The wheels have fallen off the Wests Tigers bus following their impressive start to the season, but they will still start this clash with the Canterbury Bulldogs as clear favourites.

The Tigers could only manage two points in their defeat against the Penrith Panthers last weekend and they have now lost four of their past five games.

Wests have won only two of their past four games as favourites for a loss and they have been a tough side to trust from a betting perspective in recent weeks.

Canterbury slumped to their fourth loss in five games with another tight loss at the hands of the Cronulla Sharks and they are a better side than their current record suggests.

The Bulldogs have seven of their past 22 games as underdogs for a clear loss and they are 10-12 against the line in this scenario.

Points have proven hard to come by for both these sides this season and backing the Under in games involved in either of these sides has been a highly profitable play.

Back Under 36.5 Points


The State Of Origin season is upon us and that means that there are only four games in the NRL this weekend.

A number of sides will be missing their State Of Origin players – with the Brisbane Broncos most badly effected – and that always makes for an interesting round from a betting perspective.

We have analysed all four games taking place this weekend and our NRL Round 12 tips can be round below.

South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Parramatta Eels
Friday 26 May, 7:50pm, ANZ Stadium
South Sydney Rabbitohs 16 - Parramatta Eels 22

Both the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Parramatta Eels will go into this clash at close to full-strength as neither have a single player involved in State Of Origin.

The South Sydney Rabbitohs have won only one of their past five games, but they will still go into this clash as favourites following their improved effort against the Melbourne Storm last weekend.

Winning games as favourites has proven to be an issue for the Rabbitohs and they have won only three of their past seven games as favourites for a clear loss.

Parramatta suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of the Canberra Raiders last weekend and they are a team that it is tough to get a read on in 2017.

The Eels have won six of their past 16 games as underdogs for a clear loss and they are a middling 8-8 against the line in this scenario.

It really is difficult to split these two teams and because of that the $2.10 on offer for a Eels victory does stand out as a touch of value.

Back Parramatta To Win @ $2.10

New Zealand Warriors vs Brisbane Broncos
Saturday 27 May, 5:30pm, Mt Smart Stadium
New Zealand Warriors 28 - Brisbane Broncos 10

The New Zealand Warriors take on a Brisbane Broncos side that is missing five players on State Of Origin duty and it is no surprises that the Warriors will start this clash as favourites.

New Zealand produced another uninspiring performance against the St George Illawarra Dragons last weekend and they continue to struggle as home favourites.

They have won only six of their past ten games in this scenario and they are a shocking 1-9 against the line in this scenario.

Brisbane head into this clash on the back of six straight wins and they are a genuine chance of continuing their winning streak – even if they will be missing a number of key players.

The pressure will be on the likes of Ben Hunt, but if he can take control of this clash they are definitely in this contest.

The Broncos have won only one of their past four games as away underdogs, but they are 2-1-1 against the line in this scenario.

Taking on the Warriors at the line continues to be a profitable betting play and I will be doing just that this weekend.

Back Brisbane To Beat The Line (+6 Points)

Cronulla Sharks vs Canterbury Bulldogs
Saturday 27 May, 7:30pm, Southern Cross Group Stadium
Cronulla Sharks 9 - Canberra Raiders 8

The Cronulla Sharks made it seven wins from their past eight games with a victory over the North Queensland Cowboys and they will start this clash with the Canterbury Bulldogs as clear favourites.

Cronulla will be without the likes of James Maloney, Andrew Fifita, Wade Graham and Jack Bird, but the representative retirement of Paul Gallen as well as the surprise snub of Valentine Holmes means that there is still a fair bit of quality in this side.

The Sharks have won six of their past nine games as home favourites, but they are a disappointing 3-6 against the line in this scenario.

Canterbury went down to the Sydney Roosters last Sunday, but their effort was still a massive improvement on their performance against the North Queensland Cowboys.

The Bulldogs have lost their past six games as away underdogs and they are an extremely poor 1-5 against the line, while they will go into this clash without leaders Josh Jackson and Brett Morris.

The market looks to have got this game just about right, but there is value in the Unders in the Total Points betting market.

It really would surprise if this game ended up being a fairly dour affair and backing the Under has been a profitable betting play in games involving either of these teams this season.

Back Under 38.5 Points

Canberra Raiders vs Sydney Roosters
Sunday 28 May, 4:00pm, GIO Stadium
Canberra Raiders 24 - Sydney Roosters 16

The Sydney Roosters have struggled badly without Mitchell Pearce in recent seasons and it will be interesting to see how they cope in his absence this weekend.

Canberra ended their losing streak with a fighting victory over the Parramatta Eels and they will go into this clash as clear favourites.

The Raiders have won ten of their past 13 games as home favourites and they are 7-6 against the line in this scenario, while they are aided by the fact that Josh Papali is their only player involved in State Of Origin.

The Roosters will also be without Dylan Napa, Aidan Guerra and Blake Ferguson and this will be a serious test of their depth.

Sydney have lost their past six games as away underdogs and they are a poor 2-4 against the line in this scenario.

The Roosters have struggled badly without their stars in the past and this really is an opportunity for Canberra to record back-to-back wins.

Back Canberra To Beat The Line (-6.5 Points)


This is the first split round of the 2016 NRL season and a number of teams will be without their representative stars.

This is a big loss for the Brisbane Broncos who will face the Wests Tigers without what will likely be six or seven players, while the North Queensland Cowboys will take on the St George Dragons without inspirational playmaker Johnathan Thurston.

State Of Origin 1 will be played at ANZ Stadium on June 1.

Brisbane Broncos vs Wests Tigers
Friday 27 May, 7:50pm, Suncorp Stadium
Brisbane Broncos 18 - Wests Tigers 19

The Brisbane Broncos have an outstanding record against the Wests Tigers and they have lost to the joint venture on just four occasions, but they will go into this clash without a number of their key forwards as well as fullback Darius Boyd as well as winger Corey Oates.

The big benefit for the Broncos is that they still have Ben Hunt, Anthony Milford and Andrew McCollough in their side and they will still start this game as very short favourites.

The Broncos are 11-3 as home favourites in the past 12 months and they are a most impressive 10-4 against the line in this scenario, while they have suffered back-to-back losses just once across this time period.

Wests returned to winning form against the Newcastle Knights last weekend, but they were still not particularly impressive and they obviously face a much tougher challenge against the Brisbane Broncos.

The Tigers have won just two of their past eight games as away underdogs and their record against the line in this situation is a thoroughly average 3-5.

Even an under strength Broncos will prove too strong for the Tigers and they are a good bet to cover the line.

Recommended Bet: Back Brisbane Broncos To Beat The Line (+12 Points)

St George Dragons vs North Queensland Cowboys
Saturday 28 May, 7:30pm, WIN Stadium
St George Illawarra Dragons 14 - North Queensland Cowboys 10

The St George Illawarra Dragons have not lost three of their past four games against the North Queensland Cowboys and have not beaten them at Win Stadium since 2010, but they take on the Cowboys in a situation where they are always vulnerable – without Johnathan Thurston.

It is no secret that the Cowboys have a very poor record without Thurston in the side, but they did in fact win two out of three games without him last season and they beat the Dragons without their State Of Origin stars.

The Dragons went down to the Rabbitohs last weekend, but they will still start this game as favourites and they have been very solid in this position in the past 12 months.

St George Illawarra have won four of their past five games as home favourites, but their record against the line in this situation is average and they are 3-6 against the line when giving away a start.

The Cowboys have actually won four of their past seven games as away underdogs and their record against the line is a more than profitable 5-2.

North Queensland have enough talent in their side to win without the likes of Johnathan Thurston, Matthew Scott, James Tamou and Michael Morgan and they are a good bet to beat the Dragons this weekend.

Recommended Bet: Back North Queensland Cowboys To Win @ $2

Canberra Raiders vs Canterbury Bulldogs
Sunday 29 May, 4:00pm, GIO Stadium
Canberra Raiders 32 - Canterbury Bulldogs 20

This is one of the most interesting games of the weekend as neither team have lost that many players to representative duties.

The Canberra Raiders returned to winning form against the New Zealand Warriors last weekend and on the back of that performance they will start this game as clear favourites.

The issue for the Raiders is that they have been a losing proposition as home favourites for a number of seasons now and in the past 12 months they are 4-6 against the line in this scenario.

The Bulldogs made it two wins on the trot with a professional performance against the Sydney Roosters last weekend and although they have lost the like of Josh Morris and David Klemmer, they haven’t been as badly effected by State Of Origin as they have been in other years.

Canterbury have an excellent record as away underdogs and they have won four out of their past six games in this scenario.

The $2.25 currently on offer for a Bulldogs victory is huge overs and they are the best value betting play of the weekend.

Recommended Bet: Back Canterbury Bulldogs To Win @ $2.25

Newcastle Knights vs Parramatta Eels
Monday 30 May, 7:00pm, Hunter Stadium

The Parramatta Eels have not won a game since they were stripped of all their competition points due to the salary cap drama, but they have an excellent chance to return to winning form against the Newcastle Knights.

The Eels were far from disgraced against the Melbourne Storm and they will go into this game as clear favourites to put a month of turmoil behind them.

Parramatta have proven an incredibly reliable betting proposition as away favourites and they are 4-0 in both head to head as well as line betting in this scenario.

The Knights produced an improved performance against the Tigers last weekend, but they still never looked like winning and are a class below what is required to compete in the NRL.

They have won just one of their past seven games as home underdogs and I can’t see them giving their home supporters anything to smile about this weekend.

Recommended Bet: Back Parramatta Eels To Beat The Line (-10.5 Points)