Rugby League is back! After what seems like years the NRL kicks off again this week Thursday after the shutdown due to to Covid-19. There is 8 games scheduled with the first game kicking off Thursday night.
Checkout our free NRL betting tips for this weeks games plus in-depth game analysis from our expert NRL tipping team. If you like to place NRL multi bets you can checkout or NRL same game multi tips plus our straight multi bets for round.
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NRL Tipping – Thursday, May 28
Brisbane Broncos v Parramatta Eels
Venue: Suncorp Stadium | Start: 7:50 PM
Brisbane Broncos – The NRL could not have hoped for a better clash to re-launch the COVID-cut 2020 season. Brisbane have 58 great reasons to want to win this clash after being humbled and embarrassed 58-0 by the Eels in last year’s finals series. But this Broncos side is much different and much more powerful having stormed into the new season with two impressive wins built on the back of their young pack led by Payne Haas, David Fafita (who will miss this game with a knee injury), young Pat Carrigan and new dad Joe Ofenhengaue who has served out his two-game suspension. Matt Lodge could be elevated into the 17 after some strong training performances. Brodie Croft will slot into the NO.7 alongside match-winner Anthony Milford primed for a big season. Further great news for Brisbane fan is the return of skipper Alex Glenn to the pack. Brisbane were “shot ducks” when Parramatta put them to the sword in last season’s finals but they will be a far different proposition this time around.
Parramatta Eels – The Eels started to 2020 season in fine style with two wins and their defence was first class conceding just eight points which is why they resume the competition in first place. They towelled up the Broncos 58-0 last time they met but forget that scoreline as Brisbane were at the end of the road and their tank was empty. Still, you can’t take anything away from Parramatta’s form and when their attack flows they can score quick points. They will, however, miss their forward Leader Nathan Brown (suspension) against Brisbane’s big pack which could prove a major difference in the outcome. Marata Niukore comes in for Brown and will need to stand up in the middle. Some good news for Eels fans though is that dummy half Reed Mahoney is confident of playing after being hampered by a foot injury.
NRL Tipping – Friday, May 29
Nth Queensland Cowboys v Gold Coast Titans
Venue: Bankwest Stadium | Start: 6:00 PM
North Queensland Cowboys – Will take the field without their skipper and playmaker Michael Morgan who is a week or two away from being able to play and veteran back-rower Gavin Cooper (calf). Still, coach Paul Green has a settled squad to work with and playing at home is a big advantage even though the Gold Coast don’t have to travel interstate. I like the look of the Cowboys’ young halves Jake Clifford and Scott Drinkwater, both are exciting prospects who have an opportunity to make an investment in their futures with Morgan not expected back from shoulder surgery until around round 7. Clifford is a talented type and this season could see him stand up for the Cowboys. They have plenty of very experienced players and fullback Valentine Holmes should be close to returning to the form that made him one of the game’s entertainers. Hard to see them dropping this game.
Gold Coast Titans – Life definitely hasn’t been easy for rookie coach Justin Holbrook who has lost English centre Kallum Watkins, returned home for personal reasons. He is also dealing with the long term loss of creative fullback AJ Brimstone (back fracture) whose return is uncertain. With all the drama over Bryce Cartwright and reshuffling his side with late departures and injuries, it will be quite some effort if the Titans can cause a big upset here. A big moment for young Jamal Fogarty who makes his NRL debut for the Titans at halfback after a lengthy absence from the game. Ash Taylor slides out to five-eighth and can use his running game while Tyrone Roberts takes over from Brimstone. The betting suggests the Titans will be easy fodder for the Cows.
Sydney Roosters v South Sydney Rabbitohs
Venue: Bankwest Stadium | Start: 7:55 PM
Sydney Roosters – The defending NRL champions opened the season with a 20-14 loss to Penrith before losing 9-8 to Manly in a thriller. This clash with long-time rivals South Sydney will bring the best out of them. Boyd Cordner is back after missing the opening two games. The Morris brothers are again reunited in the Roosters back-line which features one of the game’s top attacking players James Tedesco lining up against his old team-mate Latrell Mitchell after Mitchell jumped ship to take on the fullback role with the Rabbits. This will be a cracker clash.
South Sydney Rabbitohs – All eyes will be on former Rooster’s superstar Latrell Mitchell who left Bondi to chase his dream of playing fullback. Mitchell has had a few controversies in the past 12 months and was unimpressive in his first few games in the No.1 jumper but we all know what he is capable of if he focusses on playing football. Cody Walker will miss the game after being suspended for an off-field incident while another backline star James Roberts is understood to be available after checking himself into a rehab facility recently to deal with personal health issues. Alex Johnston and the talented Troy Dargan, who makes his eagerly awaited NRL debut has been promoted by coach Wayne Bennett who has added a well-known name in Bayley Sironen to his bench.
NRL Tipping – Saturday, May 30
NZ Warriors v St George Dragons
Venue: Central Coast Stadium | Start: 3:00 PM
NZ Warriors – Warrior’s coach Stephen Kearney has had a tough time getting his team ready to resumption and has made a host of changes for several various reasons. The team relocated a few times in NSW during the Covid19 enforced break and while that would have helped their bonding, it would also be tough emotionally on the players and coaching staff leaving their families behind. They kicked off the season poorly getting belted 20-0 by Newcastle weren’t much betting going down 20-6 to Canberra in round 2. A lot of pressure will fall on fullback and skipper Roger Tuivas-Sheck to pull out something special against the Dragons.
St George Dragons – Like the Warriors, the Dragons have dropped their first two games of 2020 and need to break the drought quickly. While the Warriors have been forced to make a number of unwanted changes the Dragons welcome back some quality to its side with brothers Tariq and Korbin Sims both returning from injury as a bonus. Halves Ben Hunt and Corey Norman will play a big hand in setting up their supports and providing opportunities for the likes of Brayden Williame and Jake Duffy to get through the gaps.
Cronulla Sharks v West Tigers
Venue: Bankwest Stadium | Start: 5:30 PM
Cronulla Sharks – The Sharks are reeling as they prepare to resume following a disappointing 0-2 start to the season under the spectre of another drug scandal. Sharks flyer Bronson Xerri has been stood down following a positive test by ASADA with the possibility of a four-year band if proven guilty. It’s taken the focus off their clash with the Tigers with the 19-year-old now the subject of a full-scale investigation by the NRL and world drug testing authorities. Matt Moylan remains an outside chance of being a late inclusion which would be a fillip to the side. The Sharks still have enough talent with Trad Townsend and Shaun Johnston to organise and the experienced Andrew Fafita and Wade Graham to lead the pack to win this clash.
West Tigers – Much of the Tiger’s game plan will revolve around their halves Benji Marshall and the returning Luke Brooks who will look to use their speed to take advantage of the new “play on” rule for ruck infringements. Marshall’s legs may be a little slower at 36 but he is as sharp as ever between the ears and will be a constant threat to the Sharks. Corey Thompson has been ruled out but Adam Doueihi will do a great job returning the ball back. Young Harry Grant has earned a start at hooker and this kid is a genuine footballer. Moses Mbye is back in the centres with Joseph Leilua giving the Tigers some good strike out wide.
Melbourne Storm v Canberra Raiders
Venue: | Start: 7:35 PM
Melbourne Storm – One of six teams who come out of the COVID-Coma unbeaten with wins over Manly and Cronulla. Nothing much changes at the Storm under master coach Craig Bellamy and Melbourne look rock-solid resuming the competition. Melbourne have match-winner Brandon Smith on the bench as he returns from a facial injury while the club’s “other” Smith calling all the shots they look in a good place. Muscle up the middle in Jesse Bromwich, man-mountain Nelson Asofa-Aolamona and Felise Kaufusi, punch in the halves through Cameron Munster and Jharome Hughes and power out wide in try-scorers Suliasi Vinivalu and Jumpin’ Josh Addo-Carr Melbourne have all the tools necessary. Oh and don’t forget fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen’s blistering speed.
Canberra Raiders – If there is a side who can test Melbourne on their home turf it is the very talented Raiders. Let’s not forget the Raiders upset the Storm twice last year at AAMI Park and they will be driven by those wins. Canberra has a pack capable of absorbing Melbourne early and dishing out their own punishment through Josh Papali, young Corey Horsburgh, who has earned a start for his hard work and Dunamis Lui. Canberra’s backline is stacked with speed and there’s no denying they have the ability to test Melbourne, Fullback Nicholl-Klokstad, seasoned centre Jarrod Crocker, former Storm centre Curtis Scott, blockbusting winger Nic Cotric and classy halves Jack Wighton and George Williams have a truckload of points on them on any given day. Both sides pride themselves on defence and this could be a real slugfest until one team cracks. The new rules will play a part here for sure.
NRL Tipping – Sunday, May 31
Penrith Panthers v Newcastle Knights
Venue: Campbelltown Stadium | Start: 4:05 PM
Penrith Panthers – Will be keen to maintain their unbeaten start to the season which included a surprise win over the Sydney Roosters back in March. They will, however, have to do it without their gun halfback Nathan Cleary who is serving time for being a bad boy during the COVID lockdown. His job has gone to Dubbo product Matt Burton, a NSW Under 20 Origin star who made a winning NRL debut for the Panthers against Cronulla last year and has a good head on his shoulders and a left-foot boot. Just how much Penrith will miss Cleary will become clear after this game as he is so important to the team in so many areas.
Newcastle Knights – While Newcastle fans will be disappointed Kalyn Ponga is out serving a one-match shoulder charge ban it does allow highly-rated prospect Tex Hoy to showcase his NRL credentials in the No.1 jumper. It’s a little puzzling not to see ex-Bronco Andrew McCullough not in the 17 with Connor Watson named at hooker for the injured Jayden Brailey. Rookie Knights coach Adam O’Brien has handed not only Hoy but also Lakes United junior Chris Randall his NRL debut showing he has plenty of faith in the young talent in the area.
Manly Sea Eagles v Canterbury Bulldogs
Venue: Central Coast Stadium | Start: 6:30 PM
Manly Sea Eagles – Des Hasler has the luxury of making just a few minor changes on his bench for this clash with the dogged Bulldogs. As is always the case Manly No.7 Daly Cherry-Evans is the go-to-man while fullback Tom Trbojevic, Dylan Walker and big Jorge Taufua are Manly’s money men. You have to like to look of Manly’s pack here and they will need to be psyched for an 80-minute arm wrestle against the Bulldogs who like to engage in trench warfare. Still, The Sea Eagles look well up to the task, especially with Jake Trbojevic and Addin Funua-Blake up front and big Marty Taupau punching holes up the middle. Manly may just be too strong over 80 minutes.
Canterbury Bulldogs – One thing you know about the Dogs, they will have a dig and they don’t turn it up. Somewhat of an unfashionable side but teams don’t like playing against their grinding, wear-you-down style. The Dogs showed plenty of resolve in their 8-2 loss to Parramatta in round one and then again fought hard losing 24-16 to North Queensland. Still, no sign of Kieren Foran in the side but the mail is he is pushing hard for selection. Jack Cogger needs a big game and Dylan Napa, skipper Josh Jackson and veteran Dean Britt will have to muscle up for the Dogs to stay in the contest.