BRISBANE BRONCOS V PARRAMATTA EELS PREDICTION
THURSDAY – MAY 28 – 7:50 PM (AEDST)
NRL Round 3 returns on Thursday night after a 2 month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic – here is a preview.
The Broncos side has had a few shake-ups over the break. Andrew McCullough has left the club, joining the Knights effective immediately, while David Fifita is out with a knee injury, alongside Tevita Pangai Jr who still has 3 weeks worth of suspension to complete. Joe Ofahengaue will return from his suspension. Matt Lodge could well appear on the bench by kick-off.
The highly-fancied Eels are looking strong and playing similarly, sitting atop the Premiership table. Their backs are a great mix of speed, strength and guile while the forwards are made up of toilers up the middle and game breakers out wide.
The last time these two sides met was in the finals last year, where the Eels handed the Broncos a 58-0 hiding.
Broncos: 1. Jamayne Isaako 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Darius Boyd 5. Jesse Arthars 6. Anthony Milford 7. Brodie Croft 8. Thomas Flegler 9. Jake Turpin 10. Payne Haas 11. Alex Glenn 12. Jamil Hopoate 13. Patrick Carrigan 14. Herbie Farnworth 15. Joe Ofahengaue 16. Rhys Kennedy 17. Ethan Bullemor 18. Tesi Niu 19. Xavier Coates 20. Tom Dearden 21. Matthew Lodge.
Eels: 1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Michael Jennings 4. Waqa Blake 5. Blake Ferguson 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Ryan Matterson 13. Marata Niukore 14. Brad Takairangi 15. Ray Stone 16. Kane Evans 17. Peni Terepo 18. Oregon Kaufusi 19. George Jennings 20. Jaeman Salmon 21. David Gower.
Milestones: Waqa Blake will play his 100th career game.
Blake Ferguson needs to score 8 points to reach 500 points for his career.
Maika Sivo needs to score 8 points to reach 100 points for his club and career.
NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS V GOLD COAST TITANS PREDICTION
FRIDAY – MAY 29 – 6:00 PM (AEDST)
NRL Round 3 tips for this game will be strongly favouring the Cowboys who will be playing their first game in their brand new stadium.
The Cowboys have two big name missing from this game – Test half Michael Morgan and tough back rower Gavin Cooper. But when you have the likes of Valentine Holmes and Jason Taumalolo in your side, you can always be optimistic about your teams chances of coming away with the 2 points.
The Titans have made some changes, but they still look to be down on quality cattle. Inspirational leader Ryan James is out for the year, while the talented AJ Brimson is on the injured list for quite some time. Highly-paid half Ash Taylor will be at five-eighth, a move likely designed to give him more space and less pressure – which will instead go on rookie Jamal Fogarty.
North Queensland have won their last 9 games against the Titans, while the Titans haven’t won at Townsville since 2012.
Cowboys: 1. Valentine Holmes 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Justin O’Neill 4. Esan Marsters 5. Ben Hampton 6. Scott Drinkwater 7. Jake Clifford 8. Josh Mcguire 9. Jake Granville 10. Jordan McLean 11. Mitchell Dunn 12. Coen Hess 13. Jason Taumalolo 14. Reece Robson 15. John Asiata 16. Shane Wright 17. Francis Molo 18. Corey Jensen 19. Tom Gilbert 20. Tom Opacic 21. Reuben Cotter.
Titans: 1. Tyrone Roberts 2. Anthony Don 3. Dale Copley 4. Tyrone Peachey 5. Phillip Sami 6. Ashley Taylor 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Moeaki Fotuaika 9. Nathan Peats 10. Sam Lisone 11. Kevin Proctor 12. Keegan Hipgrave 13. Jai Arrow 14. Erin Clark 15. Jai Whitbread 16. Jarrod Wallace 17. Shannon Boyd 18. Bryce Cartwright 19. Mitch Rein 20. Brian Kelly 21. Jonus Pearson.
Milestones: Dale Copley will play his 50th club game.
Brian Kelly needs to score 8 points to reach 100 points for his career.
SYDNEY ROOSTERS V SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS PREDICTION
FRIDAY – MAY 29 – 8:05 PM
NRL Round 3 preview for this match is very interesting, with some big changes to the Souths squad during the covid-19 lockdown.
After winning back-to-back Premierships, the Roosters have started the year in a very unimpressive manner, bagging a pair of low scoring losses. They have picked up Josh Morris from the Sharks. Boyd Cordner will play his first game of the year in what will doubtlessly be a huge boost for the club.
South Sydney will be without James Roberts and Cody Walker, two big x-factors in their backline, while new recruit Latrell Mitchell has been in the media for all the wrong reasons during the lockdown. That combined with his poor start to the year means he needs to fire big time now.
The last time these sides met was in the 2019 NRL finals series, where the Roosters won 30-6 in a brilliant performance.
Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Josh Morris 4. Joseph Manu 5. Brett Morris 6. Luke Keary 7. Kyle Flanagan 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Jake Friend 10. Isaac Liu 11. Boyd Cordner 12. Angus Crichton 13. Victor Radley 14. Sam Verrills 15. Sitili Tupouniua 16. Nat Butcher 17. Lindsay Collins 18. Siosiua Taukeiaho 19. Ryan Hall 20. Lachlan Lam 21. Poasa Faamausili.
Rabbitohs: 1. Latrell Mitchell 2. Dane Gagai 3. Campbell Graham 4. Braidon Burns 5. Alex Johnston 6. Troy Dargan 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Damien Cook 10. Thomas Burgess 11. Jaydn Su’A 12. Cameron Murray 13. Liam Knight 14. Mark Nicholls 15. Ethan Lowe 16. Bayley Sironen 17. Patrick Mago 18. Bryson Goodwin 19. Tom Amone 20. James Roberts 21. Keaon Koloamatangi.
Milestones: Boyd Cordner needs to score 6 points to reach 200 points for his club and career.
Campbell Graham needs to score 8 points to reach 100 points for his club and career.
NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS V ST.GEORGE-ILLAWARRA DRAGONS PREDICTION
SATURDAY – MAY 30 – 3:00 PM (AEDST)
The NRL Teams Round 2 for these sides are largely unchanged from last weekend.
The Warriors will undoubtedly be every NRL fans second team in 2020. They have come to Australia and will not be able to return home in the foreseeable future due to the corona virus outbreak. To make matters worse for the side, they’ve been decimated by injuries to David Fusitu’a, Chanel Harris-Tavita, Adam Keighran and Adam Pompey.
The Dragons have a number of players returning to the squad, having recovered from injuries earlier in the year. Rake Cameron McInnes, Tariq and Korbin Sims and Mikaele Ravalawa will all line up for the Dragons, which adds some real starch to their forward back and outside backs.
The Warriors have won their last 3 clashes against the Dragons.
Warriors: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 2. Patrick Herbert 3. Peta Hiku 4. Gerard Beale 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Kodi Nikorima 7. Blake Green 8. Lachlan Burr 9. Wayde Egan 10. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 11. Isaiah Papali’i 12. Tohu Harris 13. Adam Blair 14. Karl Lawton 15. King Vuniyayawa 16. Agnatius Paasi 17. Eliesa Katoa 18. Chanel Harris-Tavita 20. Josh Curran 21. Adam Pompey 22. Jack Murchie.
Dragons: 1. Matthew Dufty 2. Jordan Pereira 3. Brayden Wiliame 4. Zac Lomax 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Corey Norman 7. Ben Hunt 8. Korbin Sims 9. Cameron McInnes 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Tariq Sims 13. James Graham 14. Josh Kerr 15. Blake Lawrie 16. Tyrell Fuimaono 17. Euan Aitken 18. Trent Merrin 19. Adam Clune 20. Jacob Host 21. Jackson Ford.
Milestones: Matthew Dufty needs to score 8 points to reach 100 points for his club and career.
Lachlan Burr will play his 50th career game.
Tohu Harris will play his 150th career game.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck needs to score 4 points to reach 200 points for his career.
CRONULLA SHARKS V WESTS TIGERS PREDICTION
SATURDAY – MAY 30 – 5:30 PM (AEDST)
NRL Round 3 betting for this match is at even money, however the Sharks could well be distracted by recent events.
The Sharks this week have been struck a heavy blow, when it was found that promising young centre Bronson Xerri had been stood down for failing a drug test. With Josh Morris leaving the club, it’s a double whammy for the Shire club. Josh Dugan will return and slot in at centre, however it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Sharks are a bit off their game in this clash.
The Tigers biggest worry during the off-season was their failure to replace Robbie Farah at hooker, but after an extended negotiation, they have secured the services of the brilliantly talented Harry Grant from the Melbourne Storm on a one year loan. Moses Mbye also returns for the Tigers.
The Sharks have won the last 6 games between these two sides.
Sharks: 1. Will Kennedy 2. Sione Katoa 3. Josh Dugan 4. Jesse Ramien 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Shaun Johnson 7. Chad Townsend 8. Andrew Fifita 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Aaron Woods 11. Briton Nikora 12. Wade Graham 13. Jack Williams 14. Connor Tracey 15. Braden Hamlin-Uele 16. Toby Rudolf 17. Scott Sorensen 18. Billy Magoulias 19. Matt Moylan 20. Royce Hunt 21. Siosifa Talakai.
Tigers: 1. Adam Doueihi 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Joseph Leilua 4. Moses Mbye 5. Robert Jennings 6. Benji Marshall 7. Luke Brooks 8. Josh Aloiai 9. Harry Grant 10. Thomas Mikaele 11. Luke Garner 12. Luciano Leilua 13. Alex Twal 14. Oliver Clark 15. Billy Walters 16. Chris Lawrence 17. Alex Seyfarth 18. Josh Reynolds 19. Matt Eisenhuth 20. Zane Musgrove 21. Michael Chee-Kam.
Milestones: Cronulla needs to kick 11 more goals to reach 4000 in their Premiership history.
MELBOURNE STORM V CANBERRA RAIDERS PREDICTION
SATURDAY – MAY 30 – 7:35 PM (AEDST)
NRL Round 3 preview shows that punters are naturally backing the Storm, however the Raiders currently have the wood on them, especially when playing in Melbourne.
The Storm lost two games in a few short weeks to the Raiders last year, both at AAMI Park. They will be hoping to put those narrow losses behind them this weekend. Brandon Smith and Christian Welch are huge inclusions for the Storm forward pack.
The Raiders are boosted by the return of Jordan Rapana, who has backflipped on a switch to Rugby. He has been named on the extended bench but could well force his way into the Raiders run on side. Aside from Rapana, there are no changes to the Raiders side which beat the Warriors in Round 2 back on March 26.
Canberra have won their last 2 matches against the Storm.
Storm: 1. Ryan Papenhuyzen 2. Suliasi Vunivalu 3. Justin Olam 4. Marion Seve 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Cameron Smith 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenneath Bromwich 13. Dale Finucane 14. Brandon Smith 15. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui 16. Christian Welch 17. Max King 18. Tom Eisenhuth 19. Brenko Lee 20. Ryley Jacks 21. Darryn Schonig.
Raiders: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Bailey Simonsson 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Curtis Scott 5. Nick Cotric 6. Jack Wighton 7. George Williams 8. Josh Papali’i 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Dunamis Lui 11. Joseph Tapine 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Corey Horsburgh 14. Siliva Havili 15. Emre Guler 16. Iosia Soliola 17. Michael Oldfield 18. Jordan Rapana 19. Matt Frawley 20. Kai O’Donnell 21. Tom Starling.
Milestones: Suliasi Vunivalu needs to score 4 points to reach 300 points for his club and career.
Josh Papalii will play his 200th club and career game.
Jack Wighton needs to score 2 tries to bring up 50 club and career tries and 200 club and career points.
PENRITH PANTHERS V NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS PREDICTION
SUNDAY – MAY 31 – 4:05 PM (AEDST)
This will be one of the toughest NRL results Round 3 to predict, given that Penrith are the favourites but will be without star half Nathan Cleary.
Penrith’s State of Origin winning halfback Nathan Cleary will miss this match after he copped a weeks suspension for dancing in a TikTok video during the Covid-19 lockdown, as he was clearly breaching social distancing rules. Rookie Matt Burton will make his debut in the halves alongside Jarome Luai.
The Knights are also without their star young gun Kalyn Ponga, who is serving a 1 week suspension for a shoulder charge he committed back in Round 2. This sees debutant Tex Hoy start at fullback. New Knights recruit Andrew McCullough has not been named in the Knights 21 man squad.
Penrith have won their last 2 games against the Knights.
Panthers: 1. Caleb Aekins 2. Josh Mansour 3. Dean Whare 4. Brent Naden 5. Brian To’o 6. Matt Burton 7. Jarome Luai 8. James Tamou 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Kurt Capewell 13. Isaah Yeo 14. Stephen Crichton 15. Zane Tetevano 16. Moses Leota 17. Liam Martin 18. Mitch Kenny 19. Billy Burns 20. Kaide Ellis 21. Charlie Staines.
Knights: 1. Tex Hoy 2. Edrick Lee 3. Enari Tuala 4. Gehamat Shibasaki 5. Hymel Hunt 6. Kurt Mann 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. David Klemmer 9. Connor Watson 10. Daniel Saifiti 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 12. Sione Mata’utia 13. Herman Ese’ese 14. Chris Randall 15. Jacob Saifiti 16. Tim Glasby 17. Aidan Guerra 18. Bradman Best 19. Brodie Jones 20. Mason Lino 21. Pasami Saulo.
Milestones: Dean Whare will play his 150th career game.
MANLY SEA-EAGLES V CANTERBURY BULLDOGS PREDICTION
SUNDAY – MAY 31 – 6:30 PM (AEDST)
The NRL Round 3 team lists for these sides shows very few changes to the sides that ran out in Round 2 two months ago.
Manly have switched around a few players on their bench, with the starting 13 unchanged from Round 2, which saw the Sea-Eagles snare a brilliant 9-8 victory over defending premiers Sydney Roosters.
The Bulldogs have brought Jack Cogger back into the halves to replace Brandon Wakeham, as well as adding Sauaso Sue and Dean Britt to the run-on side, replacing Aiden Tolman and Joe Stimson respectively.
Manly have won their last 2 games against the Bulldogs.
Sea-Eagles: 1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Jorge Taufua 3. Brad Parker 4. Moses Suli 5. Reuben Garrick 6. Dylan Walker 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Danny Levi 10. Martin Taupau 11. Joel Thompson 12. Curtis Sironen 13. Jake Trbojevic 14. Lachlan Croker 15. Corey Waddell 16. Sean Keppie 17. Taniela Paseka 18. Morgan Boyle 19. Jack Gosiewski 20. Tevita Funa 21. Brendan Elliot.
Bulldogs: 1. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 2. Nick Meaney 3. Reimis Smith 4. Will Hopoate 5. Christian Crichton 6. Lachlan Lewis 7. Jack Cogger 8. Sauaso Sue 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Dylan Napa 11. Josh Jackson 12. Dean Britt 13. Adam Elliott 14. Jake Averillo 15. Renouf To’omaga 16. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 17. Ofahiki Ogden 19. Kerrod Holland 20. Aiden Tolman 21. Sione Katoa 22. Brandon Wakeham.
Milestones: William Hopoate will play his 150th career game.
Jeremy Marshall-King will play his 50th career game.
Daly Cherry-Evans needs to score 9 points to reach 500 points for his club and career.