NRL Round 1 Tips
Eels vs Storm
We’ve been waiting for this heavyweight clash as Parramatta and Melbourne kick off the 2023 NRL Telstra Premiership season. Both teams are coming off a season where they fell short of their ultimate goal, making this game even more crucial.
Parramatta looked impressive in their Pre-season Challenge win over Newcastle, and with Josh Hodgson now at dummy half, the Eels’ attack looks to be firing on all cylinders. Meanwhile, Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy has some work to do to get his new-look squad back to a premiership threat, especially with the uncertainty around Ryan Papenhuyzen’s return.
Despite the Storm’s formidable record in Round 1 games, we’re backing Parramatta to come away with a win. However, with the Eels’ recent dominance over Melbourne and the Storm’s significant player turnover, we think the Eels will be too strong.
We’re predicting a close game, but we think the Eels will win 22-16.
Betting Tip: Eels
Suggested Bet: Parramatta 1-12
Warriors vs Knights
The Warriors are back in Wellington for the first time since 2019, and they’ll be greeted with a raucous home crowd at Sky Stadium. The team has undergone a significant overhaul, with new coach Andrew Webster and several key signings, including Marata Niukore, Dylan Walker, and Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad. The Warriors will be pretty eager to get off to a strong start and make their mark early in the season.
On the other hand, however, the Knights have had a mixed pre-season but have added some much-needed experience through Adam Elliott and Jackson Hastings. Kalyn Ponga moves to five-eighth, and his combination with Hastings will be critical to the Knights’ chances. The team has a poor record in New Zealand, winning only two of their past 14 games across the Tasman.
Despite the Knights’ poor record in New Zealand, this game really could go either way. However, with the Warriors’ home advantage and new signings, we give them a slight edge to win this one.
Our prediction is Warriors 24-20 Knights.
Betting Tip: Warriors
Suggested Bet: Warriors 1-12
Panthers vs Broncos
Friday night’s NRL clash between defending premiers Penrith and the Broncos is set to be an intense battle. While Penrith suffered a heartbreaking loss to St Helens in the World Club Challenge recently, they will be looking to start the season strong and put that disappointment behind them. Meanwhile, the Broncos will be motivated to bounce back after a tough season last year.
The battle between the forwards, particularly Payne Haas and Pat Carrigan, against James Fisher-Harris and Isaah Yeo will surely be a highlight. The halves combination of Jarome Luai and Nathan Cleary will also be looking to make an early statement. Penrith will be without the services of Api Koroisau and Viliame Kikau, but they still have an impressive line-up with 11 members of the starting 13 from last year’s grand final.
Given the Panthers’ impressive record at BlueBet Stadium and the Broncos’ lack of success at the Panthers home stadium, we predict that Penrith will come out on top with a final score of 26-12. However, with a relatively settled 17 and some good pre-season form, the Broncos are certainly not to be underestimated in this one.
Betting Tip: Panthers
Suggested Bet: Panthers +13
Sea Eagles vs Bulldogs
The stage is set for a highly-anticipated clash between the Sea Eagles and the Bulldogs in the first round of the NRL 2023 season. Manly will be buoyed by their pre-season success and the return of superstar Tom Trbojevic, who has been in excellent form since his injury. The Bulldogs, on the other hand, will be looking to make big statements with their new signings, including Viliame Kikau and Reed Mahoney.
With both teams boasting strong forward packs and exciting backlines, it’s set to be an extremely thrilling match. However, the absence of Luke Thompson could prove to be a big blow for the Bulldogs, giving the Sea Eagles an edge in the middle of the park.
We predict that Manly will come out on top with a final score of 24-16, with Tom Trbojevic significantly impacting the game with his return. However, anything can happen with the likes of Josh Addo-Carr in the Bulldogs’ lineup. Fans will be eagerly anticipating this clash as the 2023 NRL season kicks off in style.
Betting Tip: Sea Eagles
Suggested Bet: Sea Eagles Head-to-Head
Cowboys vs Raiders
This Saturday, the Cowboys and Raiders lock horns in what promises to be a mouth-watering NRL clash. Both teams will be eager to make a strong start to the season after falling short in the finals last year. The Cowboys enjoyed a surge in form under Dally M coach of the year Todd Payten, and will be hoping to pick up where they left off. They have a strong pack, including the likes of Reuben Cotter and Jeremiah Nanai, who have a great track record at home. Meanwhile, the Raiders will be looking to bounce back after a couple of tough pre-season games, and will be relying on the likes of Seb Kris and Jordan Rapana to make an impact.
Based on recent form, we predict that the Cowboys will edge out the Raiders in a closely contested match. Our prediction for the final score is Cowboys 24, Raiders 20.
Betting Tip: Cowboys
Suggested Bet: Cowboys 1-12
Sharks vs Rabbitohs
This Saturday night, the Sharks will be hosting the Rabbitohs in what promises to be an exciting match. The Sharks will be eager to avenge their semi-final loss to the Rabbitohs last year, and show they are a force to be reckoned with this season. Despite losing Halfback Nicho Hynes to injury, the Sharks have a strong team with many talented players like Sione Katoa and Ronaldo Mulitalo, who have been outstanding in their previous games.
On the other hand, the Rabbitohs will be looking to start their season with a win after losing their past two season openers. They have a strong side with Latrell Mitchell, Cody Walker and Cameron Murray leading the charge, and will be looking to make a statement against a fellow contender.
Overall, we believe that the Sharks will come out on top in a close contest, with a predicted final score of Sharks 24 – Rabbitohs 22. However, with a home advantage and a strong team, we think they will be able to edge out the Rabbitohs in what will be a thrilling game of rugby league.
Betting Tip: Sharks
Suggested Bet: Sharks Head-to-Head
Dolphins vs Roosters
It’s finally here, the debut of the Dolphins in the NRL, and what a way to start against a battle-hardened Roosters outfit at Suncorp Stadium. On paper, the Roosters have a star-studded side, and their loyal fans will be eager to see how their new combinations perform during the game. The Dolphins have the experience of premiership-winning trio Jesse Bromwich, Kenny Bromwich and Felise Kaufusi, who know what it takes to win on the big stage. They will have the new boys primed for a huge first-up effort.
Without star centre Joey Manu, the Roosters must rely on Corey Allan and Joseph Suaalii to step up in the centres. Brandon Smith will play his first NRL game for the Roosters at hooker and will be eager to impress. The Bromwich brothers will be ready to take on Matt Lodge, Lindsay Collins and Victor Radley in front of a packed house at Suncorp and expect sparks to fly.
Overall, we think the Roosters will be too strong for the Dolphins, winning by 12 points with a final score of Roosters 28-16 Dolphins. However, the Dolphins will not go down without a fight and will show they are a team to be reckoned with this season.
Betting Tip: Roosters
Suggested Bet: Roosters Head-to-Head
Wests Tigers vs Titans
The Titans and Tigers will be looking to make a statement in this Round 1 clash, with both clubs eager to improve on their recent track records. The Tigers have bolstered their pack with the acquisitions of Api Koroisau, David Klemmer, John Bateman, and Isaiah Papali’i. Still, their halves pairing of Adam Doueihi and Luke Brooks must step up to trouble the top sides. The Titans have added experience in Kieran Foran and will be looking to increase their attacking output from last year’s 19ppg.
Although the Titans have won eight of their past ten games against the Tigers, Leichhardt Oval and the Tigers’ home-ground advantage could swing this game in their favour. The Tigers have won only two of their past seven games at Leichhardt Oval, but with their coach Tim Sheens reaching a milestone of 250 games, they will be fired up to put in a strong performance.
We predict a close game, with the Tigers winning 24-22 in a nail-biting finish.
Betting Tip: Tigers
Suggested Bet: Tigers Head-to-Head
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NRL Injury List
Keep up-to-date with your team’s injuries this week with our NRL injury list.