Broncos vs Storm
The Storm may still be without plenty of stars in Cameron Munster, Harry Grant and Ryan Papenhuyzen, but the Broncos have lost their last ten against the Storm and 20 of their last 22, making it one of Australia’s biggest sporting hoodoos. Despite the injuries, the Storm has won eight in a row, only failing to score 30 points once in that time. Given the Broncos have the competition’s second-worst defence, it’s easy to see Melbourne hitting that number again. Josh Addo-Carr is the competition’s leading try-scorer with 14. Despite not scoring against Brisbane last time, lightning shouldn’t strike twice given he scored the first try in two of the previous three matches over the last two years.
Storm by 18. $1.09 at PlayUp
Cowboys vs Warriors
Given the speed the game is being played at this season, set completions are everything. The Warriors have the highest rate of completions in the competition in the NRL at 81%, while the Cowboys are all the way down in 14th. The Cowboys have made the fourth-most errors in the competition, make more ineffective tackles than any other team, and have the fourth-most missed tackles. A mountain of possession and territory, even playing away from home, should be enough to see the Warriors over the line.
Warriors by 6. $1.80 at PlayUp
Tigers vs Dragons
The Dragons have lost four of their last five and have struggled against the Tigers in recent years, also losing four of their last five against them. In a battle of the joint ventures, the Dragons are considerably down on players due to injuries and suspensions – and felt it last week being edged out by the Sharks. The Tigers aren’t going a great deal better but have shown more positive signs in the last fortnight, scoring 62 points. Given the Dragons only average a tick over 20 points per game, the Tigers’ form (even if their overall average is less than the Red V) should be enough to get the chocolates.
Tigers by 2. $1.51 at PlayUp
Panthers vs Bulldogs
First vs last and every stat imaginable favours the Panthers, who are showing no signs of slowing down despite having won 11 in a row. They beat the Rabbitohs 56-12 last weekend and the only question appears to be “by how much?” The answer would appear to be a lot. The Panthers have the second-best attack and best defence by a considerable distance, while the Bulldogs have the worst attack and defence.
Panthers by 40. $1.01 at PlayUp
Rabbitohs vs Eels
Both sides come into this all top four clash off humbling losses last weekend, the Rabbitohs to the Panthers and the Eels to the Sea Eagles. This match shapes as a possible battle of the forwards, and with Parramatta sitting second for run metres, third for kick-return metres, second for post-contact metres, and third for overall possession, they should carry an edge into the game. While the Rabbitohs take on the line more than any team, if the Eels’ defence can hold firm, they may be able to continue improving their attacking record, which is third-best in the competition.
Eels by 6. $2.18 at PlayUp
Roosters vs Raiders
In a game that would have been marked as a battle for the top four at the start of the season, it’s all gone pear-shaped in Canberra. George Williams has been released during the week, and the green machine currently sits 11th on the table with just four wins from their eleven games.The Roosters have their own injury and now suspension crisis to deal with, and a loss to Brisbane won’t do them any good. In saying that, the Raiders second-half fade-outs have been almost legendary, with Ricky Stuart’s side letting in a combined second-half score of 133-20 during a run that has seen them lose six of their last seven. Not only that but the last time the Roosters lost two regular-season games in a row was Round 1 and 2 last year.
Roosters by 12. $1.27 at PlayUp
Sharks vs Titans
Footy will move to Coffs Harbour on Sunday with the wildly inconsistent Titans to play the Sharks. Justin Holbrook’s Titans have struggled to put any real run of form together, and their defence has been ordinary – the worst of the top-eight sides by a considerable margin. In saying that, they’ve managed five scores of more than 30 in their eleven games and, with David Fifita back, they should go from strength to strength. Given the Sharks make miss more tackles in the competition than everyone except the Dragons and don’t have the attack to make up for it (they have scored the third-fewest number of points), this could get ugly.
Titans by 22. $1.67 at PlayUp
Knights vs Sea Eagles
This is shaping as a battle of the fullbacks as Kalyn Ponga returns for the Knights to take on Tom Trbojevic at the Sea Eagles. Since Tommy Turbo came back, the Sea Eagles have won five of six to fly into the top eight. Ponga hasn’t had quite the same impact on his team, with the Knights only winning two of the five games he has played. The Sea Eagles have averaged 38.66 points per game in their last three starts, which won’t bode well for the Knights who have let in a tick over 30 points per game in their last five outings.
Sea Eagles by 16. $1.25 at PlayUp
A version of this preview was originally published over at The Roar https://www.theroar.com.au/2021/05/20/the-roars-nrl-expert-tips-and-predictions-round-12-6/