NRL Round 2 Tips & Preview

The footy is back, and the action continues to heat up in Round 2 of the 2022 NRL Premiership season!

Round 1 of the NRL really is the Wild West – some big names flop, some roughies get up and you can never be sure of what to expect. That was certainly the case again in 2022, and we’ll begin to get a better gauge on everyone and everything in Round 2.

I’ve run the rule over all eight matches, and you can find my complete NRL Round 2 Tips below.

Melbourne Storm vs South Sydney Rabbitohs
Storm (-7.5)/Papenhuyzen Anytime Try

Plenty is expected of the Storm and the Rabbitohs in 2022, and the two clubs will clash in Round 2’s opener on Thursday night.

The Storm were forced to do it without Cameron Munster and for the most part, Christian Welch, Brandon Smith and George Jennings in Round 1, but they still proved far too strong for a competitive Wests Tigers outfit. They’ll take plenty of confidence and improvement for the hit-out, but the remaining talent will all need to fire, in order to fill the holes left.

The Rabbitohs meanwhile were flat and suffered a shock loss to the Brisbane Broncos. They are the perfect example of why Round 1 form is almost impossible to line up and trust, and I am expecting a vastly improved effort this week.

That being said, I do believe that it’s a case of no Adam Reynolds, so South Sydney (in the big games and the Premiership race, at least).

St George Illawarra Dragons vs Penrith Panthers
Dragons (+11.5)

The reigning premiers stamped themselves as serious threats once more in Round 1, and they will start clear favourites on the road against St George on Friday.

I will be the first to admit that I was chips in Manly in Round 1, but even without the likes of Nathan Cleary in tow, the Panthers showed no signs of a premiership hangover, they effectively marked Tom Trbojevic out of the game and subsequently, they were rewarded with an easy win.

The Dragons showed plenty of rust, but they too recorded a lovely Round 1 win over the Warriors, and a result like that simply cannot be understated for a club who will take plenty of confidence from their performance.

The Panthers deserve favouritism and I would be shocked if they didn’t win, but I actually don’t have as much between them as the bookies do, following Round 1.

Sydney Roosters vs Manly Sea Eagles
Sea Eagles (+1.5)

They were two of the biggest flops in Round 1, and the Roosters and Sea Eagles will each be eager to get their respective season back on track on Friday night.

The Roosters have been tipped my many pundits to make a Grand Final, perhaps even go all the way in 2022, but their Round 1 performance left plenty to the imagination. They trailed the Knights almost immediately and ultimately, were delivered a pretty convincing defeat.

The Sea Eagles garnered similar premiership interest prior to their Round 1 match and loss to the Panthers. Tommy Turbo’s inability to make a breakthrough was obviously, and the rest of the Manly roster seemed to lack confidence off the back of that.

It’s one thing to say you’re going to mark Turbo out of a game and it’s another thing to actually do it. Penrith are better than the Roosters currently, and I’m backing the Sea Eagles to bounce back.

Gold Coast Titans vs New Zealand Warriors
Warriors (+8.5)

Round 1 losers the Titans and Warriors meet on the Gold Coast on Saturday afternoon, and both will be confident of a result.

I have the Titans sneaking into to eight this season, but they well and truly exceeded my expectations in Round 1, and they were unlucky not to pull off an upset over Parramatta. I have been quite vocal in my questioning of the decision to get rid of Jamal Fogarty, but young Toby Sexton steered the side around with the confidence of a far more seasoned plater, and the Titans completed some lovely set pieces.

The Warriors were also in their match with the Dragons for almost the full eighty, and they’ll likely be lamenting a win that go away.

I think that both sides will take improvement for their respective hit-outs, and I don’t have as much between these two clubs as the bookies seem to, again.

Cronulla Sharks vs Parramatta Eels
Sharks to Win ($2.25)

An intriguing match looks like materialising between the Sharks and the Eels in the Shire on Saturday afternoon.

The new-look Sharks showed plenty of promise in Round 1, and I was quite impressed with the shape that they maintained as they were steered around the park by Nicho Hynes. A few sloppy mistakes were the only real difference, and they probably should have beaten the Raiders in Canberra.

The Eels meanwhile are expected to finish in the top four this season, and while they did sneak away with a win over the Titans, their defence was almost non-existent, as they leaked 28 points. There were plenty of holes that will need to be plugged quick-smart, if they’re not to be thrashed by some of the league’s leading contenders.

At the former Shark Park, I am actually going to back the upset this week!

North Queensland Cowboys vs Canberra Raiders
Raiders (-3.5)

The Raiders are offered a great opportunity to make it 2-0 when they travel to Townsville to play the Cowboys on Saturday night.

I didn’t expect a lot from the Cows in Week 1 and likely won’t for the entire 2022 season, and they didn’t prove me wrong in losing to a similarly poor Canterbury outfit in an extremely low-scoring affair. They made plenty of mistakes and will require plenty more time to come together and gel into a competitive side.

The Raiders led the Sharks at the break in Round 1, but they went to sleep in the second half and looked like losing. Thankfully for their fans, their rallied for the late winner, and it’s onwards and upwards.

Repeats of their Round 1 efforts, and the Raiders win this one easily.

Newcastle Knights vs Wests Tigers
Nofoaluma/Ponga Anytime Tries

I’m really looking forward to Sunday’s clash between the Knights and the Tigers in Newcastle.

The Knights were the real surprise packets of Round 1. I’d guess that there were even people at Knights HQ who doubted they’d beat the Roosters, but they did so with class and with relative ease, as well.

The Tigers also exceeded expectations in Round 1, and while they did end up losing, they gave genuine top four side the Melbourne Storm a serious contest, and they are another club who should enjoy plenty of improvement and confidence for their efforts.

I’m going to stay away from match betting and box up a couple of Anytime Try Scorers.

best bet
Canterbury Bulldogs vs Brisbane Broncos
Broncos (-1.5)

The Bulldogs and the Broncos both recorded Round 1 victories, and each will be confident of another in Round 2.

It wasn’t pretty and obviously, they still require plenty of work and time to truly come together, but the Bulldogs did begin their season in winning form, sinking the Cowboys 6-4 in in Townsville. They do obviously look better than they did in 2021, but a lot of local clubs looked better than the Bulldogs in 2021.

The Broncos pulled off the upset of the round by sinking the Rabbitohs on Friday night, and they did it without star recruit Adam Reynolds – wow indeed.

This looks an open and shut case in my opinion, and I think the Broncos will be winning comfortably.