NRL Round 8 Tips & Preview

We’re almost a third of the way through the 2022 NRL Premiership regular season, and the ladder has taken a familiar shape.

The Panthers continue to lead the way, and that surely won’t change when they take on the Titans on the Gold Coast on Friday.

There’s plenty of value to be found in betting, and you can find my complete NRL Round 8 Tips below.

Brisbane Broncos vs Cronulla Sharks
Sharks (-10.5)

Round 8 kicks off in Brisbane on Thursday night, and the Broncos will have their hands full with a genuine top four opponent, the Sharks.

To their credit, the Broncos were far better in Round 7 than they have been for around a month, and they ultimately recorded a deserved and comfortably victory over the Bulldogs.

However this is a stronger opponent, and they really would need to go to another level to even compete for eighty minutes.

The Sharks returned one of the most complete halves of football in recent memory last Thursday, and went to the break 32-0 up over Manly, a performance that was highlighted by a particularly smart solo showing from centre Siosifa Talakai, whom many now believe to be a chance of playing Origin.

They went to sleep after the break and allowed the Sea Eagles back into the contest, but the Broncos are an easier opponent, and the Sharks can continue to keep the pressure on the Panthers at the pointy end of the table.

Gold Coast Titans vs Penrith Panthers
SGM: Panthers/May, Tago Anytime Tries

Penrith has opened $1.07 favourites in betting ahead of Friday’s clash with the Titans on the Gold Coast, and understandably so.

The Panthers’ unbeaten season continued with an easy win over the Raiders in Round 7, and it’s tough imagining anything other than that result materialising again this week.

The Titans were just awful, meanwhile, against a credible Cowboys outfit, and there is almost no chance of them turning it around enough to upset the Panthers.

There isn’t a lot more to be said about this one!

South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Manly Sea Eagles
Sea Eagles to Win ($2.25)

Souths and Manly do battle in an intriguing Friday night primetime game.

The Rabbitohs haven’t been a shade on the side that made a Grand Final in 2021, and they have mixed their form since the beginning of the season.

They take their place in this contest following arguably their most damning result of the campaign: a loss to Wests Tigers.

The Sea Eagles were horrible during the first forty minutes of their Round 7 clash with the Sharks, but as they have done so many times throughout the last few seasons, they really fought back into the contest in the second half.

Those performances set this up to be a really good contest, and I therefore think that the value lies with backing Manly to win as outsiders.

New Zealand Warriors vs Canberra Raiders
Warriors to Win ($2)

Two of Round 7’s worst performers clash on Saturday afternoon, and both the Warriors and Raiders will be eager and confident of bouncing back.

The Warriors performance (or lack thereof) against the Storm was particularly poor. They were down by 50 at half time, and ultimately walked away on the wrong end of a 70-10 score line.

It was so bad, it would probably be more beneficial to just put a line through the entire performance, rather than try to figure it out.

The Raiders became the latest side to lose to the Panthers, and we did expect that to happen, but I still thought that they were flat, one dimensional, and I expected more from them.

They’ve dropped to fifteenth on the ladder, and it looks like being a really long season for them.

Incredibly, I think that the Warriors can actually win, a week after their heaviest defeat.

Canterbury Bulldogs vs Sydney Roosters
Roosters (-14)

The Bulldogs’ poor start to the season looks like continuing at the hands of the Roosters in Round 8.

They have recorded just one win so far, all the way back in Round 1, and they were lucky to sneak home on that occasion.

Since then, their inability to win has been well documented, and the Bulldogs suffered another comfortable loss to the similarly lowly Broncos last week. Where to from here?

The Roosters were delivered a shock defeat by the Dragons in Round 7, but they were in the contest the whole way, and I believe that club to actually be on the improve week in, week out.

The upside for the Roosters is that stats and everything suggests that they won’t be offered a better opportunity to bounce back than this one.

Parramatta Eels vs North Queensland Cowboys
Nanai Anytime Try

This looms as one of the better contests in Round 8, and even a fortnight ago, I wouldn’t have dreamt of saying that!

Parramatta responded to their shock loss to the Tigers in Round 6 with an absolutely demolition job of the Knights last week. It was thorough, well-round, and a lot more conducive of a team that could play in a Grand Final.

North Queensland has mixed its form, but they side has also returned some truly impressive performances, and last week’s dominant win over the Titans was one to them.

The Eels are a far better side than the Titans, but games between those two clubs this season have been tight, and that reads well for the Cowboys’ chances in Round 8.

I’m going to stay away from match betting, because I can genuinely see opportunity for both sides winning.

Newcastle Knights vs Melbourne Storm
SGM: Storm (-20)/Papenhuyzen 2+ Tries

The Storm will (almost certainly) record another dominant win over the Knights in Newcastle on Sunday afternoon.

Many people thought that this would be the year that the Storm finally begin the regress, but seemingly, they have only gotten better.

Last week’s 70-10 win over the Warriors was truly breath-taking, and it was just the next in a long line of dominant performances.

The Knights were buoyed by the midweek confirmation that star fullback and captain Kalyn Ponga has re-signed for another five seasons, but it seemingly did nothing for their confidence, and they were destroyed by the Eels on Sunday.

I can’t imagine a scenario where the Knights can turn it around enough to beat a stronger opponent in the Storm.

St George Dragons vs Wests Tigers
Tigers (+4.5)

The Dragons and Tigers do battle in the final game of the round, and recent performances suggest that we’re in for a thriller!

I thought that the Dragons were outstanding in Round 7, and they recorded their best win of the season over a heavily favoured Roosters.

Their stars are really beginning to fire, and that was their second win in succession.

Speaking of second wins in succession, Wests Tigers, everybody!

Their Round 6 win over the Eels was proven to be no fluke when they snuck past the Bunnies in Round 7, and there is no reason why they can’t make a real game of this one as well.