NRL Round 11 Tips & Preview

Magic Round is in the history books for another year, and we’re now steaming towards State Of Origin.

The vibe in Brisbane last weekend was electric, and all sixteen clubs will look to ride that energy into Round 11, with several potentially crucial matches slated between clubs of similar standing and form.

You can find my complete preview and NRL Round 11 Tips below!

best bet
Newcastle Knights vs Brisbane Broncos
Broncos (-7.5)

The Knights recorded a rare win in Magic Round, but they face an enormous task in making it two in a row at the expense of the resurgent Broncos.

They are a long way away from finals football, but the Knights proved too strong for the similarly poor Bulldogs last weekend, and it was enough to lift them off the bottom of the table.

The Broncos, meanwhile, have now won four in a row, and there is no doubt at all that last weekend’s thrashing of Manly was their best performance of the season to date. They’ve climbed up and into the eight, and they actually look like they should be there.

The result of this one looks pretty obvious to me.

Wests Tigers vs Canterbury Bulldogs
Bulldogs to Win ($2.05)

Two of the league’s cellar dwellers square off in the first game on Friday, and it’s an even more intriguing battle following Trent Barrett’s resignation.

The Tigers have been a substantially better side throughout the last month, and they were tough again in defeat to the Cowboys in Round 10. This is an enormous drop in class, and their $1.78 favouritism (at publish) is justified.

It seemed to be a matter of when, not if, for Trent Barrett, and another loss to the lowly Knights in Magic Round was enough for him to pull stumps at the Bulldogs. It’s absolutely for the best for both parties, and the Bulldogs can now set their sights on a proper rebuild and a new direction.

Often, clubs step up following the sacking/resignation of a coach, and I’m actually going to back the Bulldogs this week as outsiders.

Parramatta Eels vs Manly Sea Eagles
Eels (-8.5)

An historic rivalry will be renewed in Sydney’s west on Friday night, and the Eels will start clear favourites against the Sea Eagles.

The Eels suffered another disappointing defeat in Magic Round, and while they remain in the top eight, they have continually underperformed and have been a victim of their own inconsistency. That being said, they’ve been better than the Sea Eagles (for the most part), and they are fitting favourites ahead of this contest.

The Sea Eagles have returned some good efforts this season, particularly without Turbo for several weeks, but they crashed back down to earth last weekend via a 38-0 thrashing at the hands of the Broncos. This doesn’t shape as a whole lot easier, and it’s tough imagining them turning it around enough to win.

St George Illawarra Dragons vs New Zealand Warriors
Warriors (+4.5)

Two of the NRL’s more untrustworthy sides clash in Round 11, and there is a case to be made for both the Dragons and the Warriors winning and losing.

In my opinion, both clubs actually have decent and competitive sides, on paper. Unfortunately, ‘on paper’ doesn’t always convert into reality, and that can certainly be said of these two clubs.

The Warriors were awful in their first half against Souths last weekend, but they did fight back into the contest and ultimately, they were probably unlucky to be denied.

The Dragons, meanwhile, were also in their clash with the Titans for the majority of the eighty minutes, but suffered a disappointing and demoralising defeat.

I’ve found the form leading into this one typically difficult to line up, and I therefore think that the value lies with back the Warriors to cover the line as outsiders.

North Queensland Cowboys vs Melbourne Storm
Cowboys (+5.5)

The match of the round could very well materialise between top four sides the Cowboys and the Storm in Townsville on Saturday evening.

The Cows have been nothing short of outstanding in 2022. I genuinely thought they’d be fighting for the spoon, as did many other pundits, but they are a fitting top four occupant, and they’ve been notching some serious scores against some decent clubs recently.

An injury-riddled Storm suffered a hefty defeat to the reigning premiers Penrith in Round 10, but that result really wasn’t reflective of how they have been going, and they really shouldn’t have lost any admirers.

The Storm have a terrific record against the Cowboys, but in Townsville and with Ryan Papenhuyzen still on the sidelines, I think this one will go right down to the wire.

Sydney Roosters vs Penrith Panthers
SGM: May/Tago Anytime Tries

Saturday night sees the Roosters, fresh off an impressive return to winning form, take on the Panthers, who returned to the top of the table in Magic Round.

Like their Round 10 opponents, the Roosters have underperformed through the first third of the 2022 NRL Premiership season, and their win over the Eels came within a couple of weeks of losses to the Dragons and the Bulldogs.

The Panthers suffered their first loss of the season at the hands of the Eels two weeks ago, but responded in their best way possible by completely outplaying fellow premiership threats the Melbourne Storm.

At their best, the Roosters are better than their $3.75 quote, but will we see them at their best?

South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Canberra Raiders
Raiders (+5.5)

Souths will look for a little consistency when they host the Raiders in Sunday’s first game.

It wasn’t pretty, but the Bunnies scraped through 32-30 victors over the Warriors in Magic Round, and this does represent a great opportunity for them to make it two in a row, and gain a little momentum into the Origin period.

The Raiders were shock winners in Round 10. As recently as a fortnight ago, they looked to be serious threat for the wooden spoon, but they’ve won each of their last two games to double their season tally and incredibly, climb into tenth. The manner of their win over Cronulla was excellent, and a repeat of that performance could very well see them knocking off the Rabbitohs, as well.

Gold Coast Titans vs Cronulla Sharks
Titans (+6.5)

Round 11 draws to a close on the Gold Coast on Sunday afternoon, and the Sharks will be eager to atone from a shock loss when they take on the Titans.

The Titans recorded a smart win over the Dragons in Magic Round, their first since Round 4. The performance was highlighted by the return of young gun Jayden Campbell, who was as slippery as ever at fullback, and who will surely only improve for the performance.

The Sharks started clear and understandable favourites against the Raiders in Round 10, but returned a shocking first half performance to trail at the break, and ultimately, they couldn’t fight back into it. Nicho Hynes looks set for a return to the halves, with last week’s move to fullback clearly not heralded the desired effect.

The Titans are a confidence side, and I am actually tipping them to make a game of this.