The bye rounds are all done and it’s full steam ahead into the second half of the season.
The best bets for Round 15 are in as we start with Thursday night football between Brisbane and South Sydney.
Brisbane vs. South Sydney
June 17th 7:50pm
South Sydney Rabbitohs travel to Brisbane for a Thursday night clash at Suncorp Stadium.
The 15th-placed Broncos were smashed by St George Illawarra and Canberra after its bye and now face a red-hot Souths squad who sit fourth on the table.
Brisbane has been beaten to the tune of 28 points by the Dragons and 22 points by the Raiders and are in need of some soul searching.
But given the form Souths have showed in the last fortnight, it is no wonder they are wonder they are the short-priced favourite to win this match.
Alex Johnston defeated Newcastle single-handedly last week as his hat-trick of tries helped South Sydney to a 24-10 win over Newcastle.
If that form continues here we could be set for a massacre.
Suggested Bets: South Sydney -18.5 at $1.91
North Queensland vs. Cronulla
June 18th 6:00pm
Friday night lights at Townsville ensue when North Queensland play host to Cronulla in a clash that could shape the final spot for finals come September.
Kyle Feldt will make his return from Origin duty in a big boost for the home side who are looking to bounce back after being smashed 50-18 by Manly.
Cronulla, however, will be buoyed by a heart-stopping 19-18 win over premiership favourite Penrith who were weakened due to a host of star players missing after State of Origin duty.
The Sharks still produced their best performance of 2021 to make it three wins in a row but face another tough test against a Cowboys team who has won five from its seven games at home.
Market is suggesting this will be a tight game but siding with the Cowboys here as the Sharks form looks to be slightly flattered by the omissions Penrith had last week.
Suggested Bet: North Queensland -2.5 at $1.94
Penrith vs. Sydney
June 18th 7:55pm
Penrith heading into a game with two losses in a row is a rare as hen’s teeth but that is the situation it faces heading into a Friday night duel with Sydney.
The Panthers left Nestrata Jubilee Stadium with their tail in between their legs after a 19-18 loss against Cronulla but as we have come to find out with Ivan Cleary’s men it does not stay down for long.
Sydney, meanwhile, survived an enormous scare against Gold Coast after coughing up a 30-4 lead early in the second half only for Matt Ikuvalu and Sam Walker to save the day.
Walker scored a field goal with only seconds left on the clock to seal a 35-34 win but the way it let the Titans score with ease for a 20-minute period would be a worrying sign for Trent Robinson.
Penrith has too class and experience to drop a third game in a row.
Suggested Bets: Penrith Panthers -12.5 at $1.97
Newcastle vs. New Zealand
June 19th 3:00pm
Newcastle return home to McDonald Jones Stadium when it faces face New Zealand on Saturday in a bid to bounce back following a humbling defeat against South Sydney.
Adam O’Brien chargers fought tooth and nail to quell a Souths team who was just simply too good on the night as the Knights to a ninth loss for the season.
It was an eerily similar story for New Zealand last week as well.
The Warriors were no match for Melbourne Storm and would ultimately fall 42-16.
The going will not get any easier for the Warriors either given it has already lost to the Knights this year.
Round 2 marked a 20-16 win for Newcastle as Hymel Hunt scored a brace and his presence in this game is likely to send quivers through the Warriors defence.
Suggested Bets: Newcaslte Knights -4.5 at $1.95
Melbourne vs. Wests Tigers
June 19th 7:35pm
New league leader Melbourne Storm will attempt to keep intact its breathtaking winning streak when it faces Wests Tigers at Sunshine Coast Stadium on Saturday night.
Melbourne has managed 11 wins in a row and has now surpassed Penrith atop of the NRL ladder thanks to a 42-16 thumping of New Zealand last week.
It is a testament to Craig Bellamy and the club to keep this team up for as long as it has been given the constant travel and hub life it has had to endure for a second season.
Wests Tigers know exactly what they are in for and it does not paint a pretty picture.
A 40-12 loss against Parramatta is not the form you want to bringing in to a game against a rampant Storm outfit who has showed not a sign of slowing down.
Suggested Bets: Melbourne Storm -24.5 at $.195
Parramatta vs. Canterbury
June 20th 2:00pm
Fresh off a big win against St George, the Canterbury Bulldogs finally carry wining momentum into a game this time against Parramatta on Sunday afternoon.
The Bulldogs grabbed their second win of the season with a 28-6 win over the Dragons, while the Eels easily accounted for Wests Tigers by 28 points.
Jake Averillo stole the NRL headlines last week with a brace of tries as he toiled his way to 20 points in the 22-point victory.
The Bulldogs will not be afforded the same luxury on offence as it had in Round 14 with the Eels conceding the third least amount of points this season behind Melbourne and Penrith.
Parramatta will, in all probability, have too many match-winners across the park for Trent Barrett to handle.
Mitchell Moses and Clint Gutherson bring in solid form to this contest and should be able to lead their side to a comfortable win.
Suggested Bets: Parramatta Eels -20.5 at $1.90
Gold coast vs. Manly
June 20th 4:05pm
Gold Coast welcome an in-form Manly to CBUS Super Stadium on Sunday afternoon after a heartbreaking one-point loss in Round 14.
After trailing by 26 points against Sydney, the Titans produced a stunning second-half fight back to hit the lead late in the piece only to be denied by a Sam Walker field goal at the death.
The loss resigned Gold Coast to 5-9 and on the brink of missing if it cannot turn its form around quickly.
A game against sixth-placed Manly and the likely return of Tom Trbojevic is probably one of the last things Justin Holbrook wanted to have to deal with.
If we wind back the clock to the Round 6 clash between these two teams, it was a thumping 36-0 victory in favour of Manly with Rueben Garrick scoring 20 points.
Good luck stopping Manly in this.
Suggested Bets: Manly -7.5 at $1.90