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NRL preview panel for round 13

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 1/06/2017

FRIDAY June 2

Melbourne v Newcastle at AAMI Park, 6pm

Head to head: Storm 21, Knights 15

Last clash: Round 19, 2016 - Storm 20 bt Knights 16 at McDonald Jones Stadium

TAB: Storm $1.13 Knights $6, Draw: $34

FootyTAB: Knights +14.5

Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Will Chambers will likely play just two days after Queensland's Origin loss, but the Storm should still be too strong. The Storm are at the top of the table for a reason, carrying their biggest advantage into the Origin period since they last won the competition in 2012. Meanwhile Newcastle have shown signs of improvement but still look a long way off claiming a top-four scalp this season.

Key: How Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk bounce back from Queensland's Origin loss just two days earlier.

Tip: Storm

Parramatta v Warriors at ANZ Stadium, 7.50pm

Head to head: Eels 20, Warriors 17

Last clash: Round 6, 2017 - Warriors 22 bt Eels 12 at Mt Smart Stadium

TAB: Eels $1.73 Warriors $2.10 Draw: $21

FootyTAB: Warriors +2.5

Kieran Foran returns to face the Eels in Sydney for the first time since walking out on them midway through last season. He provided the match-winning play for the Warriors in their last encounter with Parramatta in April, and Eels players are well aware he must be stopped. Meanwhile the Eels welcome back Nathan Brown from a rib injury, but are still without chief playmaker Corey Norman.

Key: Can Mitchell Moses produce an 80-minute performance for Parramatta in his third game at the club, or will Kieran Foran rise to play his former team?

Tip: Eels

SATURDAY June 3

St George Illawarra v Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium, 3pm

Head to head: Dragons 18, Tigers 15

Last clash: Round 5, 2017 - Dragons 28 bt Tigers 6 at ANZ Stadium

TAB: Dragons $1.25 Tigers $4

FootyTAB: Tigers+9.5

Gareth Widdop looks set to return for the Dragons alongside Josh Dugan as they aim to maintain their early-season form through the Origin period. Meanwhile the Tigers bring Tuimoala Lolohea in at five-eighth just days after arriving from the Warriors. They are without regular halfback Luke Brooks.

Key: Tuimoala Lolohea can be one of the most dangerous players in the game, but how long will it take him to find his feet at the Tigers?

Tip: Dragons

Sydney Roosters v Brisbane at Allianz Stadium, 5.30pm

Head to head: Roosters 17 Broncos 28

Last clash: Round 6, 2017 - Broncos 32 bt Roosters 8 at Suncorp Stadium

TAB: Roosters $1.73 Broncos $2.10

FootyTAB: Broncos +2.5

The two teams with the biggest Origin contingents face off just three days after the series opener. Brisbane had six players in the Maroons' 28-4 loss to NSW, but the Roosters have more injury concerns, including Mitchell Pearce. The Broncos outclassed the Roosters in their last meeting, in what was easily the Tricolours worst performance of the year.

Key: How will both teams recover from Wednesday night's Origin opener?

Tip: Roosters

North Queensland v Gold Coast at Cbus Super Stadium, 7.30pm

Head to head: Cowboys 10, Titans 8

Last clash: Round 4, 2017 - Cowboys 32 bt Titans 26 at Cbus Super Stadium

TAB: Cowboys $1.45 Titans $2.75

FootyTAB: Titans+5.5

North Queensland must tighten their defensive screws after they conceded 26 points against the Titans in March. They still won with Johnathan Thurston scoring once and setting up two other tries. The Cowboys will still be without Thurston on Saturday night as he continues to battle a shoulder injury. The Titans have named an unchanged line-up for the first time this year, with Nathan Peats and Jarryd Hayne both set to play after missing the first clash with the Cowboys.

Key: Can Jarryd Hayne's Origin performance for NSW spark his NRL season for the Titans?

Tip: Cowboys

SUNDAY June 4

Manly v Canberra at Lottoland, 2pm

Head to head: Sea Eagles 31, Raiders 20 Drawn 1

Last clash: Round 8, 2017 - Sea Eagles 20 bt Raiders 18 at GIO Stadium

TAB: Sea Eagles $2 Raiders $1.80

FootyTAB: Raiders +0.5

Manly got the better of the Raiders in Canberra in golden point six weeks ago, but it's been a different story at home for the Sea Eagles this year. The name change to Lottoland hasn't brought about any luck for Manly, having won just one of five matches at the old Brookvale Oval in 2017. They're also without Tom Trbojevic for another week as he attempts to overcomet a leg injury. Canberra are hoping to have found form with two-straight wins.

Key: Manly's left-edge defence has shown weaknesses this year, but they must withhold the elusive duo of Joseph Leilua and Jordan Rapana on Sunday.

Tip: Canberra

Canterbury v Penrith at ANZ Stadium, 4pm

Head to head: Bulldogs 51, Panthers 36 Drawn 3

Last clash: Elimination final, 2017 - Panthers 28 bt Bulldogs 12 at ANZ Stadium

TAB: Bulldogs $2.10 Panthers $1.73

FootyTAB: Bulldogs +1.5

Penrith appear to have kickstarted their season with two back-to-back wins over the Warriors and Newcastle. They also get Josh Mansour back on the wing, allowing Matt Moylan to shift from fullback from the halves. Meanwhile the Bulldogs have lost their last three to sink to 11th. Desperately in need of a win, they are still without injured five-eighth Josh Reynolds and have three players backing up from Origin commitments.

Key: Matt Moylan's shift to five-eighth for Penrith could galvanise their season if he is able to return to his best in the No.6 jersey.

Tip: Penrith

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