2022 NRL Season Round One Predictions

Rugby League mistake

After five months of waiting, the top rugby league competition down under is back!

That’s right, after the hot weather and meals over the Christmas period, the Australasian fan base is all set to watch their heroes back in competitive action for, no doubt, another exciting season.

Penrith Panthers Vs Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

The reigning champions Penrith fittingly kick things off against Manly. The Panthers are without the influential Nathan Cleary, with debutant Sean O’Sullivan coming in and he certainly has shoes to fill plus a tough task up against experienced international Daly Cherry-Evans.

Other key areas of course are the battle between Dally M winner Tom Trbojevic up against Dylan Edwards as well as the two monstrous forward packs going head-to-head.

An incredibly difficult match to call but Cleary’s absence has proven highly crucial in the past and could do so again plus not to mention their pre-season did not end well so the Sea Eagles may just have the edge.

Prediction: Penrith Panthers 18-24 Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

Penrith Panthers
1. Dylan Edwards, 2. Charlie Staines, 3. Izack Tago, 4. Stephen Crichton, 5. Brian To’o, 6. Jarome Luai, 7. Sean O’Sullivan, 8. Moses Leota, 9. Apisai Koroisau, 10. James Fisher-Harris,11. Viliame Kikau 12. Liam Martin, 13. Isaah Yeo
Interchanges
14. Mitch Kenny, 15. Scott Sorensen, 16. Spencer Leniu, 17. Matthew Eisenhuth
Reserves
18. Chris Smith, 19. J’maine Hopgood, 20. Jaeman Salmon, 21. Taylan May, 22. Kurt Falls, 23.
Soni Luke, 24. Robert Jennings

Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
1. Tom Trbojevic, 2. Jason Saab, 3. Brad Parker, 4. Morgan Harper, 5. Reuben Garrick, 6. Kieran Foran, 7. Daly Cherry-Evans, 8. Toafofoa Sipley, 9. Lachlan Croker, 10. Martin Taupau, 11. Haumole Olakau’atu, 12. Ethan Bullemor, 13. Jake Trbojevic
Interchanges
14. Tolatau Koula. 15. Karl Lawton, 16. Sean Keppie, 17. Taniela Paseka
Reserves
18. Morgan Boyle, 19. Andrew Davey, 20. Christian Tuipulotu, 21. Jorge Taufua, 22. Alec Tuitavake, 23. Kaeo Weekes, 24. James Roumanos

Canberra Raiders Vs Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks

A trip to the Capital to see Canberra against Cronulla. The Raiders are without Jamal Fogarty so Brad Schneider comes in at seven.

The Raiders do retain a highly experienced forward pack, with Elliott Whitehead leading the way.

The Sharks will be tricky though, with Dale Finucane making his competitive debut at lock plus they have further size in the pack in Toby Rudolf and Braden Hamlin-Uele.

Nicho Hynes also makes his debut at scrum-half, having shown plenty of promise for the Storm and alongside Matt Moylan, could prove to be a dangerous combination.

Prediction: Canberra Raiders 22-24 Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks

Canberra Raiders
1. Charnze Nicoll-Kolkstad, 2. Nick Cotric, 3. James Schiller, 4. Matthew Timoko, 5. Semi Valemei, 6. Jack Wighton, 7. Brad Schneider, 8. Josh Papalii, 9. Josh Hodgson, 10. Joseph Tapine, 11. Hudson Young, 12. Corey Harawira-Naera, 13. Elliott Whitehead
Interchanges
14. Tom Starling, 15. Emre Guler, 16. Adam Elliott, 17. Corey Horsburgh
Reserves
18. Ryan Sutton, 19. Matt Frawley, 20. Trey Mooney, 21. Harry Rushton, 22. Jarrod Croker, 23. Xavier Savage, 24. Sam Williams

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
1. William Kennedy, 2. Sione Katoa, 3. Jesse Ramien, 4. Ronaldo Mulitalo, 5. Matt Ikuvalu, 6. Matt Moylan, 7. Nicholas Hynes, 8. Toby Rudolf, 9. Blayke Brailey , 10. Braden Hamlin-Uele, 11. Briton Nikora, 12. Teig Wilton, 13. Dale Finucane
Interchange
14. Aiden Tolman, 15. Siosifa Talakai, 16. Royce Hunt, 17. Andrew Fifita
Reserves
18. Luke Metcalf, 19. Jesse Colquhoun, 20. Lachlan Miller, 21. Jenson Taumoepeau, 22. Jayden Berrell, 23. Jonaiah Lualua, 24. Thomas Hazelton

Brisbane Broncos Vs South Sydney Rabbitohs

After experiencing a severe amount of wet weather, Brisbane Broncos and South Sydney Rabbitohs prepare for battle at the Suncorp stadium.

The Broncos bring in Albert Kelly in place of Adam Reynolds due to the latter’s positive coronavirus test. He partners Billy Walters in an all-new competitive combination for the club.

The Bunnies though retain Dally M half-back Cody Walker, who is alongside Lachlan Ilias.

Looking at the forward packs, the Broncos have Payne Haas and Kurt Capewell to choose from but the Bunnies retain their full pack from last season, who helped them towards the Grand Final after all.

The Broncos are still in transition as well so possibly a slow start for them against a very tough South Sydney outfit who should be off to a better start.

Prediction: Brisbane Broncos 12-30 South Sydney Rabbitohs

Brisbane Broncos
1. Jamayne Isaako, 2. Corey Oates, 3. Kotoni Staggs, 4. Herbie Farnworth, 5. Selwyn Cobbo, 6. Billy Walters, 7. Albert Kelly, 8. Keenan Palasia, 9. Jake Turpin, 10. Payne Haas, 11. Kurt Capewell, 12. Jordan Riki, 13. Patrick Carrigan
Interchanges
14. Ryan James, 15. Rhys Kennedy, 16. Teui Robati, 17. Tyrone Roberts
Reserves
18. Corey Jensen, 19. Brenko Lee, 20. Jordan Pereira, 21. Te Maire Martin, 22. Ezra Mam, 23. Logan Bayliss, 24. Ethan Quai-Ward

South Sydney Rabbitohs
1. Blake Taaffe, 2. Alex Johnston, 3. Jaxson Paulo, 4. Campbell Graham, 5. Taane Milne, 6. Cody Walker, 7. Lachlan Ilias, 8. Tevita Tatola, 9. Damien Cook, 10. Mark Nicholls, 11. Keaon Koloamatangi, 12. Jai Arrow, 13. Cameron Murray
Interchanges
14. Jacob Host, 15. Siliva Havili, 16. Thomas Burgess, 17. Michael Chee Kam
Reserves
18. Davvy Moale, 19. Josh Mansour, 20. Liam Knight, 21. Richard Kennar, 22. Peter Mamouzelos, 23. Isaiah Tass, 24. Dean Hawkins

Sydney Roosters Vs Newcastle Knights

Many people’s favourites Sydney Roosters should start as favourites against Newcastle Knights.

The Roosters welcome back Luke Keary from his long injury lay-off with Paul Momirovski making his competitive debut for the club and Connor Watson making his official return.

The Knights finished last season well and have retain much of their squad, including hard hitting David Klemmer ad Jacob Saifiti in the pack plus Jake Clifford and Kalyn Ponga in the backs.

This has the potential to be a close game but the Roosters, home advantage and all, should still have enough to get the job done.

Prediction: Sydney Roosters 32-20 Newcastle Knights

Sydney Roosters
1. James Tedesco, 2. Daniel Tupou, 3. Billy Smith, 4. Joseph Manu, 5. Paul Momirovski, 6. Sam Walker, 7. Luke Keary, 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 9. Connor Watson, 10. Lindsay Collins, 11. Angus Crichton, 12. Sitili Tupouniua, 13. Victor Radley
Interchange
14. Drew Hutchison, 15. Fletcher Baker, 16. Nat Butcher, 17. Siosiua Taukeiaho
Reserves
18. Kevin Naiqama, 19. Daniel Suluka-Fifita, 20. Lachlan Lam, 21. Naufahu Whyte, 22. Adam Keighran, 23. Tuku Hau Tapuha, 24. Ben Marschke

Newcastle Knights
1. Kalyn Ponga, 2. Dominic Young, 3. Dane Gagai, 4. Bradman Best, 5. Enari Tuala, 6. Jake Clifford, 7. Adam Clune, 8. David Klemmer, 9. Chris Randall, 10. Jacob Saifiti, 11. Tyson Frizell, 12. Lachlan Fitzgibbon, 13. Kurt Mann
Interchange
14. Phoenix Crossland, 15. Mitchell Barnett, 16. Leo Thompson, 17. Jirah Momoisea
Reserves
18. Tex Hoy, 19. Pasami Saulo, 20. Simi Sasagi, 21. Brayden Musgrove, 22. Mat Croker, 23. Dylan Lucas, 24. Jaron Purcell

New Zealand Warriors Vs St George-Illawarra Dragons

Off to the Sunshine Coast as New Zealand Warriors face St George-Illawarra Dragons.

The Warriors have Shaun Johnson back at the club, partnering Kodi Nikorima plus have efficient forwards in Addin Fonua-Blake, Euan Aitken, Josh Curran and Ben Murdoch-Masila.

The Dragons retain their starting line-up from their historic Charity Shield win over the Bunnies, with Andrew McCullough leading big players such as Blake Lawrie, Jack Bird, Jack De Belin and new signing Jaydn Su’A.

Could easily go either way this match but the Warriors still are not back in familiar surroundings and against an in-form Dragons side, could come unstuck.

Prediction: New Zealand Warriors 16-24 St George-Illawarra Dragons

New Zealand Warriors
1. Chanel Harris-Tavita, 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, 3. Viliami Vailea, 4. Rocco Berry, 5. Marcelo Montoya, 6. Kodi Nikorima, 7. Shaun Johnson, 8. Addin Fonua-Blake, 9. Wayne Egan, 10. Bunty Afoa, 11. Euan Aitken, 12. Eliesa Katoa, 13. Josh Curran
Interchanges
14. Jazz Tevaga, 15. Ben Murdoch-Masila, 16. Aaron Pene, 17. Bayley Sironen
Reserves
18. Jack Murchie, 20. Ashley Taylor, 21. Adam Pompey, 22. Pride Petterson-Robati, 23. Taniela Otukolo, 24. Jesse Arthars, 25. Edward Kosi

St George-Illawarra Dragons
1. Tyrell Sloan, 2. Cody Ramsey, 3. Moses Suli, 4. Zac Lomax, 5. Mikaele Ravalawa, 6. Talatau Amone, 7. Ben Hunt, 8. Blake Lawrie, 9. Andrew McCullough, 10. Aaron Woods, 11. Jack Bird, 12. Jaydn Su’A, 13. Jack De Belin
Interchanges
14. Moses Mbye, 15. Francis Molo, 16. Josh Kerr, 17. Jack Gosiewski
Reserves
18. Jackson Ford, 19. Mathew Feagai, 20. Daniel Alvaro, 21. Poasa Faamausili, 22. Tautau Moga, 23. Jaiyden Hunt, 24. Michael Molo

Wests Tigers Vs Melbourne Storm

The reigning Minor Premiers Melbourne Storm travel to Sydney to face Wests Tigers.

The Tigers have invested heavily, bringing in Oliver Gildart, Jackson Hastings and Ken Maumalo in the back line and still possess the likes of Joe Ofahengaue and Luciano Leilua in the pack.

The Storm have Ryan Papenhuyzen available plus Jahrome Hughes and Nick Meaney, though Cameron Munster’s absence could be crucial.

Though with Dally M hooker Brandon Smith to lead their experienced forward pack, the Storm should be able to overcome any resistance the Tigers attempt to throw at them.

Prediction: Wests Tigers 12-34 Melbourne Storm

Wests Tigers
1. Daine Laurie, 2. David Nofoaluma, 3. James Roberts, 4. Oliver Gildart, 5. Ken Maumalo, 6. Jackson Hastings, 7. Luke Brooks, 8. Alex Twal, 9. Jake Simpkin, 10. Stefano Utoikamanu, 11. Kelma Tuilagi, 12. Luciano Leilua, 13. Joe Ofahengaue
Interchanges
14. Tyrone Peachey, 15. Luke Garner, 16. Zane Musgrove, 17. Alex Seyfarth
Reserves
18. Thomas Mikaele, 19. Starford To’a, 20. Jock Madden, 21. Tukimihia Simpkins, 22, Rua Ngatikaura, 23, Austin Dias, 24. William Kei

Melbourne Storm
1. Ryan Papenhuyzen, 2. George Jennings, 3. Reimis Smith, 4. Justin Olam, 5. Xavier Coates, 6. Nick Meaney, 7. Jahrome Hughes, 8. Jesse Bromwich, 9. Brandon Smith, 10. Christian Welch, 11. Felise Kaufusi, 12. Kenneath Bromwich, 13. Josh King
Interchanges
14. Tyran Wishart, 15. Jayden Nikorima, 16, Trent Loiero, 17. Nelson Asofa-Solomona
Reserves
18. Dean Ieremia, 19. Alec MacDonald, 20. Jack Howarth, 21. Sualauvi Faalogo, 22. Bronson Garlick, 23. Jonah Pezet, 24. Will Warbrick

Parramatta Eels Vs Gold Coast Titans
Parramatta Eels retain their starting line-up that demolished Penrith 36-0 during the Trial match.

Clinton Gutherson, Mitchell Moses, Dylan Brown and Reed Mahoney are in as pivots and all of whom have impressed in recent times, not to mention their pack in Isaiah Papali’I and Regan Campbell-Gillard to provide the metres.

The Titans have had less game time but Alex Brimson and Jayden Campbell could provide plenty of problems plus David Fifita, Moeaki Fotuaika and Tino Fa’asuamaleaui to provide an interesting battle.

Prediction: Parramatta Eels 28-16 Gold Coast Titans

Parramatta Eels
1. Clinton Gutherson, 2. Sean Russell, 3. Will Penisini, 4. Waqa Blake, 5. Bailey Simonsson, 6. Dylan Brown, 7. Mitchell Moses, 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard, 9. Reed Mahoney, 10. Junior Paulo, 11. Shaun Lane, 12. Isaiah Papali’I, 13. Ryan Matterson
Interchanges
14. Makahesi Makatoa, 15. Oregon Kaufusi, 16. Ray Stone, 17. Jake Arthur
Reserves
18. Nathan Brown, 19. Bryce Cartwright, 20. Mitch Rein, 21. Tom Opacic, 22. Hayze Perham, 23. Wiremu Greig, 24. Ky Rodwell

Gold Coast Titans
1. Jayden Campbell, 2. Phillip Sami, 3. Brian Kelly, 4. Patrick Herbert, 5. Corey Thompson, 6. Alexander Brimson, 7. Toby Sexton, 8. Moeaki Fotuaika, 9. Erin Clark, 10. Isaac Liu, 11. David Fifita, 12. Beau Fermor, 13. Tino Fa’asuamaleuai
Interchanges
14. Will Smith, 15. Sam Lisone, 16. Jaimin Joliffe, 17. Kevin Proctor
Reserves
18. Jarrod Wallace, 19. Tanah Boyd, 20. Herman Ese’ese, 21. Esan Marsters, 22. Sam McIntyre, 23. Paul Turner, 24. Greg Marzhew

North Queensland Cowboys Vs Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

Two clubs who are in need of redemption are both North Queensland and Canterbury.

The Cowboys have home advantage and have Hamio Tabuai-Fidow, Tom Dearden and Chad Townsend available plus work horse Jason Taumalolo at lock.

The Bulldogs struggled and ended up with the wooden spoon last year but do have Luke Thompson and Paul Vaughn at prop plus Matt Dufty and Josh Addo-Carr coming in to the side.

An interesting clash but the Cowboys could just edge this one.

Prediction: North Queensland Cowboys 26-16 Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

North Queensland Cowboys
1. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, 2. Kyle Feldt, 3. Valentine Holmes, 4. Peta Hiku, 5. Murray Taulagi, 6. Tom Dearden, 7. Chad Townsend, 8. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, 9. Reece Robson, 10. Coen Hess, 11. Heilum Luki, 12. Jeremiah Nanai, 13. Jason Taumalolo
Interchanges
14. Reuben Cotter, 15. Jordan McLean, 16. Mitchell Dunn, 17. Tom Gilbert
Reserves
18. Jake Granville, 19. Scott Drinkwater, 20. Griffin Neame, 21. Brendan Elliot, 22. Ben Condon, 23. Connelly Lemuelu, 24. Daejarn Asi

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
1. Matt Dufty, 2. Jayden Okunbor, 3. Braidon Burns, 4. Brent Naden, 5. Josh Addo-Carr, 6. Matt Burton, 7. Jake Averillo, 8. Luke Thompson, 9. Jeremy Marshall-King, 10. Paul Vaughn, 11. Jack Hetherington, 12. Tevita Pangai-Junior, 13. Josh Jackson
Interchange
14. Bailey Biondi-Odo, 15. Corey Waddell, 16. Max King, 17. Chris Patolo
Reserves
19. Brandon Wakeham, 20. Aaron Schoupp, 21. Joe Stimson, 22. Joshua Cook, 23. Ava Seumanufagai, 24. Kyle Flanagan, 25. Reece Hoffman

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