NRL Season 2018 | Free Preview | Reading The Play

NRL Season 2018 | Free Preview | Reading The Play

MrG provides our NRL Tips Previews and content each week for our Reading The Play NRL subscribers. Further details on our NRL offering here

2018 Table Forecast and Team Analysis

These ratings are finalised using a whole range of performance data across recent seasons, team list changes (gains and losses), home and away advantage/records and a forecast simulation of all results for this coming seasons based on a series of ratings to finalise and forecast likely final table positions. I have used this method for a number of seasons with this method normally providing an accurate forecast of 7 to 6 of the final top 8 correct each season. Clearly the one thing we don’t know looking forward is the impact of key injury outs, in particular a highly rated rep player like a Thurston, Slater or co. These ratings are then reviewed and re rated each week based on current form, key ins or outs and ongoing changes.

I have also set out the 16 teams here below to show a visual representation of how the table ratings look pre season, and how close some of these sides look (rating) to each other. The Cowboys and Storm clearly rated on top, and with a gap then to those behind them. The Roosters rated 3rd, then the Broncos, Eels and Sharks all on similar ratings, then the Dragons.

I then have a clump of 6 sides who are all rated side by side. Along with the Dragons we will have 7 sides who look to start the new season all in contention for 2 spots in the top 8 and semi finals footy (with a tiny spread of only 0.2% in ratings across the 7 teams). The unknown now is the impact of new coaches, list overhauls and or new major signings, luck with the draw and the obvious unknown impact of key injuries. For example, I have marked the Sea Eagles down on the basis of losing an important play maker and experienced foil for Cherry-Evans (had that loss not occurred I would have them rated 7th or 8th), but should their new replacements and combinations gel and perform the right way they’ll be re rated week by week accordingly. I have similar issues with the stability and key list losses at the Panthers. But it’s a top 8 not a top 11 or 12 and so a line, rating and opinion is drawn as it is.

Cowboys, Storm


Broncos, Eels, Sharks


Raiders, Panthers, Sea Eagles, Rabbits, Knights, Bulldogs

Titans, Warriors, Tigers

2018 – Key Player Movements like no other season!

Have we ever seen such player movement, let alone the fact that 8 of the 16 teams have lost or signed a key play maker. Let’s remind ourselves, the premiership winner 9 times out of 10 will always have a representative International or Origin play maker calling the shots, its a fact, so we now have massive change with Cronk, Pearce, Green, Moylan, Hunt, Maloney, Foran and Reynolds all moving clubs. Add to this a high turn over and shift of top grade players we have seen an off season like no other that will impact on form, consistency and I expect a very even and competitive season ahead.

NRL Premiership Winner?

This time last year (2017) I had the Storm rated on top with a clear margin and recommended that we back them then at the generous $8.00. While I have made some minor adjustments to their rating they remain the benchmark, rated at the top now with the Cowboys and if ever their was a team capable of going back to back in the modern era then it is this mob. They have one of the bast coaches there is, certainly in my opinion the best club coaching and development systems, year after year an outstanding defensive record and significant home ground advantage. On the back of numerous positive developments I now also have the Cowboys rated a similar mark to the Storm and the obvious contender. They have the benefit of the return of Thurston and Scott, the addition up front of Mclean, the blossoming of Morgan across the last 10 wks of last yr into a stand out leader and play maker, the experience of a semi final run into their list of next generation players, heartland depth and a key home ground advantage.

Long term I think the competition winner is very likely to come from one of these two teams, and I’m happy to back them both. I have rated the Cowboys on top as I like teams who look to have further improvement in them when coming off a Grand Final loss, Morgan is on his way to the next level and a quality combination of he and Thurston looks deadly. Cowboys on top, Storm right in the mix.

2018 Table ForecastNRL Sports Betting Tips

1 Cowboys  (P)

2 Storm

3 Roosters

4 Broncos

5 Eels

6 Sharks

7 Dragons

8 Raiders

9 Panthers

10 Sea Eagles

11 Rabbitohs

12 Bulldogs

13 Knights

14 Titans

15 Warriors

16 Tigers

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Individual Team Previews

Rate = 2018 Rating; Table = table position after all rounds prior to finals series; Won = Games Won; Against = Points Conceded; Av = Average points conceded per game; Differential = points difference between points for and points against across the season.

I rate very highly in my final team ratings a coach/teams ability to defend, their average points against each week longer term and then the comparison defence to attack. It’s no coincidence that the Storm have long term been a consistent top 8 team, let alone a top 4 team when you consider that year after year they concede 12 to 14 points a week (and this is year after year with a changing team list). In last years finals series in winning the Comp across 3 finals games the Storm conceded just 7.3 points a game in defence, the Cowboys and Roosters their two main rivals averaged 25 pts against in their finals games. Coaching quality defence is one of the hardest parts of the game, and one of the most important!


Cowboys Rate Table Won Against Av. Differential
2018 1
2017 2 8 13 443 18.4 +24
2016 2 4 15 355 14.8 +229
2015 3 3 17 454 18.9 +133

Player List

Gains: Carlin Anderson, Jordan McLean, Francis Molo

Losses: Patrick Kaufusi, Patrick Mago, Kalyn Ponga, Ray Thompson, Braden Uele, Blake Leary, Ben Spina

Draw Overview

Number of games vs my top rated 7 teams: 10

Teams they play twice: Broncos, Raiders, Sharks, Titans, Storm, Warriors, Eels, Panthers, Rabbitohs

Teams they play once: Bulldogs, Sea Eagles, Knights, Dragons, Roosters, Wests Tigers

Preview Thoughts

Defeated Grand Finalists after playing (winning) every week through finals to qualify, look to enter 2018 with a flashing red light with the return of Thurston and  Scott from extended injury lay offs, key buy in McLean. Additional advantage of the maturing and blossoming of key playmaker Michael Morgan, long quality list with deep depth and some emerging stars, will have far less Origin outs and interference this season plus a long term key home track advantage. Have proven they can defend at the to end of the comp across a season and with the experience of last season and key player returns I expect we see this again this season. Highly rated top 2 side and look the team to beat.


Storm Rate Table Won Against Av. Differential
2018 2
2017 1 1 20 336 14.0 +297
2016 4 1 19 302 12.5 +261
2015 7 4 14 348 14.5 +119

Player List

Gains: Ryan Hoffman, Sam Kasiano, Patrick Kaufusi, Sandor Earl, Billy Walters, Cooper Johns, Kayleb Milne

Losses: Jesse Arthars, Cooper Cronk, Slade Griffin, Tohu Harris, Jordan McLean, Mark Nicholls, Robbie Rochow, Jeremy Hawkins, Nate Myles, Vincent Leuluai

Draw Overview

Number of games vs my top rated 7 teams: 10

Teams they play twice: Wests Tigers, Cowboys, Sharks, Knights, Broncos, Warriors, Dragons, Titans, Sea Eagles

Teams they play once: Bulldogs, Roosters, Raiders, Rabbitohs, Eels, Panthers

Preview Thoughts

Have been the benchmark for the last 2 yrs and again look the measuring stick, if any team is capable of a back to back performance in today’s era then it is this mob. They have an outstanding defensive system, have blooded a good list of  quality kids through last 12 mths, which will balance out well against their losses, will win 90% of their home games and have a great travel / away record. Look for Cam Smith to play a lot more at either 13 or 7 in a play making role and allow Brandon Smith a lot of game time, a kid they have a big rap on. I also expect Kasiano has a stand out season. Rate top 2, I’m sure they’ll give September a shake.


Roosters Rate Table Won Against Av. Differential
2018 3
2017 8 2 17 428 17.8 +72
2016 9 15 6 576 24.0 -133
2015 1 1 18 300 12.5 +291

Player List

Gains: James Tedesco, Cooper Cronk, Reece Robinson, Frank-Paul Nuuausala

Losses: Mitchell Pearce, Kane Evans, Aidan Guerra, Liam Knight, Connor Watson, Paul Carter, Brenden Santi, Johnny Tuivasa-Sheck, Michael Gordon, Grant Garvey

Draw Overview

Number of games vs my top rated 7 teams: 8

Teams they play twice: Wests Tigers, Knights, Titans, Sea Eagles, Dragons, Bulldogs, Rabbitohs, Warriors, Broncos

Teams they play once: Sharks, Panthers, Storm, Cowboys, Raiders, Eels

Preview Thoughts

Key quality signings, but have they lost a bit of depth and back up? With Cronk and Tedesco they now look to have an outstanding back 7 and will likely clean up many of the also rans and mid table sides during the season and look a likely fav to win the comp. My issue is their middle where they got found out a number of times last year most notably when it mattered in both semi finals, and premiership winning teams don’t leak 25 points a week in September. They have a huge advantage with a very soft draw (best in comp), the real test will come when up against the key top 5 or 6 sides in particular those very strong and physical through the middle. Top 3, but some reservations.


Broncos Rate Table Won Against Av. Differential
2018 4
2017 7 3 16 433 18.0 +164
2016 1 5 15 434 18.0 +120
2015 9 2 17 379 15.7 +195

Player List

Gains: Jack Bird, Patrick Mago, Andre Savelio, Sam Tagataese

Losses: Jai Arrow, Adam Blair, Herman Ese’ese, Ben Hunt, Matiu Love-Henry, Benji Marshall, Tautau Moga, Jai Whitbread, Joe Boyce, Mitchell Dodds, Travis Waddell

Draw Overview

Number of games vs my top rated 7 teams: 10

Teams they play twice: Bulldogs, Sharks, Titans, Sea Eagles, Storm, Warriors, Cowboys, Rabbitohs, Roosters

Teams they play once: Raiders, Knights, Eels, Panthers, Dragons, Wests Tigers

Preview Thoughts

Top 4 side last year, very favourable draw, major home track advantage and luxury of regular weekly 7 day turn around’s. Quality list riddled with long list of rep players, have skill attack and points in them, the key issues now are how they aim up with front row quality and depth and the loss of Hunt in tehir halves and playmaker role. Kevie Walters has been recruited back for the obvious role of working with their halves pairing and all the mail is that Milford will step into the play maker and directional role. While I have rated them down slightly for the time being on these issues, they still look at top 6 side and they are another club with a quality system capable of unearthing a few quality kids. Rate them 4th to 5th with the Eels, behind the top 3


Eels Rate Table Won Against Av. Differential
2018 5
2017 12 4 16 457 19.0 +39
2016 10 14 13 324 13.5* -26
2015 12 12 9 573 23.8 -125

Player List

Gains: Kane Evans, Jaeman Salmon, Tony Williams, Jarryd Hayne

Losses: Bureta Faraimo, Kelepi Tanginoa, Isaac De Gois, Jeff Robson, Semi Radradra, John Folau, Cody Nelson, James Hasson, Rory O’Brien, Frank Pritchard

Draw Overview

Number of games vs my top rated 7 teams: 9

Teams they play twice: Panthers, Sea Eagles, Sharks, Wests Tigers, Bulldogs, Knights, Cowboys, Rabbitohs, Dragons

Teams they play once: Raiders, Warriors, Broncos, Titans, Storm, Roosters

Preview Thoughts

Highly favoured with an excellent draw. They have stability with their list, and a couple of key additions (Hayne and Evans) but face a key loss with Radradra – a game turned / winner who turned numerous games last yr with freakish tries. They have a big pack of Forwards with deep bench depth, play very physical and will belt many opponents this season. Finished top 4 last yr and rattled Storm for 40 mins in first semi final, they should be better for the off season development of their halves pairing and look a strong key contender into this season. Look in for big year, I have them rated just behind the top 3 and a major player.


Sharks Rate Table Won Against Av. Differential
2018 6
2017 5 5 15 407 16.9 +69
2016 5 3 17 404 16.8 +176
2015 10 6 14 476 19.8 -7

Player List

Gains: Josh Dugan, Aaron Gray, Matt Moylan, Ava Seumanufagai, Braden Uele, Scott Sorensen, Trent Hodkinson

Losses: Jack Bird, James Maloney, Gerard Beale, Fa’amanu Brown, Chris Heighington, Jeremy Latimore, Daniel Mortimer, Jaeman Salmon, Jordan Drew, Sam Tagataese, Jayden Walker, Tony Williams

Draw Overview

Number of games vs my top rated 7 teams: 11

Teams they play twice: Cowboys, Dragons, Eels, Storm, Panthers, Raiders, Bulldogs, Knights, Broncos

Teams they play once: Roosters, Titans, Rabbitohs, Wests Tigers, Warriors, Sea Eagles

Preview Thoughts

Looks some further positive reshaping of their player list with Moylan and Dugan key acquisitions. Their Forward list has been aging over the last few seasons, does this hinder them across a long season? Defensively always very tight, tough and strong, concede little and normally they have a strong home ground advantage. They looked like a side enjoying the glory of a premiership win across last season as opposed to still having the hunger for the weekly effort required, a year later and with some key changes to their list I expect them to be much better. Experienced, smart footy side, I have them rated top 6 and a key player.


Dragons Rate Table Won Against Av. Differential
2018 6
2017 14 9 12 450 18.7 +83
2016 13 11 10 538 22.4 -197
2015 13 8 12 408 17.0 +27

Player List

Gains: James Graham, Ben Hunt, Jeremy Latimore, Darren Nicholls, Mitchell Allgood

Losses: Levi Dodd, Josh Dugan, Kalifa Faifai Loa, Jacob Hind, Drew Hutchison, Chris Lewis, Mose Masoe, Tyrone McCarthy, Josh McCrone, Taane Milne, Shaun Nona, Russell Packer, Joel Thompson, Siliva Halivi, Will Matthews, Jake Marketo, Izaac Thompson, Yaw Kiti Glymin

Draw Overview

Number of games vs my top rated 7 teams: 10

Teams they play twice: Sharks, Knights, Rabbitohs, Warriors, Roosters, Storm, Bulldogs, Eels, Wests Tigers

Teams they play once: Broncos, Titans, Raiders, Panthers, Sea Eagles, Cowboys

Preview Thoughts

It’s a season of zero excuse – this list and coach are key semi final contenders or their needs to be a massive shake up and overhaul. They add Graham and Hunt to successful addition of Vaughn last year, have a very strong forward line up and now (on paper) what looks a quality halves pairing. Hunt clearly needs to step up, the combination needs to work and they need to get off the roller coaster of form that they have ridden through recent seasons and step into a possible top 6 role. Can the coach add some positive tweaks to their attack, forward play and how he uses his halves? They look (and rate) a top 6 contender, I’m unconvinced on the coach (and have been for numerous years), time will tell.


Raiders Rate Table Won Against Av. Differential
2018 8
2017 4 10 11 497 20.7 +61
2016 8 2 17 456 19.0 +232
2015 15 10 10 569 23.7 +8

Player List

Gains: Brad Abbey, Charlie Gubb, Siliva Havili, Sam Williams, Craig Garvey, Sitiveni Moceidreke, Stefano Hala, Ata Hingano

Losses: Adam Clydsdale, Lachlan Croker, Jeff Lima, Clay Priest, Zac Santo, Scott Sorensen, Dave Taylor, Jordan Turner, Kurt Baptiste

Draw Overview

Number of games vs my top rated 7 teams: 11

Teams they play twice: Titans, Warriors, Sea Eagles, Bulldogs, Rabbitohs, Sharks, Cowboys, Panthers, Wests Tigers

Teams they play once: Knights, Eels, Dragons, Broncos, Storm, Roosters

Preview Thoughts

Minor tweaks to playing list, but a massive loss with Josh Hodgson likely out for most of the season with his ACL injury. This team and list finished 2nd two seasons ago and then proved major under performers last year with what looked a dose of complacency. All suggestions are they have made some major tweaks to their fitness and off season program, if they can manufacture a suitable solution to #9 there’s no doubt they have the quality and depth to again be a top 8 player. They have attack and points, home advantage but at times defensive brain explosions. Look to be one of a group of teams who could finish anywhere from 7th to 12th I have rated them 8.  


Panthers Rate Table Won Against Av. Differential
2018 9
2017 2 7 13 459 19.1 +39
2016 12 6 14 463 19.2 +100
2015 5 11 9 477 19.8 -78

Player List

Gains: James Maloney, Tyrone Phillips

Losses: Sitaleki Akauola, Zach Dockar-Clay, Samisoni Langi, Matt Moylan, Darren Nicholls, Mitch Rein, Mason Cerruto, Stefano Hala, Bryce Cartwright, Leilani Latu

Draw Overview

Number of games vs my top rated 7 teams: 10

Teams they play twice: Eels, Bulldogs, Cowboys, Titans, Sharks, Knights, Raiders, Sea Eagles, Warriors

Teams they play once: Rabbitohs, Wests Tigers, Dragons, Roosters, Broncos, Storm

Preview Thoughts

What do I say. A team list and junior development that reeks ability an depth and should now be a top 4 contender yet weighted down with under performance. Since looking a likely top 4 contender last year they have since lost Moylan, Cartwright, Latu and Te Maire Martin – and have Peachy on the way out, that’s major quality lost to this list. Maloney could well be a positive signing but he is now at the back end of his career and one wonders how strongly the hunger still burns. Nathan Cleary we know is a rising star, but he and this list deserve some strong, quality direction. I have been on the record for a number of years that I am not a fan of Griffin as a coach and I have not doubt this will again be an issue this season. Highly inconsistent, could finish bottom of the 8 (or lower), should be top 4, not for me.

Sea Eagles

Sea Eagles Rate Table Won Against Av. Differential
2018 10
2017 13 6 14 512 21.3 +40
2016 6 13 8 563 23.4 -109
2015 6 9 11 492 20.5 -34

Player List

Gains: Joel Thompson, Lachlan Croker, Jack Gosiewski, Toafofoa Sipley

Losses: Pita Godinet, Blake Green, Brenton Lawrence, Jesse Martin, Billy Bainbridge, Jarrad Kennedy

Draw Overview

Number of games vs my top rated 7 teams: 11

Teams they play twice: Knights, Eels, Raiders, Titans, Wests Tigers, Roosters, Broncos, Storm, Panthers

Teams they play once: Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Warriors, Dragons, Sharks, Bulldogs

Preview Thoughts

Minor tweaks to playing list, but loss of Green looks the key and I can’t but rate them down for this. Foran a number of seasons ago proved the right foil (director of play) to allow their combination and DCE’s brilliance to shine, it was then lost in 2016 but with the signing of the experienced Green last season reemerged with an excellent combination and DCE returning to his best with an excellent stand out season. What now? Until we see what and how this resolves itself it has to be marked a negative. Strong forward list, Thompson a good get, stars in the Trbojevic brothers and Walker, questions on edge depth and long term quality, and overall defence and differential have hardly changed over recent yrs and still a concern conceding 22 points a week. Another who look to be one of those sides who could finish anywhere from  7th to 12th, I placed them 10.


Rabbits Rate Table Won Against Av. Differential
2018 11
2017 11 12 9 564 23.5 -100
2016 3 12 9 549 22.8 -76
2015 2 7 13 467 19.4 -7

Player List

Gains: Jesse Arthars, Dane Gagai, Jacob Gagan, Richard Kennar, Jesse Martin, Mark Nicholls, Vincent Leuluai

Losses: Bryson Goodwin, Jack Gosiewski, Aaron Gray, David Tyrrell, Anthony Cherrington, Brett Greinke, Luke Kelly, Dane Nielsen, Toby Rudolf, Sitiveni Moceidreke

Draw Overview

Number of games vs my top rated 7 teams: 12

Teams they play twice: Broncos, Raiders, Bulldogs, Warriors, Cowboys, Eels, Dragons, Roosters, Wests Tigers

Teams they play once: Sharks, Titans, Sea Eagles, Storm, Knights, Panthers

Preview Thoughts

New Coach – Anthony Seibold

One major signing in Gagai, plus the key return from injury of Greg Inglis. Appear to have invested in development and or the signing of numerous youngsters. The early signs look positive, they have looked very fit in their trials and had a very positive preparedness to use, shift and run the footy and not just try and graft through the middle. Their best 13 look a very competitive line up but as was the case last season any key injuries or key outs for extended periods exposed some depth issues that still look to remain. At their best and a run with out injury I’d have them competing for a bottom of the top 8 spot and finals but this looks a very competitive year and I marked them 11.


Bulldogs Rate Table Won Against Av. Differential
2018 12
2017 10 11 10 455 18.9 -95
2016 7 7 14 448 18.6 +58
2015 4 5 14 480 20.0 +42

Player List

Gains: Fa’amanu Brown, Kieran Foran, Ofahiki Ogden, Clay Priest, Aaron Woods, Jeremy Marshall-King, Mason Cerruto, Moses Suli, John Olive

Losses: Brad Abbey, James Graham, Sam Kasiano, Richard Kennar, Tyrone Phillips, Josh Reynolds, Craig Garvey, Chase Stanley, Brenko Lee

Draw Overview

Number of games vs my top rated 7 teams: 12

Teams they play twice: Roosters, Panthers, Rabbitohs, Raiders, Broncos, Eels, Sharks, Wests Tigers, Dragons

Teams they play once: Storm, Cowboys, Titans, Knights, Sea Eagles, Warriors

Preview Thoughts

New Coach – Dean Pay

Lots of unknowns here with a new coach and some major signings, and losses. Woods and Foran are their key acquisitions but I am yet to be convinced if they are the right ones to take them forward, in particular Foran off the back of his well publicised issues and injuries across recent seasons. Another key question remains their halves pairing, quality of combination and depth should they strike injury. I am sure we will see a completely different brand and system of play under Pay, and I expect for the positive. Looks a new year of development, refining and rebuilding but they could surprise with a very positive attitude and lots of enthusiasm on the back of whats been disclosed in their recent trials.


Knights Rate Table Won Against Av. Differential
2018 15
2017 16 16 5 648 27.0 -220
2016 14 16 1 800 33.3 -495
2015 11 16 8 612 25.5 -154

Player List

Gains: Herman Ese’ese, Slade Griffin, Aidan Guerra, Chris Heighington, Jacob Lillyman, Tautau Moga, Mitchell Pearce, Kalyn Ponga, Connor Watson

Losses: Brendan Elliot, Jaelen Feeney, Dane Gagai, Jacob Gagan, Rory Kostjasyn, Jesse Martin, Sam Mataora, Chanel Matautia, Peter Matautia, Jarrod Mullen, Mickey Paea, Josh Starling, Jack Stockwell, Anthony Tupou, Joe Wardle, Tyler Randell, Pauli Pauli, David Bhana, Will Pearsall,, Trent Hodkinson

Draw Overview

Number of games vs my top rated 7 teams: 12

Teams they play twice: Sea Eagles, Titans, Roosters, Storm, Eels, Wests Tigers, Panthers, Sharks, Dragons

Teams they play once: Raiders, Broncos, Bulldogs, Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Warriors

Preview Thoughts

The Newcastle team carrying high expectation. A long list of quality and positive signings and major reshape of their top squad, most notably their key spine of 9, 7, 6 and 1. On the back of all of this I have improved their rating significantly (approx 12%) but lets not forget its still a long climb back for a team who have finished 3 consecutive seasons in 16th spot with the wooden spoon. They will play with an advantage at home but serious question marks remain over key combinations, the age and hunger of some of their forwards and importantly the level of improvement required in defence. I do expect major improvement, with some luck they cold knock on the door of the top 8, but I place them in teh group missing the finals and somewhere 9th to 14th.


Titans Rate Table Won Against Av. Differential
2018 13
2017 9 15 7 638 26.5 -190
2016 16 8 11 497 20.7 +11
2015 16 14 9 636 26.5 -197

Player List

Gains: Jai Arrow, Mitch Rein, Jack Stockwell, Jai Whitbread, Leilani Latu, Will Matthews, Michael Gordon, Brenko Lee, Bryce Cartwight

Losses: Chris McQueen, Agnatius Paasi, Nathaniel Peteru, Pat Politoni, Leivaha Pulu, Tyrone Roberts, Dan Sarginson, Tyler Cornish, Chris Grevsmuhl, Eddy Pettybourne, Ryan Simpkins, Daniel Vidot, William Zillman, Jarryd Hayne, John Olive

Draw Overview

Number of games vs my top rated 7 teams: 11

Teams they play twice: Broncos, Raiders, Sea Eagles, Storm, Knights, Warriors, Cowboys, Panthers, Roosters

Teams they play once: Sharks, Bulldogs, Eels, Rabbitohs, Dragons, Wests Tigers

Preview Thoughts

New Coach – Garth Brennan, major changes to staff and structure.

Major list reshape and turn over, list changes small plus to their overall rating, but they face a very tough draw and have now for a number of years provided a very poor defensive record. Another team who look in rebuild and reshape with likely improvement, but I can’t place them any higher longer term than bottom 4.

NZ Warriors

Warriors Rate Table Won Against Av. Differential
2018 14
2017 6 13 7 575 23.9 -131
2016 11 10 10 601 25.0 -88
2015 8 13 9 588 24.5 -143

Player List

Gains: Gerard Beale, Adam Blair, Tohu Harris, Peta Hiku, Matiu Love-Henry, Agnatius Paasi, Leivaha Pulu, Blake Green, Anthony Gelling

Losses: Bureta Faraimo, Kieran Foran, Charlie Gubb, Ryan Hoffman, Jacob Lillyman, Ben Matulino, Toafofoa Sipley, Bodene Thompson, Manu Vatuvei, Ofahiki Ogden, Matthew Allwood, Ata Hingano

Draw Overview

Number of games vs my top rated 7 teams: 12

Teams they play twice: Roosters, Storm, Cowboys, Broncos, Dragons, Panthers, Raiders, Bulldogs, Titans

Teams they play once: Wests Tigers, Eels, Rabbitohs, Sea Eagles, Sharks, Knights

Preview Thoughts

Have not finished higher than 13th last 3 seasons, perennial disappointments and I see something very similar again this year. Yes they have made some key signings, but don’t they most years yet then remain the car park of the NRL – the place talent parks and idles? They have equally the hardest draw of any team in 2018 with 12 games vs potential top 7 sides, plus have a horrible away/travel record winning 1, yep just 1 away game in Oz last year. Add to this the focus on a very conservative high % safety first attack plan that rarely wins you footy games – not for me. A rabble who need a massive shake out.

Wests Tigers

Tigers Rate Table Won Against Av. Differential
2018 16
2017 15 14 7 571 23.7 -158
2016 15 9 11 607 25.2 -108
2015 14 15 8 562 23.4 -75

Player List

Gains: Mahe Fonua, Pita Godinet, Benji Marshall, Ben Matulino, Chris McQueen, Taane Milne, Russell Packer, Josh Reynolds, Robbie Rochow, Corey Thompson

Losses: Matt Ballin, Justin Hunt, Jamal Idris, Jordan Rankin, Ava Seumanufagai, James Tedesco, Aaron Woods, Joel Edwards, Jack Littlejohn, Kyle Lovett, Moses Suli

Draw Overview

Number of games vs my top rated 7 teams: 11

Teams they play twice: Roosters, Bulldogs, Raiders, Dragons, Sea Eagles, Rabbitohs, Storm, Knights, Eels

Teams they play once: Broncos, Warriors, Cowboys, Panthers, Sharks, Titans

Preview Thoughts

Try as I could I still could not improve he Tigers rating significantly. I’m a huge fan of the coach, so a major plus and they’ll also benefit with he now having a full off season with them. I have also allowed for a positive rating for the list make over and some positive signings but they still have a lot to do with their list to be a major player week in week out against the top 4 to 6 sides. They also face a very tough draw, have a poor away record, rarely have a major home advantage and consistently leak 24 to 26 points most weeks. Another with likely improvement and rebuild, but hard to rate any higher than a bottom 3 or 4 prospect.


Having coached at a senior level for 16 years including 3 years on the coaching staff of an NRL club Mr G is an avid student of the game. He’s coached sides to win titles at a senior level, run the football arm of a successful district club, managed professional players and worked in various development roles, so it’s fair to say the game of Rugby League is certainly in his blood and supports an experienced and unique offering.

Mr G’s NRL previews and betting tips combine this knowledge and ‘read’ of the current weekly form with a statistical and betting analysis to provide his followers with a unique and successful approach. He spends hours each week watching and reviewing each and every game assessing the strengths and weakness of the form to then weigh against that of the betting markets. His previews and betting tips have been published on the internet via two sports forums for 7 years prior to his public offering through Reading The Play.

Mr G can also be heard on Talkin Sport each week across the 2sm and Super Radio network talking with Graeme Huges and the boys providing his opinion on all things rugby league.

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