NRL Round 1 2020 Preview & Predictions

Hello and welcome to our NRL previews. Here at RLBet we preview and predict each and every game from the NRL.

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NRL Round 1 2020

Date: Thursday 12th March 2020
Parramatta Eels
Parramatta Eels v Canterbury Bulldogs
Kick Off: 09:05
Venue: BankWest Stadium (Sydney)
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Canterbury Bulldogs


This Sydney derby pits the all-out attacking style of the Eels come up against the Bulldogs tough, defensive style that sees them try to out-grind their opposition.

That mix of styles should set us up for an entertaining 80 minutes of action but t also creates a tough match to predict, especially with this been the season opener for 2020 in the NRL.

With nothing to go on from this season, we can only look back at the last couple of months of last season for any sort of prediction guide and with the Doggies stumbling towards the end of last season and with the Eels often impressing, especially at home, we are going to back the hosts for a win in their impressive new ground.

Prediction: Parramatta Eels by 10

Date: Friday 13th March 2020
Canberra Raiders
Canberra Raiders v Gold Coast Titans
Kick Off: 07:00
Venue: GIO Stadium (Canberra)
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Gold Coast Titans


This one has lots of interest for British fans with the Raiders having a host of England internationals in their squad whilst the Titans also have Kallum Watkins amongst their squad and are of course now managed by Justin Holbrook, the former Saints manager.

Unfortunately for him, he has taken over a team more used to struggling at the bottom of the table than challenging at the top and there is little to show too much change in that regard.

The Raiders, who lost in the Grand Final last season, are without England star John Bateman but they still have lots of quality and should have too much for their opponents in this one.

Prediction: Canberra Raiders by 10

North Queensland Cowboys
North Queensland Cowboys v Brisbane Broncos
Kick Off: 09:05
Venue: Queensland Country Bank Stadium (Townsville)
Brisbane Broncos


The Cowboys welcome the Broncos for not just the first game of the season but also for a Queensland derby to open their new stadium.

That puts all of the pressure on the Cowboys to pick up a win to open their new ground with a bang and with things between these 2 sides often so close, that extra motivation could prove the difference.

Prediction: North Queensland Cowboys by 6

Date: Saturday 14th March 2020
Newcastle Knights
Newcastle Knights v New Zealand Warriors
Kick Off: 04:00
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium (Newcastle)
New Zealand Warriors


These 2 are amongst the most unpredictable teams in the NRL and when you add in the fact that this is the opening round of the season and you have a match that is all but impossible to predict with any sort of expectation of been right.

Both teams have match winners and both teams are capable of making silly mistakes, with again just adds to the unpredictable nature of this game.

A couple of points that could make the difference is that the Knights tend to be better at home whilst the Warriors tend to be at their worst on the road so with that in mind we are going to back Newcastle for the win but we really wouldn’t be surprised by an either result in this one.

Prediction: Newcastle Knights by 8

South Sydney Rabbitohs
South Sydney Rabbitohs v Cronulla Sharks
Kick Off: 06:30
Venue: ANZ Stadium (Sydney)
Cronulla Sharks


The South Sydney Rabbitohs head into the new season without their talismanic star forward Sam Burgess after the former England star had to retire over the off season. In fact, Souths are now down to just 1 Burgess brother but there is still lots for British fans to enjoy when watching the Green and Reds.

The Sharkies have had a tough couple of years but they still have lots of quality in their squad and are a threat for anybody.

The same can be said in many ways about Rabbitohs and that is what sets this up to not only be an exciting game but also one that is tough to predict.

In a game that will be tight it will likely come down to the defences of both teams and that plays into the hands of the Rabbitohs.

Prediction: South Sydney Rabbitohs by 8

Penrith Panthers
Penrith Panthers v Sydney Roosters
Kick Off: 08:35
Venue: Panthers Stadium (Penrith)
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Sydney Roosters


The Penrith Panthers have been a club going through lots of changes, both on and off of the field and that has left them struggling over the past few years for consistency.

The goal is for that to end of course and for them to get back towards the top of the NRL but as this is the first game of the season, it really is potluck as to how far towards achieving that they are.

Unfortunately for the hosts they face the Roosters in round 1, the reigning and defending champions in the NRL and the current World Club Champions.

That would be a tough game for anyone to open the season with, so we are going to back the Roosters for the win.

Prediction: Sydney Roosters by 10

Date: Sunday 15th March 2020
Manly Sea Eagles
Manly Sea Eagles v Melbourne Storm
Kick Off: 05:05
Venue: Lottoland Stadium (Sydney)
Melbourne Storm


The Sea Eagles welcome the Storm to Lottoland for this fascinating round 1 match up from the NRL.

The Storm go into every match almost expecting to win whilst Manly are one of those teams who on their day can be a match for anybody but who also can badly underperform.

With no form to go on so far this year, you have to back the Storm as they are amongst the most consistent clubs in the competition.

Prediction: Melbourne Storm by 12

St George Illawarra Dragons
St George Illawarra Dragons v Wests Tigers
Kick Off: 07:15
Venue: WIN Stadium (Sydney)
Wests Tigers


St George Illawarra Dragons take on the Wests Tigers in a matchup between 2 of the most inconsistent teams in the NRL.

Whilst that would make this a difficult match to predict at the best of times, it makes it almost impossible in round 1 of a new season.

With that in mind, this is one to avoid on the coupon but if we had to back a team, which we do, we will back the hosts to take advantage of home field advantage- although that is lessened for a team that moves ground so much.

Prediction: St George Illawarra Dragons by 4

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