Things are heating up, not just because we have entered Spring, but also because it's almost time for the Finals. But before the first game of the finals kicks off, we go through every team that has made the top eight and evaluate their chances. Dabble’s experts will provide NRL tips for each and every game in the finals for the 2023 NRL season, meaning you won’t miss a thing.
Our NRL footy tips cover all the key factors of the NRL. So, if you are as obsessed with the NRL as the team at Dabble are, you have certainly come to the right place! Get your scrolling finger ready, all you need to do is read and scroll, our experts will take care of everything else for you.
Check out all our expert NRL tips for the Finals below:
Ladder Position #1: Penrith Panthers
Winning the minor Premiership three times in four years is a mighty feat and the Panthers are justifiable favourites to win it all yet again. But they face a tough assignment first up in the Warriors, who have been the big surprise packet of 2023 after years in the doldrums. The Warriors are dangerous and unpredictable, the Panthers are steady and relentless, and that contrast should make for a classic finals encounter. But I think Penrith’s greater consistency and finals experience will prove the difference in a high scoring contest. I see the Panthers getting to the Grand Final – but falling to the Broncos.
Ladder Position #2: Brisbane Broncos
The Broncos are my tip to go all the way and end Penrith’s dreams of a three-peat. They are probably the fastest and most athletic team in the finals and specialise in long-distance tries. Fullback Reece Walsh is the form player in the comp and the rest of the team feeds off his wonderful work at the back. Beating Melbourne is never easy, but the Storm are just slightly behind where they were a couple of years ago and the Broncos will have their measure – and go all the way to Premiership glory.
Ladder Position #3: Melbourne Storm
Any Craig Bellamy team is a chance in finals footy but, as I said above, the Storm have lost some big names in the last couple of years and rely too heavily on the class of halves Jahrome Hughes and Cam Munster. Taking on the brilliant Broncos in round one of the finals is probably the toughest assignment of the weekend and it wouldn’t surprise me if the Storm bow out in straight sets.
Ladder Position #4: New Zealand Warriors
Full marks to the Warriors – plenty of so-called experts – including yours truly – thought they would finish well down the ladder. Andrew Webster has done a marvellous job in his rookie season and deserves the coach of the year award – but I think beating Penrith at Penrith will be a bridge too far in week one of the finals. The Warriors have the class in the backline and power up front to bounce back – depending on who they meet in week two.
Ladder Position #5: Newcastle Knights
The Knights have forgotten how to lose and it’s a great place to be in going into the first round of the finals at home. With Kalyn Ponga expected to be back from injury, they have the strike power out wide to trouble any team in the top eight. I can see them winning this week against the Raiders and after that – who knows – their confidence is sky high after their amazing winning run. Ponga’s dusty shoulder will be a target though and that is a concern.
Ladder Position #6: Cronulla Sharks
The Sharks vs Roosters game shapes as the toughest of the week for punters. At a neutral venue, I’d lean towards the Roosters but at Shark Park I’m taking the home side in a close one. Last season they bowed out of the finals in straight sets, and I think that won’t happen again – they will win this one, but I can’t see them progressing much further – the other teams in the eight have a little too much class for them.
Ladder Position #7: Sydney Roosters
The Roosters have done a great job to reach the finals and have plenty of momentum and confidence with five straight wins. But those five virtually sudden death games took a lot of gas out of the Roosters, and they took a bruising despite beating archrivals Souths last weekend. Sam Walker’s return has proved very timely, and he gives the Roosters some x-factor, but I don’t think it will be enough to beat the Sharks on their home turf.
Ladder Position #8: Canberra Raiders
The Raiders will be licking their wounds this week after being mauled at Cronulla – a loss that cost them a home final and also likely the services of talented utility back Sebastian Kris, who was sent off for an ugly spear tackle. I think winning in Newcastle – where they will be playing 17 Knights as well as a 25,000 strong crowd, will be a bridge too far. Canberra have done well to beat several other teams for a place in the top eight – but this is where it will end.
We told you our NRL betting tips were on point! If reading our 2023 NRL Finals preview has got you all fired up, make sure you head on over to the Dabble app, get all your bets sorted and share your thoughts in the Banter channel.