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Rugby League Betting: NRL Round 22 Betting Tips & Predictions

Dave Kuzio /

The NRL reaches round 22 as the race for the play-offs hots up. All 16 teams are in action this weekend with one game on Thursday, two games on Friday, three on Saturday and two on Sunday. Get's best bets from the best of this weekend's action.

READ MORE: For more NRL tips & predictions

Rugby League Betting: NRL Round 22 Betting Tips & Predictions: Canberra Raiders v St George Illawarra Dragons (Sunday 05:00 BST)

Canberra Raiders know a victory over St George Illawarra Dragons will boost their chances of making the play-offs, but off-the-field drama could scupper things.

Head coach Ricky Stuart has been banned from attending Sunday’s game against the Dragons at the GIO Stadium and for contacting staff or players for seven days.

Stuart caused outrage last weekend after calling Penrith Panthers stand-off Jaeman Salmon a ‘weak, gutted dog’ following an incident in Canberra’s 26-6 loss against the Panthers.

That could be a massive hindrance to the Green Machine’s top eight hopes. Without him guiding the team from the sidelines and passing on messages, they could run into some problems.

The Dragons are also still fighting for the top eight, although they are seriously running out of time.

The Raiders are ninth with 22 points, while the Dragons are 11th with 20. Sydney Roosters occupy the eighth and final play-off spot.

Aside from missing their head coach, the Raiders will be without Joseph Tapine with a rib injury with Emre Guler taking his place in the front row. Xavier Savage returns to full-back with Albert Hopoate moving to the wing with Nick Cotirc suspended.

The Dragons will be without Tariq Sims after he was banned for four matches for a careless high tackle. Josh McGuire takes his position with Tyrell Fuimaono returning for the first time since round 12.

I think the off-field problems will have a massive effect on Canberra, so I am backing the Dragons to win by 1-12 points to keep their slim chances alive.

Dragons winger Mathew Feagai has scored seven tries this season, while captain Ben Hunt has six to his name. I am backing them both to add to their tally with tries against the Green Machine.

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