FInals – week one

Sydney Roosters vs Brisbane Broncos – Friday night – Allianz Stadium

Second plays third and this will be the third time these sides meet this season. Back in round 6 the Broncos were convincing winners at home (32-8). Dominant the Broncos were, but they had quite a bit to deal with that night – Corey Oates withdrew before kick-off, Ben Hunt went off injured just after half time, Korbin Sims went off injured with 20 to go and Josh McGuire played much of the game with one good arm. Despite all that, the Broncos were simply too good. Later in the season these sides met at this very venue and it was the Chooks who prevailed in a tighter contest (18-16). That game was played during the Origin period and both teams had playmakers unavailable (Milford and Pearce). Note that Benji Marshall played in the halves in that game, as he will on Friday night. The big difference in this game compared to that last encounter is the Brisbane spine, with Boyd and McCullough unavailable. Nikorima slips into the all-important number one jersey. It's a big ask, but note that this Broncos spine played for 40 minutes against the Cowboys last week. The Cowboys, with everything to play for, couldn't get through the Broncos defence until the 80th minute. The Roosters have shown all year that they can win the tight games. They've been in 11 games where the margin was 4 points or less this season, and they won 9 of them. The Broncos by comparison, have lost 4 of the 7 games they played where the margin was 4 or less. The Chooks are a warm favourite but I'm willing to take them on here. We should have a dry track in Sydney on Friday night and that will, in my opinion, favour the visitors. Last weekend Phil Gould suggested that the Broncos were no hope of beating the Roosters this weekend. One of us is going to be wrong.

Verdict – Broncos by 10

Result – Roosters by 2

Melbourne Storm vs Parramatta Eels – Saturday afternoon – AAMI Park

To give the Eels fans a glimmer of hope they were the last team to beat the Storm – way back in round 18, and that was played in Melbourne too. Here's where I take that glimmer of hope and rudely stamp on it in my size 11 steelcaps – in round 18 the Storm didn't have Smith, Slater, Cronk, Munster, Chambers and Glasby. While I don't think this game is as good as over, I simply can't ip the Eels to win. It really is that simple.

Verdict – Storm by 13

Result – Storm by 2

Manly Sea Eagles vs Penrith Panthers – Saturday night – Allianz Stadium

How much can change in a week? These sides faced off just seven days ago and the Sea Eagles led 26-0 until the 75th minute. The Panthers scored a few late tries to make the final score less awful but if was a pretty convincing display by the Eagles against a genuinely disappointing opponent. The team line-ups are much the same unless Dylan Edwards is a late call-up for the Panthers at fullback...but that's unlikely. The big difference between this game and the round 26 game is the venue. Manly fans are notoriously poor travellers so the Panthers will probably end up with the lions share of support in the stands. Is that enough to turn the result from seven days ago? Possibly, but I doubt it.

Verdict – Sea Eagles by 7

Result – Panthers by 12

Cronulla Sharks vs North Queensland Cowboys – Sunday afternoon – Allianz Stadium

If the Cowboys run out of room in their casualty ward the Sharks could probably help them out. The Sharks might not be in the form they were in last season but their best seventeen (or close enough to it) are fit and available on Sunday. The Sharks prevailed in the two previous encounters between these sides this season and they are a red-hot favourite on Sunday. I give the Sharks next to no hope of a repeat premiership and I'm barely convinced they will win this, but I think they can scrape home. And I mean scrape. The Cowboys have had a few extra days to prepare for this and they'll need that time just to strap up their troops. The Sharks will no doubt benefit from some dubious decision at some point and Cowboys fans will collectively shake their heads and say 'here we go again'. I can't tell you much I hope I'm wrong.

Verdict – Sharks by 2

Result – Cowboys by 1

Wally Lewis - round twenty six selections (in bold)

Note: tips from Wally will be published on Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.

  • ROOSTERS vs Broncos
  • STORM vs Eels
  • SEA EAGLES vs Panthers
  • SHARKS vs Cowboys


ESRA STAR 's picture

Don't write the horses off against the Rooters just because Darius Bennet is injured again. They did pretty well for the 3 or 4 weeks he was out earlier on.

Imprez's picture

My predictions are as follows;

Roosters vs Broncos
Roosters played so appalling last round it's hard to think they would be able to beat Broncos, which is why my money is on the Broncs. BB showed exceptional attack and defence in the game against Cowboys and if they can repeat it this week, despite a close game, I think Broncos have it in the bag.

Storm vs Eels
No brainer here, Storms are gonna win.

Sea Eagles vs Panthers
This will be the a great rematch. Panthers have lost twice in a row to teams they could've easily beaten and Manly have shown to have impressive defence, so after watching them play against Warriors and Panthers, I'm placing my confidence in Manly to win, 13+ again.

Sharks vs Cowboys
I think Sharks will do well to score big against a broken team like Cowboys, so here's to the Cronulla Sharkies.

bronx nation's picture

Bronx to win a close one against the roosters. If anyone can beat the storm I think the eeks can, with the wife beater in red hot form I think the eels could pull off an upset, I am however picking storm, I also think manly will get over the penny panthers, sharks v cows will be good, with tha sharks far from their gf winning b firm of last year I am l Abu g toward the cows

bronx nation's picture

I am leaning towards the cows that should read

EagleROCKS's picture

My tips for week one of the finals........................................................

Broncos(very close game but roosters have not been great despite coming second)

Storm(this is a game where an upset could occur, like manly the eels have shocked everyone home ground advantage gives my tip to the storm)

The Mighty Eagles(the mighty eagles were magnificent last weekend.The panters will improve but not enough, its the mighty eagles to move on in the finals)

The cowboys(this is my upset of the finals, yes the sharks are favourites ,but i have a feeling the cows are going to pull off the upset, and eliminate the defending champions in a very tight match)

Wow what a week of finals, good luck everyone it should be Rockin and rollin Super Football!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Taka's picture

Here are my tips for week one finals. I think the roosters will beat the broncos in a close one because Dairus Boyd is a big loss for the team. The eagles are on a roll here so they'll get the job done. Storm too good for the eels in defense & Sharks in a tight one.

Roosters by 2
Storm by 14
Eagles by 10
Sharks by 7

Enjoy your footy...!!!

The Annoying Devil's picture

It's unheard of to think it's possible but when have you heard of the key match up in such a big game is on the wing. Easily the 2 best on the ground and in the air vulivalo v semi can't wait.
Being neutral to the teams playing the roosters and the broncos will be close and the people here love to use stats as their reasoning we'll have a look at who's won the most close games this year I'm with Gus on this one.
I don't think it matters who win the other games they'll be gone the following week and if results go the way I'm seeing the storm may slip against the broncos after the week off and the roosters v eels may the best team win because I'll be on them regardless.

EagleROCKS's picture

Annoying Devil you might be gone the following week, but we wont we are not going anywhere goodluck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

mark ashford's picture

Well here we are, first round of the finals.
Toughest game to pick is Broncs V Roosters
Can't pick against my Broncs so it's them by 4
Storm are so far in front and at home it must be them by 12
Manly were so dominant over the Panthers last week why should anything change Manly by 10
Sharks nearly got done by the Knights last week, won't happen again, a depleted Cowboys will struggle in Sydney. Sharks by 11

Dragons-fanboy's picture

Hello everyone, pity that Dragons aren't in it this year but oh well, there's always next year. Still excited and intrigued with how this final series is going to pan out this year. Now let's get on with the tips. My tips for this week are:

Roosters by 6- Roosters to just beat the Broncos here. I know the Broncos still have a good line-up. But Nikorima has big shoes to fill at fullback and Marshall is back for the Broncos hasn't played in a long time for the Broncos. With the two players out for the Broncos and are big outs too, I think that the Roosters, who have got their near perfect team out there, to win it on Friday in what should be a cracking game.

Storm by 10- AN upset may be brewing here. I give the Eels a huge chance in this one. But playing the Storm, you just cannot tip against the Storm here. So Storm for me.

Manly by 4- Manly to get yet another win over Penrith this time in a closer game.

ANd finally... Sharks by 8- Cowboys can take full advantage of their giving opportunity in the finals and go all the way to the grand final if they're good enough. That would be good to see I'll tell you that. But unfortunately for the Cowboys I don't think that'll happen. Hell, I'm not tipping them here with the depleted side that they have. Plus, they have a poor record in Sydney which doesn't help. So Sharks for me.

Awesome. Good luck with everyone's tips for this week. ANd with whoever's favourite teams who are playing finals footy that members from this site go for, good luck with your teams for this week. Cheers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Annoying Devil's picture

Anthony Seibold is Souths new coach another coach that learned under Craig Bellamy
Should be interesting

The Thinker's picture

Seibold is a smart guy and well liked.

Johnny Awesome's picture

Hi all,
I agree Mr Thinker that Seibold is smart and well liked, but what I'm not happy about is how any club can get rid of coaches and or players at their leisure. Sure Madge gets his money but didn't he have another 2 years on his contract? Contract and the paper it's written on is a farce in rugby league and it's not a good look for the game sacking willy nilly when the chips are down. I got really annoyed when Toovey got dumped and it's getting more annoying as time goes on. Des will be gone at the end of the week as well. So when do the folks who hire and fire and make the contracts become accountable for their decisions? Cheers from Mr Awesome.

The Annoying Devil's picture

He is well liked but they all are at the start
If they don't make the eight he will get blamed. Souths will have one of the best attacking backline and no excuses
I heard a rumour at the club he's going to fix the toughest assignment first
So good luck with catching practice with the burgess bros

Lomberjoke's picture

I reckon eels are gonna take the game by surprise. Anyone support my statement and my claim that broncos are gonna win their game against the chickens.

a's picture

Here are my tips

Broncos by 1 I think the Broncos will win in a thiller here

Storm by 10 I think the Storm will beat the Eels here

Panthers by 1 I think the Panthers will get revenge on Manly here cause last time the teams met in the 1st round of the finals when Eels beat Dragons 25-12 when Dragons beat than 37-0

Cowboys by 2 I think the Cowboys will beat Sharks

bronx nation's picture

Yup I give the eels a big chance and am backing the Bronx

Baggy_Gee's picture

Nice that everyone gives the BOYS a chance, but anyone bar me going to put their balls on the line and back them?

bronx nation's picture

Nope I might whack 10 bucks on them but. I am winning my comp by 5 points and 30 margin so I only need to score 4 points in the finals and I win

Baggy_Gee's picture

Fair enough, best of luck with the punt.

The Annoying Devil's picture

Baggy I'd love to see the eels and roosters win but I saw an interesting stat that it might not be as bad if they lose
After having a week off or bye the eels are 3 from their last 10 and roosters 2 from their last 8
Winning is the preference but can break momentum if you have a week off

bronx nation's picture

They are paying 4:25

bronx nation's picture

The eels that is

Baggy_Gee's picture

I know. But it is also about the mindset, we beat the Storm in Melbourne then we should be able to beat anyone, but if we knock them off then its quite possible that we will believe our own press and get complacent. How do you avoid that obvious pitfall, as well as the standard one "no one expects us to win so we can't", issue that some teams can fall into.

bronx nation's picture

I have been saying the eels the real deal since you beat us the first time the wife beater is in insane form

mark ashford's picture

if your Eels repeat their performance against the broncs a couple of weeks ago they can well beat Storm.
if the injury affected Broncs can beat Roosters....well miracles can happen.
either way we both get another chance
if we both lose then we get to play teams that finished below us
the week off for the winners of games 1 & 2 may be a good or bad thing
time will tell

mark ashford's picture

On another point, why is 2 V 3 the first game this round?
surely 1 v 4 should be first and
why don't we have 1 v 2 then 3 v 4, 5 v 6 and 7 v 8
the old days of 1 v 8, 2 v 7 etc were a bit unfair but what's wrong with the above draw?

mark ashford's picture

just to add to that whoever wins the minor premiership gets a home final all other games are played in Sydney
surely if you're good enough it doesn't matter where you play?

The Annoying Devil's picture

I can see the storm losing one more game but not two so I think it's best they lose the game to qualify to be in the grand final I think the eels can do it without a week off
I think the lose to the knights did them a favour

The Annoying Devil's picture

2v3 is on Friday as it's expected to be closer than 1v4
We copied the AFL with top 8
They play 1v4 first then on Saturday they play 2v3 and 5v6 because they are expected to be the closer games and Saturday is their tradition to watch Aussie rules

tigerholic's picture

Giddy Mark and all of the Brisbane Bronco's fans. I have tipped the Roosters this weekend but I have not written off the Broncos, they will get another chance and I still think the GF will be them and Melbourne.

Have a good weekend folks, enjoy the footy.

Tailspin's picture

Hey everyone, here are my tips,
I'm tipping the broncos by 2
Storm by 14
Manly to knock out the Panthers by 8
And the Cowboys hopefully by 1
Have a great weekend.

newbie from perth's picture

Sa-wat-dee krup,

We’re down to the pointy end of the season folks. And it all starts tomorrow night. Bring it on! I don’t normally dish out a points margin with my tips but I might make an exception for the finals. Without further ado, let’s get into it…

Roosters vs Broncos
Finals fever kicks off with my beloved BBB taking on the Ponies Friday night in what should be a cracker! This is gonna be huge. Win and get a week off. The Roosters get back Daniel Tupou and more than likely Dylan Napa and Aidan Guerra as well while the Broncos will be missing Darius Boyd I see. The BBB weren’t that convincing last week but like they’ve done lately, they’re getting the job done when it counts. Home ground advantage a huge plus as well. Winning away from home as underdogs is a concern for the Ponies. They’ve only won 1 from 5 in this situation. We managed to beat the Broncos last time we met and I’m tipping them to do it again. Begurk! Begurk! Roosters by 6.

Storm vs Eels
The Storm are pretty much at full-strength while the Eels have opted to leave out Bevan French for another week. Interesting to note that the Eels were the last mob to actually beat the Storm. Also interesting to note that was at Origin 3 time so I’m not reading too much into that. While the Eels have done awesomely well so far this year and made Baggy a very happy man indeed, I just can’t see where or how they are gonna win this one. The Storm are a juggernaut and I simply see them winning this one on Saturday. Storm by 12.

Manly vs Panthers
Yeah, Manly were very good last week against the Panthers but you gotta remember that it was at Brookie. My question is can they repeat the dose at Allianz? So many, many times this year the Manly boys have surprised the doubters but that throws up the question of how the hell do you work out their form? I’m sure the Panthers will be looking for some sort of form reversal (and payback) but are they good enough? Are they gonna be mentally strong enough to turn things around? Will Dylan Edwards get over his knee problem and play? If yes to those queries then I’m giving them a chance here. I think Allianz will suit the Panthers more than the Sea Eagles. I was looking at Manly’s record as away favourites since 2014 online last night and noticed that they’ve only won 7 from 18 in that situation. This is a tough one to tip. I’ll go out on a limb and tip the Panthers by 2.

Sharks vs Cowboys
The Sharks aren’t setting the world on fire lately but they have beaten the Cowboys in their last 4 clashes. I see they’re getting back Jack Bird and Wade Graham which will (or should) boost their chances here. Let’s be honest about this, the Cowboys are only playing finals because the Dragons let their opportunity slip (maybe choked) last week. While the Cows’ recent losses have been meritorious and I know for sure that they will try their absolute best, there must come a time when their injury problems finally catch up to them. Unfortunately for the Cowboys I reckon that time is this week. I’m thinking the Sharks win this by 8.

OK kids, good luck with your tipping and may your team win by 40 points! Until next week people. Cheers.

P.S. Are female moths called myths? Hmmm…

Mary S's picture

Newbie, I'm sure female moths, like any female are legends - not myths!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Cheers & like your thinking for your tips - would still love the Cowboys to cause an upset!

christine's picture

my tips for finals week 1 are :
enjoy everyone & have a great weekend ...

Johnny Awesome's picture

Hello all,
Out of curiosity I have a question Mr Thinker or anyone else who might know. Melbourne finished on 44 points with 20 wins. What actually is the highest win total and by what club in the NRL. I'm pretty certain Manly finished a season on 44 points in one year but I think they did it without byes. Cheers from Mr Awesome

The Thinker's picture

Mr Johnny Awesome

It's a very good question. I don't have all the results at hand so this isn't definitive. I'm not aware of that Manly result but that doesn't mean it didn't happen.

Here are the teams that have finished on 40 points or higher that I know of:

Roosters (1975) - 40 points

Sharks (1999) - 40 points

Eels (2001) - 42 points

Panthers (2003 ) - 40 points

Roosters and Dogs (2004) - 42 points each

Storm (2006) - 44 points

Storm (2007) - 44 points

Storm (2011) - 42 points

Bulldogs (2012) - 40 points

Roosters and Rabbits (2013) - 40 points each

Roosters (2015) - 40 points

Storm (2016) - 42 points

Storm (2017) - 44 points

So the Storm have finished on 44 points three times, but those results in 2006 and 2007 have to be taken with a pinch of cheating. In any case, the Storm are in that list a as a club they've been bl00dy amazing....when they weren't cheating.

As an old Chookhead I make special mention of that result by the tricolours back in 1975. There were no points for Byes back then, and they only played 22 games in a season in 75. They lost just two games all year. So Chooks with 20 wins from 22 games is pretty dominant.

I'm not old enough to remember the Dragons golden reign, but I'm assuming they played less games back 40 points during a season would be impossible. 

Rocket Ryan's picture

Big Pete.......... good luck with your tips, Scott m has jumped in with the favoured home teams he is hoping a straight bat will see him out, in your case lets hope fortune favours the brave.

Johnny Awesome's picture

Hello all,
You are a wealth of knowledge Mr Thinker,many thanks. I agree with your stats on Easts winning 20 and losing two, But I remember Manly were dominant In 1995 for some reason. I looked it up and both Manly and Canberra finished on 40 each with both having 22 wins and 2 losses as well. Manly finished on top with a dominating +439 points differential. Scoring a massive 687 PF and the lowest of the season against of 248. Maybe that was the year I was thinking of. That was when they had the 20 teams in the comp. So in some respects the record finish is also impressive. Manly ended losing the Grandfinal to Canterbury 17-4. Cheers from Mr Awesome.

Johnny Awesome's picture

Sorry meant 20 wins and 2 losses cheers JA

BigPeteBx's picture

Hello Rocket and good evening.
Yes mate, funny game this tipping.
Touch and go - quite often. One must do a little research at times, but it worked in my favour, where I am employed.
I was running 4th in our Tipping Comp, up to Round 26, then the perfect round and my last joker, doubled the points for me and three bonus points for tipping the perfect round. I won our comp by 1 point and collected $114.00 for picking the perfect round, shared it with another Manly supporter who also collected $114.00.
Then for winning the comp, I collected another $547.00 something and will be handed it all on Monday.
So one day, when I catch up with some of our close and friendly Thinker site members - I'll shout a couple of "liquids".

Cheers and keep well and keep tipping.
Big Pete

BigPeteBx's picture

Good evening Miss Christine.
We are riding in the same carriage my friend.
I just feel that Roosters can win in Sydney. Broncos have been extra good, but on unexpected occasions, they've dropped the bundle.
So if both Qld teams are travelling down together, they can plan their visions together. But for 1st week, I go with all home teams as listed.

Sorry Mark, Rocket, Mary, a, Tailspin, Baggy and Co.
But it is, what it is!!!!!

If u r remotely reading in Fortress, Eagle Rocks and Pabdul - cheers, keep well and good luck.

Keep well Steel Panther, Awesome J, Newbie, Spartan and many others, who address direct.
Have a nice weekend and may your colours shine bright, like my eyes.

BTW folks - where did that Boozemaster fellow get to.

Cheers and keep well ALL
Big Pete

Steel Panther's picture

Good to hear from you Big Pete. Trust you are recovering well. Good luck to your team this weekend. Take care mate!!

a's picture

That Broncos and Roosters were a good game

newbie from perth's picture

Sa-wat-dee krup,

Evenin’ all. Apologies for the lateness of this post but have only now regained consciousness from the fainting spell I suffered after the Roosters v Broncos game. It’s a bit of a worry when you pass out for an hour I can assure you.

Crikey, what a game that was. What a spectacle. Finals footy at its best. Really liked how the BBB stuck at it and managed to get up in the shadows of the game. Corey Oates’ try was bizarre to say the least and Latrell’s fend and speed managed to save our bacon. That kid is a star. And the scary thing is that he’s only 19. Wow!

Huge admiration for the Broncos tonight. With a few key players missing and playing down in Sydney, they did an almighty job. Bronco fans should feel truly proud of their guys’ effort. If they were playing any other team besides my BBB, I would’ve been shouting and urging them on to a win. At least they get another shot next week and a definite bonus to be playing at home. Best of luck to ‘em.

From one heart-stopper to another tomorrow night. I realise this isn’t football related per se but I’ll be tuning into the West Coast v Port final Saturday night. I could quite possibly be watching my last game of AFL with this one. I love my West Coast Eagles but as I think I’ve mentioned before somewhere, the AFL has buggered up this game to the point where I can’t watch it anymore. There’s not enough room here to explain why, suffice to say, after this year, me and the AFL are parting ways. Thank the Universe I still have my NRL (and EPL too).

OK, must dash. As Big Pete is so fond of saying … keep well everyone. Best of luck to those whose teams are still in the finals. Peace!

The Annoying Devil's picture

Like I said roosters win the close ones

Baggy_Gee's picture

Just watched the highlights and weren't the roosters lucky to pull that one out of the fire. Nice to see a winger put in the hard yards to keep his team in the game and do feel sorry for Fergerson with Oates doing what a good kick chase should do. But even more happy to see Mitchell live up to the hype, who was the poor bronco he killed by running him over??? Even Sami vs the Broncos right edge wasn't that destructive. Great game and it's either Manly or the Panthers next week.

Johnny Awesome's picture

Hi all,
Roosters v fBroncos was a great start for the finals. Fairdinkum, it was an exciting game to watch, nice entertainment on a Friday night. You'd have to say though if both of those teams played Melbourne the way they played each other last night, they would be goneski's quick flash. It was that sort of game, both teams had their slumber periods and a substantial error count, still great footy to watch. Cheers from Mr Awesome

christine's picture

Big pete Good to hear from you & fortress if you are reading this I don't have a problem with you being on site & I never said you couldn't be or you had to leave just to clear that up ok , so pete the song I can see clearly now the haze has gone sounds about right , how are the eyes anyway all the best & speak again soon ...

christine's picture

Speaking of padbul were the bloody hell are you pabdul ...


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