Finals – week two

Brisbane Broncos vs Penrith Panthers – Friday night – Suncorp Stadium

If nothing else it will be nice to see finals football in front of a big crowd. The Broncos have won 10 from 13 at Suncorp this season – their only losses were at the hands of the Cowboys in round two and a pair of comprehensive floggings from the Storm and the Eels. All those losses were to top eight sides, and the floggings were against top four sides. The Panthers have beaten just three teams away from Sydney this year – Canberra, Newcastle and the Warriors. Not one of those teams made the top eight this year. Griffin has quite the record against the coach that replaced him at the Broncos, but that meant little the last time these sides met. Earlier this year the Broncos were convincing 32-18 winners at Suncorp, and note that the score was 28-0 up until the 65th minute – the Panthers scored three late tries when the game was over as a contest. On that occassion it was Matt Moylan who sparked their attack late in the game, and he won't be there on Friday night. My hunch is that Darius Boyd will play, with Marshall on the bench just in case Boyd goes down again. Wayne Bennett has all the time in the world for Benji Marshall, but his performance against the Roosters is an indication that the best of Benji is behind him. Ben Hunt didn't play the last time these sides met either, and his inclusion gives the home side another attacking option. The Broncos were far from their best last weekend, and they still went within a whisker of beating the Roosters in Sydney. Any improvement on that effort, and improvement is likely, should see them staying alive in season 2017 for another week. An extra day to prepare for this game can't hurt either.

Verdict – Broncos by 8

Result – Broncos by 7

Parramatta Eels vs North Queensland Cowboys – Saturday night – ANZ Stadium

I assume the Cowboys went home after the extra-time victory over the Sharks last weekend. The way the draw has fallen means that they could stay in Sydney all the way to the grand final if they wanted to...providing they keep the fairytale alive. They won just one game in Sydney during the regular season, and to win a premiership they'll need to win four games in succession in Sydney against top eight sides. It seems unlikely, and I did call it a fairytale. At full strength I'd back them in, but as we all know this side is a long way from full strength. This is the third time these sides will meet this season, but their first meeting in Sydney. In round 9 they met in Townsville where the injury-depleted Cowboys were comprehensively beaten 26-6. In round 14 they met in Darwin and it was the Cowboys at their best with a 32-6 win. What made that game different (apart from the location) was a masterclass from Jonathan Thurston, who turned up in time to show the Queensland selectors he was ready to play State of Origin football. Sadly there will be no heroics from Thurston on Saturday night. Less sadly we get at least one more week of Semi Radradra before he jumps on the next plane to France. Will we ever see him in the NRL again? I suspect we will not.

Verdict – Eels by 10

Result – Cowboys by 8

Wally Lewis - finals week two (in bold)

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

  • BRONCOS vs Panthers
  • EELS vs Cowboys


Johnny Awesome's picture

Hi all,
It's a fine morning in our Nations Capital and using the fine Canberra bus system. It's a bit sad we are now down to two games of footy this weekend, but I'll take whatever I can get. At least we have the cricket during the off season but until then enjoy another two fine games this weekend. Mr Thinker is this forum used during the off season and do you monitor it all year round. This is my first full year membership so not too sure what's the go. Cheers from Mr Awesome.

Doggie's picture

Cant believe you guys are just singling Gallen out for milking. Slater on the weekend milked two beauties in the space of ten minutes but he is qld. How can you call Maloney a grub for interference on a player chasing a kick, that makes every nrl player in the last twenty years a grub. Alright I get it, some players you just don't like, ive got a few of my own but saying you hate them is abit over the top.

The Annoying Devil 's picture

All of gallons coaches know what he does and they love it
It's his job to get under the opposition and their supporters skin he just happens to be the best at it
Blair kenny Edwards Hargreaves and Nathan brown all do it before Ennius Hopoate freeman mason etc
The only difference is Gallen also can play 100+ metres per game. If you don't like him it's working to plan

a's picture

Yes Gallen always takes dives but 2 weeks ago he accused Boyd Cordner of milking a penalty

christine's picture

My tips for finals 2 are :
all the best everyone , enjoy ...

Baggy_Gee's picture

What about Judas Lyon last season, his was a classical soccer job

mark ashford's picture

I don't remember any poster saying they hate Maloney
His interference on the weekend was mild and probably didn't deserve a send off, it happens every week. The refs have been threatening to come down on chaser interference for a while and Maloney's rep as a bit of a grub was maybe the last straw.

mark ashford's picture

If you think Gallen's coaches love him doing what he does then what do you think they feel about the multiple penalties he regularly gives away. Has cost his club and NSW many games over the years.

Mary S's picture

See that NRL has proposed a fine of $30,000 on the Sharks for comments by the coach after their loss on the weekend, and $20,000 for Sea Eagles. Both parties have 5 business days to respond to the breach.

Found the following article (on this site) of interest -
Slamming referees is a scourge on rugby league
12/9/17 6:23am AEST

mark ashford's picture

Hi Mary
No doubt we all think some ref decisions are a bit off particularly when they effect our teams.
But to see coaches blaming the refs when their team has lost at post game tv conferences is a bit much.
Flannaghan said nothing about Gallen's efforts or Maloneys.
Fine earned and deserved.
Have a look at Bennets post match 'we deserve what we got"

The Annoying Devil 's picture

A small price to pay to show the rest a bit of mongrel
Graham Fifita and Lewis feed off it
Gallen was a huge reason for their premiership
We all like controversy and if you picked teams made up of all the bad boys in the comp and let them at it you'd pack anz
I don't like him that's why I do like him
Look at the air time he gets on this site

a's picture

Yep fines sure A deserve

mark ashford's picture

Only 2 games this weekend what a shame I love watching RL as I think it's the best football game on the planet.
I think the Broncs will learn from their loss and beat the Panthers by 7
I wonder if the Eels played their GF last weekend and maybe the Cowboys can just get over them in Sydney again?
A big call but I'm tipping the Cowboys by 2

Baggy_Gee's picture

Why didn't the Trent get the same 30k fine as Shane

mark ashford's picture

A good question Baggy a good question.

The Thinker's picture

Hello Devil

I'm not suggesting that others don't do it, but Gallen is my villian and the NRL is a pantomime.

If he's not the worst he has to be on the podium. And it's not just about the milking of's the way he carries himself on and off the field.

As for whether he is good for a team I have my doubts.

The Sharks premiership (ladder) record with Gallen is as follows - 5th, 12th, 11th, 7th, 13th, 11th, 3rd, 15th, 14th, 13th, 7th (peptides), 5th (peptides), 16th, 6th, 3rd, 5th,

And his record as NSW captain is there for all to see.

But if you want to like him that's your choice....I'm just telling you how I feel.

The Annoying Devil 's picture

Cronullas record would be worst without him and if everyone gave as much as he did for nsw we might of won a couple more. Your missing the point because you've already made up your mind about him and only look at the negatives. My pet hate is when people go for a team then change to another you don't know any of them do you?

The Thinker's picture

I can see the positives. He tries really hard. He doesn't give up. He.s got great leg strength and a handy offload.

the list of negatives is just a longer list.

a's picture

wayne bennett was the only losing coach that did not blame the refs

GaryChesterUK's picture

121 out of 131 for me in the tipping comp! Shame I missed the couple of weeks tips I may have been challenging!

I will be back stronger next year! Just out of interest, is the Super league shown on TV down there? Not far off finishing and Castleford look head and shoulders above the competition.

I had a little bet on Storm and the Panthers to win the grand final at the start of the season. Storm still look like winning pretty comfortably for me (Missed the Eels game) but I think this week is the end of the road for penrith.

Broncos by 12
Eels by 10

jogy's picture

I think panther under 12 and Eels and under 12 too.but you thinking,

jogy's picture

Don't think panther is a weak.They are clever.

Willy's picture


ay's picture

why so positive semi is gone for good thinker ?

Baggy_Gee's picture

How much money floats around in french rugby? I can think of several million good reasons that they will think of to keep Semi over there.

Johnny Awesome's picture

Mr Thinker are you running this forum all year round including the off season?
Cheers from Mr Awesome

Johnny Awesome's picture

Hi all,
Here's an interesting stat. Out of the 26 strong Qld and NSW Origin squads 21 Qlders and only 3 NSWelsh men are left in the running for the premiership. Not sure how that equates with anything but it's a stat.
Cheers all from Mr Awesome

tigerholic's picture

Hi Thinker
I have submitted my tips for this week and look forward to two great games.

I am off to Fraser Island on Sunday for a week, is it OK with you if I list my tips for next week now. I already know that I will be tipping Melbourne and the Roosters.

Cheers, let me know if this won't work


Mary S's picture

Hi Baggy, Article in the Daily Telegraph on 28/6/16 reports (quote)-
"The Daily Telegraph can reveal that French club Bordeaux have tabled the Parramatta winger a huge deal which would dwarf his reported NRL salary of $375,000.

The offer to Radradra is $38,962 per month or $467,544 per year.
But the deal also has significant bonuses, and factoring in a late arrival, missed matches, and those bonuses, Radradra stands to earn up to $35,000 for each game he plays, tax free.

He will be taxed only eight per cent under exemptions for “entertainers” written into French legislation to lure foreign talent and keep local talent." (end of quote)

Whether the above still holds or has improved, it is a big draw for our good players!!

Mary S's picture

Enjoy you week on Fraser Island tigerholic - hope you have great weather!

mark ashford's picture

Hi Tigerholic
I was on Fraser from the 4th to the 12th of August at our usual base of Happy Valley.
The weather was perfect with light variable winds.
We tried several gutters from Happy up to the Maheno with little result. I caught the only legal Tailor at 45 cm when the wind came from the SE. Plenty of good sized dart if you chase them. We are pilly fisherman not using lures.
Did hear from a couple of other guys up at the same time that night fishing scored a few more. We (6 guys) are a bit old for night fishing.
Into the reds and a nice steak once the sun goes down and then to bed. Good luck and tight lines!

a's picture

Enjoy your weekend on Fraser Tigerholic

mark ashford's picture

Hey Mary S
Interesting post. If I was 40 years younger I'd be off to France if only to slice the oranges at half time. I was there a couple of years ago as a tourist but didn't see much of the country outside of Paris.
Paris is the most, incredible, beautiful, intriguing, wonderful city on this planet. If you haven't been please put it on your bucket list.

Now Mary S...can your Cowboys win again in Sydney.

The Thinker's picture

Thanks Tigerholic

Enjoy your holiday....hopefully you get onto a few.

The Thinker's picture


He's earning 1.5 million with Toulon for two years. It's easy money. Assuming he handles it, and I suspect he will, his next contract will be worth even more.

Craig Gower would often say its the easiest money you will ever make. I think we've lost him.

Baggy_Gee's picture

Take a smoker as smoked tailor is awesome.

mark ashford's picture

Gotta agree there Baggy smoked tailor is great or a fresh bit cooked on a wood fired BBQ is not far behind.
If you bring it home frozen then fish cakes are the only option.

BigPeteBx's picture

Evenin Doggie & J. Awesome,
Did you guys get the Group 10 Grand Final result?

I'll give you a short resume, just in case.
Oberon v Orange CYMS.
Half time - Oberon leads 18-8 then Oberon leads 22-8 with 10 minutes to go. In the 77th minute, Orange CYMS coach, Mick Sullivan kicks a field goal that wins them the grand final 23-22. It is CYMS 5th grand final in 8 years. It wasn't without its moments in the dying stages either, as a kill time effort came into play. But the rules state that the opposition has to tackle the opposing team players. First they have to catch him, because he ran the ball in the opposite direction to his own goal line area and then took off again in an attacking direction and nearing full time, kicked the ball out.
In his post match interview, the coach said he wasn't going to let the game go, like what happened in 2016, with the match poised so close.
He did what he felt and why let a full season go.

Well what he did was on a thinking coaches behalf and not as bad as under arm bowling in One Day Cricket. Sullivan is a thinker mate's and a very cluey player. He's the reason why CYMS have gone so well over these past years. Wouldn't surprise me to see The Footy Show make mention of this match, or show footage of the latter moments.

Cheers and keep well lads
Big Pete

BigPeteBx's picture

Evenin Gary from Chester.
Hope all is well mate.
Going by your predictions, you weren't on the Skol or Double Diamond were you. Me thinks your score is 121 from 181, not 131, because sure as night follows day, you'd be in the honours list.
My boys went out last Saturday night, gone for 2017, but not disgraced. They kept coming back, but refs thought otherwise in their decisions. I'll leave it there.

Red Devils have started 2017/2018 EPL on a good note.

Big Pete

BigPeteBx's picture

I think Baggy the difference in the the fines was because Trent never wrote down all his issues like Shane did and the difference was 10 dot point referee issues = $10,000.

But mate, as many of us here are disillusioned by the refs and their theatric plays. They know they are a protected species, so they do and get away with what they like. You speak out, I'll nab ya and then you can front the powers and we'll get a few fines on you, for our end of season refs drinkathon in The Bunker.

Cheers mate and good luck with Eels.
Big Pete

tigerholic's picture

Thanks Thinker , Mary and Mark
We are taking the kids to Fraser so fishing won't be very day but we are looking to catch a feed or two.

As far as last weeks games go, no matter what the NRL says, the ref's in my opinion made some serious mistakes.

Yes the players including Gallen let their teams down at crucial moments as did Fifita, WTF was he thinking about with the last play of the game.

Anyway, surely coaches can verbalise their frustrations to the media, all fans want the games officiated with 100% decision making. I know the pressure of being a Ref, I refereed a charity match at my sons soccer club, he wasn't even playing. It was between two rival U13/14 teams and as the kick off approached the more nervous I got and the crowd got bigger and I was thinking WTF have I done.

Anyway, I got through the first half OK and as I left the field for the break the opposition coach approached me. I knew right away what he wanted and when he asked me about a decision that I had made about a tackle that left a player from each team injured, I did not award a penalty, I advised the coach that I called it as I saw it and that was a 50/50 tackle, I also told him that I was never ever giving the home team and advantage and calling it as I saw it.

I can only imagine how hard it would be in the NRL, the Refs are getting paid a fair days pay for what they do, we can expect a much higher standard.

Have a great weekend folks, looking forward to leading the comp next year and challenge you all to beat me.

Baggy_Gee's picture

That's ok then I can live with an extra k per point.

Mary S's picture

Hi Mark,
I would like to think Cowboys can win again - dreamt last week they could and consequently backed them, even though Sharks were favourites.
Realistically, they have the grit/determination to do so, but are against a fitter and more consistent side with the Eels I feel.
Head says Eels, heart says Cowboys.

BigPeteBx's picture

Steel Panther - re yours of Sunday 10.9.2017 from Finals Week 1.
My pleasure Steely with regards comments.
Daughter wont make Council, as she was 5th on a ticket, but she achieved to do, what she set out to do and that was to help her No.1
Our election is only 3 years this time, due to the abandoned merger that stretched out between Bathurst and Oberon Councils.
Keep well
Big Pete

BigPeteBx's picture

As Tigerholic said, the refs get a good days pay and we expect a better standard from them.
However, I say we deserve a better standard from them.

There's bloody four of them on the ground and then they go upstairs for a bit of advertising/promotion time and the KFC wrist slapper.
Until they lift their game, to me, they are walking prima dona's

My bitch for the week - Big Pete.

Baggy_Gee's picture

I think your boys would have still lost even without the momentum of that Peachy try not included, the Panthers had the mind set that they weren't leaving the ground without the win. But have to ask where was that grit all season.

BigPeteBx's picture

Hello Mary S - The Roar site has some good articles there. I quite often have a look.
Have a click on their NRL Tipping banner. You'll know of a Bx at No.2

Cheers and keep well
Big Pete

Johnny Awesome's picture

Hi all,
Thanks for the info' Big Pete on the group 10. I tell you those country games are rippers and those players are as tough as boarding house steaks. Love your commentary mate. Just having a quick break from tennis. Wednesday nights are my tennis nights followed by a round of chess with an old mate of mine. Cheers from Mr Awesome

Mary S's picture

Finally found your score BigPete - took me a while to realise the tipping banner was at the bottom of the page not near the top where I expected it to be.

You have done well - I have just checked out the rules and see that, like 'The Thinkers' site, you include the finals. Best of luck for the remainder of the comp!

The Thinker's picture

Johnny Awesome

The site will still be here, but there won't be too many people around.

I will put up a page for the World Cup so if anyone wants to discuss that we can do so...and I'll put up an off-season ramblings page where people can just talk about whatever they like if they like.

All the best


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