Round twenty five selections

Brisbane Broncos vs Parramatta Eels – Thursday night – Suncorp Stadium

A lot can change in a month. The Gold Coast need a new coach. Ms Thinker has completely different coloured hair and the Broncos are a raging hot favourite to beat the Eels on Thursday night. Astonishing really, given the Eels ran roughshod over the Broncos just four weeks ago when they won 28-14. The longer that game wore on the stronger the Eels looked – they won the last 70 minutes of that game 28-2.  On the back of that performance I'd pencilled the Eels in as a team that could give the premiership a what's changed? the three weeks since the Broncos haven't looked like losing, conceding just 22 points while they scored 110. Those are compelling figures at the business end of the season, particularly when two of those games were against teams that really wanted to win. The Eels have had three games in a row against teams outside the top eight, so they'll need to lift here, but given what happened four weeks ago they should, at the very least, go into this game with some self-belief. I'm tipping the Broncos, because this weird Thaiday/Hunt strategy seems to be working a treat, and the Milford/Nikorima halves pairing hasn't lost a game all season. Note the return of Frank Pritchard on the bench for the Eels – I'd all but forgotten he was still in the NRL. What a game on Thursday night folks – round 25 peaks early.

Verdict – Broncos by 4

Result – Eels by 18

Canberra Raiders vs Newcastle Knights – Friday night – GIO Stadium

There was talk that the Raiders finals hopes were dashed with their loss to the Panthers on Sunday, but that isn't strictly true. They will need to win their last two games (which may not be as hard as it looks on paper) and they'll need games they aren't involved with to go their way. Once you're facing that equation you're in a spot of bother...but this isn't over until Dave Taylor sings karaoke in a backpacker bar in Thailand. Whatever happens this is the last home game for the Raiders this season, and I hope they give their loyal followers a performance worthy of The Clap (note to Dave Taylor – take care in Thailand my good man). Theoretically the Knights can still avoid the wooden spoon...but I think that's more unlikely than the Raiders making the eight.

Verdict – Raiders by 10

Result – Raiders by 18

Wests Tigers vs North Queensland Cowboys – Friday night – Campbelltown Stadium

Unlike the Raiders the Cowboys finals prospects are still in their hands. If they win their last two games a top eight finish is theirs. Some big inclusions for the Cowboys in Cooper and Coote but note that they are named in the 21 man squad and not the 17 man squad – that leaves me thinking they are very unlikely to play. The Tigers have played three games at Campbelltown this season and been comprehensively flogged every time. If this were their last home game of the year I'd be tipping Tigers, but I might save that tip for next week. The Cowboys have lost four in a row but their opponents in all four games (Roosters, Storm, Panthers, Sharks) were better teams than their opponent on Friday night. I'm tentative...but Cowboys

Verdict – Cowboys by 2

Result –Cowboys by 8

Gold Coast Titans vs Canterbury Bulldogs – Saturday afternoon – Cbus Super Stadium

Des Hasler you fox you! For months we've all been wondering when you were going to get the sack, and here you are, the penultimate round of the season and you're taking the lads up to the Goldie for the weekend. And you're playing a team that just sacked their coach. And you won last week against a team you used to coach. Well played Des Hasler. Well played indeed. I have no idea how the Titans are going to respond on the field following the dramas off the field in the last week, and I doubt they know how they'll respond either. I'm going to assume Jarryd Hayne will have a bloody blinder, because the only way to get him to pull his finger out is to put a rocket under him. He needs to show the fans on the Coast that he actually cares enough to make a positive difference instead of tearing the joint apart. I think he can do that....for one game.

Verdict – Titans by 4

Result – Bulldogs by 12

Melbourne Storm vs South Sydney Rabbitohs – Saturday night – AAMI Park

The purple machine have wrapped up the minor premiership so it's worth watching for significant changes to the Storm line-up. If there were ever a game for Bellamy to rest a few players this would be it. To demonstrate just how dominant the Storm have been this season the team in second place (and the second favourite to win the premiership) played the Storm at home and got absolutely towelled up. They've lost just once since then (to the Eels) and in the last seven weeks they've been conceding (on average) around 12 points per game while scoring (on average) more than 27. The Rabbitohs most prolific try-scorer is unavailable with injury, and I can't possibly imagine how the Rabbitohs can score anywhere near enough points here. Unstoppable.

Verdict – Storm by 16

Result – Storm by 58

Cronulla Sharks vs Sydney Roosters – Saturday night – Southern Cross Group Stadium

Take note tipsters – I haven't had a ton of success tipping for or against the Sharks this season. While their performances at home have been pretty ordinary this season this is their last game at home for the year. Also note that when these sides met on the Central Coast not so long ago the Sharks gave us arguably their best performance of the season. They've been beating up on the Roosters for a while now and I suspect they can do the same on Saturday night. Third plays fourth and there's much at stake. These teams need to decide if they want to travel to Melbourne or Brisbane in the first week of the finals. Decisions Decisions...

Verdict – Sharks by 4

Result – Roosters by 2

New Zealand Warriors vs Manly Sea Eagles – Sunday afternoon – Mt Smart Stadium

I can't believe I'm saying this – I miss the old unpredictable Warriors. I used to tune in every single time they played, because there was about a 30% chance they would deliver the most entertaining rugby league you were going to see all weekend. But I don't even have to watch them. My eyes deserve better than that, and your eyes don't need to read me crapping on about them either. So instead, I'm just going to sing my Manly song (which isn't Eagle fricken Rock).

Oh Manly. Well you came and you gave without taking. But I sent you away. Oh Manly. You keep losing and I am not learning. And I've tipped you again. Oh Manly.

Verdict – Oh Manly by Barry Manilow (and by 8)

Result – Oh Manly by 1

Penrith Panthers vs St George Illawarra Dragons – Sunday afternoon – Pepper Stadium

The Panthers are on a seven match winning streak, and I don't know how many teams can say they've won seven games in a row this season. While many of their opponents during this run have been pretty ordinary, seven wins is seven wins, and my early tip for the Premiership this season can still, believe it or not, finish in the top four this year. While the Panthers were winning seven games in a row the Dragons have lost five of their last seven. Their only two wins during that period were over the 14th placed Titans and the 16th placed Knights. Moylan is out for the Panthers but they have another exciting young talent stepping in to take his place. Last week when the game was there to be won, Tyrone May walked off the bench and into the game and scored the winning try. Two Tyrones in the one wouldn't have happened in my day. Three Garys maybe. Four Steves sure. Even a couple of Alans in the backline. The names have changed to protect the innocent.

Verdict – Panthers by 8

Result – Dragons by 2

Wally Lewis - round twenty five selections (in bold)

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

  • BRONCOS vs Eels
  • RAIDERS vs Knights
  • Tigers vs COWBOYS
  • Titans vs BULLDOGS
  • STORM vs Rabbitohs
  • SHARKS vs Roosters
  • Warriors vs SEA EAGLES
  • PANTHERS vs Dragons

Barry Manilow - Mandy • TopPop


a's picture

I cant believe Henry got sacked and not Hayne

ESRA STAR 's picture

It is a sad affair,,but i just read Henry's statistics as a coach,not good reading. Also it is now such a money driven cut throat game the $'s have won that particular duel. Haine brings more bums on seats than Henry.

ESRA STAR 's picture

And,speaking of dollars,,I would think the difference between paying out Henry and Paying out Hayne would be substantial.

ESRA STAR 's picture

Henry's coaching record.
"In three years at the Titans Henry won 28 of 75 games (37 per cent), only a marginally worse percentage than his overall NRL career of 108 wins in 248 games (43.5 per cent)."

a's picture

But it's Haynes fault he only plays when he wants and is a big sook and always comes of injured when he is playing poor

Bob M's picture

Since Curtis Sironen injured his pec, Manly's form has been very ordinary. When or is he not available to play in the immediate future? I feel Manly's finals bid will be dealt a blow without him.

christine's picture

To add insult to sacking neil henry jarryd hayne has been named captain of titans ...

christine's picture

Thinker or anyone else for that matter can anyone tell me does matt rogers have a coaching certificate ? ...

ESRA STAR 's picture

Christine,,that news item was a satirical piece and not real.

Baggy_Gee's picture

Thanks Bobm forgot what the change in manlys dressing room was. Has he just been exiled or just not part of the playing group has the team in a spin.

christine's picture

Esra But I was right when I told the thinker & everyone else after seeing it on 360 that neil henry was sacked but at that stage didn't know it & jarryd hayne was to be staying at titans & has a habit of getting rid of coaches , I believe jarryd hayne has had 7 coaches in 10 yrs & it was phil rothfield that said jarryd hayne has a habit of getting rid of coaches & I for one wouldn't want jarryd hayne to be captain of titans ...

a's picture

Yeah Hayne is a brat

christine's picture

Esra Neil henry was on $400,000.00 compared to paying out jarryd hayne $ 1.2million , but more to the point as baggy said to me jarryd hayne is just a draw card for them & baggy is right jarryd is a draw card for titans it's all for show & drawing a crowd to get bums on seats the nrl saw $$ signs when they got jarryd hayne the cat to the titans which is owned by the nrl , shame on you nrl jarryd hayne will do it again ...

Johnny Awesome's picture

Hi all,
Another fine morning in the Nations Capital, and time to get going to work soon. Christine, I agree to a certain extent about Hayne or some players having an influence on the coach. As Annesley pointed out, the financial considerations were quite prominant and since there are 6 business men on the panel, well the soft option was bound to be taken. As Cartwright and Rogers pointed out, there is no footy experience on the board and until this happens the footy side of the club will not reach its potential. Congrats to the business men on the board for getting the Titans out of the red, but they need some footy experience there as well. Rogers applied some twobackbut they declinedand that was a lost opportunity. Any new well known experienced coach will be compromised until Jared Haynes contract is up, so the Titans will get a no name with youth and assistant experience until then me thinks. Anyway all, have a great day and cheers from Mr Awesome.

Johnny Awesome's picture

P.S. Meant to say Rogers applied some two years backs to be part of the Titans board but was declined. A lost opportunity, but its never too late.
cheers from Mr Awesome.

The Thinker's picture

I'm sure the Titans didn't want to find themselves in a situation like the Wests Tigers, who are still paying Robbie Farah most of his salary while he works for the Rabbits.

Given Hayne is on 1.2 million a year, that's a lot of money for a struggling club to be paying for a player to play somewhere else.

And I think I've got this right...the money Farah is paid by the Tigers has to fit within their salary cap. That's not the case for the salary of a coach.


Johnny Awesome's picture

Hi all,
Mr Thinker you are spot on, but I think they could left things alone. Henry did put out an olive branch and said they could make it work. I reckon, they will be worse off next year but time will tell. Nearly off the bus. Cheers from Mr Awesome

Johnny Awesome's picture

Mr Thinker
Regarding Farah, I think it's a percentage Wests Tigers Pay not the whole amount. Cheers gotta run.

Tailspin's picture

I think its piss poor, I have never liked Hayne and that's mainly because its all about the hayne train and no one else matters, you are dead right a, when they are losing, hayne goes to water and bungs on an act. He is just a grub. And you have knocked it on the head Thinker, it's all about the money.

Doggie's picture

Yeah Tailspin, its all about the money but hes not alone there. As I pointed out last week its not just Hayne its a lot of the playing group ganging up on Henry and reportedly hes not working with the football dept on things like salary cap etc. Also mentioned last night that Henry doesn't get along with Annesly as well.

Russell's picture

While I disagree with the Titans sacking Neil Henry, Jarryd Hayne has no excuses now and if he does not perform next year he will forever be known as a dud buy and well I hope he does perform for the Titans sake.

On another note I hope he does not get picked for NSW on past performances and reputation and only gets picked if he is playing extremely well in 2018.

PAUL's picture

As a Maroons supporter I hope Hayne gets picked for the Blues next year, he only puts an effort in in one Game.

christine's picture

I have to say R.I.P to Hannah rye who attended her school formal with trent hodkinson who has lost her battle from cancer ...

a's picture

I really hope Hayne does not preform next year so Titans notice their mistake

Taka's picture

So who's the new coach for the Titans now...??

a's picture

Looks like Kevin Walters

Steel Panther's picture

They can have Stephen Kearney......

christine's picture

Taka I believe titans will have two people doing the coaching just for the last two weeks of the comp one of them being an assistant coach at souths the other one I think from memory the article said is an assistant coah to trent robinson that have both helped clubs get to premiership level ...

mark ashford's picture

Hi all
Only 2 rounds to go and leaving out the Thinker Scott m, Big Pete and a couple of others look good for a prize. Congratulations to all in contention for consistent selections.
The Titans train wreck or is it the Hayne wreck is no surprise.
John Cartwright was a "soft" coach and when Neil Henry tried to assert some authority well something had to give and it was him.
At Annersley's press conference he kept saying "there were a number of factors in the decision" but failed to name any of them.
Surely the Titan's fans deserve more transparency.
As someone else here has already said "Hayne better perform not only next year but in the next 2 games as well.
I sincerely doubt Hayne's commitment to a club or the NRL for that matter.

mark ashford's picture

Kevvie Walters would make an excellent coach at the Titans but would need to give up his SOO gig as with both states they are stand alone jobs.
A number of names have been tossed up (including Stephen Kearney by one of our posters) Whoever gets the job will need to be a tough coach in the frame of Craig Bellamy who can reign in any rebels and get the player respect needed for success.
Neil Henry will get a nice payout to help with the bills for the next couple of years but I hope someone picks him up sooner than later as he has plenty to offer.
If I was on the board at the Knights I'd grab him in a flash in an assistant role. They have bought well for 2018 and as Thinker said his pay is exempt from the cap.

mark ashford's picture

Hi Christine
Thanks for the post about that lovely young lady who unfortunately succumbed to her cancer at just age 17.
Saw the news item where Trent Hodkinson took her to her school formal and how delighted she was.
Trent is a champion bloke in a NRL world where greed is taking over.
That was a Dally M performance if ever I've seen one!

a's picture

Sack Hayne too

christine's picture

Mark & "a" Saw an article that said toovey would jump at the chance to coach titans & would be good to pull hanye in line he's good working with star players & pulling them back in line , what are your thoughts on that ? ...

mark ashford's picture

I was sorry to see Geoff Toovey sacked from Manly.
Thought he did a reasonable job. But isn't he assistant coach to a super league team? Can he get a release?
Perhaps the Titans could employ John Hopoate?
He'd show them how to stick it up other teams.

christine's picture

Isn't it convenient every time titans had to play against eels hayne suddenly got an injury & couldn't play that week he's a such a cat , the nrl are going to regret what they've done & so they should ...

a's picture

Yeah they should Hayne always fake injuries

Havanna's picture

Hi everyone, agree with you all regarding Hayne. He is a hottie but has a big head amongst other things, i wish the nrl would be more accepting of coaches, they dont always make the tackles and make the mistakes.The players must also take blame, that just my humble opinion guys. Hope u are all having a lovely nite, thankyou Mary S for your welcome. Christine your in fine voice keep up the girl power, by the way Mark sounds like a spunk what do you think haaahaaa. Off to make dinner love my cooking, chat laters have a great evening everyone..............

christine's picture

Just heard on back page that there will be an article tomorrow saying kevin walters will be taking the titans coaching job ...

christine's picture

Mark I've been told it's no secret in qld they are reporting in news papers that annersley has a personal gripe with neil henry it wasn't just the jarryd hayne situation that's going on ...

Baggy_Gee's picture

Convenient excuse if you can trust a journo. Just pouring myself into bed on the gold coast and at no point have I heard a single word about the Titans. Not sure if it's the surrounds I'm in or just the NRL fan base is migrating again like with the Sea gulls from years ago.

Johnny Awesome's picture

Good morning all,
A nice frosty morning in the Nations Capital with minus 3 and nice and cold. As a kid growing up in Kandos I loved hearing the crunch whilst walking on icy grass. Still do. Forgive typo's the usual bus ride has a few bumps. It's an interesting 6,7,8. and with only two games to go anything can happen. Sadly, Vanberra are gone but I'll still be going to the game on Fri night just to support them. If they finish the season on a high it will be good for their confidence next year. At least there won't be as much expectation next year and they can work on their goal line defence and handling issues. Now Saints have a chance and the game of the round in my view is Saints and Penrith. You would have to think if Saints beat Penrith, Nth Qld and Manly are sure to win, what an exciting last round.

The Thinker's picture

Greetings folks

Apologies if my previews are a little late today...I have a few juggly things to juggle.

Getting there.....all the best

christine's picture

Baggy In regards to annersley having a personal gripe with neil henry it was said on talkin sport that it was an article in the gold coast sun that's all I know i'm not from up that way i'm in Sydney & it was said by graham hughes & peter tunks ok ...

Chris Walker's picture

Totally agree guys .. Hayne has done absolutely for the Titans since his expensive purchase .. was no help to NSW either .. waste of space and should have been shunted instead of Henry .. at least he genuinely cared for and bled Titand

a's picture

Yeah Hayne is just a waste of space has done absolutely nothing but sook

Doggie's picture

Hi Chris, nice to see you comment. Please feel free to continue. Your expertise would be welcome.

christine's picture

Chris Walker Welcome to the site please share your views & any news ...

a's picture

Here is my tips

Broncos by 6 I think the Broncos will get revenge to what the Eels did to them in round 21

Raiders by 16 I think the Raiders will keep their season alive against Knights

Cowboys by 2 I think the Cowboys can get back on track against the Rabbitohs

Titans by 6 I feel the Titans can rub away dramas and beat the Bulldogs

Storm by 10 I think the Storm will beat the Rabbitohs

Sharks by 1 I think the Sharks will win in golden point

Sea Eagles by 2 I think the Sea Eagles will end end of season slump against the Warriors

Panthers by 6 I think the Panthers will end the Dragons season here

Johnny Awesome's picture

Hi all,
Shane and Ben Walker have put up their hands for the Titans coaching role. Titans could negotiate two head coaches for the price of one. It would be revolutionary for the NRL and a great idea methinks.
Cheers from Mr Awesome

mark ashford's picture

HI Johnnie A
The walker bros had a great deal of success with the Ipswich Jets with really unorthodox plays in the QLD cup. Short kick offs from the first etc.
Other teams soon woke up to this and brought them back to the field.
Saying that they are innovative coaches who are always thinking how to change the game. Titans could do a lot worse.


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