Round twenty four selections

Parramatta Eels vs Gold Coast Titans – Thursday night – ANZ Stadium

With Jarryd Hayne potentially looking for a new contract somewhere, this is the sort of game where he may pull his finger out and deliver a match-winning performance. A Titans win does seem unlikely, but they did beat the Eels pretty convincingly way back in round three (without Hayne and another former Eel in Nathan Peats). If the Titans were serious I'd be tempted, but with four losses in a row I've assumed they have given up, because prior to that run of losses the Titans were a team you could rely on to have a red hot go. In their last three games they've conceded 122 points and scored just 20...and that doesn't look like trying. Prior to that surprise loss to the Knights the Eels had won six in a row. I'm prepared to write off that performance last weekend as an oddity – we are talking about Parramatta after all, and for quite some time they've been a rocks or diamonds team (often during the same game). 60 minutes of diamonds (or more) from the home side and that should be enough, and I'm quietly hoping that Bevan French has a game to remember and tells everyone that Parramatta don't need to look elsewhere for a fullback.

Verdict – Eels by 8

Result – Eels by 22

South Sydney Rabbitohs vs New Zealand Warriors – Friday night – ANZ Stadium

Worriers....Bah! You don't deserve a preview.

Verdict – Rabbitohs by actually trying...and by 14

Result – Rabbitohs by 18

Brisbane Broncos vs St George Illawarra Dragons – Friday night – Suncorp Stadium

For reasons that seemed perfectly cromulent at the time I took on the Broncos last week and they never looked like losing, despite the fact that they weren't anywhere near their best. Now that they've found themselves in the top two they'll be rather desperate to stay there. Top two means they avoid the Storm in week one of the finals and they play in Brisbane rather than Sydney. Based on what's left of the draw it looks like they'll need to win their last three games to stay where they are. The Dragons have at least as much to play for, as they hover just out of but close enough to the top eight. It's starting to look like the Cowboys are the team most likely to drop out of contention. Gazing into my crystall ball and in the final round of the season I suspect the Dragons will have an opportunity to replace the Cowboys in the top eight. But before that...this. I dare not take on the Broncos again after they made me look quite the fool last week. Since round one the Broncos have lost just once at home this season and that was to the Storm. The Dragons are not the Storm..

Verdict – Broncos by 8

Result – Broncos by 12

Newcastle Knights vs Melbourne Storm – Saturday afternoon – McDonald Jones Stadium

The Storm haven't quite won the minor premiership yet, but a win on Saturday and the J.J. Giltinan Shield is theirs to take home to Melbourne town. It's not often you get to say that the game between 1st and 16th is the game of the round, but this looks suspiciously like the game of the round. What an almighty statement the Knights would be making with a win here, and that statement would read 'Watch out 2018'. I'd love to see it, but I can't tip it. In a competition where so many teams let you down so often the Storm rarely do. They have dominated this competition in season 2017 and are worthy minor premiers.

Verdict – Storm by 10

Result – Storm by 32

Sydney Roosters vs Wests Tigers – Saturday night – Allianz Stadium

One of the great things about the resurgence of the Knights in recent weeks has been the signs of life in Tigertown – clearly neither team wants the wooden spoon this year. The Roosters showed everyone they have a team that can (at least) compete with the Storm, and the Tigers showed the Roosters they need to take this game seriously. Given their thoroughly entertaining victory over the Sea Eagles the Roosters won't take this game lightly. The Chooks pack is first class, their bench has depth and Michael Gordon returns at the back. A top two finish is still a very real prospect and I doubt they'll drop their bundle here.

Verdict – Roosters by 10

Result – Roosters by 4

North Queensland Cowboys vs Cronulla Sharks – Saturday night – 1300SMILES Stadium

The Sharks don't win in Townsville too often but they won't get many better chances than this. The Cowboys have the longest casualty list in the NRL (nine) and every single one of them is out for the seazson. While the Sharks have been deeply disappointing for a fortnight their team on Saturday night is near enough to the seventeen that won a premiership in 2016. The bench in particular, looks a lot stronger on Saturday night, which is hardly a surprise given the mounting injuries up north. I would urge the Cowboys to hand the pill to Taumalolo and have him run at the right hip of James Maloney all night. The little big men for the home side just need to follow him through and scoop up the rewards. That tactic might be enough to get the Cowboys home. I hope they win, but I can't quite tip them. Not quite.

Verdict – Sharks by 1

Result – Sharks by 10

Canberra Raiders vs Penrith Panthers – Sunday afternoon – GIO Stadium

I'm not the first to point it out (because I'm running late) but this is the game of the round. Two teams in form and two teams with much to play for. Those with reasonable memories would recall that when these sides met earlier in the season they gave us one of the games of the year, with the Panthers scoring two tries in the last three minutes to claim the win. I struggled over this game for quite a while (hence I'm running late) but I've found a way to split them. The Panthers have won just four away games this season, and those four wins were against the teams running 12th, 13th, 15th and 16th. The Raiders, on current form, are better than that. Note that the Raiders haven't set GIO Stadium on fire this season, winning five from ten at home. In recent weeks however, their form at home has been much stronger, even if they aren't winning. They were competitive (but lost) to the Storm and the Broncos, and they are our top two teams at present. I'm taking the punt on that form being strong enough. If you only watch one game this weekend try and make it this one.

Verdict – Raiders by 2

Result – Panthers by 4

Canterbury Bulldogs vs Manly Sea Eagles – Sunday afternoon – ANZ Stadium

My thesis about the Bulldogs remains intact – they can't score enough points to win. It's been forever since they managed to score 20 points in 80 minutes. Meanwhile the Sea Eagles have scored 20 or more thirteen times this season. The argument seems even more compelling when you look back to when these sides met in round 4. Sea Eagles 36 : Bulldogs 0. I feel for Des. I truly do.

Verdict – Sea Eagles by 16

Result – Bulldogs by 14

Wally Lewis - round twenty four selections (in bold)

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

  • EELS vs Titans
  • RABBITOHS vs Warriors
  • BRONCOS vs Dragons
  • Knights vs STORM
  • ROOSTERS vs Tigers
  • Cowboys vs SHARKS
  • RAIDERS vs Panthers
  • Bulldogs vs SEA EAGLES


tigerholic's picture

If the Titans flick Hayne, Tigers will sign him to a 5 year deal, regardless of what's happened at the Gold Coast he would be a great acquisition for a club that is rebuilding like my Tigers.

To sweeten any deal would be the fact that Hayne would be paid by the Titans for the first year.

Mary S's picture

Interesting article on today tigerholic, - "The mistakes made in signing Hayne". From a business perspective Titans board thought it was a great idea too to lift the spirits of the team etc.

It is interesting, I think, to also look at his performance in the States. First he could do no wrong as No. 38, and became the name everyone shouted, then he became the person no team wanted as his performance did not live up to the hype. Titans seem to experienced the same thing with him this season.
Cheers to all,

Baggy_Gee's picture

His performance didn't drop off, the opposition learnt if you kick it dead then you took him out of the game, and he isn't built to be a running back, even punt return from the restart avoided him. Same as his move to the centers not as much ball and when he does touch it he has to provide a great outlet pass instead of being on the receiving end of one. He has been taken away from his strengths and needs to adapt or perish.

Mary S's picture

Big Pete,
Hope all goes well with your op. My husband had floaters and a tear in his eye a number of years ago, and had laser treatment in a day surgery. His eye sight improved 100% as a result.

Mary S's picture

OK Baggy, thanks for the info - it is appreciated.

a's picture

I think Hayne should be sacked Because he only plays well when he wants and every time he has a bad Game he pretends to be injured or had a sook

Steel Panther's picture

I'm going to jump on the BigPete fan club band wagon. This guy does his club proud with his even balanced thoughts win or lose. Not too parochial that he can't see faults in his team in a defeat and takes it on the chin. It's great to have you contributing to the site BigPete and hope you can overcome your health issues.

Christine 's picture

Thanks steel panther for the warriors read , you can't turn a club around if you don't have the right mindset to do the job that's were it's got to start first ...

a's picture

Yeah seems like Warriors make the good players go bad they always give up after Origin

mark ashford's picture

If the Titans sack Neil Henry then a travesty of justice has occurred.
Henry is a far better Coach than Hayne is a player.
Jarrod Hayne's ego is bigger than the state of NSW
Unfortunately his playing doesn't support his big head.
Media seems to indicate both will be going....why both?
Tigerholic if you pick him up you may just end up with the spoon.
Look at the Robbie Farrar debacle.
What has he achieved at the Titans...nothing despite the big money.
I'd like to see Jarrod playing soccer for somewhere in the Middle East perhaps they could afford him.

mark ashford's picture

Just on Big Pete
Despite the fact he's a Manly and Blues supporter he's probably the nicest bloke on this site. Loves his Manly, his home base and most of us on here.
I'm sure we all wish you the absolute best with your eye surgery.
Perhaps when it's over you may become a QLD supporter.
I've contacted your surgeon to ensure some maroon is injected into your eyes.
Keep well big fella, best of luck with it all.

Dragons-fanboy's picture

Hello everyone, my tips for this week are:

Eels by 10- Titans are going through a lot at the moment including the Hayne-Henry saga. But hey, you never know they could get that off their mind on Thursday night and the Titans playing some footy, which the Titans should do. Now the Eels, too much to play for and should and will respond after last week's lost to the Knights here.

Rabbitohs by 13- Rabbitohs to continue Warriors misery here with a big win and continue on their roll.

Dragons by 2- Not going against my beloved Dragons here. We have too much to play for. Broncos likewise but we've got the top 8 to play for. Our problem is that we haven't played the full 80 in recent weekend. If we get in the grind, and stay with the Broncos or even get and stay on top of the Broncos for the full 80, then we'll have a big chance of winning on Friday night, got to play the full 80 though boys otherwise the Broncos will put a score on us.

Storm by 8- Knights are a big chance in this one. Their confidence are sky high with 3 wins in a row, no matter what positon the Knights and Storm are on the ladder, the Knights have either got close or won which has been shown in the history between these two clubs over the last few years. Though, last time these two met, the Storm put a score on the Knights. Home ground advantage may also play a big role here with the Knights going to have their beloved fans behind them and the Knights will put on a great performance for them. Though, the Storm, too classy, too good, are in such a comfortable position at the moment got a hand on the minor premiership. They should secure their second minor premiership in a row here not without a gallant effort by the Knights though, they will make a game of this don't you worry about that.

Roosters by 16- Tigers escaped last week and get a brilliant win over Manly with arguably some controversy in it. Though it was a win. Roosters on the other hand have lost two in a row and will be looking for a response. I believe that they will with a big win over the Tigers.

Sharks by 7- Cowboys just have too many injuries at the moment. Plus, Sharks have a brilliant away record this season and will respond from their two losses in a row bad losses mind you with a win here.

Raiders by 4- This is an important game in the context of the top 8. Panthers can secure a top 8 spot if they win or the Raiders can keep their finals hopes alive here. I think that it'll be the Raiders who get on top here in a cracking game to keep their hopes alive and also get retribution for their heart-breaking loss against the Panthers last time these two met.

And finally... Manly by 9- Why 9? Well I think a field goal and penalty goal will be the last two points in this one. Anyways, Manly too good for the poor old Dogs here, they'll respond after last week plus, they have too much to play for.

Awesome. Good luck with everyone's tips for this week. And with everyone's teams for this week. Cheers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

pabdul's picture

Big Pete become a maroons supporter
It's eye surgery not a colonoscopy

mark ashford's picture

Ha Ha Paddy
He's such a nice bloke I can always hope.
Maybe a frontal lobotomy could get him there?

a's picture

Hayne only plays when he wants

Dragons-fanboy's picture

Forgot to mention, welcome to the site Meningee Magpies, hope I got the first part that right. Also, good luck with your eye surgery Big Pete, hope it all goes well.


tigerholic's picture

Well said Mark Ashford, good luck Big Pete

a's picture

Yeah good luck BigPete

Johnny Awesome's picture

Hi all,
Haven't been on for a while, sorry Mr Thinker, been busy with work and other stuff. Just having my morning brew before the walk in the rain to the bus stop. I didn't know Big Pete was getting eye surgery, so here's all the best to you mate. It's always nice to have a few puns to break the eyes, but I'll leave that you big fella when you get back on ha.
On another note, I agree with you Mr Mark Ashford, if Neil Henry goes, then the Titans board have shot themselves in the foot, and will compromise any future coach. J H attitude needs to change. Have a look at the best coaches in the game and they control the roster and team. Even Henry put out an olive branch saying that JH and himself can work together. But, Blind Freddy can see JH needs to have a go. Look at Tedesco in a losing Wests Tigers side, unbelieveable player, doesnt look at where his team sits on the ladder, and just puts in every week. JH could use some of that and a bit more. Neil Henry has created a really good foundation at that club, and when those injured players start filtering back, they'll be a force in years to come. Anyway, time to start that walk, cheers from Mr Awesome.

Steel Panther's picture

This weeks Rabbitohs v Warriors preview from the Thinker. Absolute gold. Loving your work sir.

The Thinker's picture


You are a champ....good luck with the surgery sir.

All the best

pabdul's picture

Just backing up what the thinker said I hope your aware of the risks of eye surgery. We wouldn't want you to come back as a one eyed manly supporter.

Doggie's picture

I agree what people are saying about Hayne but there seems to be a problem with Henry as well. Getting reported today that Elgey and Ash Taylor are going elsewhere if Henry stays.
Another tantrum from eaglerocks/fortress.

Johnny Awesome's picture

Hi all,
Yep Doggie, the meds have worn off and all three are gaving their say now. In regards to Taylor and Elgey, Peats reckons it's a beat up. Where there's smoke there's a fire, but it may not be big as some people make out. Hayne as a footy player has mates in the club so there always be two views and fair enough. Personally I feel, if you are getting paid to do a job just do it or dont pick up your pay check. I'm sure we've all had issues in our work places regarding managers, supervisors but still did our job. The sooner players realise this the better and forward any grievances in another forum not on the field. Cheers from Mr Awesome.

christine's picture

Doggie Since that article has come out saying if neil henry stays that elegy & taylor are going else where elegy & taylor have said it isn't true they never said it so you might find the media is making things worse than they are , watch this situation develop more yet ...

Johnny Awesome's picture

Hi all,
Yes Christine there are things that are still developing at the Titans. If they work out someone has to go, I think it will be Neil Henry and that will be sad. Neil Henry earns around [only] 400K per year [wish I could be a only], so it will be a lot cheaper ditching him purely for financial reasons even though they might not want to. That being said, its not a good look for dumping coaches because players want them gone. It will be interesting to watch.
Cheers from Mr Awesome.

Johnny Awesome's picture

Hello Mr Thinker,
I agree with the Warriors analysis, nice work. Good Ol' Murphy will probably make sure they'll play like premiership contenders now.
Cheers from Mr Awesome.

Johnny Awesome's picture

Hello Mr Thinker,
Sorry for bringing it up, someone's got their tail up again. Not keen on going down a path we've been on before, Mr Thinker, I thought we were done and dusted there.
Cheers Mr Thinker, thanks for your consideration.

christine's picture

Johnny awesome I had already made a point of that very fact when it was said on 360 I posted a comment about it straight away on this site when I posted the comment to the thinker & everyone else last round if you care to check you will see & it will happen again because to quote phil rothfield jarryd hayne has a habit of getting rid of coaches & as baggy said that would explain why he never went back to Parramatta he's at titans as a draw card , the coach is supposed to be able to pull the player in line & jarryd won't train ...

Johnny Awesome's picture

Hello all,
No probs Christine, I've been as busy as a blowy at a BBQ and missed most of last rounds comments including yours. My apologies. I guess the Titans board would silently agree with the general consensus hey, hence the delay in putting this to bed. Gee, it would be nice though if the coach could survive for once? What are your views on Neil Henry as a coach Christine? I rate him. Cheers from Mr Awesome.

Johnny Awesome's picture

Hi all,
Heading off for the day, but for me, Canberra v Penrith is the game of the round. I'll be there with 'She who must be obeyed' being a 2pm game. Hope Canberra can keep their semi hopes alive with a consistent effort. They are aiming for 20 000 for the game, hope everyone comes. Also, hoping Saints can get over Brisbane. Like to have both Saints and Canberra still with a chance for a top 8 spot. Anyway catch you all tomorrow, cheers from Mr Awesome

a's picture

Here are my tips

Eels by 12 I think the Titans have to many dramas to win Eels to beat Hayne

Rabbitohs by 10 The Warriors will not try again

Broncos by 10 I think the Broncos will continue hoodo against Dragons

Storm by 14 I think the Storm will end Knights won

Roosters by 18 I think the Roosters will flog Tigers

Cowboys by 1 Hopefully Sharks continue slide

Raiders by 2 I think the Raiders will do reserve what Panthers did in round 14

Sea Eagles by 20 Bulldogs will not turn up again

christine's picture

Johnny awesome I agree with you I rate neil henry as a coach who has improved the clubs he's been linked with but you know how this is likely to play out which is a shame because titan's have improved since having cartwright there as coach & hayne is going to cost them dearly ,how many players are they going to loose because of hayne's not pulling his weight & I agree with phil gould when you get a player dictating to you which coach to have then you have got trouble I mean the nrl own titans so jarryd is dictating to his employer who he wants to coach him , not on in my books the nrl should say I don't care what you paid or who you think you are if your going to be spoilt brat & behave that way your contract is torn up ...

mark ashford's picture

Hi Chris & Johnnie A
We all saw the problems at the Tigers when Robbie decided he was bigger than the club. What has he done for the Rabbits...not much.
Hayne's best footy was at the Eels and an origin game or two.
As a QLder I'd take Tadesco, Dugan, Ferguson, Peats, Bird, Fifita, Jackson, and the Trbojevic boys from the NSW team before Hayne and a couple of the Panther boys as well.
It appears we have to wait a few days for the answer.
My thoughts are with Neil of luck to you.

The Thinker's picture

For those of you patiently waiting for my last few tips and previews I apologize for the delay.

I'll have them published tonight.

All the best

ESRA STAR 's picture

They won't let him go mate,i don't think anyway. Even if he only plays half a dozen games next year,they will still be in front with his name drawing the gullible.

tigerholic's picture

See ya later Eaglerocks, have a nice life, from one of the many that you labelled as being without a footy brain it is without a hint of sadness that you set off to find another site with posters of the same intellect, not sure there would be many with an IQ that low to entertain you.

I hope the reason you are leaving is not because the Tigers embarrassed the Eagles on Sunday.
Anyways, from a no brainer like me"bye bye"

Tailspin's picture

Hey everyone, hope all is good, I just went and seen my old mate Choppy Chris Close in Bundy, he is in with the zoo clan selling sporting clothes, really good quality. It was good to catch up and talk about the good old days. Anyway, in regards to Hayne, sack the low life I reckon, he is all about himself and couldnt give 2 shits about his team. Its all about the Hayne train and thats it. Go the cowboys, still in with a chance I reckon.

mark ashford's picture

I hope you're wrong Esra Star.
The Titans under Henry last year and this year have been building slowly.
Lots of injuries have slowed their progress (as with other clubs)
I just can't see what Jarrad has brought to the team.
He's carried a couple of injuries this year and delivered nothing.
The Titans are an NRL owned club. Why can't they step in and sort it out.
Neil Henry will be the sacrificial lamb to keep Hayne at the Titans.
Shame on you NRL, Neil Henry deserves better.

mark ashford's picture

Just watched Wally on nine news.
Seems lots of people putting up their hands for Neil Henry's job.
Titans V Eels may be his last gig.
Great shame.

a's picture

Yeah I really hope Hayne gets sacked

The Thinker's picture


Keep your eye out for an email from fangear – there's a joke there but I'm not going to use it.

All the best

ESRA STAR 's picture

Yes he does mate,,but as you say,he will be the sacrificial lamb and the god the sacrifice will be to is money.

mark ashford's picture

are you as sick of the money thing in RL as I am?
I'm a 40 year supporter the past 30 being a Broncos supporter.
I remember players playing for the love of their club nothing else.
Now money is everything, no loyalty, who cares where you were born, just chase the big $$$.
Hate to say it but getting a bit tired of the greed that is RL today.

christine's picture

Mark The board hired jarryd not neil henry so it's easier to get rid of neil henry than jarryd because getting rid of jarryd means admitting they made a mistake & it's cheaper to get rid off neil henry than it is jarryd by $800000.00 so if you were in a business to make money what would you do . ?

mark ashford's picture

With the huge money floating around in RL today and bearing in mind NRL owns the Titans I'd look after the fans and sack Hayne.
Do a deal with him, offer him to another club, sooth his huge ego, but get it sorted.
Saudi Arabia would offer 100 mil for him, just do a deal and get rid of him.
He'll go anywhere for money. Soccer, RU, Tiddlewinks or whatever.

EagleROCKS's picture

Good evening Thinker this is my final post on here, you have created most of this on here.
While others bag and slander Manly and my mate, that used to be on here you seem to ignore their behaviour and pick on us. Why don't you look at what is said by other posters, one came on here and said I was off the meds, but that's OK by you, another came on and talked about my level of my IQ but that's OK by you.

One lady on here decided to give a mental condition to a famous manly supporter on here, and we all know who he is, that was serious as he never was and she has that condition herself, where have all her headaches and problems gone. They all went when she had done her job, to get rid of him well she thinks she did but not really, another point baggy gee bags out manly day in day out , Yet you ignore that he goes on about crap sometimes you wonder what the hell he is talking about and hide behind his hatred of my club, then everyone is sucking up to Big Pete because he is too nice making crap jokes about his legendary mighty club, and you in many previews bag Manly out even making fun of Daley Cherry Evans name/ Whats that all about so you get the supporter from your fellow haters.

Look one thing you and the rest of your tribe on here, should know Big Pete is a Manly man!!
Us Manly boys do not suck up to anyone, as the example set by Fortress take no prisoners, but you my friend are a Manly hater.

You can say you are not until the cows come home, evidence is in your posts thinker.
It a desecrate this site that you run, and very biased against us Mighty Eagle supporters.
You let the rest do as they please knowing that they will get away with it. What a joke this site.
Well you have now lost 2 Manly supporters because of your ignorance, also stop sucking up to Big Pete you and the rest of you you all hate our club. You all just act like you like him to make the rest of us feel bad, we are not stupid if Big Pete only knew then he too would tell you where to go.

I'm am finished with this immature biased hatred site, its a blight on our great club and the footy.

Its all in the family, and you my mate are the ring leader, just saying it as it is, just like fortress did. He was only defending himself, yet not once did you defend him, instead you defended the clowns on here so it would make you feel better go reread there posts and see what they are saying, instead of been blind Freddy and biased, good bye Thinker !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



christine's picture

Esra star Let me be the one to say welcome to the website ...

ESRA STAR 's picture

Thank you.


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