Finals week two

Cronulla Sharks (4th) vs Penrith Panthers (5th) – Friday night – Allianz Stadium

You can't spell Maloney without M-o-y-l-a-n, and last year Maloney was playing for the Sharks while Moylan was playing for the Panthers. They swapped...and now they face each other in their new teams. The Panthers were dominant winners but once again had to claw back an early deficit to do so. All season they've been jumping out of the barriers like Chatauqua and they need to resolve it. No team wins a premiership starting games like that. The Sharks created their fare share of opportunities last week but couldn't capitalise. The Sharks would say they were unlucky, but is that really unlucky? I say the very good teams make the most of their opportunities. No team wins a premiership missing opportunities like that. That said, the Roosters are a difficult defence to break, and the Sharks did it better than most (even if they didn't score many points). They should find the Panthers easier to get through than the tricolours. The Sharks recent record over the Panthers is hard to ignore, and they have already beaten them twice this season.

Verdict – Sharks by 4

Result – Sharks 21 defeated Panthers 20

South Sydney Rabbitohs (3rd) vs St George Illawarra Dragons (7th) – Saturday night – ANZ Stadium

For the second week in a row the Dragons will be in a finals contest few expect them to win. It didn't stop them against the Broncos but it might stop them now. The Bunnies have had two extra days to prepare for the game and it looks to me like they can start with their very best thirteen (some doubt about Reynolds and Inglis but it's hard to imagine they won't play). The Dragons have lost Widdop while De Belin and Graham have to prove they can play. would expect that they will. With the extra rest and those big Bunnies fit and raring to go, I expect them to rumble up the middle all night, and let that beautiful left edge attack of the Rabbitohs weave it's magic.

Verdict – Rabbitohs by 10

Result – Rabbitohs 13 defeated Dragons 12

Wally Lewis - finals week two selections (in bold)

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

  • SHARKS vs Panthers
  • RABBITOHS vs Dragons


The Thinker's picture

Greetings football fans

If you're looking for the tipping form for this week and you can't find it....don't panic.

My Little Helper is just plugging in the team details for this weekend. If you can't wait that long feel free to post your tips into the comments and we will add them in for you later.

All the best

a's picture

Why is under Finals week 1

Thinker's Little Helper's picture

Hi a, you caught me in the split second we had a presentation bug. Fixed it. Tipping form is now live as well. Have a great weekend!

mark ashford's picture

The finals are no easier to pick than the regular season.
Last weekend my only 2 certain picks were Warriors and Broncs and we all know how that turned out.
Sharks v Panthers
As far as I know the Sharks got through relatively unscathed except for Wade Graham whereas Maloney copped a flogging. Sharks can win without Wade but the Panthers will struggle with an unfit Maloney.
Sharks by 6
Rabbits v Dragons
Haven't heard how Inglis is but again the Rabbits can win without him.
The only stumbling block is how well the Dragons played on Sunday.
Did they play their grand final too early and again injuries hurt them.
Those big tough Poms the Burgess boys to get the Bunnies home.
Rabbits by 10
Thank heavens we only have to tip 2 games this week.

mark ashford's picture

I'm no fan of Latrelle Mitchell. He's been reading his own press for too long and has become a bit of a show pony. Saying that there is no doubting the young man's ability.
I've watched his tackle on Dugan several times in slo-mo and can't see he has a case to answer. There doesn't seem any attempt to bend the neck or slam the head down. His only sin was to grab Dugans jumper and try to pull him to his feet when Dugan was obviously distressed.
Latrelle has carry over points so he's not completely innocent but I'll let the judiciary decide.

christine 's picture

Latrell Mitchell has been given a grade 1 charge for that tackle on dugan & will now miss the prelim final that's news just in ...

Baggy_Gee's picture

Yes the tackle on Dugan might not be anything special but the way he plays the game is a worry. He is always trying to fire himself up by acting like a grub, (Ennis, Smith, Gallen take your pick). So i'm more than happy for him to miss a game based on game conduct not necessarily on that particular tackle.

Brad S's picture

The Dragons and Panthers are both a perfect example of how finals footy is a completely different game. Both had a really poor end to the year and seemed to be well and truly out of form to then turn up and put in dominant performances against the Broncos and Warriors.

As talented as Latrell is, he definitely needs to keep away from the dirty tactics that have crept into his game. It is a pleasure watching his individual brilliance so hopefully he can stick to that without trying to be so overly aggressive at times.

mark ashford's picture

Hi Christine
Nice to hear from you and nice to see you still here. I'm hoping things have settled a bit for you at home.
Latrelle went to the judiciary and lost. He will miss one game, meaning the Roosters need to make the grand final or we won't see him again this year.

mark ashford's picture

Baggy you included my hero, Queensland and Australian captain in your list of grubs. We've argued this before and I respect your opinion but you're talking about a future immortal with a pretty good record.
Tell me how do you feel about self confessed druggy A Johns being an immortal.

christine 's picture

What parent tells their child they will be in specialised care by their 50th birthday when they can still walk , drive , do the shopping ( I frequent the shops at least 4 out of 5 days of the week if not 5 days a week & I do the cooking but yet he can't say anything positive to me or about me he claims only needy people do that but I will be honest with you the thought of being on my own scares the heck out of me not only because of my ms but mentally it's not good for me i need to be around other people i'm a people person i need the communication & mark thanks for asking it's appreciated ...

newbie from perth's picture

Sa-wat-dee krup,

Firstly, and I hate to admit it, but everyone’s comments so far on Latrell are pretty spot on. I’ve noticed him playing a bit too aggressively this year myself. Sometimes while watching my BBB play and he does something “iffy” I just cringe and say … “Latrell, why do you do that? Mate, you’re gonna give away silly penalties that might cost us the game. You’re good enough and big enough and classy enough to not have to do s%#t like that.”

Does he listen to me? No he doesn’t. Gets me a little on edge sometimes but what can ya do eh? Maybe he needs a mentor of sorts, I dunno. It’s a worry though. And yes, maybe the week off will wake him up. Just hope it doesn’t impact too much on our chances next week.

Anyways, I can feel the excitement growing! Getting’ closer and closer to the “Big Day” are we not? Just the 2 games this week so let’s get into it….

Sharks vs Panthers 60-40 @ Allianz
Yeah, the Sharks weren’t too bad last week. Even though my BBB ended up winning 21-12, I wasn’t feeling confident for long periods of that game. I reckon the Sharks blew their chances whereas the Roosters took theirs. The Sharks lost the first half 6-10 and the second 6-11 so they weren’t far away. The Panthers really surprised me last week. Then again, some sides seem to “step up” come finals time. Just look at the Dragons for proof of that (more on that later). They (the Panthers) absolutely took the Warriors apart. I for one, was not expecting that. But all credit to them. After 15 minutes it was the Warriors leading 12-2 but from thereon in, the Panthers racked up 25 unanswered points. They were in complete control and the Warriors just fell apart. Either that or the Panthers simply put their foot on the Warriors’ throat and kept it there. Regardless, it was an impressive display.

OK, who’s gonna win? The way I see it is this… the Sharks lost to the best side (or close to it) in the competition and weren’t that far away (considering missed chances) whereas the Panthers beat a Warriors side that started well but then faded away (maybe). I think, from what I saw last weekend, that the Sharks might just have a little more in their bag of tricks than the Panthers and will win a close(ish) one here.

Rabbitohs vs Dragons 65-35 @ ANZ
If you can believe the Dragons’ form from last week, this should be a cracker. If so, this will be the second “cracker” Souths will be involved with in as many weeks. What a game last week between Souths and the Storm! One of the best, if not the best, game I’ve seen all year. Can’t really say the Bunnies were unlucky but I can say they played to a bloody high standard. I don’t have to remind anyone that had Reynolds kicking been a bit better (2 from 5 conversion attempts) Souths may have won last week. Mind you, Smith only managed 3 from 5 conversion attempts himself so maybe, maybe not. With 7 minutes to go and Souths leading 28-22, I thought they had it. But in true Storm fashion, they “stormed” home in the dying minutes (aided by that 77 minute FG from Munster) and stole it. Gotta feel for the Rabbitohs fans don’t ya?

Now, the Dragons. One of the greatest “ambushes” of all time as far as I’m concerned. No-one, and I mean no-one, would have seen that coming. Well, maybe a few diehard fans (looking at you Fanboy!), but really? They were super impressive against the Broncos for sure. And at Suncorp as well! A few times I noticed the looks on the Bronco players faces after the Dragons scored a try and they seemed perplexed. I was as well. Where have the Dragons been hiding the last couple of months? Damn shame Widdop did his shoulder again though. Was mighty impressed how they kept on punishing the Broncos considering they only had one bloke left on the bench (and for quite a while too). As impressive as they were against the Broncos, I just keep wondering if the Dragons have anything left after last week’s epic effort.

No offence intended but I’d much rather my BBB play the Dragons next week but it looks like we’ll be playing Souths. Yeah, I’m (reluctantly) tipping the Rabbitohs here.

OK kids, good luck with your tipping and if your team is still in the race, may they win by 40 points!

It’s “Song of the Week” time again…

There’s something about this song that has me hooked. Wish I could work it out. Nearly 76 million views. Seriously? Sheesh!

Cheers y’all…

manyana's picture

Hi all, my tips for this round are;
Good luck to everyone.
Cheers, manyana.

a's picture

Here’s my predictions

Sharks 22 tires Ricky Leutele 2 Valentine Holmes Josh Dugan goals
Valentine Holmes 3/4 Panthers 18 tires Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 2 James Tamou goals Nathan Cleary 2/2 James Maloney 1/1
Man of the match Valitine Homes

Rabbitohs 34 tires Dane Gagai 2 Campbell Graham 2 Robert Jennings 2 goals Adam Renloys 5/7 Dragons 24 tires Jordan Pereira 3 Leeson Ah Mau goals Tyson Frizell 4/4

Man of the match Dane Gagai

Baggy_Gee's picture

I did miss out a lot, I disagree with Immortality, It takes the gloss of the hall of fame. There are no immortals over in the NFL, NBA, MBL hall of fame's and I think it was shoddily done and disrespectful of all those other amazing players who have played the game at the highest level.

Dragons-fanboy's picture

Newbie, I was just as surprised as you were with the result. I sure was partying hard after the game though that's for sure. But, win, lose or draw, I'm a Dragon through and through, and lucky for me, I was just one of two to get the Broncos-Dragons result.


Dragons-fanboy's picture

'a', I don't think that Frizell will be goal-kicking for us against the Rabbits lol, it startles me that you think that he'll get 4/4 conversion wise. Pretty sure the goal kicking duties will be given to Lomax, that's if he doesn't get replaced late by Aitken.


Dragons-fanboy's picture

Hello everyone, two things before I start with my tips, first things first, Christine, I hope everything is going well for you, I'm so sorry to hear the horrible news that you shared to us last week, wishing you nothing but the best. Second of all, geez how wrong I was with the Warriors winning the premiership, they were my dark horse, but unfortunately for the Warriors, it wasn't to be but credit to the Warriors for their vast improvement this year, don't expect much different next year or perhaps we could see an even stronger Warriors side next year. Anyways, on with my tips for this week:

Sharks by 4 - In what should be an absolute cracking game, I can see the Sharks grinding out an all important win over the Panthers, I think that the Sharks can handle the Panthers defensively and will have enough point to beat the Panthers though, I wouldn't be surprised if the Panthers win here.

And finally... Dragons by 2 - All the Dragons need to do is play like last week and I believe that we could beat the Rabbitohs. Though it won't be as a bigger margin than last week, I expect this to get close. Widdop's injury has dropped my confidence a little, but we have proved throughout the season that we can win without our inspirational leader. Frizell though is an inspirational leader and I expect him to show some important leadership on Saturday along with McInnes as co-captains. But if we are going to beat the Rabbitohs, we have to be near perfect especially after the way the Rabbits played last week.

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

mark ashford's picture

I enjoyed that sotw mate and being a fan of westerns thought the video was pretty cool.
Regarding Latrelle, I'm with you he needs a senior player like Boyd Cordner or even Cooper Cronk to have a chat with him. He has great skills but needs to lose the agro.
He may have just cost your BBB a shot at the GF.

mark ashford's picture

Your defeat of the Broncs last Sunday was a lesson the Broncs needed to have. Whatever problems there is in the club with Bennett they should have tried a bit harder to send Sammy out a winner.
OK you have lost Widdup but everyone else stood up big time.
If James G plays and I think he will (is there anyone tougher) and Tyson Frizzelle at his best you will give this a shake.

christine 's picture

Now Dugan has been ruled out of the game against Penrith ...

Anonymous's picture

Betta chanj de tip den, chriz

christine 's picture

My tips finals week two
may the football gods be good to us all ...

christine 's picture

That comment really should read may the league gods be good to us all ...

newbie from perth's picture

@ Mr Ashford

Yeah mate, Latrell definitely needs to learn how to “harness” the agro side of his game and control it and make it work in his favour. Luke Skywalker in the swamp with Yoda comes to mind (ha-ha). And yeah, the more I’ve been thinking about next week without him, the more concerned I’m getting. I know “one man doesn’t make a team” but he’s a fair chunk of it I reckon. This is why I hope Fanboy’s mob win this week. We’d have more of a chance in that scenario (no disrespect meant FB). Geez I’d be just a tad peeved if we ended up losing because of Mitchell’s over enthusiastic attitude.

Anyways, it’s dinner time over here at the moment and there’s some chicken’n’chips on the kitchen table just waiting for me to devour it. Cheers y’all.

P.S. Glad you liked the SOTW brother. I try my best…

P.P.S. Go the Dragons!

christine 's picture

If you wish to change your tip then you go right ahead ...

Dragons-fanboy's picture

That's right Mark, we sure will give this game a huge crack like last week. I do expect strong performances by the likes of Frizell, Hunt, De Belin, Graham as always, and Sims just to name a few. But will we have enough in the tank to beat the Bunnies? I hope so but like you said, we sure will give this a shake.


Dragons-fanboy's picture

Mark although it was against my beloved Dragons, it was sad to see Thaiday got sent off the way that he did with the Broncos getting smashed. All in all, he did have an amazing career. Not sure if it was the problems with Wayne outside of footy which led to the Broncos loss, I feel that the Broncos underestimated the Dragons and were clearly outplayed on the day.


Dragons-fanboy's picture

Newbie no disrespect taken but I feel like it's based on the way the team plays on the day and we could beat anyone on our day including the likes of the Rabbitohs, Storm and Roosters like we have throughout the season. But then again, the Roosters will probably more likely beat the Dragons then the Rabbitohs.


Tailspin's picture

Hey everyone. Hope all is good. Here are my tips.
Sharks by 13 +
Bunnies by 13 +
Have a great weekend.

Esra Star's picture

I think the Sharks play better without Duggan.

nola todd's picture

hey can you guys get your tip's in

TigerGirl's picture

Wow had hard to pick this weeks games. I have now idea so I choose the teams listed first. 🤔 hoping it works.

TigerGirl's picture

Sorry should of been I have no idea

mark ashford's picture

Broncos women just gave the Roosters women a nice touch up.
Boy do those girls on both sides play the game hard.
We coulda done with some of them in the mens team last week against the Dragons.

mark ashford's picture

Sharkies well on top in the first half. Penrith look a bit beaten.
Panthers are the come back kings can they do it tonight.

Tuisova's picture

wow what a game
I'm restarting to enjoy the NRL again

The Thinker's picture

That became quite a game in the end.

For those that like to make fun of the Roosters and their poor crowds:

Roosters vs Sharks in week one of the finals


Panthers vs Sharks in week two of the finals


mark ashford's picture

Thinker we would never make fun of your Roosters. Notice you didn't mention the crowd at the Broncs/Dragons game last week.
For those Panthers fans out there you should look at the poor discipline of your captain Maloney. Giving away penalties, rushing up etc led to Sharks early trys. Without that you may have won the game.
Coach if you're having a sneaky peek...good luck next year.

a's picture

Panthers nearly won

The Thinker's picture

I'll never doubt a crowd at Suncorp Mark. We like to turn up.

Graham's picture

Six teams remain, and five of them are in greater Sydney. No wonder they won the Origin series this year.

Interesting comment, 16 teams in 2018 Competition, 5 Teams outside Sydney, 3 Teams made up of Queensland players, that is Broncos, Titans and Cowboys, then You have Warriors made up mainly of kiwis, and last team Storm, made of mainly Queenslanders, a few from NSW plus other match makers and so 11 Teams make up the rest so when you have 2/3 of the teams You will always look good, :) May the best team win and the Ref and Bunker avoid controversy :)

mark ashford's picture

Good comment mate. echoes my thoughts exactly.

mark ashford's picture

To all Dragons fans you are looking good. Bunnies seem a bit lost when they get to the line and they do look tired. Keep it up and you're off to next weekend.

a's picture

Thinker I think you need to shut down the finals week 1 page because there are 3 spam comments by Lottie Jenna and Damon and remove all of their

mark ashford's picture

After watching the Dragons flog my beloved Broncs I thought they were a chance against the Rabbits and they were. Whoever decided to run on the last Dragons play maybe cost your team the win.
Wouldn't you love to have Adam Reynolds in your team.
Two finals decided this weekend by a point each, can't get any closer than that.
Who will beat the Storm or Roosters after a week off?

christine 's picture

Can you please put the tweets back on for me , I do use them from time to time ???

christine 's picture

Thinker I know I can access the tweets from the side at the bottom of this page but my mobile isn't so user friendly so if you could please put the tweets back up for me I would appreciate it ?

mark ashford's picture

Last weekends eliminations were decided by a single point. Field goals separating the teams. Adam Reynolds getting the lollies potting 3 in a row. Can't recall finals being this close in years.
This weekend...
Storm ($1.37) v Sharks ($3.10)
Storm at full strength and at home with the Sharks missing Wade Graham and possibly Paul Gallen. Think the bookies have got this right.
Game of the round.
Roosters ($1.75) v Rabbits ($2.10) The closeness of the odds is due to the absence of Latrelle Mitchell. Love him or hate him he is a weapon for the Chooks. All the monster Burgess boys are fit and playing.
This will be an epic game.

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