Canberra Raiders vs Penrith Panthers – Friday night – GIO Stadium
Penrith have quietly gone about their business this year. They haven't conceded a try in their last two games, and their last win was a demolition of the team that's been on top of the ladder all season. That form leaves with you no choice but to pick them over the Raiders...except Origin. We have four Panthers backing up from Wednesday night (although Peachey shouldn't be too worn out). The risk is that the Panthers haven't had their halves with them during the preparation for this game, and Peter Wallace isn't available either. The Raiders have three games away from home after this match, so they'll be desperate to get the points here.
Verdict – Raiders by 4
Result – Panthers 23 defeated Raiders 22
Gold Coast Titans vs South Sydney Rabbitohs – Friday night – Cbus Super Stadium
I think the Bunnies are the form team in the competition this season. Like the Panthers they have four players backing up from Origin, with Damien Cook potentially having the night off. The Titans have two big forwards backing up from Origin, and the Rabbitohs have a very formidable pack. Too big and too strong.
Verdict – Rabbitohs by 10
Result – Rabbitohs 18 defeated Titans 16
Manly Sea Eagles vs New Zealand Warriors – Saturday afternoon – AMI Stadium
Note the location tipsters. Manly have taken this home game to Christchurch, New Zealand. Manly missed the Trbojevic brothers badly last start and they'll be better if they are back. I'm a little concerned that the Warriors are teetering after that big loss to the Rabbitohs. I won't give up on them just yet though, as I get the feeling the Rabbitohs would do the same to most teams at the minute.
Verdict – Warriors by 4
Result – Warriors 34 defeated Sea Eagles 14
Newcastle Knights vs Sydney Roosters – Saturday night – McDonald Jones Stadium
I'll assume that the four Origin players at the Chooks back up. They did hold on for a brave win last weekend with none of them. The Knights were big winners against the Eels last weekend too, but the Eels are shot, and the Chooks did beat the Knights by 30 in round three.
Verdict – Roosters by 10
Result – Roosters 18 defeated Knights 16
Parramatta Eels vs North Queensland Cowboys – Saturday night – TIO Stadium
Parramatta have decided to think outside of the box by bringing forward their end of season review to the middle of the season. At first I thought it a little odd, but then I realised their season is effectively over anyway. A road trip to Darwin isn't likely to bring the best out of them either. Perhaps they should keep flying and head to Bali.
Verdict – Cowboys by 16
Result – Eels 20 defeated Cowboys 14
Cronulla Sharks vs Wests Tigers – Sunday afternoon – Southern Cross Group Stadium
This is one game where Origin is likely to have no impact at all – I can't imagine Holmes needs a rest. The Sharks were outclassed last weekend but I'm talking up the Rabbitohs form. Prior to that the Sharks were on quite a roll, and I think they'll bounce back here.
Verdict – Sharks by 8
Result – Sharks 24 defeated Tigers 16
Melbourne Storm vs Brisbane Broncos – Sunday afternoon – AAMI Park
Will Chambers may be unavailable here, and James Roberts walked off the field on Wednesday night like a man who needs some time to recover. I assume a few Queenslanders that travelled to Melbourne for Origin will hang around for this. Wayne Bennett would love to get one over Craig Bellamy, but the Storm have a compelling record against the Broncos and I see no reason to doubt them.
Verdict – Storm by 8
Result – Storm 32 defeated Broncos 16
Canterbury Bulldogs vs St George Illawarra Dragons – Monday afternoon – ANZ Stadium
Canterbury can be thankful that the Eels are such a rabble. Canterbury are a rabble too, just slightly less rabbly. The Dragons can bounce back after the loss last start, and turn the Bulldogs into rubble.
Verdict – Dragons by 14
Result – Dragons 18 defeated Bulldogs 16
Wally Lewis - round fourteen selections (in bold)
Note: tips from Wally will be published on Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.
- Raiders vs PANTHERS
- Titans vs RABBITOHS
- SEA EAGLES vs Warriors
- Knights vs ROOSTERS
- Eels vs COWBOYS
- SHARKS vs Tigers
- STORM vs Broncos
- Bulldogs vs DRAGONS