Round eighteen selections

Penrith Panthers vs Cronulla Sharks – Friday night – Panthers Stadium

The Panthers have the luxury of not having to name their Origin halves in the line-up after unleashing a new pairing in round 17. That said, team changes are pretty likely. Former Panthers golden boy Matt Moylan returns to his old stomping ground, which should create some interest. Now the whole world will be tipping Penrith on Friday night and so they should, but the Sharks will be loving that. They will also recall that when these sides met in round seven the Sharks were comfortable winners (although a few late tries to the Panthers made it look closer than it was). On that occasion the Sharks were without Paul Gallen and Wade Graham and lost Luke Lewis in the 13th minute. Back then the Sharks didn't have Woods or Bukuya coming off the bench either. I'm probably the only one, but I'm tipping the Sharks can win this with their big boppers.

Verdict – Sharks by 4

Result – Sharks 24 defeated Panthers 12

Newcastle Knights vs Parramatta Eels – Friday night – McDonald Jones Smart Stadium

We have had some better showings from the Eels during recent efforts, but their habit of losing is proving hard to break. Mitchell Pearce returns to boost the home sides fortunes, and they did beat the Eels 30-6 earlier in the year. Here comes my best Kanye West impersonation:

You know I've got to be right now, though the Knights can't get much Ponga.

Sheesh. That's terrible.

Verdict – Knights by 4

Result – Knights 18 defeated Eels 16

Canterbury Bulldogs vs South Sydney Rabbitohs – Saturday afternoon – ANZ Stadium

The Bulldogs, like the Eels but even more so, have been better in recent weeks, but their late capitulation to the Raiders would be quite deflating. I doubt they've had enough time to pump themselves back up in time for a challenge from the in-form team in the NRL.

Verdict – Rabbitohs by 10

Result – Rabbitohs 24 defeated Bulldogs 6

Manly Sea Eagles vs Melbourne Storm – Saturday night – Lottoland

Last week the Storm racked up a half century and this week they welcome back up to seven State of Origin players. Not many teams like to spend Saturday night at Brookvale, but the purple machine are on the verge of a top two finish and they have a track record of not letting such opportunities slip.

Verdict – Storm by 8

Result – Storm 14 defeated Sea Eagles 13

Canberra Raiders vs North Queensland Cowboys – Saturday night – GIO Stadium

Some people think I focus on the weather too much, but when the North Queenslanders wake up in Canberra on Saturday morning it will be -5 degrees. The Cowboys season is over and they'll spend the weekend in Canberra wishing they were somewhere else.

Verdict – Raiders by 10

Result – Raiders 38 defeated Cowboys 12

Brisbane Broncos vs New Zealand Warriors – Sunday afternoon – Suncorp Stadium

7th plays 8th and if you just used round 17 as a guide you'd think it was 1st vs 18th. The Broncos didn't concede a point while the Warriors barely scored a point. I assume Peta Hiku has been on defensive drills this week but we can be sure the Broncos will be testing him on Sunday. I'm reluctant to write the Warriors off completely, but this is the time of the season (post-Origin) where the Warriors usually start their slide out of contention. Mr Thinker is planning to drag the mini-thinkers down to the ground for a rare daytime game for the Broncos. Fingers crossed for a contest.

Verdict – Broncos by 8

Result – Warriors 26 defeated Broncos 6

St George Illawarra Dragons vs Wests Tigers – Sunday afternoon – Jubilee Oval

The Dragons are short-priced favourites on Sunday but I'm taking them on. Four of the their all-important forward pack back up from Origin, and Ben Hunt had to play in the forwards for QLD too. There's also some very important inclusions for the Tigers this weekend (Matulino, Marshall, Grant, Nofoaluma, Liddle). The Dragons haven't lost a game at home all year so I've clearly broken my brain but:

Verdict – Tigers by 4

Result – Tigers 20 defeated Dragons 16

Gold Coast Titans vs Sydney Roosters – Sunday night – Cbus Super Stadium

The Roosters should be nice and fresh after a week off, and there is some talk of resting Boyd Cordnor this weekend. I'm assuming Arrow and Wallace will be backing up for the Titans but they'll have heavy legs. Before last weekend the Titans looked like a team that could make a last ditch run at a top eight spot, but that dream is over now. Given their lack-lustre performance last Sunday, it's hard to imagine they'll give us much this Sunday.

Verdict – Roosters by 14

Result – Roosters 20 defeated Titans 12

Wally Lewis - round eighteen selections (in bold)

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

  • Panthers vs SHARKS
  • Knights vs EELS
  • Bulldogs vs RABBITOHS
  • Sea Eagles vs STORM
  • RAIDERS vs Cowboys
  • BRONCOS vs Warriors
  • DRAGONS vs Tigers
  • Titans vs ROOSTERS


Slayer's picture

The Thinker clearly not thinking straight this ok mate?

The Thinker's picture

I'm hanging in there Stayer....I'll have tips for round 18 published on Thursday.

tigerholic's picture

Afternoon Folks

Sorry I have not been posting too much lately, with work and golfing activities combined I have been short of time. I do note that Coach has been making up for my absence, are you on a retainer Coach on a per letter fee?

Just wondering how everyone spends SOS night. Tonight I will be watching the Blues win with my 10 year old son and 29 year old daughter, KFC for dinner washed down with a few Great Northerns.

Enjoy the game folks, for the sake of the game, NSW need to win 3-0.


Mary S's picture

Hi Tiger,
Sounds like you have a great night planned.
From my point of view ( and other Qld supporters), I will be happy if you are wrong about the whitewash, but for the sake of the life of the fierce comp between states, you could be right!!

Enjoy your night,

Rocket Ryan's picture

The only thing that could make it better for me Tiger is if you're a lot closer to Sydney enjoy your once in a blue moon Origin series

Coach Potato's picture

You might be right, Rocket. Enjoy it while it lasts NSW. We may never win again.

Make sure you all party your hardest tonight, NSW.

Esra Star's picture

Queensland 18-16.

Coach Potato's picture

You’re probably right Esra.

Dragons-fanboy's picture

Hello everyone, my tips for this week are:

Sharks by 4 - There is some doubt in the Panthers' lineup this week. So based on that, I'll go with the Sharks to get the chocolates this week.

Knights by 12 - Pearce back for the Knights will do them a world of good. Though Ponga out doesn't help them. But I feel that Pearce coming back will lift the Knights' spirits and the Knights to finally get a win under their belt here over the much improved Eels side in recent weeks.

Rabbitohs by 20 - Damn how sorry we all must've felt for the Dogs after last week, it would've been two in a row for them. Now coming up against the high flying Rabbitohs, all I can see is the Rabbitohs running riot over the Dogs this week.

Storm by 12 - I do have a feeling that Manly will get up in this game and come away with the win but the Storm, with plenty to play for should win here.

Raiders by 10 - Raiders too strong for the Cowboys here with plenty to play for to make the Cowboys trip down south to the cold an unpleasant one.

Broncos by 16 - Warriors were poor last week and the Broncos were brilliant last week. This is a big game; 7th v 8th. The Broncos to come away with a big win over the Warriors here.

Dragons by 10 - Dragons to bounce back here with a win over the Tigers back at our spirited home of Kogarah.

And finally... Roosters by 18 - Roosters way too strong for the hapless Titans here.

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

Dada's picture

100 percent correct

Dada's picture

Rocket Ryan you are hundred percent correct
After long........long time nsw victory
Let them enjoy this victory not for long


Coach Potato's picture

100% agree dada,

Qld certainly gave it to us last night.

.......... the trophy, that is.

a's picture

Here's my tips

Sharks by 6 with the Panthers resting Origin stars I will be tipping Sharks here

Eels by 2 I think Eels will get their 1st away win here

Rabbitohs by 4 I feel the Rabbitohs will get 9 in a row against Bulldogs

Storm by 10 I think the Storm will be too good for Manly

Raiders by 2 I'm still tipping against my team

Broncos by 8 I think the Broncos will get Warriors her

Dragons by 1 but only if Origin players back up

Roosters by 2 I think the Roosters will beat the Titans here

Rocket Ryan's picture

Hey data you gotta remember couch potato and all the Blues have suffered through all those long bad years of misery it would just be normal 4 them to be up and about after one series win in god knows how many years the fact is we showed with a weakened side we can still beat em so all this dribble about young Blues Freddie and the dynasty is just that dribble or as we all know Dynamite dreams the one Penrith supporters have that blow up in your face

Coach Potato's picture

100% agree Rocket. I’m sure we may never win another series.

.. and yet just one solitary Qld whitewash in those 13 years. Just one huh?

Rocket Ryan's picture

Im sure you raved and dreamed those dynamite dreams in 2014 it's just that i neither remember or care.

Coach Potato's picture

You dreamt all the while yourself to no avail.

Coach Potato's picture

Friday the 13th tomorrow but another 7 days before dreams become nightmare.

newbie from perth's picture

Sa-wat-dee krup,

Well, it’s now official. Newbie’s tipping prowess is non-existent! Annus Horribilus for sure and certain. 1 from 4 last week and sitting comfortably down towards the bottom of the ladder. It’s a funny ol’ game this. Nothing to lose and everything to gain sees me taking a different tack from here until the end of the season. Won’t give away any trade secrets but my methodology has changed, albeit slightly. Without further ado, let’s get into it…

… but before we do, just a quickie on Origin 3. Just finished reading the Game 3 posts here and sorta glad I’m a West Aussie. Always amazes me how much “passion” you guys and gals have when it comes to blue or maroon. Just seems so weird to me (no offence). I know and accept I have no clue but that would be because I’m a Sandgroper who grew up with Aussie Rules. Man, sooo glad I’ve seen the light! Never going back to AFL – ever! Anyways, loved the banter (if you could call it that) and especially love watching the “spectacle” that is Origin, whether or not the result falls my way. Just love watching good, hard footy and the excitement of it all. Have I mentioned I can hardly wait for late June next year over here at the Stadium? OK, now we can get into it…

Panthers vs Sharks 55-45 @ Panthers Stadium
Panthers were pretty impressive last week and they’re playing at home. Sharks have had the extra break and will be as fresh as a daisy. Cronulla have won 4 of their last 5 against the Panthers. This should be an evenly matched cracker of a game but I’m on the Sharks.

Knights vs Eels 60-40 @ McDonald Jones
The Knights beat the Eels last time and have won 3 of the last 5 between these two. Mr Pearce is back this week. The Eels improved in their last game against the Dragons and should have won it but didn’t. Not sure if they’re quite there yet. I’m on the Knights.

Bulldogs vs Rabbitohs 25-75 @ ANZ
The Rabbitohs have also had some extra time off and will (should) account for the Doggies here. Too fresh, too classy, too good. I’m "hopping" on those Bunnies!

Manly vs Storm 35-65 @ Brookvale
Those Baby Stormers were pretty darned good last week. Plus they’ll more than likely get players back. As with the Bunnies … too classy and too good. Storm in a canter.

Raiders vs Cowboys 70-30 @ GIO Stadium
This will be hard. One team desperate for points and the other desperate for pride. The Raiders just snuck in last week. The Cowboys have had a nice break and should be fresh. The “desperation” aspect with the Raiders has me thinking they’ll do enough. Still not totally convinced but I’ll go the Raiders.

Broncos vs Warriors 70-30 @ Suncorp
Looks like the Broncos are back! Watched them against the Titans last week and they were very good, whereas the Warriors were very ordinary. The Warriors’ away record completely sucked me in. Broncos to keep bucking along.

Dragons vs Tigers 75-25 @ Jubilee
What happened to the Dragons last week? Don’t mind teams losing but not by 22. And the way they allowed it to happen! Go hard or go home! The Tigers aren’t filling me with much confidence I must admit. Gone off the boil I reckon. The Dragons to “bounce back” and win here.

Titans vs Roosters 40-60 @ Cbus
If the Titans play like they did last week you can shut the gate on this one and back my BBB to romp this one in. My beloved Roosters will be fresh as a daisy too and will get this done with a minimum of fuss. Can’t believe the 1-12 is (was) showing $3.00. Roosters all day. Begurk! Begurk!

OK kids, good luck with your tipping and may your team win by 40 points!

It’s “Song of the Week” time again…

This one is just so good. Absolutely guarantee this is NOT what you’ll be expecting. Go on, I dare you!

Cheers y’all…

Coach Potato's picture

Wow I didn’t believe Friday the 13th would turn into anything as spooky as this ...

Sione Katoa playing hooker for the Panthers against his evil mirror image on the wing for the Sharks.

It will truly be a Kodak/ iPhone moment to see one tackle the other.

Coach Potato's picture

If people think I’m joking. I’m not.
There’s two of them. I just hope the right one puts on the Panthers jumper.

NuL1F3's picture

Gday to all! My tips for this week are:
After loosing to Rabbitohs by only a field goal my money is on my team this week :) Good luck to all those in the comp!

Coach Potato's picture

Newbie, you haven’t spoken a word about the rescue of the boys + coach. They are your fellow countrymen , no?

tigerholic's picture

Morning Folks

Not a really happy result from Wednesday night, well done Queensland you never give up.

I must say that the Wally Lewis medal going to Billy Slater was "Bullshit"

Mal Meninga and Darren Lockyer and Laurie Daley can defend the decision all they like but it's a bit like someone putting their tips in after missing the first game and still scoring 8/8.

Anyway folks, the footy is back on again tonight and there are some real 50/50 games.

For all those needing to follow my tips including Rocket Ryan and Coach, they'll be in soon.


newbie from perth's picture

@ Coach

Sorry brother but it didn’t occur to me to mention it. I wish I was actually living there (in Thailand) as I absolutely love the place. I’m planning on ripping up stakes and going there to live permanently if I can just get my act (and money) together. Strange but whenever I’m there I just “feel at peace” and really happy. Not sure why that happens but it does. Usually spend time in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai (where this drama happened) and looking forward to getting back "home" (ha-ha).

Yeah, great news about the young fellas. The silly things we do when we’re young eh? 50 years ago and they’d have all perished for sure. But great to see them safe and sound. Was reading about it earlier this morning…

There’s even talk of making a movie on it. Hey, why wouldn’t you? Great story that would translate well over to the big screen…

Anyway, gotta run. Breakfast awaits me. It’s “Fat Friday” and Newbie’s partaking of a sausage roll, a chicken strip and a Spicy Samosa. Yum! Yum! Cheers Coach…

Coach Potato's picture

Thinker do you know if androids have played against each other in the NRL before?

Coach Potato's picture

Thanks newbie, was moreso your affinity with the Thai people, I thought you may have been feeling low over the last couple of weeks when things were so up in the air - down below in the cave.

manyana's picture

As usual, I have no great confidence in the teams that I pick. Because of Origin, one never knows exactly who is going to play until they run out onto the ground.
Here are my tips: Sharks, Knights (but gave this a lot of thought), Rabbits, Storm (fairly certain about this one), Raiders (once again a lot of thought, but decided to give up on the Cowboys), Broncos (hopefully), Tigers (another toss up but the away team came up when I tossed the coin), Roosters ( I don't think the Titans have it in them to win).
Good luck to everyone this week. Manyana.

christine's picture

My tips for rd 18 are :
may you all be blessed with your tips this week ...

Rocket Ryan's picture

Panthers dismantle warriors last week at home again and nobody thinks they can repeat the performance I've tipped them hopefully they bring the same energy as last week where they were very impressive.
Albeit against a poor warriors side.

Coach Potato's picture

Thanks rocket. Geez so many are super hard to impress - or just anti-Panthers. Constantly holding the Warriors to 35m a set. Was a lot more than a new halves combination - who didn’t go too bad either.

The Thinker's picture

There's been a few Coach.....Rodney Howe and Paul Gallen spring to mind.

Coach Potato's picture

I said android not steroid

Coach Potato's picture

Do you know something the almanac doesn’t?

I only see x1 of each listed.

The Thinker's picture

Who's the bean counter that thought Panthers v Sharks should be the early game on cable and the Knights vs Eels game would be the main event on free to air?


The Thinker's picture

Those with an eye on our tipping competition should take note that our tearaway leader (Rocket) has tipped the Panthers tonight...and the ten tipsters behind him have all tipped the Sharks.

Rocket Ryan's picture

I would have felt better if Hetherington could have scored just before half-time

BigPeteBx's picture

Good evening to you Newbie - how's it all going, apart from dreaming of The Land of Smiles.
Please, where precisely is ChiangRai as I was over there doing a Sth East Asia Tour, back in late 80's and spent 4 days at Pattaya Beach.
It is a pleasant place over there, but really do you need to relocate there.
Cost of living would more than be the reason. I guess I couldn't blame you, if that gets you enjoyment, relaxation and just plain rest and come and go as you please. Yes, I did spell come correctly, for this occasion.
I know a guy from here who lives there and returns for his annual medical check-ups with his GP.
At least he still has more trust in our Aussie medical system.

Cheers mate and keep well - Big Pete

pabdul's picture

Looks like the NZ panthers were one week wonders

The Annoying Devil's picture

Yeah 100% agree with that haha

a's picture

Yep I will remain 3 behind Rocket Ryan after this round

Coach Potato's picture

100% pabdul. Had a chance but not to be.

I take it that wasn’t a cheap racial slur on Panthers with colour in their skin ?

Coach Potato's picture

It was. Wow. You’re a classy pair.

The Annoying Devil's picture

No I think that’s their background
Racial slur what a dick
Sorry 100% dick

Coach Potato's picture

Looks like a week under the bed was enough for the two that try to collude in the tipping Comp, week after week tipping simultaneously with one difference for nil effect. Love the effort though.

The Annoying Devil's picture

So pabs can the eels get a win

Baggy_Gee's picture

I should have shut up and taken the FRA V CRO as my tips. Oh well.

Tailspin's picture

Hey thinker, I didn't get my tips on so here they are if you can put the rest in please
I also tipped the Sharks but I'm late so bugger.

Coach Potato's picture

Your very small fan club is showing signs of shrinkage by the minute.


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