Round fifteen selections

Parramatta Eels vs South Sydney Rabbitohs – Thursday night – ANZ Stadium

In round 13 the Rabbitohs took on the Sharks without their four Origin players. They won anyway, against a team on a roll. In round 14 the Rabbitohs rested their four Origin players against the Titans. They won again. Those four Origin players are back on Thursday night. I can't see them losing. The Eels surprised almost everyone with a win last weekend. No surprises here.

Verdict – Rabbitohs by 16

Result – Rabbitohs 42 defeated Eels 24

North Queensland Cowboys vs New Zealand Warriors – Friday night – 1300SMILES Stadium

A lot of people are scratching their heads when it comes to the Cowboys and their season thus far. To my eye they just look off the pace – half a yard slower than most of their opponents. Half a yard may not seem like much, but over the course of 80 minutes it takes its toll. I don't know if that explains the Cowboys performances entirely, but it's my explanation. The Warriors by comparison, are one of the quickest teams in the NRL. I should add that I'm heading north this weekend and will be at the game on Friday night. A drink in the sheds with the Cowboys after the game is on the cards for Mr Thinker...if the Cowboys win, so I hope I'm wrong.

Verdict – Warriors by 4

Result – Warriors 23 defeated Cowboys 16

Sydney Roosters vs Penrith Panthers – Friday night – Allianz Stadium

The Panthers have made their home ground a fortress this season (6 wins from 6 games). Their away record is much less formidable – they've lost games away to the Bulldogs, Sharks and Cowboys, and the teams they've beaten away from home (Cowboys, Eels, Knights and Raiders) are all outside the top eight. The Roosters aren't firing, but they're better than the teams the Panthers have beaten on the road this year. That said the Panthers should be the favourites here...I'm just not tipping them. Gosh I'm confusing sometimes.

Verdict – Roosters by 4

Result – Roosters 32 defeated Panthers 6

Canterbury Bulldogs vs Gold Coast Titans – Saturday afternoon – Belmore Sports Ground

A short turnaround for the Bulldogs but they will take plenty of positives out of their narrow loss to the Dragons on Monday. The Titans have lost Jarrod Wallace this weekend and the Bulldogs aren't short of big forwards. Given the venue I expect the Dogs can grind out a victory in the old fashioned way.

Verdict – Bulldogs by 4

Result – Titans 32 defeated Bulldogs 10

St George Illawarra Dragons vs Manly Sea Eagles – Saturday night – WIN Stadium

Just three teams have beaten the Dragons this season, and they are second, third and fourth on the NRL ladder. That's pretty good form. Manly gave their backers hope for a while there, but it was clearly a false dawn. I imagine they'll jag a win here and there throughout the remainder of the season, but finals football is beyond them. Winning this game is beyond them too.

Verdict – Dragons by 14

Result – Dragons 32 defeated Sea Eagles 8

Cronulla Sharks vs Brisbane Broncos – Saturday night – Southern Cross Group Stadium

I thought the Broncos were competitive enough against the Storm while the Sharks took an age to get over the Tigers last weekend. Darius Boyd plays his 150th NRL game this weekend (I'm surprised it's not more) and he'll be focusing on the Broncos from here on in. That Broncos bench has enough size in it to match the Sharks pack. An upset on the cards.

Verdict – Broncos by 2

Result – Broncos 20 defeated Sharks 16

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

Much interest here will be in the battle of the fullbacks, with Ponga looking likely as the long term replacement for Billy Slater as the QLD (and probably Australian) fullback for many years to come. He's doing some incredible things in a struggling team. These sides met in round six and the Storm gave the Knights a footballing lesson. Another schooling looks the logical outcome.

Verdict – Storm by 14

Result – Storm 28 defeated Knights 10

Wests Tigers vs Canberra Raiders – Sunday afternoon – Campbelltown Stadium

The Raiders have been in five close games this season and lost four of them. They can be a frustrating team to support. Those frustrated fans welcome back Josh Hodgson on Sunday, but it may take him a while to regain anything like the form we have seen from him previously. Given the venue I expect the Tigers to make a game of this, and if it's close I can't tip the Raiders so it's Luke Brooks with the field goal and...

Verdict – Tigers by 1

Result – Raiders 48 defeated Tigers 12

Wally Lewis - round fifteen selections (in bold)

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

  • Eels vs RABBITOHS
  • Cowboys vs WARRIORS
  • ROOSTERS vs Panthers
  • BULLDOGS vs Titans
  • DRAGONS vs Sea Eagles
  • SHARKS vs Broncos
  • Knights vs STORM
  • TIGERS vs Raiders


Coach Potato's picture

I'm big enough to wear the Sticks and Stones by saying the biggest game this week is on Saturday night 8pm,

No - it's not Sharks v Broncos.

** Socceroos v France, Pool C, game 1, World Cup 2018 **

Who knows, I may even have some support from fellow proud Australians.

Baggy_Gee's picture

8 pm for a world cup game, how very kind of them to do that. Been years since I watched the cup as I'm not that functional at 2:62 AM and never see the end of the game.

christine's picture

Who do you think will win the grand final this season ? & to answer your question you asked the other day I started treatment for ms in may & have had two treatments so far so no more for six months now & my comment the other day about people making un wanted comments towards other people is a cowardly thing to do wasn't directed towards you it's in regards to the other person who keeps popping up from time to time that won't use there name & only uses anonymous but we all have a good idea who that is & we just try to ignore it , i'm going 7 from 8 this week if dragons get up but cowboys let me down that's two teams I won't tip anymore this season eels & cowboys there killing me with tipping them but you have to pick one of them when they play against each other if only you can forfeit those games ...

Mary S's picture

I developed an interest in soccer when my father and I used to watch the UK matches on TV and 'rag' each other as to who would win!! They are fond memories.

Two young grandchildren are involved in the local soccer comp.

Will be interesting to see how young Daniel Arzani (19) performs.

The ** Socceroos v France, Pool C, game 1, World Cup 2018 **match is listed in the TV guide as 7pm on SBS but I guess there is all the entertainment, welcomes, etc first.

Coach Potato's picture

If there’s a team that worries me, it’s Sharks. I know my Panthers will be there til at least week 2 because hard to see them missing top4. If we get Mansour back soon we will looking ok

BigPeteBx's picture

Rip Snorter Coach with World Cup Football - 2018.
Totally the opposite to what you and I came to tender grips about, in your last term here, where you commented about my veering away from the rugby code.
But yes, I know, it is Australia and anything Australia, The Great Sebago Mulgoa Pontiac, will be in on it.
Hope we go well, even if only in the preliminary stages and good to see you taking a liking to the round ball, not that a lot like the style and acting/diving, that at times goes on, but I also deplore it. Skill therein the code, is another topic.
Cheers and keep well - Big Pete

christine's picture

No worries coach thanks for the reply...

BigPeteBx's picture

Looking forward to it Mary - great & fond memories and keep those close. I go back to Ken Wolstenholme & Jimmy Hill presenters of Match of the Day. Great to listen to, much like rugby leagues Frank Hyde, Rex Mossop and John O'Reilly - they knew their game well.

We've spoken about your grandchildren before and I hope they are going extra well in their competitions.

Arzani is the youngest going around and I only hope they don't try hacking him out of the game. Oppositions from some Sth American nations, have been known to do it. A good talent on the rise, for us in Oz. France has one player who is probably the whole cost value of our Socceroos, but we'll venture on, as though nothing stands in our way. It's the world stage now and Socceroos will need to play better than they did, in qualifying rounds.

Cheers - keep well and have a good week.
Big Pete

a's picture

Coach do the Rabbitohs worry you

christine's picture

How long did siebold sign a contract with souths to coach them for ???

christine's picture

"a" Yes souths playing against Penrith in a grand final wouldn't surprise me at all ...

pabdul's picture

Hi Christine
A bit worried about TAD as he hasn’t posted for a while though his tips are up to date
I can tell u that seibold signed for 2 yrs

Coach Potato's picture

Mary S,
7pm if you need an hour of the pre-game stuff.

Coach Potato's picture

Dragons back on top by 1 point for/against.

christine's picture

Thanks for the reply I appreciate it , Thinker do you know what has happened to TAD & can you please try to make contact with him to get TAD to resurface ...

Coach Potato's picture

France $1.22
Draw $6.50
Australia $13

13!? Lucky for some, I say.

mark ashford's picture

Sorry but I have little interest in the round ball game.
Probably more crooked than the last at Dapto dogs.
Coach if you think the Socceroo's can beat France you need to look at the round ball streaks you seem to favour.
I have a passing interest in the Spurs being UK born.

The Thinker's picture

Greetings football fans (all shapes)

I have updated the NRL ladder and the tipping comp. The ladder was interesting this week - there was just one change from round 14 to round 15. First and second swapped places, and only because of one solitary point. Every other team stayed still.

Plenty of tipsters with 7 from 8s in round fourteen – it was the Cowboys that let most of us down. The tipping comp is as open as the NRL comp, with just five points separating 1st through to 17th. Prizes for the top five this year (I think I said top five...can't remember now).

As you can obviously see the round 15 page is already right here. Back to our usual Thursday night start. I'll have my previews and tips published on Tuesday night.

We got lucky with the timing of that Australian game and the timeslot. No idea why it's on when it's on but I'm sure they didn't do it for us. All the other games are on at the more usual world cup times. Countries don't win back-to-back world cups often (once before I think) but Germany look the winner I say.

All the best

a's picture

You should put a Scottie World Cup thinker

a's picture

You should put a Soccer World Cup page thinker

a's picture

Yeah come back on TAD please comment

Mary S's picture

Hi 'a'
I can imaging Thinker going grey (if he isn't already), at the idea of another page with a different style of football (Soccer World Cup).

Fancy having to feed us with more information!! Poor man would never get any time to himself!

christine's picture

In case your not aware of it darius boyd has announced his retirement tonight from rep footy after his origin snub , just thought I would share the news ...

christine's picture

Darius Boyd announced his retirement from rep footy about 9.00pm tonight ...

Coach Potato's picture

a, I'm not worried about the Cowboys, but several others too many to name. Souths are obviously in the list.

No worries Mark, assumed it wouldn't appeal to all. Was moreso to let people know it was on, if they were interested.

Rocket Ryan's picture

Hey Christine any idea when they plan to let the members know

tigerholic's picture

Rocket Ryan

Do you need some tissues for the loss of Darius the sook Boyd.

What a joke, what a way for him to announce his retirement from Rep footy, it looks a lot like a dummy spit, see ya later Darius, I hope his dad Wayne advised him first.

Queensland are showing themselves as dummy spitters.

Have a good week folks


christine's picture

Rocket ryan
Darius did let the members know last night on fox sport , ch 7 , home page on msn , the sports section nrl news & it's even posted at the bottom of this page if you care to check but as to why darius didn't inform you personally I don't really know ...

christine's picture

Coach just saw a tweet claiming peter Wallace has announced his shock retirement ...

The Annoying Devil's picture

Hi Christine pabdul & co
Thanks for the concern but I’m fine. Had to return to Ireland to sort out some family matters been back a week and wanted to post but I was waiting for coach mania to slow down. I like his comments well done pabdul to work out 1995 as a non streak year
I’ve been asked have I been hiding with Adolf in Argentina or visiting Elvis on his pacific island though that wouldn’t be too bad
Anyway talk soon

Mary S's picture

Good to see you back TAD

pabdul's picture

Good to see you well TAD
Your bunnies seem to do better when your away there even on top of coaches 99% streak meter
You mentioned two conspiracy theories which may of been true but can now be put to bed and we probably will never know as Hitler would be about 120 so he’s already in hell and Elvis he’d be 83 and gets spotted every time someone sees a fat old dude with side burns near Gracelands
But what I’m hearing he’s gone too
I heard he fell in a trap and couldn’t walk out

Christine 's picture

Glad your back TAD , what's your thoughts on a South's / penrith Grand Final?

The Annoying Devil's picture

Thanks Mary
And pabdul just as mr Humphries once said “your are awful but I like you”

The Annoying Devil's picture

Its a real possibility but the hard part for Penrith is getting there because if they make the Grand Final they win it
I’m confident that Souths can match any backline but the only pack that can out muscle the burgess trio is Penrith
They main thing is if Souths make it you know the opponent needs 20+ points to beat them

mark ashford's picture

TAD nice to see you back here.
Padbul that was a classic Elvis funny mate.

Dragons-fanboy's picture

Hello everyone, my tips for this week are:

Rabbitohs by 10 - The Rabbits to continue on their run with a win over the Eels here.

Warriors by 6 - Warriors to beat the Cowboys in a close one here.

Roosters by 4 - Game of the round for me. Both of these are classy and talented teams who've shown plenty this season. But I reckon the Roosters forwards will win the forwards battle and I think that the Roosters will just have more attacking flair in the backs to finish off and with the crowd behind them, coming up with a massive win at home.

Bulldogs by 14 - The Bulldogs are back to Belmore. How good is that!!!!!!!!! I reckon that the Bulldogs will get up in this one in front of the Belmore faithful and will come home with a big win over the Titans here.

Dragons by 12 - The mighty Dragons to get the win here over Manly here back at Wollongong.

Sharks by 2 - The Sharks to continue on their magnificent form with a thrilling win over the Broncos here.

Storm by 18 - I expect the Storm to be too strong for the Knights here.

And finally... Raiders by 1 - Raiders to finally get a tight win in golden point. I don't think too many points will be scored here. My prediction is a 15-14, 11-10 or 9-8 type of scoreline in this one in favour of the Raiders. Both teams need the win but I feel that the Raiders will be more vulnerable and need the win more if they are any chance of making the 8.

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

Coach Potato's picture

christine, was a much bigger possibility in 2014, until the NRL decided it's ok for away teams to host the Prelim final.

With Dragons, Panthers, Sharks, playing finals at possibly Roosters and Rabbitohs home ground, it will surely break the Internet.

mark ashford's picture

Coach I for one was extremely disappointed when the Broncs let Wallace go, thought he was one of their best and has more than proved me right with his performances at Penrith.
Retiring due to various injuries.
Amused that you and Tiger have chosen to attack Darrius Boyd.
He has been a great player for the Broncs, Qld & Aus but has been worried by injuries (mainly achilles) for the past year.
Retiring from rep footy due to injuries.
What is the difference? Oh he's a Qlder that must be it.
Have a listen to what ALL the Fox NRL jocks are saying about Darrius.
I think he has earned a little respect.

The Thinker's picture

Great career Peter Wallace....great person too.

He does share one thing in common with Darius Boyd actually - neither man ever met their father.

mark ashford's picture

Now to the real issues.
The NRL has announced a crack down on late hits and foul play with sin bins rather than penalties and "on reports" from this weekend on.
Have a look at Charlie Gubb's late hit on Nathan Cleary.
Fortunately Nathan wasn't injured but could have resulted in a broken leg...Nathan out for the rest of the season.
Penalty and Gubb out for two weeks.
Who benefits? the clubs who play the Raiders in the next two weeks.
Not the Panthers
Too bad if the Panthers lost the game due to the loss of Cleary.
They didn't but it could have happened.
This is a long overdue rule to protect our smaller playmakers and I salute the NRL for their action.

The Annoying Devil's picture

Thinker if you don’t make father plural then they have the same father?

mark ashford's picture

Thinker, I knew Darrius had a very troubled childhood. Brought up by his Grandmother on the Gold Coast. Explains his attachment to Wayne Bennet who became a father figure you NSW disrespectful Muppets.
Didn't know Pete Wallace also went through that hardship.
More accolades to him.

The Thinker's picture


Fair point...although I suppose it is possible that they do.

The Annoying Devil's picture

Surely Wayne couldn’t of fathered both?

The Annoying Devil's picture

Thinker do you remember Scott Minto
I reckon he’s Bennett’s son

Coach Potato's picture

As much as I hate to admit it, Wallace has looked like he's playing on one leg for a while. My eyes weren't deceiving me. He was.

Still he's been a great half / turned hooker, and never seen a guy kick goals with a softer touch. He was also a fair leader. Toughness led him to be so. (My tip on how to pick your team Captain: just pick the toughest two and toss a coin). If you think your Captain is one of the toughest two in your team, be happy with that structure. If you don't rate your Captain in the toughest two, then you may need to wait for injury, retirement, or mutiny for things to change.

Wallace has also given cohesion to a once disjointed unit, and won't be overlooked in my view, when crediting any future Panthers success.

Having never known who his father was, he is truly a credit to his late mum, and a credit to the Penrith community, his home town.

a's picture

Yeah I will miss Peter Wallace he was a great player and playing though a ACL for 2 years is Amazing

Baggy_Gee's picture

I think the issue with Boyd's retirement is that Smith and the other guys announced that they were out at either the start or the end of the rep season. Not once it became apparent that Billy might be out for game 2. He could have called time at the start of the SoO, as it stands it seems that its a dummy spit not a measured choice based on form/injuries/age.


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