Round five selections

Three things The Thinker learned in round four

  1. Not so much a new learning but a reminder – if you backed every outsider in every game for the first five rounds you would make a profit, and it's been a profitable strategy for many a season.
  2. The commentators criticising the penalty count are the same commentators that have been telling referees to clean up the ruck for years.
  3. Since the expansion of the NRL outside Sydney I doubt we have ever had an NRL ladder with the Storm outside the top four and all three QLD teams outside the top eight. Is the dominance of the Sunshine State coming to an end?

Canberra Raiders vs Canterbury Bulldogs – Thursday night – GIO Stadium

Ricky Stuart doesn't criticise his players very often, but he did last week. It made for riveting viewing at the post-match press conference as the coach ripped in while his captain sat beside. He's backed up the words with actions too, dropping Papalii from the starting seventeen. With the Raiders back at home I expect a better effort, and you would hope they have learned that they can't stop playing with ten minutes to go. Hard to split these two, but home ground advantage and the injury to under-rated Bulldog Aiden Tolman leaves me feeling green.

Verdict – Raiders by 2

Result – Raiders 26 defeated Bulldogs 10

Cronulla Sharks vs Sydney Roosters – Friday night – Southern Cross Group Stadium

Trent Hodkinson gets shunted to the seconds after steering the Sharks to successive victories. He's replaced by Moylan, who is 0 from 2 in a Sharks jumper. There's some chance Dugan returns for the Sharrks also, but official confirmation hasn't come through just yet. The Sharks ground their way to victory over the defending premiers during the Easter weekend in one of the more unwatchable sporting events I've seen in quite some time. It was ugly, but they won, and no team knows more about winning ugly than the Sharks. The Roosters big loss to the Warriors was baffling indeed. No changes from their coach to the seventeen, giving his troops an opportunity to show that round four was an anomaly. I'm tempted to trust him, but tipsters should note that I don't need too many excuses to tip against the Sharks.

Verdict – Roosters by 1

Result – Roosters 28 defeated Sharks 10

St George Illawarra Dragons vs South Sydney Rabbitohs – Friday night – Jubilee Oval

Undefeated and sitting atop the NRL ladder, the Dragons have scored more points than every other team and only the Tigers have conceded less points. The new halves pairing is working a treat and James Graham has made a very good pack even better. In a competition where getting half the games right makes you a genius, this is one game which almost picks itself. The Rabbitohs have named Sam Burgess, but his two game suspension rules him out. Memo for Mary McGregor – Wayne Bennett wants Ben Hunt back.

Verdict – Dragons by 16

Result – Dragons 16 defeated Rabbitohs 12

Wests Tigers vs Melbourne Storm – Saturday afternoon – Mt Smart Stadium

Memo to Ivan Cleary – Wayne Bennett wants Benji Marshall back too. It's only round five but the Storm and Tigers are meeting for the second time after the Tigers surprised everyone including themsevles with their victory over the purple machine in Melbourne in round two. Captain Cameron (Cranky) Smith was sent to the bin for the first time in about 38,000 days and it doesn't look like the referees are going to stop blowing the whistle anytime soon. Cranky and Bellyache may have to come up with a new strategy. There's plenty of former Warriors sporting stripes for the Tigers now (Lolohea, Packer, Godinet, Matulino) but there's quite a few Kiwis in that Storm pack that will feel at home in Auckland. I've pointed out previously that the Storm don't lose two games in a row very ofteb (although the last time I pointed it out I still didn't tip them). It's the only reason I'm leaning purple...but only just.

Verdict – Storm by 2

Result – Tigers 11 defeated Storm 10

New Zealand Warriors vs North Queensland Cowboys – Saturday night – Mt Smart Stadium

A bumper crowd should be on hand for the Mt Smart double=header and my only concern about tipping the Warriors is their history of losing games they are expected to win. History is a good guide but recent performances would suggest that this Warriors team is a little different. Shaun Johnson and Simon Mannering return to a side that put the Chooks to the sword. The Cowboys were pedestrian at best in round four and they haven't been great all season. Thurston appears a yard slower. I'm reluctant to criticise a champion of the game, but it looks to me like his best is behind him. I hope I'm wrong. I really do.

Verdict – Warriors by 16

Result – Warriors 22 defeated Cowboys 12

Newcastle Knights vs Brisbane Broncos – Saturday night – McDonald Jones Stadium

The Broncos coould easily be 0 from 4 this season, but for Scott Bolton running into a goalpost and a tryless victory (and a dubious penalty) against the Tigers. Their loss to the Titans was their worst performance thus far, and I'm not sure what levers Bennett can pull to change their fortunes. Pengai Jnr and Oates return for the visitors which helps. Some are calling for Milford to be switched to fullback but Bennett doesn't like being told what to do so I can't see it happening. Broncos winger Isaako has been caught out defensively a few times now – watch for Mitchell Pearce to target his edge. Kenny-Dowall is the man you want to be backing in try-scoring markets.

Verdict – Knights by 4

Result – Knights 15 defeted Broncos 10

Gold Coast Titans vs Manly Sea Eagles – Sunday afternoon – Marley Brown Oval

I've looked it up so you don't have to – Marley Brown Oval is in Gladstone. While the Broncos were awful it was the Titans that made them look that way. They appear to have their forward pack sorted now, with Wallace and James up front and Arrow locking the scrum. If those Titans forwards do the job Ash Taylor is the halfback that can finish the job (a memo from Wayne Bennett is on its way). Another good win for the Sea Eagles last weekend but that was at Brookvale and the injury to Tom Trbojevic is a big loss. Remember that backflip by Cherry-Evans who had agreed to terms with the Titans and then went back to the Sea Eagles? I wonder if a dubious third-party offer is what kept him at Manly, and I wonder what sort of seasons the Titans may have had if Cherry-Evans moved to the Coast. I can only wonder I suppose.

Verdict – Titans by 8

Result – Titans 32 defeated Sea Eagles 20

Parramatta Eels vs Penrith Panthers – Sunday afternoon – ANZ Stadium

The Eels were top four in 2017 and in 2018 they are 0 from 4 – I assume it's the curse of Jarryd Hayne. In round one the Panthers beat the Eels 24-14 and I see no reason why this game would be any different. The Eels are missing firepower in the backline and James Maloney has stepped up in the absence of Nathan Cleary for the Panthers. Could the NSW Blues name Pearce and Maloney in the halves again this season? Oh yes they could.

Verdict – Panthers by 10

Result – Panthers 12 defeated Eels 6

Wally Lewis - round five selections (in bold)

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

  • Raiders vs BULLDOGS
  • SHARKS vs Roosters
  • DRAGONS vs Rabbitohs
  • Tigers vs STORM
  • Warriors vs COWBOYS
  • Knights vs BRONCOS
  • Titans vs SEA EAGLES
  • Eels vs PANTHERS


tigerholic's picture

Well done to those tipsters at the top and above half way on the tipping comp. It has been 4 weeks of upsets and for those of you with 16 and above "Congrats"

Have a great week, go the "Mighty Tigers"

Mary S's picture

Don't forget tipsters - its a double header in NZ (Mt Smart Stadium)for round 5.
Wests Tigers/Storm,
Good luck this week

Dragons-fanboy's picture

Hello everyone, my tips for this week are:

Raiders by 4 - Raiders to get their first win over the Bulldogs in a close one.

Roosters by 8- Roosters to bounce back over the Sharks here.

Dragons by 10- The mighty Dragons to continue marching on this season here with a win over the Rabbits in a cracking game.

Storm by 6- Storm rarely lose two in a row and should beat the in form Tigers here.

Cowboys by 7- I believe that the Cowboys will kickstart their season here with a win over the Warriors. Warriors to suffer their first loss here.

Broncos by 12 - Broncos to bounce back here with a win over the Knights.

Titans by 2 - Titans to get back to back wins in a close one. Manly have had an inconsistent start to the season winning their away game and playing well at home. I think that it'll continue here.

And finally... Eels by 1 - Eels to finally get their first win of the season here with an extra time win I reckon.

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

Dragons-fanboy's picture

Sorry for Manly, I meant losing their away games.


Sa-wat-dee krup,

The RL gods are sitting around laughin’ at me and teaching me yet another lesson(s). Crikey! Having a horror start to this years’ tipping I can tell ya! What’s going to make it a little more challenging is the fact that Newbie’s heading off to Bali tomorrow for a friend’s Hindu wedding. Just hope I can fit in a game or two in between the week long festivities.

No time for match reviews or analysis to help me with my tips this week so all I can do is get into it, right here, right now…

Sharks (yeah, it hurts to do this)

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

It’s “Song of the Week” time again…

Can’t be that bad – has over 17 million views so far. And yeah, I seem to remember I had a huge crush on the backup singer in the blue silk top…

Cheers y'all...

Special Request Thinker and/or TLH

As mentioned in my previous post, I’ll be in Bali tomorrow (Wed) and more than likely won’t have internet access so can I whack up my tips for Round 6 here?

- Roosters
- Storm
- Dragons
- Warriors
- Cowboys
- Raiders
- Panthers
- Manly

If one of you kind gentlemen could “fanagle” this for me it would be greatly appreciated. So much so that I’d be willing to have a few Bintangs on your behalf. Sound like a good deal?

P.S. Seeing as I won’t be here next week and seeing as how much Mr Ashford looks forward to my “Song of the Week” (ha-ha), I thought I’d put up next week’s here this week. Cheers…

Spoiler: This talented lady wrote this when she was just 13 and first recorded it when she was just 16. Awesome stuff indeed…

Cheers y'all and see ya in a couple...

The Thinker's picture

Afternoon Newbie

I'll make sure your round 6 tips are included. Have a great holiday my good man. I'm sure you've earned it.

All the best

The Thinker

mark ashford's picture

Enjoy that holiday and wedding celebrations mate.
I'm sure all here at "The Thinker" wish your friend all the very best.
Stomp all night was interesting but did you miss the girl in the orange top next to your fancy? Very nice too.
I'm certain you know it but revisit George Benson's Broadway...worth another listen.
Had a quick peek at round 6 clip. Mate KB has always been a favourite.

Mary S's picture

Have a great time Newbie - hear from you in a couple of weeks!

Mary S's picture

Hi 'a'
Hope TC Iris is not giving Bowen a really rough time - keep safe.

To any other posters who are feeling the effects of the cyclone - keep safe too.

a's picture

Mary S hopefully it doesn't have effect us but I'm keeping an eye on it

Taka's picture

My tips for round 5;

Bulldogs by 8
Sharks by 2
Dragons by 6
Tigers by 7
Warriors by 14
Knights by 16
Titans by 18
Panthers by 10

Enjoy your footy..!


Baggy_Gee's picture

Great News everyone, I have put my tips in and therefore the curse of death on all the home teams this round. Tip them at your own peril.

Hardyards's picture

Since I cannot do any worse, my picks for this round.
Cowboys (C’mon Boys, get it together)
Congratulations to your team, Steel Panther, they are playing out of their skins and you can watch every week for a win, with a huge chance of getting it. Must be an awesome feeling - finally. Good luck to them this year mate
JT will get his MOJO back!!!

a's picture

Here are my tips

Raiders by 2 I think the Raiders will get on top of the Bulldogs

Roosters by 2 I think the Roosters will bounce back against the Sharks

Dragons by 10 I think the Dragons will continue their form here

West Tigers by 4 I think the West Tigers will get 2 games against the Storm here

Warriors by 10 As much as I hate to do this but I don't think I can tip Cowboys against a inform Warriors side with Manning and Johnson back

Broncos by 2 I think Broncos will get Knights in a thriller here

Titans by 1 I think the Titans will go 3-2 here

Panthers by 2 I think the Panthers will continue Eels woes here

Tonka1957's picture

Hello All..
Just signed up and yep it has been a tough start to the season.
For what its worth here are my rd. 5 picks. This site has a great friendly vibe!!
Canberra by 1
Sharks by 4
Dragons by 18
Storm by 7
Cowboys by 1
Broncos by 10
Titans/Manly a Draw
Panthers by 4

Good luck everyone!

Steel Panther's picture

'A' I can't believe you tipped against your beloved Cowboys!!

Thanks Hardyards. Yes Warriors going well so far but I will take a lot more convincing before I can consider them as the real deal in 2018. Your team this weekend provides a very stern test & I expect they will be fired up after a disappointing start. I can see a close result either way but not the Thinkers Warriors by 16 margin. Weather is expected to be good. Take care

The Annoying Devil's picture

Hey steel
Warriors will need probably 28 points so with the 2 byes and with your usual losing streak of 10 games to finish the season I reckon you need 8 of the other 10 to make it
Waimarie pai
Good luck in Maori

a's picture

I just not feeling very confident in them but I hope I'm wrong

a's picture

And if I was still in my 3 strike comp I would of actually tipped the Warriors not joking ever

Steel Panther's picture

Come on's only 9 games not

Brad S's picture

Another tough week of tipping ahead. My tips for this round are:

Brad S's picture

Made a mistake just then. Wasn't thinking when I wrote Parramatta (no offence Parra fans). Penrith to win.

tigerholic's picture

Morning All
This week presents a few difficult decisions in the tipping. I have been waiting patiently for Rocket to put his tips in as he is the current leader and Guru of tipping thus far this year.

Come on Rocket, there are thousands of fans waiting for your wisdom and depth of knowledge before tipping this week.

I just read that Shaun Johnson did not play last week against the Roosters, that makes that win even more impressive, hard to tip against the Warriors again this week given the poor form of the Cowboys.

Good luck to all, tip well and enjoy the greatest game of all.


a's picture

Yeah you're right Tigerholic it's hard to tip against the Warriors with Cowboys poor form

Islander's picture

OK Lets try this again.

Bulldogs by 6
Sharks by 18
Rabbitohs by 4
Storm by 4
Cowboys by 4
Knights by 10
Sea eagles by 6
Panthers by 20

good luck everyone with your tips (doesn't seem to get any easier, does it)

ESRA STAR 's picture

Hi Mr Thinker,,,can't seem to find the tipping link again mate.

ESRA STAR 's picture

In case you don't get my message in time.

tigerholic's picture

Come on Rocket Ryan, it's almost kick off? Where are your tips?

Esra Star's picture

Ahh,,delete all reference Mr Thinker.i didn't realise i had to log in every time. I thought if i hadn't logged out i was always on.

Esra Star's picture

Why,i orta moiderize ya!!

mark ashford's picture

Thinker or TLH
I'm getting everyones posts into my junk mail.
I did ask for notification during the off season but it's becoming a bit much. Can you fix this?

christine 's picture

My tips rd 5
raiders but if dogs get up I wouldn't be surprised
storm but I expect tigers to put a spanner in the works for this one

The Thinker's picture

Evening Mark

I've turned them off for you now.

All the best

The Thinker

p.s. don't stop Raiders....for goodness sake don't stop

Baggy_Gee's picture

I need them to stop, my margin is 14 for tonight. Unconverted try is needed.

a's picture

Raiders have won their first game Bulldogs are crap

christine 's picture

Johnny Ray If you looking in on this site at all your warriors are doing you proud bro ...

mark ashford's picture

Thanks Thinker.
Good effort by the Raiders last night.
Didn't Ricky looked relieved.

a's picture

Good game by the Roosters

a's picture

Wow Tigers beat Storm twice

Steel Panther's picture

More of a wow is Warriors 5 from 5!!!

Baggy_Gee's picture

Hoping some of the luck crosses the ditch for Sunday.

a's picture

I think Cowboys will turn their season around with 3 home games

a's picture

Why are you late updating this week Thinker

NRL tipping is easier if you follow the NRL news