Round nine selections

Three things The Thinker learned in round eight

  1. I thought the Broncos had a future star in Tevita Pangai Jnr, and they probably do, but the star of Payne Haas will shine brighter still.
  2. If the salary cap penalty doesn't de-rail the Sea Eagles season their home ground will.
  3. Two high profile AFL coaches are under scrutiny at the minute. There is no doubt in my mind that the scrutiny would be much harsher if we were talking about two high profile NRL coaches.

Brisbane Broncos vs Canterbury Bulldogs – Thursday night – Suncorp Stadium

Andrew McCullough returns early from an elbow issue – he's either a quick healer or a sucker for punishment. The timing is fortuitous with Josh McGuire likely to miss six weeks with an ankle injury. If McCullough plays and lasts the 80 minutes I think the Broncos can get home, but don't be surprised if Klemmer or Woods decide to give his elbow a decent workout. The only time the Bulldogs have looked good this season was against the Cowboys, and that form is questionable at best.

Verdict – Broncos by 8

Result – Broncos 22 defeated Bulldogs 20

Newcastle Knights vs South Sydney Rabbitohs – Friday night – McDonald Jones Stadium

What makes the Knights impressive start to the season all the more impressive is that they've played just two of their first eight games at home. They haven't lost in Newcastle yet (beating Manly and Brisbane) so we can expect a bumper crowd on Friday night. Mitchell Pearce won't be there but it didn't stop them last week, but beating the Bunnies looks a tougher challenge than beating the Sea Eagles. The Bunnies have played some good footy over the last month. They might have won just two of their last four, but narrow losses to the Dragons and the Broncos isn't bad form. Hard to split these two but...

Verdict – Rabbitohs by 2

Result – Rabbitohs 36 defeated Knights 18

Penrith Panthers vs North Queensland Cowboys – Friday night – Carrington Park (Bathurst)

BigPete country hosts another NRL game this Friday night and there'll be a chill in the air the Cowboys haven't had to contend with in season 2018 thus far. The injuries are mounting for Penrith with Dylan Edwards unavailable for an extended period. Watene-Zelezniak borrows the number one jersey in the interim. Peter Wallace returns at hooker and brings maturity, solid defence and a kicking game. These sides met in round four and the Panthers won in a canter (33-14) on Townsville. The Cowboys have improved since then but I doubt they've improved enough.

Verdict – Panthers by 4

Result – Cowboys 26 defeated Panthers 20

Canberra Raiders vs Gold Coast Titans – Saturday afternoon – GIO Stadium

These two met back in round one where the Raiders appeared to have the game in hand but were run down in the last ten minutes. That was quite the trend for Canberra for a while. They've been a more complete outfit in the last month, winning three from four including two at home where they conceded just 12 points. I expect they'll win again.

Verdict – Raiders by 10

Result – Raiders 32 defeated Titans 18

New Zealand Warriors vs Wests Tigers – Saturday night – Mt Smart Stadium

The Warriors are back at home where they have lost just once this season. The last time they played at Mt Smart was probably their most impressive – a 20-12 victory over the Dragons and a defensive effort we almost never see across the dutch. The Warriors also welcome back Shaun Johnson, Tohu Harris and Solomone Kata this weekend...handy inclusions. They've had plenty of time to bounce back from that big loss to the Storm on ANZAC Day and bounce back they will.

Verdict – Warriors by 4

Result – Warriors 26 defeated Tigers 4

Cronulla Sharks vs Parramatta Eels – Saturday night – Southern Cross Group Stadium

The Eels scored six points or less four times through the early rounds of the season, but in the last fortnight they've racked up 68 points in attack. Things are starting to gel. The Sharks have named Wade Graham but a fitness test beckons – I expect he will start. Josh Dugan has four-six weeks to find some skin to ink while his foot heels, with Valentine Holmes slotting in at fullback. Holmes has made no secret of his desire to play there permanently. He'll leave Cronulla if he has to, so look for a bold showing as he tries to secure a new contract somewhere. These sides met in round three where the Sharks won 14-4, but I think the Eels have lifted since then. Visiting teams rarely come away from Cronulla on a Saturday night with a win but...

Verdict – Eels by 4

Result – Sharks 22 defeated Eels 20

St George Illawarra Dragons vs Melbourne Storm – Sunday afternoon – Jubilee Oval

It's clearly the game of the round but those without pay television will miss out (seriously Channel Nine...Thinker shakes head). Both teams come to this game well rested after dominant performances on ANZAC Day. The Dragons are unchanged from last week and have been virtually unchanged all season. Clearly luck with injuries plays a part in a teams success but it's much more than that with the Red V. Much much more. The last two weeks from the Storm have been freaking unbelievable, and it blows my tiny tiny mind that I'm not tipping them. Why you may ask. No Jesse Bromwich and no Tim Glasby is why. This Dragons pack is a ripper, and with a home crowd pushing them on I think they can win that tussle. What a game though (seriously Channel Nine...Thinker shakes head).

Verdict – Dragons by 1

Result – Dragons 34 defeated Storm 14

Sydney Roosters vs Manly Sea Eagles – Sunday afternoon – Allianz Stadium

Trent Barrett has been scouring garage sales and gumtree looking for footballers and has managed to cobble together a team of seventeen for this weekend. It may very well include Jackson Hastings, which is probably the most interesting thing about this game. The Roosters have had a few extra days to prepare for this, and their performance against the Dragons wasn't bad. They probably can't win a premiership, but they're good enough to win this.

Verdict – Roosters by 10

Result – Roosters 22 defeated Sea Eagles 20

Wally Lewis - round nine selections (in bold)

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

  • BRONCOS vs Bulldogs
  • Knights vs RABBITOHS
  • PANTHERS vs Cowboys
  • RAIDERS vs Titans
  • WARRIORS vs Tigers
  • Sharks vs EELS
  • Dragons vs STORM
  • ROOSTERS vs Sea Eagles


The Thinker's picture

Greetings football fans... I’m on the road for a couple of days so may not have the ladder and tipping comp updated until Tuesday night. Apologies for the delay.

Baggy_Gee's picture

Drive safe and enjoy your break.

Graham's picture

Question for you all to think about and respond! How did Wests Tigers beat Melbourne Storm this season twice and could not beat a Team Eels who until last week had not won a game all season and now they have two? I look forward to reading your thoughts :)

Baggy_Gee's picture

The Eels are not as bad as results indicate. It was a massive downwards spiral, the more they lost, the harder they tried, which less to more losses. Same as manly it was a mental as well as physical, but a win, some players back it all starts to come good.

The Annoying Devil's picture

The eels
Were as bad as the results indicated
I went to their home games the forwards were getting smashed and their halves played like they had never met
But they finally came up against a team that were having more problems than themselves in manly and the revenge factor of having 50 put on them the last time they met and the return of their best player in gutherson who talks well from the back which tightens up their defence gave them the win they needed to get some confidence back
They took this into a game against the tigers where again looking for revenge from a loss already this season and did enough for the win
Remember the 2 wins have come at home this week away at shark park will give us a better indication where the eels are at

Graham's picture

Question for you all to think about and respond please!

During a game a team goes over the line, the Ref calls TRY but refers to box who says NO TRY so NO TRY is awarded. That is to understand that 1 says 1 things and the other the opposite, who is to say which is right, as no majority for either decision.

Should We have a 3rd official to settle with a 2-1 or 3-0 majority? That way both teams get a equal decision. The right one, we hope as games are won and lost by bad decisions.

Graham's picture

Question for you all to think about and respond please!

The 10 minute sin bin rule was there to punish teams that had players who done wrong sent off for 10 minutes. This season more teams that have had players sent off for 10 minutes have won. Does that possibly mean the player who has been sent off has had time to get refreshed and their Team has a player who maybe slowing down the team with their play so as a result without them may have only 12 playing but they don't have to wait for the one is slowing them down.

Take away the 10 minute sin bin rule, a sin bin rule should be rest of game as its a professional foul so should it be punished accordingly? No replacement, one must have a deterrent it might just work!

Baggy_Gee's picture

TAD my point exactly, mentally the eels had fallen apart, there was nothing physically wrong with everything. I spent the whole manly game waiting for them to check out and lose, but the expressions on the manly faces as they came out from half time said they had gone home already. Everyone who talked them up to me over the following week got let's see how they deal with a team playing good football. Spent the whole tigers game hoping we could get the job done. Your right Clint is talking and motivating everyone, even Kenny has his bounce back and hasn't given a stupid penalty away in the last two games. But yes at home is one thing away at shark park is another, but confidence begets wins, while successive losses kills motivation and cohesion.

The Annoying Devil's picture

Hey baggy
Remember your bold prediction was a smile from Wayne Bennett
Well when broncos got 10 in front I thought that I may of saw a smile
Anyway I sent it up to the bunker as a NO smile as I thought it was more of a smirk
After slowing it down and watching countless times there was insufficient evidence to over rule my live decision

Baggy_Gee's picture

Damn and blast it. I thought an away win in Sydney might do the trick. But he is a known smirker, probably looking at his bank balance during the game and counting the dollars as they rolled in, unlike wins from the Broncos this season.

Mary S's picture

Hi Graham,
My personal view on another referee is NO.
At one time (many moons ago) referees may have had their decision queried by the players in a very spirited fashion, but they had to go with it.
With the advent of technology, cameras/videos get all kinds of views that are replayed at the bunker, that may turn over a decision. This is called progress!!

In any sport I think it's harder to 'cheat' or slight-of- hand to gain advantage, however you like to phrase it, with the camera's around.

As people already moan about decisions going to the bunker, just imagine the performance if another person was thrown in the mix!!!!
Just my view as a novice to the sport!

a's picture

Well Baggy Eels will beat the Cowboys for sure if Cowboys keep playing the way they are

Graham's picture

Good points Mary, I would not say You are a novice, You make more sense then the current situation. I nominate You, Mary as our Ref, we only need one with You doing the job :)

Rob's picture

The Eels clicked...and will go on to bigger sights.

Mary S's picture

Mr Thinker,
Tigergirl submitted round 8 tips in the comments after the match had started on Anzac Day. Are they being included in the updated score?

Baggy_Gee's picture

Yes the BOYS clicked but my tipping hasn't, still circling the drain ATM. Let's see if they can beat teams on song two weeks straight first.

The Thinker's picture

Thanks Mary S

I will have a look

Taka's picture

My tips for round 9;

Bulldogs by 2
Rabbitohs by 7
Panthers by 12
Raiders by 10
Warriors by 4
Sharks by 2
Dragons by 6
Roosters by 18

Cheers...! :-)

ESRA STAR 's picture

I think the Broncos problem is that Boyd is no captain. They need to find a real leader that talks to the players on the field and directs them.

Baggy_Gee's picture

But who esra, but who McGuire and Glenn are quiet unless they are abusing people, Thaiday is on his last year the rest are too young. Maybe McCullough, but I think they are panicking and bringing him back underdone. I love the fact that with a average at best season so far everyone has Boyd pegged for origin.

mark ashford's picture

thanks for your comments but Mary S is correct that an onfield call of try (or no try) is made in real time whereas the bunker has several minutes to examine multiple replays in slo mo. A third "eye" would be a joke and a waste of more time.
Personally I would prefer no bunker just the on field decision and get on with it.
As to the 10 minute sin bin, well it becomes 12 v 13 for 10 minutes and up to the 13 to take advantage, doesn't always happen but that's what it's for. Complete send offs are a rarity these days but maybe should be used more often.

mark ashford's picture

Cowboys supporters.
Last year your team went deep into the finals without JT or Scott.
They are both back so where are the rest of the team putting in?
Lachlan Coote is not going well but where are the guys who did so well last year?

a's picture

I have no idea Mark their just not the same anymore

Mary S's picture

Hi Mark,
I do wonder, but might be right off the mark, how the Cowboys rallied behind Michael Morgan, and showed grit and determination because JT and Scott were injured, but now they are back, perhaps the urgency/mental preparedness has slipped for the remaining team members.

The team dynamics have changed and need a drastic turnaround if they are to recover that grit and determination for the remainder of the season.
I am hopeful, but not confident, they have found that, ready for this weekend!!
Cheers & best of luck to all with your tipping1

a's picture

Cowboys are tied last with Manly Bulldogs and Eels all 4 need to win to keep their season alive

ESRA STAR 's picture

Yeah,,but i am not sure he will get the nod this year,unless his game picks up.

Baggy_Gee's picture

Well GI is calling for it, Don't know how he is getting in either.

nola todd's picture

yes noticed that HA! id like to know as well even though im leading the pack by a bit

a's picture

Here are my tips

Broncos by 6 I think the Broncos will win their 2nd game at home for the season

Rabbitohs by 1 I have no idea who to tip in this game ummm Rabbitohs in golden point I guess not to confident but

Panthers by 30 Cowboys are absolutely no hope in this game they are going to finish last on the table

Raiders by 10 I think the Raiders will cause more headaches for the Titans

Warriors by 2 I think the Warriors will bounce back against the Tigers

Eels by 1 I think the Eels will win 3 on the dot against the Sharks

Dragons by 2 I think the Dragons will win the game of the round

Roosters by 20 I think Manly will also be down the bottom at season ends to

The Annoying Devil's picture

Wayne Bennett was asked today that Darius Boyd is down on form should he be included in qld origin team
Bennett said he’s improving every week and should be included.
Obvious answer from father regarding illigitamate son I thought

mark ashford's picture

I think it's a sad thing when we denigrate a great coach taking a troubled young man under his wing and mentoring him to becoming a successful RL player.
Darrius has been a great player for the Broncos and Qld.
His Achilles is still a problem but coming good.
Baring further injury he will play for the Maroons and excel.
Bennets private life has upset a lot of Qlders but I think it should be just that.....private.

Dragons-fanboy's picture

Hello everyone, my tips for this week are:

Broncos by 12 - Broncos to beat the Bulldogs here.

Rabbitohs by 10 - Rabbitohs to beat the Knights here in what should be a cracking game.

Panthers by 4 - I don't think that the Cowboys will kickstart their season here, I reckon the woes will continue for the time being, Panthers in a close one in a chilly Friday night at Bathurst.

Raiders by 8 - Raiders to continue on their form over the Titans here, Raiders to win at home.

Tigers by 2 - I'm going with the Tigers for the W here, they will grit their way to victory.

Eels by 6 - I'm going with another upset here and go with the Eels to go 3 in a row here.

Dragons by 1 - Geez, haven't we played some amazing footy this year, this time, I reckon we will make it all the way, this is our year. We're making the Prelims at least, and I'm not being biased. It's just what from what I have seen, think, feel and believe for us this year. This may be the grand final, you just never know. What I like about this season is how unpredictable this season has been. In what should be the game of the round, maybe even the game of the season. I'm going with my beloved Dragons in an absolute thriller.

And finally... Roosters by 20 - There's no other result that I think will happen, Roosters so badly need a win here and they should smash Manly here at home.

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

Rocket Ryan's picture

Darius Boyd may not at moment be fully fit but don't forget he is a........
State of Origin player
Premiership player
Captain of the Broncos

I dont need to add also a great

tigerholic's picture

Evening All

From a NSW perspective, pick Boyd please, it will be like have 14 players on the field.

Wayne Bennett along with some of last years Origin players are past their best, pass the baton boys.


newbie from perth's picture

Sa-wat-dee krup,

Game of the week! The Dragons vs Storm on Sunday should hopefully be a burster! Shame it’s not on free-to-air but the upside (for me anyway) is that I can sit back and watch my beloved BBB make amends for last week’s loss (cross fingers).

Broncos vs Bulldogs @ Suncorp
I thought the Rabbitohs were gonna get in last week but the Broncos managed to get some of their old magic back and get over the line. The Doggies started OK but their opposition proved a little too strong in the end. So, now the Broncos will have McGuire missing as well as Gillett. Don’t think that would matter much as they’d be full of confidence after last week and should be able to win this one at home.

Knights vs Rabbitohs @ McDonald
As I just mentioned, I thought Souths were gonna do alright last week but their second half let them down. An interesting stat I saw was that Souths have only won 3 times from their last 10 away games. The Knights still won without Pearce so that’s something to think about. At the start of the year I wouldn’t have thought the Knights would beat Manly twice and in the first 8 rounds as well. Mind you, Manly aren’t in the greatest of form so not sure how the Knights will fare against an obviously better side in Souths. The “bounce-back” factor has me tipping the Bunnies here.

Panthers vs Cowboys @ Carrington Park (where?)
The Panthers came back well last week against the Doggies but copped yet more injuries. How many is that now? I think it’s about 6, not sure. The Cowboys are a riddle. I’m not seeing much from them at the moment. Will it be an “annus horribilis” for them this year? Definitely won’t be an “annus mirabilis” the way they’re playing lately. Swings and roundabouts people. Swings and roundabouts. Having said that, they’d be desperate to win this wouldn’t they? For mine, the Panthers just seem too good, even with missing players and they should be able to do enough to get in over the Cowboys here.

Raiders vs Titans @ GIO
The Raiders “toughed” it out last week against the Cowboys. While they’re favourites in this game, it’s well to note that they have only won 5 out of 10 as home ground favourites. Makes ya wonder eh? OK, the Titans were pretty “brave” last week but unfortunately they have the worst defensive record in the NRL apparently. Does not auger well for them my friends. Not reading too much into their great comeback win against the Raiders in Round 1 though. I still think the Raiders should win this at home, even if their “home favourite” record suggests otherwise. Yeah, Green Machine for me.

Warriors vs Tigers @ Mt Smart
Last week, were the Warriors rubbish or were the Storm simply awesome? I reckon they might be a tad embarrassed about what the Storm did to them and they might just vent their frustration out on the Tiges. Maybe, maybe not. The Tigers lost another close one against Baggy’s BOYS and they too might have something to prove. But, at home and off a 10 day break, I’m tipping the Warriors to get back on track.

Sharks vs Eels @ Southern X
Tough one for me. They’ve both won their last 2. Formlines (in my opinion) are pretty close. I did like the way the Eels played last week. A great win against a very capable Tigers outfit. The Sharks on the other hand only managed to just scrape in and are still carrying a lot of injuries. No doubt the Sharks are a tough mob but I’m leaning ever so slightly towards the Eels here. Call them “butter” ‘cos they’re on a roll. Yeah, Baggy’s BOYS for me.

Dragons vs Storm @ Jubilee
This should be an absolute corker. Two in-form sides hopefully providing us all with a potentially blockbusting spectacle. The Dragons did it easy against my BBB last week (unfortunately) and it was hard not to notice what a great side they are. The Storm have taken a while to hit their straps but hit them they have. Last week was mighty impressive. They have a good current record against the Dragons too but will that be enough? I’m tossin’ a coin with this one but might have to go the Storm (only just) this week.

Roosters vs Manly @ Allianz
I’ll be settling down on the lounge Sunday arvo to watch my BBB hopefully bounce back with a win here. While the Roosters have their problems, Manly seem to have a few more. Not sure what they can do to get out of the rut they’re currently in. If they do, I hope it’s not this week (ha-ha). Hopefully my BBB can make use of their 11 day break and get up in this one. Yeah, of course they will. 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…

Nah, this can’t be right surely. Over 112 million views? Sheesh! Enjoy…

Cheers y’all…

Baggy_Gee's picture

Rocking song there newbie, made me think of several bands, which just prices how good music spawns other good bands. Loved the SOTW this time.

Frankenstein's picture

Hi All,
My Selections for Round 9;

Broncos - Return of the Mac
Knights - Ponga Man Of the Match at Home
Panthers - Cowboys yet to click
Raiders - Titans still looking for a five eight
Warriors - Desperate at Home
Eels - Team clicking nicely
Storm - On a roll
Roosters - Eagles dramas

Enjoy your footy!

mark ashford's picture

Hi Newbie
Missed me a bit on that one, not exactly on my playlist.
Thought the video was a bit tame (where were the pretty girls?)
But hey plenty like it. On it's way to 13 mill views!

mark ashford's picture

Newbie and the rest of you music lovers. Take a quick look at Michael Jacksons "smooth criminal"
A true master in motion.

christine's picture

My tips rd 9
I know the odds say souths but I just don't see them beating knights ...
Good luck with your tips everyone ...

BigPeteBx's picture

Hey Newbie - r u having me on, or just playing funny buggers about that Carrington Park for the Penrith v NQ Cows game.
Didn't you read the great intro, that Thinker gave it, in his predictions.
Gets fresh of an evening which Cowboys won't be used to. With Penrith having hot and cold games, I'm taking Cows to spring a surprise in this one. JT will have a lot of the crowd behind him, with the indigenous supporters here in full force. Maloney (Penrith) is a former Orange boy, just up the road 40minutes. Cowboys big players have to learn to support JT these days, in most likely his last days, as he is a marked man and oppositions target him.

Cheers and keep well - Big Pete from Big Pete Country.

Baggy_Gee's picture

That's not good for the ponies. That was soft, not as bad as the BOYS last week but close.

Baggy_Gee's picture

Good news, that's the average score for the bulldogs. Pack up and go home, the broncos are going to run away with it now.

a's picture

That is the 3 time this season that Broncos were lucky to come with the win they could easily be on a 2-7 if it wasn't for luck

Anonymous's picture

walk quietly to next week broncos. never seen them get more of a helping hand. never seen them need it more.

tigerholic's picture

Morning Folks

Even though I tipped the Broncos last night I have to disagree with the penalty that Darius Boyd got for his team, he was never going to get there for the try.

What pissed me off more was the smug grin on Boyd's face when the kick was being taken, he new it was a bullshit call, he added to the awarding of the penalty by carrying on like a sook waving his arms in the air.

"a" you are quite right mate, the Broncos should be 2 from 9 after winning dubious penalties in a few other matches, instead they cruise into the 8.

Dean Pay and all coaches should be entitled to speak their mind at the press conference, given that the purpose of the press conference is to get the feelings and thoughts of the Captain and Coach.

Enjoy your weekend folks.


BigPeteBx's picture

Good morning Thinkers/Posters/Bloggers here.
That goal got me out of jail in tipping last it got quite a few more as well. I feel for the dogs, but either way into golden point would have been interesting. I actually thought Dogs would have had an attempt to get a field goal, well before full-time. Then the deciding penalty goal may never have come about. Bronco's winning ugly lately guys. My lot have to win, before I can state.

Update in Big Pete Country (Bx) - light showers (nothing heavy - yet) since 6.30am this morning. Prior to this, it's been bone dry around many parts of western NSW. Creeks, streams and bores dried up.
May not be Dry Gulch for The Cowboys tonight, but then, does a Panther like wet paws.

Take care all and keep well - Big Pete

newbie from perth's picture

Hi there peeps,

@ Baggy
Thanks for the “up vote” bro’. My choices don’t exactly set the world on fire but always good to get the occasional “tick of approval”. Cheers.

@ MA & Mary
Thanks for the “Smooth Criminal” video suggestion Mr Ashford and thanks to Mary for posting the link. Just finished watching it here at my desk (work). Yeah, there’s never been one quite like Michael. Always liked him but too weak to admit it in public. Still feel guilty about that sometimes. Oh the shame! Shocked (in a good way) to see this has 128,365,290 views and nearly 25,000 comments. Gotta love that “anti-gravity” lean. Mama Mia!

@ Big Pete
Yeah, sorry mate, posted before I read Thinker’s intro. Great to see the Boss refers to it as “Big Pete country”. Will take your comments onboard brother. Silly question but are you gonna go to the game? Cheers.

@ everyone else
Yeah, thought that Broncos penalty that won them the game was as soft as melted ice cream. I would’ve preferred to see one of them go the field goal but hey, it’s done and dusted now so not much we can do about it. Have a great day everyone. Peace!

newbie from perth's picture

Sorry, forgot to mention International Star Wars Day....

"May The 4th Be With You!"


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