Round nineteen selections

Parramatta Eels vs Canterbury Bulldogs – Thursday night – ANZ Stadium

Not a lot of form to go with here (not good form anyway). These two teams have won just seven games this season, so the Rabbitohs have won almost twice as many as these sides put together. Somehow the Eels are favourites on Thursday night, probably because they look close to a win. That is certainly true, but winning has been quite the issue for the Eels this year, and it's hard to tip a team that keep finding ways to lose. In round 10 the Bulldogs beat the Eels 20-12, and this game is the 150th appearance for Josh Jackson. It's not a major milestone, but neither team has much to play for, and that might be enough.

Verdict – Bulldogs by 2

Result – Eels 14 defeated Bulldogs 8

Cronulla Sharks vs Canberra Raiders – Friday night – Southern Cross Group Stadium

The Raiders season isn't over yet, and they're playing some good football, but I've been burned by these Sharks v Raiders games often. For reasons unknown the Raiders don't handle the Sharks well. The injury to one of my favourite players in the NRL (Jarrod Croker) won't help either. With the Sharks well and truly in contention for a top four spot I have to tip them at home.

Verdict – Sharks by 4

Result – Sharks 28 defeated Raiders 24

Brisbane Broncos vs Penrith Panthers – Friday night – Suncorp Stadium

The Broncos were meant to celebrate win number 500 for Wayne Bennett last Sunday, but they never looked likely in what was probably their worst performance ot the season (and there's been a few contenders). Perhaps the timeslot got to them (they don't play in the sunshine very often), perhaps the occasion got to them...and perhaps they just aren't very good. I honestly don't know, but when I start to doubt the Broncos they usually pull out a performance to remind everyone they are still a top four team. Perhaps they will do so again. Perhaps. Meanwhile the Panthers have lost three of their last four. Their only win was a comprehensive flogging of the team that came out and comprehensiively flogged the Broncos on Sunday. A logical mind would be picking the Panthers, but my illogical gut is telling me the Broncos will be put through a thousand defensive drills this week and give us a show. As a Thinker, I should probably go with my head over my gut, but...

Verdict – Broncos by 4

Result – Broncos 50 defeated Panthers 18

Newcastle Knights vs Gold Coast Titans – Saturday afternoon – McDonald Jones Stadium

Mitchell Pearce returned for the Knights and the Knights returned to the winners circle in round 18 (but only just). One has to think that the Knights could have been playing finals football this season had Pearce and Ponga stayed fit and well. The Titans were competitive against the Roosters last weekend but that was far from the Chooks best seventeen.  The Knights at home.

Verdict – Knights by 8

Result – Knights 30 defeated Titans 24

Wests Tigers vs South Sydney Rabbitohs – Saturday night – ANZ Stadium

A home game for the Tigers but we're at ANZ, so I'm not sure what dressing rooms the Rabbits have to use. Only the Chooks could argue they have a richer history than the Bunnies (and they don't) but John Sutton notches up a first for the oldest club in the competition* – no other player has played 300 games in the red and green. Given his popularity with his team-mates I'm all but certain they'll be winning this one.

* the Rabbitohs were admitted into the inaugural 1908 competition seven days prior to the for the trivia buffs.

Verdict – Rabbitohs by 14

Result – Tigers 22 defeated Rabbitohs 6

North Queensland Cowboys vs St George Illawarra Dragons – Saturday night – 1300SMILES Stadium

The Dragons are in familiar territory here. In recent times they've often started the season strongly, and then limped to the finish line in September. That appears to be happening again, but they aren't limping as much as they used to. They probably peaked in late April/early May, with their impressive victory over the Chooks on ANZAC Day followed by a 20 point win over the Storm. They were fabulous then, but you want your team peaking now. I expect they'll get away with the win here, but it won't be convincing. The Cowboys should have just about defrosted by the time this game is underway. They'll be happier in Towsville after the road trip to Canberra and I wouldn't be shocked if they won this. I can't tip them though...sadly.

Verdict – Dragons by barely enough

Result – Dragons 24 defeated Cowboys 10

New Zealand Warriors vs Melbourne Storm – Sunday afternoon – Mt Smart Stadium

Unusually the Warriors away record this season (7 wins from 9) is vastly superior to their record at home (4 wins from 8). One of those losses was to the Storm and it was their biggest loss all year. The Storm have dragged themselves through Origin season without a single loss this year, at least in part due to the availability of Cameron Smith. Slater and Munster should be back on Sunday, and the Storm are looking like a team who could actually win back-to-back premierships. The Warriors were great against the Broncos but can they be trusted? I can always trust the purple machine.

Verdict – Storm by 10

Result – Storm 12 defeated Warriors 6

Manly Sea Eagles vs Sydney Roosters – Sunday afternoon – Lottoland

Manly were gallant in their loss to the Storm but that was against a team resting key players. A number of Origin stars will be back for the Chooks on Sunday, while Cronk is still a day-by-day proposition (push Tara push!). With the battle for top four positions well and truly alive the chickens will take some licken. Not impossible...but unlikely.

Verdict – Roosters by 4

Result – Roosters 56 defeated Sea Eagles 24

Wally Lewis - round nineteen selections (in bold)

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

  • Eels vs BULLDOGS
  • SHARKS vs Raiders
  • Broncos vs PANTHERS
  • Knights vs TITANS
  • Tigers vs RABBITOHS
  • Cowboys vs DRAGONS
  • Warriors vs STORM
  • Sea Eagles vs ROOSTERS


tigerholic's picture

Morning Folks

I was just reading the news about the Howler the Bunker made in the Titans V Roosters match on Sunday. Blind freddy could see the ball was raked out then knocked on bt the roosters player.

These are the decisions turning fans away and they can have huge impacts on the top 4 and top 8 spots.

How do we fix the mistakes the refs are making if the Bunker is making mistakes as well.

Great win by the Tigers against the Dragons, can they dos it again this week against the Rabbits??

Have a great week folks


Baggy_Gee's picture

I don't know what is happening but I will put my money on the BOYS exploding out of the blocks and once we get points on them early losing it.

newbie from perth's picture


This has nothing to do with the footy, rather a “quick one” (while I think of it) before I post tips and comments Wednesday…

BigPete: Understand your feelings and the love for a Singha

Newbie: Yeah, can’t explain why I feel differently in Thailand but it’s a “thing” for sure. The Singha’s aren’t bad but I prefer Chang myself. A nice drop indeed. It’s the only beer I buy here in Oz actually.

BigPete: Before you go disappearing, please give Thinker the permission to send me your home email address and we will keep in touch. You never know, you might run into my Scottish Everton fanatic who relocated from here.

Newbie: Not a problem with passing on the email address when the time comes Big Pete. I’ll still maintain my presence here on the Thinker’s site and if permitted, will continue with the tipping competition as well. Might be the only one based in Thailand posting and tipping but we’ll have to wait and see.

Keep well, catch ya tomorrow and BTW, have a ripper SOTW for you all. Definitely a WTH? sort of video. See how I used an H instead of an F? Cheers…

Dragons-fanboy's picture

Hello everyone, my tips for this week are:

Eels by 1 - Eels in an incredibly close game. The Eels have been good in the last few weeks and although they have been losing, they most certainly deserve a win here over the Bulldogs. The key for the Eels to win though is for them to score some points early to put the Bulldogs under pressure because if not, I reckon that the Bulldogs can beat the Eels in the grind.

Sharks by 10 - With a number of key injuries for the Raiders, it's the Sharks for me at home.

Panthers by 4 - I think that the Panthers will get up in this one and upset the Broncos here away from home.

Knights by 12 - Knights to get yet another win at home here.

Rabbitohs by 8 - The Tigers were great against our mob to keep there finals chances alive so I believe that the Rabbits will be in for a game here, but the Rabbits will be too strong for the Tigers in my eyes.

Dragons by 2 - I reckon we'll just get the Cowboys here in an ugly game of football. We haven't been performing at our best for the last couple of weeks. We need get back to basics and what we did in the start of the year otherwise I expect not too many wins than expected for the remainder of the season. Cowboys to show some pride but I'm sticking with the mighty Dragons here.

Storm by 6 - Storm to put on a clinic and teach the Warriors a valuable rugby league lesson here. I believe that the Warriors will show plenty of heart and grit in this one and will most certainly improve on their performance against the Storm in their previous meeting.

And finally... Roosters by 14 - Roosters too strong for the Sea Eagles here.

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

Baggy_Gee's picture

Dragons thanks for the support, the BOYS should get up, but I think we will panic if it's close and roll over to show our weak underbelly. If we can explode for a 18-0/24-0 start then we can hold off their finish.

Steel Panther's picture

Heart and grit in the same sentence as The Warriors?? Something I'm not familiar with Dragons-fanboy!! Good luck to your team, hopefully they aren't in their familiar late season slump.

Baggy...I'm deliberating on whether to put faith in your BOYS this week. Surely they've gotta win this one?

newbie from perth's picture

Sa-wat-dee krup,

OK, no muckin’ about. Let’s get into it…

Eels vs Bulldogs 45-55 @ ANZ
Baggy’s BOYS were pretty good last week and one could argue they should have won it. Ya gotta take your chances when they come but they didn’t. Jarryd Hayne was on fire. Shades of the old days. Is he really that good or is it that opposition players have been fooled and forget how to run up and just tackle him? This is something to ponder further. Can’t quite get a form read on the Dogs’ effort last week considering they got smacked by the Rabbitohs and didn’t get their first try until just shy of the hour mark. Were they poor or the Rabbitohs good? Based on what I saw of the Eels and the Dogs’ rubbish away record this year, I’m tipping Baggy’s BOYS.

Sharks vs Raiders 65-35 @ Southern Cross
OK, the Sharks have beaten the Warriors and the Panthers in their last two. On the other hand the Raiders have beaten the Bulldogs and the Cowboys. Mind you, the Raiders did look good in the second half of the second half. Nah, the recent results and opposition comparison is good enough for me. Sharks in this one.

Broncos vs Panthers 55-45 @ Suncorp
Only one of these sides will be able to claim the “bounce back” award this week. Which one of these 2 sides is more likely, that’s the question here. I think the Broncos would be a bit disappointed they couldn’t give Wayne his 500 last week and will be fired up to do so this week. Plus, Mr Bennett might’ve given them some extra drills from last week until now. Basic footy guys! Might be close but Broncos for me.

Knights vs Titans 55-45 @ McDonald Jones
The Knights “got out of jail” last week I reckon. By all reports, the Titans did a good job against my BBB last week (more on “that” try later). What they’ve done lately and what they did last week has me leaning towards the Titans.

Tigers vs Rabbitohs 20-80 @ ANZ
Those Tigers really surprised me last week. Having the “old firm” back certainly did the trick. Can they execute another “upset” win, this time against the Bunnies? Methinks it’ll be a bit harder compared to them beating the Dragons though. How much longer can these Rabbitohs keep winning? Bunnies are just flying at the minute and will prove too hard to get over. Sometimes being the $1.30 favourite tells you something (he says with fingers crossed). Fluffy Ones for me.

Cowboys vs Dragons 40-60 @ 1300SMILES
What happened to the Cowboys last week? Got the impression (could be wrong though) that they weren’t too interested. Mind you, the Dragons weren’t that great either. Well, if you take away their last 15 minutes that is. They could possibly cite that they had players coming back from Origin but still no excuse as far as I’m concerned. On paper you’d think the Dragons should win this but I’ve got a nagging doubt churning away inside of me and it doesn’t make sense. St George are favourites and their Origin guys should be better now but I’m goin’ crazy again and tipping the Cowboys one last time.

Warriors vs Storm 50-50 @ Mt Smart
Up and down. Up and down. That’s the Warriors form as I see it. How am I supposed to know which team will run out each week with these fellas? I have a soft spot for the Storm I must admit. Absolutely love watching them play. Only time I don’t want them to win is when they’re playing my BBB. The lack of solid week in, week out form for the Warriors has me worried and I just can’t see them beating the Storm in this one. The Purple Machine for me.

Manly vs Roosters 30-70 @ Brookvale
Manly have a habit of sneaking up on you when you least expect it so I’m a bit wary with this one. They nearly stole it last week but let their chance slip by all accounts. The Roosters’ debutants did us proud and great to see they all scored. My BBB will get our Origin “big guns” back this week. Need I say more? Roosters for me. Begurk! Begurk!

A brief word on “that try” just quickly. With hand on heart I reckon a case can be made for and against a try being scored by young Sean. Rules say one thing (knock back) and commonsense/first impressions say another (knock on). At the risk of getting ridiculed, I’m gonna say this was a try (just). Hmm, maybe I should’ve stayed out of this one (ha-ha).

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

It’s “Song of the Week” time again…

Don’t be put off with this one. You gotta keep watching until at least the 1:47 mark before the weird stuff starts. This is so cool. Yes Mary, as you said before … I have strange tastes indeed.

Cheers y’all…

The Annoying Devil's picture

Pabdul called over with his daughter last night he gave me a couple of tix for the eels v dogs as he’s got to work which was nice
His daughter Naomie is lovely he said her nickname was Lionel because her room is always Messi
My son was on the lounge practicing his guitar pabs said may I
He started playing what someone plays when they can’t really play which was smoke on the water
He said do you know the chorus and we all sang “smoke on the water, fire in the sky”
Then he said I’ll play you the Curtis Scott Version and he sang “punched Dylan Walker, right in the eye”
You had to be there
I asked him about the O’Sullivan try and he said just like Billy Slater the officials made the wrong decision but you have to go with it

Mary S's picture

@ Newbie,
Think you might be pushing it a bit on you explanation of "that try" but all in fun!!!
Enjoyed you "take' on the matches this week. Hope you're right!!!

One positive for me, about your “Song of the Week” Newbie, those guitarists have very nimble fingers. I would have enjoyed seeing them play more than the "weird stuff" that followed.


Dragons-fanboy's picture

Baggy Gee,

Even a 12-0 or 14-0 after 20 minutes should be enough for the Eels I reckon to beat the Bulldogs considering the Bulldogs tend to struggle in attack. If it's a 2-0, 6 all or even 0-0 type of score after 15-20 minutes, I don't see you guys winning unfortunately. Good luck to your BOYS, I really want to see them get a win, especially against the Dogs.


Dragons-fanboy's picture

Hahaha, Steel Panther. If any Warriors team has heart and grit in the last 5-10 seasons, it's most certainly this Warriors team, especially at the start of the season. Although I still don't their heart and mental toughness enough to beat the Storm. Best of luck this week.


Dragons-fanboy's picture

Thanks, Steel Panther. I certainly hope so too, not sure if our recent form has been origin or if it isn't. I guess we'll see in the next few weeks. I reckon at lowest we could finish 7th or 8th which is obviously still enough for us to make the finals. Certainly hope this isn't the case though. Hope we finish top 4 because we ideally deserve to make the top 4. Maybe Widdop's bleach blonde is giving us bad luck, who knows.


Anonymous's picture

Here’s my tips

Eels by 2 ai think the Eels will get over the Bulldogs here

Sharks by 4 the away side has won the last nine games between these 2 sides but I will go the home side

Broncos by 1 I think the Broncos will bounce back against the Panthers

Knights by 2 Knights will keep their season alive here

Rabbitohs by 2 Rabbitohs will win 2 in a row here

Dragons by 10 I still can’t tip the Cowboys here

Storm by 2 Storm to win in a thriller here

Roosters by 6 Roosters to continue Manley’s misery

a's picture

These anonymous tips were mine

Blazer's picture

Hey Thinker,

Hoping I can register my interest to join the tipping comp next season?

Baggy_Gee's picture

That is true Dragon, for some reason they seem to be masters of the grind but can be blown out of the water early. I think they are more dynamic now they have to rely on the youngsters who are all playing for a future. But I'm so so so so scared that last week will repeat. It was such a kick in the guts to lose that one after starting so brightly, still filthy with Taka's after he missed that tackle and left that MASSIVE hole under the goal posts at the start of the second half. But the BOYS will do us Parra fans proud (at some point in time).
On a positive that I can see with Manly, Cliff Lyons and Steve Menzies are in the HOF together which is really good.

Steel Panther's picture

I'm sure you will be banking two points when our sides meet in a couple of weeks Dragons-fanboy. The Warriors have a dreadful away record v St George.

I'm actually coming to Sydney that weekend Round 21 but won't be travelling to Woolongong. At this stage I hope to go to ANZ Thursday & Friday nights then Allianz on Saturday night.

Anyone out there got any helpful tips on where best to buy tickets at these venues seating and price wise? Buy at the gate or online?


Steel Panther's picture

One of the Warriors best during some pretty turbulent seasons, Simon Mannering, has just announced that this year will be his last. I think this is his 13th year at the club.

newbie from perth's picture

@ Mary

Mary: One positive for me, about your “Song of the Week” Newbie, those guitarists have very nimble fingers. I would have enjoyed seeing them play more than the "weird stuff" that followed.

Newbie: I sort of liked that “weird stuff” actually. Bit of a contrast to the “metal” thing that’s going on. Personal taste and all but maybe that’s why it’s appealing to me. Thanks for the mention. Cheers.

Mary S's picture

Hi Newbie,
I always find it interesting to check out your "Song of the week".

It's probably just as well that everyone doesn't like the same thing anyway. Makes for a more interesting world.

The Thinker's picture

Morning Steel

I haven't gone to a lot of games in Sydney so I can't help you much with that one. Hopefully someone here can offer some advice.

All the best

The Thinker

pabdul's picture

The games your going to won’t have big crowds especially roosters v cowboys so you can easily walk up and buy tickets
If you want you can buy on ticketek on line and pick them up from the dedicated window and you can see the venue map but the seating will be pretty much the same I go for close to the half way line
Tickets start at $10 and go up to $40
The $20 cat 2 tickets are good for $20
Transport is pretty easy I’m local so if your not sure let me know

manyana's picture

Hi all, here are my guesses for round 19.
Bulldogs, Sharks, Panthers, Knights, Rabbits, Dragons, Warriors, Roosters.
I thought the Broncos?Panthers were a toss of the coin.
Also Storm/Warriors.
Quite honestly I'm not too certain of any of my tips, so I'm hoping I can jag a couple this week.
Good tipping everyone. manyana.

NuL1F3's picture

Hi to all, my tips this week (for what it's worth) are:
Cowboys (The Cows should be good and defrosted by Saturday)
Good luck to all in the comp :)

Mary S's picture

Hi NuLiF3,
I'm hoping the Cowboys are better than just defrosted this weekend!!!!

Steel Panther's picture

Thanks Pabdul. Appreciate the reply. You might know, is the Easts leagues club still in the same place it was in the 80s? And I'm staying near Chinatown. Can I walk to Allianz from there?

Thanks too for your reply Thinker.


a's picture

NuL1F3 as much as I want Cowboys to be too good I don't think it will happen

pabdul's picture

No worries SP
Easts leagues is still in Spring st
You can walk to Allianz via Forveaux st
But usually walk takes 20 mins but because it’s uphill and a pub on every corner it can take a lot longer
If you do walk ,bypass the yuppie pubs and near Moore park you’ll see the Bat and Ball a real footy pub with the old footy beer posters
You also can catch a bus from Eddy Ave at Central right to the ground

Footy chick's picture

Hello boys and girls
I wanted to give a shout out to the Boss. The Thinker has been tipping like a superstar lately. In the last five rounds he's 28 out of 36, and 3 from 3 in the Origin series.
Well done Thinker. What happens if you win your own tipping competition?

pabdul's picture

Yes he has been tipping like a superstar but just like the broncos latest signing if he wins he’ll be a Payne in the Haas

christine's picture

My tips this week are the same as the thinker's
& may the football gods have pity on us all ...

Steel Panther's picture

Thanks Pabdul. Great help. May look at the bus option but sounds like the Bat and Ball is worth a stop.

BigPeteBx's picture

Yes Steely - that was top class value reply from Pab.
He has haunted those areas for years.
I worked for NSW Railways for 34 years and I think Pab now works there, or is employed there.

I mainly stay near Chinatown, when I am in Sydney. The place I/we stay is on corner of Pitt and Campbell St. Good value.
A walk up to Central Railway Stn, doesn't take long and a walk through Belmore Park, which is in front of you, to the left, if you look towards Central, will take you smack bang to the buses to SCG/Allianz Stadium. The buses on the left should take you there and doesn't require you crossing the road.
Our grandson was assistant ground curator at SCG/Allianz Stadium, but he has since taken a move back to country living, to Mudgee Golf Club.
Cheers Steely and keep well.
Big Pete in Bx Country.

mark ashford's picture

Hi All
Back from Fraser Island. Had a great trip, not too many fish but fantastic weather and the beer was cold and the food hot.
If any of you get a chance, you'll need a 4x4 but it's worth the trip.
One of Australia's most beautiful places.
NEWBIE, enjoyed your song of the week. Are you leaving us soon for Thailand? You will be missed.
Reading through #18 comments Coachy has been very vocal upsetting all and sundry and has been silent since.
C'mon coach this weekend you play my Broncs so I expect some banter.
BAGGY your Eels will win tonight.
Didn't see SOO3 but happy to see a QLD win.
ROCKET keep it going mate. We need a QLD win.
Good luck to all with your tips this week.

Rocket Ryan's picture

Where is he mark the silence is deafening

Baggy_Gee's picture

I'm interested in the official stats, the BOYS have completed 17/20 yet have made 5 errors. Not sure how that holds up.

TigerGirl's picture

Sorry Thinker I’m late with my tips this week can you update for me please ????. Would have taken doggies so no problem there
Thanks. TigerGirl

Baggy_Gee's picture

Boy didn't we dodge a bullet tonight. Could have been down a lot more than 6 with our start. It was good that we had more grit than the Sahara for the first time this year. We panicked last week and let it slip. And one JH was great again, kept nailing Stinkfinger on the kick chase

Mary S's picture

Hi Tigergirl,
I didn't see your tips this week. Hope you are OK.

a's picture

Yeah good win by the Eels

NuL1F3's picture

Hi Mary, I second that! :)

Hi a, it will be a tough match for sure, and the boys have given us little to believe they can triumph against a more successful Dragons side, but stranger things have happened. I do think they have the tools for the job though so I'm keeping the faith for this round.

NuL1F3's picture

Shaky start for the Eels but a good win!

grant's picture

wheres tiger girls picks

a's picture

Well I hope your right NuL1F3

Steel Panther's picture

Good morning Big Pete. Thanks for your post. Yes very helpful tips from Pabdul. I was last in Sydney in 2009 as my daughter attended a concert at Acer Arena which I think is next door to ANZ??. My last two visits I've stayed in the same hotel in the Chinatown area. A close walk to Central. Hope to visit an old haunt in the Easts Leagues club that I frequented in my early visits in the 80s when I had a mate who lived in Surry Hills and later in Woolarah. We always had a good cheap steak dinner there. This time I'm travelling with my son on a boys NRL weekend. Most of the older posters here (been on this site for a long time not their age) know the NRL team I originally supported was the Roosters.

Hope you are well mate and it's not too cold for you in BX Country.

nola todd's picture

hi to you tiger girl your disappointment especial when i look at what you think its not the first time as you know. get it together
any way as it stands round 18 my score is 95. i should really care enjoy

nola todd's picture

hi to you tiger girl your disappointment especial when i look at what you think its not the first time as you know. get it together
any way as it stands round 18 my score is 95. i should really care enjoy

Dragons-fanboy's picture

Baggy, lucky for your BOYS you actually won a close game and the grind in this one. But your BOYS should've won by more but still congratulations on the win, your BOYS really did deserve it. That's great to hear that Cliffy and Beaver are in the Manly HOF.


Dragons-fanboy's picture

Yes I think that we will Steel Panther. But you never know Steel I mean the Warriors did break their drought at Perth against the Rabbits in round one so I don't see why you cannot beat the Dragons and break the hoodoo of playing away against Dragons. But for the boys' sake I do hope and think that we'll win that battle in rd 21.


Mary S's picture

Not even 1/2 time yet and Broncos are making a meal of Panthers 32/0!!!


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