Round one selections

St George Illawarra Dragons vs Brisbane Broncos – Thursday night – Jubilee Oval

It's rather clever of the NRL, I think, to take what many feel is one of the weaknesses of the competition (players switching from one club to the next and the next again) and use it as the focus of the season campaign launch (I've added the video on this page for those that haven't seen it yet). The actual football kicks off with one such switch, as Ben Hunt takes on his former club for the first time. Safe to say he'll be under the spotlight on the night, but he's spent more time under the spotlight than most. While it hasn't gained as many headlines, the signing of James Graham could prove just as valuable to the Red V. He brings a work ethic and an attitude that can only bolster what is already one seriously serious pack of forwards. It's this pack of forwards that has many tipping the Dragons for a top eight finish and a win in round one. While this Dragons pack scares the jigglies out of me, I'm in the fortunate position of being able to watch the Broncos train in their brand spanking new training facility from my verandah (Sarah Palin might be able to see Russia from her house, but I can see Sam Thaiday get out of the pool and try and shoot three pointers on a half court in his pineapple budgie smugglers). Let me tell you, this Broncos side is the opposite of tiny (and Thaiday isn't playing in the NBL in this lifetime or the next). I'm writing this before their team for round one is named but the starting pack I'm expecting to see weighs in at a whopping 654 kilograms. That amount of size won't scare the jigglies out of anyone in the Dragons pack, but there might be enough mass there to make this a contest. If we have a contest up front, the Broncos backs look superior, and more settled, on paper. That Dragons spine of McInnes, Hunt, Widdup and Dufty could be unstoppable, but it might take them a little while to put it all together.

Important note: Ms Thinker nearly ran over Jordan Kahu this morning. He was visibly shaken (a lot like me whenever I'm in the car with Ms Thinker), so there's some chance his kicking game might be off).

Verdict – Broncos by 4

Result – Dragons 34 defeated Broncos 12

Newcastle Knights vs Manly Sea Eagles – Friday night – McDonald Jones Stadium

The Knights have been one of the more active clubs in the battle for new recruits..and they needed to be. They've finished in 16th place three seasons in a row – you'd need a very good time machine to find the last team that racked up three successive wooden spoons. I've no doubt they'll be better this season, but I think the Sea Eagles will be better too (and they were 6th last year...not 16th). The Knights lost 8 of their first 9 games last season, and it may take a while for the new recruits and the old guard to come together. The late withdrawal of Danny Levi won't help matters on that front either. The Sea Eagles have a settled spine and while they lost in round one last season, that defeat to the Eels was one of the best games of the round. A similar performance on Friday night and the points are theirs.

Verdict – Sea Eagles by 4

Result – Knights 19 defeated Sea Eagles 18

North Queensland Cowboys vs Cronulla Sharks – Friday night – 1300SMILES Stadium

The Sharks, on paper, have a side that could beat everyone. That said, age catches up with us all, and Paul Gallen and Luke Lewis aren't as young and attractive as they used to be. I also have a few doubts on the fitness of Andrew Fifita this early in the season, but all three of them could take to the field this weekend and make me look an utter fool. They'll need to be good though, as the Cowboys were too strong for the Sharks in the finals last year (despite the protests of a few) and that Cowboys side didn't include Thurston, Matt Scott or Jordan McLean. That's two Kangaroo-level prop forwards the Cowboys have added to their line-up this season. Their contribution is likely to make the contribution of Jason Taumalolo all the more dynamic. There's no shortage of backup firepower either with Hess, Cooper, Lowe, Bolton and Asiata. The Cowboys have been turning their home ground into quite the fortress in recent times. More of the same in 2018.

Verdict – Cowboys by 8

Result – Cowboys 20 defeated Sharks 14

Wests Tigers vs Sydney Roosters – Saturday afternoon – ANZ Stadium

What a sweet sweet draw the Chooks have in season 2018. They will barely leave Sydney all year and most of the teams they're playing twice didn't make the top eight last season. Underestimate them at your peril – given the team they can put on the park I don't think many will. The Tigers have been going through a rebuilding period, focussing on the young talent coming through the system. They've turned that on their head somewhat, with the recruitment of Benji Marshall, Josh Reynolds and Ben Matulino. Will it work? I have my doubts.

Verdict – Roosters by 16

Result – Tigers 10 defeated Roosters 8

South Sydney Rabbitohs vs New Zealand Warriors – Saturday night – Perth Stadium

In 2014 I asked NASA to run the ruler over the New Zealand Warriors and get back to me with a legitimate explanation. I haven't heard back. In the meantime I have learned to live by the following mantra – you don't need to understand the Warriors, you just need to understand that they will let you down. The Rabbitohs could be a surprise packet this season, and forcing the Warriors to travel halfway around the planet to play this game in Perth has proven to be a successful formula. Bunnies for mine, and welcome back GI.

Verdict – Rabbitohs by 10

Result – Warriors 32 defeated Rabbitohs 20

Canterbury Bulldogs vs Melbourne Storm – Saturday night – Perth Stadium

The second game of the double-header at the new Perth Stadium sees the defending premiers taking on one of the fallen giants of the NRL. I'm struggling to get my head around what's happening at Belmore, and I'm not sure if those inside the club understand it either. Usually the ever-reliable Storm tip themselves, and I am still tipping them, but we must be mindful that the Bulldogs are playing this game on the back of the memorial to club great Steve Folkes. Their current coach is well-placed to get this side to pull together and give us a performance for the ages. If James Graham and Josh Reynolds were still there I'd actually tip them, because that's two players you want in your side under these circumstances. But they're not, and without them I think they will fall short. No Slater for the Storm who will play his 300th game elsewhere. A purple victory, but this could be a more interesting contest than most expect.

Verdict – Storm by 4

Result – Storm 36 defeated Bulldogs 18

Penrith Panthers vs Parramatta Eels – Sunday afternoon – Panthers Stadium

If the rumours are true Phil Gould and Anthony Griffin are yelling at each other a lot. What's more likely is that Gould is yelling and Griffin is mumbling under his breath when Gould storms out. In any case, the trial form is poor and what was meant to be a golden period for the Penrith Panthers seems a way off yet. Gould has spent a lot of money trying to build this club..and he's cranky. He's going to be even crankier on Sunday when his side gets dusted up by another Western Sydney team with more off-field issues than Barnaby Joyce.

Verdict – Eels by 14

Result – Panthers 24 defeated Eels 14

Gold Coast Titans vs Canberra Raiders – Sunday afternoon – Cbus Super Stadium

The Titans are competing with the Commonwealth Games, the Suns, and a whole lot of surfing beaches for the hearts, minds and wallets of the locals on the glitter strip. They can get things off to a bright start under their new coach with an upset win over the Raiders on Sunday. That spine of Peats, Taylor, Elgey and Gordon looks promising and the addition of Arrow and Cartwright in the second row won't hurt either. There's no shortage of talent on show from the Raiders either. Total points overs if the wet weather clears on the weekend.

Verdict – Titans by 4

Result – Titans 30 defeated Raiders 28

Wally Lewis - round one selections (in bold)

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

  • Dragons vs BRONCOS
  • Knights vs SEA EAGLES
  • COWBOYS vs Sharks
  • Tigers vs ROOSTERS
  • RABBITOHS vs Warriors
  • Bulldogs vs STORM
  • Panthers vs EELS
  • Titans vs RAIDERS

NRL Telstra Premiership Season 2018 - Launch Film

Comments

The Thinker's picture

Greetings footbal fans...and welcome back for season 2018.

A quick note on the tipping comp (the main one). Those of you that have already asked to join this season have been registered as tipsters...except for one of you:

EsraStar...I need you to register as a user so I can you a tipster. It's not too complicated. Have a read of this if it helps:



https://the-thinker.org/about-guest-tipping

Registered tipsters can login now and submit tips for round one now...if they want. You have up until the kick off the first game of each round to get your tips submitted.

Those of you that aren't registered but would like to join please let me know in the comments. At some point I will draw a line and start letting people down. The sooner you let me know the better.

And, of course, if anyone has any questions feel free to ask.

All the best

The Thinker

The Annoying Devil's picture

Hi Thinker
I can’t put round 1 tips in
Can you include me pls

a's picture

Right The a game 3 strike comp is open again so Thinker I would like to ask you if you could do a page for my : strike comp

The Thinker's picture

The Annoying Devil

All apologies. I've updated you to tipster status now. You should be able to access, but let me know if you have any issues.

A,

Will do...

christine 's picture

My tips for rd 1 are :
broncos
knights
cowboys
roosters
souths
storm
eels
raiders

ESRA STAR 's picture

Thanks Think,,but i thought i was already a member here.

Baggy_Gee's picture

Wow Brad, you and I think the same, except you had a little hiccup with the BOYS playing the Panthers. Might want to look into that one based on either trial form or the following clip. https://youtu.be/H8a_Pv0VpGo
But apart from the obvious BOYS winning Round 1, it does seem to be a fairly open first few rounds.

Brad S's picture

G'day The Thinker,
I would love to be apart of your competition. Long time watcher of your website but have yet to be involved apart from the odd comment here and there.
Cheers
Brad

Taka's picture

Hi The Thinker,

looking forward for the 2018 NRL season, can't wait.. !!!

Just want to confirm if I'm part of the tipsters or not...

Cheers...

kempysdragons's picture

round 1 tips
dragons
sea eagles
cowboys
roosters
souths
storm
panthers
raiders

Hardyards's picture

Good day to you, Thinker.
I have no link so respectfully request you check your availability and see if you could be so kind as to squeeze me in if no one better is waiting (which, unfortunately is most anyone else )
Will happily monitor your site regardless as I enjoy the ‘Footy” banter.
Cheers

Hardyards's picture

Ignore this, have snuck under the radar and managed to join this marvellous group.
I just found the link, hiding in giant letters in plain sight – opps!

Hardyards's picture

My tips for rd 1 are :
Broncos
Eagles
Cowboys (Always)
Roosters
Wrabbits
Storm
Eels
Raiders
Put them in now in case I forget/computer breaks and will amend if player movement dictates.
Should be another great season!

christine 's picture

"a" I will enter your three strike comp if that's ok with you , no offence there intented TAD for not entering your comp but I now have more illnesses to deal with than I had before & if I had to get my head around your comp right now I won't cope too well so please no offence intended ok I hope your comp does well ...

Shauno77's picture

Hi thinker

Would love to join your Comp. Please register me if you still have space!

Thank you
Shauno

a's picture

Hi I just letting you know there are 30 spots available in my comp so you better hurry if you want to get your tip in

Taka's picture

Here are my tips for round 1:

Dragons by 10
Sea Eagles by 14
Cowboys by 7
Roosters by 20
Rabbitohs by 12
Bulldogs by 4
Eels by 8
Titans by 1

The Thinker's picture

Brad S, Shauno and Taka.....welcome to the tipping comp for 2018,

if you have any problems submitting your tips for round one just let me know.

EsraStar,

Can you try logging in and adding a comment while logging in? It will make it a lot easier for me to find you and add you to the tipping comp.

All the best

The Thinker

 

Gad's picture

Hi Thinker,
New guy on the block here. May I be part of your regular tipping comp. Thanks Gad

Brad S's picture

Hello all,
Bring on the footy season!!!
My tips for round 1:
Dragons will be just too strong for an undermanned and underdone Broncs.
Manly to beat Newcastle.
Cowboys to sneak home against the sharks.
Roosters to have an easy win against the tigers.
Rabbitohs to beat the warriors.
Storm to win in a tight game against the doggies.
Parra to win against Penrith.
Raiders to get the win over the titans.
Best of luck everyone!

Esra Star's picture

Just registered Think,,thanks.

The Thinker's picture

Thanks Esra...you’re in.

The Thinker's picture

Greetings gad....welcome aboard.

Dada's picture

I like to join the 2018 tipping competition
Dada

KellysLoot's picture

Hi Thinker,
looking forward to the 2018 season,
Just want to confirm if I'm part of the tipsters?
Thanks Kellysloot

Gad's picture

Thank you. Hope to be a valuable contributor

Esra Star's picture

Thanks mate.

Esra Star's picture

Sports bet has the Dragons at $1-80 and Broncos at $2. Home ground advantage,maybe,but i just can't see the dragons getting up in this.

Esra Star's picture

Mr Thinker. I can't find a link to the tipping page,or is there one? or do i just put my tips in as a comment here and you sort them out?

Brad S's picture

It's a tricky one to pick, Esra. As much as I want the Broncos to get up, Boyd and McCullough (if he plays) will be playing without having a preseason game. Milford's only had 40 minutes. Can't help but think they are going to be very rusty whereas the Dragons have had a couple of games already with their full team to start brushing off the cobwebs. Should be a good game anyway!

Esra Star's picture

Yep,i am looking forward to it.

a's picture

Are you going to join the tipping competition Spartan

steveuganda's picture

G'day Thinker, any chance of joining your tipping competition at this late stage.
Regards
Steve

KellysLoot's picture

My tips for rd 1 are :
Broncos
Eagles
Cowboys (Always)
Roosters
Souths
Storm
Eels
Raiders

TigerGirl's picture

Can I join the tipping comp if it’s not to late please

Jack.Starky's picture

Dragons
Manly
Cowboys
Roosters
Souths
Storm
Eels
Raiders

mark ashford's picture

Yee Haaa
Here we go again tipsters 2018, may it be a great year for your team.
A big hello to my friends on this site, no names you know who you are.
Also a big welcome to all the new guys & gals....good luck with your tips.
I have a lot going on so will pass on "a",comp and yours TAD. Maybe next year.
Thank you THINKER & TAD...the roller coaster begins.

The Thinker's picture

KellysLoot, steveuganda and Tiger Girl have been added as tipsters. Welcome aboard peoples.

I'll be calling time on registrations soon. Those interested are urged to register and let me know.

I should have my previews and selections published by Tuesday night (tomorrow).

All the best

The Thinker

Taka's picture

Thank you Thinker,

I already submitted my round 1 tips successfully without any problem.

Cheers...

The Thinker's picture

EsraStar

When you are logged in, go down to the section on the page called 'Guest tips for this round'. Just under that you will see some text that says 'Show/Hide the tipping entry form'. If you click on that text/link it will open up the tipping form you for you.

Then you just have to pick your teams and click submit.

Hope that helps...let me know how you go.

All the best

The Thinker

MGM's picture

Hi Thinker
I've had some trouble 'cause when I tried to register i found I already was! Couldn't remember pswd though and your link to change it wouldn't work for me until just now (24 hrs later).... Yay!
Hope I'm not to late to be included in your tipping comp (I've been a big fan over the last 2 seasons, but not entered before)
In case you do accept me , I'll include my tips now for Round 1 in anxious anticipation :
Dragons , Knights , Cowboys , Roosters , Rabbits , Storm ,
Panthers , Raiders .
A couple of upsets there but it IS round 1 .

Esra Star's picture

Got it,thanks mate. I will let you know if i have any problems. Rats.

Dugscott's picture

Hi having trouble registering my tips for rounds one.

The Thinker's picture

What sort of trouble Dugscott?

The Thinker's picture

Welcome aboard MGM.

All the best

Dugscott's picture

Can't find the hide/show after the guest tips to do my tips

The Thinker's picture

Hi Dugscott

I just logged in as you and I can see it. Perhaps have another look...its just above where the Comments start.

That said, if you still can't see it just add your round one tips in the comments and I'll put them in for you.

All the best

The Thinker

tigerholic's picture

Hello Tipsters

"a" my tip for week one in your comp is Brisbane.

Cheers and welcome to Tiger Girl

Jack.Starky's picture

Hi Thinker I added my tips, I lost my original password ID. I did manage to do Nostradamus selection under Russell

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