Round sixteen selections

St George Illawarra Dragons vs Parramatta Eels – Thursday night – WIN Stadium

First plays last but this isn't a formality, with a fair chunk of the Dragons seventeen backing up (and backing up quickly) from representative duties. Tyson Frizell won't play, but the other eight have been named. It's a big ask, but the Eels are a big basket case. There could be a few at Parramatta (Norman and Hayne spring to mind) who might be playing to pick up new contracts elsewhere next season, but that doesn't mean they'll play like a team.

Verdict – Dragons by 8

Result – Dragons 20 defeated Eels 18

New Zealand Warriors vs Cronulla Sharks – Friday night – Mt Smart Stadium

On paper the Sharks look like they have an edge in the forwards here, and they've rushed the big teddy bear Aaron Woods straight into the seventeen – I expect he'll go well. Valentine Holmes at fullback will be wanting to impress too. There's no doubt he wants a gig somewhere as a fullback, and a few teams (Cowboys definitely and Broncos probably) will be keeping an eye on him. The Warriors have been tough to beat at home this season but I'm with the visitors here.

Verdict – Sharks by 4

Result – Sharks 18 defeated Warriors 15

Sydney Roosters vs Melbourne Storm – Friday night – Adelaide Oval

This game heads back to Adelaide again and this time around Cooper Cronk will be facing off against the Storm. The absence of Waerea-Hargreaves and Cordnor for the Chooks have me leaning purple, although the Storm are missing a few big boppers themselves. If Asofa-Solomona can't find a functioning airplane I'd lean the other way, and if Billy Slater is rested I'd lean heavily the other way, but based on the teams as named it's the Storm for me. For those of you that don't have to tip as early as I do I urge you to keep your eye out for team changes.

Verdict – Storm by 4

Result – Storm 9 defeated Roosters 8

Penrith Panthers vs Manly Sea Eagles – Saturday afternoon – Panthers Stadium

The Panthers have named their Origin players and they should back up (although Maloney isn't getting any younger). Just as importantly Kikau returns and he adds an X factor in the middle. Manly look like a team that have put a line through their season already, and they haven't beaten Penrith at Penrith since 2011.

Verdict – Panthers by 10

Result – Sea Eagles 18 defeated Panthers 10

Newcastle Knights vs Canterbury Bulldogs – Saturday night – McDonald Jones Stadium

The Knights don't start as warm favourites too often but this Bulldogs side is barely recognisable. While this doesn't look like much of a game the Novacastrians will be out in force and the Knights will give the locals a good night out. And Ponga.

Verdict – Knights by 14

Result – Bulldogs 36 defeated Knights 16

Brisbane Broncos vs Canberra Raiders – Saturday night – Suncorp Stadium

What a difference a Hodgson makes. The Raiders were an entirely different proposition with his return last round, and if they bring that form again they'll be winning here too. If they did I wouldn't be surprised but I want to see it happen before I'm convinced that the Raiders are still a top eight proposition. Their only two wins away from home this season are against the Cowboys and the Tigers, and I think the Broncos are better than that. Not much better mind you. Could be the game of the round this one.

Verdict – Broncos by 2

Result – Broncos 26 defeated Raiders 22

Wests Tigers vs Gold Coast Titans – Sunday afternoon – Leichhardt Oval

The return of Robbie Farah couldn't be better timed, as he's back for a Sunday afternoon at the picturesque Leichhardt Oval. But he's not the only new face at the Tigers, with Moses Mbye slotting into the fullback role. Handy inclusions and the Tigers are warm favourites, but I'm pretty keen on the Titans in an upset here. It's a good looking pack of forwards and a fairly settled backline, taking on a team that may take a week or two to get their combinations right.

Verdict – Titans by 4

Result – Titans 30 defeated Tigers 12

South Sydney Rabbitohs vs North Queensland Cowboys – Sunday afternoon – Barlow Park

I was lucky enough to be up north for the Cowboys narrow loss to the Warriors in round 15, and the general feeling in the room was that the loss that night spelled the end of their finals aspirations this season. I was also lucky enough to be up north for the Cowboys narrow loss to the Rabbitohs earlier this season. The Cowboys were a little unlucky that night, but back then they had something to play for, and the only thing they have left to play for is pride. I doubt that's enough against a genuine premiership contender. Note the location though folks. Maybe, just maybe, the extra travel for the Bunnies gives the Cowboys a sniff here. I can't tip them though.

Verdict – Rabbitohs by 10

Result – Rabbitohs 21 defeated Cowboys 20

Wally Lewis - round sixteen selections (in bold)

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

  • DRAGONS vs Eels
  • Warriors vs SHARKS
  • Roosters vs STORM
  • PANTHERS vs Sea Eagles
  • KNIGHTS vs Bulldogs
  • BRONCOS vs Raiders
  • TIGERS vs Titans
  • RABBITOHS vs Cowboys


jimmyc2001's picture

Mr Thinker, I am a big fan of your website. Tremendous well thought through opinions as well as good humour and wit from you and your community. Interested in your views: with most players having the extra week off who does this advantage most? Teams with older players or younger players ? Teams with heavier forward packs? Curious about how you and your contributors see it.

Mary S's picture

Hi Jimmy,
Welcome to the site.

Personally I would suggest it is an advantage to any player, in any team, that has an ache anywhere in their body as a result of previous matches!!

a's picture

Hi Jimmy I am glad to have you aboard I hope you stick around anyway what team do you support

christine's picture

Welcome to the site jimmy & who do pledge your loyalty too in origin if you don't mind me asking the ?

Brad S's picture

Hi Jimmy,

I think the Dragons are the most disadvantaged as they have to play on Thursday and had a significant amount of rep players who played on Sunday. De Belin, Hunt, Vaughan and Frizell are all backing up from origin. Then they have Widdop, Graham and Leeson Ah Mau all having to gets flights back from Denver after playing Sunday morning.

Strange to think that the SOO game 3 teams will be announced on Sunday and Monday seems though the second game was only played last night. Will be interesting to see if Hunt avoids the axe.

jimmyc2001's picture

Thanks for the welcome msgs .... I back the Wests Tigers and the Blues. Maybe it's just me but it seems like this year's NRL Comp has been especially unpredictable and hard to tip .... So I was just interested in looking deeper into the coming round but so many interacting factors to consider. Yes any teams with a number of lingering aches or injuries should benefit and perhaps improve more than those without.

christine's picture

There are a few fellow tigers supporters on here eg : tigerholic , tiger girl that you may wish to converse with tigerholic & tiger girl introduce yourselves to jimmy oops my mistake I think from memory tigerholic is away but i'm sure he will when he returns ...

Mary S's picture

If any of you haven't seen TAD's account of his meeting with Pabdul - go back to the comment on SoO 2. I found it hilarious!!

BigPeteBx's picture

Welcome JimmyC - truly a top site for discussions, on numerous topics.
Tell me, are you a Disney or cricket lover?
I know a bloke, whom I work with, who is JimC - mad St George follower. But he wasn't born in 2001, if that's what 2001 denotes.
Actually, my first day back at work today, after 3 weeks off from surgery.
Looking forward to your replies, to others here, as to who you support in NRL and SoO.
It just gives us an idea, of sometimes where one might live and who they show allegiance to.

Enjoy your stay, hang around and get involved. Friendships often develop....sometimes even, the odd argie bargie.

Cheers - Big Pete Bx

Coach Potato's picture

Could Thinker be curious that a Thinker-style stat seems to show that Parra’s attack has improved by leaps and bounds?

I use South Sydney as the measuring stick, and compare their defence against other top 4 teams.

Below are some teams that played Souths so far, and how many points they scored.

Penrith - 18
St George - 16
Roosters - 14
St George - 10
Cronulla - 14
Parramatta - 24

Is this enough to suggest there is nuisance value in a team that is out of finals contention?

The bookies say $3,30, so you would think, no.
But hang on.
Dragons are (1), and Eels are (16).
$3.30 is no (1) v (16) price for a game at WIN,

In a subtle kind of way, I sense the bookies are cautious here, and the mini litmus paper test above say they may have reason to be.

Coach Potato's picture

... yeah I know I said I was comparing Souths against other top 4s, but I thought I would added the walls of Roosters and Sharks for effect.

Brad S's picture

Great analysis, Coach.
I think you could be on the money here too. Parra showed how well they can play in the first half against the Rabbitohs. They’ve also beat the Dragons in their last 6 matches. Possible upset of the round!

The Thinker's picture

Welcome Jimmy....thank you for the kind words.

I will make some comments tonight.

Coach is right (occassionally  :-)

I do like to use teams in form as measuring sticks for other teams. It doesn't always work – the NRL is far too unpredictable for perfection.

And 16th can almost always beat 1st in the NRL too....there wouldn't be many other competitions on earth like that. It's a good thing....and a nightmare for tipsters.

mark ashford's picture

Hi Jimmy C and welcome.
We have a bit of fun here. Some comments may seem a bit harsh but they are mainly to "get a bite" and raise the temperature.
With the SOO shield now firmly in the Blues hands (about time) and the world cup heading toward finals normal club speak should prevail.

mark ashford's picture

TAD love your narrative about meeting Tadbul, very funny.
Please keep the installments coming.
Coach didn't see lots of NSW comments about the win (except yours)....of course they were all at the game and busy. You weren't there???
I assume your "wally" comment and raised middle finger were directed at me. Love to be recognized.

mark ashford's picture

Coach an olive branch is being offered.
Can you tell me if the Aust/Peru game is on free to air tonight?
I promise to watch, if so, and cheer on our country. If it's only on optus I'll have to wait for a replay.

Rick's picture

Hi there Mark yes it is looks like from 11pm on SBS cheers.

Coach Potato's picture

You’re right about not much comment about NSW win, mark.
As you would be aware most of the viewers including administrators are Qlders so you would have to think it’s about sour grapes. No matter. The silence effect is the biggest acknowledgment there can be.

Whether it’s egomania/paranoia or both - but no, the finger and Where’s Wally were just general. not about you. Loved your hilarious match report though. Totally wrong, but very funny.

Coach Potato's picture

The Optus debacle- that is, they won the right to cover all games with the exception of a handful before finals stage, and people would have to buy the World Cup app off them for $15 to watch the rest. Only problem was it never worked. There was an uproar including the PM making comment, and as a gesture of good faith to the sporting nation as we are, that the entire World Cup is back with SBS. Kick off is 12am.

Good on you for cheering on this country of ours.

mark ashford's picture

Coach the NSW/QLD rivalry is intense, sometimes it frightens me.
As the 2 dominant RL states we will always be in the forefront of the game. My passion is RL and want to keep the NSW/QLD dominance going. Talk of expansion is interesting but where will it end up.

Coach Potato's picture

As an added bonus, as last games for each pool can influence the other, and so games are played simultaneously. The alternate game will be on the other SBS channel, so allow for soccer surfing.

Yes, olive was meant to be the flavour of the month, but lots of people didn’t think it was tasty enough for them.

mark ashford's picture

Thanks Rick & Coach, I'll set my alarm (I'm an old man) and cheer for the Aussies!

The Thinker's picture

I'll be watching and publishing my round 16 tips at the same time...and checking flight schedules from Denver.

Coach Potato's picture

Just so everyone knows what page this World Cup chapter is up to, here are the (3) “What needs to happen” for Australia to make it to the next stage:

# Beat Peru. The Socceroos must win the game.
# Denmark to lose to France. Denmark must lose.
# Anything more than a one goal win to either Australia or France will break the possible deadlock with Denmark. Will have to read up on the tie break rules but won’t be surprised if it’s as archaic as a simple coin toss.

BigPeteBx's picture

Evening Mark - as between you and Coach.
Maybe the islands will come in.
NZ - NO, but only if it is Nth and Sth Island divided, as that would be more appropriated to States.

Cheers mate - Big Pete or Bx as Coach knows me as.

BigPeteBx's picture

Good stuff Coach - I think Socceroo's need a 2 goal diff.
The draw that was used in W/Cup Tipping says 12am.
I'll watch highlights later, as I would have a very long drousy day otherwise. As if the three lots of eye drops don't make me feel like I'm on stage. Bit like PAB and TAD.....what a story.
You have to like it. I think I'll give the soapie's a miss for this.
I can see why PAB never took an offer, I made to him, up.
Imagine playing footy with him, you wouldn't know which may to turn.
Oh well - Me Old Lost Brother!

@PAB - If you read this PAB, hows it all going.

Keep well all - Big Pete

jimmyc2001's picture

Hi Big Pete
No not really a Disney or Cricket lover ..... Although I did try some Crickets once in Thailand about 5 years ago .... Surprisingly delicious and accompanied with plenty of good cold beer ???? ....

pabdul's picture

Gday Pete
Pretty impressed with TADs version of events I expect there’s more parts to come he ain’t going to win the Pulitzer Prize for literature and I’ll probably sue him for defamation but up till now it’s pretty harmless
All good Pete BFAM Got to go but talk soon miss our convos

mark ashford's picture

Oh well Coach if you don't think an olive branch was tastier enough for them (who is them by the way) I guess it's withdrawn.

The Thinker's picture


If they can't split the teams after they go through all the ways to split the teams...they put the names in a hat and draw one out.

I'm not kidding.

Baggy_Gee's picture

Was there anywhere in the tie breaker ruling about the net weight of the contents of the paper bag given to Sepp Blatter, to determine the winner, surely he still has his hand out while the other is deep in the cookie jar.

Coach Potato's picture

# Thanks Thinker, I thought it was something like that. I know the NFL still like the old coin toss to decide a winner. Blow it let’s hope for a deadlock, and the Australia drawn like a magic rabbit.

# Bx, curious that you use an analogy relating to NZ, because it’a Peru that knocked them out at the last stage of qualification. That must still hurt just a little. It’s one of the rare times that NZ are cheering on Australia.

( BTW the two goal difference is the media’s strange thinking that France can only possibly win their game by one. If they win by two, we just need to win by one)

BigPeteBx's picture

Howdy Baggy - dont know what "Septic Blurter" is gaining out of the game at present. He is serving a 6 year ban from FIFA and is at present around 3 years into it. He has been succeeded by Gianni Infantino to the position. FIFA home base is still Switzerland, of which Blatter was Swiss, so he is still close at hand to "monitor activities".
There were times, that it was Blatter, who prevented Australia &/or Aust/NZ having a successful application to host The World Cup.
Keep well mate - Big Pete

BigPeteBx's picture

Coach - the least, the better for us!

I have this feeling that if they let Arzani loose early, he might just cut a few lines/ribbons into the Peruvian defence and get us an early one or two. Socceroos know what is at stake here and their fighting qualities, might just show up this match.

Keep well - Big Pete or Bx

BigPeteBx's picture

Good to hear from you Pabdul.
Hope all is extra well. R u still doing the night runs?
U r going extra well in tipping table also, this season.
Cheers and keep well - Big Pete in Bx

BigPeteBx's picture

No probs Jimmy - my apologies, I was just having a lend of you.

Jimmy C as in Jiminy Cricket - Disney Productions.
Tell you what though - tried a few Singha's myself but a fellow I know who is on te local sports council with me bought be a 6 pack of Leo Beer for my b/day last month. Not a bad drop at all.

Do you actually live in NSW, if so Country or Metrop?
Cheers and keep well - Big Pete

Mary S's picture

Hope you're right Pete, on the fighting spirit getting Aussies through tonight. 4/1 in Aussies favour sounds good to me!!
I hope Arzani does well. Like Ponga in the NRL, he is a very promising, talented player.

pabdul's picture

Yeah Pete
The only time I get the nights runs is vindaloo night
And the tipping going okay
I think the devil has got in the bag he’s like fricken rain man
He should be called The Really Intelligent Annoying Devil (TRIAD)

Coach Potato's picture

Didn’t you know that spice is the variety of life?

In all seriousness, State of Origin and the passionate love for one team and hate for the other, is what badly needs to translate back to Club level.

State tribalism is alive and well, and as Wally told the Poms in my post, it was the saving of Rugby League, Immortal #6 said it. The fire it creates each year sees us nicely through the Winter months.

There’s no doubt Club tribalism still exists out there in the fresh air, however, I see it in cardiac arrest on this page. If tribalism grows Origin and so grows the game, then tribalism must also work to grow the game through Club footy.

The spicey banter week to week on this page will be the Salt’N’Pepper, the KFC secret ingredients, the Macca’s special sauce. Think about it. Without rivalry, what is the bloody point of playing? For 100+ years it’s been about who is better than who. Just remember though, this is just team rivalry. It’s not, and never is, a personal rivalry. I think here is where most get confused.

Giving a bit of stick to Qld for once, doesn’t mean I am getting personal. Seek to see the difference.

# It’s a game.
#There’s bragging rights up for grabs week in, week out
# Nothing that is said about one team or another is personal. It’s only typing, and we are all big enough to cop a little, and then pray you get to dish out a little the next time.

So let’s grow this game.
It grows via Origin rivalry.
Let it grow via Club rivalry.

Just remember nothing personal.

Coach Potato's picture

Gotta say this Bert N Ernie Dutch coach we have is not very likeable. Reminds me of a Dutch Wayne Bennett. Talks in one sentence riddles.

I mean if that’s all it takes to get the top job, bloody hell !! Uncle Benny! We’ve found your new calling.

Coach Potato's picture

The inter-Sydney club rivalries are as entrenched as Carlton , Essendon, Collingwood etc.

Removing one to artificially represent a National comp eg Perth would be a shame. We’d have to start all over. I don’t hate Perth at all.

Coach Potato's picture

So there you go.

Turns out Australia were two wins away from qualifying, not just one. ie They were miles off.

With most of the team now playing in Europe, their style of play has become a bit structured. Slow, predictable, cliche. Kinda like the rugby league team that runs block plays and nothing else, and now finds it almost impossible to score.

To me, they are missing at least another two quality midfielders, two strikers, and well Robbie Kruze, he’s copped enough, I’ll just say they need another... whatever the position he thought he was playing.

World Cup after World Cup nothing much changes. Makes it difficult to know how we get in each time.

One thing’s for sure. There’s (x?) million dollars heading to Holland, out of our economy, and into Bert’s account. Pim Verbeek took another (x?) million dollars back to Holland, and yes Guus Hiddink, (x?) million dollars back to Holland. If you think I’m talking double Dutch, you’d be wrong. It’s triple Dutch. Guus was actually a fair step forward, but just having new coaches with the same coloured passport, a huge step back.

If we never do much good at this level, the least we could do is give it to someone that wouldn’t be taking his pay elsewhere.

Baggy_Gee's picture

Pete, I know he's be given the boot but cancer like that always stays involved at a distance probably will be involved till he parts this mortal coil.

manyana's picture

Hi Annoying Devil, I'm just catching up with all the talk about the State of Origin. (I've been a bit off colour).
I'm a Queenslander (for my sins), but I thought NSW played well & deserved the win, because Queensland just didn't take the chances when they were available.
Also enjoying your narrative of meeting with Pabdul, sounds like you had a great night & have some names on your Blue jersey, that might become immortals one day.
Good luck with your tips this week. I don't think It's going to be an easy round to pick the winners, with some changing clubs, some coming back from injury, & some being given a week off.
Cheers, Manyana.

jimmyc2001's picture

Hi Big Pete
I move around a fair bit .... Mostly Sydney Canberra and OS

NuL1F3's picture

Hi to all!
Condolences to my fellow Queenslanders for the series loss on Sunday and congrats to NSW! What a game! We have some work to do but I would be surprised if it's a white wash. I expect game 3 will show the blues 2019 will absolutely not be a sure thing ;)

My tips for this week are:

As much as I would love to keep picking my team I don't think they have it anywhere near enough together to beat the rabbits, particularly with Morgan out for the rest of the season. I am hoping they all just concentrate on just having fun and playing some good footy for JT's final season and cause a couple of upsets a long the way. At any rate, I for one will still be cheering them on regardless of whether I tip them or not. Go COWBOYS, go QUEENSLAND!!

a's picture

Here are my tips

Dragons by 16 I think the Dragons will flog the Eels here

Warriors by 2 I think the Warriors will win in a thriller here

Storm by 2 I think the Storm will win in a thriller here

Panthers by 26 I think the Panthers will kill Manly here

Knights by 6 I think the Knights will beat the Bulldogs here

Broncos by 4 I think the Broncos will end the Raiders season here

Titans by 2 I was going to tip the Tigers what I thought wait a minute Titans aren’t playing to bad so Titans for me

Rabbitohs by 36 Cowboys are no chance here their season is over Rabbitohs to flog the Cowboys

Dragons-fanboy's picture

Hello everyone, my tips for this week are:

Dragons by 16 - Dragons should get the win here over the Eels.

Warriors by 4 - Going the Warriors here at home.

Storm by 2 - This should be a cracking game with the Storm coming out on top in an absolute thriller.

Panthers by 18 - Panthers to bounce back here with a big win over Manly.

Knights by 10 - With Bulldogs losing a few key players due to injury ahem ahem Foron and to move to other clubs, I'm going the Knights at home.

Broncos by 1 - Broncos to win in a close one.

Tigers by 6 - I reckon the new recruits for the Tigers will work out in the first game due to familiar combinations and familiar of the club. Tigers in a close one for me.

And finally... Rabbitohs by 20 - Rabbitohs should smash the Cowboys here.

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

Mary S's picture

Agree with your sentiments 100% NuLif!!!

Coach Potato's picture

Well done NuL1F3 for taking it on the chin. A class above the rest ,the ones like yourself.


NRL tipping is easier if you follow the NRL news