Round thirteen selections

Three things The Thinker learned in round twelve

  1. It's taken almost half a season, but I've finally put a line through eight of the sixteen teams...from a premiership point of view.
  2. If Tevita Pangai Junior wanted to represent Tonga (his country of birth) they would be a seriously serious football team.
  3. Game one of State of Origin 2018 will be a very different game one to what we have seen in recent years.

Manly Sea Eagles vs North Queensland Cowboys – Thursday night – Lottoland

First and foremost let's list the players that are packing their sleeping bags and heading off to Origin camp – the Sea Eagles lose the Turbo brothers while the Cowboys lose two important back-rowers in Hess and Cooper and their current fullback in Micnael Morgan. The Sea Eagles should have beaten the Raiders in round 12 but let the game slip. The absence of the brothers Trbojevic is massive, but the return of Koroisau in the number 9 will add some spark. I'm assuming Matt Scott will be suspended. His absence, and the absence of Hess and Cooper, give Manly a significant edge in the forwards. Cherry-Evans didn't get an Origin call-up, but I expect he'll put up a good show in case Queensland have to make changes for game two.

Verdict – Sea Eagles by 4

Result – Cowboys 26 defeated Sea Eagles 12

South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Cronulla Sharks – Friday night – ANZ Stadium

Three teams are in red hot form at the minute, and here are two of them. The Rabbits lose Inglis, Cook, Crichton and Gagai to Origin camp while the Sharks, six wins in a row, lose just one winger in Valentine Holmes. I have no doubt that Souths have been better than the Sharks over the past month, but with the line-up changes listed the Sharks couldn't have timed this clash better and will prevail.

Verdict – Sharks by 4

Result – Rabbitohs 22 defeated Sharks 14

Parramatta Eels vs Newcastle Knights – Saturday night – ANZ Stadium

The Eels are at the bottom of the ladder but it's starting to feel like the Knights are heading in that direction. Note that their points differential is the worst in the competition and their season appears to have come to a grinding halt after such a promising start. No Origin players from either squad which is no surprise. Nathan Brown (the coach) would have put the wind up his troops after their effort last start but I still think the Eels will want this more. There's some chance that Nathan Brown (the player) and/or Jarryd Hayne could be back this weekend too.

Verdict – Eels by 8

Result – Knights 30 defeated Eels 4

Sydney Roosters vs Wests Tigers – Sunday afternoon – Allianz Stadium

The Roosters have been up and down like an elevator technician this season, and last week they were down in the first half and up in the second half. At their best they can still challenge for the premiership, but premiership challengers are consistent. This weekend they take to the field without Mitchell and Tedesco (their two most potent attacking weapons) and without Cordnor and Napa (their two best forwards). Meanwhile the Tigers go into this game without any changes. Scoring points has been an issue for the Tigers this season, but with the Roosters down on attacking firepower I'm tipping the Tigers in a low-scoring arm wrestle.

Verdict – Tigers by 4

Result – Roosters 16 defeated Tigers 14

Wally Lewis - round thirteen selections (in bold)

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

  • SEA EAGLES vs Cowboys
  • Rabbitohs vs SHARKS
  • EELS vs Knights
  • Roosters vs TIGERS


Dada's picture

Thinker is getting closer to full round,second time he gets 7
Go blues
Go blues
Go blues
2018 is for nsw,no looking back

NuL1F3's picture

The only thing I'm a little upset with myself about is not picking Rabbitohs when my gut was telling me too, oh well, 6/8 isn't too bad at all this season.

My picks for this week:

I'm sticking with my team for the win because they are usually a side to never underestimate or bet against even though this year is not proving any of that so far.

I'm so tempted to pick Sharks but can't help but feel Rabbitohs still have enough players left to be the stronger side.

Knights vs Eels.. flip a coin? Eels are going to be hungry for a win but so will be Knights. Ordinarily I would pick the home side but am picking Ponga instead.

Originally picked Roosters but with their Origin absentees am betting on Tigers having more kit... Will I be sorry again for not listening to my gut? Time will tell!

Good luck all and enjoy!

Dragons-fanboy's picture

Hello everyone, my tips for this week are:

Cowboys by 12 - I reckon that the Cowboys will get the Sea Eagles here.

Sharks by 2 - With the Rabbitohs having a few key players out due to origin, I'm going the Sharks in a close one.

Eels by 10 - Eels to get a win over the Knights here in the only non origin affected game this round.

And finally... Tigers by 4 - Tigers to get a gutsy close win here away from home due to the Roosters having a lot of origin players out whereas, the Tigers don't have any origin players missing.

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

mark ashford's picture

Can anyone tell me what the hell "anonymous" was posting about at the end of comments round 12. Perhaps you "anonymous".
Really excited about SOO game 1.
Both coaches (et al) have picked lots of new boys and good on them.
It's like SOO is reborn in 2018 and may the best team win!

Esra Star's picture

Can Kevy do a Fatty? Not sure,but being a Queenslander i am hoping they can. I am worried though about the Blues pack,it is bloody awesome and will take some heavy work to stop the bulldozers.

Mary S's picture

@ Mark,
I did wonder if this 'anonymous' was a 'blast from the past' seeing his comments (that seemed weird) earned him/her a 'welcome back'.
My supposition about 'spuds' could be wrong, after all, my tipping results show that's often the case!!!

It is going to be an exciting Origin series this season - GO QLD!!
Cheers to all

a's picture

Yeah I wonder who this Annoymous was

Mary S's picture

Cowboys will find the match on Thursday against Manly even more difficult with the suspension of Matt Scott.
Four experienced players missing from the match, but the opportunity of giving younger players their time to shine and hopefully succeed!

a's picture

Here are my tips

Cowboys by 1 I think the Cowboys can get back on track against a Manly

Sharks by 2 I think that Rabbitohs will be to origin affected here

Eels by 4 I think the Eels will get their season back on track against the Knights

West Tigers by 8 I think the Tigers will get the origin affected Roosters

Tailspin's picture

Well, absolutely devo'd last week. Down by 1 point again. Anyway, shit happens, only one way to go and that is up.
Cowboys by 10
Sharks by 14
Eels by 2
And Tigers by 4
Finally QLD by 8
GO Queenslander. And Cowboys.

Hardyards's picture

That’s the best Cowboys have played for a while, still a loss but good things to come out of it. Thumper being suspended isn’t one of them, but we showed last year we can survive without our big names. I’ll back them, as always, but with greater optimism this week. Worried DCE will have a mighty game to rub it in the QLD selectors, but JT will be there to subdue him.
Due to players out for origin
Knights and
Ta, and GO QLD

BigPeteBx's picture

Good evenin Mary - I was also wondering about that welcome back welcome. But I thought it may have been Spartan Warrior, who has gone missing for a while now.
All the best this week Mary - good to see new players getting a start, because apart from SoO, the salary cap is creating scenes, where clubs need the players, to be new starters.
Cheers and keep well - Big Pete in a very cool Bx Country.

BigPeteBx's picture

Evening Young 'a' - could be anyone, if the post and don't sign in.
As I said to Mary and apart from our old sparring partner Nepean Spud, I thought it might have been Spartan Warrior, gone missing in action.
Spartan would be very impressed with his Bunnies, at present.
Cheers mate and keep well - Big Pete from a very cool Bx Country.

BigPeteBx's picture

Great start Mark A to a new SoO series.
Give peace a chance and let the youngin's run loose.
Not sure mate what the 'Anonymous' was drinking in that round.
Maybe he did a Steel Panthers and forgot to sign in, or he's having a lend of us. Might be me old mate Fortress from Brookie, lost his way at The Corso and landed back here checking in, to see who is around.
Cheers Young Fella and keep well - Big Pete from a very cool Bx Country.

Steel Panther's picture

Hey Big Pete...I'm innocent this time haha. Very cool this past week in Auckland too. Been close to zero these last few mornings but beautiful days. Much prefer this to the rain.

Sorry the Red Devils didn't collect any silverware for you in the FA Cup final. Would have been hard for the coach against his old club. I see the Phoenix have signed an Aussie as their next coach. Can't say I'm familiar with the bloke. Poor goalie for Liverpool at the weekend. He's taking some stick from the fans after his mistakes that's for sure.

Stay warm!!

christine's picture

Well I didn't see the comment your all referring to from anonymous but there used to be someone by the name of joker on this site that left the site because of the person that shall remain nameless & then we had someone appear on the site that was a manly supporter no i'm not offending manly so please don't think I was but when fortress was on here that also used the name anonymous so it really could be anyone for all we know but for what it is all worth my loyalty remains with QLD so i'm sticking true to QLD ...

christine's picture

Big pete
Hi big pete - I have to add I personally think Spartan warrior is a roosters supporter & we know Spartan warrior from the clues he gave us if you remember follows NSW so he may just resurface yet so Spartan warrior if you are checking in on this site before , during or even after origin let your presence be known & all the best with origin tip big pete but I still pledge my loyalty to QLD so may the better team win ...

BigPeteBx's picture

Not a prob Chris - each to their own with picking teams.
All the best to you as well.
U know, I think we are both wrong with Spartans team.
I now seem to recall he followed Newtown Bluebags, in their day.
So I guess Easts might be closer, or then Souths for that matter, going by the train line.
They had some old named players in Newtown. We had a player from Bx play with them. Used to be able to take a ball on his fingertips.
Ask your dad did he recall the name Orial Kennerson.
Cheers Chris and keep well - Big Pete in The Cool Country.

BigPeteBx's picture

Hahahaha - welcome aboard Steely.
Innocent u r, as you didn't jump down my throat over it.
The slightest thing said here, sometimes used to start friction.
Red Devils let me down Bro.
But at least my Spanish team Real Madrid won Champions League final v Liverpool. Oh yes, I'm sure their will be some stick flying over "that" goal mate.
I have my favorites in each country. I follow Juventus in Serie A (Italy). PSG in France, Ajax in Holland, Anderlecht in Belgium......and it goes on.
I actually Juve play Man Utd, back in Brian Robsons days, here in Sydney at SCG - many years ago now.
I'll do a check later on Wellington Phoenix new coach for you.
I do recall seeing the name. It wasn't Kenny Lowe from Perth Glory was it, as I think Perth decided on a change.
Cheers mate and keep well - Big Pete in The Cool NSW Country.

a's picture

The Annoymous person could also be the person who will remain nameless to

christine's picture

"A" Yes I think you are probably right about that after all panthers did win on the weekend & beat dragons doing so which could make him resurface but only time will tell if it continues or not , good luck with your tips this week "a" ...

christine's picture

Big pete
Oriel kennerson - played 3 years for newtown as a goal kicking fullback in the 40's, then switched to western division in the 50's & played against the visiting French team & kicked 6 goals but the team lost 24 - 26. The French team was captained by the great Puig aubert at fullback ,Raymond contrastin a winger who is in the international rugby league hall of fame & Renee duffort who went on to coach France in multiple world cups.

BigPeteBx's picture

Great response Chris - yr dad remembers well.
That or David Middleton is your brother or Mr Google is another close friend.
Oriel, brother Jack and his father ran two butcher shops here.
I think a fellow I know here, said that he recalled Oriel, playing with Western Suburbs Magpies before returning to Bx to play. Bill Horder played with Wests and he is also from here.
Cheers - Big Pete

newbie from perth's picture

Sa-wat-dee krup,

State Of Origin means there’s some players MIA and that means possible upsets. Or maybe it doesn’t. Only time will tell. OK, this weekend there’s only 4 games so only half a novel from me which might be a good thing for some. Let’s get into it…

Manly vs Cowboys 75-25 @ Brookvale
Ain’t it funny - Manly and North Queensland both lost by a point last week. Nothing to do with anything really, just thought I’d mention it. Anyways, Manly will be without the Trbojevic boys and that might have an impact. By all accounts, Manly were the better side last week but still managed to lose it by a point. Shoulda, coulda, woulda. But hey, these things happen (just ask the Cowboys). DCE needs to step up this week and try and forget his missed conversion. That’s the second time it’s happened recently and cost the Eagles the game. Pretty sure he’ll rise above and get his “focus” happening. The stats tell me that the Cowboys have won 4 of their last 5 against Manly but on the other hand they’ve only won 1 away game so far this year. They lost a thriller against the Storm last week but they impressed me no end. This week they’ll be without Morgan, Hess and Cooper. That could be the telling factor I reckon. I’ve got a feeling that beating Manly at Brookie might just be a bit of an ask. I’m getting a weird vibe that they’re a tired bunch and it’s only Round 13. Hey, I could be wrong, just saying that’s the impression I’m getting. Having said all that, I still give the Cows a chance here. But as far as my tipping goes, I think I’ll stick with the Manly boys but only ‘cos they’re at home.

Rabbitohs vs Sharks 60-40 @ ANZ
This should be a cracker. Nice effort from the Bunnies last week in NZ. Unfortunately they’ll be without Inglis, Cook, Gagai and Crichton due to SOO. It'll be interesting to see how Souths fare without them. Cronulla absolutely smashed the Knights last week and have now gone 6 in a row. Are they getting back into some serious form at the right time I wonder. The only bloke they have MIA this weekend is Holmes so they’re more or less at full strength. Plus, they seem to be able to grind out wins when they’re short of key players. While I have seriously underestimated the Bunnies this year, the fact they have those 4 blokes missing this week has me leaning towards the Sharks.

Eels vs Knights 50-50 @ ANZ
Again, the stats (ya gotta love ‘em eh) tell me both teams have lost 4 in a row. I watched the Eels last week and while their first half effort was so-so, they really improved in the second. How will the Knights respond to last week’s flogging? They seem lost without the direction of Pearce. They need to get past this or else they’re in trouble. Haven’t seen a lot of Newcastle this year but I have seen a bit more of the Eels and they’re not that bad in my opinion. Not great but not really bad. Yeah, they’re sitting at the bottom of the ladder but I’m gonna give them one more chance and tip Baggy’s BOYS to win against the Knights. If they lose, I’m jumping ship until they start winning. Eels for me.

Roosters vs Tigers 65-35 @ Allianz
Tough win last week for the Tigers. I’d tipped the Doggies and just fell short. Got to hand it to the Tiges though, they played that little bit better and deserved the win. The Tigers started well this year but fell off the boil for a while. I notice they have no-one playing on Wednesday night which has me concerned seeing as we will have Cordner, Napa, Mitchell and Tedesco all MIA. Jumped on the NRL and I notice Blake Ferguson is going to fullback. Think he might be better suited there actually. And my man Dan (Tupou) is back. The rest are handy enough replacements I reckon. Ordinary first half from my BBB last week but thankfully they stepped it up a touch in the second. Always good when you win by 20. Just wish we were playing like that more consistently that’s all. Yeah, the Tigers beat us last time but it was only by a couple. And yeah, they came back and got a tough win last week but it was against the Doggies (no offence intended Doggies fans). I’m just hoping my BBB can replicate what they did in the second half last week and get up over the Tigers. Gotta go my BBB. 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…

OH. MY. GAWD. The hair! The hair! Look for the “moves” he makes when it comes around to “hush hush, eye to eye”. Word of warning: The bass player might frighten some of you. He frightens the hell out of me! Classic…

Cheers y’all…

BigPeteBx's picture

Hey Steely - I think the new Phoenix manager/coach is Ernie Merrick.
I'm bloody sure, he coached there a few years ago, before coming across the ditch. Ernie is Scottish, going my his accent on tv prior to A-League grand final, as he was Newcastle's coach, this season.
He'll go alright for you guys!
Nathan Burns from near here, is still playing there, with Phoenix. He is a former Socceroo.
Cheers - Big Pete from across The Ditch.

newbie from perth's picture

@ Big Pete

Your “favourites” in each country got me thinkin’. Thought you might be interested…

Australia – Perth Glory (who else eh?)
England – Arsenal
Scotland – Celtic
France – PSG
Italy – Roma
Spain – Barcelona
Holland – Ajax
Germany – Bayern Munich
Ireland – Derry City
Portugal – Benfica
Thailand – Chiang Rai United

Can’t think of any others so that must be the lot. Cheers bro’…

newbie from perth's picture

@ Mr Ashford and @ Mary and @ ‘a’ and @ anyone else

RE: Round 12 comments comment:

I was curious so went and had a gander at said comment(s) and have a theory. I noticed Anonymous said:

“anonymous = controversial comforting carbohydrate”

To me that reads as clues as to the identity of “anonymous”.

1. Someone controversial.
2. Something that comforting.
3. Something that’s a carbohydrate.

1 = The “nameless one” (as our friend ‘a’ calls him) was controversial.
2 = A couch is comforting (comfortable).
3 = A potato is a carbohydrate.

Or maybe 2+3 = potatoes are a “comforting carbohydrate”.

Therefore the secret identity = the “nameless one”.

Then again it could be someone just having a bit of fun and throwing out false leads. Someone maybe just having a harmless joke(r). We could’ve all been sucked in (or maybe just me) and be totally and utterly wrong (ha-ha)…

Ya gotta love conspiracy theories eh? Cheers, I’m off to bed. Gotta get up at 4.15am for work. Yikes!

Steel Panther's picture

Big Pete, Ernie Merrick has come and gone as Phoenix coach. Here's a snippet from an article in our local about the new coach Mark Rudan. I've never heard of him.

Rudan tasted plenty of on-field success in a 17-year playing career that included stints in not only Australia, but also Germany, China, Malaysia, Switzerland and Japan. He captained Sydney FC to the inaugural A-League Championship in 2005/06 and had a further two seasons with the Sky Blues before ending his career at Adelaide United in 2009/10 and moving into coaching.

Rocket Ryan's picture

Tiger holic and baggy not long to go now how you feeling boys you confident this year I actually thought the two of you had stop tipping then I just scrolled a bit further down even though all our stars are retired or gone I still think we can get up and inflict a bit more pain on you I'm so used to beating the Blues I just can't imagine it any other way.

mark ashford's picture

Newbie I think you may just be right on the money.
He must be missing us!

The Thinker's picture

Well done Newbie

Baggy_Gee's picture

we can do it Ryan, just not with that busted bronco named as one of the centers. Its like the selectors are trying to lose the series. He is a revolving door in defense and Chambers and Gagai will walk straight through it all game. Take him back to the Broncos and let us pick a proper player.

christine's picture

my tips for rd 13 are
sharks but a rabbits win wouldn't surprise me
All the best everyone with your tips.

BigPeteBx's picture

Howdy Newbie - we continue........
Oh yes, when one gets thinking of their teams.
We have a couple in common mate. I like you follow the same in Germany and Holland. I'm Rangers in Scotland.
Sydney FC is my NSW A-league team.
It will be interesting to see, who they allow, as the two new teams when A-League is expanded.
I'll push on mate - Big Pete

mark ashford's picture

Newbie you may be a great detective as I have said but your music is a bit of a worry.
You warned us to be scared of the base player, hell I was scared of the whole thing. How on earth did they get someone to record them.
I'm a bit older than you but was a Doors tragic from day one, also an ACDC fan during Bon Scott's time.

BigPeteBx's picture

Howdy Steely -
It will be good if Ernie stays on at Newcastle as he transformed the team.
Mark Rudan was well known after his playing days with Fox Sports.
Adelaide United Reds were his last club before moving into coaching.
I remember him at Sydney Utd and I think he had a stint at Rockdale Suns. He has to start in A-League somewhere. Never know what he can produce.
Cheers Steely - maybe you might run into Mark one day around town.
Big Pete

Rocket Ryan's picture

Good old cowboys
No Cooper no Morgan no Hess no Scott no Bolton

No Worries

Mary S's picture

You little beauty - great win for Cowboys

The Thinker's picture

Where have these Cowboys been all year?

Funnily enough, I mentioned this week that I had ruled 8 teams out of premiership contention, but the second last Cowboys weren't one of those teams.

More of that please.

mark ashford's picture

To all the Cowboys fans on this site and I'm one, take a big breath and salute your team. Lots of big names missing but your young guys did the business. Jason T was amazing what a pity we can't get him for SOO

a's picture

Yeah I am so hope that Paul Green doesn't go back to his old crappy older players and goes on to keep his younger players than I can see us winning more games

Tailspin's picture

Ye bloody hah

NuL1F3's picture

Remember the Cowboys team last year after all the injured were out? Paul Green must start making smarter decisions and not just keep loyally picking the same blokes week in week out. Last night has to prove to him it's ok to shake things up a bit from time to time.

A strange phenomenon this year with teams usually scoring tries after a player is sin binned, I wonder if this is somehow related to that?

After the enormous comeback the Cowboys had last year, I was one of many that proudly predicted the 'Super' team we would have this year (I never touched wood, sorry guys), if that's what we could do without JT and Scott, imagine how unstoppable the side will be with them back on the field! It's actually heartbreaking that the opposite has been true.

A great returning to form over the last weeks and they certainly dug deep last night to prove you just can't ever discount them. Too little too late? Maybe, and there is still some cleaning up to do, but I will be happy for the boys to at least cause more than a few upsets for the remainder of the season :)


Tailspin's picture

It will be a bloody big ask of the cowboys to make the 8 Thinker. I think they have to win 11 out of the last 13 to have a chance don't they.

a's picture

I think it's at least 8 of their last 11

Tuisova's picture

Is it me or NRL had become so boring?..

Less and less tries...the action is so predictable...repeat sets after repeat sets , knock ons, tackles, repeat , kick , chase , missed try , knock-on, people hanging on the ball handler, disallowed tries...

There is not as much show as I can watch on the union

Coming here in peace

Tuisova's picture

actually watching the sharks -rabbitohs game...more like a ufc fight than a rugby game

mark ashford's picture

Welcome and we all come here in peace....well most of us!
I know what you are saying. How many times do we hear such & such a club ground out a win. The only excitement we get these days are some spectacular tries from flying wingers. If the refs could just keep the players further apart on the play the balls we could see faster play instead of a tackle and lay on the man fest.
Still I enjoy the game but must admit Union leaves me scratching my head about how it all works.

christine's picture

Just making a change with one of my tips from roosters to tigers , i'm not on the tipping ladder so it doesn't count anyway so my tips know read as manly , sharks , eels , tigers ...

newbie from perth's picture

@ Big Pete

Yeah, don’t mind a bit of soccer at times. Absolutely love my Gunners and actually kissed the wall at Highbury back in ’85 when I was backpacking through England, Ireland Europe and Greece. Thought about it later and maybe kissing that wall was not the most hygienic thing I should’ve done. Decided to go and have a belly full of “bevvies” (too many actually) and try and disinfect any germs I may have picked up. Must’ve done the trick as I’m still here (ha-ha).

Now, as far as two new teams coming into the A-League goes, just hoping they don’t opt for one from WA. Mate, it’s hard enough winning trophies and attracting sponsors and crowds with just one team in town. If they go another one in Perth they’ll just be shooting themselves in the foot! Leave us with the one team and let the two new sides come from over East or elsewhere. There’s just not enough fans here to accommodate any more than what we have. Anyway, that’s my 2c on that. OK, I’ll let you “push on” as you said. Cheers…

P.S. See we had a good 4-0 win over the Czech Republic tonight. Have no idea how good the Czechs are though so we’ll have to wait and see how those Socceroos go in later matches…


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