Round twenty selections

Brisbane Broncos vs Cronulla Sharks – Thursday night – Suncorp Stadium

The Sharks haven't lost a game since they lost to the Broncos, although that wasn't that long ago. This time around the game shifts north of the border and the Broncos need to play like they did last week and not like they did the week before. Inconsistency isn't a word used to describe the Broncos as a rule, but they've been up and down more than an elevator mechanic in season 2018. Some doubts over Wade Graham and Jason Bukuya taking the field. Given the importance of this contest I have a feeling both will play, although the clock is ticking given the Thursday timeslot. If the Cronulla forwards can pester and pressure the Broncos halves and put them off their game the Sharks will win. I assume that's their game plan, and I assume the Broncos know that's their game plan. Take note that Isaako is a possible out for the Broncos while he tries to overcome a leg injury. If he doesn't play I would change my tip, but for now:

Verdict – Broncos by 4

Result – Broncos 12 defeated Sharks 10

North Queensland Cowboys vs Newcastle Knights – Friday night – 1300SMILES Stadium

The Cowboys are tied for last right now but somehow....somehow...they are a red hot favourite on Friday night. Perhaps people think they will realise they're running last, and pull themselves out of a funk. Why now? They've been pretty funky all year. Kalyn Ponga looks likely to return for the Knights and he joins a team that's won two in a row. The Cowboys haven't won at home since round seven (against the Titans). I'm putting favouritism aside and tipping the team that's winning.

Verdict – Knights by 2

Result – Cowboys 20 defeated Knights 18

Canterbury Bulldogs vs Wests Tigers – Friday night – ANZ Stadium

The Tigers defence has been first-rate all season, and the inclusion of Farah, Marshall and Mbye has given them an attack to match. They may be outside the top eight, but this team has beaten every side in the top four, and they've beaten the Storm twice. The Bulldogs attack has been pedestrian at best, and I can't see how they could possibly penetrate the Tigers on Friday night.

Verdict – Tigers by 14

Result – Bulldogs 16 defeated Tigers 4

Manly Sea Eagles vs Penrith Panthers – Saturday afternoon – Lottoland

It's not often you have two teams facing each other after conceding 50 points in their previous outing – welcome to one of their more interesting matches this round. The best we've seen from Penrith in recent weeks was when their virtual reserve grade played for them. Rumours persist that key players at Penrith aren't big fans of the coach won't go away, and the performances on the field seem to indicate all is not well at the foot of the mountains. With no confidence I'll tip them here though – at least they have a finals berth to fight for and they've had two extra days to prepare for this one.

Verdict – Panthers by 4

Result – Panthers 28 defeated Sea Eagles 24

South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Parramatta Eels – Saturday night – ANZ Stadium

The Eels did win last week, but they scored just the two tries against a pretty ordinary Bulldogs (and one of those was an intercept). They'll need to be better than that against the Bunnies...and they aren't.

Verdict – Rabbitohs by 20

Result – Rabbitohs 26 defeated Eels 20

Melbourne Storm vs Canberra Raiders – Saturday night – AAMI Park

The Storm have warmed up as the season has progressed and have worked their way to the top of the ladder. With six games to play (and four at home) they'll be doing all they can to win the minor premiership from here. One has to think the Raiders have all but conceded their finals prospects this season after that deflating loss to the Sharks last week. The only risk for the purple machine is that they already have one eye on their tantalising contest against the Bunnies next week. It's a risk but not much of a risk – the Storm aren't the sort of team that lose focus on the task at hand.

Verdict – Storm by 8

Result – Storm 44 defeated Raiders 10

Gold Coast Titans vs New Zealand Warriors – Sunday afternoon – Cbus Super Stadium

For years I've been telling the Warriors they need to improve their record in Australia, and they've finally listened to me. Unfortunately their record at home has fallen off a cliff. It seems the Warriors can do one thing well but two things well is a bridge too far. The Gold Coast is one place the Warriors usually play well at. The last time I checked the Gold Coast population was about 25% expat Kiwis so it's a home away from home really. There's every chance there will be more black jerseys in the stands than blue jerseys on Sunday. Daytime conditions seem to suit the visitors too.

Verdict – Warriors by 20

Result – Titans 36 defeated Warriors 12

Sydney Roosters vs St George Illawarra Dragons – Sunday afternoon – Allianz Stadium

I mentioned last week that the Dragons win over the Roosters on ANZAC Day was about when their season peaked, so this will be a good test of how far they have fallen (assuming they have). It's also a test of how much the Chooks have improved – I have no doubt they've been getting better as the season has worn on. In that sense, they are on a similar trajectory to the Storm. Melbourne and the Roosters look like the two most likely at the minute. The Dragons won away from home over a shaky Cowboys while the Chooks racked up half a century away from home over the Sea Eagles. I'm leaning the tricolours way here, and if Napa plays (and he might) I'd be leaning their way even more. It's the game of the round, and if they can't get 25,000 to the ground I'd be disappointed. If I were in Sydney it's where I would be.

Verdict – Roosters by 4

Result – Roosters 36 defeated Dragons 18

Wally Lewis - round twenty selections (in bold)

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

  • BRONCOS vs Sharks
  • COWBOYS vs Knights
  • Bulldogs vs TIGERS
  • Sea Eagles vs PANTHERS
  • RABBITOHS vs Eels
  • STORM vs Raiders
  • Titans vs WARRIORS
  • ROOSTERS vs Dragons


newbie from perth's picture

Boom! Don’t think I’ve ever been first to post so there’s one thing I can cross off the bucket list! Anyways, been busy with life and saw a few comments I thought I should respond to before I pondered this week’s upcoming matches…

@ Mr Ashford

Firstly, glad you made it back safe and sound and good to hear you had a great time on Fraser.

Secondly, no I’m not leaving for Thailand just yet. I still need to get my act (and money) together first. Might take 6 months or 6 years. Who knows eh? That being said, I’ll be there first available chance I get. When I eventually make the move I’ll still be on here as usual. Thai internet is just as good as anywhere else (most of the time anyways) so I’ll still be logging in and posting and tipping.

Thirdly, glad you gave the SOTW a “thumbs up”. At least someone (besides me) enjoyed it. Well actually I seem to remember Mary did as well. So there’s 3 of us (ha-ha). Cheers.

@ Christine

That band Baby Metal from last week’s SOTW are actually a “concept” band created by their producer who just so happens to like heavy metal. Basically he thought it might be a good idea if he “fused” some heavy metal (Japanese style) with the vocals of the lead female singer. He added the other 2 girls in 2010 so they haven’t been around all that long. Hey, it’s different and sort of wacky but for some reason I really dig it. Each to their own I suppose. Thanks for asking as well. Take care…

Cheers y'all...

Tailspin's picture

Bloody hell I'm dirty I didn't get my tips on last week. In early this week though

Dragons-fanboy's picture

Hello everyone, my tips for this week are:

Broncos by 2 - Broncos to get a tight win at home to hope there top 4 aspirations alive.

Cowboys by 8 - Cowboys are due for a win so I'm going with the Cowboys to get the win at home here.

Tigers by 14 - Tigers to get a big win here to keep their finals hopes alive.

Panthers by 10 - Panthers to bounce back here with a win over Manly here.

Rabbitohs by 18 - Rabbitohs should bounce back here after last week's loss to the Tigers with a big win over the Eels here.

Storm by 12 - Storm to remain on top here with a win over the Raiders.

Warriors by 4 - Warriors to get a tight victory here over the whole-hearted Titans here.

And finally... they mighty Dragons by 1 - The mighty Dragons to get a very close win over the Roosters to keep their minor premiership aspirations alive here.

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

newbie from perth's picture

Sa-wat-dee krup,

Before I start I just wanna say that yes, the Roosters vs Dragons game will be on free-to-air but Newbie’s gonna miss it. Western Power (our electricity supplier over here) is doing major maintenance on Sunday and mine and surrounding suburbs will have the power cut off from 7.30am until 4.30pm. As Charlton Heston said in the original Planet Of The Apes movie … “Damn you! Damn you all to hell!” Hopefully I’ll be able to watch a full replay (fingers crossed) on the NRL website later on. OK, less self pity and more footy eh? Let’s get into it…

Broncos vs Sharks 50-50 @ Suncorp
Ah the Broncos … sometimes very good and sometimes not. I get the impression Wayne has to continually keep them “focused” or else they go off the boil a bit. Who will rock up this week is anyone’s guess. The Sharks were pretty good last week and played that disciplined style of footy we all know they’re good at. Do that again and they’ll win this. They’ll be looking for some payback too (for last time) so I’ll tip the Sharks here.

Cowboys vs Knights 60-40 @ 1300SMILES
The Cowboys’ home record has me worried a bit. I think it’s 2-7. Not much to get excited about last week with the Cowboys but the stats show me they managed to share possession with the Dragons and out gunned them in total metres run. Take that effort into this game and they’re a chance. The Knights looked gone for all money last week but surprisingly (to me anyway) fought their way back for a good win. I gave the Cows one last chance last week and missed out. For that reason and the fact that the Knights will be desperate to get the 2 points to keep their finals chances flickering, I’ll go the Knights (yes, even though I've rated the Cows ahead of them).

Bulldogs vs Tigers 30-70 @ ANZ
Formlines people, formlines. That’s how I view this one. No disrespect intended to anyone whatsoever but the Dogs couldn’t manage it against Baggy’s BOYS last week whereas the Tigers knocked off the Rabbitohs (and the Dragons the week before). Even if their bubble burst, the Tigers would still be good enough to win this. Tigers for me.

Manly vs Panthers 40-60 @ Brookvale
Manly were very ordinary last week, albeit they had an improved second half. The Panthers were very ordinary as well. Knowing my luck, if I tip Manly, the Panthers will win. And if I tip the Panthers, Manly will win. Can I tip a draw? Nah, didn’t think so. I dunno, I still think the Panthers have a little more class than Manly and might be desperate to show the nay-sayers they’re not done with just yet. I’ll give ‘em a chance and tip them to win. Not all that confident though as I reckon Manly are a legitimate prospect here but will tip them Panthers nevertheless.

Rabbitohs vs Eels 70-30 @ ANZ
Were the Rabbitohs average or were the Tigers good? I suppose the Bunnies might be thinking better to lose that one rather than the “Big One” in late September. The Eels had a nice win last week against the Doggies but facing the Rabbitohs is a different ball game altogether. It’s almost guaranteed the Rabbitohs will bounce back from last week’s “shock” and account for Baggy’s BOYS here. Sorry Baggy but it’s the Bunnies for me.

Storm vs Raiders 65-35 @ AAMI
The Storm aren’t winning by much lately but they’re winning. Class outfit at home will prove tough for the Raiders, who, by the way, have an ordinary 3-6 away record. Facing the Storm in Melbourne and hoping to win might be asking a bit much. Nah, Storm for me. They’re $1.30 favourites for a reason.

Titans vs Warriors 45-55 @ Cbus
The Titans should’ve won last week but didn’t. Even though the Warriors lost last week (again at home) they lost to the Storm. The Titans on the other hand should have but couldn’t against the Knights. I rate the Storm a lot higher than the Knights so it’s safe to say I’ll be tipping the Warriors here. Playing away makes it a “lock” doesn’t it? Yeah go on, prove me wrong RL gods! Warriors for me. In remembrance to a mate still missed I say … “Peow! Peow!”

Roosters vs Dragons 60-40 @ Allianz
This should be an absolute cracker! I’m hearing some commentators (including the Boss I see) talking up my BBB’s current “running into form” and well, I’m loving it. Man we played well last week. Mind you, I was annoyed that Manly scored all those points in the second half but by then we weren’t gonna lose it. Now, the Dragons. Not sure why they’ve gone off the boil so to speak. Have they peaked too early and on their way down the hill? Not convinced about that actually as on paper, they’ve got the artillery to get up here. Whatever the outcome this weekend, I’m betting it’ll be a tough one. I’d love to be wrong and see my BBB win by 18 but in all honesty, the Dragons are just too classy to let that happen. Who am I tipping? Why the Roosters of course. 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…

And now something you might not be expecting. This one is for all the lovers out there. This reminds me of times past and lost opportunities…

Cheers y’all…

a's picture

Here’s my tips

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

Cowboys by 6 yes I am so hoping Cowboys win this one and I think they will

West Tigers by 10 I think Tigers will flog the Bulldogs here

Panthers by 4 I’m not feeling to confident but Panthers only just

Rabbitohs by 32 Rabbitohs should bounce back easily here

Storm by 20 another easy game here

Warriors by 2 I think the Warriors will win in a close one here

Roosters by 2 Roosters to win a thriller here

Baggy_Gee's picture

Bad news on the Cowboys/Knights game. Might have to change your tips based on weather or not Ponga and Watson are named on the day. I think they would still be OK without Ponga but Watson has been quite effective in the halves with Pearce back.

Baggy_Gee's picture

BTW TAD, did you see the Broncos press call after that thrashing of the Panthers? Even after that performance against one of the favourites and putting 50 on them, Bennett couldn't raise a smile.

mark ashford's picture

Newbie...hit the mark again with your SOTW. Two of the US best artists since who knows when.
Glad to hear you'll be with us for the long ride.
Only time in Thailand was a 2 day stopover in Bankok on a flight back from the UK. Didn't get to see the country. Are you a Bankok person or do you have a favourite country town.
Baggy....had the Broncs won by a 100 you still wouldn't have seen a smile. I think Wayne saves all his smiles for his new lady.
Any truth to the rumour Antony Seibold will replace Wayne once his contract is up.

newbie from perth's picture

@ Mr Ashford

Bloody hell, another “thumbs up” eh? Man, call me “butter” ‘cos I’m on a roll! Yeah, Stevie and Don were made for that song. Might have something to do with their brief off and on affair they had for 2 years way back in the day. Stevie’s such a talented lady as well. Right up there amongst the best in my opinion and still looking good, even at 70.

BKK (Bangkok) is a great place (to visit) but way too big and busy for me. I used to like going to Patong but the tourists and the Russians have buggered up a once beautiful place. The same thing’s happened to a couple of places I used to frequent just south of Patong (Kata and Karon).

My favourite 2 places I keep returning to time after time are Chiang Mai and 3 hours north of there Chiang Rai. Love Chiang Rai as it’s relatively unaffected like the other places. If I was to leave tomorrow It’d be hard to decide on whether to go to Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai. At the moment I’d be leaning towards Chiang Mai, but only just. There’s loads of things there to do and see, food is out of sight and cheap. Medical facilities top notch and really good infrastructure all round. Cheap housing just out of the city limits too. Anyways, I’ve taken up too much space here and I’m getting hungry. Might go off and make myself some din-dins.

Oops, just thought of something …. When I move there I’ll have to change my moniker. Either “newbie from Thailand” or maybe just “newbie”. Something to think about. Cheers bro’…

TigerGirl's picture

Got my tips in already, feeling pleased with myself. ????

TigerGirl's picture

Got my tips in already, feeling pleased with myself. ????

manyana's picture

Here are my tips for round 20.
Broncos, Knights, Tigers, Panthers, Rabbits, Storm, Warriors, Roosters.

manyana's picture

Here are my tips for round 20.
Broncos, Knights, Tigers, Panthers, Rabbits, Storm, Warriors, Roosters.

Tailspin's picture

Here we go,
Broncos to win by 8, sharks were very lucky to get away with a win last week and the broncos are starting to click with their new young forward pack going to town, if broncos go into this with the same mind set as last week they will win by 13+

Cowboys by 13+ They should have won last week with all the tries they bombed and unforced errors they made. I'm sure they will get that corrected for this game. Well I bloody hope so anyway.

Tigers by 13+ They are clicking well now as they have shown in the last few rounds and they have a sniff for finals footy.

Panthers by 1-12, I feel like I am grasping at straws here. Both coming off loses but Panthers need this more I think so they get their mindset right for finals time.

Rabbits by 13+ They will be hurting from last weeks performance and going out here to make a very big statement I think.

Storm by 1-12 They are at home and in form, however, on the other hand the Raiders will be feeling a bit hard done by from last week and might just upset the apple cart.

Warriors by 13+ just way to good for the Titans I think.

Roosters by 1-12 They are showing off their talent now and are only going to get better.

Hope you all have a great weekend.

NuL1F3's picture

Gday folks, my tips for this round:
Sea Eagles
Best of luck to everyone in the comp! :)

christine 's picture

my tips for rd 20 are :
best of luck everyone ...

mark ashford's picture

Hey Newbie Chiang Rai is where the young soccer players were rescued from that cave system. Do you know of it? Seems a dangerous place when it rains and Thailand gets plenty of rain. Should authorities have closed the entrance to the public?

Rocket Ryan's picture

Surprise surprise Shane Flanagan doesn't think the refereeing was up to scratch no he wasn't talking about last week

Steel Panther's picture

Or the previous week Ryan when a blatant forward pass won them the game v the Warriors...the guy is a joke!!

mark ashford's picture

Funny that Rocket. Despite Mr Flanaghan's protest I thought it was a terrific game with both teams giving their all. Was anyone's game right up to the final whistle.

Tuisova's picture

One of the worst game i'v ever witnessed between cowboys and knights

The Thinker's picture

Cowboys v Knights....not pretty.

That final pass to Cooper to score the winning try......hmmmmmmm

a's picture

Good to see the Cowboys win again

Steel Panther's picture

How can a team be that bad and still win? Was there a player who didn't drop the ball?

mark ashford's picture

Thinker I hope your comment about that Cowboys pass wasn't influenced by your selections this week. You normally stay out of contentious refs calls, just leaving it to us underlings.
Just kidding of course, didn't see the game or the pass.
But must say I'm happy to see a Cows win for them and their fans.
Please be assured this comment is not influenced by my selection this week!

Mary S's picture

Great news for all supporters and the players that Cowboys won tonight!!!!

Tuisova's picture

yeah that was weeeell forward.
And the referee just in front.

Sahmeful end to a shameful game.

Rocket Ryan's picture

Talk about shameful that just about sums up the Tigers thank Christ I'm not a tiger supporter fancy having to put up with that year after year

Rocket Ryan's picture

Worst part is I'm like tiger holic I never want to pick them

newbie from perth's picture

@ Mr Ashford

Yeah mate, those caves are in CR. My personal opinion is no, don’t close off the caves. There are signs posted everywhere and they all know the right and wrong times to go in. plus it’s a sort of “rite of passage” for young fellas up there. I reckon the boys were just really unlucky Mother Nature decided to do dump an unusually high amount of rain when she did. Maybe it’s her way of reminding us mere mortals to take care and pay attention. Geez, that sounded a bit “cosmic” didn’t it? It makes sense to me anyway (ha-ha). Doing something like that is easy enough to do and sorta reminds me of the stupid things I did as a kid but luckily I managed to get away with it.

Anyways, watched the Dogs and Tigers tonight (that hit on Lewis was a standout) and gotta admit the Tigers looked out of sorts. Maybe knocking off the Dragons and Souths took too much out of them. Then again, what would I know, I’m 0 for 3 at the moment. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again …. it’s a funny ol’ game isn’t it? OK peeps, take care and Go The Roosters!

The Thinker's picture


Yes....pretty much. It's always frustrating when you tip an outsider, lead throughout and lose in the last minute. A long frustrating season for Cowboys fans so I'm glad they had a good night out for a change.

Stoopid football   :-)

Rocket Ryan's picture

Hey tiger holic isn't it ironic if you had of followed form that means do what you do most weeks and tipped against the Tigers you would have been the only one on the site to jag the Bulldogs you are some sort of loser.

Steel Panther's picture

I can't believe what I just saw!!! Penrith 24-6 down with 20 to go come back to win 28-24. Unbelieveable!!

Steel Panther's picture

Big Pete you will be gutted that your team surrendered such a big lead. They looked well in control and Penrith were ugly.

Hope you are surviving the cold in BX country.

a's picture

Did Manly just choke 24-6 minutes in front than lost

Baggy_Gee's picture

Again it just proves that the top and bottom eight aren't that far apart. Spewing that we couldn't close out the game especially that disallowed Hayne try. I know the letter of the law is accurate but that's where feel for the game comes in, a finger nail wouldn't have made any difference. But we couldn't get the winning habit rolling.

tigerholic's picture

Rocket, Rocket, Rocket
You must have been bullied at school, the way you bully people on this site is a sure sign that you have issues going on.

I'm think those issues are either of the below or both:

1. Small mans syndrome
2. Small penis syndrome

Enjoy the rest of your weekend Rocket, yes it is a difficult pill to swallow with the Tigers. There will always be next year.


Tailspin's picture

Hey Thinker, Cowboys haven't been pretty all year. And yes it was a forward pass, no doubt about it. And there lays my argument on ruling on blatant forward passes. But we will take the win and hopefully not the wooden spoon.

BigPeteBx's picture

Hello Steely -
Surviving the temps here. Today hasn't been bad at all. Still need rain and around the State and Nation.
Absolutely gutted and totally dismayed at that performance yesterday. Who was backing who there, I wonder.
The Cleary Clincher spelt that out loud. Manly are looking the wooden spoon in the eye and this team, if they manage to get it, will be recorded, as the worst team to take to a footy field from the club.
Something is certainly not going right.

Even Islander, Mark A & Nulife felt something was on at Brookvale, as nothing would have surprised me, to see an even up, from last season.

Cheers mate and thanks for the feelings.
Big Pete

BigPeteBx's picture

Hey Tiger - don't feel like that mate.
The season isn't over yet and you still have a chance at Campbelltown to roll my heartless lot.
Imagine the pill I swallow each week, when I front at work, having lost again.
Then last game of the season, we have Broncos in Brisbane......
Struth mate - Sharks next week at Shark Park.!!!!!

Cheers and keep well - Big Pete

BigPeteBx's picture

Baggy - I know how you feel.
Maybe we will both be declared - Joint 1st and the wrong end!

My lot have been like that over the season and past one's for that matter, where they can be bolters in the Melbourne Cup and fall away at the end.
Cheers mate and keep well - enjoy your afternoon and week.
Big Pete

BigPeteBx's picture

I think 'a' that someone laced their drinks at half time.
Although they didn't choke - they just strangled themselves and their supporters.
Big Pete

Baggy_Gee's picture

I'd pay to see a joint spoon Pete, think you guys have scored more and also defended better for the majority of the season, so the spoon is firmly ours, but talking about gutted, I had to run about 120kms round trip to drop something off to family, sat down and watched the first half and 15 minutes of the second half, we killed it while I could see the idiot box, the moment I got back in the car for the home run the wheels fell off and they had a 7 penalty run and creamed us. Still filthy about Haynes no try, but that's life.

Steel Panther's picture

My turn to experience the disgust Big Pete with the Warriors humiliated by the lowly Titans. Not the first time I've used the embarrassing word to describe a Warriors performance. Hardly an effort befitting a top 8 side. Simply disgraceful and cements their reputation as the hardest team to support!!!

Rocket Ryan's picture

now now steel there's always others worse off baggy and big pete spring to mind and we can't forget our old friend tiger

Rocket Ryan's picture

Big call on the Titans tiger girl especially seeing as you're leading the comp they seemed at best a rank outsider

mark ashford's picture

Saw more forward passes in the Roosters/Dragons game (both teams) than flies in the outback, none of them pulled up. Roosters dominate completely are we looking at a Roosters/Storm GF.
Rocket are you vertically challenged or do you have a you know what. After that previous post I'm sure we'd all like to know.
We have two opponent's, a tiger and a rocket, one growls a lot and is endangered the other shoots for the stars but can fizzle out.
One is on top of the comp the other 7 points behind.
Back who you like but my money is on the rocket.

mark ashford's picture

Quite a few teams humiliated this weekend and a few who can stand up proud.
COACH if you are still looking let me congratulate you on your teams come back win. A couple of lucky tries sure but a win is a win.
Big Pete, Fortress & other Manly supporters, you were so close. A couple of errors cost you the game, something to hang on to.
BAGGY your Eels nearly got the Rabbits, a premiership contender.
STEEL what can I say about the Warriors, is it the Coach?
Watched Phil Gould in the #9 pre match commentary, is he a miserable SOB or is it just me.

mark ashford's picture

A final question, is Coach or was Coach the only Penrith supporter on this site. Surely with your huge supporter base someone else has been or is watching. Don't be afraid, make a post, you will be welcome.

TigerGirl's picture

Rocket Ryan not sure why just a gut feeling. So frustrated with my Tigers. Beat Dragons and Rabbits then get walked over by the Dogs. I think the Dogs wanted it more. Born and bred a Tiger so you could say I’m used to it. ????

NRL tipping is easier if you follow the NRL news