Round twenty three selections

Brisbane Broncos vs South Sydney Rabbitohs – Thursday night – Suncorp Stadium

Successive Thursday night losses for the Broncos (against teams they should be beating) have seen one of the biggest teams in Australian sport drift from top four contender to the cusp of drop-out territory. A loss here and the Tigers could easily replace them in the top eight...and stay there. If their season isn't over, this next fortnight gives the Broncos an opportunity to redefine their season, but they probably need to defeat the Rabbits and the Chooks to convince any of us that they're back. They've had a season full of distractions, and those distractions haven't gone away. The Bunnies still look like contenders to me – their left edge has sparkled in attack but circumstances took their sparkle away last start. Despite that, they still only lost by 4 points to the premiership favourites. Inglis may return this week, although I suspect he won't. If he plays and he's ready they win. If he doesn't...they'll win anyway.

p.s. I could grubber kick to the Broncos sparkly new headquarters from my joint. If I happen to see the Rabbitohs coach touring the facilities on Friday I'll let you know  :-)

Verdict – Rabbitohs by 10

Result – Broncos 38 defeated Rabbitohs 18

Manly Sea Eagles vs Gold Coast Titans – Friday night – Lottoland

While the Rabbitohs coach is (potentially) checking out Red Hill, the Broncos coach might take a road trip down the M1 to have a look at the digs on the Gold Coast. Bennett would like the look of AJ Brimson, who has clearly emerged this season as a player with enormous potential. The Titans should secure his tenure as soon as they can, or someone else will. With both teams in limboland this season (outside of finals and wooden spoon contention) it's hard to get enthused about this game as a contest. Whichever team can find a way to get enthused about this contest should win. I'll take a punt that the Sea Eagles are that team. Why? It's their last game at Brookvale for the year. That's reason enough.

Verdict – Sea Eagles by 4

Result – Titans 42 defeated Sea Eagles 34

Melbourne Storm vs Parramatta Eels – Friday night – AAMI Park

If the Eels were in the top four they'd be close to premiership favourites on the back of that performance last weekend. A 93% completion rate, 40 points in attack, 4 points conceded and a Jarryd Hayne hat-trick...all against a team in the top four. A repeat of that sort of performance and they'll be winning again, and frustrated Eels fans will be asking where this team has been all season. Mind you, few fans know frustration like an Eels fan. Meanwhile the Storm have lost two games in a row, and I've pointed out many many times how rarely that happens. I have no idea how often they lose three games in a row, but I suspect the last time it happened was years ago. Strangely they got through the Origin period without a loss. I'm tipping them again, because they were very ordinary last weekend and almost won anyway. I expect Cameron Smith has had the kicking tee out all week, and he'll be better for it. The Eels are tied for last, but this is close to the game of the round.

Verdict – Storm by 4

Result – Storm 20 defeated Eels 4

Penrith Panthers vs Newcastle Knights – Saturday afternoon – Panthers Stadium

The Panthers could, if they were serious, cement a top four position with a big win here. Playing football from the kick-off would help. While their comebacks are very entertaining it's not a strategy to take into a finals campaign. The Knights might be in 11th place, but their points differential is the worst in the NRL...and by a very wide margin. That tells you that when they win they don't win by much, and when they lose they lose by plenty. I suspect they lose this game by plenty. The absence of James Maloney just means the Panthers won't leak as many points as they usually do.

Verdict – Panthers by 28

Result – Knights 20 defeated Panthers 12

Wests Tigers vs St George Illawarra Dragons – Saturday night – Leichhardt Oval

This is a game where results earlier in the round can have a profound impact. The Tigers are two points behind the Broncos, and if the Broncos lose (likely) the Tigers can get their whiskers into the top eight with a win. For the Dragons, the three teams directly above them on the ladder will have already played, and all three are likely to win. That makes any hope of a top four finish for them less likely. If the Dragons aren't looking back they'll be looking forward, and the two teams directly below them on the ladder are likely to go past them if the Dragons lose. Sheesus McSneezus...where do they look?  The Tigers at Leichhardt for the last time this season, while the Dragons appear to be in a death spiral. Stripey cats it is.

Verdict – Tigers by 8

Result – Dragons 20 defeated Tigers 10

Cronulla Sharks vs North Queensland Cowboys – Saturday night – Southern Cross Group Stadium

The Cowboys win over the Broncos last round must have felt almost like a grand final after what has been, I think, the Cowboys worst season in their history. I have doubts about them performing at that level again, particularly with Taumalolo unavailable. The Sharks can stay in the hunt for a top four berth with a win. Their last game at home was a loss to the Sea Eagles, but they won't be letting their fans down this time. Expect Valentine Holmes to have a big game against his next club :-)

Verdict – Sharks by 4

Result – Sharks 28 defeated Cowboys 16

Canterbury Bulldogs vs New Zealand Warriors – Sunday afternoon – ANZ Stadium

While a top four finish for the Warriors looks unlikely, they would love to get themselves into 5th or 6th and play their first final at home. I think they can, and they look like the only team outside the top four with the firepower to knock off the likely contenders. There's some suggestions that Tuivasa-Sheck is a smokey for the Dally M medal, but I think Issac Luke will steal too many points off him. They'll win this though...surely.

Verdict – Warriors by 14

Result – Bulldogs 27 defeated Warriors 26

Canberra Raiders vs Sydney Roosters – Sunday afternoon – GIO Stadium

Few of you would be surprised to hear that the Roosters have conceded less points than any other team this season, but a few more of you would be surprised to hear that the 10th placed Raiders have scored more points than any other team this season. Seven of their ten losses this season have been by four points or less – they've been close, a lot, but they don't win the close games. Heading into this game they've lost four in a row, and they're facing a team that have won five in a row. It's taken the Chooks 22 rounds to get to the top of the ladder. I doubt they'll lose top spot this weekend.

Verdict – Roosters by 8

Result – Raiders 14 defeated Roosters 12

Wally Lewis - round twenty-three selections (in bold)

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

  • Broncos vs RABBITOHS
  • SEA EAGLES vs Titans
  • STORM vs Eels
  • PANTHERS vs Knights
  • TIGERS vs Dragons
  • SHARKS vs Cowboys
  • Bulldogs vs WARRIORS
  • Raiders vs ROOSTERS


Baggy_Gee's picture

I think for the first time this season I can be happy we don't have the spoon. Just thought people should know about it.

Mary S's picture

Thanks Baggy!!

manyana's picture

WELL done Steel Panther. You jumped up to 2nd. Keep up the good work.
Cheers, Manyana.

a's picture

10th place Raiders scored more points than any team that happened in 2015 and 17 to

mark ashford's picture

Update on the mini comp prior to round 23
1st on 105 points Tiger Girl...………..Scott M
Eq. 2nd on 102 points Rocket Ryan......Rick
Eq. 2nd on 102 points Footy Chick...….Mary S
Eq. 2nd on 102 points Steel Panther.....Manyana
3rd on 101 points Brad S...……….Brad Apple
Eq. 4th on 100 points "a"...……….Newbie
Eq. 4th on 100 points Kellys Loot....Brad S
Eq. 5th on 99 points Rick......Christine
Eq. 5th on 99 points The Thinker....."a"
Eq. 5th on 99 points The Voyeur......Baggy Gee
Eq. 5th on 99 points TAD.....Tiger Holic.
Dragons Fanboy has slipped out of the top 11 only by a point so Tiger Holic goes back to TAD.
Only 6 points separate 1 to 11 and with 3 rounds to go it's close.
My list may not be in the same order as Thinkers but it's the point score that counts. Good luck all.

The Thinker's picture

Thanks Mark A

I have updated the leader board on the lounge page too.

mark ashford's picture

Thanks Thinker. Hey don't forget those account details for the prize money. I know I've had them before but always delete after the transaction is complete.

The Thinker's picture

Will do Mark

Can I give you a nudge about the prize during the final round of the season? Otherwise I'll just spend your prizemoney on watermelons or something.

mark ashford's picture

THINKER Just realized you referred to me as Mark A. When I was an advertising rep for the Gold Coast Bulletin we had 2 Marks so I was Mark A and my mate was Mark S. Brought back nice memories.
thank you!

Dragons-fanboy's picture

Hello everyone, my tips for this week are:

Rabbitohs by 4 - After Rabbitohs lost last week, I expect them to bounce back here and get the win over the Broncos in what I think will be a close game.

Sea Eagles by 10 - Sea Eagles to get the win here in their last home game of the season at Brookie. They've looked good in the last couple of weeks. I feel sorry for the Titans after last week's loss.

Storm by 6 - Eels looked like a premiership team last week against my mob, they completed at over 90%. scored plenty of points, and leaked just 1 try which was from a kick. Eels can win if they played like that last week but I reckon that the Storm will bounce back after a poor last two rounds.

Panthers by 16 - If the Panthers are going to get a big win, it'll be against the Knights. The Panthers have got to show why they are in the top 4 and why they deserve to be a top 4 team in this one by putting in an eighty minute performance. And I think that they will, Panthers to get a big win over the Knights here.

Tigers by 10 - Moving on... don't forget Ben Hunt said that we are not chokers. Well I'm sorry to say Benny Hunt but think again, if a 36 point loss over a team with nothing to play for except escaping the wooden spoon and we are playing for a top 4 spot, along with winning just 1 of the last 5 encounters is not a choke, then I don't know what is.

Sharks by 12 - Sharks were brilliant last week and I expect them to get another win here to bring some drama into that top 4 race. Hoping that the Cowboys will continue turning up and will hopefully give the Sharks a game here.

Bulldogs by 2 - I'm going out on a limb and picking the Dogs for an upset here at home, they done it against the Broncos, I think that they can get it done against the high-flying Warriors here. Espceially with Lachlan Lewis back, I believe that they lost their kicking game when they needed it most last week the Bulldogs and having Lewis back will help them with their game control and kicking if it's a close, gritty encounter.

And finally... Roosters by 8 - Roosters too good for the Raiders here but I except plenty of points and a fairly close encounter. 38-30 or 36-28 type of score or something like that.

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

mark ashford's picture

THINKER any time is good just don't leave it too late or I'll spend it on rockmelons prefer them to watermelons.

I've tipped my Broncs this week against all others so far on the site.
Why? they beat the rabbits in Sydney earlier this year and their season is on the line. If Wayne can't get them up for this he should go.
Sammy T's third last game and the team want to send him out a winner.
Broncs need Dragons to beat Tigers but I don't think that will happen.

tigerholic's picture

Morning Folks

Going to support my Tigers this week, only hope and pray that I don't put a curse on them.

Have a great week and enjoy the footy.

Go The Tigers

mark ashford's picture

Tiger I'm with you. With Widdop out and Ben Hunt struggling the Dragons look in a bit of trouble.
The media up here is saying Bennett will return to the Dragons in 2019
Can this be true? Has Mary Mcgregor been so bad? Dragons are in 5th spot. Anyone have an update on this?

a's picture

Here’s my tips

Rabbitohs by 6 I think that the Rabbitohs will bounce back here

Sea Eagles by 2 Yes I’m tipping Manly here

Storm by 10 Storm will end Eels good run here

Panthers by 2 Panthers to win in a contest that will be closer than most expect it

West Tigers by 8 West Tigers will continue Dragons misery here

Sharks by 4 Yes I’m tipping against my team once again

Warriors by 2 Warriors to win In a thriller here

Roosters by 6 Roosters to continue good form here

christine 's picture

My father is a dragons supporter & has been for a very long time but regrettably says there season is shot they have nothing to quote him ...

mark ashford's picture

Hi Christine
Lots of dragons supporters would be disappointed with whats happened
So much promise early in the season but now struggling.
They are still in 5th spot so don't write them off just yet.

newbie from perth's picture

Sa-wat-dee krup,

Seeing as my tipping record is roughly 50-50, it’s interesting to note that my tips this week consist of 4 home sides and 4 away sides. Oh, and by the way, is it too early to dare to dream of a minor premiership or have I put the mocka on that happening? I’ll find out in 3 weeks I suppose. OK, let’s get into it…

Broncos vs Rabbitohs 40-60 @ Suncorp
The Broncos’ up’n’down form was once again on show last week. Poor ol’ Wayne must be scratching his head wondering how to get his side back on track and playing the footy we all know they’re capable of. Their defence just wasn’t up where it needed to be. I know for a fact that it’s getting real serious for the Ponies at the moment and time is running out for them as far as cementing a spot in the 8 goes. The Rabbitohs come into this one obviously smarting after getting held out by the Chooks last week and will be pretty keen to get back into the winners circle. I must admit they looked a tad unlucky a few times and things didn’t go entirely their way. From what I witnessed last Thursday and Friday nights, I’d be mad if I didn’t tip the Bunnies. Yeah, even though their record isn’t that great at Suncorp, I’ll stick with the Rabbitohs here.

Manly vs Titans 65-35 @ Brookvale
Manly proved me wrong again by beating the Doggies last week. And they’re playing at home for the second week in a row. Then again, that’s not as scary for visiting teams as it once was. The Titans also proved me wrong last week. I gave them a chance and they almost pulled it off. That last 5 minutes or so cost ‘em. Now they’re playing away and it’s making me think. I really hate thinking too hard on the possible outcomes of games. All the pointers suggest a Manly win here. They’ve beaten the Titans 3 times in the last five. They’re playing at home. They’re on a “roll” having won 2 in a row. They’re $1.44 favourites. Dunno, I should really tip the obvious but you know what? I’m gonna go a little crazy here and tell myself the Titans might be half a chance again. Last week’s heartbreaking loss just might get them motivated enough. What the heck, let’s tip the Titans in this one eh?

Storm vs Eels 75-25 @ AAMI
The Storm were simply outplayed by a smarter team with more desire last week. Not what I’m used to seeing from the Storm I must admit. Not taking anything away from their performance but the Sharks were better. The Storm will want to make amends for last week’s (poor) effort I’m sure. Did Baggy’s BOYS really smack the Dragons 40-4 last week? I gave the Eels a chance and tipped ‘em but never expected such a demolition job. They were very good and it’s pretty obvious they’re a chance again. Having said that and as good as the Eels were last week, there’s 2 things that stick out for me here. Firstly, the Storm will be a much tougher assignment (at home) than the Dragons were and secondly, the Eels have not won a single away game this year. Hmm, makes you wonder. Sorry Baggy, but I just can’t see any result other than a Storm win here.

Panthers vs Knights 75-25 @ Panthers Stadium
Those Panthers just snuck in last week. Doesn’t instil a lot of confidence in me on how they’re travelling but hey, a win is a win is a win. James Maloney is out so Cleary will need to step up in this one. Not a lot to get enthusiastic about with the Knights’ effort last week. 4 points in the first half and a big fat zero in the second. Yeah, this should, in theory, be a no brainer. Panthers for me.

Tigers vs Dragons 50-50 @ Leichhardt
The Tigers toughed out a narrow win last week and now face an embarrassed Dragons on their home track. The Tigers will be feeling confident they can keep the ball rolling along and sneak into the 8 as long as they keep winning. Sorry, but the Dragons are a basket case at the moment. Their heavy 40-4 loss to the Eels last week is proof of that. Now with Widdop missing, things aren’t looking too much better. Disappointing form slump for sure. Mind you, they may very well come out firing because of all the criticism and embarrassment from last week so you never know. I don’t think it’s a “given” but with the Tigers finals flame only just flickering and playing at Leichardt, I reckon they will add to the Dragons’ woes and knock them off.

Sharks vs Cowboys 70-30 @ Southern Cross
Those Sharkies were very, very good last week. I was impressed with how they out-played and out-thought the Storm. Basic footy, focus on solid defence, complete your sets and force the opposition on the back foot. Yeah, easy ain’t it? A well deserved win I must say. A good effort by the Cowboys saw them stick it to the Ponies last week. Unfortunately they’ll be playing away and will be missing Jason. That’s gonna be a big negative for the Cows. As good as the Cowboys were last week, I can’t really see them getting close down at Shark Park. Not if the Sharks repeat what they did against the Storm. Hey, there’s always a chance but I’m gonna have to tip the Sharks here.

Bulldogs vs Warriors 50-50 @ ANZ
Those Doggies let me down last week. Really thought they’d be able to get up against Manly but too many errors cost ‘em. They have a habit of upsetting the apple cart from time to time but picking when they’re going to do it is hard sometimes. Can they do it this week against the Warriors I wonder? Yeah, the Warriors did beat the Knights last week and it was at home of all places. By all accounts they were strong and managed to control possession which always helps. Do that here in this one and they’re gold. I think the Warriors have enough talent to account for the Doggies in this one. Warriors for me.

Raiders vs Roosters 40-60 @ GIO
I’m a bit surprised to learn that these two sides haven’t played against each other so far this year. Really? That’s interesting. The Raiders came back last week against the Tigers and just failed to get up. They’ll be hard to beat given their ability to score so it’ll be another test for my BBB’s defensive structure. My BBB were pretty good last week and their defence got them home. Tough encounter against the Bunnies will (or should) hold us in good stead for this week. Love how it all seems to be coming together at the right time of year for us. If we can beat the side that thumped the Storm 2 weeks ago, we should certainly be able to do enough to get over the Raiders. Yeah, I know the football gods may have something to say about that but still, I’m on the Chooks this week obviously. 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…

Yeah, I realize this one is a bit dated but this is what “real” music sounds like in my humble opinion. This had a HUGE impact on me as a young 12yo way back when. Love, love, love this one. Peace!

Cheers y’all…

manyana's picture

With a couple of exceptions, this round seems pretty straight forward.
However.....This is the NRL & nothing has been straight forward this season.
As usual I've tipped with very little confidence. Here are my tips:
Rabbitohs/ 50-50 choice
Sea Eagles
Warriors/ 50-50 choice
Roosters/ Raiders are a chance if the Roosters leave all their points until the last 10 minutes.
Good luck to everyone.
Cheers, manyana.

NuL1F3's picture

Hi everyone, here is my 'do not pick' for this week :P
Rabbitohs - Though I think you might be right Mark. Either way I expect this to be a close one.
Sea Eagles - Again.. I really have no idea. Titans could pull it off just as well so picking the home team
Storm - I was SOOO tempted to pick Eels after their performance last week.. Don't let me down Storm!!
Panthers - Have been playing some good footy of late and expect they will keep that up this round.
Tigers - How can anyone pick Dragons after that game? They usually choke towards the end but who knows this year? I won't be overly surprised if Dragons shut us all up haha.
Cowboys - It's stacked against them but I know they have the team to get the job done. Question is, will that team be the one that plays this weekend?
Good luck to all in the comp!!

TigerGirl's picture

Still don’t understand how the rounds work. ???? This round is the first time Dogs and Warriors have played each other since Round 16 last year. Anyway my tips are in seen to be pretty much like everyone else. I’m worried about Storm and a couple of others.

The Thinker's picture

I have no idea what's going on but the money coming in for the Broncos to win tonight is relentless.

Maybe they just think the boys will play well for Wayne. They'll end up starting as favourite tonight at this rate.

Mary S's picture

Hi Thinker,
Maybe the money on the Broncos is because the stats from Foxleague indicate that the Bunnies have only won 9/37 games against Broncos since 1988!!!

christine 's picture

My tips this week are the same as the thinkers ...

christine 's picture

Don't be a fool dragons are gone right them off or take them at your own peril but don't say you weren't warned ...

mark ashford's picture

NEWBIE great song great band. British glam rock at it's best.

THINKER have you any info on the great Broncos BBQ fiasco.
From what I've heard it was a media beat up. The team went to Paul Whites for the annual BBQ except for Wayne and Darrius. After about 2 hours they left Pauls and went to Waynes place in a show of loyalty to the coach. Have you heard anything different, maybe that show of loyalty explains all the money for the Broncs.

mark ashford's picture

Baggy, got your message about the mini comp. As you and Tiger are both equal 5th I wont correct it until next week. You can be assured if TAD makes a charge you will be on him.
Broncos about to find out if all that money was well spent.

Tuisova's picture

Referring is getting worse and worse in NRL
How did he missed that 5 m forware pass from mils?

Tuisova's picture

Referring is getting worse and worse in NRL
How did he missed that 5 m forward pass from mils?

Baggy_Gee's picture

And there was the Adam Reynolds being run off the ball. But in the hair pulling capital of the NRL hard to expect anything else. BTW guess who's not on the bottom of the ladder ATM. Just keeping people informed

Rocket Ryan's picture

Come on Baggy your eels are in prime position for the spoon they will have to win one to avoid it ..... and there's your problem

mark ashford's picture

TUISOVA there are many forward passes in most games most get missed by the refs. Are you a Souths supporter if so I saw a couple of suspect passes thrown by them. One (in your eyes) wouldn't have made a difference to the result.
BAGGY "the hair pulling capitol of the NRL" is beneath you plenty of your Eels employ dirty tactics. Don't make me remind you.
Why not congratulate the Broncs on a hard fought win against the 2nd top team. NO you can't do that it's a QLD. team.
CONGRATULATIONS to the Broncs on a huge win.

Mary S's picture

Hi Mark,
Yes, congratulations to Broncos on their win. When the score was 18/18, I wondered if they were going 'off the boil' after a great first half - but no, they seemed to find their purpose again and won convincingly!!!

mark ashford's picture

Thank you Mary S
Pity other people here like Baggy have to try and pull it down.

a's picture

Good to see Broncos win

mark ashford's picture

Baggy over the past few weeks I have supported you and your Eels.
After your comment tonight mate I'm done with you and your club.
There was no need for it and I'm disappointed by it.
I hope Storm send you back to the spoon contention where you belong.

Mary S's picture

Actually Mark, I think Baggy is very good at using a wooden spoon to get a rise/reaction out people!

Baggy_Gee's picture

That comment was posted at half time mark. I didn't post anything after as no-one was talking football, but your right they played well and after South's blundered a few tries, they showed that after the last few weeks that they have some mental fortitude back. They finished well and had a good win, not good for the Tiger's but they just have to prove that they are better to get into 8th.

BoozeMaster2000's picture

Corey Oates, I want to have your baby.

BoozeMaster2000's picture

I guess Milford also played alright. I’ll just let him cop some side boob.

mark ashford's picture

My comments to you last night were a bit harsh. I was on a high after the win and was disappointed to read what you posted.
I certainly don't wish the spoon on your team and hope they have a good game tonight. Hope all is forgiven.

Baggy_Gee's picture

It always is Mark. I try and see the lighter side of everything and happy to acknowledge that they played well.

Steel Panther's picture

No wonder Trent Barrett wants out at Manly after a performance like that (sorry Big Pete) but that 2nd half was a disgrace. 22-6 up at one stage & in total control only to give up the next 34 points. Two late Manly tries made the scoreboard look closer than it was!!! Embarrassing...

Baggy_Gee's picture

Might be a spoon on the beach soon. Only seen fragments of the BOYS, at a dinner party. But what a start to the second half. Barnstorming (lol pun).

mark ashford's picture

What a shocker for the Manly fans at home. Both teams are equal (or were) on the ladder. I thought Manly had turned a corner but no. The Internal problems must be taking a toll. Good win for Titans fans.
Here's your chance. No Cam Smith.

Baggy_Gee's picture

Yeah like the Dragon's we got them at the right time. Peni hitting on the wing at speed has been awesome. But 40 minutes gone without Smith and we haven't broken them yet.

Baggy_Gee's picture

How sad am I, only 1 on the bench, and one in the bin, and we couldn't pull the trigger. But at least we proved we can compete with big boys

Mary S's picture

Certainly the final score belied the effort put in by your boys Baggy.

mark ashford's picture

BAGGY Your boys gave it a shot tonight. Storm so hard to beat in Melbourne. My only worry is they seemed more interested in injuring Storm players than winning the game. Your only try came from a ball put on the chalk in the in goal surely a "sympathy" try awarded by the bunker.

a's picture

Yeah Baggy I thought Eels they don't deserve the spoon but they are playing Cowboys next week so I hope and Eels remain last LOL

Baggy_Gee's picture

I missed the game but if your referring to the Smith thing, that's on the refs. Every week that are always moments when you ask when is held held? Stationary guys popping an offload while the defence is retreating, tackled players that get up and run again, that grind on the ground. Simone has to bring common sense into it and call held without this crap, if Smith has played his last game of the season then there should be questions as to why the refs had failed to called held earlier.


NRL tipping is easier if you follow the NRL news