Round nine selections

Gold Coast Titans vs Cronulla Sharks – Thursday night – Suncorp Stadium

A home game for the Titans...almost. There could be as many Sharks fans at Suncorp on Thursday night. The weather gods have been kind in Brisbane with warm days and dry nights so let's hope the surface handles eight games in four days. The Titans have named Michael Gordon and Tyrone Roberts but both have to pass concussion tests. Dale Copley may replace Phillip Sami but he may not be ready to go just yet. Matt Moylan won't be back this week so Josh Dugan gets another chance to enjoy the number one jersey. Wade Graham is probably another week away for now. Two of the better forwards packs going around here and while both teams are dealing with line-up issues in the backline the Sharks look slightly more settled on that front. A win over the Melbourne Storm last week isn't a bad form reference either.

Verdict – Sharks by 4

Result – Sharks 26 defeated Titans 18

Wests Tigers vs Penrith Panthers – Friday night – Suncorp Stadium

Team changes for the Titans and Sharks pale into insignificance when compared with the Penrith Panthers who have lost Kikau, Maloney, Watene-Zelezniak (Malikai), Yeo for the Ye(o)ar and Gould for forever. Coach Cleary has so much on his mind he'll just about forget that he's taking on his old club. This week he is calling on a whole bunch of kids to come into first grade for the big Brissie weekend. It's a big ask, but if there's one thing Penrith have it's plenty of talented young kids. On Friday night they face the wily old stagers Farah and Marshall, and a Tigers side who beat the Broncos at this venue not so long ago. It's a cat fight...but the Tigers will get the points.

Verdict – Tigers by 8

Result – Tigers 30 defeated Panthers 4

Manly Sea Eagles vs Brisbane Broncos – Friday night – Suncorp Stadium

It's not often The Thinker has a news scoop before the rest of the rugby league world but I do today. Just a couple of hours ago I walked past Andrew McCullough on his way to his car...on crutches and wearing a brace on his knee. He's out. But that's okay because Kodi Nikorima can slot straight into the number nine jersey. Wait! What? Oh dear. So the Broncos, struggling on every front, will have an inexperienced nine and seven on Friday night. On top of that, Roberts and Isaako will be playing in the reserves. Isaako has been down on confidence but his goal kicking will be missed, but that's okay because Kodi Nikorima can step right up and take on the goal kicking duties. Wait! What? Oh dear.

Verdict – Sea Eagles by 4

Result – Broncos 26 defeated Sea Eagles 10

Canterbury Bulldogs vs Newcastle Knights – Saturday afternoon – Suncorp Stadium

In the last two weeks something has clicked for the Knights. Through the first six rounds they were scoring between 10 and 18 points at every outing. Since then they've racked up 28 points over the high-flying Eels and 36 points over the Warriors in New Zealand. So what's changed? Part of the solution was Ponga moving back to the fullback role, but the rocket strategically placed under Mitchell Pearce two weeks ago seems to have made quite the difference too. Nick Meaney joined the Bulldogs when Ponga signed with the Knights, knowing that his opportunities at fullback for the Knights would be few and far between. He's pretty good, but Ponga is next level. Klemmer takes on his former kennel mates for the first time – that should add some spice in the middle.

Verdict – Knights by 8

Result – Knights 22 defeated Bulldogs 10

New Zealand Warriors vs St George Illawarra Dragons – Saturday night – Suncorp Stadium

Kodi Nikorima slots straight into the halves for the Warriors – note he was halfback for the Broncos and he's five-eighth for the Warriors...if it matters. Whether he can improve the fortunes of the Warriors is yet to be seen, but it can't hurt that he's playing at Suncorp (and technically playing for the home team so it's the same locker room). That second half fade-out by the Dragons against the Eels worries me, because the Dragons have made a habit in recent years of fading out in the second half of the season. That Corey Norman is out for some time with a cheekbone injury worries me even more. I'll take the Warriors in what I'm assuming would be something of an upset. Watch for those magic feet of Tuivasa-Sheck on a nice dry paddock on Saturday night.

Verdict – Warriors by 4

Result – Warriors 26 defeated Dragons 18

Melbourne Storm vs Parramatta Eels – Saturday night – Suncorp Stadium

Bellamy stripped a few layers of skin off most of his players last weekend. He made it very clear he would have to drop players if they don't perform, then he picked the same seventeen again anyway. Regardless I doubt the Storm seventeen would take the threat likely. The Eels have been one of the genuine surprise packets this season and they'll make a game of this. Gutherson probably isn't the best player at the Eels but he fair dinkum might be the most important. His contributions in attack (and his ability to read the best time to contribute) has been first class. Why the Eels haven't extended his contract is a mystery to me. If they aren't careful Craig Bellamy will snap him up. It's not the game of the round but it's not far from it. Purple...but only just.

Verdict – Storm by 1

Result – Storm 64 defeated Eels 10

Sydney Roosters vs Canberra Raiders – Sunday afternoon – Suncorp Stadium

This is the reason the Storm vs Eels isn't the game of the round. First plays third at a neutral venue, and not only are both sides winning but they are both playing an attractive style of football. Mitchell did more with 7 or 8 touches last week than many centres can do in a season. To think he is just 21 years old and his best football is still years away. For a while the comparisons to Inglis seemed premature. Perhaps they still are, but I'm keen to watch him grow. John Bateman is out for some time for the Raiders so their pack is a little less ominous, but Jordan Rapana returns on the wing and he has enough size to lend a hand from time to time with the hard stuff. I have to tip the Chooks but what a game...and a Sunday afternoon timeslot to boot.

Verdict – Roosters by 4

Result – Roosters 30 defeated Raiders 24

South Sydney Rabbitohs vs North Queensland Cowboys – Sunday afternoon – Suncorp Stadium

It was nice to see the Cowboys finally cobble together a win last weekend, it was nice to see Taumalolo make a successful return from injury, and it was nice to see John Asiata playing in the halves again.  That's a lot of nice, but nice doesn't win you football games, not against the very good sides at least. Wayne Bennett brings his Bunnies to a venue he's very familiar with, and he gets the home team dressing room too.

Verdict – Rabbitohs by 8

Result – Rabbitohs 32 defeated Cowboys 16

Wally Lewis - round nine selections (in bold)

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

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


The Thinker's picture

Greetings football fans

I have updated the tipping comp and the NRL ladder after round eight.

I thought it might take a while to give away my prize, but I was wrong (I knew I'd get something wrong on this site eventually).

FrankQLD has top scored the tipping with 7 from 8...and he was on his own.

Congratulations FrankQLD, I will be in touch to arrange the delivery of your prize. It's great to know that someone in QLD is winning something this year.

I'll have my previews and tips published tomorrow. Wally Lewis will have his published on Wednesday night.

Enjoy the round of magic folks. Should be a lot of fun.

Baggy_Gee's picture

Well my girls didn't do that well last weekend, but neither did I they managed 2/8 while i only got 4/8. Well i now have a buffer to their 36/64 but they are still very happy to tip so I'll have their tips up later.

mark ashford's picture

Baggy I got the same as you 4/8 so I am somewhat down Thinkers ladder. Congrats to those who scored well particularly FrankQLD who took out Thinkers early season comp.
I've stuck my neck out again this week and picked the Broncs.
With Nikorema, Roberts, Osako and McCullough out it gives Siebold a chance to blood some new guys who just may be hungry enough to keep their positions. Whatever, I must keep supporting my team.
Baggy buy those girls a couple of "Kinder Surprise" the original ones where there was an animal to be built inside the egg. 20 years ago my daughter loved them, I got to eat the egg and she loved the toy.

Baggy_Gee's picture

OK I shall mark. Make it a nice surprise for them. It will be a new look Broncos side with so many long term players on the side line. How did macca injury his knee, the first I heard was on the Bosses summary.

newbie from perth's picture

OK, just a quickie here y’all… anyone out there who can tell me how the Suncorp surface will hold up this weekend? Knowing diddly-squat about Suncorp, I was just thinking all 8 games being played at the same ground over 4 days might have some sort of impact on the later games.

Does Suncorp have some sort of “magical” grass that’s impervious to big blokes running all over it? Are they gonna run some sort of roller over it after each game? Will they play soothing music and whisper encouraging words to the grass? Yeah, I’m being a bit silly I know but I’m really curious as to how the ground is going to hold up is all.

Hoping those out there that know about these things can set me straight. I’ll check in again tomorrow to see what’s what. Cheers…

a's picture

Here’s my tips

Sharks by 6 I think the Sharks will continue Titans misery here

West Tigers by 4 I think the Titans ratio of W than L will continue

Broncos by 1 I think I will tip the Broncos in a thriller here with zero confidence

Knights by 12 I think the Knights will continue their good form here

Dragons by 2 not a lot of form to go of here but I’m taking the Dragons

Storm by 4 I think the Storm will bring it out against the Eels

Roosters by 1 Surely the Roosters are due for a loss soon but it won’t be this week

Rabbitohs by 14 I think the Rabbitohs will give the Cowboys a flogging here

Baggy_Gee's picture

Yes newbie is new "majick" turf from Byron bay region. Actually it will be a great way to show up new turf developments, if it is rock solid through 4 days and 8 game quite possibly need to get everyone else using suncorps methods.

mark ashford's picture

We QLDers know how to prepare a surface to withstand 8 heavy games
Unfortunately we seem to have forgotten how to prepare a team to win at least one of those games. This is do or die for the Broncos, Cowboys and Titans in their home state. If none of these teams get a win NSW will be unbackable in this years SoO series.

mark ashford's picture

McCullough was at a training run and went down like he'd been shot.
Was seen rolling on the ground clutching his knee in obvious agony.
Just makes me wonder how strenuous training is these days and pre game warm ups. How many players have we seen outed in either situation.

Baggy_Gee's picture

Odd you mention it, one of the commentators did say a lot of people have been injured in warm ups this season, and Mannah rolled his ankle at training. Maybe it is a derth of quality r&r between games. Or Seibold is pushing them to hard to cover the losses.

a's picture

Yes all 3 QLD teams are in trouble but Cowboys are on 3-5 and Broncos and Titans are on 2-6 so Cowboys have the best chance to make a late run to the finals

newbie from perth's picture

Sa-wat-dee krup,

Running late tonight so not much of an intro. Thanks to Baggy and Mr Ashford regarding comments on Suncorp playing surface. OK, let’s get into it…

Titans vs Sharks 35-65 @ Suncorp
Ladder Position = Sharks

I’ve mentioned it before about many sides and I’ll mention it again. If you are to be any chance at all you must develop consistency in your game. The Titans looked good a few times in previous outings but keep letting me down. Their completion rate last week was far from impressive. 24 from 37 is just unacceptable. I didn’t see the game but by all accounts they looked pretty ordinary for large parts of the game. Maybe they have too many passengers in the side (looking at you Ash). Even with their horrendous run of injuries, the Sharks served it right up last week and got a well deserved win against the Storm. I was really impressed how they went about their business and it was all that more meritorious given it was against the Storm. The young fellas really stepped up and the future looks bright in the Shire. The only thing that will beat them is if they’re suffering from some sort of “hangover” given their effort last week. How much has last week’s mighty effort taken out of them I wonder. For some strange reason I want to give the Titans another chance this week. Wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if they got up here considering how much the effort from last week may (or may not) have taken out of the Sharks. I’ll stick with commonsense and the ratings and tip the Sharks though.

Tigers vs Panthers 45-55 @ Suncorp
Ladder Position = Tigers

Interesting to see that 5 Rooster tries came down the Tigers’ right side. The Tigers definitely need to address that. They did well against my BBB for a while (until Latrell got into gear) and a similar effort will see them in with a good chance here assuming they don’t leak too many points as they’ve done recently. All they have to do is replicate their effort from 2 weeks ago and they might get up. Not quite sure what to think about the Panthers these days. They certainly have the players but for some unknown reason they can’t get their act together. The stats tell me they had a respectable 56% possession rate but their set completion last week was only 27 from 41. Really? Fellas, do you honestly think you can win games with completion numbers like that? Keep on going the way you are and you’ll be a train wreck. I know I’m simply an armchair critic but both these sides need to improve, especially the Panthers. The ratings say it’s a Panthers win but based on injuries and the error counts, I’m tipping the Tigers this week.

Manly vs Broncos 55-45 @ Suncorp
Ladder Position = Manly

Manly just keep stepping up and it doesn’t look like they’ll stop any time soon. Just repeat what they’ve been doing and they should get up again this week. Seems that considering their “outs” doesn’t really matter these days eh? Don’t know what Des has done down there but he’s got those Manly boys playing gutsy, honest footy and it’s working. If they keep playing their fast-paced style then they should have a really good chance of racking up 3 in a row. The Broncos have me completely and utterly confused. They had 46% possession last week and still lost 38-6 (smh). Again, it boils down to consistent footy. And “basic” footy for that matter. I know it’s easier said than done but the Broncos need to try and forget their horror run and start getting back to basics. Not giving away 9 penalties would be a good start. Not sure the Seibold way is quite working at the moment. Can’t believe they’re favourites in this one to be honest. Lose this one and their season is dead in the water. With the Broncos dropping Roberts, Tevita Pengai and Issako this week, I’m on the Manly bandwagon again.

Bulldogs vs Knights 45-55 @ Suncorp
Ladder Position = Knights

This one could get real close I reckon. I see Kieran Foran’s back this week. Oh how time flies. Not sure if he’ll pick up where he left off but his return will be a bonus for sure. The Bulldogs weren’t all that bad last week and you can see the improvement, albeit slowly. I wouldn’t be writing them off in this one just yet. What’s happened to the Knights? A couple of very impressive efforts over the last 2 weeks have me re-thinking their chances. Another top effort from Pearce certainly went a long way last week and look out Bulldogs if he does it again. To state the bleedin’ obvious, completing 29 from 32 certainly helps your chances of winning eh? The Knights are favourites here (and rightly so based on the last 2 weeks) and the ratings back that up but my “newbie” gut has me thinking the Bulldogs might just spring a surprise. Against all commonsense I’m going the Bulldogs this week.

Warriors vs Dragons 40-60 @ Suncorp
Ladder Position = Dragons

Based on last week’s effort, the Warriors look to be in some trouble this week. They were in the mix at half-time but fell away badly in the second. A very poor performance to be honest. They’ve only won 2 this year and both were at home against the Bulldogs and the Titans. This ain’t at home and the Dragons have a wee bit more class than those other two. I see Kodi has come straight into the side which sees Chanel Harris-Tavita relegated to the reserves. You gotta feel a little sorry for the young fella. I’d feel a little more sorry for him if his parents hadn’t named him after a women’s perfume (ha-ha). No, seriously, not his fault. That song by Johnny Cash, “A Boy Named Sue” springs to mind. Hmmm. The Warriors need to add some defence to their game to have any chance in this. The Dragons gave us another example of what NOT to do last week. They raced to a 14-0 lead and thereafter were outscored 32 points to 4. Ouch! Maybe the Anzac Day game took a little too much out of them? And as if their injury problems weren’t bad enough, now they’re missing Norman as well. With Kodi in for the Warriors and Norman out for the Dragons, this will be a tough one for me. Without any confidence whatsoever I’m tipping the Dragons.

Storm vs Eels 60-40 @ Suncorp
Ladder Position = Storm

Pretty sure Bellamy is gonna put a rocket up his players after last week’s loss to the injury plagued Sharks. Saw his comments on TV and boy howdy, was he angry. Then again, was that just another “tactic” to motivate his players? Look, the Storm are a class act and they’ve only lost 2 games this year. One was by a point against my BBB and the other was by 2 points against the Sharks last week. They didn’t do much wrong in those two losses, they were just out-muscled by two sides that wanted it more. Hey, it happens. I have no doubt they’ll bounce back. If not this week then next week. The Eels were impressive last week (what is it with their new home ground?) and fought back well (very well actually) and grabbed a great win against the Dragons. Gutherson and Moses need their games to be on point if they’re any chance here. And a good chance they are too. The Storm will be pretty eager to bounce back and the Eels are NOT playing at Bankwest. Hmm, this is another tough one. Sorry Baggy but I’ll stick with the Storm.

Roosters vs Raiders 65-35 @ Suncorp
Ladder Position = Roosters

Again, without any bias whatsoever (ha-ha), weren’t my BBB just awesome last week? Simply irresistible as they say. Reckon Latrell played one of his best games in recent memory. Looked like the Nescafe 43 I sent over to Trent did the job! We just need to look out for Wighton and Hodgson especially and come up with a plan to assert ourselves. The Raiders got another win last week albeit against a poor Panthers outfit. Much stiffer opposition this week though. Apparently they’ll be missing Bateman so it’ll be interesting to see what impact that may or may not have. Their defence last week was good and will have to be again if they’re going to trouble the Roosters here. As impressive as the Raiders have been lately, I still don’t think they have the goods to be able to get up over my BBB this week. Mind you, the Raiders have a very capable attack just as we do but my BBB are on top for a reason. Obviously I’m on the Chooks here. Begurk! Begurk!

Rabbitohs vs Cowboys 70-30 @ Suncorp
Ladder Position = Rabbitohs

Watch out, the Bunnies are on the rampage! Simply too classy last week against a disappointing Broncos outfit. Simply too classy. Normally I would ask if they can keep up the pressure after a game like the one they had against the Broncos but then I see they’re playing a much similar side in the Cowboys (no offence intended to my Cowboys family here). That could actually be a bad thing for Souths. They might go into this one half-cocked so to speak. Stranger things have happened for sure. As long as Big Sam fires again and Reynolds and Walker maintain the level from last week then they should be gold here. The Cowboys finally got a win last week but it was only over the Titans. They must have appreciated the return of Jason Taumalolo for sure. The “new” JT (as in his initials) maybe? Having said that, you can’t rely on one bloke to get you your wins each week. The rest of the Cowboys need to work with him to improve their performances each and every week. Really looking forward to seeing JT smack into those big Souths forwards though. To say the Cowboys do not have a chance here would be stupid. I mean, every side who plays has a chance but unfortunately the Cowboys’ chances are very, very slim in this one. In theory this is a no brainer. Souths for me.

Let’s finish off with another “Song of the Week”…

This one’s especially for Mr Ashford…

OK kids, good luck with your tipping and may your team win by 40 points! Until next week people. Cheers.

tigerholic's picture

Rocket has lost the plot, I have had to return early to get my season back on track, and yes everyone I am on the TIGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rocket Ryan's picture

Nobody could function under the pressure I have endured carrying you,good luck tigerholic its a long way back from down here.

manyana's picture

Hi all, here are my tips for this round.
Eagles (now the Broncos will get up)

Baggy_Gee's picture

Welcome home Tiger, hope you had a good time. There was a great game you missed on Easter Monday at your "new" home.

Baggy_Gee's picture

Ok here are the girls tips.
Titans (because we are remembering the titans)
Panthers (Because i like the Penrith)
Broncos (Because we are fans of them)
Knights (I do not like bulldogs, they are scary)
Dragons (we do no like the Warriors logo face)
Eels (Because my daughters are being loyal this weekend)
Roosters (because the act as alarm clocks)
Rabbits (because i have a toy bunny)

Dragons-fanboy's picture

Hello everyone, it's magic round this week!! I am very excited for this unique round to occur and how lucky for Brissy to be hosting it. I am just as excited for this round as much as I am curious on how the surface will hold up at Suncorp throughout the round now (thanks Newbie). Now... onto my tips. My tips for this week are:

Sharks by 4 - The casualty list is still heavy for both sides. You can pretty much have a starting side of injured casualties from both sides just indicates just how big these team's casualty lists are. Well the good news for the Sharks is that Dugan who shortened that casualty list for the Sharks last week is going to remain at fullback for the Sharks. The Titans on the other hand will be missing Roberts and Sami who is replaced by the returning Copley which adds more salt into the wounds of the Titans in terms of the casualties. Geez, I am talking about casualties too much. The Sharks managed a win over the Storm last week, I think they can manage the Titans on the first of eight magic round games. But, I expect a close one with the Titans somehow, someway showing some fight.

Tigers by 10 - Now we have edition 2 of the battle of the cats this season. In edition 1, the Panthers only just escaped victory at home in an ugly contest between the two. Continuing on with casualty lists the Panthers' casualties just keep growing and growing, Kikau is out (I'll be very surprised if he plays on Friday night), Malakai Watene-Zelezniak is out, Yeo is out and Liam Martin is out. Good news for the Panthers is that Maloney has escaped suspension. So he'll be playing on Friday night. Both sides are coming off poor loses with the Tigers losing to the Roosters 42-12 and the Panthers lost to the Raiders 30-12, but may I add, the Panthers were just horrendous against the Raiders, I'm sorry but their attack was barely existant they didn't create much, their defence was poor leaking some soft tries, and the illdiscipline was there. I know the Panthers are going through a lot right now with the exit of Gould still fresh and the injuries has kept Ivan Cleary busy, but they at least have to perform and I hope we see the Panthers perform, same goes for Tigers who I think can considering they bounced back from another massive loss a few weeks ago with a win, I can see them doing it again in what will surely be a cat fight. Meow!!!

Manly by 6 - We will be seeing plenty of youngsters in this one. A new-looked Broncos side coming up against an under strengthened Manly side who are still stringing up wins. Manly's backline wins it for me, the Broncos are incredibly inexperienced in the backs whereas, Manly still do have some firepower in the backs in Taufua, Garrick and Suli. Oates needs to perform badly if the Broncos are going to win this, same with Boyd. In terms of the forwards battle, Manly have this won as well thus, also why I think Manly will win. If the Broncos are going to win, their key players in Boyd, Oates and Milford have to perform and I don't know if they will. So it's Manly for me. Broncos may as well be the home team since this is at Suncorp by the way, why have Manly been the home team in the Manly v Broncos games in the last few years at Suncorp? They even had both of their games there last year, hmm.

Knights by 2 - Bulldogs will show plenty of fight as always. But I still think that their attack is a huge problem and needs to be fixed quick. Plus, the Bulldogs are having issues off the field as well with the issues regarding the management at the Bulldogs. But, I'm pretty sure that the Bulldogs will be looking to fire amidst of all the drama. Foran is a key return for the Bulldogs but Hawaeira-Neira is out which is a blow. Coming up against an inform Knights, I feel that although the Bulldogs will fight, the Knights will have enough class for the Bulldogs and will get a close win over them.

Dragons by 8 - It'll be interesting to see how Nikorima goes for the Warriors. Will he suit the Warriors' style? Will he shine at the Warriors? We'll see how that plays out. But I don't get it. Over recent seasons, the Dragons have started the season really well only to crumble at the end, this season they haven't started as strong and more have been putting on one half together or 60 minutes together, etc. The only game that I can think of that the Dragons played the full 80 was against the Bulldogs, they were able to maintain it for the full 80, other than that, we've either find a way to win even though we should've won comfortably or play one half. This isn't the way that a team should play if they are going to be successful, it's no wonder the Dragons haven't been making finals too often in recent seasons or have been winning premierships or being in grand finals or semi finals or prelim finals like the Roosters, Storm, Rabbitohs, even the Bulldogs excluding recent seasons. It frustrates me as a Dragons fan as I want to see my team do well only to be left disappointed time after time after time, I really do feel for Tigers fans and Warriors fans as they know exactly what this feels like. Honestly, I don't know what to expect from this game as these two sides have been very unpredictable this year in terms of how they'll play, the Warriors either fire and get big wins or crumble and lose big or they can even match it or play even better than a side like the Storm on the day yet still find a way to lose. The Dragons on the other hand, have either been finding ways to win the close games, put on a fantastic and dominate performance (round 5 game against the Bulldogs is the only game that this has occurred), put on one half as we've done in the last couple of games or put on a poor performance which I guess complements with the games that we've played one half or a 30 minute performance in the first two games, etc. I just hope that the Dragons win and we get an entertaining game of footy which I think that we'll get considering the unpredictability of these two teams performance wise. I hope that Jai Field plays well in his first game of the season by the way, he is an exciting player and now with this massive opportunity, he gets to show everyone what he is capable of because replacing Norman is a pretty big task considering Norman has been a key player for us this season.

Storm by 4 - This has the potential to be match of the round. The Eels have been a surprise packet this season and have been playing some really good footy. The Storm on the other hand, after some dominate performances in the start of the season, have been falling away as of late losing a couple of games and when winning, winning ugly getting very lucky in the process. The problem for the Eels for me is their consistency, by the looks of it, Bankwest is going to be some sort of fortress for the Eels, but the Eels can't just be playing well at home, they have to be consistent and rather than just winning one week then losing the next week, they need to be winning games in a row, whether it's back to back, or 3 games in a row, whatever the case may be, that's what the Eels need to be doing this season because the Eels have the potential to be a top 4 team this season, they are playing good footy, have a good side with a good balance of players and a new home ground where they seem to be playing well at. Consistency is key and makes a massive difference on whether a side will finish top 4 or top 8 or outside the 8 and if the Eels are going to make the top 8 or even top 4, they need to be consistent and have to be able to win on the road and winning games in a row rather than winning one week and losing the next. Can they beat the Storm though, I don't know. They have a massive chance that's for sure. Bellamy has sticked solid with this starting side after ripping into them on Friday night, it'll be interesting to see how they'll respond in this one. I think that the Storm will win but expect plenty of points and an exciting brand of footy being played here because I think that we'll get that here. Eels will be brave but the Storm to prevail in the end.

Roosters by 6 - If the above game isn't going to be the match of the round, than this is hands down. Both of these two teams have been magnificent this season. The Roosters have won 7 in a row and have just been incredible this season no matter how the game goes, the Roosters are just winning and they'll only get better from here if that's possible and that's something very scary as they already are the team to beat. The Raiders on the other hand have been another surprise packet this season, who would've thought that the Raiders would be in the top 4 at this stage. Latrell Mitchell, what a player, he is on a league of his own at the moment and is still very young, only 21 years old. He still has plenty of time to get better and evolve his game even more. The forward battle should be exciting and the battle of the backs should be exciting as well. Whoever wins in these departments will get the win on Sunday afternoon and I think that the Roosters definitely have edge in the backs and only just have enough in the forwards against this brilliant Raiders forward pack themselves to get the win here.

And finally... Rabbitohs by 12 - Like I've said time to time, the Rabbitohs have been finding ways to win without being at their flashy best. But last week was different, the Rabbitohs were on another level and at the level that they should be, getting a massive win over the Broncos. The Cowboys get back into the winners circle after a good win over the Titans, Taumalolo was great in his return, Asiata played well in the halves, Morgan was great as well conducting the Cowboys and their backs were much better than in previous games. This Cowboys forward pack will match the Rabbits' pack but I feel that the Rabbitohs have too much firepower in the backs and will get quite a comfortable win in the end over a tough Cowboys side.

Awesome. Good luck with everyone's teams for this week and with everyone's tips for this week. Cheers and enjoy magic round.

Mary S's picture

Hi Tigerholic,
Good to see you back - how the feet after all the tripping around?

I had wondered if Rocket was stirring you up by deliberately not backing your Tigers!!

Tried to keep your part alive in 'a's comp, but we were both bombed out by the Eels not being able to match their fantastic performance of the previous week (Round 6)

Cheers, Mary

mark ashford's picture

I'm honoured you dedicated a sotw to me.
Roxanne has very special memories for me and to see that delightful drummer again was just a special treat.
Some years ago I worked as an advertising rep for NEWS LTD looking after the Gold Coast Bulletin, Gold Coast Sun and other titles. One of the reps, a close friend, was a young guy called Darren and every time he made a big sale would sing out loud "ROXANNE" we'd all laugh.
This went on for about 12 years with the same team. We were a tight bunch until newspapers started to fail and we drifted apart.

mark ashford's picture

I like the girls tips. They may not be favourites but how many favourites have won in the first 8 rounds. Now be a good dad and don't forget those Kinder Surprises.

Baggy_Gee's picture

I shall not, something to chew on while the Friday night game is on. Looking forward to a full card on Saturday afternoon. Who else is getting to suncorp for part of this awesome occasion.

Baggy_Gee's picture

Just an interesting point their 36/64 is better than some famous tippers, Ryan and tiger are behind them. I'm quite proud of their current performance.

mark ashford's picture

A health bar is just that, a chewey thing full of oats, nuts, honey and other goodies. Whereas a Kinder Surprise is full of sugar and will get the girls on a high firing off all sorts of synapses in their brains.
You will have trouble getting them to bed but they will tip 8/8 next week

christine 's picture

Thinker this week rd 9 my tips are the same as wally's
may the football gods be good to us all ...

christine 's picture

Welcome back yes rocket has lost the plot I was going to take him out side & shoot him but I can't bring myself to put an animal down , tell me tiger did you have to destroy notre dame really don't ever get rocket to put your tips in for you again your crazy if you do ...

The Voyeur's picture

Hey Mr Thinker, sorry missed the cut for the first time, but before kick off on game 1 can you still put my picks in....sharks, panthers, broncos, storm, st George, roosters, rabbits, knights.......thx

The Tide Head's picture

No magic for me Thinker - I can't find the link to enter my Round 9 tips... HELP!!!!!

The Tide Head's picture

Missed Tonights. Others are

The Tide Head's picture

Parent-Teacher interviews all afternoon and evening... I should have got my students to do my tips... ha ha ha!

a's picture

That was a much better performance by the Titans but still not enough

newbie from perth's picture

@ Mr Ashford

What a great “news story” that was. Makes the SOTW dedication all that more “special”. The Police were my favourite band back in the day. Have every single one of their albums to this day (all vinyl) and treasure the memory of seeing them in concert here in Perth (twice). The ticket for the second one from memory cost the princely sum of $20. Still have it tucked away in my “shoebox of memories” in the wardrobe. Money well spent. Glad you enjoyed it mate. Cheers.

@ The Tide Head

Yeah mate, once the first game of the round starts, the “link” disappears but the Boss, being the top bloke he is (ha-ha) will no doubt put your tips for the other games into the system. Parent-Teacher night eh? Sometimes you pay the price for being an educator but so glad someone’s doing it. Hope all went well and good luck with your tips. Cheers.

@ “a”

You summed up the Titans’ performance perfectly my friend. Pretty impressed with how they went tonight and thought they were gonna pinch that one but as we know, the Sharkies ground out another tough win. Only sour note for me was that the “Cry Baby” kicked the conversion for his own try. Damn!

Goodnight y’all…

Steel Panther's picture

Newbie and Mark....I was never a hard core fan of The Police back in the music glory days of the 80s but followed a lot of bands that came out of that era...Talking Heads, The Cure, The Ramones just to name a few. A lot of mates liked the Police so when they came to NZ in the early 80s I tagged along. I've been to many many concerts over the years but this one stands out as one of my worst. I hate it when bands deviate from the record when they play live and this is what The Police did with what seemed like every song. So much so that the song was one minute in before I actually realised what it was!! Another memory of the show was someone lit a flare in the venue which to no surprise had a major effect on Sting vocally for a few songs....ahhhh the memories!!

Rocket Ryan's picture

Come on Christine you don't want to shoot me yet, I have had a lot of bad luck,have been caught out by the cowboys and warriors who have not fired and I am a broncos member and supporter who thinks we are a chance each time we play.............................
Then there is carrying Tigerholic even his own mother could only manage nine months........maybe shooting me would not be so bad.

scottyh's picture

Just released I didn't submit my tips!!!!.
And cant seem to add for the remainder if the rounds.

If I'm aloud to still enter

Won't matter that much the way I'm tipping!!!!

christine 's picture

What part of bet with your head not with your heart are you not getting I admit I have tipped broncos this week but I am seriously rethinking that one manly did beat them at Suncorp last year are broncos are down on a lot of players ...

christine 's picture

Your right I won't shoot you I wouldn't want to waste the bullet I will let the sniper that's after tiger do that for me , frustration sets in start tipping with your head not your heart throw loyalty out the window ...

mark ashford's picture

For heavens sake don't shoot Rocket, we need all the Bronco/Maroons supporters we can get on this site.
I watched the Titans/Sharks game until half time and went to bed ( I need all the beauty sleep I can get at my age ) The Titans were the better team in that half. I was surprised at the final score. Garth Brennan needs to get his team playing 80 minutes.

The Tide Head's picture

Thanks Newbie.
I agree - the boss is a top bloke! I owe him some beers. By the way, thanks for your insightful comments leading up to each round. A+ for you!!

christine 's picture

Mark ok mark just for you I won't shoot rocket I will just use him for target practise anyone for darts or spear throwing just aim for rocket ...

mark ashford's picture

Hi to you The Tide Head. Yes Newbie has been giving us his expectations for some years now. His moniker "newbie" doesn't really fit with his knowledge of the game. Should be called "oldbie" but I doubt he'll accept that.
Mate enjoy the site as it's lots of fun, can I ask you how you came to the name "the tide head" with the Scary Skull as your sign in.

a's picture

Panthers are in serious trouble they been outplayed 66-16 in the last 2 weeks they would need an absolute miracle for the finals

mark ashford's picture

Tigers just flogged the Panthers 30/4. No wonder Gould ran from the club, could he see what was coming. Both Clearys need to lift their game. Will Fittler have Nathan and James M. as his halves? must be a worry for the Blues.

christine 's picture

Rocket you might have got that one but I wouldn't say they are finals contention ...

Mary S's picture

There will be some exceptionally happy Bronco fans with tonight's result!!

The team put on a much more cohesive looking TEAM game tonight!
Cheers to all, Mary

The Tide Head's picture

Hi there Mark.
Thanks for the info.
Well, a long time ago (circa 1990) scrums actually served a purpose in League as they still do in Union.... ha ha ha. I can recall a NSWRL game where the ball was locked in a packed scrum. It wasn't going anywhere! Commentator - Darrell Eastlake referred to it as a 'tide head'. The skull - I like Metal Mulitia and the logo just suits the name.

a's picture

Glad to see the Broncos win again

mark ashford's picture

"a" & Mary S
Thanks to you two. Yes it was great to see the Broncs finally get a win.
It was at a cost with the loss of Jack Bird for the season. In round 4 the Broncs played the Roosters (premiership favourites ) in Sydney and now face them again in round 10 in Brisbane. Who works out the draw? I wouldn't mind facing them again later in the season when things have settled a bit.

Steel Panther's picture

Shaking my head.....

a's picture

Looks like Warriors broke a 4 game losing streak


NRL tipping is easier if you follow the NRL news