Round twenty five selections

South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Sydney Roosters – Thursday night – ANZ Stadium

It's still the biggest rivalry in the game (at club level), so it's nice to see them square off before the finals, in case they don't square off again. Second plays fourth and it's unlikely the result here will change the final finishing order – the Roosters will remain second no matter what while there's a slim chance the Bunnies could slip to fifth. The Chooks welcome back Cordnor and Cronk here – handy inclusions to be sure, although it's worth watching for late team changes in this round. Taukeiaho is out with a rib injury, while Kyle Turner (quadricep) is the only change for the Bunnies. While it looks like there's little to play for here, the rivalry between these two sides means we're likely to have a finals-like level of effort and passion one week early. I like that. I like that very much. The Bunnies are outsiders but I'm tipping them here – they have a little more to play for and those attacking combinations involving Cook, Murray and Walker are going to give plenty of finals opponents headaches in the weeks ahead. Not quite the game of the round given the circumstances, but it's a must-watch contest nonetheless.

Verdict – Rabbitohs by 2

Result – Rabbitohs 16 defeated Roosters 10

Parramatta Eels vs Manly Sea Eagles – Friday night – Bankwest Stadium

Fifth plays sixth and again, perhaps not a lot to play for here. Manly could potentially sneak into the top four with a big win (should the Rabbitohs lose), but otherwise both sides are guaranteed a home final next weekend. The big news leading into this game is the season-ending injury to Tommy Turbo. While we can only applaud the performances of Manly earlier this season when he wasn't available he's a massive out for a finals campaign against the best teams in the competition. The Eels are one of the better teams in the competition, but after back-to-back losses to the Bulldogs and the Broncos you would expect them to be desperate to find some winning form. With that in mind, and with an enviable record at this ground, I'm with the Eels.

Verdict – Eels by 4

Result – Eels 32 defeated Sea Eagles 16

Melbourne Storm vs North Queensland Cowboys – Friday night – AAMI Park

I've had two NRL bets this season (gamble responsibly). Now my first bet this season (Broncos to win the premiership) is looking pretty ordinary right now, so take this second bet with a grain of salt. At $5.50, I'm backing the Cowboys to knock off the Storm in Melbourne on Friday night. It's madness of course, because I think the Storm have taught me a royal purple lesson all season on the rare occasions I have tipped against them, but here I am doing it again. Clearly I am a sucker for punishment. The Storm are resting Munster, Addo-Carr and the less important (but still altogether useful) Smith (Brandon). It wouldn't completely surprise me if the more important Smith (Cameron) gets a rest too, and there could be other changes in the forwards as well. But that's wild speculation isn't it? What we do know is that the Storm don't have any real reason to give their best here, other than a win in front of their fans before they lift the JJ Giltenan Shield. Is that enough? It probably is, but I'll take them on anyway. Madness.

Verdict – Cowboys by 2

Result – Storm 24 defeated Cowboys 16

Canberra Raiders vs New Zealand Warriors – Saturday afternoon – GIO Stadium

The Raiders would slip to fourth if they lose here and the Rabbitohs win, but that doesn't seem to worry Ricky Stuart too much. He's resting Nicoll-Klokstad, Rapana, Soliola and Bateman before the finals. Perhaps the Raiders would rather play the Storm in Melbourne than the Roosters in Sydney. Regardless, the Canberra faithful will turn up in numbers for another afternoon of viking mischief. The Warriors are resting injured players with Harris-Tevita, Hiku and Herbert finishing their season one week early. I suspect many of their team-mates wish they could join them.

Verdict – Raiders by 8

Result – Warriors 24 defeated Raiders 20

Canterbury Bulldogs vs Brisbane Broncos – Saturday night – ANZ Stadium

While it looks like the Broncos are playing finals football this year there is a slight possibility that they don't. If they lose this game and the Tigers and Sharks game ends in a draw the Broncos slip to 9th. The Broncos are the only team in the top ten with a negative points differential, which would imply their wins have been by narrower margins than their losses. The Bulldogs have given their fans something to look forward to with improved performances at the back end of the season, but their inability to score points remains a problem.

Verdict – Broncos by 8

Result – Bulldogs 30 defeated Broncos 14

Gold Coast Titans vs St George Illawarra Dragons – Saturday night – Cbus Super Stadium

15th plays 16th and it's a shame we don't have a battle for the wooden spoon on our hands. What we do have is a Titans team hoping to give whoever bothers to turn up to watch them on Saturday night a reason to cheer, and a Dragons team hoping to prove they're a lot better than the team that ran last. It's hard to make a compelling argument for either side, but the Dragons have lost their most competitive player (McInnes) to a broken leg, while the Titans have a chance to give one of their most popular players (Michael Gordon) a win in his last ever game. Titans it is.

Verdict – Titans by 2

Result – Dragons 24 defeated Titans 16

Wests Tigers vs Cronulla Sharks – Sunday afternoon – Leichhardt Oval

The winner plays finals football so it's the game of the round, and it's not the free-to-air game on the Wide World of Sports (Thinker shakes head). Let's hope the weather plays nice in Sydney on Sunday afternoon and this beautiful suburban ground gets to show itself off. Robbie Farah is running freely at training despite breaking his leg not so long ago. He's been named in the reserves along with Moses Mybe, so watch for late team changes going into this game. For those that missed it, the Sharks would have finished in third place this year if the NRL didn't have conversions. Ouch! Shaun Johnson is back after hurting himself in the warm-up last weekend. His absence was probably the difference between winning and losing last weekend. The challenge for the Sharks is to pick themselves up after a shattering loss, and defeat a team who finished with plenty of momentum last weekend. No-one expected Robbie Farah to be playing here, but if he does, look out Sharks.

Verdict – Tigers by 2

Result – Sharks 25 defeated Tigers 8

Penrith Panthers vs Newcastle Knights – Sunday afternoon – Panthers Stadium

I'm not sure if the presence of Gus Gould and Joey Johns at Channel Nine has played a part, but it's a shame the last game of the regular season is a meaningless fixture between 10th and 11th. I'm tipping the Panthers at home, because James Maloney is a competitive buggar and he'd like to win before he heads to the Super League in the UK. But who cares really?

Verdict – Panthers by 1

Result – Panthers 54 defeated Knights 10

Wally Lewis - round twenty five selections (in bold)

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

  • Rabbitohs vs ROOSTERS
  • EELS vs Sea Eagles
  • STORM vs Cowboys
  • RAIDERS vs Warriors
  • Bulldogs vs BRONCOS
  • Titans vs DRAGONS
  • Tigers vs SHARKS
  • PANTHERS vs Knights


The Thinker's picture

Greetings football fans,

Apologies for the delay updating the tipping comp scores. I'm back in the land of the top eight teams and I will have results updated later this evening.

And I'll have my previews and tips published tomorrow.

All the best

tigerholic's picture

Welcome back, hope you had a great trip.


The Thinker's picture

Thanks tigerholic...lots of fun...and snow...and watching the mini-thinkers ski a lot better than I can.

I have updated the tipping comp after round 24...some very good tipping over the weekend and a special woot woo for five of our tipsters who didn't put a foot wrong. Well done to a, Mary S, Mike T, Hardyards and Tiger Girl...outstanding stuff tipsters.

And I have to give Mike T another plug here, because he's forgotten to get his tips in a few times, and if he remembered I suspect he'd be winning this thing.

All the best

newbie from perth's picture

Sa-wat-dee krup,

Welcome back Boss. Good to have you back. Goes without saying we all hope you had a great time away.

I was amazed to see that 5 teams from last weekend’s round failed to score any points at all for an entire half. The Warriors, Titans, Manly and Panthers all remained scoreless in the second half and lost while the Raiders were scoreless in the first half but managed to scrape in by a point. Whaaa?

Locally (here in Perth), my beloved Fremantle Roosters go into their third-straight Grand Final off of a 28-26 win over (Minor Premiers) North Beach. We’ll be playing either South Perth (the St George equivalent here) or North Beach (the Manly equivalent). Can we go back-to-back? Hell yeah! 🐔 🐔 🐔

OK, let’s get into it…

Rabbitohs vs Roosters 30-70 @ ANZ
Ladder Position = Roosters
Bookies Favourite = Roosters

The Rabbitohs eventually ran out good winners last week and got home over the Warriors 31-10. The return of Sam Burgess and Alex Johnston obviously helped the Bunnies. Reynolds had a great night with the boot (seven from seven and a field goal) and they had good games from Murray and the ever reliable Cook. After an even first half contest, the Bunnies were just too good for the Warriors and they enjoyed 59% possession and achieved a remarkable completion rate of 90%, all of which helped in their 7 line breaks and 48 tackle breaks. They weren’t too bad in the error department and only had 7 conceded penalties (Warriors 12) and 24 missed tackles (Warriors 48). Not fully convinced that they are building momentum just yet to be honest but this week’s clash against my BBB will shed some light on that.

The Roosters locked in 2nd spot with a comfortable 22-6 win against the Panthers last week. They did what they had to do when it mattered. After an entertaining first half they led 12-6 and came out in the second 40 scoring 2 more tries and kept the Panthers scoreless. Like I said, they did what they had to do when it mattered. Heartening to see the job got done without a few of our regulars. An outstanding effort from young Sam Verrills has me resting a lot easier for next year with regards to “blooding in” some of the new faces. As usual, Teddy had a good one and so glad Crichton finally had a good game as well. Actually, that bust he made in the first half (and a great step as well) that led to Keary passing to Teddy backing up to score was lovely to watch. Only thing I didn’t like about the win last week was the number of penalties we gave away (13), ineffective tackles (15) and the missed tackles (38). It drives me insane when I see them missing so many tackles 😣 Pretty chuffed that Cronk and Cordner are back.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work out who I’m tipping this week. Roosters for me. Begurk! 🐔 Begurk! 🐔

Eels vs Manly 45-55 @ BankWest
Ladder Position = Manly
Bookies Favourite = Eels

The Eels were a tad unlucky last week and went down to Brisbane in a golden point thriller 17-16. Early in the second half they were down 16-6 but simply refused to go away and eventually drew level and forced the match into extra time. Unfortunately for them, Brisbane were the first to break the deadlock with Isaako’s field goal. One of the highlights for me was that try Ferguson scored in the second half. What an absolute blinder! It looked even better in slow motion. A really gritty effort from the Eels which should hold them in good stead come finals time. Some positives to come out of that match was that they had 54% possession, they made 24 tackle breaks and kept the ineffective tackles down to 7 (compared to Brisbane’s 24). Things they need to work on are missed tackles (36), errors (11) and conceded penalties (7).

Last week Manly had a game the players and fans would love to forget. Not only did they get smashed 36-6 by the Storm (and held scoreless in the second 40) but they also lost Turbo Tom after only 9 minutes, not to mention Boyle and Gosiewski as well. The loss of Trbojevic is definitely gonna have repercussions with how far they progress in the finals. Why do the footy gods do things like this right at the most crucial stages of the season? The only try they scored was at the 37th minute and unfortunately for them, nothing thereafter. Definitely did not see that coming. Stats-wise, they got beaten right across the board and even Des admitted "I don't think there was an error we didn't make.” I’m absolutely positive he would’ve drilled them a bit during the week. Attack-wise they only managed 42% possession with just 68% completion. They made 293 post contact metres (Storm 487) and a solitary line break (Storm 7). They did manage 19 tackle breaks but not much good if the Storm made 37. Defence-wise they had 10 errors and 37 missed tackles. Maybe it’s better to get that “average” game out of the way before the finals and get back to the sparkling footy we all know they’re capable of. Don’t worry Manly fans, they’ll come good. The run against the Eels might just be the tonic they need and there’s always the “bounce-back” factor to take into consideration eh?

Liked the way Baggy’s BOYS came back and think there might be a “bounce-back” thing with Manly. This one’s a toughie. The number of “new faces” in the Manly side has me worried. I’m on the Eels here.

Storm vs Cowboys 90-10 @ AAMI
Ladder Position = Storm
Bookies Favourite = Storm

The Storm were really switched on last week. They came out and smashed Manly 36-6 and wrapped up the Minor Premiership in the process. They dominated possession (58%) and simply outclassed Manly. In the first half hour they had 70+ play-the-balls in Manly’s 20 and scored 3 tries while they were there. Ouchy-Mama! Not much to say on a great display from the Storm other than Smith was pretty good (as is the case most weeks) and loved that hit on Munster. No wonder he’s resting up this week 😁 Impressed with their 84% completion rate, 487 post contact metres, 7 line breaks, 6 forced drop outs and 37 tackle breaks. Errors were kept to a minimum too. They are on a roll and the Cowboys will have a job on their hands this week.

The Cowboys said goodbye to 1300Smiles with a hard fought 15-8 win over the Bulldogs last week. They were all set to win it by a point when Kahu slotted a field goal through 4 minutes from time but the win was iced when Wright scored a try a minute from time. Scott Bolton’s conversion kick (the first of his career) was surprisingly good and ended a great night for the Cowboys and their fans. They enjoyed a 54% possession rate, made 32 tackle breaks and kicked for 563 metres. On the downside they had 24 missed tackles, shared the errors with the Bulldogs at 10 each and conceded 5 penalties.

Unfortunately for the Cowboys, I reckon the Storm will be too good for them this week.

Raiders vs Warriors 85-15 @ GIO
Ladder Position = Raiders
Bookies Favourite = Raiders

Not a great first half from the Raiders last week. Remaining scoreless doesn’t help and had it not been for Flanagan’s unsuccessful conversion attempts, the Sharks might’ve been further ahead and the Raiders might’ve lost that match. Instead, the Raiders fought their way back into the game and managed to trade field goals with the Sharks and get the deciding one in extra time and scrape home 15-14 in an absolute thriller. The Raiders showed they have what it takes to go further than most in the finals with the way they kept at it last week. They never gave up and just kept going for the win. Thought they had just a little more intensity than the Sharks but to be honest, I reckon they were just a teeny-weeny bit lucky to get up. But hey, a win is a win and the experience gained from that game last week would have been invaluable. As you’ll see in my comments for the Sharks’ game, the stats for the Raiders and Sharks were understandably pretty close and both were about as good and bad as each other I reckon. Interesting that the Raiders couldn’t force any line drop outs.

After a close first half last week (14-10), the Warriors fell away and were beaten 31-10 by the Rabbitohs. You would’ve thought they were in with a chance the way they played the first half but their second 40 was just not up to par. Not good when you’re held scoreless in a half. The Warriors just couldn't keep up with Souths who managed to keep them out for most of the game, especially the second 40. The Warriors again committed far too many errors and lacked discipline. As it turned out they only managed 41% possession, their completion rate was a poor 77% and they only made 2 line breaks. Yeah, they had 24 tackle breaks but the Bunnies had 48. Ouch! More worrying was that they missed 48 tackles and gave away 12 penalties. You can’t win games doing that. Yeah they tried hard and looked OK for the first 40 minutes but in the end they were simply outclassed.

You’d have to think the Raiders at home will be too good. Yeah, Raiders for me. Just hope resting their “guns” doesn’t backfire!

Bulldogs vs Broncos 50-50 @ ANZ
Ladder Position = Broncos
Bookies Favourite = Broncos

Unfortunately, the Bulldogs slim chances of playing finals footy came to an end last week when they got done 15-8 by the Cowboys. They should feel very pleased in how they have come home in the back end of the year though and all things being equal, look set to have a better time of it next year. As we’ve seen recently, the Bulldogs defence was dour and determined and they just kept hanging in there but in the end, they just couldn’t put the Cowboys away. More than likely the home crowd and the “emotion” of the Cowboys’ last game at 1300Smiles had a bearing on the outcome. Mind you, they only had 46% possession and made 32 missed tackles, 10 errors and gave away 7 penalties so that wouldn’t have helped much either. On a brighter note, Lewis had a great game.

The Broncos got up in a thriller last week and prevailed in golden point to win 17-16 against the Eels. Leading 16-6 early in the second half, they had to withstand a fightback from the Eels and a missed field goal attempt (so very unlucky) to eventually get home courtesy of a great 30 metre run by Fifita that set up Isaako to successfully slot his second field goal attempt that won the game for them. After much criticism (duly deserved too), Darius Boyd finally showed us what he’s capable of. It was a much improved effort from him for sure and he needs to carry that effort forward. Milford had a great game too. Just love the way he plays his games, win or lose. Great try from Fifita that came off of Boyd’s 50 metre run and Alex Glenn’s grubber and regather. They didn’t have as much possession as the Eels (46%-54%) but they did have a healthy 36 tackle breaks. Their errors weren’t too far off the average for games these days but they did manage 24 ineffective tackles compared to the Eels’ 7. Doesn’t matter too much if you win the game I suppose.

See? I tip the Dogs last week and they lose. Don’t tip ‘em and they win. What’s a boy to do? Might just go the Broncos in this one.

Titans vs Dragons 40-60 @ CBus
Ladder Position = Dragons
Bookies Favourite = Dragons

In keeping with recent practices, no comments on this one except that I’m tipping the Dragons to win here.

Tigers vs Sharks 55-45 @ Leichhardt
Ladder Position = Sharks
Bookies Favourite = Sharks

After a close first half (12-8) the Tigers put their foot down in the second and ran away with the match and handed the Dragons a 42-14 shellacking last week. It was close at 18-14 with 30 to go but then the Tigers went bang! Great to see Momirovski get his act together. Crying 3 weeks ago and turned it around scoring 3 tries and booting 7 from 7 for a personal tally of 26 points. Nice one young fella! A nice one from Brooks as well I must say. Had a great game and ran for over 200 metres. Corey Thompson had a good match as always. The stats showed they made their fair share of errors (24 missed tackles, 19 ineffective tackles, 15 errors and 4 penalties conceded) but they still won and won well. All this with less possession than the Dragons.

Great first half from the Sharks (except for Flanagan’s kicking) saw them leading 12-0 but Canberra fought their way back in the second and the poor ol’ Sharks lost it 15-14 in a thriller last week. As we all know by now, there were 5 field goals kicked last week, 2 from the Sharks and 3 from the Raiders. The Sharks had their opportunities to do it for the "Cry Baby" but just couldn’t quite get there. Yet again the Sharks score more tries than their opposition and lose the match. Yikes! As the final score showed, stats for Sharks and Raiders were pretty close, both in the positive and the negative. Only ones of note for me were Forced Drop Outs Sharks 2 Raiders 0 and Kick Defusal Sharks 100% Raiders 60%.

Am I reading this right? The Tigers and Sharks haven’t played each other this year? And to think whoever wins this is playing finals and the other side isn't? Whoa! Talk about a “crunch game”. This is a “coin toss” as far as I’m concerned. Don’t know why but I reckon the Tigers will be more desperate to play finals and they’ll get it done amid scenes of jubilation at their spiritual home. Tigers in a close one.

Panthers vs Knights 50-50 @ Panthers Stadium
Ladder Position = Knights
Bookies Favourite = Panthers

Yeah, the Panthers may have got beaten 22-6 by my BBB last week but they were a lot better than that scoreline suggests. For large periods of the game they had it over the Chooks but couldn’t find a way to capitalise (other than their try at the 3 minute mark that is). A nice debut from Billy Burns and Dylan Edwards was always a threat. I really like how that fella plays his footy to be honest. They did have a decent crack at it though and made 38 tackle breaks and forced 5 line drop outs. But in the end they couldn’t get it done. Shame really, considering how they started the year. Oh well, that’s footy for you.

The Knights allowed the Titans to get on the scoreboard after 4 minutes or so but then piled on 38 unanswered points to win comfortably last week. While the result was obviously an encouraging one, they really need to carry that desire with them this week against the Panthers. After their somewhat sloppy start, they got back to playing some decent footy aided by a 56% possession rate. They had a healthy 33 tackle breaks, 7 line breaks and forced 4 line drop outs. Anyone other than the Titans and they might’ve been punished for their 10 errors and 25 missed tackles.

This one’s a bit of a “non-event” for me (no disrespect intended) but if I had to choose I reckon I’d go the Panthers. Just reckon playing at home they’ll want to send off Maloney in style.

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

I can say with the utmost certainty that there will be few, if any at all, that will like this week’s offering. For me personally, I just love the simplicity and primal vibe this one has.

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

The Thinker's picture

Thank you's great to be back.

Your previews are so good I'm going to have to think about giving you your own dedicated page. Thank you sir for your ongoing contributions.

All the best

newbie from perth's picture

Not that sure my previews are that good my friend. Just stating the obvious and reminding the family what happened the previous week is all. My “style” if you can call it that has developed and been nurtured from hanging around here for the last 5 years reading your previews and those from the rest of the family here and just getting more of a handle on the game. But thanks for the kind words. You sure know how to make a person feel the (semi-hard) work’s been worth it 😌

Not too sure about a dedicated page though. Might be too much hard work (ha-ha). Pretty sure you know what I’m on about seeing as how much time you spend on here behind the scenes eh?

As far as my ongoing contributions are concerned, more than happy to oblige. Where else can I get to rabbit on about the game I love (even though the comments are so damn long)? Plus I get to impose my diverse musical tastes upon you poor unsuspecting souls 😁

I’ll talk to you again when I give up the fulltime work gig shall I? 😉 Cheers brother.

Anonymous's picture

I’ve just read your latest novel
Pele didn’t dribble as much as that
You made Schindlers list seem like a commercial
You’ve made it sound possible to hear an entire meatloaf song on the commute home
It’s like you’ve added an extra 27 LA LAs to Hey Jude
But you know what it’s like the painting of Kramer in Seinfeld.... I just can’t look away
Don’t give up your day job
Your favourite critic

newbie from perth's picture

Hey there Anon,

Mate, them are some good (funny) analogies. Well done my friend 😄. My favourite from your list is the “it’s like the painting of Kramer in Seinfeld …. I just can’t look away”. Don’t ever look away buddy, you know you’ll only regret it 🤔 I actually remember seeing that Seinfeld episode all those years ago. Classic! Thanks brother…

a's picture

Here’s. My tips

Roosters by 4 I think the Roosters will go into the finals with a lot of confidence

Eels by 8 Eels will get their confidence back here

Storm by 6 Storm to get their finals on track here

Raiders by 12 Raiders to continue Warriors misery here

Broncos by 6 Broncos will lock in 7th place here

Titans by 2 I feel the Titans will have more to prove here

West Tigers by 1 I think the Tigers will get their finals spot here

Panthers by 2 I think the Panthers will get the job done here

mark ashford's picture

Welcome home mate, glad you had a nice holiday.
Embarrassing isn't it when your kids show you up.
I've been a fan of Tom Waits but must admit I haven't heard this track before. Tried hard but couldn't understand most of the lyrics. Maybe it's the speakers on my laptop.
To All
Can't believe we are at the end of the regular season. How quick has it gone. To those who have teams in contention I wish you the best of luck.

christine 's picture

In newbie's defence he wouldn't be newbie if he did it any other way , newbie never change yourself to suit anyone just stay the way you are you are newbie ...

newbie from perth's picture

@ Mr Ashford

Woo-Hoo! Someone’s actually a fan of Tom. Onya mate 👍 Yeah, hard to understand Tom most of the time. I’ve given up to be honest. Just like how he sounds, that’s good enough for me. The lyrics to that song are like my weekly posts … far too long. I’ll just pop in the first 2 verses for ya if that’s OK with the Boss. Cheers…

I plugged 16 shells from a thirty-ought-six
And a black crow snuck through a hole in the sky
So I spent all my buttons on an old pack mule
And I made me a ladder from a pawn shop marimba
And I leaned it up against a dandelion tree

And I filled me a sachel full of old pig corn
And I beat me a billy from an old French horn
And I kicked that mule to the top of the tree
And I blew me a hole ‘bout the size of a kick drum
And I cut me a switch from a long branch elbow

@ Christine

“You know it girlfriend” 😁 Yes, you’re right, I won’t (and I can’t) change my “stylee”. That’s just how I roll. But Anon has every right to have a “gentle dig” if he wants. Everyone’s entitled to have their say and to be honest, I enjoy his little observations. He’s 100% correct of course and I suspect his sense of humour is not fully understood. Well I think it’s meant as humour and if so, I don’t mind it at all. No doubt he will clarify if need be 😋 Ta muchly for the kind words anyway. Stay well…

NuL1F3's picture

G-day all! Congrats to those that scored 8 from 8 last week! Seems was a good tipping week for most, I was quite happy (and a little sore that Sharks lost by only a point to deprive me of my perfect tipping weekend) to get 7 out of my 8 tips correct :D

The week prior I tipped 6 from 8 which isn't bad, if only I had been tipping that way all year, my tips have been for the most part dismal! But it's all part of the fun :)

So for the last regular game this season my tips are as follows:
Storm (I really want to tip my Cowboys but, as well as they've been playing of late, I don't think it will be enough to take on even a resting Storm, I would love to be proved wrong!)

Good luck!

Dragons-fanboy's picture

Hello all, it's the final round of an interesting season. There are some exciting matches ahead leading into the finals. Before I proceed with my tips, welcome back Thinker I hope you enjoyed your holidays. My tips for this week are:

Roosters by 2 - In what should be a cracking game, we've got the 4th placed Rabbitohs coming up against the 2nd placed Roosters. The Rabbitohs could go up to as high as 3rd if they win and Raiders lose or drop to as low as 5th, the Roosters on the other hand, will stay 2nd no matter what. Although the Roosters have a couple of their players out, I think that they still have the star players in Cronk, Tedesco, Cordner and there talented youngsters in Radley and Latrell who'll be able to lift against the Rabbitohs and just get the win for the Roosters because the Rabbitohs will be looking to lift in this one coming into the finals. But just in case this is the last we see these two big rivals play this season, I hope we see an absolute cracking game with plenty of stars on show from both sides.

Parramatta by 10 - Tommy Turbo is a huge out for Manly and is a season-defining injury for Manly. I believe without him is going to make a massive difference in how far they'll go in the finals, in what looked like prelim or grand final being a massive possibility now looks like Manly getting eliminated week 1 or week 2 in my eyes. But hey, you never know as Manly have won some games without Turbo Tom but have won the majority of their games when he is there, we'll see we'll see. The Eels on the other hand, were very unlucky to lose to the Broncos. They done well to get back into that game only for them to lose in golden point. Now that was a heart breaker! Parramatta will be looking to bounce back this week to bring some much-needed momentum coming into week 1 of the finals and playing at Bankwest where they have a really good record, I reckon that they will get it done here.

Storm by 16 - Storm are massive favourites here as expected. They were phenomenal last week against Manly and showed us just why they've been minor premiers now for 3 of the last 4 seasons. The Storm are an absolutely brilliant football side, well drilled and ever so consistant. Even without a few of their players who are either rested or injured; Munster, Addo-Carr, etc, I still feel that the Storm will come out to Melbourne and finish off the regular season on a high to cap off what has been a remarkable season for them with a big win over the Cowboys and with finals looming, expect the Storm to have a brilliant finals outing yet again this season. I've got to give credit where it's due, the Cowboys have been finishing off the season well winning their last two games at 1300SMILES, well-deserved for the fans at Townsville and who also travel a long way just to get to 1300 to see their team play and of course for Matt Scott who has been doing it tough but great to see that he's going well from what I've seen on an update of his condition. Hope to see the Cowboys deliver something at Melbourne but just can't see them beating the Storm in Melbourne.

Raiders by 14 - I still expect the Raiders to come out on top and win well here even with a different looking side with Ricky Stuart resting up some players in a way to reload them for the finals. Warriors have had yet another poor end to the season and just a poor season in general. They'll finish 14th with a loss here which'll be very disappointing for the Warriors coming off a great season last year. I don't really expect too much from the Warriors in this one but hopefully for the Warriors' fans sake that they can deliver something here but it's the Raiders to continue on that brilliant form they're in at the moment leading into the finals.

Bulldogs by 6 - I've gone the upset here. I feel that the Bulldogs will find a way to frustrate the Broncos in defence here as they've done to many other top teams in the last 8-9 games. Yes they lost last week to the Cowboys, but they were in it for the majority of the contest and defended well yet again in that game. This is a good sign for the Dogs for next season that they've finished the season on a good note. I think they can top that off with a win over the Broncos here. The Broncos were really lucky last week but still a brave effort considering the Eels were coming back at the Broncos after trailing 16-6 but for the Broncos to be able to dust themselves off and kick the winning field goal at ET, great effort from them. It'll be intriguing to see how their young forwards will go leading into the finals if they make it, like Thinker said, a draw in the Tigers-Sharks game and a loss here for the Broncos means they're missing out of the finals, but anyways. Hopefully for the Broncos sake that Darius Boyd can have another good game just like he did last week. But, it's the Bulldogs for me.

Dragons by 8 - Dragons to end this horrible season with a win over the wooden spooned Titans. Titans may get it done for Mikey Gordon in this final game ever in the NRL and McInnes out for the Dragons will help the Titans' cause more as McInnes has been our best this season. But, I still think and of course hope that we'll beat the Titans here away from home to conjure up win number 8 and to prove that we are way better than the Titans this season extending that winning gap with them to 4. Geez, that wouldn't look good for the Titans finishing at last by 8 points in what has been a really, really disappointing season from them.

Sharks by 1 - In what is the game of the round, we've got the 9th placed Tigers coming up against the 8th placed Sharks. Who would've thought of this. Two teams playing for a finals spot in the final day of the regular season at a suburban ground in Sydney. Weather will be a little chilly but sunny so expect a sell out and maybe a few more on their roofs for this one. What will add more to the drama is if we see Farah playing in this one which'll mean we'll see the final games for either Farah or Gallen which will be absolutely brilliant to see who'll play their last game or who'll play at least 1 more game in their career. It'll be a massive help for the Tigers if both Mbye and Farah both are available to play for the Tigers but even without both or one of them, this will still be an interesting game and with two desperate sides going at it you just never know a draw may even be on the cards. Tigers will be desperate to make it to the finals for the first time since 2011, which'll be good to see, but it's the Sharks for me... JUST.

And finally... Panthers by 8 - It's a real shame that this is the final game and not the Tigers-Sharks game, would've been epic if it was flipped. But anyways, a meaningless 11th v 10th game is the final game of the regular season. Still should be a solid contest but I'm going with the Panthers to get the win for Jimmy Maloney in his final game before leaving to the Super League in the UK and in the final home game for the Panthers just like the Knights got a win in their final home game last week.

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

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

Baggy_Gee's picture

Well the Girls got 3/8 last week, bringing them up to 102/186, it seems their fade is mirroring mine as i drop slowly back down the list to mid pack. Ahhhh well, here are their last tips for this year.
Rabbits - because we have a toy rabbit
Manly - Because they are purple birds
Storm - Because it has lightning
Warriors - We like their face, and they play well(lol)
Bulldogs - Because we like dogs (today at least)
Dragons - Because there are lots of dragon based movies we like
Sharks -because they are sea animals
Knights - Because they fight dragons and protect their castle

mark ashford's picture

Ha Ha Newbie
Thanks for those lyrics. Don't know that they helped much. All I know is a thirty-ought-six is the caliber of a rifle, after that I'm lost. I'd like to see someone lean a ladder against a dandelion tree! But like you I enjoy his work even if you can't understand it.
Don't take any notice of Anon he probably struggles to put more than a dozen words together.

Christine 's picture

Put my tips in for taking the same as " a " this week please thinker...

Christine 's picture

Newbie yes I agree with you about anonymous I would say seems too have a sense of humour but I really miss johnny ray not being on here anymore he always made me laugh it is a shame really when he left but I understand why he did , hopefully we don't loose anymore from the website but I do think it is just fine the way it is so defenetly never change newbie it is you it's your style it just screams newbie ...

Christine 's picture

I can't believe it is our last round of the season before finals start already I hate this time of the season I am not saying by too you all yet it is too soon so enjoy the weekend & may the NFL god's be good to us all...

Christine 's picture

I put nrl & my phone changed it to NFL...

manyana's picture

My apologies Thinker, I'm still under the weather with the flu and I seem to have cotton wool in my head. Too late for the tipping, but here are the teams that I would have tipped.
Good luck to everyone. manyana.

christine 's picture

I will be glad when this season is over my tipping has been off this season not as bad as rockets though so I shouldn't complain too much but I can admit I do usually tip better than what I have this season ...

NuL1F3's picture

Well, there goes my last chance for a perfect score. Maybe next year will be my year? If Cowboys win against Storm I will most likely shed a tear or two lol.

newbie from perth's picture

@ Christine

Yeah, I miss Johnny Ray too. Now he was an absolute cracker! His sense of humour was priceless sometimes. Johnny, where you at bra’? We miss ya and need ya back here 😉

P.S. Don’t talk to me about last night’s game, I’m still screaming 😫😫😫 interrupted by bouts of sobbing 😥😥😥 Cheers…

NuL1F3's picture

Haha! It makes sense that they wouldn't play as hard as they can and save it for finals considering a win last night did nothing for them on the ladder. That is also the reason why Cowboys could be in with a shot? I could ask to change my tip from Storm, though, what would be the point now? lol

a's picture

Yeah I miss Johnny Ray to hopefully he comes back soon

Mary S's picture

Hi NuLiF3,
You still have a chance of a perfect score with the elimination matches etc!
Know what you mean about last nights match - players being rested because a team is OK with the position they currently hold. Bet Roosters play with more vigour the next time the teams meet!!!!

Same goes for Storm/Cowboys match - it's all a gamble!

NuL1F3's picture

Hello Mary, I guess you are right though my success rate for finals footy is even worse haha.

Yeah, no doubt there will be a couple of teams playing much harder next week.

mark ashford's picture

Very physical game last night. 4 Rabbits sent to hia and finished with only 12 players, yet they still managed to get the win over the much favoured Roosters. Both JWH & Sam B on report. Will be interesting to see what the match review guys decide as these 2 Sydney teams are probably the only ones who can beat Storm. Both of these guys have form so I'll be watching with interest.

BigPeteBx's picture

Good evening to you Baggy - a good win to you tonight.
Thoroughly deserved and played for. Sivo was a big difference scoring 3 tries all within 26mins.
When Manly starting clawing back, I felt there was a chance coming, but not to be. The injuries over the last two games, have sent us for a sixer.

Footy Chick has just edged me on that game. Its been a very difficult at times comp to pick this year. Good for NRL, but not good for some of us competitors and those that punt on matches or have a bet, now and then.

Some hard yakka took place last night. As mentioned before here by Mary and along the lines of. Some play and some just need to turn up and put an appearance in. A new ball game next week.

Cheers and you ALL have a nice weekend.
Big Pete

christine 's picture

I know how you feel i also took roosters & they let us down but they're not done just yet see what cronk & keary do there is more too come ...

mark ashford's picture

Hey Baggy
A nice win by your boys. You can now relax a bit as they are well into the 8.
Thought the Roosters took the foot off a bit last night against the Bunnies. Latrelle was missing despite scoring a try. He missed a vital tackle that led to the Bunnies win. Doesn't make any difference to the top 3.

EagleROCKS's picture

Good Luck to all the teams.
Eagles Rockethou.

Mary S's picture

Been a while since we saw you last EagleRocks - it has been an interesting season so far with more still to come!

a's picture

Welcome back Eagles ROCKS glad to have you back

Do you still talk to Fortresses maybe you should get him to pop in

Christine 's picture

Your always welcome here eagle rocks any time feel free to post your tips or to have a chat that's what they call me I'm have a chat Christine's just my alias ...

Christine 's picture

Big Pete's hope your staying away from those fired that are in the mountains with the wind we are having today it will reach lithgow & bathurst in no time with all the bush in between , post is s comment so we know you're OK at least unless you'reout fighting fires I know residents sometimes pitch in to help when needed so stay safe if you do ...

Christine 's picture

That was fires obese referring too...

Christine 's picture

See I hate my phone it changes what I type I give up with this stupid mobile

BigPeteBx's picture

Hello Christine thanks for asking about. I'm trying to do what I need to, on computer at night, as I have fallen sleepishly towards the keyboard, a couple of nights this week. Long overthinking with my work, then the glare that stems from built up concern with eye/s.
Fires are always a danger in the mountains and around the higher peaks of Lithgow (Clarence got burnt out, a couple of seasons ago).
Most residents around those areas are in RFS or CES volunteer work.

I used to be on 7 committee's of varying types, in executive roles. Lately my "spare" time is in assisting our Community JP Desk and our Sports Council.

I do hope things go for the better with you. Bloody hard in a household where victimisation, or bullying is evident.

Take care and keep well Sunshine.
Big Pete

BigPeteBx's picture

Hello again Christine - mobile phones are a necessary evil. Even though I am honest and don't use one - at present. Much of correctness, comes from the keys that are close to each other, as you may be tapping two keys together - like i & o sit right next to each other, as does a & s, for this exercise of describing.

Take it steady, you'll get there and your English teacher will be proud of you. Maybe even your IT one as well. Mystery at best of times they are, even when u r an accomplished user of the damn things - phones that is. Time is approaching I am also told, where landline phones in the future, may not even exist.

Cheers - Big Pete

BigPeteBx's picture

Well, well, well ROCKS - great to see your name in print again.
If ever u r speaking with Fortress, you might say Big Pete said hello.
I've never caught him at The Corso, as he never posted his address to me. Haha.

With the injuries over the past weeks, that Manly has sustained, I'm not betting the boys will go any or much further. If they do, they'll need a steam roller, like Eels had in Sivo.

Anyway, away with me for now. Keep well and Cheers.
Big Pete in Bx

BigPeteBx's picture

Hello Miss Mary Cowboy girl. Sure has been an interesting season, this one. More interesting if tipping and figuring our winners.

If you were interested in knowing why Storm players were wearing black armbands last night. It was in due to a local lad, with a family who was killed in a truck accident here this week. His dad played with Oberon Tigers of old, who Craig Bellamy also played with, when Craig was signed from Portland near Kandos. The lad was a very loyal Storm supporter.

Cheers and keep well, from a wild and windy Bx.
Big Pete

Baggy_Gee's picture

Thanks Pete and Mark. Was screaming at the radio for them to pot the field goal before that last try. Would have tied us up on for and against. I was just satisfied with a win after two rough weeks. And as for as the eight goes, anything above tenth was good, and fifth is wonderful. Mark let's hope the Broncos get up to eliminate the draw to knock you out.

a's picture

Yes Cowboys did put up a fight last night

Baggy_Gee's picture

Well in the last round so far the Girls are 3/4. Maybe dad is to old and tired to keep pace with the young'uns these days.

Mary S's picture

I came in on the last 15-20 mins of the Raiders/Warriors game - did Raiders forget this week that they had to play for 80 mins, or did Warriors find that flash of inspiration that has been missing from the majority of their season?
Cheers to all

Mary S's picture

Hi Baggy,
No, your'e not too old - I think the girls were the only ones to tip the Warriors to win here!

Mary S's picture

Thanks Big Pete, for the info on the black armbands last night - I did wonder.
Cowboys certainly fought to the end, and the difference was not as big as some expected - well done!


Steel Panther's picture

Hi Mary,

Despite winning on the score board the Warriors were still awful. They gave up some soft tries. Under 6s could have tackled better than some of this mob. Adam Blair a major culprit here. Canberra on the other hand looked flat after resting a few key boys. Sadly for them the loss means they'll have to travel to Melbourne next week.

Gutsy effort from your Cowboys last night. All a supporter can hope for is seeing players die for the jersey.

Well done on tipping a full round last week. You are having a good season!! Hope all is well with you in NQ.


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