Round twenty one selections

North Queensland Cowboys vs Brisbane Broncos – Thursday night – 1300SMILES Stadium

One thing these sides have in common, beyond a disappointing 2019 season, is back-rowers playing in the centres. Coen Hess retains his spot on the edge for the Cowboys and Alex Glenn gets the job of keeping Hess in check. Neither side is short of class in the forwards to be sure. It's those backlines, for both clubs, that are a patchwork job of cobbled together bits and pieces they could find on Gumtree and between the cushions on the couch. That's the reason, in both cases, these sides find themselves outside the top eight. The Cowboys have a fair run home and could easily win four of their last five matches – they could even win them all, especially if the Storm are so far in front of the competition come round 25 they rest half their team. Four wins takes them to 24 points, and right now 6th place is on that mark. So if they put it all together, I still can't see them getting there, and I can't see how they can put it all together anyway. The Broncos run home isn't bad either. They're close enough to get there and have a team that could do it. The Storm gave them a belting last round, but they often do, and the Broncos did stick with them for a fair chunk of the first half. This is easier, and they'll want it more.

Verdict – Broncos by 4

Result – Broncos 18 defeated Cowboys 14

New Zealand Warriors vs Manly Sea Eagles – Friday night – Mt Smart Stadium

The Warriors threw the towel in last Friday night, and coach Kearney kicked it right back in their face. He didn't have much of a kicking game as a back-row forward but he didn't miss last weekend. The Warriors have now lost six in a row at Mt Smart, and their last five games this season are against Manly, Roosters, Sharks, Rabbitohs and the Raiders. It's over.

Verdict – Sea Eagles by 16

Result – Warriors 24 defeated Sea Eagles 16

Penrith Panthers vs Cronulla Sharks – Friday night – Panthers Stadium

Seventh plays seventh and these are the sort of games you really want to be winning when you're in the battle for a top eight finish. These sides met in round 6 where the Sharks ran down the Panthers in the second half after trailing by 20-6. Matt Moylan is unavailable (but he wasn't in round six either) and James Maloney gets a week off through suspension. The absence of Maloney is the swing factor here, because the Panthers are struggling to find a suitable replacement in their roster. The Panthers scored just 8 points against the Bulldogs so it's a big ask for a new playmaker against a team that appears to have found their mojo again. The return of Wade Graham made an enormous difference, and the rest of the team seem to respond to his presence.

Verdict – Sharks by 4

Result – Panthers 26 defeated Sharks 20

St George Illawarra Dragons vs Gold Coast Titans – Saturday afternoon – Netstrata Jubilee Stadium

14th plays 16th and while the Dragons are unlikely to run last this season, winning this game just about makes sure that they won't. That Titans loss to the Roosters looked a like a team that has given up. If they have, we could have a similar scoreline here.

Verdict – Dragons by 30

Result – Dragons 40 defeated Titans 28

Parramatta Eels vs Newcastle Knights – Saturday night – Bankwest Stadium

Knights coach Nathan Brown has named an unchanged line-up from the seventeen that lost to Manly last week. He must have seen something I couldn't see, or perhaps he's run out of options. What looked like a promising 2019 campaigned has unravelled completely with five straight losses. Two of those losses were against propert NRL teams and they were beaten by hefty margins, while the three losses at home were to sides they should be beating. Two of those teams (Warriors and Tigers) were beaten by the Eels in recent weeks. The Eels are a better team when Blake Ferguson isn't infected, but I think they'll win regardless.

Verdict – Eels by 8

Result – Eels 20 defeated Knights 14

Canterbury Bulldogs vs Wests Tigers – Saturday night – ANZ Stadium

The Bulldogs reminded everyone that they shouldn't be taken lightly as an opponent, which could be a problem for them here. That win over the Panthers just reminds the Tigers to turn up for the contest. They're clinging to 8th spot as things stand so this an important game to win (particularly with the two teams above them on the ladder playing each other). The only time the Bulldogs won successive games this season was when they had a bye round in between. This isn't beyond them by any means, but I can't tip them.

Verdict – Tigers by 4

Result – Bulldogs 18 defeated Tigers 16

Canberra Raiders vs Sydney Roosters – Sunday afternoon – GIO Stadium

Two fabulous games of footy on Sunday afternoon but this is the pick of them. Both teams were dominant winners last start but the Raiders win over the Warriors in New Zealand is probably better form than the Roosters win over the Titans in Sydney. These sides met in magic round earlier this season but it's hard to gauge the form from that. The Roosters racked up 30 points by the 42nd minute. The Raiders finished strong to lose by six but the Chooks lost Cordnor, Mitchell and Tupou before halftime. The Raiders get the nod from me because they have a few additions for this game (Sezar, Bateman, Tapine) that didn't play when last they met. That Raiders pack can do the job at home, particularly with Cordnor and Taukeiaho unavailable for the tricolours. The Raiders defence has been great this season. The Roosters attack has been great this season. What a game.

Verdict – Raiders by 2

Result – Roosters 22 defeated Raiders 18

South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Melbourne Storm – Sunday afternoon – Central Coast Stadium

If things go to plan the Rabbitohs will drop out of the top four this weekend for the first time all season. Sam Burgess gets a reprieve at the judiciary so he laces on the boots – I'm sure the Storm will have a plan to give him as much niggle as they can and hope he does something silly. I'm sure Wayne Bennett hopes that he doesn't. On the back of that dominant performance against the Broncos I have to tip the Storm. This team just knows how to win. Their biggest loss all season was by 2 points, and their only other losses this year were both in golden point extra time. It's hard to tip against them.

Verdict – Storm by 8

Result – Storm 26 defeated Rabbitohs 16

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

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

  • Cowboys vs BRONCOS
  • Warriors vs SEA EAGLES
  • Panthers vs SHARKS
  • DRAGONS vs Titans
  • EELS vs Knights
  • Bulldogs vs TIGERS
  • Raiders vs ROOSTERS
  • Rabbitohs vs STORM

Comments

tigerholic's picture

Evening Folks
Have a great week and remember that family is everything.

Tiger

mark ashford's picture

Hi all
Back from Fraser Island today. Had a great trip, ate and drank too much with 5 other terrific blokes. The wind blew from the SE at around 25/30 knots for the first 5 days so you'd cast out and your pilly (bait) would land about 2 feet from your feet. After that it died off a bit and we caught some good fish. Hope everyone on site is well and tipping like the champions you know you are.
Newbie
Last weeks SOTW was perhaps the best this year, absolutely beautiful.

mark ashford's picture

Tigerholic
Your comment above about family is so true, they are everything.
cheers mate

Baggy_Gee's picture

Most important question Mark, did you bag out?

tigerholic's picture

Welcome back Mark, you didn't see Rocket up there somewhere did you mate, he has gone walk-about!!

Tiger

Steel Panther's picture

Hey Mark

Good to hear that the trip went well. Not sure if you saw any footy on the weekend but both our teams got thumped!! Hope to catch you on email soon...

christine 's picture

rocket come on you know even by now coach would have reared his ugly head just to blame someone else for his teams performance I thought you were a bit better than that , suck it up &return or forever hold your peace ...

christine 's picture

your silence is deafening but I can still hear you scream rocket ...

The Thinker's picture

Welcome back Mark

I'm glad you found a few....eventually

newbie from perth's picture

@ Mr Ashford

Good to see you made it back safe’n’sound mate and that you had a great time. Ask anyone and they’ll say you deserved the break 😁

Yeah, that song from last week is totally awesome and one of my all-time favourites. It pleases me that you thought it was the best of the year so far but not so sure what you’ll think of this week’s submission. Haven’t made my mind up yet so it could be great, could be average or it could be utter garbage. But as we all know (or should know), music, just like food and beauty, is subjective and what one likes someone else may not and so on. You know what I’m talking ‘bout 😉 OK, must dash as I have food to put on the table. Welcome back bro’. Cheers.

a's picture

Here’s my tips

Broncos by 4 I’m never tipping the Cowboys again

Sea Eagles by 22 Bye Bye Warriors your no Christmas

Sharks by 2 I think the Sharks will continue their good form here

Dragons by 10 While I don’t think it will be a flogging I do expect the Dragons to beat a much improved Titans outfit

Eels by 2 While the Knights will be so much better I do think the Eels will win it In a close one

Bulldogs by 2 Bulldogs seem to always turn up against the Tigers and if they win this they can almost keep their season alive

Raiders by 1 I think the Raiders can continue their march for a top 2 spot here

Storm by 4 I think the Storm will win in a thriller here

mark ashford's picture

Thanks for the "welcome back" from you guys...much appreciated!
Baggy
Between the 6 of us we scored 62 Tailor, 2 Dart and 2 Whiting (caught on 4 hook 4o rigs on pilly bait go figure) about half our bag limit.
Not too shabby considering the conditions and 2 guys who had never beach fished before.
Tiger
There was a guy up there in a Broncs shirt who seemed filthy about something. Every second word was a profanity. I wasn't game to ask him if his name was "Rocket"
Steel
Thanks mate. Despite the wind we had a great trip. Didn't watch any games but one of the boys gave us scores from his phone, what a flogging we both copped. We'll catch up on our email when you can.
AH footy tipping it's great to be back.

mark ashford's picture

Thinker & TLH
Thanks for your post and thanks for this site which grows every year with new friends being created everywhere.
As we approach the finals don't forget those banking details mate.
Best wishes to you and your families.

christine 's picture

tiger
Incase you hadn't noticed someone has had the ba##s to resurface check tips rocket has returned ...

Baggy_Gee's picture

What were those whiting the size of small sharks, or do they breed them big and hungry up there. Glad to hear you had a great time away, enjoy the run into the finals.

a's picture

Welcome back Mark hope you have a good time

newbie from perth's picture

Sa-wat-dee krup,

First of all, a big shout-out to Ch9 for televising the Saturday footy for the last 5 rounds of the year. Woo-Hoo! Now I get to see 4 games a week “free and live”. Happy days indeed 😍 Surely the game of the round would have to be the Raiders and the Roosters on Sunday afternoon, wouldn’t it? Should be a ripper but gutted that I can’t watch it on free-to-air. D’oh!

Anyway, let’s get into it…

Cowboys vs Broncos 45-55 @ 1300Smiles
Ladder Position = Broncos
Bookies Favourite = Broncos

The Cowboys’ poor first half last week was telling and they had no answers in the second. They were besieged by the Tigers’ continual pressure, both in attack and defence and simply had nothing they could counter with. Completing just 28 from 43 sets certainly didn’t help things either. All in all a pretty disappointing night’s work I reckon. Hate to say it but some of the tries they let in were bordering on soft. I did like that run from Taumalolo in the 15th minute though. Love watching the big fella doing his “thang”. What worries me a bit is that the Cowboys have only won 3 of their 9 home games thus far this year. Not like the good old days that’s for sure.

What can I say about the Broncos’ effort last week? Not much they could’ve done when the Storm were in one of “those” moods. Lack of possession didn’t help. Nor did having Gillett and Pangai missing. Didn’t realise 5 of the Broncos were aged 20 or under. That might’ve contributed a bit as well. One line break to the Storm’s 11 was just plain ordinary and not what I usually expect to see from the Ponies. Look, it’s done and dusted now and even though they were given a football lesson, the Broncos need to learn from that (and Staggs needs to stop kicking the ball dead from restarts) and concentrate on this week’s encounter with the Cowboys. Brush it off and just play footy and they’ll be good. At least Staggs redeemed himself a little by scoring a try to put something on the board for the Broncos.

This one’s pretty even in my mind but I reckon the Broncos might’ve taken a bit more out of their loss last week than the Cowboys might’ve. Broncos for me.

Warriors vs Manly 35-65 @ Mt Smart
Ladder Position = Manly
Bookies Favourite = Manly

The Warriors had a shocking first half last week to say the least. You can’t walk into the sheds at the break 30-0 down and expect to drag it out of the fire against a side like the Raiders. Unfortunately their game was done and dusted after the first 40. Can’t believe they had 58 missed tackles. No bad calls or penalties as an excuse last week I’m sorry to say so maybe now we’re seeing exactly what the Warriors have to offer. I see they’ve lost 6 straight at Mt. Smart (I think) and I’m wondering if they can put a stop to that against Manly. Tough ask.

Manly certainly franked their form from the Storm win with a dominant 30-6 win over the Knights last week. While the first half was pretty much even, the second half was exceptional from Manly and they managed to hold the Knights scoreless to boot. The Sea Eagles’ attack was effective, their defence was on point and they just rolled along. They seem to be peaking nicely at the moment you’d have to say. They’re not doing much wrong and Des has them humming.

The Sea Eagles are the “real deal” (finally) and should make their fans happy again this week. Manly for me.

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

The Panthers seemed to lack some desire last week and paid the price. It looked like they failed to handle the pressure put on them by the Bulldogs, even though they had more possession and set completions. They were stopped on numerous occasions by great defence and got a bit flustered by it all and were starting to rack up the errors. They’ve now lost 2 on the trot (as well as dropping out of the 8) and won’t find a rejuvenated Sharks outfit an easy proposition this week. Interesting to see how they will handle the inevitable pressure that will be applied by the Sharks. Interesting too, now that Maloney will be missing, to see who’s going to help Cleary steer the ship. Hmm.

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting too much from the Sharks last week but to my surprise, they ended up beating the Bunnies 39-24. Obviously having Graham, Moylan and Fifita back in the side was telling. They somehow turned their form around and played a disciplined and determined brand of football that’s been missing for a while. Now that they’re back in the 8, the challenge will be to continue that form against the Panthers. No Moylan – no big deal.

Their away form this year is pretty ordinary but I’ll tip the Sharks to get up in a close one.

Dragons vs Titans 70-30 @ Jubilee
Ladder Position = Dragons
Bookies Favourite = Dragons

Yeah, my “gut feeling” and the Dragons let me down again last week. At least they won the second half. Don’t think it would’ve made much difference but that penalty Vaughan gave away in the second half utterly bemused me. I just sat there thinking “what the hell are you doing Paul”? He makes a brilliant shirt collar tackle and holds him down with his one good hand and the referee calls held so he pushes the Eels player down by the scruff of the neck again. WTH? Don’t know about anyone else but I reckon I saw some signs of improvement with the Dragons last week. A long way to go for sure but the signs are there. Thought Hunt had a better game and Widdop is making a difference. Dragons had their fair share of chances but couldn’t take advantage of them. That will all change this week when they take on the Titans.

Titans – no comment 🥱

My tip? Why, the Dragons of course.

Eels vs Knights 65-35 @ Bankwest
Ladder Position = Eels
Bookies Favourite = Eels

The Eels did enough damage in the first half to get them home last week in a rather uninspiring game against the Dragons. Just like the Dragons, the Eels didn’t really hit any high level of football (no offence Baggy) and seemed to be making consistent errors. It was all a bit sloppy in parts but as I said, they did enough to win ugly. Just as long as you come away with the 2 points I suppose. They’re up to 6 on the ladder and have now won 5 of their last 6.

The Knights were in last week’s game against Manly for the first 40 minutes at least but a scoreless second half was just poor. They seemed to buckle under the pressure they were given and never looked likely to be honest. They let in 6 tries and missed 37 tackles. That won’t win you games. Ponga again showed his class (and his dancin’ shoes) in scoring the Knights’ only try of the match. Not sure what’s happened to the Knights but I do know they’ve lost 5 of their last 6 and they’re currently sitting 11th on the ladder.

The ratings suggest the Eels should win comfortably but I’ve got a funny feeling this might be closer than some may think. But hey, I’m still gonna tip the Eels, especially seeing as it’s at Bankwest.

Bulldogs vs Tigers 40-60 @ ANZ
Ladder Position = Tigers
Bookies Favourite = Tigers

Great defensive effort from the Bulldogs last week against the Panthers and they seem to be heading in the right direction. They had 33 missed tackles and still won 16-8. Actually, they were beaten in almost all areas of the stats sheets and still won. That tells me something. Not sure what but it’s telling me something. It was a really good effort considering where they’re placed on the ladder and considering they had Tolman binned in the first half. What impressed me was that I read somewhere that they defended 47 plays inside their 20 zone/area or whatever you call it. Yeah, I keep mentioning their defensive effort but it’s what won the game for them. Can they bring it again this week against those Tigers though?

A dominant first half from the Tigers last week against the Cowboys had them 16-0 up at the break. The dominance continued in the second 40 and they ran out comfortable winners. Their attack was great and their defence was relentless. Marshall & Farah were impressive. Brooks wasn’t too bad either. What else is there to say?

I keep underestimating those Bulldogs (just like most people do I suppose) and they occasionally take me by surprise but I think the Tigers might be a little more desperate to consolidate their position in the 8 to be honest. Yeah, Tigers for me.

Raiders vs Roosters 50-50 @ GIO
Ladder Position = Roosters
Bookies Favourite = Roosters

The Raiders were absolutely brilliant last week. Not content with 5 tries in the first half, they got another 3 in the second half as well. They gave the Warriors a footy lesson for sure. They were making metres at will and Hodgson was having a blinder. They were pretty ruthless you could say and the scoreline reflected that. They’re looking like they’re running into the right sort of form just in time for the finals. Mind you, their next 3 games are against the Roosters this week, followed by games against the Storm and Manly. That’ll test their credentials for sure.

Not too much to say on the Roosters win last week against a woeful Titans side. OK then, can I just say “awesome”? I knew my BBB would win but not by that much. Even though they were up 28-0 at half-time, I was still worried they’d “fall asleep” in the second. Obviously Trent read my post last week and sent someone out for latte before the game 😁 I don’t think the Roosters were as “clinical” as the Storm were and I certainly wasn’t expecting a 58-6 scoreline. Thankful the margin was 52 as that helped us get into second on the ladder and glad the Roosters finally put in a full 80. Highlights were 10 tries to 1 and Brett Morris getting a hat-trick in 21 minutes. Assuming we win (and we will) and the Storm knock off the Bunnies (probably), that means we will be clear second on the ladder. We need that breathing space for sure. My only concern besides the Raiders’ “red hot” form is that we haven’t won down in Canberra for about 9 years. Ouch!

This will be a cracker and I’m tipping the Roosters obviously. Begurk! 🐔 Begurk! 🐔

Rabbitohs vs Storm 35-65 @ Central Coast
Ladder Position = Storm
Bookies Favourite = Storm

The Rabbitohs were sort of disappointing last week against the Sharks. Admittedly their form has been so-so even though they’ve been winning but I thought they’d do a bit better than they did, especially seeing as Big Sam had returned. They were hustled by the Sharks and started making errors which may have stifled their chances. Hey, they were good in patches but overall they didn’t really look like a chance. They were simply out-played by a more focused Sharks side. Not impressed with their completion rate of 65% or the number of errors they made and an apparent lack of enthusiasm. Wayne Bennett summed it up beautifully when he said "We did what all the losing teams do - we had multiple errors, dropped balls, missed tackles, penalties, that's the characteristics of a losing team. We were way off our game." They’ll have their work cut out for them this week against the Storm.

A good first half last week from the Storm against the Broncos (18-0) set them up beautifully for an emphatic 40-4 win. You’re always a good chance to win if you score 7 tries to 1. The amount of possession they had and what they did with it made it near on impossible for the Broncos to do much. The Storm dished out a masterclass for sure (Smith and Munster in particular) and it was the perfect response to their disappointing loss against Manly the week before. Like Gus Gould mentioned, they were just playing like a “machine”. They were relentless and the poor ol’ Broncos were the unlucky ones to cop it. Things are looking pretty darned good for the Storm based on last week’s effort. They are the team to beat in the Grand Final you’d have to say.

This one’s a no-brainer for me. Storm to keep rolling along.

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

I just wish I had the talent to do this. Time to get funky y’all…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQ-Kq6eMnrs

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

Dragons-fanboy's picture

G'day everyone, hope you are all having a good week so far and that continues for the remainder of the week. It's a real windy day here in Sydney today. Now, onto my tips. My tips for this week are:

Broncos by 4 - Last week, these two suffered heavy defeats. The Cowboys lost to the Tigers 28-4. And the Broncos got smacked by the Storm 40-4. Now I feel that the loss that would've hurt the most is the Cowboys due to the Broncos playing the Storm and we all know that the Storm love to bounce back from a loss but then again, the Broncos did have plenty to play for and wanted to prove that they can hang in there with the big dog of the comp hell even get a victory over them but suffering such a huge loss would've stung a lot for the Ponies. Keep playing like that, there's no way that the Broncos will be playing finals footy. I mean, they did hang in there for a bit in the first half and were 18-0 down but in the second half, the Storm just proved way too good in the end getting a 40-4 win. Well, you could also say too good in the first half as well considering they took an 18-point lead in the break but anyways. Broncos will have plenty to play for tonight whereas, the Cowboys don't. So, I feel that the Broncos will want it more and will come away with a win here in Townsville. Will be an interesting contest. Especially the battle of the forwards.

Sea Eagles by 14 - Manly are absolutely flying high at the moment. They are genuine contenders no doubt it. I can't stress it enough on the fantastic work that Des has done back at Manly. It's absolutely amazing how he has got this club from second last last year with bookies giving them not much hope for the premiership coming into the season to now being contenders this season and a group of players who just play their roles very well. The Warriors on the other hand, no doubt about that loss whatsoever. No blaming the refs this time they just came out and put on a shocking performance against the Raiders. You can't go 30-0 down at half time and expect anything less. The coach deservedly gave it to his boys and I mean really gave it to his boys. Their second half wasn't much better with the Warriors going down 46-12 in the end. The Warriors are currently on a six game losing streak at Mt Smart. I can't see them snapping that here. Manly to roll the Warriors here.

Sharks by 8 - Maloney out suspended is a massive blow for the Panthers. Kikau is back to add some spice in the forwards which is much needed. The Sharks were back at full strength (except Dugan) last week and put on a stellar performance to get a massive 39-24 win over the Rabbitohs. Really good signs for the Sharks because they showed that they can beat a top side and if they make the finals, I feel that they may be able to get a few scalps if they have the energy and attacking flair plus, their tough defence of course which I'm sure they wouldn't disappoint in anyways. Now, they have the Panthers in what is a much needed win for both sides. 9th v 7th. Panthers need to win to get back in the 8 if the Tigers manage a loss this week and the Sharks need to win to stamp their top 8 position for the time being. Will be a cracking game and an amazing forwards battle but with a rookie halfback for the Panthers, I feel that'll put too much pressure on Cleary and the Sharks will have the better organisation which will lead to 3 in a row for the Sharks.

Dragons by 10 - 14th plays 16th when the Dragons face off against the Titans. If the Dragons win here, which they should, they will escape any chance of finishing wooden spooners. But if the Titans manage to win, the Dragons will be in the hunt for a potential wooden spoon as the Titans will go just 1 win away from us and we do play them again in rd 25 so who knows what the situation will be by then. But, if they Dragons are going to beat any team for the remainder of the season, it'll be the Titans. It's truly a shame because last season we were able to beat anyone on our day. Not saying that's not the case this season because on our day, even this season, we could've and still could beat anyone on our day. Distractions, injuries and a lack of energy has been our major downfalls this year and why we've only won 6 from 19. But, the Titans have officially given up now based on their most recent game against the Roosters where they lost 58-6. A scoreline like that shouldn't be put on you no matter who you are versing. But that can happen to you and it did to the Titans. A really disappointing defensive effort and with the limited attacking options that they had, the Titans didn't show that much. As long as the Dragons are full of energy, hopefully with James Graham's 400th first grade game, we can muster up the energy in this one, we will beat the Titans. I would love us to put a score on the Titans, but I'm not even sure if we will do that because the Dragons sure love to let their fans down. It'll be the ultimate embarrassment if we lose this week, but surely not, surely not again.

Eels by 10 - Eels have a really good record at Bankwest. Due to the fact that they're playing at Bankwest this week, I've swayed towards the Eels. Plus, the Knights are on a bad form slump at the moment and they really need to get up in this one and put on a really good performance if they're going to beat the Eels because the Eels have been playing some good footy. Yes, last week wasn't their best game Parramatta but a 10-0 early lead was enough in the end to beat my Dragons and a win is a win no matter how you get it. The Eels have improved a lot in that department finding different ways to win throughout the season. That's why they're in the 8. But, the only negative for the Eels would have to be there inconsistency. They have been up and down this season. They really need to work on defence for the upcoming seasons and for the remaining games this season, especially with finals looming because if they work on their defence, they have the potential of becoming a top 4 side. Maybe not this season, but for the next couple of seasons and consistently too like the Storm, like the Roosters, like the Rabbitohs. Attacking wise, the Eels are great, but they need to work on defence in order to become a consistent side because some of their losses were due to poor defence for either the full 80 take the 64-10 loss to the Storm for example or for the clutch moments in the game, take their loss early in the season against the Roosters for example where the conceded the tries that gave the Roosters the win in the clutch moments. But in this one at Bankwest, they should get the win over the Knights. Hope for the Knights sake that they can somewhat improve and put on a better performance than they have in the past 5 weeks.

Bulldogs by 6 - Speaking of defence, the Bulldogs have really improved on their defence in their past 5 games with the only exception being against the Broncos. Defence got them the win last week. I wouldn't be surprised if they can do that again. But maybe they'll win on attack this time, who knows. I mean the Bulldogs do finish seasons really well, they have a good record against the Tigers as of late, they're on good form with 3 wins from their last 5 and they will have the home crowd behind them. I'm getting worried as a Dragons fan because the Bulldogs are breathing down our necks (no pun intended) in terms on wins and losses and the positioning on the ladder. The Tigers on the other hand, have been in great form and are in the 8 currently at 8th position. They really need to win here, especially with this being a winnable game. Yes, I know that the Tigers are expected to win, yes I know the Tigers are red hot right now, yes I know the Tigers will be desperate, but I'm tipping an upset here and going with the Dogs to get another fighting win here or maybe a tight high-scoring win who knows, but I got this feeling that they'll win here to escape wooden spoon contention if the Titans loss because the Bulldogs and Dragons will go on 7 wins and the Titans will remain on 4 so the Titans would have to be near perfect to escape wooden spoon if this is the case.

Roosters by 2 - Ah, here we go, how good is this, we've got an early taste of finals in round 21 here on Sunday. the 2nd placed Roosters up against the 3rd placed Raiders. This is the game of the round for sure. Every single battle here is mouth-watering, the battle of the forwards... check, the battle of the halves... check, the battle of the back 5... check. Every battle here is very very important and will be very interesting to see who wins these respective battles. The battle of the fullbacks will be great by the way, Nicoll-Klokstad v Tedesco. Whichever fullback inspires the most and has the biggest impact on the game will go a long way on their team getting the win. Same goes with the halves, the Raiders' halves have to match it and then some coming up against Keary and Cronk. And of course, the forwards battle, they will be going at it like a bunch of seagulls trying to get a hot chip. This is going to be amazing, the Raiders will have the home crowd behind them which will lift them up big time, and hey, Leilua is a chance of playing this week and if Joey Leilua is fit to play, that'll be a massive in. But, I feel that the halves for the Roosters will just prove a touch too good for the Raiders' halves and the Roosters will just get yet another win here over the Raiders.

And finally... Storm by 12 - The other top 4 showdown sees the Storm coming up against the Rabbitohs. This will be a cracker. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't be surprised if the Bunnies get the upset win here, but it'll be hard coming up against the Storm who just put on an absolute masterclass last week against the Broncos, they really backed up from their 1-point loss to Manly last week really well. What's crazy as well is that the Storm's three losses have been the margins of 1, 2 and 1, both 1 point margins were in golden point as well. Unbelievable. Just shows how great the Storm have been this season and they're a really hard team to beat. When you beat them, you have to be gritty, strong for the full 80 and tough to be able to match it or even out tough the Storm if that's possible because the Storm are a well-oiled machine and are a very tough team to crack. They rarely beat themselves. Rarely. And the Rabbitohs have got to find a way to out tough the Storm and they have to find a way to crack the Storm because they sure as hell won't outplay them. But hey, rugby league is a funny ol' game so you just never know but I can't see it happening. Storm too good for me.

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

tigerholic's picture

Hey Christine

I did notice that he had slipped his tips in, I was looking for a few words of wisdom from the great Rocket.

Hope you are well

Tiger

mark ashford's picture

Hey Baggy
The Whiting were 40 & 41 centimetres long both large fish. They are reputed to grow to 51 centimetres but I've never seen one that big.
Good luck to your Eels mate.

mark ashford's picture

"a"
Thanks for the welcome home mate.
Sorry to see your Cowboys not going so well. My Broncs aren't doing much better. In fact the 3 QLD teams need to pick up their games.
Hope you are well my friend.

Dragons-fanboy's picture

Mark Ashford, welcome back mate I wanted to say this on my tipping comment but I forgot to sorry about that.

Cheers!!!

Baggy_Gee's picture

Hi there all, the Girls scored 4/8 last weekend bringing them up to 85/152 a respectable score to be sure, but Dad is just starting to pull away.
Cowboys - Because we like cowboys (they die with their boots on?)
Warriors - Because they are quick (Falling down ladder quick)
Panthers - Because they climb up the ball.
Titans - Because they have swords (might do better if they were armed)
Knights - Because they are bold and brave
Bulldogs - Because they like the ball, dogs like balls
Raiders - Because Raiders eat Roosters
Storm - Because they have a lightning bolt in their logo

Mary S's picture

Hi Baggy,
I do so enjoy the girls reasoning, and always get a laugh.
Not so sure Newbie will enjoy the fact that Raiders eat Roosters, but I was amused!!

The rest of us are in trouble with our tipping this week, if the girls get it right!!

All the best
Mary

mark ashford's picture

DFB
Thanks mate. Yes it's good to be back home. We had a great trip but as we all know there's no place like home.
Still enjoying your commentary, keep it going as we approach the finals.
Your Dragons are big favourites this week.

Rocket Ryan's picture

Hello there Christine I'm suffering through a very depressing and miserable year at times I thought I was baggy MyState side lost my team couldn't win if you had of thrown in a sex scandal or some drug use not to mention the odd salary Cup roart I could have been Baggy them to top it all off that fool Tigerholic starts sprukeing about his side that he rarely tips it's all too much

manyana's picture

Hi Thinker, sorry for the late entry, but my internet is playing up & it is slower than dial up speed. Anyway, I made it just in time.
My tips are:
Broncos
Sea Eagles
Sharks
Dragons
Eels,
Tigers
Raiders
Storm
After reading your tips, I find thaey are the same. Good luck to you & all tipsters
Cheers, manyana.

Mary S's picture

Good to hear from you Rocket!!

BigPeteBx's picture

Great to see you in print Mark A and welcome back.
I hope the butchers meat was good.
Its getting slightly brisk down this way and winds will pick up, as we get that predicted polar freeze on our doorsteps.

EPL kicks off a new season this weekend. Man City def Liverpool on penalties in The Community Shield.

Cheers & Keep well - Big Pete

Baggy_Gee's picture

Swings and roundabouts Ryan, looking at the cowboys catching it might be a big win for the Broncos.

Rocket Ryan's picture

Would you take 6 all after that first half if you were the cowboys we look to have lost the plot

Baggy_Gee's picture

Turpin made the grade, but that was a rough game. Backed the wrong team home. But that negative play with 3 to go was terrible, keep the ball in play and force them to come off their line.

Christine 's picture

Rocket you have had me & everyone so confused as too your where abouts that I forgot to put my tips in lucky for me i am not on the tipping ladder I Am taking the same as my friend "a" sorry for my lateness rocket your not to go walk about again I can't come looking for you with ms you know I would old be deceased & still not find you you wouldn't have to worry about that wombat everyone talks about on the side of the road that you can smell from 50 kilometres away I think I will just leave it there welcome back rocket you just make sure you stay put now ok ...

Christine 's picture

Rocket at least you can't have to put up with coach giving you a hard time on top of tiger or baggy now everyone leave rocket alone he has been through enough play nice...

Dragons-fanboy's picture

Mark Ashford,

Yes that's true there's nothing like home. Thanks I really appreciate it. Of course I will I won't disappoint I promise. Yes and this time we deserve to be favourites considering we play the Titans who are just on another league to everyone else in terms of poor form. Surely we don't lose to them, surely. I will be at the game tomorrow to cheer the boys on. Congrats on your mob for getting the win and getting back into the 8 for the time being. Glad to get the tip right and the margin as well.

Steel Panther's picture

Hey Big Pete

Weather here in Auckland not flash for tonight's game. Been a wet couple of weeks after a fairly dry winter (by Auckland standards) so far. The rain has arrived later than usual. Best of luck to your Sea Eagles. Like most, I'm expecting them to have a comfortable win tonight.

Know you're looking forward to the EPL kicking off this weekend!! Chelsea a tough first round opponent for your Red Devils.

Hope you're keeping well.

Rocket Ryan's picture

Warriors look on song the spring an upset here we go again

Rocket Ryan's picture

Warriors look on song the spring an upset here we go again

BigPeteBx's picture

Hello Steely - going ok mate. Quite a number of things on.

EPL will be a mixed bag for a few rounds. I'm hoping The Devils can get a bit of composure going and settle in as a team. Maguire from Leicester a good buy for defence and will be interesting to see if Pogba can get his finger out and play like an international should. He may not be going but I'm sure Lukaku wants to go, so let him, he's that hot and cold.
I see Arsenal bought David Luiz (Brazil international) from Chelsea.

Manly down early in first half over there, but a second half is to come, after Des gives them a tongue lashing. I see Warriors are also interested in our hooker Api K.

I'll push on Bro and you also keep well
Big Pete.

BigPeteBx's picture

@Steely
@Rocket

Sounds like the weather over there was typical rugby weather.
The Worriers need not, as they got home and did what they had.
Get in front and stay there.
Good win 2 u Steely.

Cheers lads and keep well
Big Pete

Baggy_Gee's picture

AFL in the snow in Canberra. Damn this is cold. Sweeping north, might have a white Christmas at parra Stadium tomorrow as well.

Christine 's picture

Tomorrow will probably feel like 3with the wind facter taKen into account or is that 3 below even though it was 16 today that said it felt like 3 in the city so expect a cold one tomorrow everyone how are you going big Pete there is snow tomorrow at orange add o you will feel it

Christine 's picture

Bigpete, manana , mark my girl butcher bird was starting to grow back some of her beak but she has broken more of it again I don't know what is really going on with her there bit no babies but they still fly off to what I assume is a nest I don't know I have seen a baby but it isn't theirs it does'nt even fly around with them it is older than that & it is feeding it self I can't give her cattle bone because she is a wild bird that won't work any other suggestions I know the female eats tjevshells when the babbles hatch it gives her protein but I can't go cracking a dozen eggs just for her to cook them in the microwave for her to eat cause I did read you can do that cook the shells in the microwave & birds sill east them when they softenfrom being cooked...

Christine 's picture

Tomorrow will probably feel like 3with the wind facter taKen into account or is that 3 below even though it was 16 today that said it felt like 3 in the city so expect a cold one tomorrow everyone how are you going big Pete there is snow tomorrow at orange add o you will feel it

Baggy_Gee's picture

Well I'm officially brilliant, 0/3. Called the cowboys to beat the Broncos and barring that Turpin effort I had it. Now the Warriors pull one out of a dark smelly orifice, and the panthers belt the sharks. Damn tipping is a mugs game some weeks. The girls have 2/3 picking both Friday games.

Mary S's picture

Hi Baggy,
I'm 0/3 as well, and there are a few others in the same boat.
Said to you earlier, "The rest of us are in trouble with our tipping this week, if the girls get it right!!"

Hope we get a better result with the rest!!
Cheers
Mary

Steel Panther's picture

I'm in the 0/3 club too but I'm in good company.

Big Pete....Manly had an off night. Never got out of 1st gear. I rate your pack but they looked ordinary last night. The funny thing is, as you mentioned, there is talk that Warriors looking to buy your Korisau. Well it was his mistake that killed off Manly's comeback with his forward pass late on. With a school boy error like that he'll fit in well at Mt Smart.

Stay warm my friend!!!

Christine 's picture

Rocket my tipping has been off this year too but when you look at how it has been I think looking back we have all been over thinking it & that has affected us we have been looking at it wrong this season expecting some games to be more difficult than they are to tip& that hasmrsded a lot some of us up I know it has with me so I just take the same as who ever I feel. Is doing OK but that doesn't always work either ,I never use too do that it was all your own tips your tips were in before other people's but the comps I have been in before you can't see other people's tips you can only go by odds & gut feeling I haven't had a perfect round for since either 2012 or 2015 one of those years I got 3 perfect rounds but that's when you got 2points for each correct tip in an in Boise comp but you couldn't see everyone else's tips that for sure but the in house comp I used to go in doesn't do it anymore they were sick of being beaten by a female I did win 2011 ,12,15 now I just use the thinker's website & ghats the way it will remain for me. ...

BigPeteBx's picture

@Christine
@Steely

Snow all about us here in Bx. Bloody well freezin to add. 6pm tonight it was recorded at minus 3 degrees.
Roads were cut around the region and heavy falls of snow at Oberon, Orange and light snow up on the highest point of Mt Panorama Race Track here in Bx.

Cheers and keep warm and well
Big Pete

BigPeteBx's picture

Hello Christine - regarding butcher bird girl. I always stuck some shell grit out for the birds I had in aviaries years ago. Good for their egg making when breeding, but also contains those trace elements, they miss from the wild. In your case Chris, butcher girl might not be getting enough of. I use crushed egg shells at home in garden, as it is high in calcium. Gardening a different subject here.
Baby birds I had, I cooked some egg and cut it up with crushed weet-bix and the mothers would eat and regurgitate it to the young ones. Change can be done with crushed milk coffee or other plain biscuits. But all crushing must be fine and even rolled with a rolling pin.

Good luck - Big Pete

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