Round five selections

Manly Sea Eagles vs Brisbane Broncos – Thursday night – Central Coast Stadium

If the NRL season had started two rounds ago, and in many ways it did, the Broncos would be last on the NRL ladder. That's right, on current form, they're going worse than the Dragons. To be fair, the Broncos have faced stiffer opposition than the Dragons, but they're facing stiff opposition here as they take on the team that all but beat the Eels last weekend (and we know what the Eels did to the Broncos). To make it worse, the Broncos have to travel for the first time since the season restart. Maybe, just maybe, the road trip will galvanise the troops. In any case, we see a raft of changes for the away side, with Corey Oates moved into the second row and Ben Te'o thawed out from whatever cryogenic chamber he's been living in for the last decade. Actually, I looked it up, the cryogenic chamber was a stint in rugby, where he racked up 16 tests for England. Not bad for a bloke who was born in Auckland, played league for Samoa, Origin for Queensland, spent 2019 in France and was last seen in Japan. Meanwhile the Sea Eagles are unchanged after their unfortunate/unlucky loss to the Eels. Manly...pick themselves.

Verdict – Sea Eagles by 14

Result – Sea Eagles 20 defeated Broncos 18

New Zealand Warriors vs North Queensland Cowboys – Friday night – Central Coast Stadium

The Warriors round three shutout of the Dragons made most of us smile a little bit, but beating the Dragons doesn't look like strong form at the minute. I'd be curious to know if a team has ever gone from keeping an opponent to 0 in one round to being held to 0 in the next. The Cowboys made plenty of errors against the Sharks but still managed to score 16 points, and if Taumalolo makes the seventeen as suggested they should be winning this.

Verdict – Cowboys by 4

Result – Warriors 37 defeated Cowboys 26

Parramatta Eels vs Penrith Panthers – Friday night – Bankwest Stadium

Two teams still undefeated, and it's a shame we can't have a crowd at Bankwest for this one. The Panthers scored a thumping win in round four on the back of an extra time draw with the only other undefeated team. They're flying under the radar a little while their opponent on Friday night gets all the attention. I'm sure the Panthers don't mind that one bit. We also see the return of Nathan Cleary, who will be keen to atone after his recent exile. The Eels are a short priced favourite, and I suppose they should be, but I'm with the Panthers here in a proper upset.

Verdict – Panthers by 1

Result – Eels 16 defeated Panthers 10

South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Gold Coast Titans – Saturday afternoon – Bankwest Stadium

Not many, if any, saw the Titans winning over the Tigers last start, but it was great that the lads got to sing the team song after an almost year long hibernation. On the back of that you can be sure the Rabbitohs won't take them lightly, and after a string of losses they'll be desperate to atone. Some key returns for the Bunnies in Walker and Roberts - too good I think.

Verdict – Rabbitohs by 18

Result – Rabbitohs 32 defeated Titans 12

Newcastle Knights vs Melbourne Storm – Saturday night – Central Coast Stadium

The Knights squad has the best names - Bradman Best, Herman Ese'ese, Tautau Moga, Tex Hoy...even Ponga is a ripper. Now they're giving me another one in Phoenix Crossland. This team are the gift that keep on giving, and they're the team that keep on winning. They looked comfortable against the Raiders in round four, and the Raiders were comfortable winners over the Storm in round three. I see no reason why the Knights can't win this too. Clearly the bookies disagree with me, but every now and then they look like idiots...and every now and then I don't. Let's hope it's the latter...for a change.

Verdict – Knights by 4

Result – Storm 26 defeated Knights 12

Wests Tigers vs Canberra Raiders – Saturday night – Campbelltown Stadium

Two sides returning from disappointing losses, but clearly Canberra losing to the Knights is stronger form than the Tigers losing to the Titans. Both sides would have been given a serve by their coaches most cranky, and Madge has swung the axe and made changes everywhere. Some handy returns on the bench for the Tigers in Chee-Kam and Packer, but to my eye the Raiders are simply a better side.

Verdict – Raiders by 14

Result – Raiders 14 defeated Tigers 6

Canterbury Bulldogs vs Sydney Roosters – Sunday afternoon – Bankwest Stadium

Just as the Broncos would be last on the ladder had the season started at re-launch, the Chooks would be runaway leaders with a +75 points differential after two games. That's not bad, given they hadn't won a game in 2020 prior, they've played two NRL heavyweights, and Tedesco missed the flight to Brisbane last week. Tedesco should be back here - the club can get him to sit in the drinks esky on the bus to keep his temperature down. The Bulldogs had their first win of the year last round against the Dragons, but beating the Roosters is an entirely different proposition.

Verdict – Roosters by 16

Result – Roosters 42 defeated Bulldogs 6

St George Illawarra Dragons vs Cronulla Sharks – Sunday night – Campbelltown Stadium

In rounds one and two the Dragons weren't terrible, with competitive losses to the Tigers and the Panthers. They weren't winning, but they were competing. I'm not sure what the Dragons did during lockdown, but they clearly haven't readied themselves for the season return. Thus far they've played, without wanting to sound mean, two teams that aren't likely to make the top eight, and they haven't scored a single try. This is harder, and another duck egg beckons.

Verdict – Sharks by 20

Result – Dragons 30 defeated Sharks 16

Wally Lewis - round five selections (in bold)

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

  • SEA EAGLES vs Broncos
  • Warriors vs COWBOYS
  • EELS vs Panthers
  • RABBITOHS vs Titans
  • Knights vs STORM
  • Tigers vs RAIDERS
  • Bulldogs vs ROOSTERS
  • Dragons vs SHARKS


The Thinker's picture

Greetings football fans

I have updated the NRL ladder and the tipping comp after round four. Most of us scored four or five, and none of us tipped the Titans.

Top scorers for the round were Taka, The Butcher, SteveUganda and Tigers717 with 6 from 8. Well done to the four of you. Overall, SteveUganda, Tigers717 and Baggy_Gee are our top three, with a huge pack on their heels.

If anyone sees any errors in the scores, just let me know and I'll amend.

I will have my previews and tips published some time today or tonight.

All the best

The Thinker

Baggy_Gee's picture

Tipping the Titans is akin to tipping the Warriors, or the Dragons of 2020. It'll be a hard time this week if the Titans could maintain the rage.

JKBubble's picture

THE DRAGONS CAN'T BE SAVED...not this year...not next

As Albert Einstein put it "INSANITY- doing the SAME thing over and over again and expecting a different result".

From the perspective of a Fan, nothing has changed from 2019 where the dragons failed to fire and finished 15th. It's all still the SAME.
We watch our team get smoked all year long, We featured on the news because a reporter thinks we have forgotten the number 7 is overpaid (believe me we haven't forgotten), or because the 'lock' is facing 11+ years of being 'locked' up.

Then the end of season review happens with GUS. Ok so they are looking to bring in some outside help. "McGregor is given the backing of the board and re-signed for another 2 years", "the players are going to have to earn their spots", and they sack assistant coaches and a hoard of other staff members in view of a "new team, new start".

- Wins=0, losses=4 If dragons lose 5 more games out of 14 games remaining they will have the SAME win/lose ratio of 2019. (It's very likely to be worse)
- The coach has an emergency meeting with the board today = Still the SAME coach and still has the backing of the board
- The roster gets reshuffled weekly, but the outcome is still the SAME. (Where the hell is Tristan Sailor??)
- The 'lock' is still pending lockup...and still training with the team = SAME
- and the number 7 is still over paid and underperforming = SAME. (so is majority of the squad because a team wins games, not a player)

I see myself consuming a lot more Vodka this year….
Maybe it's me who needs to bring in some outside help to CHANGE my view...thinker can I have Gus’s number?

The Thinker's picture

Sure thing JKBubble

It's 041.....nah better not :-)

Mary McGregor is, by almost all accounts, a good bloke and no slouch in the coaching department. It's hard for the Dragons to sack him because the Dragons would have to pay out his contract, and they just don't have that money lying around. Once they pay him out, they need to find the coin to hire someone else. Great coaches aren't easy to find, and if the Dragons could find one, they would have to pay a premium to convince them to come to the Dragons.

They have Flanagan lurking in the background, and he's a possible replacement, but my understanding is he's banned from head coaching roles after his rule-bending at the Sharks.

The merged Dragons have been around for 20 years now, and outside of Wayne Bennett (65% win rate), the best performing coach was David Waite with 56%...and that was last century.

Baggy_Gee's picture

This is similar to the Broncos, and the BOYS from 2018 (that was a bad year), heaps of talent, heaps of highly paid players but no hunger, no drive, and no attitude. I would say hire young players who have some talent, and get a great coaching staff, because attitude can never be taught, but a good skill set can be. Look at D.Brown and M.Moses, incredible talent, lost us a few games last year, but put a top flight half beside them and they have kicked in that door ready to take no prisoners. I know that the Broncos and the Dragons have talent to shake the comp, like all the teams out there, but do they have the will to use that talent? BTW I'll take the job in recruitment at all three teams.

JKBubble's picture

LOL, thanks for the reply thinker, i didn't expect even 3 digits so all good!
Your note as to the win ratio is interesting. Didn't realize the gap between the 2 best performing coaches was so large. I wonder if Bennett would ever come back to the Red V, i mean he is getting pretty old but then again he doesn't strike me as having a 'use by' date.

"They would have to pay a premium to convince them to come to the dragons". Yes, and the fact players are rejecting huge pay rises to join means who ever takes the job is going to have to work with the current roster.

mark ashford's picture

JK Bubble
I feel your pain about the Dragons performance not a lot different to my mob. At least you're not getting beaten by 59-nil. I know one man doesn't make a team but you guys seem to have struggled since Garrath Widdop got injured and finally went home. I know from his time at the Broncs Benny Hunt can be hot or cold (mainly cold) much like Anthony Milford who looks lost on the field. Mary has escaped sacking for now, probably as Thinker has said "who will replace him" and of course the money thing.
There's still a long way to go this season, your boys will improve.

JKBubble's picture

Hey baggy congrats on round 4.

Yes there's going to be a long rebuilding phase i believe, so keeping the youth at the club is key - sailor, saab (who is still asking for a release), Blacker, Kerr.
Done! if you get the gig at dragons i'll be your advisor :)

Baggy_Gee's picture

Sounds like a plan Bubble, I am chuffed with how the BOYS are going because of the pain of previous seasons. Even last year it was that 64-14? loss to the Storm at Suncorp is still pretty raw, I haven't rewatched that game to workout if we are on the improve or not.

mark ashford's picture

The Broncs certainly have the talent roster (except for a couple I won't name but you know who I mean) I know the Chooks are now favs to take out a third title but most of the Broncs seemed disinterested.
Are they all being paid too much and just don't care. A shake up is needed, and needed now.

mark ashford's picture

The Butcher
If you took offence at my post, I'm sorry, after copping a 59-nil flogging I thought it was unkind to offer a minute by minute try scoring feast by your team and then "Broncos - no try" It was carnage but didn't think we needed our noses rubbed in it. I know where your post was aimed and should have stayed out of it, but I love my club.
Please keep posting as I enjoy them (well almost all of them).

Christine's picture

Jk bubble i think you just raised your hand for the coaching job surely you can do a better job than mary mc gregor ...

Rocket Ryan's picture

Its the back up that beats them.

mark ashford's picture

JK Bubble
Had a chuckle at those news reports, surely our journos are better than that. Are they saying his hairdo led to his injuries, maybe opposition players took offense at the colour and smashed him, don't think so.
Garrath suffered many injuries during his time at St G and being a half was always a target. Great player, sure your missing him.

newbie from perth's picture

Sa-wat-dee krup,

Don’t normally post on Tuesday but what the heck, why not. I didn’t realise how hard it would be for me to “shorten” my comments (I can hear Mr Ashford laughing from all the way over here in the West). Took about 3 re-writes to get it down to what I have here and it’s still a bloody long read 🤪. OK, let’s get into it…

Manly vs. Broncos 65-35 @ Central Coast
Ladder Position = Manly
Bookies Favourite = Manly

Manly were down 12-2 at half-time and had a bit of work to do in the second. If not for that disallowed try in the 80th minute they would have scored an amazing win coming from 12-2 down at half-time. Unfortunately they seemed to have been “dudded” by that incorrect forward pass call. They were behind all game but fought back as they’re known to do. Like Des mentioned, if they hadn’t been so far behind they wouldn’t have had to work so hard and may have won that game. If you wanted to be harsh you could possibly say they only have themselves to blame. An Eels try in the last minute of the first half and another in the first minute of the second half is what I’m talking about. Yikes! They generally shared the stats last week as far as I could see with the exception that they missed less tackles (34-45) and made more tackle breaks (45-34).

The Broncos fans must be beside themselves. What is going on with these fellas? Unfortunately they repeated their effort from the previous outing against the Eels and were totally dominated by the Roosters, eventually recording their “worst game ever” losing 59-0. Biggest half-time deficit in club history. Biggest losing margin in club history. First time they failed to score any points whatsoever at Suncorp in club history. At least there’s only one way up from here 👍. I hate to say it (and no offense intended) but their effort was sorta soft. To make matters worse they had Jesse Arthars sin binned and while he was having a rest, the Roosters scored twice. The Broncos had a couple of chances to score … Corey Oates missing out on a try when Brett Morris tackled him out of touch and another when Brodie Croft chip kicked and Darius fluffed it. Truly a night the Broncos fans need to forget. Too many errors and penalties cost them dearly. Lack of possession (39%), completion rate of just 69%, 414 tackles made and 44 missed tackles suggests they have a little work to do but I’m pretty sure this will all be addressed and an improvement is just around the corner 🙏.

Verdict: Obviously I have to tip Manly here.

Warriors vs. Cowboys 35-65 @ Central Coast
Ladder Position = Cowboys
Bookies Favourite = Cowboys

The poor ol’ Warriors went from “heroes” to “zeroes” in the space of a week. Ugh! Yeah they did the Dragons 18-0 the week before but obviously the Panthers were tougher opposition and they found that out the hard way, eventually losing 26-0. The Warriors couldn’t replicate what they did in Round 3 and without enough possession (44-56) they had plenty of defending to do. They tried hard but looked too much like the Warriors of bygone days. Too many missed tackles (26-17) and ineffective tackles (29-10) cost them dearly. Poor running metres (1605-2223) and post contact metres (581-848) did as well.

The Cowboys tried hard last week but ended up losing to the Sharks 26-16. It took them 25 minutes before they scored and were only down by 6 at half-time. Even though they had 54% possession, a shocking completion rate of just 61% (25/41) certainly did not help. Neither did making twice as many errors as the Sharks (17-9). Unfortunately for the Cowboys, they were already missing the “wrecking ball” (JT) and lost Dunn and Asiata in the first half. All things considered, not that bad an effort. Get some bodies back and tidy up their play and they’re a chance.

Verdict: There’s a (very) faint whiff of an upset brewing but I’ll stick with the Cowboys.

Eels vs. Panthers 60-40 @ Bankwest
Ladder Position = Eels
Bookies Favourite = Eels

The Eels had a good first half and led Manly 12-2. They were outscored in the second 7-14 but held on for a controversial win 19-16. Can’t believe Moses told the ABC that the pass was "100% forward” and that he was happy the refs “got the right call”. Really? At least we now know the Eels are the real deal. Knocking off the current Manly side is “franking the form” as they say. A pretty good effort from the Eels overall. They basically shared the possession (51-49) but had more kicking metres (748-519) and more forced drop outs (3-0). They missed more tackles (45-34) and had less tackle breaks though (34-45).

The Panthers made up for their disappointment in the draw against the Knights by smashing the Warriors 26-0 last week. Matt Burton had a blinder, scoring two tries in the process. They kept the pressure on the Warriors for most of the game and things are looking a lot better for them (the Panthers that is) at the moment. They enjoyed 56% possession, ran 618 metres more than the Warriors, had more post contact metres (848-581), had less missed tackles (17-26) and had less ineffective tackles (10-29).

Verdict: As improved as they are, I just can’t see the Panthers getting up in this one. Baggy’s BOYS for me.

Rabbitohs vs. Titans 75-25 @ Bankwest
Ladder Position = Rabbitohs
Bookies Favourite = Rabbitohs

The Rabbitohs started well and had their chances but some poor defence at times wasn’t helping their cause. They had little passages of dominance here and there but those don’t win you games. I wouldn’t think they would be too happy with last week’s effort. Plenty of opportunities got missed and too many simple mistakes made. Having said that, I reckon they were slightly better (only just) than the Storm for most of the match. A better effort from Latrell Mitchell and Souths must be pleased at how he’s coming along. Their record in Melbourne is starting to blow out 🤔. They only managed 47% possession and 478 post contact metres but did manage more tackle breaks (45-18) and had less missed tackles (18-45).

A vast improvement from the Titans last week (who would have thought it). After being level at half-time (12-12), they hung in and managed to get up in the 78th minute courtesy of a great grubber from Kelly and a try from Sami to run out 28-23 winners over the Tigers. Finally the Titans and Ash Taylor have seemingly rediscovered their “mojo” and have registered their first win in a year. Woo-Hoo! A nice effort considering they were 10 points down with 25 minutes to go. Up and down stats-wise with more possession (54-46), less tackle breaks (22-38), more missed tackles (38-22) and less conceded penalties (1-4). Get working on the basics and they might win another one 😁.

Verdict: Unfortunately for the Titans, the Bunnies will have the “bounce back” factor working for them this weekend. Rabbitohs for me.

Knights vs. Storm 40-60 @ Central Coast
Ladder Position = Knights
Bookies Favourite = Storm

I bet I’m not the only one surprised with the Knights’ effort last week. They scored 3 tries to one in the first half and were leading 16-6 going into the sheds and ended up with a convincing 34-18 win over the Raiders last week. They were just too good for the Raiders in attack and defence and thoroughly deserved the win. Nice basic footy with Ponga and Best absolutely shining. Good efforts from Klemmer and Ese’ese as well. Except for possession (49-51), the Knights won most of the (important) stats. Line breaks (5-2), tackle breaks (33-21), offloads (10-3), bombs (13-5), missed tackles (21-33), ineffective tackles (6-22) and errors (7-13). Great win indeed.

The Storm managed to win last week, beating the Rabbitohs 22-8. The scoreline was a bit flattering though considering the Storm weren’t really that impressive. Cameron Munster on the other hand WAS impressive. Sometimes he can be "bordering" on grubby and he is definitely a pest at times but you can’t deny his talent. Take away his negatives and I love watching him play. That beautiful (freakish) tap in from Papenhuyzen in the second half was a joy to behold. I love this game 💪. Could’ve been anyone’s game had the Storm not scored those two tries in the last 15 minutes. The Storm struggled at times and didn’t look like the team of old. They’ll be happy with that win but will need to improve if they’re gonna be a chance here against a very good Knights outfit. A few things to be concerned about was their 45 missed tackles and only 18 tackle breaks. They did record 621 post contact metres though.

Verdict: Man this is a tough one. The way the Knights took care of the Raiders last week was impressive and the Storm were not that convincing. Did I mention this was a tough one? Got a bad feeling about this but I’ll tip the Storm here.

Tigers vs. Raiders 30-70 @ Campbelltown
Ladder Position = Raiders
Bookies Favourite = Raiders

The Tigers started well (just like they did the previous week against the Sharks) and everyone must’ve thought they were heading for an easy win. Unfortunately for them they didn’t count on the football gods throwing a spanner in the works. They might’ve thought they’d weathered the storm when they were up 23-22 (after Benji’s field goal) with about 4 minutes to go but then they get smacked by that freakish try from the Titans right at the end. Just like the Titans, stats were a bit up and down with less possession (46-54), more tackle breaks (38-22), less missed tackles (22-38) and more conceded penalties (4-1). Where to from here?

Boy oh boy, not many would’ve thought the Raiders would get rolled last week. Hard to believe the side who demolished the Storm the week before got beaten quite comfortably in the end, going down 34-18 to the Knights. They must’ve been wondering what the hell was going on after the Knights put two tries past them in the first 10 minutes of the game. With the exception of a brief period in the second half, the Raiders were pretty poor, especially their defence. Did they go into the game feeling a bit cocky I wonder? They had less line breaks (2-5), less tackle breaks (21-33), less offloads (3-10) and less bombs (5-13). They had more missed tackles (33-21), more ineffective tackles (22-6) and more errors (13-7). Not very good stats to say the least.

Verdict: Yeah, gotta go the Raiders here. They “should” come good. Let’s wait and see eh?

Bulldogs vs. Roosters 15-85 @ Bankwest
Ladder Position = Roosters
Bookies Favourite = Roosters

The Bulldogs just kept chipping away and ran out convincing 20 point winners over the Dragons last week 22-2. Seems the return of Foran had the desired effect. After a sloppy start the Dogs dominated possession for most of the first half and went on with it to score their first win of the season. They had more possession (55-45), more line breaks (3-1), made 93 less tackles (330-423), 7 less errors (8-15) and completed at 86%. Downsides were less tackle breaks (19-25) and more missed tackles (25-19).

The Roosters absolutely dominated (smashed) the Broncos last week and never let them into the game, running out massive 59-0 winners. The Roosters were lining up to score and had 9 individual try scorers. On the face of the last 2 weeks, it seems like they’re back in form. Great effort from Brett Morris filling in for Tedesco at fullback. The Roosters just had too much possession and made the Broncos look ordinary. Stats-wise a great night for the Roosters (obviously). Loads of possession (61-39), an adequate completion rate of 82%, ran for 2361 metres, 884 post contact metres and 10 line breaks. All in all a great showing.

Verdict: Really, you need to ask? Roosters of course. Begurk! 🐔 Begurk! 🐔

Dragons vs. Sharks 35-65 @ Campbelltown
Ladder Position = Sharks
Bookies Favourite = Sharks

And then there was one 😥. The Dragons started well but seemed to drop off and ended up losing last week (yesterday) against the Dogs 22-2. It goes without saying that there’s gonna be some tough questions asked and heads may very well roll. Two wins from their last 14 just ain’t cutting it I’m afraid. Feeling your pain DFB & Bubble. Another poor showing from the Dragons and further proof that teams that don’t score in the second half rarely win matches. They scored the first points with a Zac Lomax penalty goal after just 3 minutes but unfortunately for them there were no more points after that. Just don’t understand how a side with so much rep firepower cannot win a game. Beggars belief! Only encouraging signs stats-wise were that they had more tackle breaks (25-19) and less missed tackles (19-25). What was worrying was they had less possession (45-55), less line breaks (1-3), made 93 more tackles (423-330), had 7 more errors (15-8) and only completed at 71%. Certainly some work to do.

Despite the pre-game “temperature fail” drama, the Sharks finally opened their account for the year by beating the Cowboys 26-12 last week but had to work for it. The Cowboys applied some early pressure but the Sharks were first to score, albeit it took them 20 minutes to do so. Stats-wise they had less possession (46-54), less errors (9-17) but had more ineffective tackles (14-6).

Verdict: Based on what I’ve seen, I just can’t get on that Big Red V-train just yet. Sharks for me.

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

This is truly joyous 💖 One of the best she’s ever done…

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

Baggy_Gee's picture

So the Girls are on 14/32 with 3/8 last round. Here are their tips for this weekend.
Manly - We like birds (maybe remembering the last two weeks of Broncos scores.
Warriors - We are now a fan of the logo
Eels - We are backing Dad's team home (might be the kiss of death :o)
Rabbits - Because we are still working with the toy theme
Storm - Because they are as fast as lightning
Tigers - Because they are cats and similar to T-I-Double G - RRRRRR (what does that spell?)
Bulldogs - Because we aren't supporting the Roosters atm
Sharks - Because we like fish and Dragons don't exist

mark ashford's picture

Another short analysis of our great game, yes you would have heard me chuckling over there in WA and I'm laughing again tonight. Do you suffer from RSI from all those keystrokes, hope not mate and keep it up.
Your Chooks are flying and no doubt you are happy. Ones to watch are Eels, Raiders, Manly & Storm. Sorry I can't include my Broncs, not yet.

Christine's picture

"a" can i just ask you how did you react to the news of the 2 boys with autisim spectrum that got lost in the bush one in victoria the other one was in nsw i just thought i would ask your thoughts on it i am sure they would have been scared & cold , hungry it woul?'t be easy for them or there parents ?

Dragons-fanboy's picture

Hello everyone, my tips for this week are:

Manly by 12 - The Broncos were horrible last week against the Roosters. Damn to loss 59-0 to them and suffer their biggest loss in their club's history is a tough pill to swallow. Along with the Dragons, the Broncos are the worst team at the moment and are under a heap of pressure as a club, their culture is in question and their young players are under so much pressure, not to mention the senior players for the Broncos too! I think that they'll have it tough again against a Manly side who were very unlucky last week in their loss to Parramatta. Even though they lost, they should have their heads held high Manly, they probably should've won that one against a quality team. I think they will definitely bounce back this week and will win comfortably here. Will we see improvement from the Broncos? I think only a little improvement, surely they can't get worse than last week! Great to see Benny Te'o back in the game by the way! We'll see how he goes for the Broncos.

Cowboys by 6 - The Cowboys lost last week to the Sharkies 26-16. Now they weren't absolutely poor in this one, but the Sharks were just too good in the end. The key for the Cowboys now is consistency, they have to work on their consistency week in, week out if they are going to be a top side this year, they have a quality side who have the potential to finish in the top 6 but will they? We'll find out! The Warriors on the other hand, came away empty handed after they kept the Dragons scoreless. Talk about a reverse turnaround. Keeping a team scoreless to being held scoreless the next week. I guess that is the Warriors at their best ;P. This week they have the Cowboys to contend with, as competitive as I think they could be on Friday night, it'll be the Cowboys we get the win. If Taumololo comes back, the Warriors can kiss the win goodbye for sure, he is most definitely a game changer that bloke.

Eels by 2 - This one should be a cracker. Two undefeated teams going at it in a wild west showdown. Yes please! The Eels were lucky to come away with the win last week but hey, a win is a win regardless and credit to the Eels where credit is due, they have started 4 and 0 in 2020 and are the only team with a 4-0 record so far this season! Impressive stuff indeed! The Panthers themselves are undefeated and have a draw under their belt as well. They will be buoyed with the return of Nathan Cleary this week which means that Burton who had a blinder last week is put on the bench. Interesting move to go with Luai at five-eighth over Burton. Then again, I guess there is that connection there with Luai and Cleary having played in the halves together already (please let me know if I'm mistaken). This one should get tight! But I'm going with the boys from Parramatta to get the win here at Bankwest. Mind you, the Panthers have defeated the Eels at Bankwest and were the first team to achieve that feat so you just never know an upset may be brewing here but it'll be the Eels who go 5-0 for the first time since 1986 for me.

Rabbitohs by 20 - Congratulations to the Titans for getting their first win since June of last year last week! Round of applause for them, I'm sure it was great to get that winning feeling back! A hard-fought 28-23 win over the Tigers have definitely done the Titans a world of good in terms of their confidence. But unfortunately for them I think that'll be short-lived. The Rabbitohs haven't been in the best of forms and will be desperate to bounce back here this week. I think they will and will smash the Titans in the process. The Rabbits do have some troops coming back with Cody Walker and Roberts both returning for the Bunnies this week. Wayne will be looking for a response from his boys and that's exactly what he is going to get here.

Storm by 8 - This will also be a cracker. A heavyweight showdown between the Knights and the Storm. The Knights are one of three teams who are undefeated and will be looking to take another victim this time the Storm and oh my what a victim that would be. Yes the Storm aren't at their clinical best yet but expect to get their soon and it could even be as soon as this game. I think the Storm will want to prove to Craig that they haven't slowed down this season compared to previous seasons and that they still have what it takes to be that clinical best team in the competition. What better way to prove that by beating the high-flying Knights. I reckon it would be cool to see the Knights beat the Storm but the Storm have had the wood over the Knights as a matter of fact beating them by convincing margins in the past 5 games these two have met. Expect a much closer game this time round. How good was Ponga though in his return! Absolute freakishly talented that guy is!

Raiders by 10 - The Raiders should bounce back here this week. Macguire has opted to go with a raft of changes this week. Will it work? I say no, I think that the Raiders will be too good here for the Tigers. The Raiders would want to send a message to the competition that the downfall is not going to go down and that they are still a force to be reckoned with in 2020. I still think that the Raiders can finish up there by season's end. Yes they had this hiccup now last week but how they go this week will be a good indication on whether or not it was only a hiccup or if they are on a downfall. Time will tell! I wish the Tigers the best of luck considering the changes made and I do hope that this is the wake up call they need.

Roosters by 30 - I could see a shellacking here! I know the Bulldogs smashed the Dragons last week but this week they have to contend with the Roosters and we all know what the Roosters done to the Broncos last week. If the Bulldogs are any chance of beating the Roosters, they have to be on their game just like last week (Monday technically but whatever), they have to probably be better than they were on Monday if they are going to beat the Chooks, especially if the Roosters are going to be on their game like last week. But surely it'll be the Chooks who get win number 3 in season 2020 and it will be a convincing win here. Something to note, Reimis Smith has been suspended and will be missing this game for the Bulldogs, expect Crichton (Christian that is) to come in for him, maybe a reshuffle in the backline? Who knows.

And finally... Sharks by 14 - *Sighs* Oh Dragons, Dragons, Dragons, Dragons! Where to from here, seriously! The St. George Illawarra Dragons have been in the centre of the news in the rugby league world because of one name, Paul "Mary" McGregor who has been the centre of attention. He could've been sacked yesterday morning but instead retains his position but for how long? How long does Mary have left? Will he only be around for 4 more weeks or will he see out his contract. A lot is resting on the next few games that's for sure. We can't go 0-6 and expect more uproar from not only us the fans but from many others in the rugby league world. We've got the Sharks this week and the Titans next week. ANnother two games that are winnable. But honestly what is winnable at this point for this club. Our last two performances we haven't even scored one try and we faced two weak sides in the Warriors and the Bulldogs. Absolutely pathetic! This club is in the worst state that it has ever been and being an absolute tragic it really hurts, it really does! I love the Dragons, I really do when we are going well, we are probably the best team to watch in the competition and nothing beats a packed Kogarah Oval or a packed WIN stadium to see our boys go well. As much as I love to reminiscent on our glory days especially right now! The reality is my mighty Dragons are in a massive hole at the moment and I really hope this club can fix it up sooner rather than later! This week we've got the local derby against the Sharks. The Sharks were good last week in their win over the Cowboys to get on the board in 2020. Unfortunately I can see the Sharks winning and they can easily win well here, especially if the Dragons don't find a way to actually play some football. Our boys just need to enjoy our footy, but unfortunately we aren't at the moment, we are too structured and structure isn't the style of footy anymore. I really deeply hope the boys can find a way to win on Sunday but I just cannot go with my team in this one and I'm going with the boys from Cronulla in this one. :(

Awesome. Good luck with everyone's teams for this week and with everyone's tips for this week. Cheers and enjoy the rest of your week everyone!!!!!

mark ashford's picture

It's round 5 and my tips are in, with really little confidence.
Whoever you are barracking for this weekend I wish you well.
As Newbie says may your team win by 40 points.

Rocket Ryan's picture

Hey Tigerholic they haven't called for women and children to abandon ship yet at Leichhardt don't you look silly in your tiger pajamas floating out there in the dark with the life boats still coming down.
Get a big set of horns and practice the vikings clap you buffoon.

tigerholic's picture

I suppose that was called for after I roasted you last week for not taking your ponies, that ended up being a wise choice.

I have been off the site all week as a sort of self punishment for how I handled the Tigers loss, but the first thing I see when I have a look is your half witted attempt at sarcasm, have you got a book of sarcasms or does some write your lines for you as I never took you as being real bright.

Anyway, what goes around comes around and I take full ownership of the barbs that I throw on this site.

Enjoy the footy folks, I wish Newbie could say"I hope your team wins by 40 points unless your are Canberra".


manyana's picture

Hello everyone, here are my guesses for round 5:
Good luck to everyone for this round, manyana.

JKBubble's picture

Can someone assist....
if i submit my tips now and then later on in the weekend i want to change a tip for an upcoming game, do you go back in and resubmit the form or once you've submitted the form once it can't be changed?

Mary S's picture

Hi JKBubble,

No, you are not able to change your pick online on Thinker's website after the show/hide tipping entry form is taken off - usually around the 7.00 - 7.30pm mark before the first game starts for the new round.


The Thinker's picture

Greetings JKBubble

MaryS is right.

You can change your tips up until the kick off of the first game of each round. Once the round has started, you cannot change your tips.

Kind regards

The Thinker.

Esra Star's picture

Mark,my broncos have disappointed me the last few weeks. It seems the rule changes have not been accepted by the play makers. It seems that Boyd and Milford just don't want to be there.
I didn't tip them last week and again tonight. It just seems their heart is not in it.

mark ashford's picture

Esra Star
When the Eels sent them packing in the first week of last years finals I thought I saw some warning signs. Then they won their first two this year and I said YES the Broncs are back. The past two weeks have been nothing less than disgraceful and I fear Manly will add to the pain tonight. Siebold needs to watch Bellamy in the rooms and give these guys the serve they deserve.

Christine's picture

My tips this week are the same as wally's i have been at hospital todavy having my infusion for my ms sorry for being late i am not on the tipping ladder i just join in

Christine's picture

That said today ...

mark ashford's picture

Well at least the Broncs won't have a zero next to their name tonight.
They look like a different team.

Baggy_Gee's picture

They have doubled their points for in the last 3 games lol. But they are look sharp, and going well. See how a bit of confidence works wonders for kids.

Baggy_Gee's picture

Good job Ryan, hang tough.

The Thinker's picture

Just about every time I give the Broncos a decent serve they pull out a performance like this. 

I should be on their payroll. 

mark ashford's picture

Where has this Broncs team been for the past two weeks.
Sure some big names are back but Manly are worthy opponents.
Darrius scores a long awaited try, go the Broncs.

NuL1F3's picture

Looks like I could not have picked this any more wrong! It's not over till it's over though the Broncs are looking on it tonight!

Mary S's picture

Hi Baggy & teraflare,

If you tune in here at half time, from this amazing Broncos turnaround, you haven't, as yet, submitted your pick for 'a's 3 strike comp!


Baggy_Gee's picture

Ok i'll get on it Mary. But I think its just a bit of confidence that the young guys have once they got a score, and know that they are missing a few stars. They will be hard to hold if they hang on for the win.

mark ashford's picture

Can anyone tell me why Boyd's last try was disallowed?
Cherry Evans grabbed Cory Oates and started wrestling with him.
Oates in no way stopped Evans making a tackle on Boyd who wouldn't have stopped him anyway. Another ref blunder.

Baggy_Gee's picture

They know Manly can come back from 18-0 not from 24-0

Baggy_Gee's picture

Thats the square up from last week Mark.

a's picture

Yeah I was shocked I can imagine how dangerous it is for them I hope he’s okay

tigerholic's picture

Morning Folks
I just want to say that the Broncos were a much improved team last night although Manly were off their game in the first half.

Broncos should have been able to hold that 18-0 lead with the experience of Boyd and Milford and Oates.

Bronco fans can be a little happier overall with that effort, they will get it right soon. Rocket you need to get back on here to support Mark and the other Broncos tragics.

Have a great Friday folks.

Rocket Ryan's picture

I have a feeling we're getting beaten in the coaches box poor discipline lack of direction in attack I'm looking for the coach to show a lot more leadership and authority we can't be allowed to give away those dumb penalties without someone pulling your ear.

tigerholic's picture

Well said Rocket

Cheerie-Evans is in line to receive a Grammy Award for that piece of acting. He grabbed Oates and knew that he would receive the penalty.

Klein for me would have to be one of the worst refs going around.

How are you going Christine?


Rocket Ryan's picture

I'm not even prepared to call him a referee he's an actor at this point acting like a referee and doing a piss poor job

The Butcher's picture

Your spot on with most of your assumptions the Broncos were a lot better obviously as they couldn’t get any worse but giving up an 18 point lead is good enough, Don’t worry about the Oates call ,passing the ball after called held is a great call by Klein too often they get away with it because of crowd noise well you can’t use that excuse now
@ Dumber
The coach doesn’t give away dumb penalties...the players do
The only people that think the ref is piss poor is the team that loses
For a team you support you seem to tip against them quite often?
Enjoy the rest of the footy

Rocket Ryan's picture

Thanks my garden will grow a lot better now you're one of the best

The Butcher's picture

Thanks Dumber love you too x


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