Round two selections

Canterbury Bulldogs vs North Queensland Cowboys – Thursday night – ANZ Stadium

ANZ Stadium can appear cavernous and empty at the best of times, but especially so on Thursday night. This marks the first spectator-free game for the season, and for that reason alone it will make for interesting viewing. Two sides coming off a loss, but the Bulldogs probably impressed while the Cowboys disappointed. Defensively, the Bulldogs are, like their coach, a tough unit. You would expect much of the same in round two. Their attack will likely improve, but will it improve enough? The Cowboys showed glimpses of form with the ball, but were guilty of pushing plays where restraint was the order of the day. Perhaps the occasion got the better of them - in a place like Townsville the build-up before the opening of that new stadium would have been immense. I can't imagine the scoreboard attendant will be busy, but the Cowboys can do enough to bounce back here.

Verdict – Cowboys by 4

Result – Cowboys by 8

St George Illawarra Dragons vs Penrith Panthers – Friday night – Netstrata Jubilee Stadium

Rugby League is often a game of two halves, and in this particular case, the two halves are Ben Hunt and Nathan Cleary. Ben Hunt put his hand up and owned his contribution to the Dragons loss in round one, while Cleary was instrumental in the Panthers come-from-behind win over the defending premiers. Cleary has always been a wise old head on young shoulders, and we saw that in spades in round one. I wish every club had one of him. Heck, I wish every club had two of them. The Panthers should be heading into this game filled with self-confidence, while the Dragons could be filled with self-doubt. With that in mind, I think you all know who I'm tipping here.

Verdict – Panthers by 10

Result – Panthers by 4

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

Green shoots, and then some, for the Broncos with an impressive and unexpected win over the Cowboys in Townsville. The new combinations impressed, and we have to assume that Croft and Isaako will continue to improve. Haas and Fifita look set for an enormous year, but Pangai drops out of the forwards rotation for a month. He's not the first enthusiastic forward to let enthusiasm get the better of him - some time spent focusing on his discipline would be time well spent. Alex Glenn returns, and he is disciplined. The Rabbits, like the Broncos, will improve after Mitchell gets some more time in the number one jersey. In the battle of the coaches, Bennett had the last laugh (assuming he laughs) with two victories over Seibold last season. I think Seibold will be smiling on Friday night.

Verdict – Broncos by 8

Result – Broncos by 4

New Zealand Warriors vs Canberra Raiders – Saturday afternoon – Cbus Super Stadium

First things first - for those that hadn't noticed the Warriors have re-located this game to the Gold Coast, but their future in the competition beyond this round is uncertain. Herbert and Hiku have already returned home for family reasons, and the rest of the squad indicated they are likely to do the same after this weekend. In that sense, they have all but played their hand, and one wonders if their hearts will be in this on Saturday. It's possible they'll come out and play like globetrotters, in which case this would be the game of the round. It's more possible, much more possible, that they'll hardly turn up at all. Croker and Nicoll-Klokstad suffered head knocks for the Raiders in round one, but are likely to play. Raiders for mine.

Verdict – Raiders by 14

Result – Raiders by 14

Sydney Roosters vs Manly Sea Eagles – Saturday afternoon – Leichhardt Oval

Another relocated game, perhaps with less consequence than the Warriors/Raiders clash, the Chooks have decided to move this game to Balmain rather than travel to the Central Coast. Manly are expected to name an unchanged line-up, but if they turn up wearing facemasks it would be hard to tell. They held their own against the Storm last weekend for much of the game and I'm willing to back them here in what would be quite an upset. While it seems unlikely that the Chooks would be 0 from 2 to start the season, this season is really weird, and Cordnor won't be back for another week (assuming we have another week). I honestly think the Sea Eagles can win the premiership (assuming we have a premiership), so if that be true they can prove it by knocking off the champs.

Verdict – Sea Eagles by 1

Result – Sea Eagles by 1

Cronulla Sharks vs Melbourne Storm – Saturday night – Netstrata Jubilee Stadium

Looks a gritty contest on paper, and it usually is on the paddock when these two face off. They both bring an uncompromising style of play to the game, and while I admire their tenacity it can at times be hard to watch. There won't be a crowd of Sharkies fans there to boo the Storm every time they 'bend the rules', so definitely no home ground advantage here. The Storm don't really enjoy playing the Sharks because it's a little like staring into a mirror for 80 minutes, but they do have the better roster, and with Dugan and Moylan injured (naturally) the Sharks are much more predictable in attack. Cameron Smith wants to go home, but he's a professional, so he'll get the job done and head to the airport.

Verdict – Storm by 4

Result – Storm by 2

Gold Coast Titans vs Parramatta Eels – Sunday afternoon – Cbus Super Stadium

While the Eels attack struggled to gain an ascendancy they should find the Titans defence a little easier to crack. There are five (yes...five) Titans who may or may not play on Sunday (Roberts, Proctor, Fotuaika, Brimson and Boyd). We will probably have some of them, and we could even have all of them, but with so many uncertainties the easiest thing to do is tip their opponent.

Verdict – Eels by 10

Result – Eels by 40

Wests Tigers vs Newcastle Knights – Sunday afternoon – Leichhardt Oval

Of all the empty stadiums this weekend, this is the one that might sadden me the most. For mine, there are few greater joys than watching a Sunday afternoon game at Leichhardt Oval - at least I'll get a good view of all those trees. Both teams impressed with victories in round one, but the injury to Luke Brooks is a huge blow for the Tigers. It puts a lot of pressure on Benji Marshall (which he won't mind one bit), but he's easier to manage when the team he's playing in has less moving parts. Mbye might be back for this game, which would help, but I'm with a settled Knights line-up that didn't concede a point in round one.

Verdict – Knights by 8

Result – Knights by 18

Wally Lewis - round two selections (in bold)

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

  • Bulldogs vs COWBOYS
  • Dragons vs PANTHERS
  • Broncos vs RABBITOHS
  • Warriors vs RAIDERS
  • ROOSTERS vs Sea Eagles
  • Sharks vs STORM
  • TIGERS vs Knights
  • Titans vs EELS


The Thinker's picture

Greetings everyone,

As you can see I have built the page for round two. Feel free to get in there and add your tips.

I've had a number of people ask to join the comp late, and I've had a number of people ask to join who didn't put their tips in, and a few other queries here and there.

I've done my best to accommodate new tipsters where I can, but at some point I have to draw a line under this.

This is where things are at:

* those who added tips for round one in the comments section, and who created an account on the site (i.e. registered) have been added to the tipping comp (i.e. twenty20, Doormatt, Where Eagles Dare, Lyn Grundy, Rob181, Stallion).

* those who asked to join, but didn't include round one tips have been added as tipsters, but have scored 0 from 8 for round one (i.e. Gavin Franklin and Slip Rock).

* those tipsters who haven't tipped at all, are obviously on 0 from 8. If you just forgot in round one you can obviously still play, but you're playing catch-up.

* attention 'siva' - you added tips for round one, but haven't created an account. I'll give you an opportunity to join the tipping comp proper but you will need to create an account so I can make you a tipster. If you have any issues let me know.

And finally, I'm giving a big shout out to Mary S, who very kindly helped me out with the adminstrating of all of this. I didn't ask for help, but it was a big help...and I appreciate it very much. Thank you for thinkering of me.

If anyone has any queries of questions, feel free to ask.

Now....I suppose I should write my game previews :-)

Christine's picture

Thinker just a thought to go with what i said about state of origin if tge nrl has ti suspend ant games all tge teams that are in the comp get 2 points everytime a game gets suspended& then still allow us roo have state of origin as a Stand alone if they have too but the state of origin without fans wouldn't be the same it is all part of gge hype & it gets the guys fired up but 2 points for all thd teams for every game that is suspend think that is fair ...

Esra Star's picture

Hi Mr Thinker. What is your gut feel about how it will all pan out? Do you think they will pull the pin? Or,just suspend for a month?
Thanks for what you do,,,Esra.

The Thinker's picture

Greetings Esra Star

Thank you for the support. I'm not sure what they will do, but I have a bit of an idea of what I would do.

I would suspend the comp after two rounds for 10-12 weeks, then return with a revised draw with each team playing each other once...including the Warriors.

With less games to play you could potentially have a 2 week period where the only games that take place are the State of Origin series and the Pacific Internationals.

During the 10-12 week suspension, the NRL can renegotiate the broadcast deals for this season with Nine Entertainment, Foxtel, Telstra, MMM and anyone else they may have a broadcast deal with.

No doubt the deal would be for a lesser amount, but that's better than getting rid of the competition altogether. Players may have to take a haircut to help manage the costs, but they'll be playing less games be fair...they signed up to a shared revenue agreement with the NRL. Sharing means sharing I think - both the profits and the losses.

Christine's picture

Thinker i was goung to throw in the towel so to speak but why should i have too i am entitled to have an opinion as are you if you mark or anyone else don't like it you don't have too comment ...

Esra Star's picture

Thanks,mate. All sounds sensible. Make it into a one half season.

mark ashford's picture

You may just be on the money, not a bad suggestion as none of us know how long this thing may go. I for one will be happy with as many games as we can get (or none) as long as the players and their families and the fans are safe.
There is always 2021 and I'm sure we will have this horror behind us by then. This great game will survive as will most Aussies.

Christine's picture

This mark is my only way too keep up on my league & i would appreciate it if i don't have too leave over cam smith you don't just jump down my throat you launch a full scale attack excuse me for not haveing your opinion of cam smith & esra star i never post comments too you so why do you feel the need to do the same you say banta no it is not not when you are on the receiving end i am done i am never commenting to anyone about cam Smith here again appatentlyvibam only allowed your opinion & esra star it isn't the firdt time you have donr it to me either ...

Christine's picture

That was apparently i am only allowed your opinion ...

Mary S's picture

Hi Christine,
Yes, you are allowed to have an opinion on Cam Smith or any other player, but so is everyone else.

Personally, I think he plays cleverly, with a lot of experience behind him that has taught him what works. There are also other players, both past and present, that would fall into the same category!

It is all part of the game.

With the world currently in a turmoil over the virus, media will get anyone that seems important to get their view, so that they can run a story with “Breaking News”. It’s a wonder they haven’t asked JT yet!!

Currently, there is enough uncertainty, and daily change in life, that it can be difficult at times to process all the changes, and even more so for you Christine, when you are having a rotten day with your health.

It must make you want to lash out at someone.

I hope you are feeling better tomorrow, because in your post tonight, I feel you have unfairly lashed out at other posters for their thoughts.

I sincerely hope you will receive this post with the kindness that is meant for you.

Christine's picture

Mary i understand what you are
Saying & i know when someone is having a go at me & they both were for my opinion i never said that rhey are not entitled to rheir opinions femember i have been on here for a long time now & i know when mark is getting his back up even though i have always claimed mark to be the voice of rrason on here & yes i know csm smith is cam smith i just tune out with cam smith maybe because of my dad everytime csm smith was playing he would just loose interest because they are so finely drilled now is that cam smith or bellyache i pesonally think bellyache But thats why my father is like that
I am so sick i can't sleep but i have too no don't panic at the end of the day mark knowd i am still talking too himesra star doesn't really comment tlo me that often but i do know whdn someone is having a go at .e mary i deal with it everyday in my family but thanks for the advice i am go tk go & die now i think ...

tigerholic's picture

Morning Tipsters
The world at the moment is somewhat surreal, I wake up every day thinking that the virus threat has been a dream or a nightmare that will be gone when I wake up. The affects it has had and will have is frightening.

I feel for all of the people that have had a trip of a lifetime planned for this year and now they can't go due to the virus. I know that peoples lives have been lost and they will continue to die until we find a cure but our way of life is completely under threat.

Who would have thought that there would ever be a need to suspend major sports and gatherings.
Mary- I read all of your posts and I find them to be always well written and written with meaning and empathy, thank you for the way you spoke to Christine, she is doing it tough at the moment.
Christine- Keep on posting here on this site, I'm sure you have thousands of followers waiting to read your posts. I hope you are feeling better, take care.


Christine's picture

I was told yesterday to expect an announcement soon that the shopping centres will close for 2 weeks to try to get rid of this virus that was just a small business that told me that i then went into woolworths & i spoke to someone in there & i mentioned it & they said why do you think we have been closing earlier every night they now Close at 8.00 pm they said it is in preparation for it but then i spoke to someone else the same shop & they said none of our staff have been instructed of this & tgey find it hjghly unlikely fben last night there was breaking news scott morrison urging all australians too come home that are overseas then this morning the announcement that instead gatherings of 500 people it is now 100 for indoor gatherings so how are you supposed to do your shopping in my case i have woolies, coles, target, tab all in one place that doesn't leave much more before you reach your hundred so are they going to ban us from going to shopping centres?
Anyone want to comment please do

Mary S's picture

Mr Thinker,
Not sure what just happened, but at least half the comments from R 2 have disappeared and the same with "a" strike three comp.

Everything was fine until I refreshed the site.
My computer has now been rebooted, but the result is the same.


TigerGirl's picture

Hi Thinker I was just looking at the prizes link and the comments section seems to have been taken over by conversations about Wigs ??

manyana's picture

Hello everyone, here are my guesses for Round 2.
Knights (Couldn't make up my mind on this one but decided Knights)

JKBubble's picture

Hey everyone (thinker included)
Do many of you play fantasy footy?
I was going to ask what people thought of certain players but wasn't sure if ppl played fantasy.


The Butcher's picture

Hi Bubble
I play fantasy some people on this site think my whole life’s a fantasy
What do you need to know?

JKBubble's picture

Hey butcher
what do you think about trading Caleb Aekins for Kallum Watkins?
Caleb under achieved and i'm not sure what to do because watkins killed it round 1 and if he backs it up will jump in price.

The Butcher's picture

I’m guessing you need a centre/fullback for around $300k?

JKBubble's picture

no i don't need him, he's only in my emergency but thought might be good idea to swap him out if watkins is higher chance to make cash.

The Butcher's picture

The problem for me is Watkins is struggling for consistency coming from Leeds he was a gun there but it’s a step up in class
I actually like 2 bulldogs players that are great value in Dallin Warren Zelezniak or Remis Smith both consistent and score tries make breaks
and are great value as you’ll see tonight. If you want a dragon Zac Lima’s now he’s back on the wing

The Thinker's picture

Thanks Mary S and TigerGirl

Yes my mistake...I accidentally published some spam that I intended to delete. Those comments are just a small sample of the interesting things that try to get posted on this site.

I can assure you, that some of it is a lot worse than wigs.


The Butcher's picture

Lomax *

mark ashford's picture

To All
What here it Thursday evening and so far no SOTW. C'mon you music lovers give us something to cheer us up.

Christine's picture

My tips are the same as wally 's for rd 2 ...

mark ashford's picture

Mary S
thank you for two incredible offerings. I love MAW and the video was funny and entertaining. Then the other brought tears to my eyes from the opening comments, obviously two people who love each other and what a voice. Just shows how important a loving wife is.
Looks like I've lost my touch as I'm failing to upload a video but can I suggest "with a little help from my friends" by Joe Cocker seems appropriate in these difficult times.

Christine's picture

My tips are the ssme as wally's except for broncos over bunnies sorry for the change ...

Mary S's picture

Hi Baggy,

Are the girls not giving a pick for this round?


mark ashford's picture

Mary S
Thank you for both of those, I've always been a big fan of Joe.
In these troubled times i'm sure we can all get by with a little help from our friends.
Please check on elderly neighbours, see if they need anything, maybe something from the supermarket as the elderly may be afraid to go out. Just a little help for our friends may see us all through these bad times. We are Australians and we help each other.

Mary S's picture

Great result in tonight's match, but wasn't it weird watching the match with no spectators??

Cheers to all,

a's picture

Well it wasn’t the best win in history but a wins a win

a's picture

While it may not be pretty a wins a win

Mary S's picture

Hi Thinker'

Just in case you miss this when you're getting rid of the wigs and hair extensions in the Prizes section, Lyn Grundy has posted her tips there which are copied & pasted below.

Submitted by Lyn Grundy on Thu 19/3/20 - 5:04pm AEST


Baggy_Gee's picture

Sorry Mary they did tip before kick off, but it has been more mad than usual here.
Bulldogs - as we own a Cavoodle, close enough
The reason they were picking them were exactly the same as last week just for different teams.

newbie from perth's picture

Greetings y’all. Seems like the Boss had a little “accident” and a chunk of posts have gone missing just like the crowds at the footy. Never fear! I’ll re-post when I get home after work.

Not so much to assist those wishing to put their tips in (as you would’ve done that already) but more for posterity and my SOTW 😍. I know there are thousands here in Australia and hundreds overseas that look forward to hearing from me 😂 and who am I to disappoint eh?

Until then peeps, take care, stay safe, stay healthy. Live long and prosper 🖖

Esra Star's picture

There is still talk of ending the season or at best delaying it by a month or so. But i think the country needs both the league and the AFL to keep going as long as they can. It will be a good distraction from all the doom and gloom.
Just my two bob's worth.

The Thinker's picture

AFL has just announced postponement of the season.

i except the NRL will do the same. Disappointing...even if it's the right thing to do. 

Baggy_Gee's picture

That is a pain in the butt. But yay, the Broncos are a top 8 team again.

The Voyeur's picture

Hi all.....I am compelled to come off the bench for my first run of the season as such.....that Nathan Brown is nothing but a thug as a mate of mine said tonight.....he is a disgrace and should be rubbed out of the sport. Week after week he is involved in filth and tonight was no exception......anyone else would get the benefit of the doubt in tonight’s incident , but his track record suggests he just can not control his behaviour... I can only hope the judiciary deals to him !!!!!!

Baggy_Gee's picture

Wow, you must have your eyes painted on Voyeur, did you see that hit on Croft on Friday? N. Browns was worse than that. Get off the Grass and follow the football properly not just a game every 3 months.

The Voyeur's picture

Validating you’re boys lack of control by comparing him to another players action is simply ridiculous, come on get a grip......You know he has angry little man

Baggy_Gee's picture

At least I can call a spade a spade. Dirty play is dirty play, and that was not even close to being a foul, to call it a penalty or even put it on report is laughable. It is the lack of consistency that annoys us all, not the right call against the BOYS.

The Voyeur's picture

Serious you honestly did not believe it was foul play by placing his knees on the player in the ground........ holy hell 🤭

Baggy_Gee's picture

You are just watching the highlights aren't you, or were you on your telescope watching through the neighbors window? Look at all of the lead up play and you will see a lock sprinting 20 odd meters to try to stop the try. There was no intent like some retired fullback to lead with the feet, it was just your standard football play. Sad when your only involvement on here proves your lack of 2 eyes and a bent agenda.

The Voyeur's picture

No I can assure you I watched the entire game, as I did live at BankWest last perhaps “play the ball not the man”...for you that means stop being a nasty p@#&k and allow others to have an opinion......the lead up play is totally irrelevant (actually so is your views) to the incident I and the commentators, and the refs saw.... filthy play that breached the rules......and my point is that he is the same every week......filth


NRL tipping is easier if you follow the NRL news