Round thirteen selections

St George Illawarra Dragons vs Brisbane Broncos – Thursday night – Netstrata Jubilee Stadium

Traditionally, the Broncos squad are decimated at this time of year as their squad would regularly make up the bulk of the Queensland Origin line-up. This year, only Xavier Coates will be wearing the maroon (and he won't be a Bronco soon). They do also lose Payne Haas to the Blues, while the Dragons lose Tariq Sims for the same reason. Jack De Belin has been quietly added to the Dragons interchange as a result - no doubt his return will generate plenty of...interest. How the Dragons respond to the return of De Belin is anyone's guess. The Dragons also see the return of Dufty, Ravalawa and Kerr, while the Broncos welcome back Lodge, Gamble and club captain Alex Glenn. Former Bronco Jack Bird has been named in the second row, and will be keen to deliver a big performance against his old club. The Dragons have won just one from their last eight, and that was a win over the team running last. The Broncos aren't faring much better, winning two from their last nine, but the teams they have lost too (Storm twice, Rabbitohs, Panthers, Eels, Cowboys and Sea Eagles) are much better sides than the Dragons. I can't tip the Broncos confidently, but I can't tip the Dragons confidently either, even with the home ground advantage. Clearly I'm short on confidence but...

Verdict – Broncos by 2

Result – Dragons 52 defeated Broncos 24

Wests Tigers vs Penrith Panthers – Friday night – Leichhardt Oval

A touch of luck for the Tigers, jagging the Panthers when their Origin players are unavailable. In this instance the Panthers are missing Cleary, Luai, Yeo, To'o, Koroisau and Martin. To add to the challenge, Moses Leota is suspended for a week and won't play. It's a massive shake-up, given the way Koroisau, Cleary, Luai and Yeo combine in the middle - that quartet are fundamental to the way the Panthers set up their play in attack. And still, I can't tip against them. Burton will relish the opportunity to play in the halves, Tyrone May is no slouch, and I think the Panthers have an edge in the forwards. Talk about depth. As for the Tigers, even with the touch of luck, they look out of their depth in this contest.

Verdict – Panthers by 4

Result – Tigers 26 defeated Panthers 6

Melbourne Storm vs Gold Coast Titans – Saturday night – Sunshine Coast Stadium

The Storm may be the defending premiers but they are less impacted by Origin than the Titans - it must be all those Victorians in their seventeen. The Storm lose Addo-Carr who was under an injury cloud, Kaufusi who probably would have been suspended if not for Origin, and Harry Grant who hasn't been playing anyway. The Titans are without Brimson, Fifita, Fotuaika and Fa'asuamaleaui. Those four played for the Titans last week, and they lost 38-10 to a side well outside the top eight. Now they take on a team that, during their last nine performances, have averaged more than 40 points per game in attack while conceding an average of less then 12 per game in defence. Stats just the way it is. Note the relocation of this game to the Sunshine Coast - not a bad place to be stuck when the alternative is Melbourne in June.

Verdict – Storm by 16

​​​​​​​Result – Storm 20 defeated Titans 14

Newcastle Knights vs Parramatta Eels – Sunday afternoon – McDonald Jones Stadium

Way back in round six I suggested the Eels might start to drop off after a strong start to the season. I had just about convinced myself I was wrong, but now I'm starting to think I was just a little early (Hey Thinker...that still means you were wrong). They're very much entrenched in the top four, with no team emerging as a likely challenger for that spot, but the Eels have conceded 66 points in their last two games (and top four sides shouldn't do that). One of those losses was to Manly, who then lost to the Knights one week later. With that in mind, you'd think the Knights are at least competitive in this, particularly on a Sunday afternoon in Newcastle. They're $4 outsiders so I'm probably wrong, but...

Verdict – Knights by 2

​​​​​​​Result – Eels 40 defeated Knights 4

Wally Lewis - round thirteen selections (in bold)

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

  • DRAGONS vs Broncos
  • Tigers vs PANTHERS
  • STORM vs Titans
  • Knights vs EELS


mark ashford's picture

Hi Mary S and 'a'
So happy to see you guys have secured SoO 1. Will be a wonderful boost for FNQ footy and of course a boost for our beloved Maroons.
I'll bet the Blues supporters hate it but hey it's time we got lucky. Haven't seen all the teams news yet, we still have to win #1.

The Thinker's picture

Greetings football fans,

I have updated the NRL ladder and tipping comp after round 12. A pretty tough round but three tipsters managed to select 7 from 8. Congrats to GuruCraig, MajorDad and Teraflare - and a special shout out to Teraflare who was our only tipster to pick the Knights over the Sea Eagles.

If anyone sees any errors with the scoring just let me know.

Just the four games this round as we edge toward the first State of Origin game in Melbsville. I will have my previews and selections published on Wednesday.

All the best

The Thinker

mark ashford's picture

Rumour has it that the QLD Govt paid the NRL somewhere between 6 and 10 million dollars to take SoO 1 to Townsville. I'm very happy for the people of FNQ but surely this has to be some sort of a joke. It was after all QLD's turn to host two games but one got sold to Melbourne. Who makes these decisions, I was always much happier when one year NSW got two games and the next year it was QLD's turn. I know we have to expand but this has always been a NSW/QLD thing.

newbie from perth's picture

"Dia duit gach duine" i dteanga ní mo theanga féin,

I’ve managed to reduce this week’s post length by 50% which should make life easier for some. But hey, y’all know it’s because there’s only 4 games on this weekend 🤪. It will be interesting to see what sort of reaction there is from the fans with the return of Jack de Belin in Thursday night’s game. I reckon he’ll do better than I’m currently doing with my tipping. Just 3 last week … got a feeling it’s gonna be one of those years 😱. Anyhoo, let’s do this thang…

Dragons vs. Broncos 60-40 @ Kogarah
Ladder Position = Dragons
Bookies Favourite = Dragons

The Dragons kept pace with the Tigers early on last week but fell away as the first half progressed. They headed into the break 18-0 down and scored some consolation points in the second half but the Dragons were basically smacked by the Tigers pack and were never really in the (Ben) hunt (couldn’t resist that one 😉). Too many errors, missed opportunities and down on troops made it a hard ask and they were comfortably beaten 34-18. Like I mentioned above, the big talking point in this game will be how Jack de Belin performs after he was named in the squad for this match. Some stats possibly worth a mention:

Possession - 49%
Completion Rate - 80% (33/41)
Line Breaks - 2
Tackle Breaks - 27
Missed Tackles - 28
Ineffective Tackles - 13
Errors - 12
Penalties Conceded - 3
Ruck Infringements - 7

The Broncos started well against the Storm last week but were unable to capitalise on the opportunities. Things weren’t looking too good at the break and even though they were only 16-0 down, they were still in with a chance assuming their form from the previous week held up. Unfortunately it didn’t. They scored 2 tries in the second half but the Storm scored 4 and the final result was a big 40-12 loss. Was expecting Anthony Milford to really step up considering he was given another chance but he didn’t look all that confident. Not sure what’s going on but it seems to me that his days are possibly numbered 🤔. Some stats possibly worth a mention:

Possession - 47%
Completion Rate - 71% (22/31)
Line Breaks - 1
Tackle Breaks - 28
Missed Tackles - 44
Ineffective Tackles - 22
Errors - 12

I really like the Broncos here in this one but got a funny feeling the Dragons might “bounce back” here, especially given that de Belin might get a run and they have Dufty and Kerr back. Dragons for me.

Tigers vs. Panthers 40-60 @ Leichhardt
Ladder Position = Panthers
Bookies Favourite = Panthers

After a somewhat even start last week against the Dragons the Tigers just clicked and put on a good display in attack and defence and went into the sheds leading 18-0. The Tigers’ second half effort was dominant to an extent even though they were outscored. In the end they enjoyed a pretty comfortable 34-18 win. Again, Luke Brooks’ game was excellent. We all know he had it in him and it seems he’s starting to gain some confidence and beginning to shine. Pretty impressed with Daine Laurie’s game too. Interesting stat I read about online is that the Tigers 4 wins this year have only been against the Knights (2) and the Dragons (2). Curious 🤔. Some stats possibly worth a mention:

Possession - 51%
Completion Rate - 77% (36/47)
Line Breaks - 6
Tackle Breaks - 28
Missed Tackles - 27
Ineffective Tackles - 11
Errors - 13
Penalties Conceded - 3

Another impressive effort from the Panthers last week. Went about their job in a professional and clinical manner and did what good teams do. Great contributions from Cleary, Crichton, Fisher-Harris and Kikau. Some stats possibly worth a mention:

Possession - 53%
Completion Rate - 81% (38/47)
Line Breaks - 5
Tackle Breaks - 25
Missed Tackles - 25
Ineffective Tackles - 8
Errors - 11
Penalties Conceded - 4

This is an ideal opportunity for the Tigers to ambush a depleted Panthers outfit at home. Yeah, the Panthers have 7 missing but they also have capable replacements so I’ll stick with them here. Panthers for me but wouldn’t be surprised ….

Storm vs. Titans 80-20 @ Sunshine Coast
Ladder Position = Storm
Bookies Favourite = Storm

The Storm led comfortably 16-0 at the break last week against the Broncos. That first try from “the block of cheese” was a joy to watch just because it typified (for me at least) what’s lacking a lot these days with footy. He just “wanted it” and was desperate to score. His competitive nature is a joy to behold 💪. Four tries to two in the second half and the Storm cruised home 40-12. The Storm did make some errors but they covered it well. Nicho Hynes just keeps impressing for mine. The Sharks would be pretty pleased they’ve managed to sign him up for next year 💪. A thoroughly professional effort on the whole from the Storm. Some stats possibly worth a mention:

Possession - 53%
Completion Rate - 70% (28/40)
Line Breaks - 8
Tackle Breaks - 44
Missed Tackles - 28
Ineffective Tackles - 26
Errors - 12

The Titans were simply not good enough in the first half last week against the Sharks and they went into the break 26-6 down. When the Sharks had a man binned, the Titans failed to capitalise. To make matters worse, during that period when they were a man up, the Sharks put 2 tries past them 😱. Defence-wise the Titans didn’t offer much, their attack was lacking and they just seemed a bit lifeless overall. A pretty disappointing effort actually and the Titans were well beaten 38-10. Some stats possibly worth a mention:

Possession - 46%
Completion Rate - 75% (27/36)
Line Breaks - 6
Tackle Breaks - 50
Missed Tackles - 49
Ineffective Tackles - 15
Errors - 11
Penalties Conceded - 5

Storm with too much class should get this done.

Knights vs. Eels 35-65 @ McDonald Jones
Ladder Position = Eels
Bookies Favourite = Eels

The Knights started well last week against Manly but found themselves down by 10 points after just 27 minutes. Once Sean Keppie got binned in the 32nd minute however, they came to life and scored a couple (at the 34’ and 39’ marks) and went into the break leading 12-10. It was a (very) tight affair in the second 40 and it wasn’t until the 77th minute that the Knights managed another try to put the result to bed and they ended up getting an upset 18-10 win. They were the dominant side for most of the match and deserved their win. Really impressed with the effort from Daniel Saifiti in particular, even though he only played 46 minutes. Some stats possibly worth a mention:

Possession - 55%
Completion Rate - 81% (38/47)
Line Breaks - 5
Tackle Breaks - 25
Missed Tackles - 30
Ineffective Tackles - 16
Errors - 12
Penalties Conceded - 1

Not a great showing from the Eels in the first half last week against the Rabbitohs it must be said. They didn’t handle the Rabbitohs’ pressure very well and were down 20-6 at the break. Their second 40 wasn’t much better and they uncharacteristically made too many mistakes. They did show glimmers of hope in the second half but poor discipline let them down. In the end they lost a disappointing one 38-20. Their main problem as I saw it was their right-edge defence. They’ll definitely need to get that in order. Some stats possibly worth a mention:

Possession - 47%
Completion Rate - 76% (26/34)
Line Breaks - 1
Tackle Breaks - 20
Missed Tackles - 18
Ineffective Tackles - 10
Errors - 9
Penalties Conceded - 6

A bit more class and the “bounce back” factor should see the Eels win this one.

Let’s finish off with another “Song of the Week”. I just know this one won’t go down well 🤪. The title of this song is how I felt after Victor got 5 weeks 😢.

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

Darryl Williams's picture

The Bronco million dollar a year man has been dropped again . This gutless bloke has received a $million a year for the last 5 years . What a joke he has been overpaid by $4.5 million for that time. I doubt if he has earnt a contract with any club in the NRL. Why is it not included in players contracts a clause that states " if you do not play to your paid potential you loose your payment. Clubs would appreciate this clause added to players contracts.

mark ashford's picture

Hey Darryl Williams
Not too many of us here would disagree with your Milford comment. He has been the highest paid and the poorest performer in the Broncos history. Yes there should be some sort of performance clause in players contracts.

mark ashford's picture

Hey Newbie
You cheeky bugger bragging you had kept your posts to around half of what was normal. Very funny as there's only 4 games. Mate your SOTW was in my view a bit depressing so have found something a bit more lively.

Dragons-fanboy's picture

Hi everyone, my tips for this week are:

Dragons by 8
Panthers by 14
Storm by 18
Eels by 6

Awesome! Good luck with everyone's team for this week and with everyone's tips for this week. Cheers and have a great weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jennifer 2814's picture

Hi all,
My tip for round 13;
Dragons, Panthers, Storms, Eels.

Happy tipping.

newbie from perth's picture

Not NRL related but …

And these people are in charge? Seriously? 50,000 expected at the game and they tell them this? God help us! Just as well I don’t go to AFL games anymore 😂.

mark ashford's picture

Hey Newbie
Saw that clip on Sunrise this morning and the team were laughing their heads off. Kochie was mimicking holding a beer in one hand and a pie in the other and ducking his head. Of all the advice they could have given that was the best they could do.

TigerGirl's picture

Just putting here as well to make sure they are in

Steel Panther's picture


Thanks for reminding me why I skipped the 90s musically. I'm still stuck in the 80s!!

Scotty H's picture

Knights (as my upset)

Hoping to bring back some 2001 memories!!!!

Christine's picture

Put my tips in for
Good luck everyone ...

a's picture

MGM Please put your tip in my 3 strike comp

The Thinker's picture

Is there anyone out there close to the Dragons that can explain to me why Dufty isn't wanted at the club?

They're nuts!!!

newbie from perth's picture

@ Mr Ashord
Yeah mate, very poor call on her part regarding the “don’t touch the ball”. This situation is bad enough without making yourself look like a 🤡 but at least it lightened the mood a bit. I know I (eventually) got a laugh out of it.

@ Steely
The 80s are, in my mind, the best decade for toons. I might be biased a little as I was in my “prime” so to speak during that time period. Dunno, the songs (to me) just had more substance and creativity and weren’t reliant on studio effects to make average voices sound better or to cover up defects. Meh…

@ The Boss
Spot on Boss, heard the 9 commentators mention Dufty was “unwanted” at the Dragons when I watched tonight’s game. Plenty of clubs would jump at the chance to sign him up, money/salary cap permitting. Very confusing to me as I really rate Dufty. SMH 🤔

Rocket Ryan's picture

It can only be thinker that he ruins the team photos at the end of the year he's got a head like a droped pie.

Steel Panther's picture


Brisbane need a good fullback and a good number 2,3,4,5,6......17.

Steel Panther's picture


I was fortunate to discover music in the late 70s when I went to high school. A guy hands me two LPs to listen to. One was KISS Alive II and the other AC/DC's Let There Be Rock. Initially I hated Bon Scott's vocals but that hate didn't last long.

Loved your Jackson 5 song!! A lot of interesting comments on the song too, about MJ and his vocals, no auto-tune etc. I'm sure Mr Ashford posted KISS just for me. I loved KISS growing up but they've probably been overtaken by Maiden now as my favourite band.

Better "run to the hills" and get on with my day!!

mark ashford's picture

Hi Steel,
Yes I did post Kiss for you (and others). I remembered you coming to lunch a couple of years ago on the Sunshine Coast wearing a Kiss t-shirt
My Broncos fell in another big hole last night after a promising start. I went to bed at 22/18 in favour of Dragons thinking they could come from behind. Spoiled my morning when I got up and saw the final score.
AH the Jackson 5. All songs upbeat and happy. Enjoyed seeing MJ as a normal black american before he began that terrible surgery. Have a good weekend.

mark ashford's picture

I know it was an understrength Panthers team but you are the first team to beat them this year and congratulations go to your team.

Colter's picture

Have the panthers just got the kiss of death ??
Sportsbet has just paid out for panthers on any bet to win premiership + any bet to win minor premiership
Early payout for labour to win federal election—lost
Early payout cam smith to win Clive Churchill medal last year GF—lost

tigerholic's picture

Morning Mark

Thanks for the comment mate, I almost changed my tip from Tigers to Panthers when I read through the Panthers team line up, they still fielded a strong quality team that took one of the better Tigers defensive efforts for some time to win.

As they say mate, a win is a win.


NRL tipping is easier if you follow the NRL news