Finals week two

Parramatta Eels vs Canberra Raiders – Friday night – CommBank Stadium

The big question mark here surrounds the Eels halfback Mitchell Moses, who put his head in the wrong place at the wrong time last week. He has to pass an independent assessment to play. The Eels have named him and are giving every indication he'll be lacing up the boots on Friday night, but watch this space. He's likely to be replaced by Jake Arthur, a terrific young talent, but it's a lot of pressure on a kid who happens to be the son of the coach. Otherwise, the coach is going with the same line-up that competed with the Panthers for a period. For the Raiders, Adam Elliott is injured and replaced by Harawira-Naera, while Sutton returns on the bench from a hand injury. These sides have met once before this season - a high quality game where the Eels prevailed (28-20) in Canberra. Team line-ups in round 12 were much like they are here. Sivo didn't play for the Eels in that game and I won't under-estimate his contributions, but I'm keen to highlight that the Raiders have improved since then. That round 12 game was the first game for the under-appreciated Jamal Fogarty, and it takes a while to combine with a new team. Xavier Savage continues to improve at fullback with NRL games under his belt in that role. For much of the year the Raiders were crippled by injuries but have had a chance to keep a roster on the park and the results have followed. The win against the Storm was no fluke, and even if Moses does play for the Eels I'm happy to tip the Raiders in an upset.

Verdict – Raiders by 4

Result – Eels 40 defeated Raiders 4

Cronulla Sharks vs South Sydney Rabbitohs – Saturday night – Allianz Stadium

The Sharks back up from 93 minutes of very good rugby league on Saturday night while the Rabbitohs back up from whatever the heck that was we watched last Sunday afternoon. It was certainly gripping to watch, and in a game which spent more time boiling over than simmering, it was the Bunnies who kept their cool in the key moments, coming away with a pretty comfortable win in the end. While this is a home game for the Sharks it shifts to a venue that the Rabbits would like to call home, and the away visitors are likely to have more support in the crowd on Saturday night. The Sharks are unchanged from last week, while the Bunnies are without Burgess for a couple of weeks unless they can mount a successful "Taylan May" defence or pull some other legal wizardry out of their back pocket. Assuming he's out it's a big out against a team full of very big forwards. These sides met not long ago where the Sharks won in golden point (21-20). That game was in the Shire, and they were (I think) a bit lucky to win that one. The Rabbits were already missing Campbell Graham in the centres and their replacement centre was injured in the first half. That left them with Mitchell filling in out wide and Nikorima playing at the back. Even with all that chaos, the Bunnies almost won, with Mitchell missing three field goal attempts before Hynes claimed the victory for the Sharks. The Sharks also did a very good job controlling the ruck speed in that game. Playing at home probably helped them when it came to that strategy, and they may have less luck with that approach against those rowdy Rabbitohs fans. Mitchell and Walker proved the difference last week. For the Sharks, Hynes had what was his best game of the season in a losing side. I expect this will be close but if the Bunnies forwards can hold their own I'll back Mitchell to make amends when it counts.

Verdict – Rabbitohs by 1

Result – Rabbitohs 38 defeated Sharks 12

Wally Lewis - finals week two (in bold)

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

  • EELS (4th) vs Raiders (8th)
  • SHARKS (2nd) vs Rabbitohs (7th)


The Thinker's picture

Greetings football fans

I have updated the tipping comp after week one of the finals. Anyone who managed two or more did very well for themselves. A shout out to Tigerholic, who doesn't seem super keen on tipping the finals, but he's now in the top three. Long-standing tipping freak (and I mean that nicely) Footy Chick has drawn level with The Voyeur in equal first place.

If anyone notices anything that needs attention just let me know.

All the best

The Thinker

Ed W's picture

Tempted to go the opposite of your predictions after last week. Agree about the roosters v rabbitos game though, gripping and bizarre.

tigerholic's picture

Evening All
Only two games this weekend but how tough are they to pick. I'm thinking either one can turn it on and their season is on the line.

Will the Eels choke, can the Raiders come from 8th, can the Sharkies respond after blowing their lead and the Rabbits are only getting warmed up.
Some more deliberating yet before the tips go live, how nervous are you Voyeur, Footy Chick is one of the best tipsters going and she has run you down like a cold hearted killer, now she stands right beside you waiting for you to fall.
Look on the positive side mate, at least you don't have Rocket Ryan to try and embarrass you, good luck to you and good luck to all those in contention.

Rocket Ryan's picture

Thanks Tiger I have had no luck this year lost most close calls,even footy chick needs a little luck.

Esra Star's picture

The rabbits will be hurting(physically) after the war last week end but so will the Sharks after the golden point extra time.
I have no idea this week end,but looking back at my tips this year,i suppose i am am

newbie from perth's picture

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

The following is a Public Service Announcement 🤪

@ Big Pete

Thanks for the best wishes with my veins brother. Mine were small ones but there was a stack of them on my left leg that needed doing rather urgently due to my skin being so thin (sign of the aging process 😥) and them “opening up” and bleeding so easily.

The specialist needed me to shave my leg (ooh, kinky 😍) the night before the operation so I thought I’d play it safe and use some hair removal cream instead of a razor that would definitely be dangerous. Applied the cream, waited the allotted time and was “gently” washing away the cream with my fingertips and BOOM! Another vein burst with blood streaming out all over the shower walls. Managed to stop it and apply a bandage (took me about 20 mins) and all was (sorta) good. Told the specialist Saturday morning and he said not to worry as he would soon get all that fixed.

Took the stocking off this morning (that took me 20 mins as well), removed the bandages, had a shower and put stocking back on. So far, so good except the pain’s a bit worse than before but put that down to having no bandages on. I’m off the Panadol and on the Nurofen now. Seems to help (so does getting up and walking around) but doesn’t usually kick in until after 30 mins or so.

The specialist prescribed some Celecoxib (Celebrex) which I got the day after the surgery, but haven’t taken any yet. I’d rather not take prescription drugs if I can help it. I’m hoping I’ll get through this with a couple of Nurofen every now and then plus my body fixing itself. Time will tell. Enjoy your “Vroom! Vroom! when it comes around brother. Cheers.

OK, too much space taken up with that PSA so let’s get into it …

Eels vs. Raiders @ CommBank
Probability @ 60-40
Ladder Position = Eels
Bookies Favourite = Eels

The Eels were taken care of by the Panthers fairly easily in the end last week but the Panthers did have a “week’s rest” so to speak and they had Cleary back. Both the Eels and the Raiders will be desperate this week (obviously), but I think the Eels will be more desperate, especially considering they’ll have players leaving for other clubs next year and thinking about that “window of opportunity” thing.

The Eels are a hard side to beat when they’re on song but that “consistently inconsistent” thing has me concerned. They will, however, be playing at home and the crowd support might be worth a little bit extra. Mind you, the Raiders won’t make it easy for them. I think I may have underestimated the Raiders. They had a rousing victory over the Storm last week in Melbourne and they’re absolutely rolling along beautifully at the moment. We’ll definitely get to see what they’re made of this week. But considering how they’re playing lately, I wouldn’t be surprised if they progressed after this week.

There’s a lot of “hype” with the Raiders at the moment and they have been moving forward with a lot of momentum and a lot of confidence within the playing group which has to count for something. I’ll be ignoring the hype (possibly a silly thing to do) and think this should be a close one but at home and with the stakes involved, I’m tipping the Eels to get in by 6.

Sharks vs. Rabbitohs @ Allianz
Probability @ 45-55
Ladder Position = Sharks
Bookies Favourite = Rabbitohs

You could argue the Sharks were unlucky to lose in ET last week but they have themselves to blame for that loss. In finals footy you shouldn’t lose when you’re leading by 6 with a minute to go. They were pretty impressive during the game, except for the Connor Tracy sin-bin with 7 minutes to go and of course their defence in that last minute. The Sharks had a great year and finished second for a reason. Considering the carnage in the Rabbitohs game last week, the Sharks will obviously be physically better prepared for this one. The last time these two met, the Sharks scraped in by a point. It might be another tight one this weekend.

The Rabbitohs progressed after a deserved win against the Roosters in a fierce encounter last week. Without bias, it wasn’t the best exhibition the Bunnies have put up lately (and in the end it didn’t have to be as long as they won). They had 4 sin-bins and were guilty of some ill-discipline. Considering the players the Roosters lost and the reshuffling that ensued, the Rabbitohs’ “comfortable” victory seemed to lack some flair. They’ll need to bring their “A” game this week.

The Bunnies’ form of late is hard to disregard but what worries me is their possible injury concerns after last week, Burgess suspended and their ill-discipline. I’m thinking it might hamper their chances and again, I’ll be ignoring the “hype” surrounding them. I’ll be tipping the Sharks by 6 in another tight one.

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

Harry Nilsson wrote this (1968) and John Farnham did a cover (1969) but this band’s version is my favourite. There’s no accounting for taste is there?

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

mark ashford's picture

Hey Newbie
Haven't been here as much as I should and missed your varicose vein problems. I too have a nasty one on my left leg but it doesn't worry me or more importantly bleed. Keep yourself well my friend and take care of those legs as we need them to walk on.
Enjoyed the sotw, a big production but must admit I like Farnhams better. Look after yourself.

Dragons-fanboy's picture

My well wishes to you both Newbie and Mark!


The Voyeur's picture

Hey Tigerholic

No nerves but certainly sitting in the shadow of greatness in the Footy chicks performance once again this year…..,so it’s down to a shoot out for sure this weekend based on the picks……that’s if they stay the same of course……..hate the late changes !!!!

Feeling somewhat sick in the stomach I have picked the sharks as they are one of my least favourite clubs after the drug scandal and some of their past thugs who played there……,that said “up up Cronulla”

No guts no glory I say !!!!!

Enjoy the games team and it’s hard to believe the season is nearly over !!!!

MGM's picture

If Tigerholic gets it right this weekend it'll be a three-way tie at the top and three matches to go .
Now THAT would be a Grandstand finish !

tigerholic's picture

Hey Voyeur and MGM

This first game is so close to pick and as I said during the week, it can go either way.

The Raiders are a dangerous mob they either get dusted by a lot or they just don't go away.

Good luck to all, my hat goes off to Footy Chick for her unbelievable tipping record on this site.

Have a great weekend folks, Tiger is out of prison for the weekend:), footy tonight, golf tomorrow and footy tomorrow night.


Christine's picture

Good luck to the anyone vying for the top of the ladder position ...

MGM's picture

Sounds like a great weekend Tiger ...
topped off by an equal first spot is looking doable at half time ,
Canberra are lucky Gutho's and Sivo's tries were Taken off them !

Bronco Legend's picture

Hi Tigerholic,
You have tipped well this year and may give footy chick and vouyeur a scare after this weekend as the great tipster footy chick tipped raiders tonight. Might be a three way tie if sharks loose tomorrow.
Good luck to you all.
Bronco Legend.

Mary S's picture

Congratulations to Eels - a terrific team display tonight.

Wonder if they can keep up the pace next week in Townsville - 22.5d at 9pm tonight with 84% humidity!!!!


MGM's picture

Well done Tiger !
Enjoy the rest of your weekend :)

Christine's picture

Three people will be on the same points at the top of the ladder after this weekend , interesting to see how this plays out ...

tigerholic's picture

Cheers MGM

You too, I played terrible golf, good game last night.

Rocket Ryan's picture

The voyeur you have done the unthinkable and let that clown masquerading as a tiger supporter in the door.
Big weekend coming up.

tigerholic's picture

Rocket, Rocket, Rocket

I've been meaning to ask you, what is the view like from way down where you are looking up at the leaders, please let the fans know.

It is an honour to finish in the top three mate, it's a big field this year, don't let Rocket get under your skin.


How have you been going, I hope you have been well.

All the best


Christine's picture

I have been sick I have a upper respiratory chest infection that is contagious for 7 to 10 days that lasted for 2 weeks which got better for a week & now I have either have a nasty sinus infection or another upper respiratory chest infection so does my father I think this time I caught it from him , but apart from that I am ok tiger how about yourself I read your plans for the weekend all the best with that .

I am just staying home trying to get better I am just sick of being sick Tiger all the best with being on a high up there if i was looking from rockets point of view the air gets thinner the higher up you go Tiger...

tigerholic's picture

Hi Christine

I am so sorry that you have been unwell, if I read your message correctly you seem to know what your body needs to work through the periods of being unwell.

Sometimes it is best to isolate anyway, take a break from the hustle and bustle of our normal busy lives, hit the reset button to enable us all to face the next challenge.

I do hope you get better soon mate, hopefully the banter on this site that occasionally pops up can give you a smile.

Take care


The Thinker's picture

Greetings football fans

I have updated the tipping comp after week two of the finals. We have a three way tie at the top so it's getting very interesting way up there. Potentially anyone in the top seven can still win a top three prize from here.

I will have the tipping page for the preliminary finals published as soon as possible. I just have to get the attention of my little helper (who is dozing under a palm tree on some tropical island in the pacific).

If anyone notices anything with the scoring just let me know.

All the best

The Thinker

Anonymous's picture

Saw the Mario Fenech program last night on the tele. It's a must see if you didn't catch it. I hope Russel Crowe was watching what true gladiator did on the field for the Rabbitohs (and Norths). Mario's family and friends (including ex world champion boxer Jeff Fenech) have been amazing support!. I'm really hoping Souths win it for Mario this year. What a touching program... What a legend of the sport.

Rocket Ryan's picture

He is responsible for the Falcon being ball contact to the head in all sports due to that old footage fatty played when the Crushers dummy half bounced a ball off his noggin.

The Thinker's picture

I was watching some old finals recently. One of them was a final in 1996 between the North Sydney Bears and the Brisbane Broncos. That was a very good Bears team (and a very good Broncos team too). The Bears forwards included David Fairleigh, Gary Larson and Billy Moore but it was clear who the leader of that pack was. Every carry was with speed and purpose and he made good ground on almost every run. A genuine leader on and off the field, and one of the nicest people to ever play the game.

The Rabbitohs owners (Mike Cannon-Brookes, James Packer, Russell Crowe) aren't short of coin. Perhaps they can chip in and assist the family with some funding to cover the cost of Mario's transition to full-time care.

And the Bears won for those who were wondering (but lost to the Dragons in the Preliminary Final).

The Tide Head's picture

Well, there you go @Rocket Ryan. I did not know. The footy show took the absolute piss out of poor Mario. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy and early onset of dementia is serious shit. I hope the NRL offer him and his family some financial support.

Rocket Ryan's picture

It's hard to believe that he put up with all that footy show stuff where he was the butt of the joke at the time it all appeared scripted The show was based on a lot of humour To now hear that all these segments were sabotaged put a different light on it.

The Tide Head's picture

Sure did. Perhaps he just wanted to fit in. He did stand up for himself on the footy show towards the end. Good on him. Hey, @Rocket_Ryan... Well done with your tipping mate.

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