Round fourteen selections

North Queensland Cowboys vs St George Illawarra Dragons – Friday night – Queensland Country Bank Stadium

I'll be up north and at the ground on Friday night, and I'm looking forward to seeing how the Cowboys cope through this Origin period of the season. They've been lucky on the injury front this year, which partly explains their better showing, but it's not the only reason. Payten has named all four of his Origin players, backing up less than 48 hours after the Wednesday night interstate stoush. We will see how many make it (although Deardon is 18th man for Queensland so should be fine). The Dragons have two of their own (potentially) backing up, so we wait and see. The Cowboys have won seven of their last eight, and their only loss was to the Panthers at Penrith. No shame in that. The Dragons have won five of their last seven which isn't bad either, although four of those wins were against the bottom four teams. This is much harder, and the only game they've won away from Sydney or Wollongong was against the Warriors (who aren't exactly playing at home).

Verdict – Cowboys by 10

Result – Cowboys 31 defeated Dragons 12

Gold Coast Titans vs South Sydney Rabbitohs – Saturday afternoon – Cbus Super Stadium

The return of Mitchell has been delayed, but the Bunnies have named what I think is their best possible starting forward pack for Saturday (assuming Cook and Murray get through Origin unscatched). The Titans will want Fa'asuamaleaui to back up from Wednesday to bolster a Titans pack that will be missing Fifita and Proctor. Campbell and Thompson joined the injured list last week, and Philip Sami isn't quite ready to return either. Paul Turner makes his starting debut for the Titans in the halves, with Brimson shifting to fullback. It can be hard to flick that switch and find form overnight. I wish the Titans could do just that, because they're a terrific team to watch when in form. I can't see them winning this though.

Verdict – Rabbitohs by 8

Result – Rabbitohs 30 defeated Titans 16

Sydney Roosters vs Melbourne Storm – Saturday night – Sydney Cricket Ground

The Chooks have been a difficult team to get a read on this season. At times they look like contenders. At other times, a long way from that. At their best they could win this, but you're taking a punt on them giving their best. At least with the Storm you can set your watch to them. Notably, they met twice last year and the Storm spanked them both times. Both sides have key players backing up (or not backing up) from Origin. An obvious late change would be to rest Harry Grant, who is coming back from flu, an injury, and Origin. The decision to rest Grant is a little easier when you have Brandon Smith in your seventeen. I'm with the Storm, but if the Chooks show up this is the game of the round.

Verdict – Storm by 4

Result – Storm 26 defeated Roosters 18

Brisbane Broncos vs Canberra Raiders – Saturday night – Suncorp Stadium

A real danger game for the Broncos here. The Raiders are in solid form and the Broncos have a stack of key players involved in Origin. Reynolds returns at halfback which is vital given the injury to Gamble, but how fit is Reynolds? The Broncos have some depth in the forwards but they'll need it against the Raiders pack (led by Tapine who, along with Haas, is the form prop in the NRL right now). If Haas or Carrigan are late withdrawals from the Broncos it would swing my tip, but for now I'll stick with the home team.

Verdict – Broncos by 2

Result – Broncos 24 defeated Raiders 18

Wests Tigers vs Manly Sea Eagles – Sunday afternoon – Campbelltown Sports Stadium

Michael Maguire is a very good coach. Perhaps he's not the right coach for that club, but I do hope the Tigers find a worthy replacement. It's possibly Cameron Ciraldo, but they may have to outbid the Bulldogs for his services, and the Bulldogs have deep pockets. Anyhoo the Tigers players have to pick their jaws up off the ground and get their schizz in order for a Sunday session with the Sea Eagles. Manly have just flogged a team who then announced the sacking of their coach too. There were only four games of football last week, but it's been a very busy week. Brett Kimmorley takes control of the clipboard at Tiger Town for the rest of the season, and teams often respond to these circumstances with positive on-field results. That could happen here too, particularly at Campbelltown, but I'm not tipping it.

Verdict – Sea Eagles by 7

Result – Sea Eagles 30 defeated Tigers 4

Newcastle Knights vs Penrith Panthers – Sunday afternoon – McDonald Jones Stadium

The Knights are playing at home in front of a big crowd on Sunday afternoon. Their opponent has six of their very best playing Origin on Wednesday. Despite all that, the Knights are rank outsiders, and rightly so.

Verdict – Panthers by 10

Result – Panthers 42 defeated Knights 6

New Zealand Warriors vs Cronulla Sharks – Sunday night – Moreton Daily Stadium

Nathan Brown summed things up nicely last night when he pointed out that the Warriors have played their last 60 games of NRL in another country. The coach didn't want to go to New Zealand, but I get the feeling most of the players do, and who could blame them. These sides met in round nine and the Sharks won convincingly. A similar outcome seems likely.

Verdict – Sharks by 22

Result – Sharks 38 defeated Warriors 16

Canterbury Bulldogs vs Parramatta Eels – Monday afternoon – GIO Stadium

In a similar assessment to my thoughts on the Sunday night game, these two sides met twice in 2021 and the Eels were comfortable winners on both occasions. If anything, the Eels have improved on 2021, and the Bulldogs may have gone backwards.

Verdict – Eels by 26

Result – Bulldogs 34 defeated Eels 4 (not a typo)

Wally Lewis - round fourteen selections (in bold)

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

  • COWBOYS vs Dragons
  • Titans vs RABBITOHS
  • Roosters vs STORM
  • BRONCOS vs Raiders
  • Tigers vs SEA EAGLES
  • Knights vs PANTHERS
  • Warriors vs SHARKS
  • Bulldogs vs EELS


The Thinker's picture

Not sure I've ever seen two NRL coaches sacked on the same day. Never a dull moment in rugby league.

TigerGirl's picture

I can’t believe it. I know we didn’t get off to the best start this year but I felt we had started making some progress. I’m sad that he has been sacked.
Now here we go again ☹️☹️☹️☹️

tigerholic's picture

if anything from my point of view, if sacking Madge was required, should have been at the end of last year not half way through.

I can't see it being totally his fault for where we sit on the ladder, we just don't have the cattle.

Be wary of the teams that sack their coaches, normally turn things around.


a's picture

Yeah has that ever happened before

a's picture

Can you imagine what would of happened if the tigers and warriors were playing this weekend

Christine's picture

Teams that sack there coaches tend to win when they next play

Christine's picture

I am just glad qld won ...

Mark's picture

Agreed. Dont see the point in sacking Madge now.
What's done is done.
Hopefully Noddy can bring fresh ideas to the Tigers and get them to avoid the spoon.

And yes, this game at Campbelltown is a potential banana skin for Manly. Tigers could get up and win this one. They were very competitive vs Manly (with Turbo) the last time they met.

newbie from perth's picture

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

Lordy, lordy … wasn’t last night’s SOO a great game. Had everything except a good old fashioned punch-up. One of the best Origin matches I’ve seen in a long while. This is why I love this game (even with stupid rule changes and poor refereeing). Not sure I would’ve given MoM to Munster though. I thought either Carrigan and/or Cotter could have just as easily won it.

Unfortunately I won’t be going to Game number 2 here in Perth. It would’ve been a great birthday present to give myself but maybe next time. We can get $50 tickets but they’re “restricted view” seats (behind huge support pylon things) and you can’t see bugger all so not worth the money. The next cheapest are $150 and they’re up in the nose-bleed section so again, not worth it. The “primo” seats will set you back anywhere between $350-$500 each so yet again, not worth it. Hey it’s not the end of the world and I will get to one sooner or later, preferably in Sydney and Brisbane.

Please note that teams showing an asterisk (*) after their name have had an extra week’s rest. OK, let’s do this thing …

Cowboys vs. Dragons @ Townsville
Probability @ 75-25
Ladder Position = Cowboys
Bookies Favourite = Cowboys

"I thought Tommy Gilbert was awesome tonight. Those guys [Gilbert and Heilum Luki] are surely going to be included in the conversation around Origin whether it's the rest of this series or potentially in the future. I think that was only Heilum's third start in his career and he played really strong, scored a try, really threatened them, defended well. But we still coughed up too much ball in both halves, had to do it the real hard way. I'd just like us to be smarter at times," coach Todd Payten said.

Possession - 53%
Completion Rate - 77% (35/45)
Post Contact Metres - 590
Tackle Breaks - 38
Missed Tackles - 46
Errors - 10
Penalties Conceded - 3

"We've done a good job over the last seven weeks. We've won five out of seven going into the bye now. We'll be better at the back end of the year. It was always going to be a tough day coming here, back to Belmore, with a new coach. They've got some brilliant players and they're hard to defend against. They probably played their best game of footy for the year and they kept coming. We had to win it a couple of times there and the fact we had the resilience to do that was really pleasing. We scored 32 points which is enough to win two games. Our attack is building nicely now," coach Anthony Griffin said.

Possession - 48%
Completion Rate - 77% (27/35)
Post Contact Metres - 525
Tackle Breaks - 27
Missed Tackles - 32
Errors - 10
Penalties Conceded - 6

The Cowboys bounced back last week with a very good win over the Titans. Their attack showed up again but the Dragons will prove a tougher challenge than the Titans. While the Dragons have won 2 from their last 3, they’ve only beaten the Warriors and the Bulldogs and the one they lost was against the Titans so I’m finding it hard to make a case for them.

Verdict: Cowboys by 16

Titans vs. Rabbitohs @ Cbus
Probability @ 35-65
Ladder Position = Rabbitohs
Bookies Favourite = Rabbitohs

"We just have to keep getting on with it. Stretch those periods that we're playing well for longer periods and we can't have the bad periods, that's what we're doing at the moment and we've been doing it for a long time and that's what's killing us. It's not so much about getting players back, it's just about competing harder... now we've lost JC so we've got some work to do. The minute he went off the field we didn't look a real threat in attack so it's a worry. We know we're miles off, but we're going to keep working at it and try and string some wins together, but definitely not giving up. They're just big moments that we aren't winning and then we're on the end of a big score against us," coach Justin Holbrook said.

Possession - 47%
Completion Rate - 75% (28/37)
Post Contact Metres - 508
Tackle Breaks - 46
Missed Tackles - 38
Errors - 12
Penalties Conceded - 7

“If we get back to playing how we know we can play, the tries will come. Pretty special effort from the boys to be down 12-0 although at half-time we were behind, I didn’t think we were doing much wrong. I felt like tonight it was a real motivation for us to stick to what we know is going to work. Real simple mindset and how we wanted to play and I felt from that point on we stayed at it. The whole second half was outstanding to be fair. We know what works, we gotta stay at it. Our challenge now is to be consistent and start stringing some performances together,” coach Jason Demetriou said.

Possession - 57%
Completion Rate - 80% (34/42)
Post Contact Metres - 667
Tackle Breaks - 45
Missed Tackles - 16
Errors - 8
Penalties Conceded - 4

The Titans have been pretty ordinary of late. Their effort last week was embarrassing I must say. Obvious I know, but they won’t win too many more unless they get their act together, and quick. The Rabbitohs aren’t really travelling that convincingly at the moment either but they’re still good enough to get this one done.

Verdict: Rabbitohs by 12

Roosters vs. Storm @ SCG
Probability @ 40-60
Ladder Position = Storm
Bookies Favourite = Storm

"It was really stop-start the whole first half, penalties and errors, and it felt like we lost the ruck. They were more dominant in the way they carried ... they won that area. I feel like we asked enough questions to get the points we needed to win that game but overall really disappointing not to pressure right to the end there. To let in 22 points and then miss some of the opportunities that we did have we end up with the score line that we got so we didn't deserve to win," coach Trent Robinson said.

Possession - 54%
Completion Rate - 76% (30/39)
Post Contact Metres - 586
Tackle Breaks - 41
Missed Tackles - 24
Errors - 11
Penalties Conceded - 10

"I thought we were pretty dominant in the first half. We probably left a couple of tries out there in the first half but I really liked the way we started the second half, we had plenty of intent with our running and a bit of desire with our defence. We scored early in the second half and then our defence won it from there. We can certainly still get better but some of that lack of smoothness comes from the fact a few guys there haven't played too much together but as far as competing tonight it was really good. It's a nice way to start the weekend," coach Craig Bellamy said.

Possession - 56%
Completion Rate - 88% (38/43)
Post Contact Metres - 535
Tackle Breaks - 27
Missed Tackles - 22
Errors - 10
Penalties Conceded - 6

The Roosters had some big names out last week but I felt they should’ve beaten the Raiders. This tells me they’re still struggling to get some cohesion happening. The Storm are humming along and regardless if they get players back from Origin or not, they should still be too good for the Roosters. I’m hoping they won’t be but logic says they will be.

Verdict: Storm by 10

Broncos vs. Raiders @ Suncorp
Probability @ 65-35
Ladder Position = Broncos
Bookies Favourite = Broncos

"We just wanted the Broncos to run out in the second half. The energy wasn't there, the commitment to each other wasn't there so it was a good turn around for us. Half time couldn't come quick enough for me. The Titans were playing some good footy ... but our guys just weren't in there physically. We weren't too much worried about the scoreboard, it was more what we needed to do as a team, particularly with our defence. There have been a few distractions this week for the playing group and I thought they came together beautifully in that second 40. They got around Payne and it was a really good second half," coach Kevin Walters said.

Possession - 54%
Completion Rate - 86% (38/44)
Post Contact Metres - 672
Tackle Breaks - 41
Missed Tackles - 28
Errors - 11
Penalties Conceded - 4

"It was tough win. We prepared knowing it was going to be a grinding, gritty game ... we played accordingly. We made tackles tonight, some one-on-ones, that if we had’ve made last week we win that one too. I think we can play better than what we did tonight. There's some stuff we have to fix up so we just keep striving to be better," coach Ricky Stuart said.

Possession - 46%
Completion Rate - 76% (32/42)
Post Contact Metres - 587
Tackle Breaks - 24
Missed Tackles - 42
Errors - 11
Penalties Conceded - 5

The Broncos are playing beautifully at the moment and their confidence is right up there. They’re sitting 4th and deservedly so. While the Raiders had a good win over the Roosters last week and have won some others recently, I’m not sure why, but I’m still not convinced. Having said that though, wouldn’t be surprised if the Raiders got up.

Verdict: Broncos by 8

Tigers vs. Manly @ Campbelltown
Probability @ 35-65
Ladder Position = Manly
Bookies Favourite = Manly

"What we're trying to do at the moment is make sure we build really strong foundations to be able to win those sorts of games. I think we've actually shown that over the last couple of months where there's periods in the games that have hurt us but there's also some really good passages. We had really good control in the first half but we went from 86 per cent completions down to 60-something in the second half and that applies pressure and you have to be able to handle it better than we did tonight," (former) coach Michael Maguire said.

Possession - 43%
Completion Rate - 69% (23/33)
Post Contact Metres - 413
Tackle Breaks - 16
Missed Tackles - 45
Errors - 11
Penalties Conceded - 2

"It has been a challenging month I guess so it was just good to get the win tonight. We realised it was important and it just puts us back on course a little bit, which is good. I feel like the effort around defence has been there, even though they had 28 against us last week. It has been our work and duty of care with the ball in hand that we haven't been good at but I thought tonight we were pretty good on both sides of the ball. We were finally able to build a bit of pressure and play a bit of field position. That will give the players and the team a lot of confidence going forward," coach Des Hasler said.

Possession - 56%
Completion Rate - 87% (35/40)
Post Contact Metres - 642
Tackle Breaks - 43
Missed Tackles - 19
Errors - 8
Penalties Conceded - 6

Manly returned to some good form last week with a big win but keep in mind it was against a Warriors side that were pretty average. The Tigers have been a little too inconsistent for mine and I just can’t see them troubling Manly.

Verdict: Manly by 14

Knights vs. Panthers @ McDonald Jones
Probability @ 25-75
Ladder Position = Panthers
Bookies Favourite = Panthers

“It is sort of a new season starting for us now. I know a few boys will go and have a job to do for their state but the back end of the year is a bit of a reset for us. The more we can get this spine playing consistently every week ... there is a chance for this team. We are two out of the eight now so we can get there. We come back in a fortnight’s time against a pretty handy outfit in the Panthers, but I still believe this team will do something. We can fight our way into finals, we have done it before and I believe we can do it again," coach Adam O'Brien said.

Possession - 45%
Completion Rate - 71% (25/35)
Post Contact Metres - 420
Tackle Breaks - 12
Missed Tackles - 21
Errors - 9
Penalties Conceded - 6

"I just think everyone did their job. Some of the boys who are regulars in the team I think they learned from last years. All the other guys just did their thing so I thought we played well as a team. It's a six week period and sometimes we are going to have the boys and sometimes we won't. Viliame Kikau has put together a stretch of games that is easily the most consistent since he has been here. I think he is probably trying to make the most of the season. We are probably fortunate that we have some guys who know what to do; Matt Eisenhuth and Charlie Staines have played a lot for the NRL team the last two years, Sean O'Sullivan has played well every team he has played for us but we can't fit him in the team so it is nice for them to get an opportunity. If everyone is doing their job it is much easier for them to shine," coach Ivan Cleary said.

Possession - 45%
Completion Rate - 86% (33/38)
Post Contact Metres - 595
Tackle Breaks - 16
Missed Tackles - 23
Errors - 10
Penalties Conceded - 8

The Panthers, even with so many players missing due to Origin, still managed to win last week, albeit against a gutsy, bottom of the ladder Bulldogs. The Knights had a win last time but they were just another side who beat the hapless Warriors. With players back after Origin, the Panthers should get this done fairly comfortably.

Verdict: Panthers by 16

Warriors vs. Sharks @ Moreton Daily
Probability @ 30-70
Ladder Position = Sharks
Bookies Favourite = Sharks

"The first half was obviously the part of the game that was horrible. It is disappointing but we can't offer any excuses, we trained well during the week. The last two performances were losses but we played some footy. We have let ourselves down with some fundamentals but we certainly didn't let ourselves down with our intent early in the game. We let ourselves down with the intent today. There is no doubt we have gone through more than anyone but to do what we did today we can't lump that on being away from home. It would be nice to give them more than just a football team to support, it would be nice to go home and give them a team with the possibility of making the eight, which would seem a long way away with what we tossed up tonight," coach Nathan Brown said.

Possession - 44%
Completion Rate - 72% (26/36)
Post Contact Metres - 487
Tackle Breaks - 19
Missed Tackles - 43
Errors - 10
Penalties Conceded - 10

"We're lacking the consistency of the top few teams. They're looking the same every week they take the field and we haven't done that. There's probably only been two or three games where we haven't but that's a lot in 12 games. We're still working at it, we understand it and it's just where we are at, we've got to go through it. Obviously a stern lesson out of tonight and we'll go back to address it tomorrow and see what happens," coach Craig Fitzgibbon said.

Possession - 52%
Completion Rate - 73% (30/41)
Post Contact Metres - 547
Tackle Breaks - 33
Missed Tackles - 30
Errors - 10
Penalties Conceded - 6

The Warriors are off the rails at the moment (which is a bit sad) and it’s not looking good. I think their sacrifice these last couple of years is starting to take its toll. The Sharks have had some confusing efforts of late but with the extra week’s rest, they should be primed for this one.

Verdict: Sharks by 16

Bulldogs vs. Eels @ Stadium Aust
Probability @ 30-70
Ladder Position = Eels
Bookies Favourite = Eels

“Our decision making was a little bit erratic and a bit too bubbly and in the situations and making errors in yardage just not good enough. Giving penalties away in yardage … not good enough. I think we’re actually breaking teams up a little bit more and I’m actually quite happy with our attack but again, we’re giving the other team too many opportunities and we’re not resilient enough to hold them out. I thought it was a winnable game and we put ourselves in a position where we possibly could have done that but again, we didn’t and the other team were just better than us tonight and they put the gloss on it at the back end and took the game away from us. We literally, with our handling and ill-discipline, we need to fix that up and give ourselves a chance,” coach Michael Potter said.

Possession - 55%
Completion Rate - 90% (38/42)
Post Contact Metres - 598
Tackle Breaks - 23
Missed Tackles - 16
Errors - 4
Penalties Conceded - 6

"Our second half defence was excellent, we were courageous on our try line. I don't think we had any football down the other end of the field. We only had five set starts in the second half which is very low. Defensively the desperation was outstanding. I thought our back five were outstanding in the backfield tonight," coach Brad Arthur said.

Possession - 48%
Completion Rate - 75% (31/41)
Post Contact Metres - 639
Tackle Breaks - 39
Missed Tackles - 30
Errors - 14
Penalties Conceded - 5

The Bulldogs are sitting last I know but they’ve had some good efforts lately. They just need to fix the basics and they’d be a lot better. Even though the Eels have had some strange (inconsistent) efforts this year, their class should be too much for the Bulldogs and they will be looking to close out the round with a big win.

Verdict: Eels by 18

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

This guy’s from way back in the day and I still listen to him. This one is a big favourite of mine and as luck would have it I heard it on the radio driving home from shopping tonight. You’ll either love him or hate him (possibly) and some of you may not have heard of him at all. If so, get listening 😍.

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

Christine's picture

In regards to the qld win in origin , we beat them on there own turf it made the win that much sweeter...

tigerholic's picture

Christine, Christine, Christine

I thought you were a NSW supporter through and through. QLD only won because Klein was being paid well in Iceberg Lettuce.

The State of Origin Series is a 3 match contest, I encourage all Queensland supporters to keep gaining confidence and start to think you have the series already in the bag, it will be as you say"so much sweeter" to win on their home turf.

Can't wait for Perth.

Have a great weekend.


tigerholic's picture

Afternoon All
Well I raised this a few weeks ago and it appears that it is happening again.
The so called master minds of tipping:
Rocket Ryan
The Voyeur

seem to enjoy sitting back and watch all other tipsters lock into the starting gates. Once they've had time to look over all of our selections, they grace us with their own measured, compared, nervous tips.

Do all of the fans a favour and just maybe get your tips in early, even Rocket Ryan has taken up the watch and wait then pounce strategy with his tipping.

Come in out of the cold weather into the barrier where it is warmer with numbers.


Christine's picture

My tips are

Tiger watch those wash instructions when red starts too run it's hard too stop ...

Christine's picture

Tiger we have had this conversation before I live in nsw but I support qld & I will not change it my father & I are rivals for that reason I say bring it on ...

Rocket Ryan's picture

Good to see you got in early tiger however I noticed just snuck back in late and jumped off to Tigers I'm sure tiger girl would be most disappointed in you you realise now all that could happen is the Tiger's will win

GMac's picture

Forgot my tips dammit. Games just kicked off. 5mins ago. But obviously Cows.



Thanks gents ❤

Christine's picture

Tiger need I remind you only won origin game is on our turf & we already won ithat game ...

Christine's picture

That was only one game was on our turf & we already won that game , the series is not over yet so see what happens ...

Rocket Ryan's picture

Tigerholic how about the warning when you change tips late
Your mate butcher could have followed you and took the Tigers and not saw that you changed you could have affected his position on the ladder

walbottler's picture

You got Rick winning 5 out of 8 in round 10. He only picked 4. He also only picked 5 out of 8 in round 9. You have him picking 6.

Mary S's picture

Hi walbottler,

I have to say I was intrigued by your comment on Rick's score, as it would have been corrected before this if a mistake had been made, so I checked.

Round 9 - Rick missed tipping the correct team for Rabbitohs/Broncos & Panthers/Eels matches, giving him 6/8 correct!

Round 10 - Bulldogs/Knights, Sharks/Raiders, Roosters/Eels were matches with incorrect tipping, giving Rick 5/8 correct!

Not sure what you checked to make the comment you did!!


walbottler's picture

It's magic how tips change in the blink of an eye isn't it? ;)

Mary S's picture

You can take note of what everyone has tipped 20 - 30 mins before the game starts, but all tipsters have until the "Show/Hide" is in place to change their tips. I know because I have done so on occasion, and so have several other tipsters.

Once the "Show/Hide" goes our tips are final.
If you really want to see what people have tipped, walbottler, go to "See these tips on one page" after the "Show/Hide" disappears, which gives you the true tips - no magic (or anything else) in it!!


Rocket Ryan's picture

War bottler you've been duped by tiger holic with the old last minute change trick you notice that just this week he was tigers all the way until 2 minutes to go then bang he is off them and in the eagles camp.
It's a long way from Magic and much closer to rat cunning

NuL1F3's picture

Not any of us saw Bulldogs having this kind of game against the Eels! :O Goes to show there are no certainties in NRL.

Esra Star's picture

They aught to swab the Eels. That was rubbish.

NRL tipping is easier if you follow the NRL news