Round twenty five selections

Parramatta Eels vs Melbourne Storm – Thursday night – CommBank Stadium

Fifth plays fourth in what is effectively a battle for the final spot in the top four - the mathemagicians will tell you there are some other potential outcomes, but the numbers they are talking about are crazy outliers (eg, Storm lose by 30 and Roosters win by 40) and they just aren't going to happen. Either way, the team that ends up in fourth sport is 'rewarded' with a first week final against the Panthers at Penrith. Not much of a reward, although it's notable that the Eels have beaten Penrith twice this season and the Storm won 16-0 out at Penrith just a few weeks ago. These sides have already met once this season but it was a while ago. In round 3 the Eels won 28-24 in Melbourne in daytime conditions. The Eels were close to full strength in round 3 (although they were without Maiko Sivo on that all-important left edge). The only other players from that round 3 game that would likely be in the seventeen on Thursday (if available) are Ray Stone and Nathan Brown. Heading into the finals, this is one team in good physical shape. Back in round 3 the Storm were without Harry Grant, Kamikamica, Coates and Nofoaluma, but have lost Paphenhuyzen and Reimis Smith. Their casualty ward has less empty beds than the Eels, but this seventeen is (arguably) stronger than the round 3 team, and they're finding form at the right time of the year. With so much on the line, I'm assuming CommBank will be heaving with Eels fans on Thursday night. They'll be boisterous, and they'll point out to the officials every time anyone from the Storm looks like they've breached the rules. I can't see Big Nelson getting much love from the crowd. That additional scrutiny on the away team could be vital on the night.

Verdict – Eels by 1

Result – Eels 22 defeated Storm 14

Canterbury Bulldogs vs Manly Sea Eagles – Friday night –Accor Stadium

From a game that means quite a lot to a game that means next to nothing. Whatever the outcome the Sea Eagles will end what has been a disappointing season in 11th place. The Bulldogs are currently 12th, and a win means they can fall no lower than that. Since the debacle around the Manly 7, the Sea Eagles haven't won a game, and each loss has been worse than the loss before it. In the last four rounds they have scored just 56 points and conceded 168. They're in freefall. Other than putting it all together to send Kieran Foran out with a win, it's hard to come up with any reason why the Sea Eagles would suddenly deliver a match-winning performance. The Bulldogs have lost there last four games too, but have been a little more competitive. They're also at home, so they can give their most ardent of supporters a reason to cheer in their last game of the season.

Verdict – Bulldogs by 20

Result – Bulldogs 21 defeated Sea Eagles 20

Sydney Roosters vs South Sydney Rabbitohs – Friday night – Allianz Stadium

This game is proper weird - it's 6th versus 7th and regardless of the outcome these two teams will end the season in 6th and 7th. That means they'll play each other again next week. What could change is the venue for that match. Notably the Roosters schmicky new home ground is only ten minutes from Redfern, and it sounds like the Bunnies wouldn't mind if that were there home ground too. On that front, the Chooks have been playing funny buggars and using whatever home ground advantage they can get before this game. The Rabbitohs are blowing up, but I imagine they would do exactly the same thing to the Chooks if they could. Just another chapter in the book of feuds. For the Chooks, this is their first chance to play in the schmicky new stadium so it's quite an occasion for them. They've lost Collins, Radley and Tupou for this contest after that fairly brutal affair with the Storm last week. The Chooks have to back up from that and lift again, and then they have to lift yet again for a finals campaign. All that effort might break them eventually (and the Storm are in a similar position). That said, there's no denying that the win over the Storm was impressive - away from home and with their key inforcer binned for a period (after eating the head of an opponent....ah rugby league, what a funny game you are). For the Bunnies, Damian Cook has another week off, and the absence of Graham in the centres is a big loss. It's must-watch footy really. Make sure you're in front of it.

Verdict – Roosters by 2

Result – Roosters 26 defeated Rabbitohs 16

New Zealand Warriors vs Gold Coast Titans – Saturday afternoon – Mt Smart Stadium

It's barely possible that the Titans could end up with the wooden spoon if they lost this game, but they would need to lose by a lot, and even then the Tigers would need to beat the Raiders. Looks pretty unlikely. The Warriors could potentially jump one or two places up the ladder with a win, so that's something. It's also a home game for the Warriors, and they haven't had many of those. They've played just three games at home this season so far, with two dominant wins and one competitive loss to the Storm. That's good enough to win this.

Verdict – Warriors by 8

Result – Titans 27 defeated Warriors 26

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

Broncos coach Kevin Walters had an angry word or two for his troops after the confronting loss to the Eels last week. I imagine Broncos fans around the country had been saying similar things to their televisions during that performance. Let's be honest - their campaign this season is over. There were positive signs and they are clearly on the improve, but they are a young squad and a long season appears to have caught up with them. Should they dig deep, find something inside themselves, and win on Saturday night, their finals hope stay alive for at least one more day. Then they need the Tigers to beat the Raiders in the final game of the NRL season, and they'll need them to beat them by a margin. The Dragons don't have a lot to play for at all, although Ben Hunt wouldn't mind an improved contract offer. Should he claim the Dally M this year that should help with the negotiations (although I'll tell you later why he won't). On form the Broncos could lose this by 20, but I'm fairly reluctantly tipping the Broncos because they have so much to play for. It's the only reason I have - let's hope it's a good enough reason for the Broncos to turn up.

Verdict – Broncos by 4

Result – Dragons 22 defeated Broncos 12

North Queensland Cowboys vs Penrith Panthers – Saturday night – Queensland Country Bank Stadium

I heard a few of the media muppets last weekend suggesting the Cowboys have had an easy draw because they haven't had to leave Queensland much this year. For the record, they've played interstate seven times this year, so that's partly true. But here's a question without notice, how many times have Penrith played interstate this season? Three fricken times. This is just their fourth game outside NSW/ACT in 2022, and most of the team aren't even playing in it. It's fine to say a Cowboys game in Redcliffe is still in Queensland, but Redcliffe is 300 kilometres closer to Penrith than it is to Townsville. Buy yourselves an atlas ya muppets. Anyhoo.....rant over.

I don't gamble a lot on the NRL, but I was clever enough to back the Cowboys to beat the Panthers before the Panthers officially withdrew most of their best players from this game. It's nice to know I got something right this season :-) The list of missing Panthers is long so I won't go through them. I will say they are resting 12 of them - if you add Cleary to that list it's almost their entire starting thirteen getting a week off. No rest for the Cowboys in what could be their last home game of the season. A win gives them some hope of a top two finish and a home final. A loss and they could possibly slip to fourth, which would mean another game against the well-rested Panthers in Penrith next week. I think they'd rather play someone else in Townsville. So much so, that even Tom Deardon is a possible late inclusion. Brave kid, given the injury.

Verdict – Cowboys by 30

Result – Cowboys 38 defeated Panthers 8

Newcastle Knights vs Cronulla Sharks – Sunday afternoon – McDonald Jones Stadium

The bean counters have Nicho Hynes ahead of Hunt in the race to the Dally M, and another strong performance here could see him winning the prestigious award by a fair margin. Should the Cowboys find a way to lose to the hapless volunteers Ivan Cleary has cobbled together for the Panthers this weekend, the Sharks are assured of a top two finish and could potentially rest some players themselves. That's unlikely, but keep an eye on that just in case. This is the old boys game for the Knights and they always try to lift for this. I wouldn't say a Knights win can't happen, but I can't tip them.

Verdict – Sharks by 14

Result – Sharks 38 defeated Knights 16

Wests Tigers vs Canberra Raiders – Sunday afternoon – Leichhardt Oval

And here we are - the last game of the regular season for 2022. It could be really important or an absolute fizzer. Potentially the Raiders may have to win this game to secure a top eight finish. And potentially, the Tigers might be able to drag themselves out of last place with a win. It's also possible that neither of those things are true, so we just have to wait and see. Unfortunately we have to put in our tips before then. I've tipped the Broncos earlier, so that means the Raiders need to win this to make the finals, so I'll them here. They've been in pretty good form over the last few weeks, and if they can't beat the team running last they'll be struggling against the Eels, Storm or Roosters in the first week of the finals. Apologies to my Bronco neighbours. I suspect they'll be gathered together to watch their fate unfold, and now that I've tipped the Raiders I've no chance of getting an invite.

Verdict – Raiders by 10

Result – Raiders 56 defeated Tigers 10

Wally Lewis - round twenty five selections (in bold)

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

  • Eels vs STORM
  • BULLDOGS vs Sea Eagles
  • ROOSTERS vs Rabbitohs
  • WARRIORS vs Titans
  • Dragons vs BRONCOS
  • COWBOYS vs Panthers
  • Knights vs SHARKS
  • Tigers vs RAIDERS


The Thinker's picture

Greetings football fans

I have updated the NRL ladder and the tipping comp after round 24. With just one round to go the top eight is probably finalised (but not definitively).

Congrats to the following tipsters who picked up 8 from 8 in round 24 - COSSEY POSSE, JhayMare, Moonlight, newbie from Perth, No Woman No Try, Taka and The Tide Head. Terrific work there.

If anyone notices any issues with the scoring just let me know.

I will have my previews and selections for the final round of the regular season published on Wednesday.

All the best

The Thinker


newbie from perth's picture

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

OK, here we are, nice and early. Last round of the regular season with the final game of the round determining the final spot in the 8. How exciting 🤪. Then on to finals footy which means, besides all that excitement, my posts will get shorter and shorter as the weeks pass by. How exciting also 🤪. Lastly, just read Latrell’s pulled out of Friday night’s blockbuster against the Mighty Chooks. That will make our job a little easier…

Anyway, do you know what a Zombie’s favourite food is?
Human beans.

OK, let’s do this thing …

Eels vs. Storm @ CommBank
Probability @ 45-55
Ladder Position = Storm
Bookies Favourite = Storm

"Credit to the boys, on the back of a five day turn-around they started with great physicality and we were just hard to handle. Our intensity in defence was excellent. What Reg and Junior and Marata were doing at the start of the game was allowing our halves to play with a lot more time and space and then when Matto come on he really changes the context of the game for us. I think we are in a better position today than this time last year but we've always had tough contests against the Storm and that has got to be a priority for us, not worrying about the finals," coach Brad Arthur said.

Possession - 62%
Completion Rate - 77% (38/49)
Post Contact Metres - 802
Tackle Breaks - 52
Missed Tackles - 23
Errors - 14
Penalties Conceded - 5

"We knew the Roosters would come out and start hard and fast. They did that last time against us up in Sydney as well. We did have a bit of emotion before the game but that's no excuse for our poor start, that should probably give us a bit of energy. I thought we were just a bit off for the first 20 minutes, we defended far too much and that took a lot of juice out of the tank. It was very intense, a bit of finals footy come early," captain Jesse Bromwich said.

Possession - 47%
Completion Rate - 75% (31/41)
Post Contact Metres - 509
Tackle Breaks - 40
Missed Tackles - 23
Errors - 14
Penalties Conceded - 7

Verdict: Not knowing which Eels side to trust is making this hard for me. If the “switched on” Eels front up then they’re a (very) good chance to win this. Both sides playing for 4th spot so the incentive is definitely there for both of them. The Eels have had a couple of easy games after their Round 22 loss to the Bunnies and might be a bit underdone. The Storm lost to the Roosters last week but they weren’t too far away. Based on what we saw from their attack, they are more than capable of winning this. The Storm have had some tough matches leading up to this weekend and will be absolutely primed for this. Storm by 8.

Bulldogs vs. Manly @ Accor
Probability @ 60-40
Ladder Position = Manly
Bookies Favourite = Bulldogs

"I was really happy with our defence and to be able to defend our errors, I thought that was probably the best thing for me to come out of the game. We only conceded a few tries but it was a worry that we couldn't build any pressure with our attack. We need to work on that and we have got probably two training sessions to do it. Every team does their study on you and you need to keep adapting your attack, and I think we probably haven't moved forward every single week in trying to keep one step ahead of the defence," coach Mick Potter said.

Possession - 52%
Completion Rate - 82% (32/39)
Post Contact Metres - 551
Tackle Breaks - 18
Missed Tackles - 50
Errors - 10
Penalties Conceded - 6

"We played some good pockets of footy but it's about sustainability, and we're just not up to it at the moment. From one aspect it's a good learning curve, but it's a situation that it's not good being in," coach Des Hasler said.

Possession - 44%
Completion Rate - 72% (27/37)
Post Contact Metres - 272
Tackle Breaks - 32
Missed Tackles - 44
Errors - 10
Penalties Conceded - 3

Verdict: Another hard one to pick here. Normally I would probably tip Manly but as we have all witnessed, they have been in freefall. I don’t think we can say that about the Bulldogs though. OK, the Bulldogs didn’t score any points last week, but the Sharks only managed to put 16 on them. In a game that could probably go either way, to me, it just looks like the Bulldogs have a little bit more in them than the Sea Eagles do. Bulldogs by 6.

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

"We were physical tonight, we wanted to take it to them, we did that and then we were a bit scrappy on the back end of it, obviously when we had enough opportunities and it ended up being quite a scrappy game but it turned into a different style of game. It turned into a dogfight and we had to play that way. The defensive effort there is really important to us. You end up having to defend a lot like we did on our try-line and we held our hands up really well for most of the game and that was really pleasing. It's not always pretty but you have to be desperate and you have to come up to try-savers to win big games," coach Trent Robinson said.

Possession - 53%
Completion Rate - 82% (32/39)
Post Contact Metres - 634
Tackle Breaks - 23
Missed Tackles - 40
Errors - 10
Penalties Conceded - 11

"It was a bit of an anxious week because we sort of knew what was at stake. It was all about the two points and nothing changed for us, we tried to keep it about that but it definitely allows the shackles to come off moving forward. Obviously getting there is the hardest part, especially off the back of the start we had but in the last 11 weeks we have won nine and were starting to play some good footy. We still had to do the job tonight and have cemented a spot so we can start planning forward and thinking about the next month ahead," coach Jason Demetriou said.

Possession - 53%
Completion Rate - 71% (32/45)
Post Contact Metres - 425
Tackle Breaks - 25
Missed Tackles - 20
Errors - 15
Penalties Conceded - 4

Verdict: The Roosters are in fantastic form at the moment and proved that when they held out and beat the Storm last week in a close one. They will be missing three from that game when they do battle with the Bunnies this week. While the Roosters are red-hot at the moment, it’s going to be a tough assignment when they face off with the Rabbitohs. The Bunnies are on a roll and these encounters are never easy to predict anyway. The Rabbitohs were good last week against the Cowboys (well, the first half anyway) and my head is telling me they might just put an end to the Roosters’ winning streak. Going with my heart last week paid dividends so I might do the same (with some justification mind you) this week. Roosters by 8. Begurk! 🐔 Begurk! 🐔

Warriors vs. Titans @ Mt Smart
Probability @ 60-40
Ladder Position = Warriors
Bookies Favourite = Warriors

"We had a tough week, players pulled out last minute and that made it a lot tougher but I thought the boys dug deep at times. It was disappointing to let in a couple of tries just before half-time and disappointing for the players at the end when we had a bit of ball and scored a consolation try but then they go down the other end and score. I thought there was some boys who put their hand up tonight against a very good team," coach Stacey Jones said.

Possession - 46%
Completion Rate - 82% (28/34)
Post Contact Metres - 397
Tackle Breaks - 15
Missed Tackles - 54
Errors - 9
Penalties Conceded - 5

"I couldn't be prouder of us, we all know the season we've had but to do that at the back end of the year. To be down to 12 and defend like that for 30 minutes, I'm really happy. We're getting a balance right of defending well and then letting our attacking players come to fruition," coach Justin Holbrook said.

Possession - 52%
Completion Rate - 86% (31/36)
Post Contact Metres - 724
Tackle Breaks - 47
Missed Tackles - 38
Errors - 8
Penalties Conceded - 5

Verdict: Comparing apples with apples here, the Warriors are right in this. They’re at home in N.Z. for their last game of the season and are favourites with the bookies. Not so sure about that actually. Only say that as the Titans were pretty good last week (great defensive effort with a bloke missing) and would’ve won by a bigger margin had Kelly not been sent off. He deserved 10 minutes in the bin for sure but sent off? We could argue about that all day I suppose 🤔. The Warriors lost by a big margin last week but remember it was against the Panthers so I’m not reading too much into that. You would think the Titans have more upside to them but I’m thinking playing at home in their last game of the year the Warriors would really want to dig deep for the fans. For that reason, and that reason alone, I’m on the Warriors this week. Warriors by 8.

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

"I was really happy with the second-half, not the way we played but the way we grabbed on to the game and got there in the end. Luckily we steadied up at half-time and the boys did a good job just to keep coming in that second-half. Our execution obviously wasn’t where we wanted it to be but we did enough in the end. It was not acceptable what (Jack Bird) did, putting us down to 12 men but in the second half he did a lot to make up for that," coach Anthony Griffin said.

Possession - 59%
Completion Rate - 85% (36/42)
Post Contact Metres - 489
Tackle Breaks - 33
Missed Tackles - 43
Errors - 10
Penalties Conceded - 8

"It was terrible. We didn't start very well and finished poorly as well. It's just disappointing for everyone. We need to fix our attitude more than anything else. I am not going to make any excuses, it just hasn't been good enough. I think we had 38 per cent of the ball again tonight, it's about our lack of discipline with the ball, our seven tackle sets, kicks that don't need to be kicked and all those little things that we weren't doing a month ago that we seem to be doing now. It is a momentum swing, sometimes it is hard to get it back and we are struggling with it at the moment. Coaches, players and everyone next week, we have just got to be at our best and see where that takes us," coach Kevin Walters said.

Possession - 38%
Completion Rate - 75% (24/32)
Post Contact Metres - 435
Tackle Breaks - 23
Missed Tackles - 52
Errors - 15
Penalties Conceded - 8

Verdict: Let’s be blunt about this. If the Broncos don’t win this week, they can more than likely kiss finals footy goodbye. The pressure is on in no uncertain terms so they will be hopefully desperate and switched on. Then again, even if they do win, the Raiders have to lose to the Tigers 😱. Maybe it might be too high a hill to climb. The Dragons have nothing to play for but have won their last 2 against the Titans (second last) and the Tigers (last). Even given their horrible form at the moment, I’d rate the Broncos tougher opposition than those two (no offense). Their chances of making the 8 are (very) slim but I’m expecting the Broncos to give a red hot crack. Broncos by 12.

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

"I am disappointed but I really like the way we defended for large periods against a good attacking outfit. In the end it was our execution that let us down. We hadn't spoken at all about what was at stake but given the result it puts it out of our hands. I would rather be in control of our own destiny," coach Todd Payten said.

Possession - 47%
Completion Rate - 71% (30/42)
Post Contact Metres - 366
Tackle Breaks - 20
Missed Tackles - 25
Errors - 15
Penalties Conceded - 8

"I thought Jarome [Luai] was good, he certainly looked lively which was good. Sometimes those medial ligament injuries can take a while to get that sharpness back but he was sort of displaying that at training so that's why we were happy for him to play tonight... one defensive lapse for a try but I thought he was pretty good, he looked dangerous," coach Ivan Cleary said.

Possession - 54%
Completion Rate - 84% (33/39)
Post Contact Metres - 608
Tackle Breaks - 54
Missed Tackles - 15
Errors - 8
Penalties Conceded - 4

Verdict: I thought the Cowboys were a very big chance last week but the Rabbitohs were too good, albeit by just 10 points. This week the Cowboys are at home to a Panthers side that might be missing a stack of regulars. According to reports (?), the Panthers will be resting Edwards, May, Tago, Crichton, To’o, the Princess, Leota, Koroisau, JFH, Kikau, Yeo, Martin and Leniu. If so, the Cowboys have a golden opportunity to get the win here. Assuming the reports are true, the Cowboys should “bounce back” here and get the job done against a reserve grade Panthers. Cowboys by 12.

Knights vs. Sharks @ McDonald Jones
Probability @ 30-70
Ladder Position = Sharks
Bookies Favourite = Sharks

"Much like our season and pre-season we were inconsistent. Parts of it we were happy with, we put up some fight towards the end but other parts were really disappointing, particularly our defence in the first half. They had a fair challenge in the second half down to 12, whether that masked some of the stuff we may have fixed I'm not too sure. There's stuff there we'll have to have a look at over the summer," coach Adam O'Brien said.

Possession - 48%
Completion Rate - 73% (25/340
Post Contact Metres - 571
Tackle Breaks - 38
Missed Tackles - 47
Errors - 9
Penalties Conceded - 1

"We are just really pleased to win. That was an emotional week, on a lot of levels. We are really happy with that, it was tough fought and the defence was really strong considering how we hung on to the ball. We need to be better. We gave them plenty of opportunities to score points. We know we can execute better than that but that was an important win for us, internally," coach Craig Fitzgibbon said.

Possession - 48%
Completion Rate - 64% (29/45)
Post Contact Metres - 590
Tackle Breaks - 50
Missed Tackles - 18
Errors - 18
Penalties Conceded - 6

Verdict: With the help of a (dubious) send off last week, the Knights still couldn’t get over the Titans last week. They just lacked any real attacking potency. If they did, they would’ve just kept on going down the right edge and scored enough against 12 men and won it. But they didn’t and they didn’t. Based on what I saw last week, they won’t be good enough to cause an upset over the Sharks. The Sharks will want to win here to lock in second spot and I’m thinking they do exactly that. Sharks by 20.

Tigers vs. Raiders @ Leichhardt Oval
Probability @ 30-70
Ladder Position = Raiders
Bookies Favourite = Raiders

"In the second-half we were reasonably poor unfortunately, we gave them opportunities to win the game. There was an opportunity for us to take the penalty goal with seven minutes to go so it’s a huge learning curve, how to handle pressure and adversity and as I said to the boys the big thing is we’ve also got to know the rules and how the game works," interim coach Brett Kimmorley said.

Possession - 41%
Completion Rate - 63% (24/38)
Post Contact Metres - 346
Tackle Breaks - 43
Missed Tackles - 33
Errors - 16
Penalties Conceded - 4

"It was probably our best performance for the longest period (of the season). Every individual contributed to that performance and it was a high standard of footy from the boys. To win at this back end of the season, fighting for a spot in the eight, it's exactly what we need, everybody weighing in," coach Ricky Stuart said.

Possession - 56%
Completion Rate - 88% (38/43)
Post Contact Metres - 403
Tackle Breaks - 44
Missed Tackles - 32
Errors - 6
Penalties Conceded - 2

Verdict: The Tigers have lost 11 of their past 12 but at least some of those losses were competitive. That being said, they’re sitting last for a reason. And that reason is why they more than likely won’t win this week. They have nothing to play for whereas the Raiders are trying to lock themselves in for that last top eight spot. Assuming they (Broncos) win on Saturday night, there will be a lot of Broncos fans hoping the Tigers can cause the upset on Sunday but the Raiders should in theory win this comfortably. Raiders by 14.

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

I think I was in my late teens when this was out. Being young and stupid I used to relate to this somewhat (shame on me 😂). Thankfully I “grew up” but fond memories nevertheless. Here’s hoping a few might enjoy the trip down memory lane.

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

newbie from perth's picture

Correction RE: Latrell Mitchell

D’oh! Got that one completely wrong … my bad! Didn’t read the link down the bottom of the page closely enough. I suppose I just got all excited he wasn’t gonna be playing Friday (wishful thinking maybe). Turns out he’s just taking a “break” to recharge the batteries. Damn, I was so hoping not. Anyways, it just got a little harder to win now. Meh that’s life 🤔. Cheers.

Dominic Reali's picture

Tips and prediction for nrl round 25 please

The Thinker's picture

News: Panthers winger Taylan May found guilty of assault. May not be playing for Penrith anytime soon.

That should keep Ed W off our case for a while. I have a feeling Ed is a Panthers fan.

a's picture

Hey thinker do you think that Ed W is also the same as that former panther supporter

McDonald's picture

I'm an NRL fan and and would like to be in this group to do the right bet for my team. My NRL Premier Yeam is Melbourne Storms.

MGM's picture

To Thinker & A ,
I got the feeling the W was a pom.

MGM's picture

Dear Mark Ashford,
Sorry it's taken so long to get back to you on the Colorado ...
I've been trying to convince my son that yours could be worth a look, but he's hellbent on a Landcruiser and bought a one way ticket to Brisbane(from Sydney) and will be driving back down in a car that's twice the age of yours and has 4 times+ the kilometres of yours and is paying $21k for it !
Oh to be young again ! (NOT!)

The Thinker's picture


Could have been

It was just a hunch of mine, and based on my tipping this season my hunches are pretty ordinary :-)

Esra Star's picture

Mr Thinker,you obviously have connections with the Broncos. So,with the Broncos now needing a miracle(very unlikely=no chance at all) to get 8th spot. How safe do you reckon Kev's spot is?

mark ashford's picture

Mate we put it on facebook market place around 3pm last saturday and got a call about 5 minutes later. The guy arrived around 9am sunday and said he wanted to buy it. He knocked me down $2000 saying the clutch was just about gone. I was aware of this and was happy with his offer.
Paid $23700 for it about 7 years ago and sold it for $20000. Wish I had another one for sale!

Christine's picture

My tips are
Enjoy everyone good luck with your tips ...

Christine's picture

I am changing from storm to Eels so .y tips now read as
Enjoy everyone ...

MGM's picture

Here we go Baggy !
Eels into the top four and then to ultimately be the team to beat the reigning Premiers 3 (THREE!) times in one season !!
History in the making !!!

MGM's picture

Mitchell Moses has been copping BIG hits from Melbourne all night and when he puts a Beautie on Bromwich (a much bigger man) they stop play and kill Parra's momentum when there was absolutely Nothing wrong with the tackle !
Come on Karma, lets have a's least favourite type of scoreline now.

MGM's picture

26 minutes to do it !

MGM's picture

Correction -
there's a very good chance Parra could beat the reigning Premiers 4 times in the one season .... surely that has never happened before ?
...Thinker ? (you are our David Middleton!)

Mary S's picture

Great result for you Baggy ( and other Eels supporters), to have you team cement their place in the top 4 tonight.
Congratulations to the team for a hard fought match.

The Thinker's picture


Pretty likely that would be a first. The early comps had a lot less teams but they didn't play as many games or as many finals

In 1908 it was only 8 teams but only ten rounds in the season 


TigerGirl's picture

Forget to get my tips in

MGM's picture

Thanks "Middo".

The Thinker's picture


Another Eels stat for you. The Eels have won their last four games against the Storm.

Their record against the very good teams might be better than their record against the very bad teams.

The Thinker's picture

If The Broncos somehow hold onto 8th spot they have to play the Storm in Melbourne next week - the team that put 60 on them in Brisbane a fortnight ago 

MGM's picture

Broncos beating Dragons - mmmaybe ...
Tigers beating Raiders - highly unlikely ...
Eels beating Panthers either next week or in the GF or Both - oh yeah!

MGM's picture

@ newbie from perth
Hiya Newbie,
Firstly mate, I think you're a legend on this site.
Secondly, I totally respect that you should do as you please/like... so what I'm about to say is just a thought that I'd like to invite you and all others here to comment on before we all go into hibernation for several months.
I find that nowadays I skip straight to the "verdict" part of your posts because you no longer give your take on last week's matches but give us a quote from a winning or losing coach who is being politically correct and cautious with his words so as to avoid offending his players or bosses or being fined .
I'm going to assume that it takes you almost as much time to put that together as it does your own critique of the match (which I find much more readable and interesting).
Which leads me to Assumption no:2 - You seemed to watch just about every match of every round and maybe you have switched to coach's quotes because that's not the case anymore.
With your permission, I would just like to invite a poll of sorts , comments from your many fans and followers , that might have an opinion on this.
The very last thing I want is to offend you in any way or to discourage you from your excellent and (I'm sure) time consuming contributions to this site .
I, for one, miss the old format but will always remain a fan.
For me though, if it's a choice between your take on a match or the sanitized and totally biased comments from coaches, I'll take the time to read your opinion every day of the week !
Cheers mate , please keep well and keep up the good work.

Baggy_Gee's picture

It was a great night last night, bit disappointed in the last 10 minutes, but for 70 minutes we did prove that we are contenders. Worried that we might not go all the way though, beat both the Panthers and Storm twice in the season only to lose the GF would be gutting. Still 3 more wins for the trophy

Esra Star's picture

To be honest,i certainly think they are far too long. Being admin on 5 Facebook sites i know that any video posted that is longer than 10 minutes only attract about a 5% watch rate. I try to advise posters to keep them short and succinct. If not,then give a brief summary of what is on them. It is the same with written posts. Very few read anything longer than two or three paragraphs. I hope this doesn't hurt Newby's feelings as i can see there has been a lot of work put in to his posts. But i would guess that like myself the greater majority would skip the whole post or at least,read one or two and move on.

Christine's picture

we on the thinkers site don't all go into hibernation mode , we hang around in the of season on the site so feel free to join in by all means ...

newbie from perth's picture

@ MGM…

Funny you should mention it mate but I’ve been thinking about going back to the way I used to post comments previously. I only changed it up this year ‘cos I thought it would be less work but if I’m honest about it, it only makes a small difference. Seeing as you brought it up, and no offense taken, I might revert back to the “old school” way again. I’ve mentioned many times before (just ask Mr Ashford) that I could try and shorten my posts but it’s just so damn difficult. It’s the “raconteur” in me I suppose 🤔. Whether that’s next week (easier for me as only 4 games) or not is undecided. Let’s see eh? But yeah, your comments have been taken onboard my friend.

@ Esra Star…

Yeah, I’m sorta like that myself except when the subject matter means something to me. Love watching longer videos if it “captures” my interest and love reading written posts if they do the same. I can usually gauge if they’re “worthy” or not pretty quickly and agree with what you outlined. It’s pretty much what we as a species want from the interwebs these days. Wham! Bam! Tell me (or show me) something interesting so I can move on to the next snippet. Different strokes for different folks as they say. But not to worry, my feelings aren’t hurt brother. Always good to get some honest feedback so thanks for that 👍.

While I’m here, absolutely stoked my BBB got up over the Bunnies. First half from the Roosters was great but the second half not so much. Manu gone and not sure about the Big Dog. I’m sweating on Victor and young Joseph being available next week though. All I know is next week’s repeat encounter will be a lot tougher 😱 🙏 🤞.

Anyhoo, it’s getting on over here and I got some interwebs to look at. Cheers y’all and looking forward to next week against the Bunnies (sort of). 🐔 🐔 🐔

newbie from perth's picture

@ Baggy…

P.S. Sorry, forgot to mention … congrats for Thursday night Baggy. Your BOYS played an excellent game but as you noted, they sort of eased up in the last 10-15 and let the Storm get some points to flatter the scoreline a bit. Signs are good though. Best of luck next week…

Mary S's picture

Hi Newbie,
Great win by your team tonight, but injuries on both sides will make teams for next week a headache for the coaches!

My curiosity leads me to ask - how much time does it take you a week to put your comments together (& post) on the matches, and what difference now to your initial posts (which I loved).

Choosing the SOTW also adds to the time you give to us all, which is deeply appreciated.

How are you going now with the varicose veins - hopefully no more trouble since July?

Esra Star's picture

Good on you,mate.

MGM's picture

It's an 80 minute game.
If you only commit to 70 minutes during finals month you won't win a Premiership.
the BOYS need to show that they get it and do better...
I'm really hoping they do Baggy!

MGM's picture

Thanks Christine , I'm really starting to feel part of the family lately.

MGM's picture

Nobody commenting today?
Both games today are foregone conclusions I suppose ...
Didn't see 42 points in 32 minutes coming though - Tigers have been boo'd off their homeground at half-time !
Can't believe the last five minutes of the game in New Zealand , bloody Warriors killed off 4 very lucrative multi bets I had with the remaining legs being today's easy picks ... near the end of the Warriors match with them ahead by 14points I was already adding up my winnings :(

Steel Panther's picture

Could see the Warriors result coming a mile away MGM. Old boys day, playing a team below them on the ladder, a team who hadn't won away all season let alone travelling across the ditch. Up 20-6 & 26-12 but find a way to lose. This is how this team repays its fans & members. In spades of disappointment. The game was free to get in & even that was expensive!!

Baggy_Gee's picture

Fathers Day is a big deal in the Baggy household. I'm taking that the 70 minute performance was the end of year fling, the comp as they always say begins afresh next weekend. Worrisome signs from some of the teams who seem to have given up before Monday even rolls around, maybe some hard training until after the GF might smarten those teams up. Sharks were well held until half time and the Raiders tried their hardest to lose in the second half, an impossible feat when you already have 7 converted tries on the board. Bring on next week and those chocolate peons at one of the smallest grounds it could have been played at, at least the train out will be pumping in the proper blue and gold colours.

The Thinker's picture

Greetings football fans

I have updated the tipping comp and the final NRL ladder for the 2022 season.

Most of us scored 5 or 6 from 8 in round 25, with a handful of sevens among us (including Tigerholic who nudged closer to the pointy end of the comp).

Our little helper friend has some hamsters and cogs to move around in the back of the site now that we have entered the finals period. Once he's weaved his usual wizardry I will publish the page for week one of the finals. I'll have my previews and tips published on Wednesday.

As always, if you notice anything with the tipping scores that needs attention just let me know.

All the best

The Thinker

newbie from perth's picture

@ Mary,

1. Roosters Win Last Week
Yeah, great win over the Bunnies last Friday night but as you said, injuries will be a problem for both but got a feeling moreso for my 🐔. Not exactly brimming with confidence but we’ll see.

2. How Long to Compile Comments & Post
Time taken to put my comments post together each week varies. What I normally do is watch each game in full on GEM and the extended highlights of the other games by logging into my NRL[dot]com account.

I usually go to the NRL website and get the stats later that night or the day after. I put them into a word document, make the stats “look pretty” and add in coaches comments (or my own) as I go along. Usually do this every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Tweak and edit my comments, put in next week’s games along with the probability ratings, Bookies Favourites and ladder position and finally one last check and edit and then post.

All up I reckon it takes about an hour per game, so roughly 8 hours a week say. That’s not including watching highlights or going off grabbing the ratings, bookies prices or doing extra reading of match reports and injury reports as well as watching the pressers. Yeah, it’s pretty full on during the footy season 🤪.

Current posts sometimes take a little less than normal but that only frees up more time to go reading and watching other stuff. If I had to guess I’d say all up I’m looking at 12-14 hours a week old school and maybe 10-12 new style. Over the course of a week it doesn’t make much difference.

3. Song Of The Week
SOTW isn’t a problem as I have a list already inside my word document that I can choose from. Occasionally I’ll remember a song or I’ll hear a “gem” on the radio or something like that and I’ll just add it in. SOTW only takes 5 minutes to decide and another couple of minutes to grab the YT link.

4. Varicose Veins
Getting the laser treatment done on the veins this coming Saturday at 8am. I suppose the doctor doesn’t mind the early start when he knows I’ve already paid him $4,100.00 to do it. Seriously, I can’t even imagine how much this guy makes in a year 😱.

5. Music Video
Nice video Mary. Grew up listening to Johnny Cash as Dad was a huge fan and was always playing his vinyls, especially when he was having a beer or two 🍺. Great to see Willie Nelson wearing the Red, White and Blue of the Mighty Roosters 😂💪. Thanks.

6. How Long It Took For This Post
Umm, maybe 45 minutes 😉


MGM's picture

All time well spent Newbie , don't ever stop mate .

Mary S's picture

Thanks Newbie, your comments and time spent are truly appreciated - always.
All the best for Saturday's op.

Here is a humorous rendition you may/may not enjoy!!


The Thinker's picture

Taylan May suspended by the NRL for two games ... next season

Meaning he can line up for the Panthers throughout the finals series.

Lord take me now I have seen it all

The Thinker's picture

Kamikamica and Milford were stood down for months, and both their cases were dropped and didn't even go to court. I'm gobsmacked.

mark ashford's picture

Hey Newbie
Have seen a couple of posts here recently saying your posts are too long and won't be read. Well my friend I can say I have read most of them and appreciate the time and effort you have put in as do a lot of us here. Even the "BOSS" has praised you on what you do.
Keep well Newbie and keep doing what you do.

Esra Star's picture

That is ridiculous. I wonder if that will now set a precedent? Going by that ruling any player put on report in a game in the finals that would normally attract a few weeks in the naughty corner has a very good case against any suspension for the rest of the finals or in deed,selection for the end of season tests.

Baggy_Gee's picture

Well what happens with this and the JDB issue? Does this ruling give him legal grounds for restaint of trade. Previously that was laughable as it was the league protecting their vested interests, but now........ who knows? There are a few others who also have come afoul of this setup before.

The Thinker's picture

Cameron Smith missed a preliminary final and a grand final for a grapple tackle. Now I don't like grapple tackes one bit, but I would have thought sneaking up behind someone you don't know in a public place and assaulting them is at least as bad as that.

Good luck to Penrith I suppose, but Sheesus McSneezus I think the decision stinks, and now we have a precedent.

newbie from perth's picture

@ Mary
Gee, that Patsy Cline video was funny eh? Had a good old laugh at that one. Dad had some of her records as well so heard her quite often. I didn’t mind her stuff, even though I didn’t hear a lot on the radio. I was more into that “damn rock’n’roll” stuff 😱. Also, thanks for the kind wishes on my upcoming laser surgery. Fingers crossed all goes well. Just as well I don’t believe in bad luck/omens. Saturday is the anniversary of the day my dear old Dad passed away (9 years ago now).

RE: Taylan May
Watched a video last night of what Taylan May actually did. So, he’s sitting outside chuffing away on his vape (I didn’t realise healthy, professional footballers did that sort of thing) and Nathan’s having a word to some guy (I think he had photos on his phone Nate wanted him to delete or something) and then Taylan gets up, places his vape on the table and grabs this smaller guy from behind and reefs him down onto the ground. Interesting Nathan walked off and wanted nothing to do with it. Maybe he was the smart one who realised there were security cameras everywhere.

There are circumstances (rare) that you can be justified coming at someone from behind but this was not one of those circumstances. Might get in trouble here but any bloke who attacks from behind is NOT a man. Gutless dog act in my book. And yes, I’d say the same if it was a Rooster player doing something like this. This much smaller guy didn’t know this was coming and he was lucky his head didn’t hit the deck and potentially cause something much more serious. Yet another Panthers player I have lost respect for. Gee, the list is growing bigger and bigger…

Anyways, while there’s controversy surrounding Taylan serving out his 2 weeks ban next year, this will unfortunately go the same way as the price of a schooner going up. Everyone will grizzle about it for 2 weeks and then they’ll forget all about it. That’s just how it goes. Just wonder if it was a player from a bottom 8 club, whether he would’ve been treated any differently. Hmmm…

OK, I’m out of here. It’s nearly 7am and time for me to have me some breakfast before the girls rock into the office. Cheers 🐔 🐔 🐔

a's picture

Yeah if it was a cowboys game player he would of been wipe out of the finals

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