Finals week two

Melbourne Storm (3rd) vs Sydney Roosters (7th) – Friday night – AAMI Park

In the NRL era, which turns 25 this year, at least one of these two teams has played in the grand final on 17 occasions. They are, by any measure, the two highest performing teams throughout the history of the NRL competition. One of them falls out of contention on Friday night, while the other survives for at least another week. Both sides are testing the depths of their capacities this week, trying to find viable footballers to slot into their depleted backlines. Last week, the Storm lost Coates, Tonumaipea and Papenhuyzen while the Roosters lost Manu, Suaalii and Billy Smith. Smith, who has done more than most to get back to first grade, played with a broken jaw for much of last week. He deserves better. Papenhuyzen silenced a heaving crowd and half the country when he was injured against the Broncos. He deserves better too. I wish them both well with their recoveries, and will celebrate their returns to the game. It's something of a miracle that the Roosters are still here. They were 14th on the ladder not so long ago, and they found a way to beat the Sharks last week when they had every reason not to. You can't doubt their spirit. The Storm may have dished up their worst performance of the season last week - soundly beaten by a team that has given them next to no trouble for more than a decade, and kept scoreless. It was a baffling display, but several times this season the Storm have bounced back from a poor performance and reminded us all that they are a team to be reckoned with. I expect they will do that again, particularly at home.

*update - Jahrome Hughes has been ruled out

Verdict – Storm by 10

Result – Storm 18 defeated Roosters 13

New Zealand Warriors (4th) vs Newcastle Knights (5th) – Saturday afternoon – Go Media Stadium, Auckland

This is the third meeting of these sides this year, with the Warriors prevailing in round one at Wellington and the Knights prevailing in round six at Newcastle. Home ground advantage returns to the Warriors on Saturday. Both clubs have been selling out their homes games for quite a while now, and it's no surprise to see the House Full signs go up 30 minutes after tickets went on sale. 700,000 people in New Zealand watched the Warriors loss to the Panthers last week - an enormous figure in a country with a population not much bigger than Sydney. They are a team with a nation behind them - it's terrific for them, and it's great for the game more broadly. The Knights are on quite the winning streak and if they win this they equal the all-time record for consecutive wins, set when Andrew Johns was at the peak of his powers. Winning in front of a hostile crowd is quite the task, and I'm concerned that during their winning streak of ten, the four away games were against much easier opposition (Bulldogs, Raiders, Dolphins, Dragons) than this. The injuries to Hastings and Fitzgibbon hardly help, and neither does an extended game in week one of the finals. The Warriors game last week was played 24 hours earlier and they've had more time to prepare at home for a must-win match. Johnson is being kept in cotton wool but is set to return, and he's probably in the best form of his career. Up the Wahs!

Verdict – Warriors by 7

Result – Warriors 40 defeated Knights 10

Wally Lewis - finals week two (in bold)

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

  • STORM vs Roosters
  • WARRIORS vs Knights


The Thinker's picture

Greetings football fans

I have updated the tipping comp after week one of the finals - the deck chairs have shuffled around a little at the top, with a new leader for the first time in a long time, and a perennial podium finisher dropping away from the key contenders. With just five games remaining it will be hard, but not impossible, for those outside the top four to claim a prize.

If anyone notices any issues with the scoring from last week just let me know and I will investigate.

A reminder that prizes in the tipping comp this season are as follows:

1st place - $200 cash

2nd place - $100 cash

3rd place - $50 cash

Random prize drawn from all other registered tipsters that have remembered to submit their tips every round - $50 cash

I'll have my previews and selections published some time soon.

All the best

The Thinker

Neversaydie's picture


The Thinker's picture

King Stingray announced as the entertainment before the NRLW and NRL grand finals...not sure how many of you would be familiar with them, but they are awesome:

All the best

The Thinker

newbie from perth's picture

8512121505225182515145 …

A bit late tonight as been battling a few dramas over here in Perth. We had a “wild and woolly” Wednesday when a bit of a storm came in and it wreaked havoc in a few places (a lot actually) and I lost my power and internet for a while. Only got my power back dinner time yesterday and internet back today. I reckon it’s the fault of Putin and Climate Change 😱. If you didn’t realise, I was only joking with that last comment 😂. To make matters worse, my computer is trying to do his Wed night update thingy in the background (he missed out doing it last night obviously) and it’s slowing me down no end. Aaaaargh! OK, let’s do this thing …

Storm vs. Roosters @ AAMI Park
Probability @ 70-30
Ladder Position = Storm
Bookies Favourite = Storm

Verdict: The Storm were terrible last week against the Broncos. So bad they didn’t score any points at all. Bellyache would’ve no doubt been “annoyed” at their effort and would’ve made them put in the extra work during the week and I’m thinking they’ll try to get back on track and take it out on the injury ravaged Roosters this week.

Yeah, the Roosters earned themselves a superb gritty win over the Sharks last week 💪, but I just can’t see where the points are gonna come from, especially seeing as Manu, Suaalii and Smith are out. As brave as the Roosters have been in actually getting this far, I think the Storm, playing at home and bouncing back from their embarrassing effort last week should get the job done. They’ll do it for Paps … Storm by 12.

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

Verdict: No Shaun Johnson last week and the Warriors got done as we all thought. Actually, I think they still would have lost regardless. Anyway, if Shaun Johnson plays, the Warriors should get the job done. If he doesn’t play, then I’m (sort of) on the fence as to their chances in this one. Mind you, they have a very, very good side so no reason why they can’t.

The Knights have now won 10 straight but had to dig deep last week and they might be “drained” from that encounter with the Raiders. I don’t think it was one of their better efforts and makes me think they could be getting closer to the inevitable loss. No offence but I thought the better side (Raiders) lost in that one last week.

Even if we ignore the “Shaun Johnson” factor, the Warriors have been the better side during the regular season and their home crowd advantage will be huge. I think the Knights’ run will come to an end this week … Warriors by 6.

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

I was so lucky to be born when I was. My (very) young and receptive brain was just waiting to hear stuff from this woman. I think I’ve mentioned it before but this “icon” is, in my humble opinion, the best female artist the world has ever seen and again, in my humble opinion, I doubt very much if anyone will ever come close to her. She gives me goosebumps every time I hear her sing and sometimes she brings me to tears. Absolutely love this woman 💖 💯 She left us all too early, I still miss her.

OK kids, good luck with your tipping and if your team is in the finals, may they win by 40 points! Cheers 🐔 🐔 🐔

The Thinker's picture

Nice work as always, Newbie

Nice song pick too.

All the best

The Thinker

GMac's picture

Hey team some reason my tipping thingee won't show up. Easy one this week storm warriors. Thank you for updating. Games haven't started.

newbie from perth's picture

RE: Storm vs. Roosters

An unlikely victory cruelly snatched away from the Roosters tonight with just 60 seconds to go 😱 😥.

Not too worried if people say Harry should’ve got a penalty for a head high right at the end anyway as that was “cancelled” out by Ashley Clown (Klein) not picking up Harry’s obvious knock on that ultimately led to the Storm scoring their second try so yeah …

Ashley “apologising” to Teddy shortly after doesn’t cut it for me. That apology is worthless and “might have” cost us the game. Regardless, even if we had won that, there’s no chance in hell we would be able to knock off the Panthers next week. Given how the Storm played tonight, they're no chance either. Ah, footy can be cruel sometimes.

I’m super proud of my beloved Roosters nevertheless. Nighty-night people … 🐔 🐔 🐔

P.S. Cheers Boss 💪

The Thinker's picture


I will add those tips for you.

All the best

The Thinker

The Thinker's picture


The Roosters have been awesome of late, particularly over the last fortnight.

May has been a revelation. Next year (Collins, Leniu, May, Waerea-Hargreaves) they will have a formidable engine room.

All the best

The Thinker

EsraStar's picture

If JWH goes around again and,stays out of the judiciary.

The Thinker's picture

Hamish McLennan, chair of Australian Rugby, hasn't taken any pot shots at rugby league for a while.

He must be busy.

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