Round four selections

Parramatta Eels vs Penrith Panthers – Thursday night – Commbank Stadium

Just three teams have scored more points than the Eels this season, but they are yet to win a game. They are averaging more than 22 points per game in attack, significantly more than the 14 per game average of their opponent. This tells us defence is the issue to resolve, and hopefully the return of Ryan "budget hacks" Matterson tidies things up in the middle somewhat. Reagan "it's only money" Campbell-Gillard has paid his $3000 fine for a shoulder charge and is free to play. Penrith spent last weekend in the pool under a shady umbrella when temperatures were in the high 30s in Western Sydney. A timely bye while everyone else had to play a game of football in that weather. The grand final rematch is looking more and more like a must-win for the Eels, but this is a tough game to try and break your season drought.

Verdict – Panthers by 4

Result – Eels 17 defeated Panthers 16

Melbourne Storm vs Wests Tigers – Friday night – AAMI Park

The Storm have just the one win thus far, and that was in extra-time against a team that haven't won a game yet. Luckily for them they are playing the only other team that haven't won a game yet, so this might be exactly the opposition they need to get their season tally up and running. Munster is close to a return, and if Hughes doesn't play it's even more likely that Munster does. As for the Tigers, it looked like they would take four years to score a try against a depleted Knights, but last week they scored three tries against the Bulldogs in four minutes. If they can find the magic of those four minutes and hold onto it for a little longer they would win this, but I'll wait until I've seen it before I start believing in it.

Verdict – Storm by 4

Result – Storm 24 defeated Tigers 12

Redcliffe Dolphins vs Brisbane Broncos – Friday night – Suncorp Stadium

There are actually two Queensland derbies in this round but, not surprisingly, this one is garnering all the attention. Battle of Brisbane mania has swept across the region and the game has already sold out. The NRL couldn't have been any luckier with how this has played out. Meanwhile the AFL (whose CEO announced to all that AFL was on the cusp of being the biggest sport in QLD*) has scheduled the Lions first home game at exactly the same time. Best of luck to anyone living in Brisbane who just wants to get home on Friday after work. Kaufusi will miss four rounds for a suspension that seems a little heavy-handed (Buddy Franklin knocked a bloke unconscious with a shoulder to the head playing that sport the soccer mums prefer because it's safe, and he will miss one round). He's a big loss for the Phins, and there's been some talk that Katoa won't play too. He's been named in the line-up, but Milford has been seen playing in the halves at training and has been named on the reserves. Watch that space just in case. It's a massive game for both clubs, but it's probably even bigger for the Broncos (the away team...technically). There was plenty of on-field gesturing from the Broncos as they ran over the top of the Dragons last week, and it was all aimed at the Dolphins. They're desperate to make a statement about 'their' town and their 'ground'. I think they will, but I hope the Dolphins can stay in the contest deep into the second half. It's the game of the round, particularly for those of us that like their bananas bent.

* It isn't. It's hard to find any valid measure where this would be true, but bending reality to drive an agenda is their bread and butter so here we are.

Verdict – Broncos by 16

​​​​​​​Result – Broncos 18 defeated Dolphins 12

North Queensland Cowboys vs Gold Coast Titans – Saturday afternoon – Queensland Country Bank Stadium

The other Queensland derby, with the over-performing Titans taking on the under-performing Cowboys up in Townsville. I'm pleased to see Heilum Luki make his long-awaited return off the bench for the home side. He's a freakish talent but may need some game time before he finds his best. Kieran Foran is the sensible old man the Titans have always needed in their spine, adding composure and leadership to a team full of attacking talent. They're the outsider here, but I see no reason why they can't win this.

Verdict – Titans by 4

​​​​​​​Result – Cowboys 24 defeated Titans 12

South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Manly Sea Eagles – Saturday afternoon – Accor Stadium

I was a little concerned about the Rabbitohs forward pack, who are missing a few big boppers on Saturday. I'm less worried now, because whoever pulls on the cardinal red and myrtle green will carry with them the spirit of the late John Sattler. If that can't turn them into Superman nothing will. The Bunnies will wear the 1970 heritage jersey on Saturday, compete with the torn half-bunny emblem on their hearts. Surely they win. Surely. Latrell to replicate the kicking antics of the great Eric Simms and slot the winning field goal.

Verdict – Rabbitohs by 1

​​​​​​​Result – Rabbitohs 13 defeated Sea Eagles 12

New Zealand Warriors vs Canterbury Bulldogs – Sunday afternoon – Mt Smart Stadium

The Warriors find themselves in the top four, and I suspect it's the first time they've been there since around 2007. I'm not sure how long they can keep this up, but I like it. They're back home this weekend after a rare win in Townsville, and I'm happy to tip them at home. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad returns which can only help. The Bulldogs have notched up back to back wins, but the Warriors should be a more difficult assignment than the Tigers, and the Bulldogs haven't won in New Zealand in more than 8 years. Expecting a high-scoring entertaining contest here.

Verdict – Warriors by 4

​​​​​​​Result – Warriors 16 defeated Bulldogs 14

Newcastle Knights vs Canberra Raiders – Sunday afternoon – McDonald Jones Stadium

Two teams with one win apiece, but the Raiders form looks a little stronger to my eye. Josh Papali'i returns for the Raiders which only makes them stronger.

Verdict – Raiders by 2

​​​​​​​Result – Knights 24 defeated Raiders 14

St George Illawarra Dragons vs Cronulla Sharks – Sunday afternoon – Netstrata Jubilee Stadium

The Dragons are about to go through some sort of baffling recruitment process for a new coach. Any organisation that thinks this is a good idea mid-season has rocks in their head, but good luck to them I suppose. Hook will have to apply for his own job, and I suppose the best thing he can do to impress the selection panel is win some games. Has to be a distraction though, surely. I suspect they are rushing this because they want to secure Jason Ryles before he replaces Bellamy at the Storm, but that's a guess. Who knows what they'll do if Ryles doesn't apply. No such issues for the Sharks who secured their coach for many seasons to come. The reigning Dally M medallist returns for the Sharks this week too. The battle between two of the best number 7s in the game will go a long way to determining the winner here. barely enough.

Verdict – Sharks by 1

Result – Sharks 40 defeated Dragons 8

Wally Lewis - round four selections (in bold)

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

  • Eels vs PANTHERS
  • STORM vs Tigers
  • Dolphins vs BRONCOS
  • COWBOYS vs Titans
  • Rabbitohs vs SEA EAGLES
  • Warriors vs BULLDOGS
  • KNIGHTS vs Raiders
  • Dragons vs SHARKS

Vale John Sattler

Whitlams Black Stump - The Day John Sattler Broke His Jaw (Official Video)


The Thinker's picture

Greetings football fans

I have updated the NRL ladder and the tipping comp after round 3.

If anyone predicted the current top four (and top eight) on the NRL ladder they deserve a parade.

Another difficult round for tipsters - if anyone scored more than 4 from 8 they did better than most. A handful of us tipped 6 from 8 which is very nice work. I won't list you all because it's a pretty big handful.

If anyone notices anything with the scores that needs attention let me know as always.

I will have my previews and selections published on Wednesday.

All the best

The Thinker

The Last Samurai's picture

Hi Thinker,
I have noticed alot of round 3 tips have not been updated with alot still stuck on 16 potential tips
Is there a problem
Regards The Last Samurai

The Thinker's picture

@The Last Samurai

The rest of the scores should come through sooner or later

I had updated a bunch of tips, then got distracted by other work things, then came back to it.

I have your tally on 13 from 24.

All the best

The Thinker

The Last Samurai's picture

Hi Thinker,
Thanks so much for getting back to us.And all is good with the tips.
Multitasking totally understandable a very busy Thinker.
Thank you again
Last Samurai

bradapple's picture

I've been tipping for around 8 years now and can't remember a season as hard as this one, so many close games and upsets, I think its absolutely great!

The Tide Head's picture

Soooo good to be able to get tips in early... Cheers Thinker! Not so good on the scoreboard though. Ha ha ha 😂

mark ashford's picture

Hey Thinker,
Thanks for posting that link. Satts was something else, a great player and a gentleman. I met him a couple of times in pubs he managed, the Queens in Southport and what we called Satts pub on Bribie, when you turn left over the bridge. Always a top bloke, will be sadly missed.

The Thinker's picture

@Mark Ashford

That's terrific that you got to meet him a few times.

I've never heard anyone say a bad word about the man...ever

All the best

The Thinker

NuL1F3's picture

Round 4 and I have no idea haha

TheScribbleKing's picture

Thinker could you please fix up my round 3 tips. Cheers

Also I think the cowboys do better when I tip against them. It's like they know.

The Thinker's picture


I will email you directly.

All the best

The Thinker

Christine 's picture

Thinker I appreciate you continueing my work of paying tribute to members of the nrl community that have played our great game on there passing . I have always thought of it as a fitting tribute I wasn't able to do the job myself at the time as I have alot going on keep up the good work boss ...

newbie from perth's picture


My BBB will have a week off and collect the easy 2 points so I’ll be looking forward to watching the Eels vs. Panthers and the Dolphins vs. Broncos games especially. As I mentioned last week, both these battles should, in theory, be crackers. My Round 3 tipping effort was abysmal to say the least so I’m hoping I can do a bit better this week😂. OK, let’s do this thing …

Eels vs. Panthers @ CommBank
Probability @ 35-65
Ladder Position = Panthers
Bookies Favourite = Panthers

Verdict: Hard to believe but the Eels are winless so far and while they’re playing at home, they have to face the Panthers who are coming off a bye. This will more than likely be close and an upset is always on the cards but I expect the Panthers to get home here. Panthers by 4.

Storm vs. Tigers @ AAMI
Probability @ 65-35
Ladder Position = Storm
Bookies Favourite = Storm

Verdict: What’s happened to the Storm? It looks like the loss of key players from last year is having an impact. Fortunately for them (no offence to Tiger fans) they have the Tigers this week. The Tigers did well against the Bulldogs but against a “hurting” Storm in Melbourne, I can’t see them winning this. Storm by 12.

Dolphins vs. Broncos @ Suncorp
Probability @ 30-70
Ladder Position = Broncos
Bookies Favourite = Broncos

Verdict: Both teams unbeaten so far but obviously one of them will suffer their first loss. Both have been impressive but the firepower I saw last week from the Broncos makes tipping them easy. Broncos by 10.

Cowboys vs. Titans @ Townsville
Probability @ 60-40
Ladder Position = Titans
Bookies Favourite = Cowboys

Verdict: It was a substandard effort from the Cowboys last week (I’m still not convinced) but I’m thinking they should get back on track this week. Even though the Titans got an upset win over the Storm last week, I’m unsure if they can replicate that effort in Townsville. Cowboys by 8.

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

Verdict: The Rabbitohs were good in the first half last week against the Roosters but didn’t carry on with it in the second and suffered a narrow loss. Repeat that effort against Manly and they’ll pay the price. Manly were pretty good against quality opposition last week so this is a hard one to pick. Rabbitohs by 2.

Warriors vs. Bulldogs @ Mt Smart
Probability @ 55-45
Ladder Position = Warriors
Bookies Favourite = Warriors

Verdict: The Bulldogs are cruising along nicely at the minute but a little concerned how they let the Tigers back in the contest last week. Great winning effort over the Cowboys from the Warriors last time out and at home I think they’ll be too good for the Bulldogs. Warriors by 8.

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

Verdict: The Raiders will be full of enthusiasm after beating quality opposition to open their account this year. While the Knights were OK last week against the Dolphins and they’re at home, I’m wondering if they have it in them to get up here. Not sure with this one, toss of a coin. Raiders by 6.

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

Verdict: The Dragons were pretty ordinary last week (in the second half at least). The Sharks just seem to me to have a bit more class and a stronger work ethic and should win this. Sharks by 6.

Bye = Roosters

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

I know taste is subjective but this one is an emotional masterpiece as far as I’m concerned…

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

Esra Star's picture

Just on the Dogs/warriors game. The dogs put a lot of energy in to the first 50 minutes of the game last weekend. I think the fade was due to the oppressive conditions.

newbie from perth's picture

Yeah Esra, the conditions weren’t perfect by any stretch but the way I saw it was that they both had to play in the same conditions. The Tigers did a lot of defending in that first hour (336 tackles to the Bulldogs’ 319 match totals) so they would’ve been knackered to a certain extent as well.

The Bulldogs were 26-6 ahead with 24 minutes to go and what concerned me was that they let through 3 tries in a 4 minute period and nearly lost it. Maybe the Tigers were that much fitter than the Doggies were on the day but yeah, I take your point. Thanks for the comment bro’ …. Cheers.

Footy chick's picture

Great song The Thinker. Thanks for sharing.
Interesting that the Bunnies are playing Manly this weekend, the same team that broke his jaw. We might see some fireworks in that game.

The Tide Head's picture

Thanks for sharing that sweet tune Thinker.Ahhh... Memories of a time without internet... and a copious amount of weird ads on a football tipping website.... Ha ha ha... "Serenity now!" ;)

Rocket Ryan's picture

Hi Thinker can't see the link add these for me please

Peter Staines's picture

Eels for the frist game for me tonight...
I;ll update the rest tomorrow arvo please...
Was sick in hospital last week and couldn't get my tips in!!!

Thanks Peter

a's picture

Don’t forget my 3 strike comp

Esra Star's picture

Apparently it is pissanoing down in Sydney at the moment.

GMac's picture

Hey Thinker 738pm I can't get access top the tipping sheet some reason.
My tips.


Thank you very much. Sorry for the inconvenience.

MGM's picture

The link is gone for tipping again this week (7:12pm when I first looked and checked a few times since).
So Thinker, please put me in for the following :

Princess's picture

Hi Thinker

No link, so my tips are



Mary S's picture

Any fingernails left Baggy (and oher Eels supporters)????

The greatest game.

Baggy_Gee's picture

No Mary it has been a very very long month. Got to give the Chin credit, that was a great field goal from 45m with very little space like they normally have.

David.C-Manly1st's picture

Hi Everyone,
Just wonderring if i can still enter Round:4 tips please?
Parramatta Eels
Melbourne Storm
Brisbane Broncos
North Qld Cowboys
Mighty Manly Sea Eagles
Canterbury Bulldogs
Canberra Raiders
Cronulla Sharks
This would be muchly appreciated Guys.

The Thinker's picture

Morning everyone

Those of you that added their tips in the comments before the kick off in game one will be included.


I can't give you the Eels but you can have the rest.

@The Tide Head

Apologies (again) for all the weird ads. We are in the process of trying to turn some off.

Fair game last night (which I didn't get to watch). I'll try and watch it today.

All the best

The Thinker

Mary S's picture

Hi Peter,

Sorry to see in your comment that you have been unwell, and had a hospital stay - hope you are fully recovered.
When submitting the rest of your tips today, don't forget to choose your team for the 3 strike comp, run by 'a'.

@ The Voyeur & The catdog,
Not sure if you've forgotten to submit you team choice for the 3 strike comp, or if you are still deciding!!


Peter Staines's picture

Tips for the rest of round 4 2023....
Sea Eagles
Thanks Peter

Baggy_Gee's picture

Boss how good was the atmosphere at the Cauldron on Friday night? Looked like a packed house and it sounded good over the T.V.

The Tide Head's picture

The 'eye-candy' is interrupting my train of thought pre-tipping each round... I'll have a brunette, a blonde and a full wardrobe before the 2023 season is over... Ha ha ha!
No worries Thinker... Just a bit of banter ;))

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