Round seventeen selections

Canterbury Bulldogs vs Cronulla Sharks – Friday night – Accor Stadium

These sides met in round 2 where the Sharks were comfortable victors 25-6. The line-ups on that occasion are much the same as they are here (note that Crichton is on the reserves list and may be a late inclusion if he comes through Origin without a hitch). The key differences since round 2 are the change of venue and the continued improvement from the Bulldogs. I was bold or silly enough to suggest the Dogs would play finals football this season, but that looks more and more likely each week. Having said that, the Sharks are in the top four for a reason. They should also be nice and fresh after a week off and they are one of the few squads not interrupted by State of Origin. The Bulldogs also had a pretty torrid game last week in pretty torrid conditions. With that in mind, the Sharks might be too strong in the concluding stages.

Verdict – Sharks by 4

Result – Bulldogs 15 defeated Sharks 14

New Zealand Warriors vs Brisbane Broncos – Saturday afternoon – Go Media Stadium

An interesting match-up here. The Broncos struggle without their veteran halfback, while the Warriors seem to be going better when their veteran halfback doesn't play. Shaun Johnson is out for at least a month with an achilles injury. I'm hoping for a bounce-back from the Warriors here, but conceding 66 points to the team that was running last on the ladder (at the time) is hard to ignore. Watene-Zelezniak returns from suspension which can only help. I'm speculating a little on the likely Broncos line-up on Saturday, but asking Carrigan, Haas and Walsh to back up from Origin (and travel from Melbourne to Auckland) seems an ask. They're on an extended bench, so watch for line-up changes. Without Carrigan and Haas, the Warriors forwards can dominate here, particularly with a partisan home crowd giving them a boost. I'm tipping an upset.

Verdict – Warriors by 2

Result – Warriors 32 defeated Broncos 16

Newcastle Knights vs Parramatta Eels – Saturday night – McDonald Jones Stadium

The Eels had a week off, picked up the two points for the bye, and still found themselves in last place on the ladder all of a sudden. It surprised me, and I'm sure it surprised them. Hopefully it's the wake-up call the club needs if it has any intention of playing finals football this season. The Knights should be feeling fresh after a week off too, and both teams should find this contest a little easier than recent outings. A lot of eye will be on Englishman Will Pryce in his NRL debut. He's a big body for a halfback and has a handy step on him - I wish him well. Mitch Moses has been named after his player of the match performance on Wednesday night. He'll take plenty from that and, assuming he backs up, he has the kicking game to give the Eels an edge.

Verdict – Eels by 7

Result – Knights 34 defeated Eels 26

Melbourne Storm vs Canberra Raiders – Saturday night – AAMI Park

In their last seven games, the Raiders have conceded (on average) more than 33 points per game. In their last outing they conceded 48 points to the team running last (at the time). It's possible they're getting worse. They now take on the team at the top of the ladder, who have scored the second most points in attack this season. Grant and Coates have been named to back up on Saturday, and with Origin in Melbourne this week means they are a little more likely to do so. The Raiders do have an envious record in Melbourne, but a win this time would truly surprise.

Verdict – Storm by 10

Result – Storm 16 defeated Raiders 6

St George Illawarra Dragons vs Redcliffe Dolphins – Sunday afternoon – Netstrata Jubilee Stadium

I seem to be tipping a few upsets this round, and here comes another one. These sides met in round 2 and the Dolphins won 38-0. The Dragons have probably improved somewhat since then, but they would need to, and there's nothing wrong with the Dolphins recent form. Last week they competed with the Storm for 80 minutes. They did that without Tabuai-Fidow, Kaufusi, and a very early exit from Bostock that left the Dolphins with back-rowers in the backline for most of the contest. Lomax and Hunt have been named to back up from Origin, but they played in that round 2 game when they didn't trouble the scoreboard attendant. 

Verdict – Dolphins by 4

Result – Dragons 26 defeated Dolphins 6

Penrith Panthers vs North Queensland Cowboys – Sunday afternoon – BlueBet Stadium

The two teams that do most of the heavy lifting for Origin face each other on Sunday. The Cowboys are definitely resting Nanai, and have named their other five Origin players as reserves. Meanwhile, the Panthers have named their five Origin players in their starting thirteen. A lot could change in the days ahead, but based on the named line-ups the Panthers should be too strong. With the Panthers depth of talent, they could rest all five and prove too strong anyway,

Verdict – Panthers by 10

Result – Cowboys 16 defeated Panthers 6

Sydney Roosters vs Wests Tigers – Sunday night – Allianz Stadium

After a slightly wobbly start to the season, the Chooks are now in the top four and do look like a team that could contend for the premiership this year. They have the best points differential in the competition, and by a fair margin, and they're one of only two teams in the top ten that still have a bye round ahead of them. The Tigers have now won two in a row, and it's terrific to see a young team starting to find their feet under an exciting new coach. This will test them though. 

Verdict – Roosters by 10

Result – Roosters 40 defeated Tigers 6

Wally Lewis - round seventeen selections (in bold)

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

  • Bulldogs vs SHARKS
  • Warriors vs BRONCOS
  • Knights vs EELS
  • STORM vs Raiders
  • Dragons vs DOLPHINS
  • PANTHERS vs Cowboys
  • ROOSTERS vs Tigers


The Thinker's picture

Greetings football fans

i am currently deep in Blues country without access to my trusty motherboard. I'm not likely to have the NRL ladder or tipping scores from the last round updated before Wednesday night. 

Apologies for the delay. 

The Thinker


TigerGirl's picture

Wow it appears only 4 of us were brave enough to tip Wests Tigers to win 2 straight. WTTID

tigerholic's picture

Well done Tiger Girl and the other three, a brave tip.


Rocket Ryan's picture

Your specialty tiger is avoiding the Tigers worst supporter I've ever seen.

Rocket Ryan's picture

Tigergirl on the other hand.......
Solid as.

Purple Seven's picture

Can I post my tips for Round 17 here???
Sharks, Broncos, Eels, Storms, Dolphins, Panthers, Tigers

newbie from perth's picture

Hey Frens,

Happy Wednesday afternoon! On holidays this week so I’m early-ish. The Broncos, Cowboys, Dragons, Eels, Knights, Panthers & Sharks are all coming back from an extra week off, so they should all be fresh. Teams playing on Sunday will have the added bonus of their Origin stars backing up after extra recovery time from Wednesday night. Just something to think about. OK, let’s do this thing …

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

Besides last week, the Bulldogs have been doing alright of late. FWIW, they are the only side in the competition still undefeated at home this year. To put it bluntly, the Sharks need to pull their finger out and get back on track. With Nicho back, the Sharks should win this and end the Bulldogs’ unbeaten run at home, unless Nicho (as he sometimes does) makes some poor decisions and his kicking game is off. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Doggies get up (they’re certainly capable enough) but I think the Sharks might put the bite on them. Sharks by 6.

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

What can I say about the Warriors shocker last week that hasn’t already been said. Sheesh, they were absolutely woeful (one, if not the worst, effort I’ve seen), and against the bottom side as well. This one, although at home, doesn’t get any easier. Not sure if the Broncos will be bringing any Origin players back after such a short turnaround (and flight to NZ) so will have to assume “Baby Broncos” will front up here. You’d have to be a fool to back the Warriors after last week but I think that loss would’ve cut deep and they might just find some ticker here, especially in front of their home crowd. Warriors by 4.

Knights vs. Eels @ McDonald Jones
Probability @ 55-45
Ladder Position = Knights
Bookies Favourite = Knights

On balance, the Knights are a tad better than the poor ol’ Eels. Sitting last on the ladder is never a good feeling and must affect the confidence levels at some stage. Can’t understand why they’re sitting last considering the talent they have. There’s something wrong somewhere. Mitchell Moses backing up from Wednesday night seems to me to be their only hope of getting a win against the odds. The Knights have been playing better than the Eels and they’re at home so you’d have to think they’d get the job done here. Knights by 4.

Storm vs. Raiders @ AAMI
Probability @ 75-25
Ladder Position = Storm
Bookies Favourite = Storm

The Storm are at home, Pappy’s back and they’re up against a Raiders side who were soft as a 2-minute egg last week. If the Raiders replicate last week’s effort, this could get ugly. I don’t think it will, just sayin’. Storm by 10.

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

The Dragons are up and down form-wise so this all depends on which Dragons side runs out on Sunday. If they’re “on” they are more than capable of winning this. The Dolphins were pretty good last week and served it up to the Storm. They’re playing some good footy at the moment and should have their Origin players back for this. Dolphins by 4.

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

The Panthers are at home (only lost one game at home this year) and will have their Origin stars back, which is a huge boost. The Cowboys will have players backing up as well and you can’t dismiss the talent they have. This won’t be easy for the Cowboys but for any of you Cowboys fans who like a flutter, the bookies are giving the Cowboys an 11.5 points start in this one. That looks like value given how talented the Cowboys are. Gamble responsibly. The Panthers should have the class edge here. Panthers by 8.

Roosters vs. Tigers @ Allianz
Probability @ 75-25
Ladder Position = Roosters
Bookies Favourite = Roosters

The Roosters might be (hopefully) back on track and courtesy of their superior points differential, are finally sitting in the top four. Woo-Hoo! They too will have Origin players back so not too much change to the starting line-up. The Tigers’ effort last week was stupendous and I’d imagine there would be a lot of happy Tigers fans at the moment. Even though I didn’t tip them, it was a joy to watch them playing such beautiful footy. Especially liked the “Adam Doueihi moment”. The footy gods can be kind sometimes. As good as the Tigers were, they may have to be even better if they’re gonna win this one. Roosters by 12. Begurk! 🐔 Begurk! 🐔

Bye: Rabbitohs, Manly & Titans.

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

I thought I’d mix it up a bit this week with something a bit more mellow (?) from 40 years ago. Great song, but then again, don’t I always serve up the best? 😂

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

The Thinker's picture

Greetings football fans

I have updated the NRL ladder and the tipping scores following round 16...apologies for the delays this week.

Congrats to Markate and Tigergirl - our top tipsters with 4 from 5. The big wins to the Titans and Tigers surprised many of us.

If you notice any issues with the scoring just let me know. I'll have my tips and previews published today - note that the first game in this round doesn't kick off until Friday night.

All the best

The Thinker

JKBubble's picture

Hey Thinker
Can you msg footy chick and tell her she's missed her tips.

If she's quick she can still get the next 6 tips in


Mary S's picture

Hi Tide Head, The Don, Wild Oscar, Mad Max, Tailspin & KumulFly,

Not too late to put your tips into the comments section - you just miss out on the 1st match that's all!


BigPeteBx's picture

Thank you JK for suggesting that for one of our long time members/tippers.
So kind - I rarely go back into Thinker site after my tips are posted.
However, I ALWAYS check to see my avatar is showing with tips lodged, so I know they are successfully placed.
Flanno has a coaching achievement before his game this week.

Cheers and keep well
BigPete in Bx

BigPeteBx's picture

So kind of you Mother Mary.
Many social media comments were picking Sharks anyways - so really, those who missed haven't really missed anything to start this round.

Cheers and keep well
BigPete in Bx (Minus temps galore here this week)

Footy chick's picture

Sorry I'm late Mr Thinker


Thank you

BigPeteBx's picture

Yes Miss Mary - tell me about.
Thanks for the map/graph link.
Appears from a few footy matches that its been a bit damp at yours.
Cheers and keep well - BigPete in Bx country.

tigerholic's picture


What happened to tipping the Tigers this week after Rocket gave you a big wrap.


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