Round thirteen selections

Parramatta Eels vs Cronulla Sharks – Thursday night – CommBank Stadium

15th plays 1st doesn't read like a compelling contest, but the NRL is a funny competition. It's more 'tipsters nightmare funny' than 'laugh out loud funny' mind you. Up until last week the Sharks had lost just one game all year. That loss was to the Tigers, and they were flogged, which is funny. Last week, on the back of impressive back-to-back victories over competition heavyweights, they lost again, and they were flogged. They're on a short turnaround here and they'll be without the halfback that scores Dally M points every time he puts the bins out, and their club captain who makes more tackles than the entire Cronulla backline put together. Hynes is replaced by Trindall who returns from...lets call it an injury. McInnes isn't easy to replace, unless Fitzgibbon names four military-trained Alsations and a brick wall in his starting side. Meanwhile, the Eels are getting their old band back together. Gutherson returns at fullback, Moses returns at halfback, and Penisini returns at centre. They lose Hopgood as he makes his Origin debut (which I'll discuss in more detail in my Origin preview), but Wiremu Greig returns to bolster their forward stocks. This will be a very different Eels side to the one we've seen in recent weeks, and they're coming together at their favourite ground. Don't get me wrong - the Sharks are a very warm favourite and should be, but:

Verdict – Eels by 1

Result – Eels 34 defeated Sharks 22

Newcastle Knights vs Canterbury Bulldogs – Friday night – McDonald Jones Stadium

The Knights have strung together a series of wins and have had a week off to freshen up and overcome any niggles. They've lost Bradman Best to injury, but were probably going to lose him to Origin duty anyway. In their last four games at home they've beaten the Storm, Dragons and Warriors and went down to the Roosters by two points. Importantly, these sides met in round 7 and the Bulldogs were decisive winners (36-12). That's hard to ignore, but the unavailably of three key ex-Panthers (Burton, Crichton, Kikau) is hard to ignore too. Their depth faces a stern test here - I don't expect them to lose any admirers on Friday night, but I do expect the home crowd can push the Knights to victory.

Verdict – Knights by 4

Result – Bulldogs 32 defeated Knights 2

Penrith Panthers vs St George Illawarra Dragons – Saturday night – BlueBet Stadium

A genuine test of the Panthers depth here, with five players on Origin duty and their captain unavailable through injury. The new halves combination of Cole and Schneider have had their share of first grand experience this year, and the new halfback (Laurie) is no slouch. Their forward pack is still strong...really strong. The Dragons will have their depth tested too, and they aren't as deep as the Panthers. Hunt, Lomax and Su'A are in Origin camp, and Bird has been cruelled by another long term injury. The bloke used to live down the road from me, and I know this is going to hurt him. I wish him well. The Dragons can go close here, but it's notable that they've lost their last ten games when they've been without Ben Hunt. A pro-Panthers crowd won't make it any easier either.

Verdict – Panthers by 4

​​​​​​​Result – Dragons 22 defeated Panthers 10

Redcliffe Dolphins vs Canberra Raiders – Saturday night – Kayo Stadium

The Dolphins have hardly crossed the Queensland border all season, but this is just their second game of the year at what I call their actual home ground. They played in Redcliffe back in round two, and they won 38-0. They won't have my favourite player in the number one jersey on Saturday, but Trai Fuller has already proven his worth this season. Note the Dolphins also lose Kaufusi, who is 18th man in the QLD origin camp. The Raiders will be without Hudson Young , and he's much more important to the Raiders than most people realise. He's their top try scorer, and last week topped their tackle count too. They get Papalii back which helps, but he's a 35 minute proposition while Young plays the full 80. It's unusual for the Raiders to be out-muscled in the forwards but the Dolphins pack could do it, particularly at home. Looks like the game of the round to me.

Verdict – Dolphins by 4

​​​​​​​Result – Raiders 26 defeated Dolphins 25

Sydney Roosters vs North Queensland Cowboys – Sunday afternoon – Allianz Stadium

Both sides have been depleted by Origin departures, but the Cowboys have been hit harder despite what has been a pretty poor season for them thus far. The Cowboys have won two in a row, which is something, but those victories were against the teams running last and second last, and a depleted Roosters line-up is still better than that. The only teams to concede more points than the Cowboys this season are the Eels and the Rabbitohs. Now they travel to Sydney to take on a team that has scored 212 points in their last five games. There's every chance Tedesco has a blinder too, given the circumstances. 

Verdict – Roosters by 26

​​​​​​​Result – Cowboys 18 defeated Roosters 16

Wally Lewis - round thirteen selections (in bold)

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

  • Eels vs SHARKS
  • KNIGHTS vs Bulldogs
  • PANTHERS vs Dragons
  • DOLPHINS vs Raiders
  • ROOSTERS vs Cowboys


The Thinker's picture

Greetings football fans

I have updated the NRL ladder and the tipping comp after round 12. There's been plenty of movement in the tipping comp, with a bunch of games splitting our tipsters. Congrats to Rob181 and Essere il Capo who top scored with 7 from 8. Essere il Capo has put himself in a healthy position on the overall ladder with that effort, but there's plenty of weeks ahead of us yet.

As always, if anyone notices any issues with the scoring just let me know.

The first of our Origin interrupted rounds this weekend - just five games - but we still get underway on Thursday night. I'll have my previews and selections published on Wednesday.

I will also have another State of Origin competition for all our tipsters this year...with a prize for the winner. Stay tuned for details on that.

All the best

The Thinker

Tips_Karu's picture

How do enter the comp to submit my tips as well.

newbie from perth's picture

Hey Frens,

The first SOO next week will see a lot of key players missing this weekend and results may (or may not) go either way. The only teams who will benefit from this will be those who have the bye. Guaranteed 2 points without doing anything has to be a bonus.

Three of the teams playing this weekend (Roosters, Raiders & Dolphins) will at least have the bye in Round 14 so that’s a bonus for them I suppose. OK, let’s do this thing …

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

The Eels have Gutho, Moses & Penisini back but will that be enough to get them over the Sharks? Yeah, the Sharks will be missing McInnes and Nicho but their side still looks good on paper. Plus they will want to bounce back from last week’s embarrassing and unacceptable effort. No doubt we’ll see an improved showing from the Eels but I’m tipping the Sharks to scrape in by 4.

Knights vs. Bulldogs @ McDonald Jones
Probability @ 60-40
Ladder Position = Knights
Bookies Favourite = Knights

The Knights will have players back and should be nice and fresh after the bye. While I liked the Bulldogs’ effort last week, they were up against so-so opposition. Big “outs” (SOO) for them doesn’t give me a lot of confidence. The Knights look good on paper and they’re at home. Knights by 6.

Panthers vs. Dragons @ BlueBet
Probability @ 70-30
Ladder Position = Panthers
Bookies Favourite = Panthers

There’s some massive outs for the Panthers due to SOO. Given the Panthers ability to cover missing players, I have no doubt the replacements will be adequate enough. The way the Dragons fell apart last week has me concerned, especially now they have key players away on SOO duty and the injured list. The Panthers may not have it all their own way but they should get up here. Panthers by 10.

Dolphins vs. Raiders @ Redcliffe
Probability @ 60-40
Ladder Position = Dolphins
Bookies Favourite = Dolphins

The Dolphins are at home, they have the better rating and are favourites. I’m not sure that’s a true reflection of their chances here. Their losing effort last week against a decimated Warriors was very disappointing to say the least. To top it off they’ll be missing Kaufusi and the Hammer. The Raiders get an excellent chance to take advantage this week. Yes, they got flogged by the Roosters last week but they have the talent to bounce back from that. I’m giving them a red hot chance here. Raiders by 6.

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

Both sides have massive “outs” due to the SOO but I feel that those “outs” will hurt the Cowboys more than the Roosters. Comparing both team lists, I reckon there’s more class with the Roosters. The Roosters might be able to go a little harder knowing they have the following week off. Not sure the Roosters will have it all their own way as the Cowboys are still a tough team to beat on their day but I’m (obviously) on my BBB this week. Roosters by 12. Begurk! 🐔 Begurk! 🐔

Bye: Broncos, Rabbitohs, Manly, Storm, Tigers, Titans & Warriors

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

I’ve put up so many songs over the years it’s hard to remember if I’m duplicating them on here or not. What the hey, this is a good one regardless and I’ve opted for the live version. WARNING: A “rude” word around 4:52. Go Chrissie!

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

The Thinker's picture

The Bulldogs missed 56 tackles last night, but didn't concede a try. 

bradapple's picture

What a crazy week for picking lol, I've tipped 3 of 4 perfect weeks of super rugby, meanwhile can't even get 1 pick in the nrl. 🤦‍♂️

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