The Roar
The Roar


The Roar's NRL expert tips and predictions: Round 26

The Raiders take on the Panthers in the NRL finals. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)
30th August, 2016
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“When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain he wept, for there were no more worlds to conquer.” Yes it has finally come to an end – The Roar’s NRL Expert tips for 2016, that is.

But before you reach for the ice-cream, tissues and cry the night away in your favourite ugg boots, the NRL hits you straight in the face harder than an American radio station can prank call a distressed housewife screaming, “John Cena – this Sunday!”

Not even Hollywood could put together a cliffhanger like the one we have this weekend.

» The Roar’s complete guide to the 2016 NRL Finals

On Saturday night at AAMI Park in Melbourne, the Storm collide with the Cronulla Sharks, with the winner to claim the minor premiership.

Did anyone think the Storm could do what they’ve done when Billy Slater went down? Or that the Sharks would win 15 straight games on the way to one of their most successful seasons ever?

Meanwhile, can the Gold Coast cause a massive upset and beat North Queensland in Townsville?

Wests Tigers will be hoping not, as they need the Titans to lose and then to beat Canberra themselves at Leichhardt Oval to qualify for the finals.

It’s all happening!


Strap yourself in.

Catch Curtis and the Steele Sports team this Saturday from midday for week one of the Intrust Super Premiership finals

Tim Gore
Tips: Broncos, Rabbitohs, Dragons, Cowboys (Powerplay), Storm, Raiders, Warriors, Panthers.

“The Bulldogs’ attack doesn’t exist. How can they beat the Rabbitohs without an attack?

“The poor old Knights got nothing. Nothing. They’ll give it their best shot but the Dragons will beat them at Kogarah.

“The Warriors are playing for contracts now and will beat the Eels, but it will be too little too late for many of the playing and coaching staff.”

Mary Konstantopoulos
Tips: Broncos, Bulldogs, Knights, Cowboys, Sharks, Wests Tigers, Eels, Panthers (Powerplay).

“The Cowboys look red hot heading into the finals, but to be guaranteed a place, the Titans absolutely must win this game, with the Tigers hot on their heels. As competitive and spirited as the Gold Coast have been this year, I can’t see them beating the Cowboys.


“If the Titans lose to North Queensland, the Tigers could still sneak into the finals if they beat the Raiders. However, Canberra have proven in the last couple of weeks they are premiership contenders.

“Solid form. Momentum. Home ground advantage. That is the Panthers at the moment. They should have no trouble pushing over a Manly side that has had a disappointing season marred by injury.”

Lachlan Bickley
Tips: Broncos (Powerplay), Rabbitohs, Knights, Cowboys, Storm, Raiders, Warriors, Panthers.

“The Broncos were back to their best against the Storm last weekend, and they should have no problem with the roosters on Thursday night.

“Lots of consternation about whether the Raiders might rest a few players, but honestly it shouldn’t matter – even a partial-strength Canberra should have too much firepower for the Wests Tigers.

“After a classic insipid Warriors performance last weekend in a must-win game, no doubt the Kiwi side will now blow the Eels off the park in a meaningless game this weekend.”

Curtis Woodward
Tips: Broncos (Powerplay), Bulldogs, Dragons, Titans, Sharks, Wests Tigers, Eels, Panthers.

Alright, enough is enough damn it. It may get ugly, but if Canterbury want to even consider themselves playoff contenders they must beat South Sydney.


Melbourne and Cronulla is going to be a ripper at AAMI Park, and I suspect the Sharks will have learnt a lot about how Brisbane played the Storm last week.

Tipping with my heart on Sunday with Wests Tigers to shock the Raiders, but it won’t make much difference because I’ve also gone the boilover in Townsville.

Round 26 Tim Curtis Lachlan Mary The Crowd
BROvROO Broncos Broncos Broncos Broncos Broncos
BULvRAB Rabbitohs Bulldogs Rabbitohs Bulldogs Rabbitohs
DRAvKNI Dragons Dragons Knights Knights Dragons
COWvTIT Cowboys Titans Cowboys Cowboys Cowboys
STOvSHA Storm Sharks Storm Sharks Storm
WESvRAI Raiders Wests Tigers Raiders Wests Tigers Raiders
WARvEEL Warriors Eels Warriors Eels Warriors
PANvSEA Panthers Panthers Panthers Panthers Panthers
POWERPLAY Cowboys Broncos Broncos Panthers Broncos
OVERALL 155 150 147 139 155

Now it’s your turn – have a go at beating the experts.