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The Roar’s NRL expert tips and predictions: Round 11

Cody Walker of the Rabbitohs. (AAP Image/Daniel Munoz)
Editor
16th May, 2018
11
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Two, three and four are definitely not numbers which should be associated with a round of NRL tipping, but last week was crazy. It’s not pretty, but here we are again, ready to get a kicking by another unpredictable weekend ahead.

I feel like standing and applauding AJ, who somehow consistently gets the better of us.

The problem with applauding him? He only got four tips right last week, which was better than the three Tom and The Crowd pulled, which was better again than the rubbish two games Tim and I got.

It leaves AJ running away with a five-point lead after ten weeks of footy, with The Crowd in second and Tim one further back on 44. The less said about the rest, probably the better.

As I said in the opener, this weekend isn’t about to get any easier for us tippers.

The Panthers and Tigers kick things off, both with wins and good form under their belt, before the desperate Eels host an understrength Warriors at Homebush. The Broncos will take on the Roosters in the other Friday night game with it being simply unpredictable what the Sydney-based club are going to serve up.

The Titans then take on the struggling Knights at Robina, before Super Saturday heads to Townsville with the Cowboys playing the red-hot Rabbitohs. Melbourne, without some of their forwards and captain Cameron Smith will close it out against the Sea Eagles.

Attention will move to the country on Sunday afternoon with a packed Mudgee set to welcome the ladder-leading Dragons who come in off a loss against their long-time bogey team, the Raiders.

It all finishes up in the Shire with the Sharks hosting Canterbury.

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Don’t forget to submit your tips on the form below by 5pm (AEST) to be part of The Crowd as you take on the experts.

On the basis of being approximately a million times (jinx, jinx please!) better at tipping than everyone else, it’ll be AJ to lead us off yet again this week.

AJ Mithen

Tips: Panthers, Warriors, Roosters, Titans, Rabbitohs, Storm, Dragons, Sharks

If you’re a fan of open, expansive, joyful rugby league… then you might want to head out dancing on Thursday night. You can bank on Penrith and Wests grinding out a grinding grinder of a grind. Not because they want to, but because they need to. Penrith and Hook Griffin are still showing people up and they’ll continue to do so.

Parra blew a real opportunity last week against the Doggies. Two points that could have helped them slowly rise to one knee evaporated as their attack misfired over and over and over again. They host the Warriors, who laid an ostrich egg last week. Who wins? It’s a genuine coin toss. I’ll say New Zealand, based on win/loss to date.

The Roosters, jeez. After weeks of mediocrity they head over to NZ and blot the Warriors. If they get things right they should be a top two side, but 2018 is at best described as inconsistent. Their opponent Brisbane has been smashed by injury but they were uncharacteristically meek in surrendering to Manly last week. Roosters win.

The Titans went pretty well against the Storm last week, the final 14 point margin not a real indication of how the game flowed. They’ll get over the Knights who are starting to feel the pinch of no Pearce.

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North Queensland were incredibly disappointing against Wests last week. Dropped ball, bad reads, you name it. They’ll get touched up at home by Souths who are settling into stride nicely.

Johnathan Thurston

JT (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

Can Manly repeat last weeks effort and energy to knock over Melbourne at the bubble dome? The answer is no. Storm win.

The Raiders yet again threw away a game they had in their keeping. If Canberra hd won just two of their close finishes this year, they’re in top four discussions. But they didn’t so they’re not. Thankfully, the Dragons won’t give them the chance to blow a lead or manage a game appallingly.

Cronulla and Canterbury bookend the round with another probably grindy grinder. The Sharks are set up to handle adversity better than most and they’ll get the win and keep pushing north.

Tim Gore

Tips: Panthers, Warriors, Roosters, Titans, Rabbitohs, Sea Eagles, Dragons, Sharks

The prodigal son is back to start the round for Penrith to beat his bus driving dad in a battle of the west. This should be a cracker.

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Warriors to beat Eels because their pack is better. But I’ve got no confidence in this yip whatsoever. Speaking of no confidence – Titans and Knights. Who knows? I’m going Titans at home with a new five-eighth, but don’t be surprised if Kalyn Ponga explodes here.

What’s doing at the Broncos? Roosters seem to have clicked in the shadows of Origin. If they can replicate last week’s great form they’ll win here too.

I do not know why the Cowboys are playing so badly but the Rabbitohs were one of the few tips I got right last week and I’m sticking with them.

No Cam Smith for the Storm? With an already weakened pack? History says they’ll lose – and DCE wants that QLD Origin jersey, with the Turbo brothers wanting their Sky Blue jerseys too.

When I tip the Raiders they lose, when I tip their opponent they win. On that logic, I’ll go with the Dragons to win in Mudgee.

The Bulldogs got last week but I reckon the Sharks have their measure, especially at Shark Park. Their win over the Raiders last week showed real grit.

Tom Rock

Tips: Panthers, Eels, Broncos, Titans, Cowboys, Sea Eagles, Dragons, Bulldogs

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Round 11 reeks of redemption. So strong is the rank redolence of revenge that I’m going to base all of my tips on that very idea. If it’s good enough for Liam Neeson, then it’s good enough for me.

The round of retribution sees a despondent Parramatta desperate to prove that they’re still alive in 2018. With New Zealand historically suspect on the road and with several players carrying injury, the Eels are catching them at the perfect time. I’m predicting Clint Gutherson to have a blinder and Parramatta to channel the Bee Gees and stay alive for another week.

Clint Gutherson Parramatta Eels NRL Rugby League 2017

Clint Gutherson for the Eels (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

Over at Suncorp, the gelded Broncos are taking on a Roosters squad fresh of a big victory and brimming with confidence. Based purely on form, this is a game that Brisbane has no right winning, which is exactly the way Wayne wants it. The Broncos will use the negative hype surrounding their form to motivate them to a gutsy win.

Super Saturday will see the Gold Coast reignite their season against the defensively deficient Knights, the Cowboys will shock South Sydney via a Johnathan Thurston masterclass, while Manly will show the Queenslanders just what they’re missing by thumping the Cam Smithless Storm.

The Dragons will have taken that loss to the Rabbitohs personally. After being labelled the benchmark by Craig Bellamy the week prior, they will be on a mission to prove the super coach was on the money. Almost feel sorry for the Raiders. While down in the Shire, the beleaguered Bulldogs will hand Cronulla their first defeat in over a month as they finally manage to put a full 80 minutes of football together.

And in Tom’s ‘Rock Solid’ tip of the week, I’m predicting a Penrith Panther party at Pepper Stadium. Nathan Cleary re-enters the line-up, and with only limited opportunities to cement his spot in Blue, the prepubescent prodigy will tear the Tigers to tatters. New South Wales will get their first real glimpse at their 2018 halves partnership, and I think we’ll like what we see.

Scott Pryde

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Tips: Tigers, Warriors, Roosters, Knights, Cowboys, Storm, Dragons, Sharks

Here we bloody go again. Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing close, unpredictable footy, but my tipping is taking an absolute whooping.

Why don’t I start by this week by blasting the NRL for scheduling the Eels and Warriors at 6pm on a Friday at the soulless giant, the Olympic Stadium? What a belter of an atmosphere that’ll be. For the record though, more misery is ahead for a struggling Eels outfit who won’t be able to contain the Warriors looking to bounce back from their big loss at the hands of the Roosters last week.

There are so many intriguing games this weekend. The opener between Penrith and the Tigers is one of them. While the general line of thinking from many is that Nathan Cleary being back gives them the win, I’m not so sure. Penrith seemed to improve their level when the youngster got injured and it might take him some time to find his feet. It’s going to be low-scoring, which has suited Wests this year, so I reckon they get the job done at the foot of the mountains.

I’m going to take the Roosters to get over the Broncos, even with their inconsistency. They may have finally turned a corner last week and exactly what Brisbane throw up is a great unknown.

Newcastle will beat the Titans on the Gold Coast with Kalyn Ponga having his own way against what can only be described as a weak Titans defence, while Melbourne should take the chocolates in the late Saturday game.

Kalyn Ponga

Kalyn Ponga of the Knights (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)

The middle Saturday game is the upset for me. I’m taking the Cowboys, who simply must start winning. South Sydney were definitely up for their clash against the Dragons, but whether they can get back up for a trip to Townsville is anyone’s guess.

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At any rate, North Queensland must start playing well at some point, and I get the feeling they might turn it on with spots up for grabs in the coming weeks should their form continue.

The Dragons will get the better of the Raiders in Mudgee as they bounce back from last week’s defeat, while the round will close with the Sharks getting the better of Canterbury.

Round 11 Tim Tom AJ Scott The Crowd
PAN v TIG PAN PAN PAN TIG PAN
EEL v WAR WAR EEL WAR WAR WAR
BRO v ROO ROO BRO ROO ROO ROO
TIT v KNI TIT TIT TIT KNI TIT
COW v RAB RAB COW RAB COW RAB
STO v SEA SEA SEA STO STO STO
DRA v RAI DRA DRA DRA DRA DRA
SHA v BUL SHA BUL SHA SHA SHA
Last week 2 3 4 2 3
Total 44 40 50 39 45

Crowd tipping will close at 5pm (AEST) on Thursday evening. Be sure to submit your tips on the form below before then to make your opinion count as part of The Crowd.