Manu Vatuvei has made a stunning start to his professional boxing career.
Anyone can contribute to The Roar and have their work featured alongside some of Australia’s most prominent sports journalists.
AJ has lost the lead. This is not a drill. Tim has levelled the score with 11 weeks to go and let me tell you he is reasonably happy about it. Here are The Roar‘s NRL expert tips for Round 15.
So, he didn’t quite take the lead, but Tim has made up something like seven tips on AJ in the last month, who has promised he will be back to his best this weekend.
Of course, less said about Tom and my tipping, the better. The Crowd are two tips behind Tim and AJ as well, so the battle is well and truly alive.
Round 15, a full round ahead of Origin 2, gets underway with the in-form Rabbitohs playing the out of sorts Eels, although Parramatta did beat the similarly poor Cowboys in Darwin last weekend.
The Friday fair is an intriguing one with the Cowboys hosting the Warriors and the Roosters playing the Panthers, while the Bulldogs and Titans could be one of the worst games of all time on Saturday afternoon. Okay, maybe not that bad, but it’s not going to set the world on fire.
St George Illawarra will then be heavy favourites against the Sea Eagles, before the Broncos try to win on a tough road trip to Cronulla.
Sunday brings with it the Storm and Knights, as well as the Tigers and Raiders.
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.
With seven last week, Tim will get things rolling this week.
Tips: Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Roosters, Bulldogs, Dragons, Sharks, Storm, Raiders
The Eels had a great win last week in Darwin, but they’ve been travelling and now they return to play the resurgent Rabbits. I predict a long night for the Eels.
Why do I think that the Cowboys are going to beat the Warriors when they are playing so poorly? I don’t know. Maybe it’s because the Warriors only beat a very poor Manly last week but will think they’re back in form. Maybe it’s because the Warriors have a rotten record in Townsville. Maybe I just still believe in Thurston.
I just reckon the Roosters will upset the Panthers apple cart. Without Kikau I reckon the Roosters pack might just get a bit more of a foothold. That’s my logic anyway.
I’ve got no good reason to go for the Bulldogs apart from them being at home. This game could go either way. I’m guessing.
The Dragons will smash the Sea Eagles. A makeshift hooker, two outside backs on the bench. Taupau not happy. In Wollongong. I smell a flogging.
I’m going with The Sharks purely because they are at home. I can really see the Broncos challenging here but falling short. Can Moylan keep playing well? Maybe.
The Storm is just too strong for the Knights. In every position. Even at home the Knights will struggle to be competitive against the Purple Horde.
The Raiders will beat the Wests Tigers because Josh Hodgson is back. Joe Tapine is back. And because I believe. I bleed green.
Tips: Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Roosters, Bulldogs, Dragons, Sharks, Storm, Tigers
Hard to go past South Sydney in the opener to Round 15. The Rabbitohs have won 8 of their last 9 games while Parramatta are in last position on the NRL ladder and crushing hard on the wooden spoon. The Eels were dull and listless against the Cowboys up in Darwin, and their win said more about the quality of their opposition than the strength of their performance. Bunnies by plenty.
Speaking of the Cowboys, I just can’t stop tipping them. It doesn’t seem to matter how many games they lose or how appallingly they play, I just look over their team sheet and start swooning. My excuse this week is that Townsville is a long way from Auckland and a lot more humid than Christchurch.
I’m banking on the Bulldogs to do just enough to pip the Titans in a dour, defensive affair; the Dragons will have far too much class for a Sea Eagles team barely holding it all together; and the Sharks will continue their surge up the ladder with a fluent offensive onslaught against the fading Broncos.
Up in beautiful Newcastle, the Knights will be given a rugby league lesson by the Storm. Nobody researches their opposition better than Melbourne, and with Newcastle’s overreliance on Ponga to generate points, expect the Storm to focus heavily on nullifying the prodigious fullback. And over in Campbelltown, I have zero faith in the Raiders. While the Tiger’s attack is patchy, I have no confidence in Canberra closing out a game. Wests by a couple.
And in Tom’s ‘rock solid’ tip of the week, get out the brown paper bag and load up on the Roosters to put a stack of points on Penrith. I’m still not sold on the Panthers this season despite their lofty spot on the ladder, so I’m banking on the Chooks dishing out some Rooster reality.
Tips: Rabbitohs, Warriors, Panthers, Bulldogs, Dragons, Sharks, Storm, Raiders
Well, my lead is gone, like the annual referee’s crackdown, it burned brightly before vanishing overnight. But I’ll be back. You watch. I’m fully recovered from my illness so I’m on the comeback to shake things up starting this week! Let the rebuild begin…
Souths will take care of business against the Eels who have been celebrating all week after a win in the top end. The Bunnies are a couple of wins away from that sweet spot where finals are guaranteed and the top four becomes the goal. Who’s to say they can’t get up there?
The Cowboys, the Cowboys, the Cowboys. Bereft of confidence, bereft of finishing. My premiership tip have been abominable from the starter’s pistol. A matchup in Townsville against the Warriors is usually a simple tip for the home side but New Zealand are starting to get their balance after a big stagger. Warriors.
Rooster vs Panther had all the makings of a beauty, but now the crackdown is over we can look forward to a festival of players laying all over the ruck and dragging the game into a pit fight. I’ve got the Panthers on the back of their defence. And now they can layabout with impunity! How good will the game flow!
Belmore plays host to the carnival of the also-ran when the Gold Coast tackle the Doggies. The Dogs have played hard without luck lately and they’ll get the win. Also winning this weekend are the Dragons, who might be listing just a touch but are still getting the job done. They’ll beat Manly.
Brisbane at Cronulla will be another NRL sanctioned snoozefest as both sides fight over the comfy spot in the ruck while the ref looks the other way. These are the games Brisbane can sneak but not this week. Sharks win.
Melbourne will beat Newcastle in another highly enjoyable outing at McDonald Jones Stadium and to wrap things up, the patched up Raiders will celebrate the return of Josh Hodgson with a convincing win over the Tigers at Campbelltown.
That’s plenty good enough to get things back on track!
Tips: Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Roosters, Titans, Dragons, Sharks, Storm, Raiders
What a round this promises to be. So many difficult games and if tipping doesn’t come off – well, it’s not going to end well is it?
Of course I’m going to start with the Dragons. They are going to win and win well against Manly in Wollongong who are without Apisai Koroisau.
Anyway, let’s leave Thursday behind and head straight onto Friyay (yes, I meant to say yay). Like Tim, I have no idea why I’m tipping the Cowboys. I blasted them in my talking points last week for simply showing no discipline and no will to compete against the Eels, but the Warriors have never been good in Townsville and they haven’t fully convinced me about being back in form yet. If their forwards play well they are a chance, but I’m going the Cowboys.
The other Friday game is a doozy. The Roosters are picking up the pieces slowly but again didn’t convince anyone against Newcastle last week. They need to make a statement though and the Panthers, who have won four straight, are due for a loss.
The Bulldogs-Titans clash to kick-off Saturday could be an ugly game, but the Bulldogs attack is awful, so I’ll take the Titans. The Sharks should win at home against the Broncos as well – incredibly hard to beat in the Shire, so incredibly hard to tip against as well, no matter what the Broncos showed in the first half against Melbourne away from home last weekend.
Melbourne will demolish Newcastle, then I’m going to (stupidly? maybe?) take the Raiders to beat the Tigers at Campbelltown. They have to win. They will probably self-destruct in the last 20, but I’ll feel like I’m on a winner at halftime.
Oh yeah, back to Thursday – Rabbitohs. By a lot of points. It’s going to be a blowout.
|Round 15||Tim||Tom||AJ||Scott||The Crowd|
|EEL v RAB||RAB||RAB||RAB||RAB||RAB|
|COW v WAR||COW||COW||WAR||COW||WAR|
|ROO v PAN||ROO||ROO||PAN||ROO||ROO|
|BUL v TIT||BUL||BUL||BUL||TIT||BUL|
|DRA v SEA||DRA||DRA||DRA||DRA||DRA|
|SHA v BRO||SHA||SHA||SHA||SHA||SHA|
|KNI v STO||STO||STO||STO||STO||STO|
|TIG v RAI||RAI||TIG||RAI||RAI||TIG|
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.