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The Roar’s NRL expert tips and predictions: Round 8

Wayne Bennett will face his old side as Souths coach - who wins? (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
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1st May, 2019
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The NRL just keeps on delivering, and this week, it brings a Thursday evening battle between two coaches who were at war all off-season. It also brings a chance to redeem some less than impressive scores for The Roar’s NRL expert tipping panel.

Look, to be fair, grouping everyone under the poor scores banner would be somewhat unfair. Mainly because I got three, and needed to make myself feel better about every single risk I took last week not coming off.

The Crowd have taken over the lead of proceedings with an excellent six last week – which is probably in direct difference to my ‘pick the risks’ strategy.

Stuart and AJ were next on the board with five tips apiece, while The Barry – who so notably bragged about his overall lead in the comments last week – only managed four and has given up the overall lead to The Crowd by a tip.

AJ sits third, Stuart fourth and me last but, of course, there is barely anything in it and I maintain I’d prefer to be a September premier than an April one – and as a Dragons fan, don’t I know a thing or two about that.

As mentioned, this week gets underway with the grudge match between the Broncos and Cowboys, then goes to (potentially) a bit of a nothing match featuring the Titans and Cowboys, before the Sharks face Melbourne in what could be a blowout.

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The Raiders will play a struggling Penrith outfit on Saturday, while the Sea Eagles host the Bulldogs, and the Roosters go up against the Tigers. Sunday brings us the Warriors and Knights, before the Dragons become the third team to play at the new Bankwest Stadium in Parramatta against the Eels, in what could be an intriguing contest to finish Round 8.

Don’t forget to join in with your tips at the bottom of the article to try and beat the experts in 2019 as The Crowd and try your luck in our Roar NRL tipping comp. Crowd tips will close at approximately 5:30pm (AEDT) on Thursday afternoon.

AJ Mithen

Tips: Rabbitohs, Titans, Storm, Panthers, Sea Eagles, Roosters, Warriors, Eels

Rugby league fans love a theme for a round of football. And while round eight may have no allocated designation from NRL marketing and communications, it works just fine as rivalry round.

My beautiful Raiders and Penrith have struck up a decent contest in the last few seasons. Games are tight at the end, usually after Canberra have busted out of the gates before being run down. In 2016 these two were the next ‘teams most likely’ but both have fallen away. I do need to tip against Canberra at least once this year though, so Panthers.

Penrith Panthers

(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Cronulla beat the Storm for the title in 2016 when they were totally salary cap compliant. These two don’t like each other. Melbourne will decimate.

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Manly will take down Canterbury in the battle for the ‘Des Hasler perpetual list management trophy’.

St George-Illawarra take on Parramatta in the second NRL game at the new Bankwest Stadium. Will the fans turn up now that the stadium’s ‘event’ game has been run and won? Yes. Eels win. They won’t lose a game at this joint for the rest of the year.

Titans over Cowboys, just in case you forgot that game is on. The Roosters will run up 40 against Wests Tigers then win 42-28. The Warriors are on their last chance for tipping against the Knights, who win one game and all of a sudden are everyone’s darlings again.

And let’s not forget the granddaddy of them all to kick us off tomorrow night – Brisbane v South Sydney, commonly referred to as ‘Wayne v Anthony’. Uncle Wayne has been absolutely dominant this week, bending the press to his will like a conductor handles a symphony orchestra. Souths to win.

Stuart McLennan

Tips: Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Storm, Raiders, Sea Eagles, Roosters, Warriors, Dragons

There should be a bumper crowd in at Bankwest for the Eels vs Dragons clash on Sunday. The Dragons were impressive last week against the Roosters despite losing. The Eels showed they lack consistency by going down to a desperate Knights side after a big win the week before. The Dragons to halt Parramatta’s one-game winning streak at BankWest.

The Rabbitohs and Broncos were both last start winners. The Broncos won at home against an injury-riddled Cronulla. Brisbane will need to show that they can win against strong side away from home. Souths.

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The Sharks are coming off a big loss and are without Johnson and possibly Dugan again. The Storm look way too strong.

Storm players celebrate a Jahrome Hughes try

(AAP Image/Daniel Pockett)

The Cowboys should just get one over the Titans at home in the battle of “there’s always next year for finals.”

The Raiders had a hiccup last week against an impressive Manly side at Brookvale. Pretty sure Ricky will have them back on track at Bruce against an improving Penrith team. Canberra

The Sea Eagles were good last week and they have another game at home. The Bulldogs have Foran and Napa listed as reserves. If they play they could be the difference. Manly at Brookvale

Wests Tigers came back strongly in Tamworth after being 14-0 down against the Titans. Benji is back and Grub has gone again. The Roosters aren’t the Titans however and Easts will be too good.

The Warriors didn’t have a lot of luck last week in going down to the Storm by one point last week while the Knights may have saved Nathan Brown in the short term with a good win over the Eels. Warriors in Auckland but who knows which teams will turn up.

The Barry

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Tips: Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Storm, Raiders, Bulldogs, Roosters, Warriors, Dragons

Round 8 kicks off with the greatest feud of all time. Hatfields vs McCoys, Gates vs Jobs, Coke vs Pepsi have nothing on this… Or so social media tells me. The Broncos will be looking to build on last week’s win, but I think Souths will win.

The Queensland teams are guaranteed at least one win this weekend as the uninspiring Cowboys and Titans clash. JT13 has been named in the 21 and ideally, I’d know if he was in the 17 before putting my tip in. Scotty – what was the final ruling on TBC? No good? Alright, with or without Taumalolo I’m tipping the Cows.

Jason Taumalolo

(Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

The Sharks injury woes have worsened and apparently this week they’ve named three members of their u20s side, two ballboys, a cheerleader and their mascot in the run on side. Storm to win.

The Raiders put in their worst performance of the season on Sunday. Tim Gore still wonders why Nine doesn’t give them more FTA slots. Panthers are slightly on the improve but it’s the green machine for me.

After beating the Cowboys on Friday night the Bulldogs climbed off the foot of the ladder and what a glorious 48 hours it was. Until the bloody Broncos and Knights selfishly won to knock us back into 16th. Manly have no Turbo, DCE, Walker or Taufua in their team. Admittedly they’ve been playing well without them but I’ve tipped the Dogs for far worse reasons than that.

For some ungodly reason I’ve tipped against the Roosters for the past two weeks. Never again. Well, not this week anyway… Which probably makes the Tigers absolute morals.

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Warriors vs Knights. Really? Do we have to tip on all the games? (Scott’s note: Yes. Again, the answer is yes). I’m going for the Warriors based on home ground advantage and not much more.

Hard to know which is the real Eels at times. The scintillating attacking side that put 51 on the Tigers or the bumbling buffoons that got rolled by the Knights just a week later. Probably somewhere in between. I think this will be a tight one with the Dragons getting home.

Scott Pryde

Tips: Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Storm, Raiders, Bulldogs, Roosters, Warriors, Dragons

So, it’s time to get a little bit serious about this, given my woeful run of three from eight last week, which has left me last. Last. Damn it.

Let’s get the Dragons out of the way. I was pretty impressed with how they defended last week when under the pump, and a ten-day break between matches to hit reset against the Eels should work in their favour. Bankwest and a big crowd will be a challenge, but I’m tipping the Red V to get back in the winners’ circle.

St George Illawarra Dragons

(Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

Of course, you can’t talk about big games this week without going to the bleeding obvious – a Thursday night showdown between Wayne Bennett and Anthony Seibold… Err, I mean the Rabbitohs and Broncos.

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The Broncos have been, for the most part, pretty poor. They were better last week, but that win came against an under the pump, undermanned Sharks side. I’d be shocked if they were able to get the win up against a South Sydney side who have been finding ways to win, despite not playing all that well.

The Cowboys and Titans clash on Friday shapes as another interesting one. Jee, the Cowboys just have to win at this point. They have been horrific, but even with Jason Taumalolo back, I’m starting to doubt whether they make the finals. Still, if they can’t beat the Titans, we might want to start asking about their suitability for a bottom four finish. I’ve been tipping them, so will continue doing that.

The 2016 grand final rematch should be another intriguing clash, but the Sharks are down on manpower, and even not quite at their best, it should be a Cronulla victory.

The Raiders will get Penrith in the afternoon game. They are back at home, and while they did find a way to lose to Manly at Brookvale last week, it’s hard to see them losing two straight after the start to 2019 they have had, especially against a Penrith outfit who have just looked a rabble on both ends of the park.

In fact, I wouldn’t be shocked if that game ends up a bit of a blowout.

I’m taking the Warriors to get the Knights at home. They are inconsistent, sure, but I think there will be a bit of a letdown for Newcastle after their win over Parramatta, while the Warriors have also had a couple of extra days off after their courageous Anzac Day performance.

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Tipping the Roosters to beat the Tigers seems like a bit of a no brainer given the respective form, while I’m hesitant to tip Manly without Daly Cherry-Evans and Tom Trbojevic, so going an improved Bulldogs side here.

Be sure to get your tips in on the form below by 5:30pm (AEDT) on Thursday, and we will have the results in the table and comments section below.

Round 8 AJ Stuart The Barry Scott The Crowd
RAB v BRO RAB RAB RAB RAB RAB
COW v TIT TIT COW COW COW COW
SHA v STO STO STO STO STO STO
RAI v PAN PAN RAI RAI RAI RAI
SEA v BUL SEA SEA BUL BUL SEA
ROO v TIG ROO ROO ROO ROO ROO
WAR v KNI WAR WAR WAR WAR WAR
EEL v DRA EEL DRA DRA DRA EEL
Last week 5 5 4 3 6
Total 35 34 36 33 37
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