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The Roar's NRL expert tips and predictions: Round 9

The Sharks were stunning last week against Melbourne. Can they keep it going? (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
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8th May, 2019
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We’re all going to Brisvegas! The NRL’s first Magic Round is here, with all 16 teams, over 300 players, a bunch of match officials, and thousands of fans taking a car, plane or train to the Queensland capital. The Roar’s NRL expert tipping panel are going to tell you who will leave the city happy.

While New South Welshmen get offended when Brisbanites try to claim their city as rugby league heartland, for one weekend, it is. It’s the only place you’d want to be as a fan of this great sport, because there will be eight games, on one ground, over four days.

Of course, it’d be nice if we could get some magic into our tipping.

The Crowd had a successful week in Round 8, grabbing six out of eight and increasing their lead to three points. The Barry leads the charge for the experts, but two scores of four in a row haven’t helped him since he went and gloated about his performance getting to the lead.

Myself and AJ also picked up four, while Stuart had five, which ties him with AJ on 39 one point behind The Barry.

The less said about my overall position, the better.

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The weekend in Brisbane kicks off with the Titans playing the Sharks, before the Cleary cup takes centre stage between the Tigers and Panthers, which is then followed up with the Broncos playing an away game at home against the Sea Eagles.

Saturday brings us the Bulldogs and Knights, before Kodi Nikorima makes his homecoming to Suncorp less than a week after departing against the Dragons. The three-game feast of rugby league concludes with the Storm searching for their form against Parramatta.

The Roosters will play the Raiders in a good chance for match of the round to get Sunday afternoon underway, before the Rabbitohs and Cowboys clash in the concluding match of what is set to be an enormous weekend.

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 (AEST) on Thursday afternoon.

AJ Mithen

Tips: Titans, Tigers, Broncos, Knights, Dragons, Storm, Roosters, Rabbitohs

It’s Magic Round! Get excited! Or don’t, that’s entirely up to you. Here’s who’ll make the most of their dirty weekend up north.

The Gold Coast bloody better get the win over the dilapidated Sharkies, or they’re into the do not tip box next to the Warriors.

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Alex Brimson of the Titans

(Getty Images)

The Tigers will beat the Panthers because Viliame Kikau is hurt and Isaah Yeo is out. Panthers in all sorts.

Broncos to get a win against Manly, but they won’t get it easy and it’ll be a tough watch.

Dragons to beat the untippable New Zealand, who disgusted us all with their lack of effort last week.

Melbourne will have Bellamy’s motivational words ringing in their ears and they’ll take it out on Parra. Should be a great game.

I’ve now tipped against my beautiful Raiders twice, and they won both times. So I tip the Roosters. No John Bateman and no Joseph Leilua hurts Canberra, obviously.

To finish, Souths will topple the Cowboys. I was going to write something about a comedown after the Bennett and Seibold dramas of last week, but Wayne doesn’t care about that. He’ll get his boys to roll on.

Stuart McLennan

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Tips: Sharks, Tigers, Broncos, Knights, Dragons, Storm, Roosters, Rabbitohs

Forget about Magic Round, I just want some magic with my tips for once this season.

The Sharks were impressive against Melbourne last week while the Titans are in the doldrums. Gold Coast will be closer to home but it has to be Cronulla. Sharks to win.

The Wests Tigers just don’t seem to have the cattle to make a big dent in the competition while the Panthers have the team but are not fulfilling their potential at the moment. I’m tipping Wests Tigers but both teams need to improve.

Manly continue to suffer injury problems following the last start win against the Bulldogs. Seibs has lost patience with the Broncos and has dropped Roberts and Isaako after they were lapped by Bennett’s Rabbitohs. Broncos in a home game.

The Knights are a tough team to gauge week to week but they seem to have hit a sweet spot and I expect them to be too classy for the last placed Canterbury. Knights

I thought the Dragons were a bit disappointing when the going got tough against the Eels last week. I can’t tip the Warriors after their last start. Dragons to win.

Dragons fullback Matt Dufty.

(Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

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An uncharacteristic loss for the Storm last week but I am tipping them to be too strong for the Eels who have been impressive but inconsistent so far. Melbourne.

Latrell was at his best against the Tigers while the Raiders have lost starch with John Bateman injured. Leilua is still out. Can’t go past the Roosters. Easts to win.

The Magic Round wraps up with Souths and North Queensland. The Cowboys got back in the winner’s circle last week against Gold Coast. The Rabbitohs have been impressive all year. I can’t see anything but a Souths win.

The Barry

Tips: Sharks, Tigers, Broncos, Knights, Dragons, Storm, Roosters, Rabbitohs

After a bit of idle bragging following hitting the lead two weeks ago, I’ve scored four twice in a row. I’m on the verge of picking winners by throwing a chicken at a dartboard.

Anyway, the show must go on…

There was so much to like about the Sharks last week. Hanging tough through an error-strewn first half to go into the sheds at 12-12 and then the dominant second half. I have my doubts that a young team can back that effort up but it’s too hard to tip the Titans at the moment.

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The Tigers have copped a couple of batterings recently but should be too strong against an out of form Panthers team without Yeo, and Kikau.

Sea Eagles fans must be absolutely stoked with their club this season. Fielding a roster 350k under the cap and missing three of their strike players, could have been enough for them to turn it up. In spite of all that, I’m tipping the Broncos to beat them but not with a lot of confidence.

With Mitchell Pearce running into a bit of form, so are the Knights. I don’t think the Bulldogs are without hope of springing an upset but I’m going head over heart this week.

Warriors home game against the Dragons in Brisbane. Try working that one out. As far as I can remember Brisbane isn’t in New Zealand so I’m tipping the Dragons.

The Storm have been a bit flat for a couple of weeks. The Eels have been pretty impressive but I can’t see Melbourne putting in two stinkers like last week in a row.

I had a dream on Sunday night that the Raiders had beaten the Roosters 40-4. The weird thing was that I hadn’t seen the Round 9 draw at that stage. To prove I have the spirituality of an old boot, I’m tipping the Roosters.

An improved showing from the Cowboys last week, but not enough for me to tip them here. Souths remains one of the best teams to watch in the competition and Cody Walker of the best players in his current form.

Cody Walker South Sydney Rabbitohs.

(AAP Image/Daniel Munoz)

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Scott Pryde

Tips: Sharks, Tigers, Sea Eagles, Knights, Dragons, Storm, Roosters, Rabbitohs

The only magic I’m after this weekend is more than four tips. And given I got three the week before, surely things are on an upward trajectory. At least, they better be, because I’m sitting at the wrong end of the leaderboard, much like the Broncos – I can’t wield an axe on my underperforming goal kicker and my Origin centre while leaving my out of form fullback in the side though.

Speaking of Brisbane, and after being blown off the park by South Sydney last weekend, they will be desperate for a win. The way they are playing though, I just can’t see it. Manly have all sorts of injury problems, but keep turning up for each other, so I’ll tip them.

Injuries unfortunately dominated team list Tuesday yesterday, so we might as well stick with that trend, given it’s going to have a pretty enormous impact on the weekend.

John Bateman is shaping up as potentially the best buy of the season for the Raiders, but the Green Machine will have to do it without him for a couple of weeks. He has picked the worst possible time to take a stint on the sideline as well, with a red-hot Roosters the unbackable favourites to extend their winning streak.

The Dragons will add Corey Norman to their casualty ward for the next month, but the Warriors don’t seem to know what to do with themselves.

Kodi Nikorima, who doesn’t have form warranting selection, replaced Chanel Harris-Tavita, who hasn’t put a foot wrong. It’s a strange move, but not a winning one. Dragons.

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Back to Friday, and the Cleary cup goes on the line again as the Tigers take on the besieged Panthers. A lot depends on Villame Kikau’s fitness, but even if he does play, it’s likely to be on one left. The men in black and orange should have some sort of bounce back factor as well after last week’s trainwreck of an effort against the Roosters.

Ivan Cleary at Panthers training.

(Photo: Renee McKay/Getty Images)

In the other games, the Titans will probably struggle against a gritty, determined Cronulla, who were really strong last weekend.

I’m going to take Newcastle to get the job done against the Bulldogs because of Kalyn Ponga, and that’s about it, while as much as I want to tip against the Storm, I just can’t bring myself to do it as they take on a Parramatta side who will have plenty of momentum from the second half last Sunday.

The final game of the weekend is the Cowboys and Rabbitohs. The men from Townsville were better last weekend, but so were Souths, who finally hit their stride for the first time since Round 1. Hard to see them losing playing like that.

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

Round 9 AJ Stuart The Barry Scott The Crowd
TIT v SHA TIT SHA SHA SHA SHA
TIG v PAN TIG TIG TIG TIG TIG
SEA v BRO BRO BRO BRO SEA BRO
BUL v KNI KNI KNI KNI KNI KNI
WAR v DRA DRA DRA DRA DRA DRA
STO v EEL STO STO STO STO STO
ROO v RAI ROO ROO ROO ROO ROO
RAB v COW RAB RAB RAB RAB RAB
Last week 4 5 4 4 6
Total 39 39 40 37 43
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