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The Roar's NRL expert tips and predictions: Round 17

Tom Trbojevic was outstanding for Manly on Sunday against the Dragons. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
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11th July, 2019
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Ding, dong, Origin’s gone, the Blues are champions and it’s time to focus on the NRL! Round 17 gets underway on Friday, and from now until that first Sunday in October, rugby league fans can focus on the biggest competition in the world. Here to guide you through all eight matches this weekend are The Roar’s NRL expert tipping panel.

While the Melbourne Storm have all but locked up top spot on the table and the minor premiership, up by six competition points and a for and against difference of over 100, and a couple of sides at the bottom of the table are out of the race, the competition is wide open.

Last week, everyone got two. Well, except for AJ. He got none, which, after phoning it in with two lines, is hardly a surprise (sorry AJ, it’s the law to keep writing about this).

Anyway, it means he is a distant last now, while The Crowd maintain their slender lead from last week over the rest of the expert panel.

We are back to having eight games this weekend, and it gets underway with a Friday night blockbuster nothing match between the desperate Panthers and out of contention Titans.

Attention then turns to the Hunter as the Knights take on the Bulldogs, before the Sea Eagles play the Rabbitohs in what could be the match of the round.

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Saturday continues in Brisbane as the struggling Broncos host the inconsistent Warriors in a tough game to tip, then it’s Melbourne up against Cronulla and the Roosters hosting the Cowboys.

In a three-game Sunday, Parramatta will take on the Tigers away from home in Parramatta (yeah, make sense of that), and the Raiders will look to re-install their hoodoo against the Dragons in the ‘Gong as the Red V play their third straight home game and go searching for some confidence.

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 6pm (AEST) on Friday afternoon.

AJ Mithen

Tips: Panthers, Knights, Sea Eagles, Warriors, Storm, Roosters, Eels, Raiders

I got zero last week. Zero. After dominating 2018 on my way to the title, I’ve been treating 2019 like a bit of cheeky fun. No more.
I’ve given you all enough of a head start, now it’s time to get serious and blast all you pretenders away.

Penrith will belt the Titans in revenge for their first-up loss. Plus, I don’t tip the Gold Coast.

Newcastle will get the Bulldogs but it might be tighter than expected with four Origin players in limbo to back up 48 hours after a massive celebration or commiseration.

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Manly will beat Souths, because while Souths are third I’m not sold on their recent form. Dessie’s men for a mild upset.

New Zealand are on my list of teams not to tip, but now that I’m taking this seriously, they’ll beat the Broncos in Brisbane. Prove me wrong, NZ…

The Storm and the Roosters have reasonably tough matchups against the Sharks and Cowboys, but they’re at home and more consistent and will win.

I’ll take Parra over the Wests Tigers, even though the game is at the Tigers’ Bankwest Stadium fortress…

And to round out my perfect tipping round, Canberra will beat the Dragons in a grotty arm wrestle.

Stuart McLennan

Tips: Panthers, Knights, Sea Eagles, Broncos, Storm, Roosters, Tigers, Raiders

As much as I love the representative games it’s almost a relief that we can now concentrate on the club stuff.

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I am going to assume that the Origin stars will be fit and ready to go by the weekend. It’s easier that way.

Nathan Cleary has been named in the reserves for Penrith against the Titans and may come back earlier than expected. Either way, the Panthers should be far to good for the Gold Coast on their home turf.

The Knights have slipped a bit lately but will have Pearce returning from Origin. It should be enough to overcome an improving Bulldogs side in Newcastle.

The Rabbitohs list is starting to look impressive with Slammin Sam returning but the Turbo brothers are in good form and I’m tipping the northern beaches boys to spring an upset at Homebush.

The Broncos have been impressive lately and who knows what mood the Warriors will be in. Brisbane.

The Sharks have been underwhelming of late and they are playing the Storm in Melbourne. Storm

The Roosters were rattled for a while last week against the Tigers before they reset and took the game. They will travel to the Central Coast this weekend and should be too strong for the Cowboys.

The Wests Tigers were impressive for 50 minutes last week and last time they played Parramatta at Bankwest they were severely embarrassed. I’m going with the heart and taking my Tigers.

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The odds are even for the St George Illawarra vs Canberra game at Win. The Dragons look fragile while the Raiders will step up after losing to Parra last outing.

The Barry

Tips: Panthers, Knights, Sea Eagles, Broncos, Storm, Roosters, Eels, Raiders

After the breathtaking finish to Origin 201919, we return our attention to the NRL.

The Panthers production line rolls on with young players like To’o, Naden, Kenny and Martin coming through and immediately looking NRL quality. Kikau has been in great form lately and I’m the number one ticker holder in the James Fisher-Harris fan club. Panthers by plenty.

With four competition points from the last two weeks, the Bulldogs are surging! With a few out for Newcastle, the Dogs aren’t without hope here but it’s too hard to tip them when they struggle to score double figures.

The pride of the league have had players banned for head butting and eye-gouging in recent weeks. Does that speak to frustration at Redfern? I’m picking up what Manly are putting down this year and tipping them for the win.

This is the lowest profile Broncos team I’ve ever seen but they got the chocolates against the Sharks last start and I’m tipping them to win again.

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Speaking of the Sharks, they’ve set an unwanted record of being the first team in history to score more tries than their opponents but lose three weeks in a row. It had been 50 years since a team had done it twice. With the Sharks at risk of dropping out of the eight this week, those are vital competition points to be dropping. Storm.

With Luke Keary returning last week and Jake Friend this week, the Roosters are building nicely to a deep September run. Even with Tedesco and Cordner being rested this week they should be too strong for the Cowboys.

The Eels put 50 on the Tigers last time they met at BankWest Stadium. Even with this being a Tigers home game, Parra should still be too strong.

Dragons have lost seven of their last nine and it’s tough getting a line on them in an injury and Origin interrupted season. I’m tipping Raiders, but not with a huge amount of confidence.

Scott Pryde

Tips: Panthers, Bulldogs, Rabbitohs, Broncos, Storm, Roosters, Eels, Dragons

With the competition closing up in the last few weeks and Origin now fading in the rear-view mirror, this promises to be a crucial week of footy.

Starting from the top, and the Titans are one team with very little left to play for. They will get absolutely hammered by an improving Penrith team, whether Nathan Clearly plays or not.

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I’m going to take the Bulldogs in the second game. Newcastle have too many questions for mine just at the moment – will Pearce and Klemmer back up? How will the spine hold up again without Ponga? It’ll be low-scoring, and that suits a pretty attacking-wise incompetent Canterbury, so upset.

South Sydney haven’t convinced anyone in the past couple of weeks, but I do still think they are going to find a way to beat Manly, who just continue to impress. Should be a belter of the game this, but Souths forwards should have enough in the engine room.

Brisbane and New Zealand promises to be a… Well, a very unpredictable sort of fixture. Brisbane might have won last start, but their side just hasn’t played well this year. Sure we get another look at Milford playing fullback, but I’m tipping them because tipping the Warriors on the road is dumb.

Melbourne will beat the Sharks through a mix of control, aggression and, dare I say it, better goal kicking ability.

The Roosters will probably beat the Cowboys using the first two of those methods as well, although, after a tough couple of weeks, they may want to strike a real warning shot across the competition as the finals approach. Luke Keary being back gives them the ability to do just that.

The Tigers haven’t had much fun at Bankwest yet and it’s going to stay that way as they take on Parramatta, before the Dragons keep their hoodoo-snapping ways going against the Raiders in the final game of the round as the return of Gareth Widdop gets closer.

Sports opinion delivered daily 

   

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Be sure to get your tips in on the form below by 6pm (AEST) on Thursday, and we will have the results in the table and comments section below.

Round 15 AJ Stuart The Barry Scott Crowd
PAN v TIT PAN PAN PAN PAN PAN
KNI v BUL KNI KNI KNI BUL KNI
RAB v SEA SEA SEA SEA RAB RAB
BRO v WAR WAR BRO BRO BRO BRO
STO v SHA STO STO STO STO STO
ROO v COW ROO ROO ROO ROO ROO
TIG v EEL EEL TIG EEL EEL EEL
DRA v RAI RAI RAI RAI DRA RAI
Last week 0 2 2 2 2
Total 63 68 71 69 73

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