Everything got off to a mighty slow start last weekend, but gathered steam to the point two game of the season contenders were played to finish off. At this point of the season, there are always going to be some duds, but here to tell you what to watch out for and who is winning what in Round 22 are The Roar’s NRL expert tipping panel.
While the footy was mostly excellent last weekend, the tipping results weren’t. Maybe everyone tipping the Raiders to beat the Roosters wasn’t the best idea, while the Warriors and Panthers beating the Sea Eagles and Sharks respectively was another no one saw coming.
The Crowd and The Barry led the way with just five tips a piece, while I had four, Stuat three and AJ just two as Newcastle, the Tigers, and the Cowboys all fell apart.
It means that, as things stand, The Crowd continue to do a runner on the experts, leading the way on 103. I’m sitting second on 95, with Stuart and Barry just one and two tips behind respectively.
Round 22 promises some more cracking games, some that will probably have the majority switching off the TV 20 minutes in, and everything in between.
We start it up with the Sea Eagles looking to get back on the wagon after their dismal showing in Auckland last weekend as they take on the Tigers, before the Titans clash with the Eels in the early Friday game.
Brisbane and Penrith is an interesting prospect at Suncorp in the prime time Friday contest. The Broncos have been awful, but scrapping by, while the Panthers don’t generall love heading north.
Saturday kicks off in the Hunter with the almost out of contention Knights taking on the definitely out of contention Cowboys, before Melbourne and the Raiders clash in what could be an epic encounter, continuing from last week’s battles between the top four sides.
South Sydney will then look to throw the doubters off their back as they take on Canterbury.
Sunday brings us the Roosters and Warriors at the Sydney Cricket Ground, before a desperate Cronulla Sharks face the St George Illawarra Dragons in a local derby to end the round.
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 Thursday evening.
Tips: Sea Eagles, Eels, Panthers, Knights, Raiders, Bulldogs, Roosters, Sharks
I’m pretty sure there’s been a counting error this season because I’m almost four rounds worth of tips behind everyone else. In true rugby league fashion, I’ll blame the refs because there’s no chance I could ever have been wrong! Anyway, here we go.
Manly will pound the Tigers who have copped so many injuries they’re missing their heart, soul, lungs, nervous system… Some tough breaks for Michae Maguire and the Tigers.
Parramatta have snuck up on us all as an outside top four chance – they’ll belt the Titans who have quit on 2019. Penrith should beat Brisbane but it won’t be much of a spectacle for the neutral. Newcastle simply must beat the Cowboys and they will.
My beautiful Raiders will put 48 on Melbourne in Melbourne. Don’t be fooled by the Storm’s sensational and thrilling play, their three-game lead on top of the table and their constant stream of young players coming in and dominating – they’re in crisis.
You know what? I’m so far behind in the tipping I might as well back the Dogs over the Bunnies. I like the Dogs. They’ll give an honest account of themselves as usual.
The Roosters have flicked the switch to ‘ominous’ mode with the finals on the horizon. They will destroy the Warriors and put them out of business for 2019.
Cronulla: Contenders or pretenders? They might beat the Dragons but it won’t be a performance that gives us any more insight into their 2019 chances.
Tips: Tigers, Eels, Panthers, Knights, Raiders, Rabbitohs, Roosters, Sharks
With four rounds to go and a poor effort last week it’s time to plump for a few ‘not out of the question’ upsets. It’s the result in early September that counts right?
With that in mind I’m going to wade into Thursday night at Lottoland and go for the injury-depleted, but desperate Tigers, to spring an upset on Manly who to be fair were out of sorts in Auckland. I’m keen to see how young Tommy Taulau goes in his debut in the centres for Wests Tiger.
I can’t tip the Titans even at home and the Eels have been solid. Parramatta.
I’m backing Penrith with Maloney to cause an upset over Brisbane who won against the Cowboys but didn’t dazzle me. I am hoping Herbie Farnworth gets a run in the starting 17 for the Broncos because nothing says a player from northern England more than Herbie Farnworth.
Surely the Knights at home will be too good for the Cowboys who look rudderless.
Upset number three is the Raiders who went close against the Roosters to beat the Storm. Admittedly I am banking on the Storm to have a rare off day but the Raiders are definitely good enough and have strike weapon Joey Leilua back.
The Rabbitohs and Roosters will have little trouble against the Bulldogs and Warriors respectively. While both Canterbury and New Zealand had wins last weekend they will be no match for these two.
The Sharks are a team that offer hope one week then disappoint the next but the Dragons won’t be good enough to win the local derby this time.
Tips: Sea Eagles, Eels, Broncos, Knights, Storm, Rabbitohs, Roosters, Sharks
It feels like it’s been a while since we’ve seen a half-decent Thursday night game. Hopefully, the fibros and silvertails clash this week will change that.
Manly is coming off a disappointing game against the Warriors while the Tigers are in their annual battle to avoid ninth place.
Maybe there’s a parallel reality somewhere in the multiverse where the Titans beat the Eels, but it ain’t gonna be this one.
Broncos vs Panthers is a tough game to get a line on. The Broncs looked like they were getting on a roll but have been dire the last two weeks. I’m tipping them to get the chocolates because they’re at home but no result would surprise in this one.
The Knights have lost six straight but should be good enough to beat the Cowboys at home. It will be interesting to see if Brown’s battlers can somehow springboard a win into a run of form towards the semis.
While The Roar’s ‘expert’ tipping panel owes Ricky Stuart a massive apology, Canberra’s quest for credibility continues. They’ve got a 1-7 record against the top six this season. Coming into the business end of the season, do they believe they can beat the best teams in the comp?
Canterbury have won four from their last six, but with fresh troops coming back and the post Origin slump being unslumped, Easts are looking ominous. Could be a cricket score against the Warriors.
The Sharks are 2019’s biggest enigma. Nine of their games have been decided by six points or less and Cronulla has the W in only three of those. Rookie coach John Morris has tried to balance a new spine with a huge injury toll.
They have massive concentration slumps during games where opponents are able to rack up big scores but find ways to get back into games. Every time they look to have turned a corner they lose a game they should win. Despite all that it still feels like if things click they can go deep in September. Time is running out though.
Tips: Sea Eagles, Eels, Panthers, Knights, Storm, Rabbitohs, Roosters, Dragons
You know what, let’s get the controversy out of the way first. The Dragons will get up for the derby and beat the Sharks. I need something to cheer about from a dismal 2019 for the Red V.
The other game which really has me interested this week is the Green Machine’s trip to Mexi… Melbourne. They will be fired up after last week, but Craig Bellamy’s side are just so far ahead of the rest of the competition it’s not even close.
At home, they are just about unbeatable and will prove to be exactly that this Saturday.
Back to the start of the round then, and I’ll take the Sea Eagles to beat the struggling Tigers. That seems a given. Manly won’t be as bad as they were last week against the Warriors.
If that game is a given, then the next is a certainty. The Titans couldn’t beat a fly and definitely won’t be getting out of their clash with the Eels.
I’ll then take the Panthers to beat the Broncos, who have been abysmal the last two weeks. They came away with the two points last week, but that’s only because the Cowboys were worse.
Speaking of the Cowboys, and it could be a cricket score when they visit Newcastle on Saturday.
In the other two games, it could be a couple of other big scores as the Rabbitohs play the Bulldogs and the Roosters duke it out with the Warriors.
Be sure to leave your tips on the form below by 6pm (AEST) on Thursday evening and we will publish results before the opening game of the round.
|Round 21||AJ||Stuart||The Barry||Scott||Crowd|
|SEA v TIG||SEA||TIG||SEA||SEA||SEA|
|TIT v EEL||EEL||EEL||EEL||EEL||EEL|
|BRO v PAN||PAN||PAN||BRO||PAN||BRO|
|KNI v COW||KNI||KNI||KNI||KNI||KNI|
|STO v RAI||RAI||RAI||STO||STO||STO|
|RAB v BUL||BUL||RAB||RAB||RAB||RAB|
|ROO v WAR||ROO||ROO||ROO||ROO||ROO|
|SHA v DRA||SHA||SHA||SHA||DRA||SHA|
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