Round 6 arrives, and the second quarter of the shortened 2020 NRL season begins as the race for finals spots is seemingly already on the line for some sides. This is The Roar’s NRL expert tipping for another week.
While the race for finals spots isn’t far away from properly getting underway for the struggling clubs at the bottom of the ladder, the Parramatta Eels are already halfway to booking their spot at the top.
And they will unsurprisingly be involved in what should be the game of the week this time around as they take on the back-to-back defending premiers in the Roosters.
Elsewhere, the Raiders take on the Sea Eagles in what should be another humdinger, while the season’s surprise packets so far, Newcastle and Penrith, play the Broncos and Storm in what should be close clashes.
The Rabbitohs will play the Warriors as they try to build a run of form following their win over the Gold Coast last week, while the Titans take on the Dragons in the early Saturday clash in a bottom-of-the-table battle.
The Cowboys also face another tough trip south to play the up-and-down Tigers, while the round finishes with a second clash between strugglers, as the Sharks take on the Bulldogs in a game where both sides will be desperate for competition points to keep flickering hopes alive.
Taking that a minimum of ten wins would be needed to play finals footy, the Dragons, Sharks, Bulldogs and Titans would all need to win nine from 15, and maybe more, if they are going to make the eight.
On the tipping front, AJ extended his lead by tipping seven out of eight – imagine taking the Dragons. Anyway, he leads The Crowd by two, with everyone else tied another two back.
Remember to get your tips into the form below by 6pm (AEST) on Thursday to join The Roar’s NRL tipping competition for 2020 and be featured as part of The Crowd’s tips for Round 6.
Tips: Knights, Rabbitohs, Storm, Dragons, Tigers, Roosters, Raiders, Sharks
Didn’t I tell you I was going to crush you all? You were warned and now you’re all in my rear vision mirror. For all your mocking and posing, all you hope for now is to do your best and get a consolation pat on the back from your mum. Here are my tips.
Newcastle will get the Broncos in an uninspiring effort at Gosford. This one might show just how serious the Knights are about making an impact in 2020.
I’m tipping Souths to beat the Warriors, who have shown great character but surely can’t maintain the rage.
Penrith will give the Storm their all but as usual, Melbourne will absorb it and come out on top. The Panthers have beaten the Storm once in the last five years and I’ve got no reason to believe that will change.
The Dragons fought out their first win nicely against Cronulla and will repeat the dose against a predictably poor Gold Coast.
North Queensland have quickly become tipping poison in 2020. They’re untippable and showed why when they got ploughed by the Warriors. The Tigers would have beaten Canberra if Russell Packer didn’t lose his senses and they’ll grind this out. They’re better than their fans want to admit.
The Roosters only have a short break before they take to the Eels at Bankwest but that doesn’t matter, they’re going to murder the home team. The Roosters are pushing the 2017 Storm as the best team we’ve seen for a while, Parra have staggered a bit and they’re going to be tested beyond their limits.
My beautiful Raiders welcome Manly to Campbelltown and assuming they don’t get sucked in by niggle as historically happens, they’ll put 46 on them.
Finally, I’d like the Bulldogs to beat the Sharks but I can’t tip ’em. Both of these teams are disgusting. If I can’t tip a draw, I’ll take the Sharks.
Tips: Broncos, Rabbitohs, Storm, Dragons, Tigers, Roosters, Raiders, Sharks
The first game is surprisingly hard to tip. We saw the damage that Brisbane can do last weekend against Manly (despite a loss) and now with Tevita Pangai Junior returning and the addition of Issac Luke, their squad is getting stronger. The battle of the forward packs should be exceptional in this game.
The Warriors have been unsurprisingly inconsistent this year and I don’t see them beating the Rabbitohs, who have the return of James Roberts to look forward to.
Even though the Panthers have been impressive, particularly in attack, the Storm have just managed to find a way to get the job done so far this year. Storm to win in a close one.
The Titans and Dragons is potentially the match to miss this weekend. I’m tipping the Dragons because they are a much better side on paper. But as we know what’s on paper doesn’t always mean a team will win a footy game.
Despite a couple of losses, the Tigers are improving every week and I expect them to be far too strong for what has been an underwhelming Cowboys side.
Match of the round will be Parramatta and the Roosters and I’m tipping the Roosters. Parramatta have been very good, but this game against the Roosters should really tell us whether they are contenders or pretenders. It’s one thing to beat teams like the Titans, but you can’t be a contender without beating a team like the Roosters who were impressive last weekend against the Bulldogs. James Tedesco alone is almost reason to tip the Roosters.
I’m tipping the Raiders against the Sea Eagles in what should be an entertaining match simply because of Manly’s injury concerns, including the likes of Moses Suli and Marty Taupau.
The Sharks were dismal last weekend, but have the chance to get back on track this weekend. I am expecting them to beat the Bulldogs, who unfortunately don’t have the squad this year to make any real inroads.
Tips: Knights, Rabbitohs, Storm, Dragons, Tigers, Roosters, Raiders, Bulldogs
Well, it’s wonderful what one reasonable round of tipping will do for you. I’ve managed to reel in Mary, Scott and the Barry. Equal second or equal last? I’m a glass half-full type, so equal second sits nicely. Now, it’s time to slowly eat into AJ’s lead. I’ve got months to do this, so there’s no pressure to go with any miracle tips. This brings us then to Round 6, which is a case of the best versus the best and the worst versus the worst, which makes it tough to tip.
The Broncos did bounce back well after their Roosters belting but would have been disappointed at losing to Manly after leading 18-0. The Knights, on the other hand, got a reality check in the form of Melbourne. Kotoni Staggs’ hamstring injury has me swaying towards the Knights. Knights tend to tame Broncos so they can ride them. Loose logic, I’ll admit, but it’s the Knights for me.
Both the Warriors and Rabbits are coming off last-start wins. The Warriors are secretly hoping that just one player from another team gets a mild case of COVID-19, so we close up shop and move the whole shebang back to New Zealand, which is virus-free. But it won’t happen this weekend and the Rabbits will win.
The Storm showed last weekend that you can teach an old dog new tricks. The old bit is maybe a tad harsh, but Bellamy has adjusted his game plan to suit the new rules. The Panthers were good against the Eels last week, but a ten-minute lapse finished them off. They can’t afford any lapses this weekend and I’m tipping the Storm to win.
If the Americans are looking for a taste of NRL, I hope they don’t watch the Titans and Dragons on Saturday afternoon. The NRL’s hopes of global domination would be dashed. The Dragons would win this comfortably on paper but we typically play on grass instead. The changes to the Dragons seemed to work last week so I will go with them to make it back to back.
Michael Maguire sent ripples through Tiger Town last week when he left Benji Marshall out of the squad and he’s backed it up this week with the omission of Chris Lawrence. It did instil toughness in the team, with whatever Josh Reynolds lacks in finesse being made up with desire, and a splash of niggle. It’s hard not to enjoy yourself in North Queensland, but Paul Green would be the exception to the rule. Injuries to Valentine Holmes and Jordan McLean don’t make things easier, and the Tigers will win.
The Eels are due for a loss and I reckon this will be the one in the match of the round. Much will be made of the five-day turnaround this week but Trent Robinson rested some key forwards late against the Bulldogs and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves will be fresh. I think the Roosters will get home in a classic.
Corey Horsburgh is a big in for the Raiders while Marty Taupau and Moses Suli are big outs for the Sea Eagles. I expect the Raiders to get the chocolates in a low-scoring affair.
And we finish off the round with an all-time classic between the Bulldogs and Sharks… not. Despite the Bulldogs getting lapped on Monday night, they still produced something the Sharks haven’t got. And that is an attacking edge. Before you fall off your chair, Kieran Foran and Will Hopoate looked good out there. Most readers would know I am a Sharks fan, most wouldn’t know I am zero for five with their games this year. I am like a tipping voodoo with Sharks games. Whoever I tip turns to mud. And that’s why I’m tipping the Bulldogs.
Tips: Knights, Rabbitohs, Storm, Dragons, Tigers, Roosters, Raiders, Sharks
Do the Knights have the greatest array of first names ever assembled in sporting history?
From the unique Bradman, Tex, Starford and Phoenix to the exotic Kalyn, Enari, Hymel, Sione, Gehamat and Pasani… and then there’s Herman. Their recruitment and retention team really needs to question whether there’s room for the likes of David, Mitch, Kurt and Tim in this squad. I think we can all get behind a Knights premiership and seeing these names etched into rugby league folklore.
Souths-Warriors is a hard game to get a line on. Things are starting to fall in place for Souths with Cody Walker back, Cameron Murray at 13, Latrell Mitchell improving and James Roberts named on the bench. The Warriors are vacillating between winning well and losing ugly. It’s hard to know whether this will be Souths 20-0 or the Warriors 35-29. Rabbitohs with no conviction.
I got frisky and tipped against the Storm last week, so I’m not making that mistake again. Maybe when Cameron Smith retires. The Panthers are playing well and are good to watch but are a rung or two below.
Saturday sees Round 2 of the three-way spoonapalooza with the improving Titans taking on the hopeful Dragons. I’m leaning to the Dragons to claim the Who Cares Cup on the back of last week’s win.
It must be a long, tiring day getting from Townsville to Campbelltown, even without then having to go out and play 80 minutes of one of the world’s toughest sports. Tigers.
Roosters + Eels = blockbuster. Game of the season. Grand final preview. You know the drill. The Roosters have come out roaring since the restart – maybe the NRL should have listened to Nick Politis and re-set the competition points. The Roosters have won against an out-of-sorts Rabbitohs, Broncos and Bulldogs since the resumption and are yet to be truly tested. The Eels have methodically gone about their work against tougher opposition. I’m leaning towards the Roosters but not by much.
Manly have had – and continue to have – an outrageously tough draw. Canberra haven’t really got out of second gear. This will be another really good game. Coin toss. Raiders.
While the Bulldogs only scored six points against the Roosters, it was a wonderfully well executed six points. Talk about looking on the bright side. While I’m not going to get too many chances to tip the Bulldogs this year and this seems a perfect opportunity, I’m going with the head and tipping the Sharks. Hope I only get seven this week.
Tips: Knights, Rabbitohs, Storm, Dragons, Tigers, Eels, Raiders, Sharks
Plenty of intriguing games this weekend, but the one that carries the most weight is the Titans and Dragons with up to 2000 fans in attendance at Suncorp. Am I right?
Okay, no, maybe not, but the Dragons were better last weekend and should make it two on the hop, allowing Mary to sign a new eight-year contract extension.
Cool, done, moving on.
The actual games of the week are shaping up as those between the Parramatta and Roosters, and when Canberra take on the Sea Eagles.
All four of these sides are in the premiership conversation, that there can be no doubt of, but give me the Eels purely because the Roosters are on a five-day turnaround, and haven’t actually beaten anyone good yet. You can only play what’s in front of you, and the Roosters have been bloody impressive, but the Broncos, Rabbitohs and Bulldogs isn’t exactly a list that will knock your socks off.
I’ll take the Raiders on the bounce back to beat Manly as well. Sure, they won last week, but they haven’t played well since the game in Melbourne in the first week back, so expect them to get their performance in order this time around.
Elsewhere, Newcastle will beat the Broncos. They have been one of the competition’s surprise packets thus far, and while they didn’t get the better of Melbourne last weekend, Brisbane’s second trip in as many weeks will hurt them – although constant seven-day turnarounds to Thursday night games back-to-back-to-back-to-back are something any side wouldn’t mind having.
The Warriors are playing a brave brand of footy as the competition gets back underway. Inconsistent as they may be, they were good to watch last week. Unfortunately, the chance of getting over South Sydney seems slim.
Melbourne and Penrith could be a sneaky good game, but the Storm will continue their improvement to pick up another two competition points, while the Tigers should get the Cowboys. That’s not a vote of confidence to the Tigers, as it is a vote of no confidence in the Cowboys.
The week will finish with Cronulla beating the hapless Canterbury. That game will be a right mess.
|Round 6||AJ||Mary||David||The Barry||Scott||Crowd|
|NEW v BRI||NEW||BRI||NEW||NEW||NEW||NEW|
|SOU v NZL||SOU||SOU||SOU||SOU||SOU||SOU|
|PEN v MEL||MEL||MEL||MEL||MEL||MEL||MEL|
|GCT v STI||STI||STI||STI||STI||STI||STI|
|WST v NQL||WST||WST||WST||WST||WST||WST|
|SYD v PAR||SYD||SYD||SYD||SYD||PAR||SYD|
|CAN v MAN||CAN||CAN||CAN||CAN||CAN||CAN|
|CRO v CBY||CRO||CRO||CBY||CRO||CRO||CRO|
Be sure to get your tips in on the form below by 6pm (AEST) this evening, and we will publish the results of The Crowd’s tips before the first game of the round kicks off.