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The Roar’s NRL expert tips and predictions: Round 11

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22nd July, 2020
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The second half of the NRL season begins with four dead-set certainties and four games where the favourite is less than clear. This is The Roar’s NRL expert tipping for Round 11.

First, to last week’s results, and with AJ and myself both tipping six, but The Crowd five, it means AJ now leads by two. Mary also tipped six and continues to sit four points behind AJ, and two behind The Crowd and myself in equal second.

David and The Barry both tipped five, leaving them further behind on the table and needing something of a miracle to catch up over the remaining 80 games of rugby league.

They kick off with, as mentioned, a handful of games where it would take a very brave person to tip the underdog.

Because when Melbourne trek to Brisbane to play the Broncos, the Roosters host the Warriors, the Knights go up against the Bulldogs and Penrith take on the Gold Coast, it should be one-way traffic and then some.

In fact, with average winning margins coming into the spotlight so much this year, I would expect that number might blowout even further by the time it’s all said and done on Sunday evening.


Elsewhere, the round kicks off with a derby as the Eels look to right the ship against the Tigers after some average form, and is followed by another derby on Saturday when Cronulla host the Dragons at Kogarah. Yes, you read that right.

In between that, Friday sees the Tom Trbojevic-less Manly head north to Townsville to play the Cowboys, while Saturday’s late game sees South Sydney travel to Canberra.

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 11.

AJ Mithen

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

Whoah, we’re halfway there. And woaaah-oh, all y’all got left is prayer.

You can continue your fruitless pursuit of me but remember, all it does is provide me with brief bursts of amusement while I’m in lockdown here in Melbourne. Here are eight more winners.

A dinged-up Parra will squeak past the Tigers and continue their not-great-but-winning recent form.

Mitchell Moses celebrating.

(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

With chief diplomat and noted intellect Addin Fonua-Blake back in the line-up, Manly will beat the interimly coached Cowboys in Queensland in a bit of a bludger.

I’m really looking forward to this week’s Melbourne Storm episode of everyone’s favourite comedy, The Brisbane Broncos. This show has reached new heights in 2020.

Roosters will belt up the Warriors because they’re slightly miffed at losing to the people’s champion (the Canberra Raiders) even though they were handed all the advantages they could have dreamed of.

Dragons will get the Sharks because someone’s got to finish eighth.

The beautiful Canberra Raiders will put 56 on the hapless Rabbitohs, who wouldn’t know the try line even if it was their own residence.

And we get two bludgers to finish on Sunday, where Penrith and the Knights will murderise the Bulldogs and laughingly named Titans.

Mary Konstantopoulos


Tips: Eels, Cowboys, Storm, Roosters, Sharks, Raiders, Knights, Panthers

As a Parramatta fan, the clash against the Tigers is one of my favourites of the year. There is a spicy rivalry between these teams and with Ryan Matterson in the media this week about alleged comments he made about why he left the Tigers, I have a feeling this is going to be explosive. I’m tipping the Eels who will be closer to full strength with the return of Matterson and Mitch Moses, but the Tigers will be high on confidence following their demolition of the Broncos.

Call me crazy, but I’m tipping the Cowboys. The Sea Eagles are still under strength, despite their win over the Eels last weekend. There are some teams that get a boost when their coach departs and the Cowboys may be one of those teams. They have a talented roster that has underperformed. Maybe this is the week that talent steps up and makes a statement.

There’s no way I could possibly tip the Broncos this week. The Storm with the only question being, by how many? Similar story for the next game. The Warriors are trying hard, but are dealing with plenty – players getting ready to return home, injuries and a new coach. I can’t see them being strong enough to overcome the Roosters who are still my benchmark.

The Sharks and Dragons is another fierce rivalry and a difficult one to tip.

Shaun Johnson of the Cronulla Sharks

(Tony Feder/Getty Images)

I’m tipping the Sharks given their consistency over the last couple of weeks and additionally, the positive form of Shaun Johnson. The Dragons have been more consistent in recent weeks, but came up with a lucky escape against the Bulldogs last week. As an aside, keep an eye on Billy Magoulias, who returns for the Sharks after being sidelined with injury.

The next game sees two injury-riddled teams up against each other. But the Raiders showed last week that they are capable of beating the top teams in the competition with a win over the Roosters. In contrast, the Bunnies capitulated and will also be without Ethan Lowe and James Roberts this week. The Raiders will also be buoyed by the potential return of John Bateman, who will make a big difference in attack, defence and enthusiasm.


The Knights will beat the Bulldogs, but the Bulldogs will be brave and gritty, and the Panthers will beat the Titans, who have improved, but not enough to take on the competition heavyweights.

David Holden

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

And before you know it, we’ve crossed the halfway mark of the 2020 season. Tipping this year has been almost like a day at the beach. Just work with me here. You’re out in the surf and you get a couple of big waves, or NRL rounds if you like, when anything can happen. The rest of the time is spent rolling over dud waves, which no one is particularly concerned about.

Round 11 is a dud wave, where I’m guessing that there won’t be a whole lot of difference between anyone. But, like a seagull, we will try and feast on whatever hot chips are available. I really, really miss summer.

First up, we’ve got the Eels and Tigers. Ryan Matterson will be looking for extra padding on Thursday night when the Tigers pack go hunting for him. Matterson allegedly said something like “I’m leaving the Tigers because they’ll never win anything.” Of course, Sharks fans remember Blake Ferguson saying something similar many years ago. And guess what, Blakey, you were wrong! Booyah! Eels to win because Brad Arthur would have been at them this week.

The Cowboys and Sea Eagles is possibly the hardest decision of the weekend. Is it the new coach factor for the Cowboys or a resurgent Manly team, at least at Lottoland? With Addin Fonua-Blake allowed into Queensland, I think the Sea Eagles will be a little too strong upfront.

Addin Fonua-Blake of the Sea Eagles reacts

(Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)


After years of interstate hate, I actually felt a bit sorry for the Broncos last weekend. I just don’t see much improvement in them, so the Storm will enjoy a fun bus ride back to the Sunshine Coast.

Trent Robinson was filthy on the Roosters’ middle defence against the Raiders last round. There won’t be a repeat of that this week. Four Warriors are heading to the departure lounge after this game and you get the feeling the rest are pretty keen to be on the following flight. Roosters by plenty.

The local derby. I’ve got a sense of dread about this one. A Sharks home game against the Dragons at Kogarah. That’s ridiculous. The Sharks’ attack has been impressive this season. Their defence has been diabolical. I think the Dragons will get them.

For anyone looking for a blog on The Roar, in a slice of shameless self promotion, this is my game on Saturday night. Can the Raiders back up from their brilliant win against the Roosters? We have been waiting for the Rabbits to find their best but maybe their best has been reached and we just missed it. Raiders to win.

Geez, our Sunday games are special. Knights to trounce the Bulldogs and the Panthers to do a similar job on the Titans.

The Barry

Tips: Eels, Cowboys, Storm, Roosters, Sharks, Raiders, Knights, Panthers

Bookies have the Eels and Tigers at $1.35 to $3.25. I think it will be closer than that with the Tigers in a bit of a form surge and the Eels in a mild slump. I’m really wavering on this one but leaning to the Eels with Mitch Moses, Ryan Matterson and Blake Ferguson returning.

Tough performances from both the Cowboys and the Sea Eagles last week. The Sea Eagles are decent favourites again but I’m taking the underdog here.

No team has burned me more than the Broncos this season. I keep expecting them to turn a corner and they keep crushing me. I’m done with them (for this week anyway) so they’ll probably shock the Storm.

Thomas Flegler

(Jono Searle/Getty Images)

Speaking of heavy favourites, the Roosters are $1.05 to beat the Warriors. It’s probably a mismatch but I’m not sure the Roosters’ recent form entitles them to a price like that.

There’s few better sights in footy for me than Shaun Johnson in full flight. He’s in great form at the moment. Dragons have been resurgent recently but last week’s scrape home against the Dogs was pretty uninspiring. Sharks.

Have there ever been as many neutral fans jumping on a bandwagon than were cheering on the Raiders against the Roosters last week? Raiders will be too strong through the middle for the Rabbitohs and Nick Cotric to bag a treble.

It was a much improved effort from the Dogs last week, but the Knights are a different proposition to the Dragons. I’m considering making Kalyn Ponga my SuperCoach captain this week, which shows how little hope I give the Dogs.

Another sign of how far the Dogs have slumped is that the Titans have Sunday match of the day status over them! Penrith have had a few games recently, including last week against the Cowboys, where they’ve looked red-hot but struggled to put points on the board. Interesting to see how the Panthers’ attack copes with the loss of Api Koroisau. They’ll still be too strong for the Titans.

Scott Pryde

Tips: Eels, Cowboys, Storm, Roosters, Dragons, Raiders, Knights, Panthers

On paper, this looks like a week with a lot of certainties. I mean, I’d fall over backwards if the Broncos, Warriors, Bulldogs or Titans beat the Storm, Roosters, Knights or Panthers respectively.

In saying that, the Panthers do have plenty of injuries. No Apisai Koroisau could well take them back to their mediocre performances of last year, given how important he has been to Penrith – but there is no way I can bring myself to tip the Gold Coast.

The Knights are good enough to thump a Canterbury side who don’t know where the try line is, the Broncos are a rabble and could be forcing historians to re-write record books and the Warriors, will they even be able to name 21 next week? Roosters by about a thousand.

James Tedesco

(Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

The other games seem far more likely to bring some close results and good footy.

Thursday night’s game should see the Eels beat the Tigers, but I’m not tipping this with a whole lot of confidence. The Eels lost to Manly last week and had just been doing enough to squeak by before that. The Tigers play entertaining footy, so this could be a good one.

Speaking of Manly, six-day turnaround, game-day travel to Townsville and no Tom Trbojevic. The Cowboys are on the dead cat bounce after Paul Green was dumped during the week, and showed better signs last week against Penrith. Give me the home side here.

A Sharks home game at Kogarah. That doesn’t sit right with this Dragons fan.

Anyway, the Red V have been improving slowly but surely, and if they are going to contend for finals, this is must-win. They will win and then sing their song in the away rooms at their spiritual home.

South Sydney haven’t impressed me at all this season, but you do have to wonder if there will be a let-down for Canberra after their win over the Roosters. They still don’t have a first-choice forward pack, but they are the better team on paper here.

Round 11 AJ Mary David The Barry Scott Crowd
Last week 6 6 5 5 6 5
Total 55 51 49 46 53 53

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.