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The Roar’s NRL expert tips and predictions: Round 15

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19th August, 2020
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There are just six weeks of the NRL season to go and this could well be the toughest week for tipping yet as teams put their seasons on the line. The Roar’s NRL tipping panel are here to guide you through Round 15.

There are tough games as far as the eye can see this week, and the injury crisis doesn’t make it any easier. There was a stat floating around which suggested the Tigers have already used a staggering 31 players this season, while plenty of clubs are north of 25.

That makes this season a war of attrition.

One of the impacted teams will be up against it on Thursday in the round opener as the Storm take on the nearly at full strength, but struggling Eels.

Friday brings us the red-hot Panthers against the flashy Sharks, then the inconsistent Dragons against the rabble that is the Broncos.

The Raiders travel to the Gold Coast on Saturday, the Tigers host the Roosters who finally get some players back this week, but lose a few more, before the Rabbitohs take on the Sea Eagles in a high-stakes game at the bottom of the top eight.


Sunday sees an opportunity for the Bulldogs to kick clear of the bottom when they play the Warriors, while the Knights will be desperate against the Cowboys to close the round.

On the tipping front, AJ’s seven means he takes the outright lead once again, ahead of The Crowd by one. The Barry continues his form to get off the bottom of the table after grabbing another seven last week. Unfortunately, it’s me who takes that spot with another shocker, making for just 19 right calls in the last four weeks.

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 15.

AJ Mithen

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

And all is right with the world, Mithen back at #1 where he belongs. I hope you ‘Crowd’ enjoyed the five days in my presence up top, because the only way for you now is down.

Your fall begins with the Storm doing over the Eels. Melbourne enjoy making a point of slapping upstarts hard across the face and Parra will be wondering how far off the pace they are after Thursday night.

The Panthers to beat Cronulla but it would not surprise if the Sharks win, it’s that kind of week.


I was that close to tipping the Broncos but I love Zac Lomax and Matt Dufty, so I’ll tip the Dragons, but gamble on Brisbane.

The busted-up Roosters will still post a run-of-the-mill tick over the Wests Tigers.

The beautiful Canberra Raiders, the people’s team, will continue steamrolling to the premiership by putting 56 on the vastly improved yet still hapless Gold Coast Titans.

Manly over Souths because I’ve just got that feeling. Possibly by 8.

Warriors over Bulldogs and Knights over Cowboys on weight of attacking quality.

That is all.

Kurt Mann runs with the ball

Kurt, Mann! (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)

Mary Konstantopoulos


Tips: Storm, Panthers, Dragons, Raiders, Roosters, Rabbitohs, Warriors, Knights

As a Parramatta fan, this game has me worried. The Storm always trouble the Eels and given Parramatta’s performances over the last month, this could blow out. What is amazing about Melbourne is no matter how many players seem to be injured, Craig Bellamy and his team always overcome it and find a way. Their performance against the Roosters last week was impressive and for the Eels to be in this, they will need to play like they did when the competition recommenced.

I’m tipping the Panthers to beat the Sharks, but an upset might be on the cards. With the top four well in sight and players like Siosifa Talaki and Ronaldo Mulitalo brimming with confidence, Cronulla could challenge Penrith, but they will need to be at their best. Penrith continue to go from strength to strength.

The Broncos resemble a list of spare parts. This is a club avoiding the wooden spoon by the skin of their teeth. The Dragons, though inconsistent, will be confident after their victory over Parra and will win convincingly.

The Raiders are another team with a top-four finish in their sights. They toyed with Brisbane last week and are slowly getting injured players back. The Titans have improved significantly and it’s been pleasing to see. They may test Canberra, but not enough to get the two points.

The Tigers continue to baffle – inconsistent but explosive when playing their best footy. At the moment, the Roosters are walking wounded and are further impacted by the loss of Mitch Aubusson. I don’t see the Tigers winning this game, particularly without Harry Grant, but it won’t be a cakewalk for the Tricolours.

The Rabbitohs will beat the Sea Eagles and further solidify their spot in the top eight.

The Bulldogs have been close to a win in recent weeks, but can’t get the job done. The Warriors have demonstrated their commitment to each other and performing surprisingly well in recent weeks. They will win.


I struggle to tip any Queensland team at the moment and the Cowboys are no exception. Knights to win by ten.

NZ Warriors

(Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

David Holden

Tips: Eels, Panthers, Dragons, Raiders, Tigers, Rabbitohs, Warriors, Knights

Tipping is tough in 2020. We’ve had the COVID break, the new six-again rules and the Claytons home game for us oldies, the home game you are having when you’re not having a home game.

But those are dwarfed by injuries and, for some teams, the lists are getting bigger.

AJ has flown the coop. Only a Raiders salary cap scandal could floor him now. But podium spots and the dreaded wooden spoon are still available. So here goes.

Many, including me, thought a Storm without Camerons couldn’t beat an undermanned Roosters. How wrong we were. If anything, Melbourne probably shortened as premiership favourites. But this week added to their injury list is Suliasi Vunivalu, Dale Finucane and Jahrome Hughes. Hughes was involved in everything last week and is a huge loss. The Eels are no doubt in a flat spot but, near full strength, they should win.


We keep saying Penrith will drop one eventually, and they almost did last weekend against the Warriors. As Katy Perry would say, the Sharks are hot and cold. I love them but can’t tip them. Panthers to win and one of their forwards to line up Matt Moylan at some point.

One of the great unknowns about this Dragons team is, if they loved Paul McGregor so much they got an upset over the Eels, why have they been so poor this year? We won’t get a read on that until Round 16 because this week they play the Broncos. Brisbane are one of the best 40-minute sides in the comp but generally forget to turn up for the second half. Incredibly it got worse for them this week – Anthony Seibold should just quit this rabble because Red Hill is imploding.

The Titans are improving and, without Kevin Proctor’s alleged chomp, may have worn down the Sharks last weekend. But the Raiders are Tonka tough and should account for this Gold Coast team.

I’ve been bagging the Tigers all season. You know, the Tigers heading towards their favoured ninth spot, Michael McGuire has lost the dressing room, etc. I still believe that, but I also believe they will beat the Roosters. The latter get some players back but the loss of Luke Keary and Lachlan Lam is massive, and Jake Friend is playing injured. That leaves James Tedesco with a lot to do at fullback. At Leichhardt, the home side will spring an upset.

As a Cronulla fan, I feel for Manly. Haha, just joking. But they have had a wretched season with injury, with Tom Trbojevic and Matt Moylan setting up their own Hamstrings Anonymous group. The Sea Eagles simply must beat the Bunnies to stay alive. They get Marty Taupau back but are still missing Addin Fonua-Blake, Dylan Walker and Tommy Turbo. It will be tight but Souths will win.

It doesn’t get any easier on Sunday. Both the Bulldogs and Warriors are on the improve. I’ll take the Warriors, they have a touch more class and haven’t forgotten how to win.

And last up, the Knights still aren’t showing that they are real premiership contenders but should be too good at home against the horse-less Cowboys.

Martin Taupau of the Sea Eagles looks on

Martin Taupau (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

The Barry

Tips: Storm, Panthers, Dragons, Raiders, Roosters, Rabbitohs, Bulldogs, Knights

The Barry-naissance continues… I’ve now tipped 26 of the last 30 games correctly. Disclaimer: this round is arguably the toughest of the season!

Under normal circumstances, I’d be straight on the Storm but with their injury list, I’ve been flipping back and forth. I’d imagine Brad Arthur won’t want to build this up too big but at the same time if they get done by a second-string Melbourne outfit, how do the Eels approach the semis? Melbourne. No Parra. Wait… Melbourne.

Who else is looking forward to the battle royale of Viliame Kikau versus Siosifa Talakai? These two man-mountains are absolute beasts in great form. Meanwhile, Shaun Johnson will be hoping to make a mark on this game. A Sharks win wouldn’t surprise but I’m tipping the Panthers.

Every week on The Roar, there’s half a dozen ‘what’s wrong with the Broncos’ articles. I don’t know the answer but a gauge to how far they’ve fallen is just looking at their lineup this week compared to what could have been. Dragons.

With Proctor and Jai Arrow missing, who will put the bite into the Titans pack? While the Gold Coast have been resurgent recently, the Raiders will reign.

A few stars in, a few stars out – another week of hokey-pokey for the Roosters. They’ll be too strong for the Tigers but most of all I’m hoping the increasing injury tolls teams like the Storm, Roosters and Raiders among others are experiencing doesn’t derail the season.

Souths and Manly are harder to split than Joel Thompson’s tongue (seriously, google Joel Thompson’s tongue injury, just not on a full stomach). The Sea Eagles have troops returning but the Bunnies are in slightly better shape.

As bad as they’ve been going, the Bulldogs haven’t had much luck lately. It’s been a long time since I’ve gone there but I’m tipping them to turn things around this week against the Warriors.

On paper the Cowboys look like a team the Knights should account for, but that also seems to be when they’re at their most vulnerable. Hard tipping North Queensland away at the best of times, downright impossible this year. Newcastle.

Maika Sivo gives the thumbs up

Maika Sivo (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Scott Pryde

Tips: Eels, Sharks, Dragons, Raiders, Roosters, Sea Eagles, Bulldogs, Knights

I’ve changed my tips plenty this week, but based on the last month of tipping form, I might as well just throw a coin into the air eight times and take those results.

Here we go anyway.

Melbourne have a huge injury toll and are due for an off week. Bankwest is a hard place to play and the Eels had a loss there last week. If they don’t win this, you can pencil a line through Parra as far as the premiership goes.

I’m going to take a second upset to start the week too. The Panthers have won eight straight and have to lose at some point. They have been on the verge the last two weeks and Cronulla have all the qualities of a side who might push them over the edge. Shaun Johnson to continue his impressive run.

The next one is a banana-skin type of game. All five tipsters are on the Dragons, so tip the Broncos. They are due for a win. St George Illawarra might have a let-down, although new coach. Win? Who knows. I’m tipping the Red V.

The Green Machine are picking up steam and will beat down a Queensland side for the second straight week, despite the way the Titans are improving, while the Roosters should be too strong for the Tigers despite the injuries.

Souths haven’t impressed me at all this year, drifting in and out of games, struggling to hold the footy and not looking at all like a premiership hopeful. Manly might be busted up but they will find a way.

The Warriors are the NRL’s most popular team but it doesn’t make them amazing. They have had a big two weeks with a surprise win over the Tigers and a huge effort against Penrith. They will be off their game and the Bulldogs must win this if they are to avoid the spoon.

The final game is an easy one. The Cowboys. Away from home. It’s as close to an automatic ‘do not tip’ as you’ll find.

Round 15 AJ Mary David The Barry Scott Crowd
Last week 7 6 6 7 5 6
Total 81 75 73 73 72 80

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.