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The Roar’s NRL expert tips and predictions: Round 7

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Expert
21st April, 2021
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It’s starting to look like this job of predicting winners in 2021 isn’t going to be quite as easy as it looked, and Round 7 is going to present plenty of challenges for The Roar’s NRL expert tipping panel. Let’s find out who they have got to win this weekend.

While there were some differences in tipping last weekend, the overwhelming majority of tips were the same, and the Crowd also agreed with the popular opinion.

The subtle differences evened themselves out across the weekend though, with the entire panel apart from poor old AJ getting five. Our former champion could manage only four and as a result slips even further behind to a now distant seventh behind clubhouse leader The Barry, who is still just a single tip ahead of the Crowd and myself.

Round 7 gets rumbling with the Panthers and the Knights in a game that on the surface looks like it could be one-way traffic but might be anything but once the two sides get on the park.

Gold Coast and South Sydney will roll out in the early Friday game, with the inconsistent Titans needing a win in a big way, before the Broncos look to see if they can string two decent performances together in Darwin against the Eels.

The Sharks should have it their own way against Canterbury on Saturday, while one might expect the Raiders, even on the road, to do similar to the battling Cowboys. The Tigers and Sea Eagles, given their recent resurgence, could go anywhere, before Anzac Day brings up the now traditional double-header of the Roosters and Dragons, and the Storm up against the Warriors.

Remember to get your tips into the form below by 6pm (AEDT) on Thursday to join The Roar’s NRL tipping competition for 2021 and be featured as part of the Crowd’s tips for Round 7.

The Barry still leads this thing, so he can have first crack again.

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The Barry

Tips: Panthers, Rabbitohs, Eels, Sharks, Raiders, Sea Eagles, Roosters, Storm

I’m getting dizzy trying to keep up with the ins and outs each week. Team lists are getting shorter than injury lists, and at the rate I’m burning through my SuperCoach trades I’ll have my final team locked in by about Round 13.

Has the Knights’ season been kickstarted by the return of Kalyn Ponga? This looks like a great game. It’s hard to know which Knights team will show up, so a win wouldn’t surprise, but I can’t tip against the Panthers just yet.

Titans versus Souths looks like another good game. With a season of big losses or big wins, are the Titans contenders or pretenders? Again an upset wouldn’t surprise (or disappoint), but I can’t bring myself to tip it.

The Broncos’ tough start to the season continues with an away game to the in-form, outta-form, back-in-form Eels. Parramatta.

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Just when things couldn’t get bleaker for the Dogs, Shaun Johnson returns for the Sharks.

Sticky has wielded the axe down in Canberra. Dented pride plus how not-quite-as-bad-as-the-Bulldogs the Cowboys were last week could play the Raiders back into form.

Speaking of changing things up, Michael Maguire seems to be pulling his team out of a hat each week. The Sea Eagles and especially Tom Trbojevic have been a breath of fresh air over the last couple of weeks. I always feel dirty saying this, but go Manly!

The Roosters are another team having a mixed-bag season. They’ve looked dominant against the bottom end of the table but haven’t had any answers when the blow torch has been applied by Souths and Melbourne. This game could show on which end of the table the Dragons really belong.

Even without Ryan Papenhuyzen the Storm will be too strong for the Warriors. I’m not sure how my SuperCoach team will go without him.

Jesse Bromwich celebrates

(Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)

Scott Pryde

Tips: Panthers, Titans, Eels, Sharks, Raiders, Sea Eagles, Dragons, Storm

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There are going to be some upsets this week, but I’m just not sure exactly where.

It won’t be in the first game though. The Knights could cause a boilover, but they’d need a Kalyn Ponga masterclass. You feel the Panthers are edging towards their first loss, but it probably won’t be at home either, even if they are still missing a few key players.

The Titans beating the Rabbitohs at home seems like a goer though. They are up and down but need to take the challenge to a top team sooner rather than later. The loss of Tino Fa’asuamaleaui hurts them, but I’ll still say they (marginally) get the job done.

Parramatta should roll over Brisbane, who were improved last week, but they need to do it a few weeks on the hop before we can really assess where they are at.

If the Sharks don’t eat the Bulldogs, I’ll eat my hat, while the Raiders will be pumped having had to listen to Ricky Stuart all week. He would have no doubt made training an uphill slog for his men in green, and it’s hard to see them losing, even away in Townsville.

The Tigers have been pretty inconsistent to start the season, while the Sea Eagles are starting to look like a resurgent side. Tom Trbojevic makes all the difference and will again here in what I’m imagining will be a comfortable win.

Anzac Day is one of the most special days on the calendar. It’s a day we pay our respects to those who have given us the freedom we live with today. That moment when 45,000 people go silent before the Dragons and Roosters match is one of the most goosebump-inducing moments I have ever been part of. I’m gutted I won’t be out there this year, but the Dragons have shown they have what it takes in 2021 under Anthony Griffin.

Coming off a loss and up against the Roosters with a mountain of injuries, the Red V might just fall over the line.

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The Storm will win pretty easily against the Warriors to close it out though.

Ben Hunt celebrates with Josh Kerr

(Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

David Holden

Tips: Panthers, Rabbitohs, Eels, Sharks, Raiders, Sea Eagles, Dragons, Storm

The last couple of weeks have given NRL fans what we have long been waiting for: a few upsets. The Roar tipping is pretty important, and when looking for a link between these I stumbled onto something big. Every single upset over the past two weeks has involved the away team being victorious – and yes, I’m counting Mudgee as an away venue.

So if I fail to follow that logic this week, it’s my own fault. I banked another solid but unspectacular five last week, which keeps me in touch with the leaders. I need to do better. It might be this week.

I like the away-team upset theory, but it won’t be happening on Thursday night. The Panthers are so good at rugby league that the only weakness we can find is that they are arrogant winners. In today’s woke society a little shameless gloating is fine by me. Penrith to win.

Can someone please swab the Titans? I don’t know how you go from big improvers to massive duds in the space of a week. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui is suspended for two weeks, while for the Rabbits, Latrell Mitchell is out after putting on a high shot. Lashing out with your legs is apparently okay. I’m with the Bunnies.

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The Eels then host the Broncos in Darwin. This is just the type of games the Eels would lose, but I can’t pick the Broncos. They were better last week but still didn’t have the class to close out the game when it really counted.

First up on Saturday afternoon we have the Sharks and Bulldogs. Again, a massive upset wouldn’t surprise, but I simply can’t pick against my team in this one. The Sharks should have too many points in them against Canterbury.

Ricky launched his toys out of the cot after the loss to the Eels last Saturday night. No-one was specifically named, but all will be wary at training this week. This spells bad news for the Cowboys. Enthusiasm won’t be an issue for the Raiders this week.

And now to some great Anzac Day match-ups.

I’ll admit I’m feeling sorry for the Tigers. They lose in the cruellest way possible then run into a Manly team for which Tom Trbojevic is clearly a miracle worker. Joey Leilua is likely to come back in and Manly will be directing a bunch of traffic in his direction. Sea Eagles will get the chocolates.

I’ve got to go at least one away team upset, and this is it. The Dragons came back to earth with a thud on Sunday afternoon but came within a whisker of beating a near-flawless Warriors outfit. The Roosters are busted after a physical clash with the Storm. Blake Lawrie is due back, and though I’m not so excited about Ben Hunt, I think the Dragons will win.

The Warriors would beat most teams if they stick Sunday’s form on repeat. The trouble is that they can’t. This will be closer than a lot of people think, but the Storm will win at AAMI Park.

Jack Wighton of the Raiders offloads the ball

(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

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Mary Konstantopoulos

Tips: Panthers, Rabbitohs, Eels, Sharks, Raiders, Sea Eagles, Roosters, Storm

There’s a big question at the moment about who will be the first team to beat the Panthers. While Newcastle were impressive last week, I still think the Panthers will win as they’ll receive a big boost with the return of Dylan Edwards.

The Titans are one of the hardest teams to tip in the competition this year. One week they’re good and the next week they’re bad. I’m expecting an improved performance from them this week, but the Rabbitohs have too much talent in attack to lose this one. Even without Latrell Mitchell, Alex Johnston has had plenty of experience at fullback so should at least be able to cover that spot.

The Eels will have a tough assignment against the Broncos in Darwin. I expect that the Broncos will have plenty of support. There are still questions about whether the Eels are contenders, and if they are, it’s important that they beat teams like the Broncos.

The Sharks will beat the Bulldogs – when will the Bulldogs post their first win of the year? – and the Raiders will bounce back after a dismal loss to the Eels against the Cowboys. It’s a tough trip to Townsville, but I’m confident that the changes Ricky Stuart has made will make an impact.

Isn’t it incredible what one player can do? Tom Trbojevic returns for the Sea Eagles and suddenly the whole team lifts. I think that this team can beat Wests Tigers, who have been inconsistent at best. If I were a Manly fan, I would have some deep concerns. One player shouldn’t have this much of an impact, particularly on the performance of other players.

The Roosters and the Dragons should be a cracking match and I’m trilled that the ANZAC day match will be competitive this year. I’m still tipping the Roosters because even though they have been ravaged by injury, they still seem to find a way.

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The Storm will beat the Warriors, but I’m hoping for some more Roger Tuivasa-Sheck magic in this game.

Blake Ferguson of the Eels

(Photo by Matt Blyth/Getty Images)

AJ Mithen

Tips: Panthers, Rabbitohs, Eels, Sharks, Raiders, Sea Eagles, Dragons, Storm

Yet again I’ve been just minutes away from a clean card and a remarkable comeback. All you favourites-choosers will get your comeuppance shortly and my ascendance to the championship spot will again become reality!

Penrith by a mile over the Knights. Newcastle in strife.

Bunnies over Titans, who have lost the plot after a promising start.

Eels over Broncos because of lessons learnt in Round 1.

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Cronulla over the Dogs, who are having cracks but ain’t good enough.

Your premiership favourites, the beautiful Canberra Raiders, to take the rocket they copped from Rick and place it straight up North Queensland. Raiders by 56.

Manly to get the Tigers because the Tigers can’t back up two decent games in a row but Manly can.

Dragons over Roosters in a grinding grind cos it’s their only hope and they’re built for it.

Melbourne have given the Warriors a sniff from time to time, but not this week. Game over by minute 14.

Sports opinion delivered daily 

   

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Round 7 AJ Mary David The Barry Scott Crowd
PEN v NEW PEN PEN PEN PEN PEN PEN
GCT v SOU SOU SOU SOU SOU GLD SOU
PAR v BRI PAR PAR PAR PAR PAR PAR
CRO v CBY CRO CRO CRO CRO CRO CRO
NQL v CAN CAN CAN CAN CAN CAN CAN
WST v MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN
SYD v STI STI SYD STI SYD STI SYD
MEL v NZL MEL MEL MEL MEL MEL MEL
Last week 4 5 5 5 5 5
Total 28 31 33 35 34 34

Remember to get your tips in on the form below by 6pm tonight to be counted as part of the Crowd for this weekend.

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