The Roar
The Roar

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Opinion

The Roar’s NRL expert tips and predictions: Round 8

Autoplay in... 6 (Cancel)
Up Next No more videos! Playlist is empty -
Replay
Cancel
Next
Expert
28th April, 2021
44
7302 Reads

Potentially the most intriguing weekend of the season to date is upon us, with The Roar’s NRL expert tipping panel here to tell you who is winning what in Round 8.

There are some cracking games ahead of us this weekend, and it all gets underway from the get-go with the struggling Canberra Raiders at home against the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

The Rabbitohs, undoubtedly one of the premiership favourites, will be wary of this game against a green machine under the pump, who have also elected to rest their misfiring Queensland Origin front rower Josh Papalii.

The early game on Friday brings us the Storm and Sharks, which may not be a foregone conclusion as Cronulla recover from the John Morris sacking, before the battling Broncos host the inconsistent Titans in prime time… And imagine the surprise at the Broncos playing on free-to-air again.

Penrith and Manly in Bathurst has become a sneaky good game thanks to the latter’s turn around since the return of Tom Trbojevic, while the Knights and Roosters could put up an uncertain result as well.

The Bulldogs and Eels, Warriors and Cowboys, and Dragons up against the Tigers in Wollongong will close out the weekend of footy, with all three games having clear favourites, although the latter two still open to the possibility of an upset.

On the tipping front, The Barry just continues to go from strength to strength. His six last week was only matched by Mary and The Crowd, with David and AJ both getting five, and my annual collapse beginning with a score of just four.

The Barry continues to lead by a point over The Crowd, with David and myself another two back and Mary one behind that. AJ continued to bring up the rear, a distant eight points behind the leader.

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 8.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Over to Mary!

Mary Konstantopoulos

Tips: Rabbitohs, Storm, Titans, Panthers, Eels, Roosters, Warriors, Dragons

The Raiders are in a world of hurt. There are many potential reasons including the hole left by Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and some players overplaying their hand. The Rabbitohs on the other hand are dominating. After a come from behind win against the Titans last week I expect them to win again.

I’m also intrigued at how the Raiders forwards will match up, particularly with the omission of Josh Papalii this week.

AAMI Park is not a happy hunting ground for many teams and it won’t be for the Sharks this weekend. The Sharks have been disappointing in recent weeks and I’m wondering just how much the way the John Morris issue was handled has fed into the playing group’s mentality.

Despite some big ins for the Sharks including the likes of Wade Graham, the Storm will be too strong at home. Keep an eye on Jahrome Hughes too who seems to be getting better every week.

Jahrome Hughes of the Storm

Jahrome Hughes (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Advertisement
Advertisement

The Titans should have no problem defeating a Broncos team that still doesn’t have a solid halves pairing. The Titans have demonstrated that they can score plenty of points and even though they let plenty of points in too, I think they have enough talent across the park to outscore the Broncos.

This next game is game of the round for me and it should give us a really good indication of where Manly are at. The Panthers are the best team in the competition and should win this game, but I am keen to know just how much of an impact Tom Trbojevic has made for the Sea Eagles.

Has he turned them from wooden spoon contenders to a team who will finish in the bottom half of the ladder? Or does his addition turn the Sea Eagles into contenders for the eight? We should know more after this weekend.

Does it show my scars as an Eels fan that I’m worried about this game? Of course, I am predicting the Eels will win, but Parramatta have a bad habit of not turning up against teams they should beat. I expect it to be closer than some have predicted.

The Roosters will beat the Knights given how much this team seems to get the job done no matter the obstacles. This will be an important game for the Knights though who are closer to full strength with the return of Tex Hoy. I’m looking forward to the battle between James Tedesco and Kalyn Ponga in this game.

The next game is a tough one to pick, but I am tipping the Warriors. The Cowboys have now won three games and have improved significantly (even without Jason Taumololo and Michael Morgan). After a good win last week against the Raiders, this will be another big test for the Cowboys. I’m curious to see how they perform away from home.

I can’t possibly pick the Tigers, given how appalling their form has been recently. The Dragons will win here and bounce back from a disappointing loss against the Roosters.

The Barry

Advertisement
Advertisement

Tips: Rabbitohs, Storm, Titans, Panthers, Eels, Roosters, Warriors, Dragons

What a week! For some reason, I’ve had a spring in my step and a twinkle in my eye. My Bulldogs merchandise has found its way out of mothballs and my missus thinks I’ve discovered the fountain of youth…

You’d have thought 40 minutes off the bench was enough to freshen big Josh Papalii up. Apparently not, as Ricky Stuart has “rested” his mulleted front-rower. At this rate, Queensland will be picking him from reserve grade, which pretty much augers a great Origin series for him. No future tipping against the bunnies at the moment.

It’ll be embarrassing for the Storm if they can’t beat the Sharks after the Dogs towelled them up last week. Don’t think it will be a worry.

Last week Tom Dearden was the answer to the Broncos halves dilemma, but a week in league is a long time. The Broncos are back to a Gamble with Anthony Milford. Titans.

Hard to believe it was only a month ago that the Panthers beat the Eagles by 40 at Brookie. They’ll be too strong for Manly at Bathurst but it shapes as an intriguing game, especially to see where the Tommy Turbo-inspired Sea Eagles season is at.

Tom Trbojevic

(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Tipping against the Bulldogs worked a charm for them last weekend, so in that vein, I’ll tip the Eels.

Advertisement
Advertisement

So far this season the Roosters have struggled against the teams above them but easily accounted for those below them. Given the Knights are clearly in the latter group, the Roosters should put them away.

The resurgent Cowboys take on Gosford’s finest on Sunday in a genuine coin flip. Warriors with little to no confidence.

Michael Maguire and Anthony Griffin continue their roster roulette this week as the Dragons charmed draw to start the season continues. In the next seven weeks they play the Tigers twice, the Bulldogs twice and the Broncos. Dragons.

David Holden

Tips: Rabbitohs, Storm, Titans, Panthers, Eels, Roosters, Warriors, Dragons

A change has come over this competition. Some dud teams are showing some signs of recovery. Some middle of the road teams are instead discovering that the only road ahead of them is a downward spiral.

And, so, we are getting upsets. The trick to being a champion tipper is picking these upsets and I failed on the weekend. Thankfully, Scott failed worse than I did so I have pulled up alongside him in second.

The Barry has skipped to a little lead so we need now focus on reeling that in.

Advertisement
Advertisement

There are some interesting clashes this weekend. First up, are the Raiders really on the decline? The Rabbits played a get out of jail card last round against the Titans but they won’t be able to do that in Canberra.

The Raiders are without some big names including Jarrod Croker, Josh Papalii and Josh Hodgson. Ricky’s torment will continue.

Speaking of torment, it’s tough being a Sharks supporter. The Storm will methodically pick them apart on Friday night. I will try and work late to avoid watching it.

The one good thing is Will Chambers starting for the Sharks. Why, you ask? Despite being public enemy number 1 in the Shire for a time, his non pass to Cooper Cronk in the 2016 grand final gifted Cronulla their first premiership and sees him now firmly as a Sharks favourite.

It’s Friday night so it must be Broncos night. After showing plenty of commitment against the Panthers a few weeks ago, Brisbane reverted to normal last week. Kevin Walters has responded by shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic, no pun intended. The Titans have hit a flat spot over the past few weeks but should have enough.

David Fifita

The Titans are bad, but they’re not Broncos bad. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

We then head to Bathurst for the Panthers and Eagles. I’m still scratching my head about how one player can make such a difference to a team, but Tom Trbojevic is doing it for Manly. It surely can’t be enough this weekend. If the Panthers were a Bathurst driver, they would be Shane van Gisbergen, at the top of his game, almost unbeatable.

There’s been plenty of noise coming out of Belmore this week suggesting Canterbury have remembered how to win. Easy up fellas, you just beat a Cronulla side who bombed six tries and are completely devoid of any ticker. It still hurts. Eels to win.

Advertisement
Advertisement

I was quick to write off the Roosters last weekend after they got mauled by the Storm, but they were back to their best. Home ground advantage gives the Knights a big chance but I think the Roosters get the chocolates.

The Cowboys have improved but I’m not sure that extends to winning on the Central Coast. The Warriors pride themselves on high completion rates and that should prove too much for North Queensland.

Tigers fans never thought they would be pining over a 9th placed finish in 2021, yet here we are. I think there are more rocky times ahead and the Dragons will bounce back.

AJ Mithen

Raiders, Storm, Titans, Sea Eagles, Eels, Roosters, Cowboys, Tigers

I’m slowly on the way back, just chip chip chippping away at that lead. Before you know it I’ll have ascended to my rightful place at the top of the standings because as we all know, the best players time their runs for the business end – we don’t fret early during meaningless rounds! Here are your winners.

Your premiership favourites the beautiful Canberra Raiders by at least 56 over a shellshocked South Sydney. Wayne and Rick’s pressers to last a combined 47 seconds.

Storm over Cronulla because the Sharks couldn’t give a stuff about what Josh Hannay tells them. Well played, front office.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Titans over Broncos cos LOL Broncos.

Manly will inflict Penrith’s first loss for a long, long time. Why? Because I’ve tipped them.

Eels over Dogs but this could be a sneaky good game.

Roosters over the Knights, who I’m really trying to rate but just can’t. They’re still learning O’Brien’s game for mine.

Cowboys over Warriors, who are getting a bit wobbly after a promising start. Does Nathan Brown have the man-management skills to keep his squad feeling good and playing well?

Finally, Tigers over Dragons. This is just cos I feel for the Wests fans who have been comedic value last fortnight. Carn the Tiggies!

Scott Pryde

Tips: Raiders, Storm, Titans, Sea Eagles, Eels, Knights, Warriors, Dragons

Advertisement
Advertisement

Well, I may have gone crazy looking at my selections for this week.

I’m not 100 per cent sure how so many upsets happen, but I’ve just got a feeling.

The Raiders are, in an average year, hard to beat at home. The weather is starting to cool down too which should play right into their hands, and I wasn’t particularly convinced by South Sydney last week, particularly defensively, despite how good overall they have been.

A rocket has been put up the Raiders and a notice to all players with the resting of Josh Papalii, so give me Canberra on the bounce back.

The Storm should account for the Sharks pretty comfortably, although Cronulla aren’t completely out of it, while the Gold Coast might run up something fierce against the Broncos who have a new halves pairing and little confidence.

No, that isn’t a typo either. I’ll take the Sea Eagles. Tom Trbojevic setting them up defensively has improved the side out of sight at that end of the park, while their attack is also on the improve. Penrith are due – no scratch that – overdue for a loss, so give me Manly.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Also somewhat intriguing to note Penrith have lost their last two Bathurst games.

No upset in the next one with the Eels to trounce the Bulldogs, while the Warriors and Dragons are favourites on Sunday against the Cowboys and Tigers respectively, and I’ll happily take both to win.

It’s the Knights on Saturday night, at home to the Roosters which intrigues me.

The Roosters have to slow down at some point with so many injuries – there is simply no way they can maintain the rage, and the Hunter can be a tough place to play.

Newcastle are just starting to get some players back from injury and are overdue for one of those hometown performances which the fans dream of. Give me the Knights.

Round 7 AJ Mary David The Barry Scott Crowd
CAN v SOU CAN SOU SOU SOU CAN SOU
MEL v CRO MEL MEL MEL MEL MEL MEL
BRI v GCT GLD GLD GLD GLD GLD GLD
PEN v MAN MAN PEN PEN PEN MAN PEN
CBY v PAR PAR PAR PAR PAR PAR PAR
NEW v SYD SYD SYD SYD SYD NEW SYD
NZL v NQL NQL NZL NZL NZL NZL NZL
STI v WST WST STI STI STI STI STI
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.

Advertisement
Advertisement