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The Roar’s NRL expert tips and predictions: Round 14

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Maybe the hardest rounds to tip are those directly following a State of Origin match, but that won’t stop The Roar’s NRL expert tipping panel from giving it a red-hot crack ahead of Round 14.

It’s always a question of which players are going to back up from the grueling (well, not so much this time) Origin battle. For those playing on Friday and Saturday in particular, playing on 48 or 72 hours rest is often far too tough of an ask.

When you consider one of those players this time is Tom Trbojevic, it should be set in stone that he won’t play as Manly take on the Cowboys. The earlier Friday game could have up to six players backing up for the Panthers as they take on the Cowboys, although that doesn’t seem so likely.

Saturday brings us three games which could seemingly be one-way traffic, with the Titans to play the Roosters, the Rabbitohs to host the Knights, and Karmichael Hunt to make his return to NRL after over a decade away against the Raiders in freezing cold Canberra.

The Warriors then take on the Storm on Sunday, with the Melbourne looking to make it 11 straight in the head-to-head battle between the two clubs, before the Eels take on the Tigers in Parramatta, with both sides looking to prove a few points.

A rare Monday game concludes the round, with the struggling Bulldogs to take on the Dragons in a now traditional Queen’s Birthday clash.

On the tipping front, AJ finally made up some ground last week with a perfect four our of four. The rest tipped three thanks to Penrith falling to the Tigers, while silly me took the Knights over Parramatta to only tip two.

It means there is no real change to last week’s leaderboard, The Barry still leading the Crowd by one and David by six.

Remember to get your tips into the form below by 5pm (AEST) this evening to join The Roar’s NRL tipping competition for 2021 and be featured as part of the Crowd’s tips for Round 14.


AJ leads us away.

AJ Mithen

Tips: Cowboys, Sharks, Roosters, Rabbitohs, Raiders, Storm, Eels, Dragons

I’m back on track, baby! A perfect four out of four split round and nailed the Origin tips too. I can feel my tipping mojo slowly, slowly coming back and there’s no gap too great for me to bridge! It begins this week – do your worst, V’landys!

No Tommy T = no Manly. But they’re only playing the Cowboys. And it’s at Brookvale. But there’s no Tommy T which means Manly switch to shambles mode. Cowboys win.

I haven’t tipped Cronulla for weeks but they’re dead certs to bash up then outscore a Panthers side full of Origin hangover.

Roosters run o‘the mill over the Titans, same for Bunnies over the atrocious Knights.

The Canberra Raiders and I share a lot of similarities – we’re universally loved and when we go badly it breaks everyone’s hearts. Never mind – the green machine are back on track too this week, knocking over Kevvie’s boys by at least 56.


Storm over Warriors on the Central Coast. Eels over Tigers because they’ve got the best squad for origin period – lots of good bods not selected.

Finally, the Dragons will again be shown why they’re rather wrong for letting Matt Dufty go as he piles on more Bulldogs pain.

The Barry

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

Given this is the round following Origin and I don’t even know what the teams look like yet, can I use the asterisk key? As in, I tip Manly*.

* – If Tom Trbojevic is playing

Tom Trbojevic of the Blues scores a try

Tom Trbojevic. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Normally a road trip is a bad thing, but the Cowboys might be glad to be getting out of Townsville. Manly have a few players returning and they’re my tip*.


My asterisk key went into meltdown when I tried entering my tip for the Panthers. Seems a bit rough to schedule the team with seven Origin players for a Friday night. I’m going to stick with the Panthers. Either last week’s team is suitably humbled by being shown up by the Tigers or the Panthers have their Origin stars and win.

Roosters to be too good for the Titans. Expect a huge game from Angus Crichton, returning from suspension. He would have been a walk-up start for Origin 1 except for his ban but will now be pushing it to make the squad for Game 2.

If Latrell Mitchell thought busting tackles for NSW was easy, he’ll be salivating in the Rabbitohs video session watching last week’s Knights’ performance. Souths by plenty.

Xavier Coates is evidence that either God doesn’t exist or he has a wicked sense of humour? Why would He gift somebody with such an incredible vertical leap but so little ability to catch a footy?

Interested to see if Josh Papali’i’s blood is boiling following Origin and if he can keep himself on the park to lead the Maroons pack in Game 2. Raiders.

“I was trying to help him up”, “He had a bee on him”, “I thought he was the ball and I was trying to kick a two point field goal”, “I was auditioning to be a Rockette”, were just some of the excuses that Cameron ‘Angry’ Munster tried out to explain his subtle rib rearrangement on Liam Martin before landing on “I was trying to get him off me”. Storm.

The Tigers attack has been firing for the past month or so and there’s real upset potential here. I think the Eels are just too clinical against teams outside the eight. We’ll have to wait and see how King Gutho backs up from Origin…oh wait.

The Bulldogs also have troops returning on Monday. Unfortunately they’re mostly F-Troop. Dragons will win comfortably.


David Holden

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

Tippers, we have a problem. I’m writing this on a Thursday morning. Like most, I don’t own a crystal ball and I’ve got no idea who is going to rock up to play this weekend. I also don’t know whether to believe coaches or call them out as fibbers. In short, I have no idea really as to whether our Origin stars will pull on a jumper this weekend.

But, as Ben Lee would say, we’re all in this together. No more whinging. It’s time to start eating into the Barry’s lead.

Manly has been the surprise packet of the season after an awful start. The polar vortex will prove too much for the Cowboys at Lottoland. I understand the Corso is now all boarded up after State of Origin 1, Tommy Turbo must play the rest of the season.

I do think Ivan Cleary is telling porkies. A sprinkling of his Origin stars are named outside the 17 but I have a hunch they start. This is bad news for the Sharks who are shooting for 3 in a row and a spot just outside the 8. Penrith to win.

The Gold Coast showed some spine last weekend and only some poor finishing cost them a win against an undermanned Storm. It’s fair to say though that the Storm were well off their game, and we don’t expect the same from the Roosters this weekend. They should be too good.

Have the wheels fallen off at Newcastle? After a brave performance against the Sea Eagles, the old boys who witnessed the trouncing last weekend won’t be too excited about the Knights future. Things were so bad, rumours of Flanno going in have surfaced. The Rabbits left edge will terrorise them. South Sydney by plenty.


Talking off basket cases, both the Raiders and Broncos fit the brief. The biggest news for this game is that Karmichael Hunt returns after 12 years away from the NRL. Of course, the best way to ease him back is to play in the 6 jersey, where he needs to remember that kicking out on the full, from your own quarter, is not the done thing in the NRL. Surely the Raiders get a win here.

The bad news for the Warriors is the Storm never play two bad games in a row. Reece Walsh is suspended so that doesn’t make things any easier. Melbourne will win comfortably.

Brandon Smith looks to pass.

(Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Last up on Sunday we get the Eels and Tigers at Bankwest. I doubted the Tigers could win 2 in a row last weekend and they proved me wrong, albeit against a Penrith side that was bog ordinary. They can’t win three straight. It’s simply impossible.

Holiday Monday sees the Bulldogs take on the Dragons. St George should get the chocolates. Matt Dufty will have about 6 tries or try assists but will be questioned after missing one tackle that leads to a Canterbury try. For reasons no one understands, he’s on the outer at the Dragons and that’s not a good place to be.

Mary Konstantopoulos

Tips: Cowboys, Panthers, Roosters, Rabbitohs, Broncos, Storm, Eels, Dragons

This is a really hard tipping week because it’s still unclear how many State of Origin players will back up. In this game, I would be surprised if the likes of Tom Trbojevic and Valentine Holmes backed up just one day after Origin, so with that in mind I’m tipping the Cowboys.

We know how much Manly struggle without Turbo and in recent weeks, the Cowboys seem to have found their coach Todd Payten.

The Panthers have been impressive all year, but unfortunately have been heavily impacted by State of Origin. I’m going to go the safe option and tip the Panthers in this game with an expectation that we may see some State of Origin players return.

Apisai Koroisau of the Panthers

(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Despite their injury woes, the Roosters will beat the Titans who continue to be the most inconsistent and frustrating team in the competition. Whilst the Titans have shown that they have no trouble scoring points, they also have some defensive deficiencies which I expect the Roosters to exploit.

The Rabbitohs will beat the Knights, who are really struggling at the moment. Their effort against the Eels on Old Boys Day was putrid and its clear they are really missing key players including the likes of Mitchell Pearce and Kalyn Ponga.

I’m tipping the Broncos to beat the Raiders, unless both teams freeze to death in Canberra on Saturday night and the Storm should have no trouble dismantling the Warriors.

Haven’t the Tigers turned a corner in recent weeks! This is a team that will be brimming with confidence after their big win against the baby Panthers last week. I’m tipping the Eels in a close one. This is an important game for the Eels. After a disappointing effort against some of the competition frontrunners, the Eels will be pushing to keep their top four position. Junior Paulo may even back up after Origin.

Finally, I’m tipping the Dragons to beat the Bulldogs who just can’t seem to get a break this season.

Scott Pryde

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

While the ordinary expectation would be a stack of tough games in a post-Origin environment, I’m not sure any after Friday will upset the apple cart, and even then, the favourites might still get up.

They say Manly is Tom Trbojevic and Tom Trbojevic is Manly. That is most certainly true, but the Cowboys playing away from Townsville is working about as well as Queensland’s defence on Wednesday night, funnily enough, in Townsville. For that reason alone, it’s impossible to tip North Queensland.

Cronulla, if they are half serious, will beat Penrith. Unfortunately, the club still reeling from sacking their coach aren’t half serious. The Panthers are though. Apisai Koroisau will be back even if everyone else isn’t, and with Matt Burton and Tyrone May smarting from last week, they could put the cleaners through Cronulla.

The Titans are just about untippable. In fact, not just about, but they most certainly are this week against the Roosters. Defensively, the Titans are terrible and the Roosters will make them pay.

I made the mistake of tipping the Knights last week and certainly won’t be doing it again as they take on the Rabbitohs, while the Raiders and the Broncos is a game I’ll tip because I have to. It’ll be about 20 degrees cooler in Canberra when the Broncos land than it was when they took off. They haven’t wanted to defend in nice weather, so forget about it in temperatures which are more likely to appear in England than the rest of Australia.

The Warriors haven’t beaten the Storm in who knows how long, and they won’t be doing so here. Melbourne are far too good, and could run a score up after a score last week.

Meanwhile, the Tigers have turned a corner. Not a corner big enough to beat the flat track bullies at Parramatta though.

And finally, the Dragons because the Bulldogs can’t attack, don’t defend very well and have been generally very poor. It would be a Dragons-like thing to do to lose to Canterbury, but it just shouldn’t happen.

Round 14 AJ Mary David The Barry Scott Crowd
Last week 4 3 3 3 2 3
Total 54 68 70 76 64 75

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