The second week in the NRL’s Queensland bubble has arrived, but close games don’t look all that likely as the logjam in the middle of the table continues to provide interest. This is The Roar’s NRL expert tips for Round 19.
Round 19 kicks off on the Gold Coast, which, by the end of this bubble is surely going to look more like a cow paddock than a footy field if it continues to host so many of the games as it did last week.
Cow paddocks aside, it’s the Eels without Mitchell Moses to play the Raiders without Jack Wighton in the opener, potentially throwing a spanner in the works.
Friday brings us the Roosters, who only just got past the Cowboys last week, against the Knights who got blown out by the Storm, before the Storm themselves will look to do similar against the Cowboys.
It could be more smash ups on Saturday, with the Rabbitohs to play a injury-ravaged Warriors, the Sea Eagles with Tom Trbojevic Tom Trbojevic with the Sea Eagles to play the Tigers and the Panthers to ‘host’ the Broncos at Suncorp.
Then it’s onto Sunday and oh footy fans, it’ll be time for popcorn and a butt print on the couch. I joke, of course. The Dragons and Titans, followed by the Sharks and Bulldogs. I’ll watch the first, but can’t promise I’ll make 80 minutes in the second!
Last week wasn’t meant to be all that difficult, but it turned out again that tipping any upsets in this season is fraught with danger.
That’s because my tips of the Cowboys, Dragons and Titans didn’t get up. In fact, the only upset of the week that did was the Tigers over the Broncos and wouldn’t you know it, none of the tippers got it right.
AJ led the way with seven, although is still miles behind. Mary and David both had six though along with The Crowd, meaning they all peg another point back on The Barry, who only managed five.
The Barry and The Crowd are now tied, with David four points back and Mary six.
Remember to get your tips into the form below by 6pm (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 15.
AJ’s up first this week.
Tips: Raiders, Knights, Storm, Rabbitohs, Tigers, Panthers, Titans, Sharks
I’m back in form, and you should all be terrified. Now I’m snapping at Pryde’s heels before I haul my way to the top of the pops. Laugh if you like, there’s more than enough time for me to be back where I belong.
The Raiders will continue their late-season renaissance, tagging the hapless Eels by 56.
The Roosters would usually take care of the Knights, but they’re too damaged by injury and the season is taking its toll on the rest of the squad. I’m on the record saying Newcastle are rubbish and they are, but I think they spring an upset.
Storm by 180 against North Queensland. Bunnies in a simple enough win over New Zealand. Souths are coasting at the moment and might be gettable, but they won’t be got by a team coached by Nathan Brown.
Wests over Manly, just because I have a soft spot for the Tigers. Penrith over Broncos ‘cos lol, Broncos. Titans over Dragons because Anthony Griffin’s side is really holding one leg over a cliff and are desperate to jump off.
Finally, the Sharks should do what they need to do against Canterbury. A word of warning for this one – do not watch it. You’re guaranteed to catch a horrible eye condition.
Tips: Eels, Roosters, Storm, Rabbitohs, Sea Eagles, Panthers, Titans, Sharks
Canberra will be up for a challenge this game after two wins in a row. Despite this I still think the Eels will win without Mitch Moses and the much-maligned Blake Ferguson returning. Keep an eye on Will Penisini, who is making his debut for the blue and gold.
The next game is a tough one. The Roosters are down on troops but the Knights are still without Mitchell Pearce. Without a strong halves pairing I think the Roosters have just enough in them to win this game.
The Storm will be far too strong for the Cowboys despite this game being in Townsville, with the only question being how big a margin they win by?
I expect to see a much-improved Warriors this game with their roster still finding its way after some clever mid-season signings, but their inability to play for the full 80 should see Souths, who were also patchy at times last week, get the chocolates.
The Sea Eagles will dispose of the underperforming Tigers easily this week with their squad back to almost full strength.
The Broncos are finding some form on the back of some youthful energy from players like Tyson Gamble and Jordan Riki and the extended stay in Queensland will only help. But I still think the Panthers will be too strong especially with gun Blues six Jarome Luai returning from injury.
I feel that this is the week that the indiscretions of the Dragons’ playing group will really begin to bite. They just have too many starting team players missing. With the game being on the Gold Coast, expect the Titans to get the job done, although they will need their big names like David Fifita and Ash Taylor to lift.
The Bulldogs have been in the fight in the last two weeks against much more fancied opposition but it seems like they have forgotten how to win. I expect to see a much stronger Sharks team with livewire Greek international Billy Magoulias and Andrew Fifita both coming off the bench.
Tips: Eels, Roosters, Storm, Rabbitohs, Sea Eagles, Panthers, Titans, Sharks
Well, we are at the business end of the 2021 season. For those within the top six, now’s the time to fight for the coveted top four and a possible second chance.
For everyone else, it’s a contest to see who is going to be knocked out in the first week of finals. I’m sure we were in the same position last year, but at least Wests Tigers fans would happily take eighth spot and a first finals week exit.
In terms of tipping, and leaving out AJ and Scotty, you couldn’t split Mary, The Barry and I last weekend. So, we reset and have another crack.
Footy is back on Thursday night and Cbus Super Stadium gets another workout. There are many comments here to be made linking overworked and the Gold Coast but I’m ignoring every single one of them.
The Raiders can make a statement here against the Eels but I don’t think Ricky Stuart’s woes are over. Following my ‘there are no upsets against top-four sides’ theory, the Eels will take this.
The Knights are starting to pick up some more injuries after things were looking on the improve. It’s a shame for them because the Roosters are looking vulnerable. Sam Walker has got a big future ahead of him but his form line has dipped. With James Tedesco back and Mitchell Pearce unlikely, the Roosters will sneak home.
How good must it be to be a Storm supporter? You can watch games free of stress, as your team generally has the two points sewn up by halftime. They will rip the soul out of the Cowboys this weekend and end their season.
The Warriors worked out last weekend what Sharks fans have known for a couple of years now. Chad Townsend, great hair, good social media profile but only a very average halfback. The Rabbits rarely hit top gear but are winning. They will do so again this round.
The Tigers stormed home against the Broncos and have a sneaky chance of making the eight, with a favourable draw in store. However, it’s not so favourable this round and Tommy Turbo will pick them apart. We could even see Madge repeat his halftime walk out of a few weeks ago.
I paid a bit more attention to the Broncos on the weekend than I normally do, and they are complete trash. All flash and very little ticker. I could score against their left edge and I’m over 50 without a deceptive change of pace. But I digress. The Panthers will win by plenty.
The Dragons next get a home game against the Titans on the Gold Coast. Crazy little thing called COVID. The Dragons will sit more players on the sideline in the second week of BBQ-gate. Two more players were late for the bubble and are still holed up in Sydney. You couldn’t make this stuff up. The Dragons remain in the eight but only on a temporary basis. Titans to win.
I love my Sharks but I’d be happy if they miss the eight this year. That way, the remaining players may realise that you are not a threat if you miss more tackles than any other team in the comp. At least we get Nicho Hynes next year. I’ve got to believe that, with their season on the line, they won’t suffer two defeats in a row to the Bulldogs.
Tips: Eels, Roosters, Storm, Rabbitohs, Sea Eagles, Panthers, Titans, Bulldogs
Before Round 1, my tipping rule for the season was not to tip against the top six. The only changes since are the Raiders dropped out of and the Sea Eagles worked their way in. It’s worked, until last week when I had a Lachlan Lewis level brain snap and tipped the Titans against the Eels!
Is anyone feeling a little sheepish for giving Mitchell Moses a serve for his Origin 3 performance after learning he played through the game with a broken back? The Raiders are looking for three on the bounce for the first time this year but are missing Jack Wighton and new wunderkind Xavier Savage. Eels to edge them out.
The Roosters are a few steps behind the top teams but comfortably better than the rest and they’ll show that against the Knights.
How good is it to see Ryan Papenhuyzen’s name on a team list? Not if you’re a Cowboys fan I guess. Interesting to see how Craig Bellamy works ‘Paps’ into the game. I suspect Hynes might spend some time at six. Storm to win going away.
Souths haven’t looked entirely convincing over the past month or so, but they have a ‘you put 20 on us, we’ll put 30 on you’ attitude. It’s good to watch but not necessarily a style conducive to a successful September run. I think we’ll see one of those 38-26 type scorelines here.
Speaking of high scorers, Manly have passed 50 four times in their past eight games. I think they’ll raise the bat again against the Tigers.
It is an interesting stage of the season for the Panthers. They’ve coped pretty well with a hobbling Origin workload and have their stars coming back. This Broncos game could be a tune-up for them as they face the Storm, Roosters, Rabbitohs and Eels over the next six weeks. Provided they get a decent run with injuries, they should be absolutely humming come the semis.
Clayton’s was the drink that was supposed to prevent you from getting the staggers. Ironically, the Dragons’ Clayton’s suspensions have allowed them to stagger the impact. This week Corey Norman joins Zac Lomax and Daniel Alvaro on the sidelines. No result would surprise here. Titans.
I can’t tell you how refreshing the last two weeks have been as a Bulldogs fan. Sure, we’ve lost both, but we’ve been in both games. Coming off the back of a 66-0 pounding against Manly, that almost feels like a win. I’ve been super disciplined this year tipping head over heart but I’m going for the Bulldogs. What’s the point of having a massive lead if you can’t play silly buggers once in a while?
Tips: Eels, Roosters, Storm, Rabbitohs, Sea Eagles, Panthers, Dragons, Sharks
While I’ve virtually given up on winning this thing for the year, I’d like to hold off AJ and avoid the spoon, so… It’s time to start getting a little bit serious.
Not that it’s ever helped me tipping, of course.
Anyway, onto this week’s games. Parramatta will smash the Raiders into oblivion. Canberra won last week, Mitchell Moses might be out, but good luck Canberra.
The Roosters will beat the Knights, but I’m expecting this one to be a little closer, provided Kalyn Ponga is fit – so that’s a big question after his HIA from six days ago.
Melbourne by a cricket score over the Cowboys.
The Warriors are down four from injuries, and had most of their forwards play a gruelling 80 minutes against another competition heavyweight just six days ago. Rabbitohs in a big way. Next.
The Wests Tigers will be buoyed from their stunning win over the Broncos last Sunday, but it won’t be enough to stop the Tom Trbojevic express, the star fullback having 30 try involvements in nine games. Astronomical numbers.
The Broncos couldn’t beat the Tigers, so they sure as heck aren’t beating the Panthers.
On Sunday, I’ll take the Dragons over the Titans. Jamal Fogarty being out is a bigger loss than is being given credit for in the media, while the Sharks should account for the Bulldogs, but then trusting the Sharks is a pretty difficult thing to do at the best of times.
|Round 18||AJ||Mary||David||The Barry||Scott||Crowd|
|PAR v CAN||CAN||PAR||PAR||PAR||PAR||PAR|
|SYD v NEW||NEW||SYD||SYD||SYD||SYD||SYD|
|NQL v MEL||MEL||MEL||MEL||MEL||MEL||MEL|
|SYD v NZL||SOU||SOU||SOU||SOU||SOU||SOU|
|MAN v WST||WST||MAN||MAN||MAN||MAN||MAN|
|PEN v BRI||PEN||PEN||PEN||PEN||PEN||PEN|
|STI v GCT||GLD||GLD||GLD||GLD||STI||GLD|
|CBY v CRO||CRO||CRO||CRO||CBY||CRO||CRO|
Remember to get your tips in on the form below by 6pm this evening to be counted as part of The Crowd for this weekend.