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The Roar’s NRL expert tips and predictions: Round 23

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18th August, 2022
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Hey Roarers!

Round 22 had it all! Upsets, blow outs, two teams kept to nil and the biggest case of Déjà vu we have seen ever seen. Some teams were fighting for optimum position while others were trying to avoid embarrassment.

Later we have a surprise guest tipster on board – be first, let’s recap …

The Panthers were held scoreless for the first time in forever, going down 16-0 to the Storm on Thursday night. Yes, Penrith were missing some big names, but so were Melbourne. Have they finally got their season back on track?

The Warriors caused an upset on Friday night, thumping the Bulldogs 42-18 in front of a delighted Mt Smart Stadium crowd. If being at home can produce that kind of result, 2023 could be a good year for our mates across the ditch.

Parramatta’s hot and cold season continued in the second Friday night match, getting their pants pulled down by the Bunnies 26-0. Souths were in red hot form, with Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker causing havoc all night. Mitchell even put the rest of the teams on notice after the game, warning everyone to “Look over your shoulders, we’re coming.”

The Roosters turned it on at the SCG on Saturday, with a 32-18 win against the Cowboys. The tricolours ensured skipper James Tedesco celebrated his 200th in style, and also remained in 8th spot. Question – do we like Matt Lodge now?

Nicho Hynes continues his charge for the Dally M award, putting in another stellar effort during the Sharks 36-12 win over the Tigers. A sold-out Tamworth crowd watched Hynes weave his magic, as well as seeing the Tigers sink back down to last on the NRL ladder.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 10: Nicholas Hynes of the Sharks passes during the warm-up before the round five NRL match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Wests Tigers at PointsBet Stadium, on April 10, 2022, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The Broncos got back into the winner’s circle with a 28-10 win over my Knights at Suncorp Stadium. Brisbane are back in top four contention, while the loss has Newcastle wondering if they should make room in the top drawer for their fifth wooden spoon.  

And what about this game?! Back in round 16 it was the Dragons who were lucky not to get penalised at the death and sneak away with a two-point win. On Sunday in Canberra, it was the complete reversal, with the Raiders coming out victorious after a late hold down didn’t result in a penalty. The 24-22 win keeps the Green-Machine’s final hopes alive and shut the door on the Red V’s chances.

And in the final game of the round, I still can’t work out if the Gold Coast were good or if Manly were terrible. Either way, the Titans produced a huge 44-24 upset against the Sea Eagles. David Fifita finally remembered how to have an impact, and the win saw his side jump off the bottom of the ladder.

It was a sorry old round for the tipsters, with Mary, Mike and you legends in the crowd top scoring with 5/8. AJ and Paul got 4/8 while I tipped a pathetic 3/8. AJ and Paul remain tied at the top of the leader board on 121, while Mary and the crowd edge closer on 117. Mike is out on 108 while I still haven’t hit triple figures yet, dead last on 98.  

Ok, onto Round 23 – three to go!

We kick off the round tonight with the grand final rematch between the Bunnies and the Panthers at Accor Stadium at 7:50pm. Latrell has been named despite carrying an injury, and the premiers will be looking to bounce back from their loss last week.


We head up to Townsville on Friday night to see Cowboys host the Warriors at 6pm. North Queensland are coming off a loss and will be looking to rectify, while the Warriors are searching for their first back-to-back win since round 5.

Remaining in Queensland for the second match, the Broncos and the Storm battle it out at Suncorp Stadium at 8pm. Brisbane are hoping to jump into the top four, while Melbourne will be hanging onto two rolls of the finals dice for dear life.

Super Saturday begins at 3pm with Parramatta and Canterbury at 3pm. Both teams are coming off huge losses, the Bulldogs gave the Eels a 34-4 hiding back in Round 14, but Mitch Moses returns from injury. This game is anyone’s guess.

We head across town to 4 Pines Park where Manly host the Sharks at 5:30pm. Cronulla are playing for a chance in the top two, and with the Sea Eagles finals chances over they are now playing for PRIDE.

Then it’s over to the SCG at 7:35pm to see the Roosters and the Tigers in the last match of the day – and at the cricket ground. The tricolours are in the top eight and will be hoping to stay there, while the Tigers will be wanting to jump off the bottom of the table.

Sunday at 2pm is the match of the round between the Dragons and the Titans at WIN Stadium. Ben Hunt and Tino Fa’asuamaleaui will be pondering over the year it could have been, while their teammates spend the entire 80 minutes looking at them to do everything.

Ricky Stuart returns to the coach’s box for the Raiders match against my Knights up at Newcastle at 4pm. They will be looking to jump into the top eight, while I just hope my boys don’t find any new ways to embarrass themselves.


(Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)

Mike has recovered from a case of the dreaded man-flu, so I’m going to let him lead us off this week.

If you would like to see how you go up against the Experts this round, just remember to get your tips in below by 5pm tonight to be counted in The Crowd’s tips.

Good luck with your tipping everyone!

Mike Meehall Wood

Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Storm, Eels, Sea Eagles, Roosters, Dragons, Raiders

Tipping against Penrith is never a good idea, but if I’m not calling Souths now, I never will.


Cowboys by a thousand over the Warriors.

Storm are brilliant at Suncorp and will continue to be against the Broncos, who looked unconvincing v Newcastle.

Eels, begrudgingly, and with no confidence, over the Dogs. Honestly, this game could be anything.

The Sea Eagles are toast but their home record is pretty good. Manly will nick this.

Chooks by a million over the Tigers. Honestly, I’d start the line at +30 and make the Roosters play Gildart just for the laughs.

Dragons over Titans in the ‘who cares?’ bowl.

Raiders need to win, Knights don’t, so I’ll take Canberra.


Paul Suttor

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

Penrith looked lethargic last week without Dylan Edwards and even though he’s back, the Bunnies should be too strong.

The Cowboys could rack up a big score against the tired Warriors.

Brisbane will be up for this stoush with the Storm but with Jahrome Hughes back, Melbourne should win.

Parra have too much on the line for their derby duel with the Dogs, who will love nothing more than to stuff up their final’s chances.

Cronulla have a terrible record at Manly but the Sea Eagles still don’t seem to have pride in their jersey.


The Roosters will farewell the SCG with a cricket score against the Tigers.

The Dragons are dreadful but the Titans can’t be trusted. The home-ground factor should get the hosts a WIN at the Stadium in Wollongong.

Newcastle are capable of arcing up and the Raiders are more than able to lose despite being favourites but Canberra surely can’t lose this one with a finals berth still on the line.

Mary Konstantopoulos

Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Storm, Parramatta, Sharks, Roosters, Dragons, Raiders

When we talk about threats to the Premiership race, I see no bigger threat at the moment than the South Sydney Rabbitohs. With Penrith still missing several key players this week, including Nathan Cleary and Latrell Mitchell, I’m tipping Souths in this one and expect them to win convincingly.

It’s unclear to me how the Cowboys will turn up, given the challenges that this team will have faced following the tragic death of Paul Green. The Warriors have struggled away from home this year though and I expect the home ground advantage to be enough to see the Cowboys win.


The Storm seem to slowly be finding form again as the race towards the finals intensifies. The Storm have a really strong record against the Broncos and I expect that record to continue.

You can never be sure of a Parramatta win, but it really is a must win game this weekend against the Bulldogs, with two challenging games to finish the season after this Round. Mitch Moses returning will be a real boost and I’m hoping the Eels will show up a little differently to the way they turned up against the Bulldogs earlier this year.

The Sharks will beat the Sea Eagles, whose season continues to be in disarray following the debacle around the Pride jersey.

The Roosters will beat the Wests Tigers and the Dragons will beat the Titans.

The Raiders will also keep their season alive for one more week when the beat the Newcastle Knights who seem to be in freefall at the moment.

AJ Mithen

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


Again you try to catch me and again you cannot. Watch me as I hit the accelerator and leave you all in a dusty cloud of tipping oblivion!

Souths over Penrith but I would not be at all surprised if the Panthers win. Be good to see how the Bunnies try to unlock the Panther defence.

North Queensland over New Zealand, but the kiwis might have a sniff if they’re into it enough.

Storm over Brisbane in a good late-season test for Kevvie’s men.

Parra over the Bulldogs in what’s going to be a close one I think.

Sharks over the spirit and drive-less Sea Eagles, who have fallen right away.

Roosters over Tigers cos of course.


I’m not going to waste my time writing a line about the Dragons and Titans game.

Finally, your presumptive champions, the people’s team, the Canberra Raiders will head to Newcastle and lay a casual 56 on the diabolical and disastrous cubicle-infesting Knights, who are completely off the rails. Or are they?

(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Danielle Smith

Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Storm, Eels, Sharks, Roosters, Titans, Knights

My back-and-forth tip straight off the bat, and I can’t believe it includes the Panthers! Hmmm…Bunnies.

It was great to see the Warriors get a win at home last week, but the Cowboys will bounce back from their loss against the Roosters and get the two points here.


The Storm are back! And despite their win against the Knights, Brisbane look like they have fallen off the rails a little bit.

I didn’t tip Parra against Manly, and they put on a masterclass. I tip them against Souths, and they get smashed. I think they are doing this to me on purpose. I’ll tip them here, but the rest of you may want to tip the Dogs just to be safe.

Cronulla should get the chocolates against a Manly side that seem to be in all sorts.

Roosters have hit form at the right time of year, and will be way too strong for the Tigers.

Oh my goodness. Can I pick the draw? I guess the Titans are coming off a great win, so I’ll go with them.

While my head agrees with AJ that his boys will put 56 on my boys, as always I’m tipping my Knights.

Round 23AJDanielleMaryMikePaulCrowd
Last Round 435545

James Graham’s tips and PlayUp odds for this weekend  courtesy of the Bye Round Preview Podcast

South Sydney Rabbitohs ($1.57) v Penrith Panthers ($2.45)

Thursday, 7:50pm, Accor Stadium

“Souths are playing so well, and since Latrell is back they have been sensational. Just looking at Penrith, since the two halves are out and James Fisher-Harris is missing as well, they really struggled last week against the Storm.

“I think the market is right on the money here, and Souths should get the victory.”

North Queensland Cowboys ($1.09) v New Zealand Warriors ($7.50)


Friday, 6:00pm, Queensland Country Bank Stadium

“The Cowboys weren’t at their best last week, and the Roosters were great. But this game, hard to see past a Cowboys victory.”

Brisbane Broncos ($2.65) v Melbourne Storm ($1.48)

Friday 7:55pm, Suncorp Stadium

“I think this is the game or the round. Melbourne were fantastic last week, Jahrome Hughes is back, Cam Munster may have the six on his back, but I think he will be playing at fullback. Xavier Coates is playing against his old team, and I think Melbourne should get the victory here.”

Parramatta Eels ($1.33) v Canterbury Bulldogs ($3.35)

Saturday, 3:00pm, CommBank Stadium


“Will lightning strike twice and the Dogs get home again? It wouldn’t surprise me. But the Ells cannot afford to lose these types of games, they are jostling for position.

“This is a really tough one, I’m reluctantly going to back the Eels.”

(Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

Manly Sea Eagles ($3.80) v Cronulla Sharks ($1.27)

Saturday, 5:30pm 4 Pines Park

Sydney Roosters ($1.05) v Wests Tigers ($10.50)

Saturday, 7:35pm, SCG


“You would have to think these two games go as expected. Sharks are playing some great footy. Roosters are playing some great footy. You would be a fool to back against them.”

St George Illawarra Dragons ($1.55) v Gold Coast Titans ($2.45)

Sunday, 2:00pm, WIN Stadium

“The Titans got their first victory in a long time, and they embarrassed Manly. But the Dragons at home, and I think they should get the victory. There will be plenty of tries in this game, I’m thinking 40-50 points.”

Newcastle Knights ($3.40) v Canberra Raiders ($1.32)

Sunday 4:05pm, McDonald Jones Stadium

“It’s so unfortunate for the Raiders that they could miss out on the finals. I think they will get the victory here but to no avail. I can’t see how they get into the eight.”


Drafts Stars Team

As well as his predictions, Graham has also made three selections for his Draft Stars team for the round ahead. (Draft Stars is a fantasy betting game where you can set your NRL team and compete against other members of the public to win a share of prize pools).

“A lot of the time when you do fantasy sports you wait until the end of the year for bragging rights,” said Graham “With this, you can get your bragging rights every Monday. That’s the advantage of it, and I love it.

“My first pick is James Tedesco (Sydney Roosters). Coming up against his old team the Tigers. You have to find a way to get him into your team.

“Royce Hunt (Cronulla Sharks) is a bit of a smoky player. Very excited to see his impact. Obviously, Toby Rudolf is out so I’m expecting him to get a few more minutes.

“My third pick – Kyle Feldt (North Queensland Cowboys) is coming up against the Warriors. I’m expecting plenty of points from the Cowboys and I expect him to finish off quite a few tries.”