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The Roar’s NRL expert tips and predictions: Round 3

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15th March, 2023
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Hey Roarers!

I don’t know about you, but my head is still spinning after that crazy round of footy.

Let’s recap –

So much spite! The Panthers and Bunnies didn’t disappoint during their feisty and hard-fought battle last Thursday night. Once the final siren had sounded, the premiers were back in the winner’s circle with a 16-10 victory.

And I can’t believe this still needs to be said – racial slurs are never, ever ok.

On Friday night the Eels and Sharks were locked in an almighty arm wrestle with both sides refusing to give in. The Sharks got the bickies in the end with a 30-26 win and Braydon ‘Nicho’ Trindall was once again superb.

In the second game, the Broncos made a statement with an impressive 28-16 over the Cowboys. Reece Walsh was exceptional, and the Cowboys once again looked far from the side we all expected to see.

The Roosters and the Warriors did their best to keep their opponents in the game on Saturday afternoon, but the tricolours got there in the end with a 20-12 win.

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Phins up! These guys mean business. The Dolphins showed last week’s win against the Roosters was not a fluke, with a nailbiting 20-14 win over the Raiders. You know what? I think this Wayne Bennett guy may know what he is doing. And thoughts and prayers to Hudson Young after he copped this from Felise Kaufusi.

Hooley Dooley, I cannot remember the Storm ever playing so poorly. The Dogs capitalised on Melbourne’s performance and injury list, with a 26-12 win. The Foxx had a field day!

I have no words for this one. Somehow with a send-off, a sin bin, and a million injuries including another failed HIA to poor Ponga, my Knights held on for a 14-12 win over the Tigers. How are you holding up Tigers fans?

And then to finish off the round, The Dragons announced their arrival to the 2023 season with a come-from-behind 32-18 victory over the Titans. Stand tall Red V fans, you have been through a lot and that was a good win.

Mary was the champion of the round tipping 5, Stuart and you legends in The Crowd tipped 4, I got 3, while AJ, Mike and Paul all tipped 2. Newbie Stuart is in the lead with 9, Mary and The Crowd are in second with 8, Paul is third on 7, Mike and I are fourth on 6, with reigning champion AJ on 4.

Someone, please check on AJ, he will not be coping with the fact I am beating him.

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Ok, onto Round 3!

The Sea Eagles and the Eels are at 4 Pines Park for Thursday night footy at 8pm. DCE and his troops will be fresh off their bye while King Gutho and his men will be looking for their first win of the season.

The first Friday night game will see the under-10 Cessnock Goannas taking on the Dolphins at McDonald Jones Stadium at 6pm. The Knights have ten players unavailable – they may even ask Matty Johns, Danny Buderus and Paul Harragon to cover for Kalyn Ponga, Jayden Brailey and Jacob Saifiti – and I am perfectly fine with it.

Then at 8pm, it’s grudge match city when the Roosters host the Bunnies at Allianz. My bet is three decapitations, six fights and 10 sin bins. And that’s just the first half.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 11: Players scuffle during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Sydney Roosters and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Allianz Stadium on September 11, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

(Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Super Saturday kicks off on the Gold Coast when the Titans and the Storm face off at 3pm. Melbourne’s injury list looks more like a team sheet – Bellamy may have to get the headgear on and have a go.

The Warriors travel to Townsville to take on the Cowboys at 5.30pm. Both teams will be looking to bounce back from their Round 2 losses and not slide further down the ladder.

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The Broncos will be looking to make it 3/3 at 7.30pm when they host the Dragons at Suncorp Stadium. And I guess so too are the Red V who technically didn’t lose in Round 1 thanks to the bye.

We head out to Belmore for the Sunday 4pm game to watch the Bulldogs and the Tigers. The Dogs are coming off a good win against the Storm, while the Tigers will be trying to forget that car crash of a match against the Knights.

The Raiders and the Sharks finish off the round down in Canberra at 6.15pm. The Green Machine are still looking for their first win of the season – can they get the job done at home?

The Panthers will enjoy the weekend off thanks to the bye – probably go make some Tik Toks or do something else young and hip to pass the time.

If you would like to have a go this year, just remember to get your tips in by 5:00pm tonight to be counted in The Crowd’s tips.

Happy tipping everyone!

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Stuart Thomas

Sea Eagles, Dolphins, Rabbitohs, Titans, Cowboys, Broncos, Bulldogs, Sharks

If any grand finalist could manage to start the subsequent season with three straight losses when in search of redemption, it would be Parramatta. The Sea Eagles to win at 4 Pines and the blue and gold close to panic stations.

Everything appears to be rolling the Dolphins’ way and with any Tom, Dick or Harry likely to be called up to plug the holes in the bruised and busted Knights squad, a third win on the trot seems likely.

I’ve preferred the Rabbitohs to the Roosters thus far in 2023, but that Tri-colour squad still looks impressive on paper. The Bunnies in a tight classic.

It is hard to recall tipping the Titans over the Storm, well, ever really. This is their day unless Craig Bellamy can get an instant reaction based on the embarrassment of the team’s first-half performance last weekend. Titans in another close one.

It has been tough to get a thorough read on the Cowboys and Warriors thus far and the home-field advantage is what swings me the Queenslanders’ way in their Saturday twilight clash.

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The Broncos should have the measure of the Dragons, despite their solid win on their 2023 debut last round

If the Bulldogs cannot back up what they produced against the Storm, the desperate Tigers will be ready to pounce. A massive clash for both and the blue and whites should win in a canter at their spiritual home.

The Raiders are also facing a frightful start to the season and will need to beat a Sharks team set to present without Nicho Hynes for one more week. Frankly, Cronulla should win. The Raiders simply don’t look that good right now.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 19: Harry Grant of the Storm passes the ball during the round 23 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Melbourne Storm at Cbus Super Stadium, on August 19, 2021, in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Mike Meehall Wood

Sea Eagles, Knights, Rabbitohs, Storm, Cowboys, Broncos, Bulldogs, Raiders

Absolutely no chance I tip against my Sea Eagles this week. Manly hates you too, Parra.

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The Mirage of the Dolphins, which sounds like it should be narrated by Morgan Freeman, stops here. I’m tipping the Knights.

Bunnies v Roosters is the game of the round and the hardest to pick…I’ll take Souths because they have tended to win the early round fixture.

It’s about as close as I’ll ever get to tipping the Titans over the Storm, but no: Melbourne will get this one done.

Cowboys at home will do a number on a gallant Warriors side.

The Dragons started well but away in Brisbane is a step too far. Broncos by plenty.

Dogs are on the back of a superb result in Melbourne, Tigers are trying to break their own record for how quickly a team can descend into a rabble. Canterbury by plenty on a lovely arvo in Belmore.

Raiders are 0-2, but at home for the first time is as good a juncture as any to pick up their first win. Canberra it is.

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 12: Dominic Young of the Knights celebrates victory with team mates after the round one NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the Newcastle Knights at Sydney Cricket Ground, on March 12, 2022, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

 (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Paul Suttor

Sea Eagles, Knights, Rabbitohs, Storm, Cowboys, Broncos, Bulldogs, Sharks

Manly were impressive in Round 1, the Eels have looked slightly off in their two losses. Sea Eagles by 7.

Knights are decimated by unavailable players but they are finally at home but Dolphins have their first game on the road. Newcastle by 2

Roosters haven’t hit their stride and despite getting a few players back, the Bunnies will be too strong. Souths by 8.

Missing Sam Verrills will be huge for the Titans. Storm by 12.

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Warriors are not easybeats and the Cowboys have a couple of key players suspended but won’t lose at home. Cowboys by 6.

Brisbane have two big scalps already while the jury is still out on St George Illawarra after accounting for a terrible Titans. Broncos by 14.

Canterbury showed signs of all their new parts clicking in Melbourne last weekend. Tigers have shown nothing but the opposite. Bulldogs by 22.

Canberra looks like they’re in for a big drop-off this year with their ageing roster and Cronulla haven’t done well against the Raiders recently but they’re in much better shape. Sharks by 10

Tom Trbojevic of the Sea Eagles makes a break during the round one NRL match between the Manly Sea Eagles and the Canterbury Bulldogs at 4 Pines Park

(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Mary Konstantopoulos

Eels, Dolphins, Rabbitohs, Storm, Cowboys, Broncos, Bulldogs, Sharks. 

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I am a broken woman and that perhaps explains why I am tipping the Parramatta Eels against my better judgement. There have been no team changes to the 17 who squandered several chances against the Cronulla Sharks and Manly also have the benefit of fresh legs after the bye. We all know that it’s the hope that kills you and I’m clinging to hope for an Eels victory this Thursday. 

I’m extremely keen for the 6pm Friday match, with the Dolphins on the road for the first time. I would tip the Knights at home, but unfortunately, this is a team that paid a huge price for its win over the Tigers on the weekend. Without Kalyn Ponga, Jayden Brailey, Tyson Frizell and Jacob Saifiti I question whether the Knights have the depth to cover these key positions. 

The next clash should be a fiery one, but given the Roosters’ ongoing injury concerns, particularly in the forwards, I am tipping the Rabbitohs who welcome back Tevita Tatola.  

Despite their injury woes, I am still tipping the Storm to beat the Titans.

And despite a much improved Warriors team in 2023, the Cowboys at home will be too strong. 

The Broncos will continue their impressive run to start the season with a win over the Dragons.

The next game will also be interesting. The Bulldogs looked much better last week with a great performance from Reed Mahoney (sigh) and Jacob Kiraz. If the Bulldogs play like they did against the Storm, they will beat the Tigers who have been less than impressive in their first two outings. 

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The final game is the game of the round and I’m expecting a win from the Sharks. The Raiders have shown signs but still haven’t proven that they can ice a game (much like my Eels).

Clint Gutherson of the Eels warms up

(Photo by Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

AJ Mithen

Sea Eagles, Knights, Rabbitohs, Storm, Cowboys, Dragons, Bulldogs, Raiders

Slow and steady continues to win the race in 2023 tipping. Like all the greats, I know how to pace my season to peak when it matters while all around me fire off everywhere early like so many cheap cans of prosecco. Here are your winners…

Manly will hold off a desperate Parramatta in what could be a good fun outing.

I’ll take Newcastle over the Dolphins even though the Knights are running out a busload of volunteers they got from the front bar at the Crown & Anchor.

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Souths over Roosters but the Bunnies were far too slow to get to work against Penrith last week. A good game pending here.

Storm over Titans, who showed again why they are never to be trusted. Storm got some big outs, but also some good ins this week.

Cowboys over Warriors and I fear this one might be a bit of a bludger.

Dragons over Brisbane in a 42-38 bellringer.

Bulldogs over the Tigers but only just. Surely the Tigers will perform at a ‘normal’ level for some period?

Finally, your presumptive champions, the people’s team, the Canberra Raiders will welcome the hapless Cronulla Sharks to the greatest city in the world before promptly laying a casual 56 upon them. The Raiders curse to continue for the Sharkies.

(Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

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Danielle Smith

Sea Eagles, Knights, Rabbitohs, Storm, Cowboys, Broncos, Bulldogs, Raiders

Brad Arthur’s bench rotations are giving me little confidence – he may try a completely different tactic and only use 11 men on the field altogether. I can’t go past Manly in this one.

I thought I was excited for Rabbitohs/Panthers last week – now we have this beauty! The Roosters are missing some troops, so Bunnies in a close one.

The Titans will have the best chance to topple the depleted Storm here, but they were very average against the Dragons. Jahrome Hughes is back and of course, there is still Harry Grant. Melbourne in a nailbiter.

The Cowboys were all over the shop last week against the Broncos, and even missing a few to the naughty corner, they should still bounce back with a win against the Warriors here.

The Broncos are on fire. They will make it 3/3 against the Red V.

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I have no idea what is going on in Tigertown, but it does not look good. My boys even got the points against them last week. I can see the Doggies doing the same.

This will be a great game. Sharks have been good to watch the past two weeks, and the Raiders and finally playing at home and desperate for their first win. Call me crazy, but I’m going the Green Machine.

Of course, the newest franchise has surprised everyone, are really good, and looking for their third straight win against an absolutely broken Newcastle outfit. But as always, I’m tipping my Knights.

Round 3AJDanielleMaryMikePaulStuartCrowd
MAN V PARMANMANPARMANMANMAN MAN
NEW V DOLNEWNEWDOLNEWNEWDOL NEW
SYD V SOUSOUSOUSOUSOUSOUSOU SOU
GLD V MELMELMELMELMELMELGLD GLD
NQL V NZLNQLNQLNQLNQLNQLNQLNQL
BRI V STISTIBRIBRIBRIBRIBRIBRI
CBY V WSTCBYCBYCBYCBYCBYCBY CBY
CAN V CROCANCANCROCANCROCRO CAN
Last week 2 3 5 2 2 4 4
Total4686798
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