The Roar
The Roar


The Roar’s NRL expert tips and predictions Round 19: Final spilt round as teams battle on without Origin stars

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5th July, 2023
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Hey Roarers!

It was the last chance for players to impress selectors before Origin III, along with helping their team secure a very valuable two points.

We kicked off the round with the first of our local derbies between the Sharks and the Dragons on Thursday night. The Shire boys kept their run intact knocking over another non-Top 8 side 52-16, as the Red V made it even harder for Ben Hunt to want to stay.

It was the in-form Warriors game to lose on Friday night in front of a sellout crowd – and that’s exactly what they did. The Rabbitohs were hardly given a chance due to their recent form, playing away as well as missing some players, but the Bunnies were close to perfect in torrential conditions for a 28 – 6 win.

When will we learn to never underestimate the Panthers?! Even being 14-0 down against the Storm wasn’t enough to deter the Premiers, who kicked into gear for an impressive 34-16 win.

A very stop-start game turned into a nailbiter down in the nation’s capital on Saturday afternoon, as the Raiders weathered a late surge from the Titans to hold on for a 26-22 win.

Now this local derby was everything it promised to be and more! In front of a jam-packed Gabba crowd, the Broncos and Dolphins left nothing in the tank as Big Brother snuck home for a 24 -16 win. Selwyn Cobbo take a bow!

Wowzers.  Cowboys 74 – Tigers 0,  Knights 66 – Bulldogs 0 – what else is there to say?


The Sea Eagles and Roosters battled for the full 80 minutes and went down to the wire during their match at Brookie on Sunday afternoon. DCE was at the top of his game, and in the end, the home side hung on for an 18-16 win.

AJ and Mike were close to perfect both tipping seven, Paul, Stuart, you legends in the Crowd and I were close behind with six, while Mary got half the card with four. Stuart still holds the lead on 85, with Mike closing in on 81. Paul is in third on 80, Mary is still in fourth on 78, while the Crowd is in fifth on 77. AJ is fifth on 75, while I’m still scooting around in my golf buggy on 69.

OK, onto Round 19!

Only five matches this weekend thanks to the split round, kicking off tonight at Commbank Stadium with the Tigers and Sharks at 7:50pm. Neither side is affected by Origin, but can the Tigers can bounce back from last week’s disaster?

Our only Friday night game sees the Dragons host the Raiders at WIN Stadium at 8pm. Canberra are trying to make their way into the Top 4, while the Red V are just trying. Can they get the win at home without Ben Hunt?

We return to Commbank Stadium on Saturday for the Eels and the Warriors at 5:30pm. Some big outs for the home side while the Warriors are close to full strength and looking to make up for last week’s shock loss.


Then it’s across to Accor Stadium for the Rabbitohs and the Bulldogs at 7:35pm. Bunnies are missing plenty, while the Dogs will still be licking their wounds.

To finish off the round we head up to sunny Queensland for the first time to see the Titans and the Dolphins at 4:05pm.

The Bronocs, Cowboys, Knights, Panthers, Roosters, Sea Eagles and Storm all have the bye….. I bet the Tigers and the Doggies wish they were on that list.

If you would like to go against the experts, just remember to get your tips in by 5pm tonight to be counted in The Crowd’s tips.

Happy tipping everyone!

Stuart Thomas


Sharks, Raiders, Eels, Rabbitohs, Dolphins 

The Sharks put 52 on the Dragons last week and the Tigers conceded 74 to the Cowboys. Seriously? Their Round 19 clash is a no-brainer.

The Friday night match-up at WIN Stadium looks like a real danger one for the Raiders. With a few stars missing and on the road, they simply must towel up the Dragons to stay in the top four race. They should get the job done.

I predicted the Eels to get on something of a run and yet another winnable game rolls around for them; at home against the Warriors. However, Origin, injury and suspension have stripped them of plenty of talent and this is another ominous game for the favourites. Parramatta to win in a very tight contest.

Will the Bulldogs be better against the Bunnies this week than they were in the embarrassing flogging they took at the hands of the Knights in Round 18? Probably, but they will still be beaten by a weakened Souths team that loses its Origin stars. Toby Sexton is to be an interesting watch for the Bulldogs.

It has all been going pear-shaped for the Dolphins lately, yet with the Titans missing three key men, even the absence of Felise Kaufusi should be overcome in a much-needed win on Sunday afternoon on the Gold Coast.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 14: Jesse Ramien of the Sharks celebrates scoring a try with team mates during the round 11 NRL match between Manly Sea Eagles and Cronulla Sharks at 4 Pines Park on May 14, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)


Mary Konstantopoulos

Sharks, Raiders, Eels, Rabbitohs, Dolphins

I expect the Tigers to rally after a pathetic loss last weekend, but we know how much the Sharks like to beat teams that sit outside the eight. I’m predicting the Sharks will have a strong win here too, especially given that they are not too impacted by Origin.

The Dragons appear to be in freefall at the moment while the Raiders just continue to win games. Not having Ben Hunt may prove a blessing for the Dragons as he seems checked out, but I still think the Raiders will continue their positive winning streak.

The next game is a tough one. The Eels are seriously impacted by Origin whilst the Warriors looked to have faltered slightly against the Rabbitohs. Despite the inexperience in the halves, the home crowd at Commbank Stadium will be enough to get the Eels home.

After what I saw last week I cannot in good conscience tip the Bulldogs and given some of the big outs for the Titans this weekend due to Origin I, I’m picking a Dolphins win.

Maika Sivo gives the thumbs up

Maika Sivo (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)


Paul Suttor

Sharks, Raiders, Eels, Rabbitohs, Titans

NRL coaches say to focus on the positives. Wests Tigers held the Cowboys scoreless for 13 consecutive minutes last week … then conceded 74.  Sharks by 30.

The Dragons weren’t totally terrible for the entire match when they lost 52-16 to Cronulla last week. That’s positive. Raiders by 22.

Parra are decimated by Origin and injuries but looking on the bright side, they are playing a Warriors team that wasn’t too crash hot last week. Eels by 4.

Urrrgh. Canterbury. You can be positive that their performance last week was amateur hour in losing by 66 to Newcastle. Souths have a virtual NSW Cup side running out, that’ll be enough. Rabbitohs by 10.

Gold Coast and the Dolphins are positively fighting it out for Queensland’s bronze medal among their NRL clubs. Titans by 8.

Alex Johnston of the Rabbitohs celebrates after scoring a try

(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Mike Meehall Wood

Sharks, Raiders, Warriors, Rabbitohs, Dolphins

The Sharks are great at beating bad teams, and the Tigers are a really bad team. I’m tipping Cronulla – and it might be more than last week.

The Dragons are as bad as the Tigers and the Raiders are in great form. Easy for Canberra.

Parra are plenty down, the Warriors will be scolded by their loss last week. Against my long-standing ‘never tip the Warriors’ policy, it’s Kiwi for me.

The Bunnies are depleted, but Canterbury are plain bad. Souths to win this.


The Titans and Dolphins could be absolutely anything…I’ll take the Phins with no confidence at all.

(Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

AJ Mithen

Sharks, Raiders, Eels, Rabbitohs, Titans

As I continue tipping upwards this feels like a week when everyone’s going to tip the same way and get the same score. Let’s make this quick cos everyone’s gonna say the same…

Sharks to massacre the Tigers on a forgettable Thursday.

Your presumptive champions, the people’s team, the Canberra Raiders to head to Wollongong and lay a casual 56 on the hapless Dragons as the green machine heads towards the top of the table.


Eels to get the better of New Zealand in what might be a decent game.

Bunnies to murder the Bulldogs.

The Titans to fall across the line against Wayne’s Dolphins. 

(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Danielle Smith

Sharks, Raiders, Warriors, Rabbitohs, Dolphins

The Tigers will put up a much better fight following on from their walloping against the Cowboys, but they have just lost so much directions since Api and Brooks were injured. The Sharks will get the win here.


Despite this game being played in front of the Wollongong faithful, I just cannot tip the Dragons. I’m going Raiders on the road.

Eels fans have been blowing up deluxe this week about King Gutho being called into the Origin side to more than likely just sit on the bench, and therefore miss this big match for Parramatta. They will also be without Moses and RCG, and along with the absence of Dylan Brown, they are missing some big names. The Warriors are unaffected by Origin, and they will be out to make up for their loss last week against the Bunnies.

Toby Sexton will be a welcome inclusion to the Bulldogs’ halves, but it won’t be enough to beat the Bunnies, even with all of their Origin stars out.

This is a huge coin flip. Both coming off losses, both missing Origin stars…….hmmmmmmmmm…………Dolphins.

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