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The Roar


The Roar’s NRL expert tips and predictions Round 20: With Origin done, race for finals spots now full steam ahead

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13th July, 2023
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Hey Roarers!

There may not have been as many games to watch, but there was still a truckload of action to enjoy. And how good are the post-try celebrations?!

Hoping to shake off the thumping from the Cowboys, the Tigers put up a good fight against the Sharks on Thursday night. But a redemption story wasn’t on the cards, with the Sharks taking out a 36-12 win. Contenders or flat-track bullies?

Despite a late comeback, the Dragons’ woes continued as they fell short to the Raiders 36-26 on Friday night. But the biggest talking point was the spectacular try celebration from the Green Machine mocking the English Cricket team and sending Piers Morgan into a spin.

The Warriors were too strong for an understrength Eels pack, romping home with a 46-10 win. Shaun Johnson celebrated his 200th NRL game in style, while DWZ’s interaction with the cameraman was just perfect!

The Bulldogs and Rabbitohs clash went down to the wire on Saturday night, with the Doggies hanging on for a 36-32 victory. Despite missing a truckload of stars, the Bunnies put on a gallant effort.

A hard-fought battle had a very anti-climactic ending, with a penalty goal in golden point breaking the deadlock to hand the Dolphins a 23-21 win over the Titans. Been saying it for years – golden point should only be finals.

Mike and I lead the pack this round each tipping four, with Mary and Stuart close behind each with three. Paul and AJ got two, while you legends in The Crowd had a rough week only tipping one. Stuart is still out in front on 88, with Mike in second place on 85. Paul is in this on 82, while Mary sits in fourth place on 81. The Crowd is fifth on 78, AJ sixth on 77, and I’m playing putt-putt out the back on 73.


Ok, onto round 20!

The Knights host the Tigers tonight at McDonald Jones Stadium at 8pm. Bradman Best will still be on a high from his Origin heroics and will be ready to rip in for the home side, while the visitors welcome back Api Koroisau from his broken jaw.

Super Saturday kicks off at Belmore Sports Ground as the Bulldogs and the Broncos face off at 3pm. Can the Doggies make it two in a row against an Origin-affected Brisbane?

We make our way across town to 4 Pines Park to watch the Sea Eagles and the Cowboys at 5.30pm. Manly fans are still having nightmares over what happened last time these sides met at Brookie – an 18-point lead turned into a two pint defeat with seven minutes on the clock.

Then it’s a quick trip over to the beautiful SCG for the Roosters and the Storm at 7:35pm. With their season well and truly on the line, can the Chooks get the job done?

Thanks to no games on Thursday we are also treated to a Super Sunday! We have a bit more travelling to do today as we head across the ditch for the Warriors and the Sharks at Go Media Stadium at 2pm.


Then it’s up to Redcliffe for the Dolphins and the Panthers at 4:05pm.

We make our way down to Commbank Stadium to finish the round, as the Eels and the Titans face off at 6:15pm.

The Rabbitohs, Raiders and Dragons all have the bye – and no one is more excited than Ben Hunt.

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

Stuart Thomas

Knights, Bulldogs, Sea Eagles, Storm, Warriors, Panthers, Eels


Danielle’s Knights will thrash the Tigers at home, with a team improved on the one that slaughtered the Bulldogs, as Dane Gagai comes back into the top grade.

As for the blue and whites, an emotional return to Belmore will be enough to earn them a much-needed win against a somewhat depleted Broncos side.

The Sea Eagles up against the Cowboys is a mid-table ripper. Backing up will be the key issue for the visitors and 4 Pines Park could well be the difference in what looms as a must-win game for both teams.

The SCG hosts the Roosters and Storm on Saturday night and as much advantage as the venue might offer to the Chooks in normal circumstances, they are unbackable against the growing threat of Melbourne entering the post-Origin period.

The Warriors and Sharks game looks like another cracking affair on Sunday afternoon. Seriously, I’m a little torn on this one. Something tells me the home side might be ‘on’ and manage the win, yet I would love the opportunity to perhaps reflect on this match a little further should Shaun Johnson’s child arrive with bad NRL timing.

Irrespective of the number of players able to back up from Origin, the Panthers should be sure things against the Dolphins in the Sunday twilight.

And in the final match of the round, the Eels are at home to the Titans and should bounce back to form with their stars involved against an under-pressure Titans who have three key men backing up in the forwards.


(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Mary Konstantopoulos

Knights, Broncos, Cowboys, Storm, Warriors, Panthers, Eels

The Knights have been one of the more curious teams of this year. They had so many ‘gallant’ losses through the year but then really made a statement against the Bulldogs a few weeks ago. In my view, it is season over for the Tigers and I’m picking the Knights to win.

The Broncos have a lot of outs, so this might be another opportunity for the Bulldogs to pounce on a depleted team. However, there is just too much-attacking talent against this Broncos team and they will beat the Bulldogs.

The Cowboys continue to be on the rise and will beat the Sea Eagles.

The Storm will beat the Roosters and in my view, that will be the end of the Roosters season.


I can’t wait for the next game as it is an opportunity for both teams. It’s a chance for the Warriors to prove they are a competition heavyweight against a Sharks team that also needs a win against a top-eight side. The Warriors were in glittering form last week and I think it will be the Shaun Johnson show with them getting the win.

The Panthers will beat the Dolphins and the Eels will beat the Titans in a high-scoring game.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 12: David Klemmer of the Wests Tigers shows his emotion during the round two NRL match between Wests Tigers and Newcastle Knights at Leichhardt Oval on March 12, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

 (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Paul Suttor

Knights, Broncos, Cowboys, Storm, Sharks, Panthers, Eels

Newcastle are at home and playing the Tigers, a loss would be enough to point Adam O’Brien towards the F3 exit ramp. Knights by 8.

Canterbury are back at Belmore. Won’t matter. Broncos by 20.


Sea Eagles are back at Brookvale. Won’t matter unless Nth Qld are banged up by Origin. Cowboys by 10.

Roosters are back at the SCG. Definitely won’t matter to Melbourne. Storm by 15.

Warriors should beat Cronulla at home but the visitors will be out for revenge after the scene of their depantsing at Shark Park earlier this season. Sharks by 2.

Dolphins are starting to go under mid-season, Nathan Cleary is likely to be playing. Nuff said. Panthers by 18
Parra will make the playoffs if they get back to full strength and they’re not quite there yet but should account for the Titans. Eels by 10.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 09: Waqa Blake of the Eels takes on the defence during the round five NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Parramatta Eels at Cbus Super Stadium, on April 09 2022, in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

(Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Mike Meehall Wood

Knights, Broncos, Sea Eagles, Storm, Warriors, Panthers, Eels


The Tigers are rubbish, so are the Knights, but not by as much. Newcastle and it might be quite easy in the end.

The Bronx have a lot of men backing up, but they’ll still be too good for the Dogs.

Manly need to win and I’d be a rubbish fan if I didn’t back them to do so. Please, please, don’t throw this in the last ten minutes again.

The Roosters can’t keep being this bad, right? Nah, they probably can. Storm to win.

Put up for shut up time for the Warriors and the Sharks, and against each other. I’ll take the Kiwis by a nose because of their defence.

The Panthers will be way too good for the Dolphins.Parra need to win and will against the Titans.


AJ Mithen

Knights, Broncos, Cowboys, Storm, Warriors, Panthers, Eels

Origin is thankfully done and gone but we still get one last week of impacted games. This week’s winners will start with Newcastle beating the Tigers in a tight bludger.

Brisbane will have everyone backing up and still take care of the incredibly disappointing Canterbury.

The Cowboys are starting to wind up for the business end of the year and they’ll get the away win in Manly.


Melbourne has too much for the Roosters, but you’d expect the chooks would give this a massive crack.

New Zealand will continue Cronulla’s miserable run against actual, functional rugby league opposition.

Penrith should be able to take care of the Dolphins regardless of the lineup, as the Queenslanders are starting to lag a little.

Finally, I’ve got Parramatta over the Titans but this depends on who backs up from Origin – the Titans are a huge chance.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 26: Victor Radley of the Roosters is tackled during the round 24 NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Sydney Roosters at AAMI Park on August 26, 2022, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Victor Radley. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Danielle Smith

Knights, Broncos, Cowboys, Storm, Warriors, Dolphins, Titans


Despite who is backing up or rested for the Broncos, they still have a lot of talent on their team sheet.

DCE face a few of his Maroons teammates from Wednesday night, and they will get the last laugh in this game.

Roosters will put up a fight knowing what this game means, but Storm will get win in a close one.

Oh-oh! Sharks are up against a team in the Top 8! SJ will have a blinder after the arrival of a new bub and resigning with the Warriors to take out the two points against his former club.

Coin flip time………..hmmmm…..Dolphins.

My head says the Eels but something tells me Titans will get the upset. They were unlucky last week in golden point, and I think they will make up for it on Sunday.

Smashed the Doggies then enjoyed a week off while Best had a belter on Wednesday night. As always, I’m tipping my Knights.

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