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The Roar


The Roar’s NRL expert tips and predictions Round 22: More stars return, others ruled out as everyone celebrates Women In League

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26th July, 2023
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Hey Roarers!

It was another sensational round of footy.

The Dragons got the points over the Tigers during the battle of the spoon on Thursday night, sneaking home with an 18-14 win in Wollongong. The Red V breathed a sigh of relief as Tigers fans come to the realisation that back-to-back spoons is looking more likely.

What a thriller in Auckland on Friday night! After a late comeback from the Raiders against the Warriors, we headed to golden point with the scores locked the score up at 20-all. A Shaun Johnson field goal sealed a 21-20 victory for the home side, sending the Warriors into the Top 4.

The second game didn’t quite live up to the hype, with the Bunnies underperforming and the Broncos taking out a solid 36-20. Adam Reynolds was once again in fine form, and what about the backflips from Reece Walsh and Kotoni Staggs?! Personally, I’m at more of a Glenn Lazarus cartwheel level of athleticism.

Super Saturday saw the Roosters secure two valuable points with a 36-18 win against the Titans on the Gold Coast. Trailing 36-0, the home side staged a late comeback by scoring three tries in ten minutes, but the clock and the Chooks won in the end. Maybe Jayden Campbell needs to come on a bit earlier?

Oh wow! My goodness, this is news to me! I had no idea that the Knights put on a gutsy and superb effort against the Storm to take out a 26-18 win in front of a packed Newcastle crowd, causing the upset of the round. Who would have tipped that? (insert smug look here).

The Cowboys pushed their way into the Top 8 with a 24-16 win over the Eels in Townsville on Saturday night. Both teams had stars unable to finish the game, with Jeremiah Nanai suffering a shoulder injury that will see him sidelined for 4-6 weeks, and Shaun Lane copping a dislocated elbow ruling him out for the season.


While it wasn’t the cricket score many predicted, the Panthers still took out a convincing  44-18 win over the Bulldogs on Sunday afternoon. Nathan Cleary was back from injury and didn’t miss a beat, while the poor Doggies are just in a world of pain.

And the Brookvale faithful held their breath on Sunday afternoon, as the Sea Eagles went to the sheds at halftime leading the Sharks 24-0 to just hang on 30-26 by the full-time whistle.

Do not clean your screens or turn your phones off and on, this is not an error or typo – I won the round with six! Thank you, Knights.

Mary, Mike and you legends in the Crowd tipped five, Paul and Stuart were close behind on four, while AJ had as much fun on the weekend as his Raiders did, tipping three. Stuart is still out in front on 97, with Mike just one point behind on 96. Mary is in third on 93, Paul in fourth on 92, then AJ and the Crowd are tied on 87, while I’m still loving the LIV Golf life on 84.

OK, onto Round 22 – Women in League Round

There will be yorkers, reverse swingers, bouncers and LBWs tonight as the second-placed Broncos take on the 12th-placed Roosters at The Gabba at 7:50pm. Victor the Inflictor is back, The Cheese is in the starting 13 after one of his best games for the Roosters – are the Chooks ready to turn things around?


We head out to Tamworth for Friday night footy, where the last-placed Tigers take on the ninth-placed Rabbitohs at Scully Park at 6pm. The Tigers will be doing everything they can to finish off the bottom of the ladder, while the Bunnies want back in the Top 8. Both teams also welcome back playmakers in Latrell Mitchell and Luke Brooks.

Then it’s down to AAMI Park in Melbourne where the Storm who are sitting nicely in fourth spot host the Eels clinging on to eighth at 8pm. Both are coming off big losses, the Eels are missing a truckload of talent, while the Storm are without big stars as well like Nelson and wrecking ball Justin Olam.

Super Saturday kicks off in the nation’s capital where the fifth-placed Raiders host the tenth-placed Knights at GIO Stadium at 3pm. This could be the game of the round!

We make our way to the Wollongong Ocean (as per Paul Vautin) to watch the 15th-placed Dragons take on the eleventh-placed Sea Eagles at WIN Stadium at 5:30pm. DCE is set to join the 300 Club – he doesn’t look a day over 287.

Then it’s over to the foot of the mountains, where the table-leading Panthers take on the under-pressure Sharks sitting in sixth at BlueBet Stadium at 7:35pm. Cronulla are now without Dale Finucane for the rest of the season – can it get any worse?

Sunday footy starts up in Bundaberg where the Bulldogs in 16th and the Dolphins 13th clash at Salter Oval at 2pm. Will the returning players make a difference?

Then it’s the 14th-placed Titans and the newest members of the Top 8, the seventh-placed Cowboys, wrapping up the round at Cbus Stadium at 4pm. Can the Cowboys make it seven in a row?


The Warriors get the bye, enjoying their view from third spot.

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

And make sure you thank the lady in the canteen or the mum doing the scoring at the local footy this weekend. Get out and watch an NRLW game and cheer on the unbelievable talent we have in the competition. Get behind Women in League Round.

Happy tipping everyone!

Stuart Thomas

Broncos, Rabbitohs, Storm, Raiders, Sea Eagles, Panthers, Dolphins, Cowboys


Despite the Roosters looking a lot better last time out, the Broncos will have their measure when Round 22 begins on Thursday night.

Finally, Latrell Mitchell makes his return against the Tigers in Tamworth and the Bunnies should simply have too many weapons in attack for a disinterested Wests team.

The Storm rarely lose two in a row at this stage of the season and will fight off a desperate Parramatta at Marvel Stadium, ending the Eel’s run at the top four.

The Raiders versus Knights could be the match of the round if both teams play well. Canberra’s home-ground advantage is non-existent for this one, but they are playing positively and need a win to settle their charge after the controversy of Round 21.

The Dragons enjoyed a rare win last time out and Sea Eagles are still in the race for the top eight. This could actually be a decent game of football between two teams well off the pace of the front-runners. It will be the Sea Eagles in a must-win clash for them.

The Panthers look to be idling and doing enough when needed. The Sharks are awful against quality teams. Enough said.

The Dolphins will beat an absolutely lost Bulldogs in Bundaberg, in a match few will be watching. The long list of ins might look impressive, yet Canterbury are miles off the quality we have seen from the Dolphins at times this season.


The Titans and Cowboys round out the weekend, in potentially the toughest fixture of the week to tip. North Queensland have the edge in class, and with a few key outs for the Titans, they should manage the two points and continue their charge towards the semi-finals.

Junior Paulo of the Eels takes on the defence during the round 24 NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Parramatta Eels at Suncorp Stadium, on August 28, 2021, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

(Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Mary Konstantopoulos

Broncos, Rabbitohs, Eels, Raiders, Sea Eagles, Panthers, Dolphins, Cowboys

The Roosters may have found some form in their win against the Gold Coast Titans, but it is going to take an almighty effort for them to beat the Brisbane Broncos, who are the inform team in the competition. Reece Walsh has been outstanding and Pat Carrigan and Payne Haas have been impressive up front. Broncos to win this one by plenty.

With Latrell Mitchell rumoured to be back, the Bunnies should have no trouble beating the Tigers, who already have one eye on September. This win will see Souths catapult back into the top eight with the team hoping to make a run at the right time of the year.

I’m tipping the next game with my heart, but think this game may be closer than a lot of people think. Just like Parramatta, the Storm have plenty of key outs including Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Justin Olam and Reimis Smith. Even without so many players due to injury, suspension and off-field indiscretions, I’m tipping the Eels in an upset.


The next game is almost the game of the round with the Newcastle Knights still having a sniff of a top-eight berth. These two teams have had some strange battles in Canberra in recent years and I think the home-ground advantage will be enough to help the Raiders get the win (but of course by no more than two points).

The Sea Eagles will beat the Dragons and I’m expecting the Panthers to win big over a Sharks side with a lack of confidence and now, plenty of injuries.

You could not pay me enough to even consider tipping the Bulldogs at the moment given how woeful their attitude has been over the last month.

The next game will be fun too. I’m tipping the Cowboys because that is the sensible thing to do, but we know how chaotic the Titans can be and on their day, they can beat any team in the competition.

Herbie Farnworth of the Broncos looks to takes on the defence of Joseph Manu of the Roosters.

(Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Paul Suttor

Broncos, Rabbitohs, Storm, Raiders, Sea Eagles, Panthers, Dolphins, Cowboys


The Roosters are about to get a reality check at the Gabba. They haven’t won back-to-back matches since March and won’t break that streak against a full-strength Brisbane side. Broncos by 18.

The Tigers have about as much chance of succeeding in Tamworth as gangster rap during the Country Music Festival. Rabbitohs by 16.

Melbourne pumped Cronulla recently after an upset loss the week before. This time the Eels will feel the wrath of Bellamy after they went down in Newcastle. Storm by 22.

Canberra somehow remain in contention despite having more question marks on them than their fellow lover of green in The Riddler. But they should get past the Knights. Raiders by 2.

The Dragons are a chance of an upset in Wollongong. Manly are battered despite beating the Sharks. Sea Eagles by 4.

Penrith could win by 20 or plenty without even getting out of second gear against this listless Sharks side. Panthers by 24.

Canterbury have Viliame Kikau and probably Josh Addo-Carr back but this home game is in Bundaberg where Dolphins are better acclimatised than Bulldogs. Dolphins by 6.


The Titans may not win another game this year. Cowboys by 16

(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Mike Meehall Wood

Broncos, Rabbitohs, Storm, Raiders, Sea Eagles, Panthers, Dolphins, Cowboys

The Broncos are too good for the Roosters at the moment, doubly so at home.

Souths will finally click and smash the Tigers. Latrell to score a thousand on return.

Melbourne at home to a Parra side without a few of their best is an easy choice. Storm to win.


Canberra have been underwhelming and the Knights have been decent, but the feeling is always that Ricky’s men find a way somehow. They will here.

I have absolutely no idea between Manly and the Dragons, but I’ll take my Beaches boys to win it for DCE in his 300th game.

The Panthers are good and the Sharks lose to anybody good. Easy kill this week for Penrith.

They shouldn’t even give out tipping points for this game, so inconsequential is it, but I’ll take the Phins with no confidence.

The Titans can be relied upon to fall over, NQ are in form. Cowboys to win.

Zac Lomax of the Dragons is tackled.

 (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

AJ Mithen


Broncos, Rabbitohs, Storm, Raiders, Sea Eagles, Panthers, Dolphins, Cowboys

I’m moving on up to the high side. You all see it, but there’s nothing you can do to stop it.. here’s the next set of winners.

Brisbane to cook the Roosters but it’ll be closer than the odds suggest. 

Souths really need to beat the Tigers and get back on track cos they’ve been ungreat lately, let’s see how they go.

Melbourne will realign against the Eels but this will be a close one too.

Your presumptive champions, the people’s team, the Canberra Raiders will lay a casual 56 on the Knights and secure a top-four position, and Canberra’s NRLW team will also lay a casual 56 on the hapless Roosters in the capital’s first NRLW/NRL doubleheader. 

Manly over the Dragons but I’m not filled with confidence about it.


Penrith will fillet and sauté Cronulla, who continue to pretend.

Dolphins over the Bulldogs, who are all over the joint and finally, the Cowboys to embed in the finals with a good win on the Gold Coast. 

Scott Drinkwater of the Cowboys looks to pass the ball

Scott Drinkwater (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

Danielle Smith

Broncos, Tigers, Storm, Knights, Sea Eagles, Panthers, Dolphins, Cowboys

The Roosters may have jumped back into the winner’s circle last week, but the Broncos will be too strong for them tonight.

Forget Latrell – Brooks is back! I’m doing it – Tigers for the win!


Bellamy will be FURIOUS after the Strom’s loss last week – and the Eels will pay the price. Expect a huge turnaround here.

Dragons will be feeling good after their win against the Tigers, but the Sea Eagles won’t be happy with how they finished against the Sharks. Coin flip time………hmmmmmmmm…….. Sea Eagles.

Panthers – but not by as many as people think.

Steve Mortimer, Terry Lamb, Hazim El Masri and Steve Price could come back into the Bulldogs line up and it won’t be enough. Dolphins to win comfortably.

Cowboys are firing on all cylinders. The Titans are still without Tino. Nuff said.

We are inching closer to the Top 8 people! As always, I’m tipping my Knights.

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