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The Roar


The Roar’s NRL expert tips and predictions Round 23: Calculators at the ready with Top 8 spots up for grabs

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2nd August, 2023
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Hey Roarers!

It sure is heating up in the race to the finals!

The Broncos are showing everyone they won’t be repeating their 2022 end-of-season demise with a comfortable 32-10 win over the Roosters on Thursday night. It was another superb defence effort, and Patty Carrigan broke his try-scoring drought with his first-ever meat pie in the NRL.

Someone having no issues crossing the try line is Rabbitohs winger Alex Johnston who scored yet another hattrick during his side’s 32-18 win over Tigers in Tamworth on Friday. While everyone was talking about the return of Latrell, I’m tipping my hat to Johnston who is now just six tries behind the NRL’s all-time try scorer Billy Slater with 184.

Then it was down to Melbourne where the Storm put a huge dent in the Eels’ finals chances, taking out a 46 – 16 win at Marvel Stadium. I don’t know what was harder for Eels fans to see – the loss itself or Gutho’s awful haircut.

The Knights continue their rise up the ladder, knocking over the Raiders 28-6 on Saturday in Canberra. A mix of exciting attack and desperate goal-line defence left the Green Machine stunned and gave the visitors their fourth consecutive win. And it’s ok everyone – Ponga is fine!

It was all happening in the ‘Gong on Saturday night – the ball being played facing the wrong way, a controversial sin bin, an interim coach’s first-ever spray at the officials in the presser, and DCE getting the win in his 300th game with the Sea Eagles beating the Dragons 24-18.

Everyone knew it was going to be a tough night out for the Sharks against the Panthers on Saturday night, with the Premiers taking out a 28-0 victory. But a special mention to Cam McInnes and the 5000 tackles he made – absolute workhorse.


Who let the dogs out?! The Bulldogs welcomed a few troops back and in doing so took out a thrilling 23-22 win over the Dolphins in Bundaberg.

Then it was off to the Gold Coast to see the Titans produce the upset of the round, breaking the Cowboys’ six-game winning streak with a 22-13 win in front of their elated home fans.

It was a close battle between tipsters last week, with AJ, Mike, Paul, The Crowd and I all tipping five. Mary and Stuart were close behind with four.

Stuart now has to share the lead with Mike on 101, with Mary and Paul not far off the pace on 97. AJ keeps making strides on 92, The Crowd are on 91, while I’m playing putt-putt on 89.

Ok, onto Round 23 – five to go!

We are in for more bouncers and LBWs as the tenth-placed Sea Eagles and 14th-placed Roosters face off tonight at the SCG at 8pm, with both teams fighting to keep their finals chances alive.


Friday night footy kicks off at 6pm at Cbus Super Stadium – and this one could be interesting. The 12th-placed Titans will be on a high and feeling anything is possible coming off their shock win against the Cowboys, while the Warriors are sitting nicely in third spot and fresh off the bye.

Then it’s 1st vs 4th in the battle of the big guns when the Panthers host the Storm at Bluebet Stadium at 8pm. Both teams are in fine form and close to full strength – this will be a cracker.

Hooley Dooley – Queensland Country Bank Stadium will be rocking on Saturday at 3pm! Make sure you are tuned in for this epic grudge match between the eighth-placed Cowboys and the second-placed Broncos – there is always so much emotion when these rivals play, but this should have an extra layer of spice with Top 8 spots on the line.

We then make our way over to Optus Stadium in Perth, showcasing our great game to the West.  The 13th-placed Dolphins and the Knights in ninth kick off the doubleheader at 5:30pm (EST), with both teams on a mission to play September footy.

The second match on the West Coast sees sixth vs seventh as the Rabbitohs and the Sharks fight it out to stay in the top half of the ladder.

Sunday footy starts at 2pm at Commbank Stadium when the eleventh-placed Eels desperately trying to make the finals against the 16th-placed Dragons desperately trying to avoid the spoon. Will the return of Dylan Brown boost the Eels?

And we wrap up the round in the nation’s capital as the fifth-placed Raiders host the last-placed Tigers at GIO Stadium at 4:05pm.


The Bulldogs enjoy a week off after getting the two points last round. They will probably spend the entire time wondering what that weird feeling is – it’s called winning.

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 sending lots of luck to Ryan Papenhuyzen who makes his long-awaited return to the field in the Q-Cup after being sidelined 13 months.

Happy tipping everyone!

Stuart Thomas

Sea Eagles, Titans, Panthers, Broncos, Knights, Rabbitohs, Eels, Raiders


It is always wonderful to have rugby league played at the SCG and the Sea Eagles will enjoy the venue far more than the Roosters on Thursday night.

The Titans stunned the Cowboys last weekend and will look to do the same against the Warriors at home on Friday. Can they do it? Yes they can, with the Kiwis coming off the dreaded bye.

Both the Panthers and Storm were impressive winners in Round 22, yet Penrith at home is a tough nut to crack.

Saturday afternoon’s match between the Broncos and Cowboys looks a promising one. Val Holmes is a huge loss for the visitors and it swings my tip the way of the Broncos.

The Knights were very good last week and the Dolphins were not against the Bulldogs. With the top eight still on the cards and a fifth win on the trot up for grabs, Newcastle will have all the incentive they need.

I’m tipping the Rabbitohs to beat the Sharks based simply on the fact that Cronulla don’t beat top-eight opposition very often

The Eels and Raiders should both win on Sunday afternoon to round out the action, with the results keeping the Tigers and Dragons flailing away in the bottom two positions on the ladder and suffering further embarrassment.


Tohu Harris (Photo by Dave Rowland/Getty Images)

Mary Konstantopoulos

Roosters, Warriors, Panthers, Broncos, Knights, Rabbitohs, Eels, Raiders

The Roosters season is officially over while the Manly Sea Eagles can still mathematically make the eight. At this point of the season, with two sides that have had their ups and downs throughout, I’m going to pick the Roosters.

This next game should be fun. Whilst the Warriors are one of the in-form teams in the competition and should be able to beat the chaotic Titans, the Titans are no doubt a team that is going to cause top-eight carnage, despite them being unable to make the eight. They got the upset against the Cowboys, so this week the Warriors will have just enough in attack to win this game.

The Storm seemed to be back to their best against Parramatta, but Penrith are still the standouts in the competition and will use this game to make an example of one of their top four rivals.

The Broncos will beat the Cowboys and I’m particularly interested to see how the Cowboys manage without Valentine Holmes.


The Knights will continue to surge towards the top eight when they beat the Dolphins.

The Rabbitohs will beat the Sharks, who seem to be in free fall at the moment.

Some key returns should bolster Parramatta, but even with a win against the Dragons, it might be too little too late.

This week is surely the week that the Raiders manage to beat a team by more than two points, coming up against one of the most disappointing teams of the year, the Wests Tigers.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 28: Jared Waerea-Hargreaves of the Roosters is tackled during the round 20 NRL match between the Manly Sea Eagles and the Sydney Roosters at 4 Pines Park on July 28, 2022, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Paul Suttor

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


Manly are playing with much more pride in their jersey than the corresponding clash with the Roosters last year. Too soon? Sea Eagles by 10.

Titans are on a 5-day turnaround, Warriors have had the bye. Lock of the week. Iron-clad guarantee. Warriors by 20.

Melbourne are better than most but Penrith are better than everyone. Panthers by 12.

North Qld will miss Val Holmes and will lift for the date with Brisbane but it won’t be enough. Broncos by 4
more to come.

The Dolphins have hit the wall and Newcastle are on a roll but it’s hard to trust these Knights. Dolphins by 2.

Souths have got their best squad on the park, Cronulla are missing a few of their best. Rabbitohs by 18.

The Dragons were unlucky to lose last week to Manly but Parra, with Dylan Brown back, should have more to play for. Eels by 8.


Canberra are wobbling so getting the Tigers on the schedule is a chance to play themselves back into form. Raiders by 6

(Photo by Handout/NRL Photos via Getty Images )

Mike Meehall Wood

Roosters, Warriors, Panthers, Cowboys, Knights, Rabbitohs, Eels, Raiders

Manly need to win to keep their season alive, so it’s time for the old reverse psychology trick to come out. Roosters to win.

The Titans are good one week, terrible the next. By my calculations, that means they’ll be bad this week, so Warriors to take it.

The Panthers aren’t losing to anyone at the minute so they’re the obvious pick over the Storm.


The Cowboys will bounce back, I’m taking them in the upset for the Broncos.

Newcastle are on a tear and will continue that over the Phins.

Souths are warming up, the Sharks are cooling down. Bunnies and it might not be close.

Parra will put a score on the Dragons to keep their hopes alive.

Even Canberra’s aversion to a 13+ will be tested by a done and dusted Tigers outfit. The Raiders by a thousand.

(Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

AJ Mithen


Sea Eagles, Warriors, Panthers, Cowboys, Knights, Rabbitohs, Eels, Raiders

Five weeks left before I rise to the top and continued tipping glory!

This week it begins with Manly finally putting the Roosters out of their misery.

New Zealand should beat the Gold Coast but I tip with zero confidence.

Penrith over Melbourne in the shadowboxing finals prelude.

North Queensland will do Brisbane in because they need the win more but it’s tough with no Valentine Holmes.

Newcastle will knock out five on the trot and stay on finals coattails.


Souths will flog the pathetic Cronulla.

Parra will fall across the line over the Dragons.

And your presumptive champions, the people’s team the Canberra Raiders will wander out onto Bruce Stadium and lay a casual 56 on the Tigers, who won’t know what hit them.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 04: Nick Cotric of the Raiders scores try during the round 25 NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Canberra Raiders at Leichhardt Oval, on September 04, 2022, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Danielle Smith

Sea Eagles, Warriors, Storm, Cowboys, Knights, Rabbitohs, Eels, Tigers

The Sea Eagles to put the red line through the Roosters for 2023 once and for all.


This will be a great game! It was a top effort from the Titans last week but the Warriors will get the two points here.

Coin flip time! Hmmmmmm……..Storm in golden point.

Hooley Dooley – two coin flips this round! Hmmmmmmm………Cowboys at home.

This one requires no coin. The Sharks are on a downward spiral and the Bunnies will take advantage.

The Dragons will give the Eels a scare but Parra for the win.

I’m going the Tigers here – they played well against the Bunnies last week and the Raiders were woeful against the Knights.

Well well well, look at everyone jumping on the red and blue bandwagon! As always, I’m tipping my Knights.

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