The Roar
The Roar


The Roar’s NRL expert tips and predictions Round 24: Pressure mounts as time runs out to make the finals cut

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9th August, 2023
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Hey Roarers!

Send-offs, sin bins, angry coaches, trainers told to leave the field, questionable tries, head-scratching calls and a winger who scored four tries and still walked away with a loss. I think we are all still trying to get our heads around everything that unfolded in the last round.

The Roosters kept their slim finals chances alive with a 26-16 win over the Sea Eagles on Thursday night. It was a clunky old game with a million stoppages and penalties, along with a crazy send-off when Nathan Brown was marched for his first tackle of the match.

The Warriors held onto their Top 4 spot with a 28-18 win over the Titans on Friday night. We saw our second send-off in as many matches with Gold Coast forward Moeaki Fotuaika told to hit the showers early for contact with the head of DWZ. But on a good note – what about Jayden Campbell’s runaway intercept try?!

Then it was over to Penrith where the premiers made light work of the Storm with a 26-6 win. Jarome Luai was placed on report for a shoulder charge on NAS but unlike Storm trainer Ryan Hinchliffe was allowed to stay on the field.

Jake Trbojevic of the Sea Eagles looks on(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)[/caption]

Mary Konstantopoulos

Penrith, Sharks, Broncos, Rabbitohs, Warriors, Roosters, Storm, Knights

It’s not so much about whether the Penrith Panthers will beat the Manly Sea Eagles on Thursday night (they will). It’s more about which team can stop the Penrith juggernaut this year. I see this as a fairly easy win for Penrith, especially against a Manly side whose forward pack is so depleted by injury.

The Sharks finally blew off the cobwebs last week with a big win over Souths. Given the challenges with their draw over the next few weeks, this is a must-win game against the Titans. I am tipping the Sharks, but the Titans are one of the wackiest teams in the competition and you can never entirely rule them out. A big boost for the Sharks will also be the return of Ronaldo Mulitalo on the wing.

As a rabid Eels supporter, I would love to tip the Eels this week, but given the outs that the Eels still have (and to be honest the way they have played in recent weeks), the Broncos will win this one. I’m particularly concerned about the Eels edge defence which has been especially challenged over the last month.


The Rabbitohs will get their season back on track with a win over the Dragons.

The Warriors will beat the Wests Tigers in front of a packed house in Hamilton.

The Roosters will beat the Dolphins and I’m tipping the Storm to beat the Raiders. The Storm seem to be a bit of a bogey team for the Canberra Raiders, but the Storm don’t lost two in a row and with the return of Jahrome Hughes, Xavier Coates and Reimis Smith, the Storm have the edge in this game.

The Knights will continue their run with a win over the Bulldogs.

MUDGEE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 18: Alex Johnston of the Rabbitohs tackles Mikaele Ravalawa of the Dragons to stop him scorin g a try during the NRL Trial and Charity Shield match between St George Illawarra Dragons and South Sydney Rabbitohs at Glen Willow Sporting Complex on February 18, 2023 in Mudgee, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Paul Suttor

Panthers, Sharks, Broncos, Rabbitohs, Warriors, Roosters, Storm, Knights


Manly have been unimpressive the past couple of weeks since their upset at Shark Park. Panthers by 18
Cronulla showed signs of life in thumping the Bunnies last week while the Titans are one loss away from season over even with Tino back. Sharks by 10
Brisbane have Adam Reynolds back and Parra are still not at full strength. Broncos by 14
Souths are becoming flat-track bullies, the Dragons won’t be a pushover but the favourites should prevail. Rabbitohs by 4
The Tigers will win a game before the season’s out but it’s unlikely to be this one in Waikato. Warriors by 12
The Roosters should be out for revenge after their opening-round boilover against the Dolphins. Oh yeah, and be keeping their finals hopes alive. Roosters by 2
Canberra give Melbourne the heebie jeebies for some reason but the home side will win this one. Storm by 16
Newcastle are looking more and more likely to make the eight and even though the Dogs are rested after a bye and are finally close to a healthy roster, the Novocastians should get up. Knights by 7

(Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images)

Mike Meehall Wood

Panthers, Sharks, Eels, Rabbitohs, Warriors, Roosters, Storm, Knights

Your new leader in the tipping race, no less, taking over just ahead of Finals…get your gloating in early, I say. 

It doesn’t matter anymore for my Beaches boys, so I shall be taking the Panthers all the way.

The Sharks looked great last week and need to back it up.


The Titans have been in better form than usual, but that doesn’t say much. Cronulla to win.

The Bronx are good, the Eels are…well, not bad, but nowhere near as good as Brisbane. Bronx by a few.

The Bunnies have, have, have to win. They will against a demoralised Dragons.

The Tigers are rubbish and have turned this into a Warriors home game. Wahs by a million.

The Chooks are a finals smokie (win all four and they make it…you heard it here first) and will get the victory here.

Canberra always do well in Melbourne, but I can’t tip against the Storm at home. The NRL’s strangest trend stops here and Melbourne will win.

The Knights are on a roll, the Dogs are on the beach. Dom Young to score a hat trick and Newcastle to keep up their Finals chase.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - FEBRUARY 09: Luke Metcalf of the Warriors makes a break of the Tigers score a try during the NRL trial match between New Zealand Warriors and Wests Tigers at Mt Smart Stadium on February 09, 2023 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

(Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

AJ Mithen

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

Only a month to go and I continue my inevitable rise to the top. Your winners this week are…

Penrith, who will destroy Manly by whatever margin they feel like. Cronulla, who are in rarefied air after bneating a top eight team last week and will put the Titans to sleep for 2023.

Brisbane will make it unconvincing against the Eels who are really showing some mediocrity around decent play.

South Sydney must beat the bothersome Dragons but it’s no sure thing.


The Warriors will secure a top-four spot by beating Wests Tigers, who again are no pushover but who’ve sold this home game to New Zealand.

The Roosters will beat the Dolphins and Newcastle might well repeat their 66-0 blotting of Canterbury from Round 18.

And your presumptive champions, the people’s team, the Canberra Raiders will head to their home away from home and lay a casual 56 on the hapless Melbourne, their sixth win in a row at the bubble dome.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 05: Mark Nicholls of the Dolphins celebrates after scoring a try during the round one NRL match between the Dolphins and Sydney Roosters at Suncorp Stadium on March 05, 2023 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Danielle Smith

Panthers, Titans, Broncos, Rabbitohs, Warriors, Rabbitohs, Dolphins, Knights, Storm

Sorry Manly fans, this one might get ugly.


Tino is back! Titans for the win.

Broncos will cruise past the Eels, with Carrigan to get another meat pie now that he’s got the hang of it.

This one is an absolute coin flip…………hmmmmmmm……….Rabbitohs. But even the head on the coin just told me it isn’t confident.

The Warriors are just on fire, I’m absolutely loving their footy this season. They will get the win and secure a well-deserved home semi-final.

Don’t ask me why, but I think the Dolphins will get the job done here.

The Storm will bounce back from last round and rip apart the Raiders. They are lucky to be in the Top 8.

Newcastle won’t put 66 on the Bulldogs this time – they will put 80! As always, I’m tipping my Knights.

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