The Roar
The Roar

Advertisement

Opinion

The Roar's NRL expert tips and predictions: Round 4 - Injuries cause havoc, pressure builds on Souths, can Tigers roar again?

Autoplay in... 6 (Cancel)
Up Next No more videos! Playlist is empty -
Replay
Cancel
Next
27th March, 2024
6
7831 Reads

The Wests Tigers threw a spanner into the tipping loop last weekend with the biggest boilover of the season with their thrashing of the Sharks.

Maybe there’s some magic still left in the old Leichhardt Oval after all.

Round 4 dishes up a tipster’s nightmare with so many stars out – Nathan Cleary, Mitchell Moses, Reece Walsh, Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, Toby Rudolf and Payne Haas just to name a few.

Among The Roar’s panel of experts, Mike Meehall Wood went the closest to tipping the perfect round last week when he scored seven, brought undone by the Tigers’ triumph over Cronulla.

The fourth round kicks off with a beauty between the depleted Panthers and the Roosters, the Bulldogs are a chance of upsetting the Rabbitohs on Good Friday while the Broncos vs Cowboys is always extremely tough to pick.

Advertisement

The Dragons are in Wollongong for the first time this year against Manly, Gold Coast need to show some spirit against the Dolphins and the Warriors are banged up for their clash with Newcastle.

Cronulla are no certainties despite being at home on Sunday against Canberra while the Tigers will take the fight to Parra on Easter Monday.

Here’s how the experts see Round 4 unfolding.

Stuart Thomas

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

No Cleary no Panthers is an interesting approach. Penrith have been far better than the Chooks thus far and across the park, I still think they edge the Roosters on Thursday night. A false dawn for the Dogs last week against the soon to be wooden spooners. Souths finally in the winner’s column.

The Broncos should win against the Cowboys with their backs well and truly against the wall; Reynolds the key inclusion along with desperation. If the Sea Eagles manage to lose to the awful Dragons an inquest should be called for. Manly in a canter.

Advertisement

I’ll stick with the Dolphins after a better effort last week saw them grab the two points and the Titans gave little to hope for in an awful performance against the Bulldogs in Round 3. The Warriors will beat the Knights in New Zealand as Shaun Johnson runs rings around Jack Cogger and sets up eight tries, and the Sharks will return to form after an appalling effort against the Tigers last time out and beat the Raiders by a point down in the Shire.

A mighty crash back down to earth for the Tigers when they face a consistent Eels team at CommBank Stadium on Monday. A bridge too far for Benji and the Eels to continue on their merry way towards the finals.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 22: Cameron Murray of the Rabbitohs talks to team mates during the round three NRL match between Sydney Roosters and South Sydney Rabbitohs at Allianz Stadium, on March 22, 2024, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Cameron Murray talks his teammates at Allianz Stadium. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Nick Wasiliev

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

Sheesh, if there is any weekend we can sniff an upset, it’s this one. The casualty ward was off the charts last week. That being said, I still back Penrith, despite the loss of Cleary. Mavrik Geyer is a gun, as is a lot of new talent coming through the ranks. Sam Walker is a welcome return, but I see the Panthers getting home in a thriller.

Of course, the Bulldogs clean up the Titans, of course! However, given the talent in South Sydney and their inconsistency week to week currently, I see them struggling to back it up a second week.

Advertisement

The Broncos might be without Reece Walsh and their loss to Penrith was comprehensive, but this team made the grand final last year so the law of averages suggests they’re going to come good at some point. Cowboys have looked good so far, but I reckon the Broncos will be up for this at home. 

I mean, the Dragons have looked better than I thought they would at the start of this season, but Manly are by far the more consistent side right now. Sea Eagles by a few. 

Dolphins, kinda good. Titans, not so good. Yes, they’ve had a bye, but only one try scored to their name by round four is kinda ridiculous.

This match is going to be a banger in Auckland, with both teams having similar strengths. The Warriors have the less disrupted side and with home field advantage they should get home.

The Sharks were not themselves last week against the Tigers. While the Raiders has the tougher opponent in Auckland, I expect a few weeks on the road to catch up with them, and this Sharks side have enough in them to turn it around quick. 

I’m not expecting the Tigers to back it up, despite how much last weekend made me so happy. The Eels are a big step up at home, so I see them taking the win at CommBank. Give me a good contest, that’s all I ask! 

Advertisement

Mary Konstantopoulos

Roosters, Bulldogs, Broncos, Sea Eagles, Warriors, Dolphins, Raiders, Eels

I rarely tip against the Panthers, but they are missing a couple of key players including Nathan Cleary, Scott Sorensen and James Fisher-Harris. Generally the Panthers cover injuries well, which is a reflection of their systems and processes, but the Roosters have been playing exceptional footy and may have the edge in this game. Victor Radley has been really impressive in the opening few weeks and James Tedesco’s different approach in attack has been working wonders.

The Bunnies need to win at some point, but I think the Dogs will be confident after their huge win over the weekend. The Dogs attack looked so much better with Viliame Kikau having huge impact. The Bunnies forwards (bar Cam Murray) have been underwhelming, so I’m expecting the Bulldogs to take advantage of that and really have Kikau target Dean Hawkins.

The Broncos welcome some troops back this week which will be a big relief. I’m tipping them to win against the Cowboys but what I am most interested in for this game is getting a yardstick on the Cowboys. The Cowboys sit undefeated right now, but will come up against a quality team for the first time this year. I want to see how they aim up.

The Sea Eagles will beat the Dragons and the Dolphins will beat the Titans, who have been an absolute basket case.

The Warriors and Knights will be a great match up between two teams still finding their feet in 2024. I love a big Warriors crowd and expect them to carry the Warriors home. Some good ins for the Warriors too with Marata Niukore and Dylan Walker back to help add impact to the bench.

Advertisement

The Raiders have impressed me so far this season and should be able to beat a Sharks team missing several key players, especially in the forwards.

The final game should be a ripper because there is plenty of rivalry between the Eels and Tigers. The Tigers played well last week, particularly Api Koroisau. The Eels have enough attacking weapons over the field to cover the loss of Moses. Junior Paulo is named to start too, which should give the Eels the advantage in the forwards to start the game. I can’t wait for this one and am looking forward to a packed out CommBank Stadium.

Paul Suttor

Roosters, Rabbitohs, Broncos, Sea Eagles, Warriors, Dolphins, Sharks, Eels

Tigers fans will get a glimpse of how Jarome Luai goes as the chief playmaker when the Nathan Cleary-less Panthers run out onto Allianz Stadium and it will end with a Roosters win.

Souths need someone to play them into form and the last time Canterbury played strongly in back-to-back weeks was close to a decade ago, give or take a year or two.

If Adam Reynolds plays, the Broncos will win even without Payne Haas and Reece Walsh because the Cowboys have false winning form after three rounds.

Advertisement

The Dragons will go close to a win at their Wollongong stadium but the Sea Eagles will be too clever.

Gold Coast will not be tipped until they show some ticker, so they may not be backed again all year. Dolphins by 10+.

Newcastle lack structure, the Warriors are at home. That result won’t be close either.

Cronulla are missing some key forwards but they will grind out a win over the Raiders in what is likely to be the lowest scoring match of the round.

Parra without Moses is a concern but the Tigers need to prove last week’s win was not yet another false dawn.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 24: Junior Paulo of the Eels is tackled during the round three NRL match between Parramatta Eels and Manly Sea Eagles at CommBank Stadium, on March 24, 2024, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Junior Paulo is tackled. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

AJ Mithen

Advertisement

Panthers, Bulldogs, Cowboys, Sea Eagles, Titans, Warriors, Raiders, Eels

The only way to maintain my tipping dominance is accuracy, so here comes more laser-like tipping excellence.

Panthers over Roosters cos Penrith has the defence. Bulldogs over South Sydney but the reverse wouldn’t surprise.

Cowboys to take advantage of the dinged up Broncos this time, Manly to get over the Dragons pretty easily. 

I’ve got the Titans over the Dolphins because surely they can’t be as bad as they’ve shown so far? Warriors will do over Newcastle like last year’s finals series. Knights might have won a game, but they weren’t great. 

Your presumptive champions, the people’s team the Canberra Raiders will head to that building site at Cronulla and lay a casual 56 on their gracious hosts.

Monday we’ll get a good game I reckon, but the Eels will get past Wests Tigers.

Advertisement

Mike Meehall Wood

Roosters, Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Sea Eagles, Warriors, Dolphins, Raiders, Eels

The Panthers are depleted, the Chooks are finding form. Rare that you tip against Penrith but Easts to win this one.

Souths can’t keep being this bad, right? They’ll start the turnaround in their first home game of the year, though the Dogs have been pretty good so far and it wouldn’t be a shock if they were to win. Souths in a close one.

Brisbane are without two of their best three players and, I’m not sure Reynolds will be there come kick-off. The unbeaten Cowboys will remain unbeaten.

Dragons are bad, Manly are good. My Beaches Boys should put a score on the St George Steelers in Wollongong.

Advertisement

How early can you have a Spoonbowl? The Titans were dreadful last week and the Dolphins are off a bye, so with little confidence I’ll take Redcliffe.

The Wahs on home turf are an easy pick against a Knights side who are hit and miss. RTS at fullback will have a field day.

The Sharks are down plenty in the pack, the Raiders are, to use the technical term, absolute bastards to play against. I’m not sure if it’s an upset to pick Canberra, but I’ll take them.

The Tigers showed plenty of green shoots last week but Parra will have too much on Easter Monday. They’ll take it.

TipstersStuart ThomasNick WasilievMary KonstantopoulosPaul SuttorAJ MithenMike Meehall WoodThe Crowd
SYD v PEN PanthersPanthers Roosters Roosters Panthers Roosters ?
SOU v CBY Rabbitohs Rabbitohs BulldogsRabbitohs Bulldogs Rabbitohs ?
BRI v NQCBroncos Broncos Broncos Broncos CowboysCowboys?
SGI v MSESea Eagles Sea Eagles Sea Eagles Sea Eagles Sea Eagles Sea Eagles ?
GOL v DOLDolphins Dolphins Dolphins Dolphins Titans Dolphins ?
WAR v NEWWarriors Warriors Warriors Warriors Warriors Warriors ?
CRO v CBA Sharks Sharks Raiders Sharks Raiders Raiders?
PAR v WESTEels Eels Eels Eels Eels Eels ?
Last Round4546676
2024 tally15141116151716
Advertisement
close