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The Roar's NRL expert tips and predictions, Round 5: Tigers on the hunt for hat-trick, Souths face tough test, Storm rising

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3rd April, 2024
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The Wests Tigers are underdogs for a third week in a row. Can they make it a hat-trick of wins under new coach Benji Marshall?

After recording the biggest boilover of the new season with their Round 3 thrashing of the Sharks, they proved it was no fluke on Easter Monday by toppling Parramatta with a late field goal.

They are again the outsiders with the bookmakers on Saturday night when they travel to Brisbane to take on the Dolphins but that won’t faze them at all.

Among The Roar’s panel of experts last round, Mike Meehall Wood has lost his outright lead after getting just four right with Stuart Thomas and Paul Suttor joining him in a tie for first.

Manly Sea Eagles
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1.28
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Round 5 kicks off with a blockbuster in Melbourne with the Storm nearly back to full strength against a Broncos side missing Payne Haas and Reece Walsh but coming off a rousing win over the Cowboys.

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Perhaps the hardest match to pick is South Sydney against the Warriors at Homebush on Saturday – the Rabbitohs are back in the winners circle but are no guarantee to remain there against Andrew Webster’s team shooting for three straight wins.

Here’s how the experts see Round 5 unfolding.

Stuart Thomas

Storm, Roosters, Knights, Warriors, Panthers, Dolphins, Cowboys, Raiders

I can’t wait to see how many members of the panel jump on the Tigers’ wagon after the last fortnight. I won’t be just yet.

The Storm will be far too strong for a yet to find high gear Broncos on Friday night and the Dogs proved me right last time out, poor again and up for another loss against the improving Roosters.

Knights and Dragons is not a match to write home about but could be a belter. A loss for either is a disaster and the home side looks the winner to me. I have no clue when it comes to the Rabbitohs and the Warriors. My gut is saying the away team and I’ll stick with the instinct after the Bunnies failed to impress against the Bulldogs.

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I believe the Sea Eagles have a definite chance against the Panthers without Nathan Cleary. The remainder of the class in Penrith’s squad is mighty impressive and if Brooks and Cherry-Evans fire, I guess it could happen, but you simply have to stick with the second-placed Panthers.

The Dolphins will bring the Tigers back down to earth with a thud at Suncorp Stadium. If they do, Wayne Bennett will have his season set up well after a month of play. The Cowboys will own the TItans on Sunday, the visitors looking to have a long season ahead at this stage of proceedings.

A lovely evening in the Canberra sun will provide a headache for the Eels on Sunday night and the Green Machine will win this mid-table clash that will boost the victors confidence early in the season.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 01: Lachlan Galvin of the Tigers is tackled during the round four NRL match between Parramatta Eels and Wests Tigers at CommBank Stadium, on April 01, 2024, in Sydney, Australia.

(Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Nick Wasiliev

Storm, Roosters, Knights, Warriors, Panthers, Dolphins, Cowboys, Raiders

Two in a row baby! I’ve been on the Benjiassance longer than most, even met the bloke back when I was working at a burger joint in uni. Gotta say he’s certainly bringing a bit of joy to this Tiger fan, and continuously putting egg on my face for tipping against them.

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It’s been slim-picking the last few years guys, old habits die hard. But anyway, the tipping.

The Storm plus Cameron Munster back plus being at home equals favourites for this game. Broncos are a good side, but with Haas, Walsh and Piakura all out for the next few weeks, it’s a tough assignment to come away from AAMI Park with the W.

Bulldogs are such a hot-and-cold side right now and put in a better showing last week going down against Souths. The Chooks should be way too strong here though, with the better-quality side… and the Fox out again. 

The Knights will be glad to be back in the Steel City after some long trips to North Queensland and New Zealand, plus a tough game against the Storm at home. Add to that the return of  Leo Thompson, Dane Gagai and Jackson Hastings, and they’ll be a tough side to knock off at Hunter Stadium. Dragons only making the one change after a good win is promising for them, but I don’t think it’s enough.

CNK is back! It couldn’t have come at a better time for the Wahs, who seem to have got their groove back with back-to-back home wins. The Bunnies have, by comparison, looked pretty mixed, but at home will have plenty of motivation for this game. Honestly, it’ll be a thriller, a coin flip: I back the visitors. 

How did the Sea Eagles drop that game? I mean, we know how, but sheesh. If they keep that form up, Penrith should come home with a wet sail. The visitors have a welcome return in James Fisher-Harris, and given how settled the rest of the squad is, they should get stuck in quickly. 

Potential match of the round here in my books, and no, not just cause I back the Tigers. Both sides have made minimal changes, producing strong back-to-back wins after disappointing starts to the season – they are in a similar spot. But home-field advantage and the Bennett factor make me think the Phins will get home. Sorry, Benji.

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Cowboys. All the way. Especially at home. I don’t know what is in the water down at Surfer’s Paradise, but every week this Titans’ side is crashing harder than Windows 95. Des has got his work cut out. 

Nice to finish up the round in the Berra. Both sides look similar to last week, but the Raiders are playing at a higher intensity – especially at home. The Green Machine should be the favourites to take the win here, hopefully without a pungent waft at Bruce Stadium! 

Mary Konstantopoulos

Storm, Roosters, Knights, Rabbitohs, Panthers, Tigers, Cowboys, Eels.

I am only tipping the Storm because every time I tip against them they make a fool out of me. This is one of the games I am looking forward to this week. The Storms welcome back some heavy hitters including Cameron Munster, Jahrome Hughes and Christian Welch. The Broncos have proven they can score points even without players like Reece Walsh, so I’m expecting this to be a high scoring affair with the Storm winning by a small margin.

The Roosters will be embarrassed after their poor showing against the Panthers last week and will beat the Bulldogs. Whilst the Bulldogs have improved in recent weeks, their halves pairing is still struggling with Drew Hutchison being asked to do way too much. The Roosters pack will also be bolstered by the return of Lindsay Collins.

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I’m tipping the Knights, but am not unconvinced by the Dragons who have played decent football in recent weeks, especially Zac Lomax and Ben Hunt. The Knights are hard to pick at the moment with their attack just not firing in the same way it did last year. The big Newcastle crowd should help get them home for this one.

The Bunnies got their first win of the season but were extremely unconvincing so I cannot tip them against the Warriors who seem to quietly be finding their feet. The Warriors will be helped by the return of Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and I’m excited to see how their forward pack matches up against a Bunnies pack that has been struggling.

I can’t tip against the Panthers, because they make a fool of me when I do, so they will beat the Sea Eagles who will slump to three losses in a row.

I’m tipping the Tigers against the Dolphins because I have liked what I have seen over the last two weeks and the Cowboys will beat the Titans who have been awful.

The last game will be fun with these two teams coming off disappointing losses. It was a throwback for both teams; the Raiders blowing big leads and the Eels not aiming up against teams below them on the ladder. The battle between two of the best forward packs in the competition will be a good one and its clear that Brad Arthur is focused on a big bench, with Wiremu Greig being brought onto the bench. After a quieter game last week, I’m expecting Dylan Brown to have a big one for the Eels and get them across the line.  

Paul Suttor

Storm, Roosters, Knights, Warriors, Panthers, Dolphins, Cowboys, Eels

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Melbourne with their two halves will be a whole lot better than Adam Reynolds trying to kick them off the park like he did to the Cowboys last week.

The Dogs are barking but still lack the bite to beat a team like the Roosters.

Newcastle have been pedestrian but the Dragons are hot and cold so they will likely struggle away to their Steel City rivals.

Souths are also nothing to write home about and even though Luke Metcalf’s injury is a big blow, the Warriors on recent form should win comfortably.

Penrith will be favourite in every game they play this year after they were made outsiders last week against the Roosters without Nathan Cleary and still won.

The Dolphins are coming off two successive byes after having a week off and then playing the Titans so they will be rested and ready for the Tigers who are coming off the Easter Monday turnaround.

Silver Coast will maintain their record of always coming second when they travel north to face the Cowboys.

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Parramatta are far from certainties to beat the Raiders in Canberra but should have enough firepower to get the two competition points.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 29: Tristan Sailor

Tristan Sailor. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

AJ Mithen

Broncos, Roosters, Knights, Warriors, Panthers, Dolphins, Cowboys, Raiders

Onward we push to more tipping magnificence. Want to do well? Copy this bunch!

Broncos over the storm in an upset of sorts. Roosters unconvincingly over the Bulldogs, who are on the verge of good results Newcastle over the Dragons but I was this close to tipping at George Illawarra.

New Zealand in a squeaker over the Bunnies, Penrith will murderise Manly, the Dolphins will win a pointsfest with Wests then the Cowboys will throw another log onto the Hasler fire (it’s not beyond Todd Payten’s men to blow this, though).

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The round finishes with your presumptive champions, the people’s team, the Canberra Raiders rebounding from being cheated by the trainer last week to lay a casual 56 on the hapless Eels. 

Mike Meehall Wood

Storm, Roosters, Knights, Warriors, Panthers, Dolphins, Cowboys, Raiders

The Storm are off a bye and have their halves back, Brisbane never win in Melbourne. Easy tip first up.

The Roosters don’t have the best record against the Dogs but I can’t see past them here. Easts to win.

It’ll likely be a bludgeathon in Newcastle…I’ll take the Knights on home advantage alone.

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I have zero confidence in Souths so I’ll take the Wahs on proven form. Genuinely no idea though.

My record of tipping against my own team has gone alright in making Manly win, so go the Mighty Panthers (it’s your chance to be great).

I’d not have picked the Phins v Tigers as a top of the table clash ahead of time…It’ll be close, but Phins Up for me.

The Cows are good, the Titans are not. NQ by plenty.

Canberra are kryptonite to tipping but I’ll take them over an Eels side that might struggle to put enough points on the board.

TipstersStuart ThomasNick WasilievMary KonstantopoulosPaul SuttorAJ MithenMike Meehall WoodThe Crowd
MEL v BRI Storm Storm Storm Storm Storm Storm?
SYD v CBY Roosters Roosters Roosters Roosters Roosters Roosters ?
NEW v SGIKnights Knights Knights Knights Knights Knights?
SOU v WARWarriors Warriors Rabbitohs Warriors Warriors Warriors ?
MAN v PENPanthers Panthers Panthers Panthers Panthers Panthers ?
DOL v WSTDolphins Dolphins TigersDolphins Dolphins Dolphins ?
NQC v GOL Cowboys Cowboys Cowboys Cowboys Cowboys Cowboys?
CAN v PARRaiders RaidersEels Eels Eels Raiders ?
Last Round6645244
2024 tally21201521172120
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