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The Roar's NRL expert tips and predictions: Round 6 - battle for Brisbane, Roosters written off, will Demetriou survive?

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11th April, 2024
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The dogs are barking about Jason Demetriou’s time as South Sydney coach. Will the Bunnies respond to save their coach’s bacon or is he going to be roasted.

Animals aside, the NRL tipping for Round 6 appears straightforward with only the Wests Tigers vs St George Illawarra game on Sunday looking like a toss of the coin job.

But footy tipping is never that easy. The Roosters are expected to fold against the Knights in Newcastle to kick off the round on Thursday night without James Tedesco, Sam Walker and Dominic Young but Trent Robinson’s team has a strong recent record against the Knights, winning 12 of their past 14 encounters.

Among The Roar’s panel of experts last round, nobody sniffed getting close to a perfect round with Stuart Thomas and Mike Meehall Wood snaring sixes to retain joint custody of the overall lead.

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The most intrigue this week centres around whether Souths can rack up just their second win of the season when they host the Sharks at Homebush – with the bye next week, it’s shaping up as an opportune time for the Bunnies to make a change if they think Demetriou is not the coach to take them to finals glory, glory.

The Dolphins will be fired up to knock off Brisbane in their Suncorp derby on Friday night while the match of the round is in the unlikely 3pm Saturday timeslot when the Warriors host Manly with both teams coming off impressive wins.

Here’s how the experts see Round 6 unfolding.

Stuart Thomas

Knights, Storm, Dolphins, Warriors, Cowboys, Sharks, Tigers, Raiders

There is little confidence around the Roosters right now, yet will the Knights be able to take advantage considering their plodding start to the season? Perhaps McDonald Jones can lift them across the line.

If there ever was a false dawn, it was the Dogs’ win over the Roosters last time out. The Storm to belt them at AAMI Park with Cameron Munster dazzling.

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Broncos v Dolphins is a tough one to call. Surely the Broncs are better than they are showing and the Dolphins surely can’t be top four contenders? Phins up despite the injuries and Kevvie Walters starting to feel the heat.

Logic says the Warriors will be too good for the Sea Eagles at home and if the Cowboys travel well, they should be better than the Eels, who need a change and a new coach in my view.

If the Bunnies beat the Sharks it will be a surprise and a top effort, yet the Cronulla forwards look to be hardening up and the smart money will be on them this Saturday night.

When the battle for the spoon plays out at Campbelltown on Sunday, it is the Tigers who probably have better form on the board. They should win but this one could be 4-all or 50-all!

The final match of the round is a non-event, with Ricky’s Raiders certain to pound the hapless Titans into the GIO Stadium turf in the nation’s capital. I’ll be there and cheering on the Raiders’ young and exciting backline.

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 07: Ethan Strange of the Raiders in action during the round five NRL match between Canberra Raiders and Parramatta Eels at GIO Stadium, on April 07, 2024, in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

Ethan Strange. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

Nick Wasiliev

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Knights, Storm, Broncos, Warriors, Cowboys, Sharks, Tigers, Raiders

With personnel changes now kicking in, it’s fair to say tipping gets a little harder – especially with several upsets still linger in previous rounds, there’s nothing like a little bit of crippling self-doubt to throw you off your game.

Knights at home right now are a tough ask for even the best sides, and the Roosters have had to make several changes. I back the men from Steel City to get home. 

I mean, despite the fact the Bulldogs still got the W last week, the home-field advantage also applies to the Storm here. It’ll be nice to see the Foxx back and the return of other reinforcements, but it’s hard to go past Melbourne. 

Reynolds, big loss. Walsh, big gain. The Broncos still have a class squad which should be enough, plus add to that, the Dolphins have been savaged by injuries. 

Warriors at home too? Wow, that’s a bit predictable Nick! Dallin Watene-Zelezniak is a good return and while Manly will be strong, they have had a few shifts in the lineup that will likely be challenged by the Wahs. 

However, I change my home-field bias regarding the Eels, simply because they are so unpredictable right now. Throw in changes galore and it suggests Brad Arthur is desperately searching for some continuity. That contrast couldn’t be any wider with the Cowboys.

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While everyone is dancing around the proverbial bonfire that is South Sydney and JD, I’d be picking the Sharks despite that because they will be targeting this game. Souths are limping towards the bye and probably, given all the issues, likely have one eye on it. Cronulla should get home here. 

Ahhh, finally! Despite the loss at Suncorp last week, the Tigers are looking an improved beast under Benji – and now I await the proverbial slap in the face for daring to tip my own team to win against the Dragons. 

Raiders? Great at home. Titans? I mean, they were better last week, but I don’t think it’ll be enough to disrupt the Green Machine in Bruce. 

Mary Konstantopoulos

Knights, Storm, Broncos, Warriors, Eels, Sharks, Tigers, Raiders

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I love how unpredictable this season is, but it is causing havoc with my tips. I’m tipping the Knights in this game. It’s hard to get a read on the Knights performance last week because of the weather, but given some of the key players the Roosters are missing, it’s hard to see how the Roosters can cover those key spine positions.

The Bulldogs had a win last week, but the Roosters managed to score most of their points when they were a player down. That does not bode well for this weekend with a Storm team that has most of its superstars back.

The Dolphins have improved significantly from last year, but I’m not sure they can match the attacking capability that the Broncos have all over the field.

This next game should be one of the games of the round. The Warriors methodical and consistent approach to their footy is working wonders, whereas for the Sea Eagles they had a big win over Penrith. I’m tipping the Warriors in front of their home crowd and am looking forward to the battle of the fullbacks between Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and Tom Trbojevic.

I’m tipping the Eels more out of loyalty this week, but I’m not confident given how challenged they have been without Mitchell Moses and I can’t in good conscience tip the Bunnies, no matter how hard their backs are up against the wall.

The Tigers and Dragons are still finding their feet this season, but based on the Dragons form where they have one good week and one bad, I’m tipping them in this game.

No amount of money could make me tip the Titans, so Raiders to win in the final game of the round.

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Paul Suttor

Roosters, Storm, Broncos, Warriors, Cowboys, Sharks, Tigers, Raiders

Still don’t rate the Knights. They have done little to show they are genuine finals contenders this year while the Roosters are gritty when they are understrength. And Joey Manu is their best fullback and he’s wearing the No.1 jersey this week.

Melbourne should put a decent score on the Bulldogs, the Broncos will probably do likewise to the depleted Dolphins if Reece Walsh does indeed play. But why risk it? Surely it’s better to come back a week late from a facial fracture than one game early, particularly considering that player’s importance to their finals chances. In the words of Luke Perry, “my face, my valuable face” after his ill-fated appearance on the Krusty Komeback Special.

The Warriors are rolling and probably should be in top spot if not for their Round 2 heartbreaker in Melbourne so they should be too strong for Manly in Aotearoa.

Parramatta were pathetic in Canberra on Sunday night so they will be no trouble for the Cowboys while Souths will probably fire up for the first half or more against Cronulla but the Sharks will grind out the win.

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The Tigers vs Dragons clash is the hardest to predict of the round so Wests to win at Campbelltown with no great confidence.

Even members of the Gold Coast players’ extended families are not tipping them to win in Canberra in the final match of the round.

Reece Walsh (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

Reece Walsh (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

AJ Mithen

Roosters, Storm, Broncos, Warriors, Cowboys, Sharks, Dragons, Raiders

I’ve got the Roosters knocking over Newcastle. The Chooks are without many good players but still capable of high performance.

Melbourne over Canterbury in a barn burner, then Brisbane over the Dolphins in an equally good one. New Zealand should have enough to beat Manly. Don’t expect a high score. 

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Cowboys over Parra but with absolutely no confidence- neither of these teams are girt by excitement.

Sharks over Bunnies cos meh, Dragons over Tigers cos why not. Sunday night we’ll have the presumptive champions, the people’s team, the game’s most electrifying young squad, the Canberra Raiders will lay a casual 56 on the hapless Titans. 

Mike Meehall Wood

Knights, Storm, Broncos, Warriors, Cowboys, Sharks, Tigers, Raiders

Newcastle showed some signs of recovery last week, the Roosters are gutted through injury and suspension. My belief generally is the Roosters win these sort of games, but I can’t tip them with Walker and Teddy both out.

Melbourne are quietly very good, the Doggies are not as bad as they were but won’t have enough to win this one.

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Brisbane are far too strong for a depleted Dolphins. Even without Adam Reynolds, it’s an easy call for them.

Reverse psychology is working a treat so far with my Beaches Boys, so Up the Wahs this weekend. It’s a free swing for the Sea Eagles which might suit them, but the Warriors are legit good and I’d expect them too have too much. Either way, this is lowkey the game of the round.

Parra are in the shuffling the decks stage of precipitating a crisis, the Cowboys are cooking nicely. This will either be a disaster for the Eels or a redemption song…I’m going for the latter. NQ to take it.

Souths are past the shuffling the decks stage and well into the ‘throwing shit at the wall to see what sticks’ phase of the crisis. They’ll lose there, and probably by a few.

The Tigers are resurgent, the Dragons are not. That said, were this the other way around and being played in Wollongong, I might tip St George Illawarra, but it isn’t so I won’t. The Campbelltown curse ends here.

Whatever they’re paying on the Titans, it isn’t enough. AJ says Canberra will win by 56 every week and he might be correct this time around.

TipstersStuart ThomasNick WasilievMary KonstantopoulosPaul SuttorAJ MithenMike Meehall WoodThe Crowd
NEW v SYD Knights Knights Knights Roosters Roosters Knights?
MEL v CBY Storm Storm Storm Storm Storm Storm?
BRI v DOL Dolphins Broncos Broncos Broncos Broncos Broncos?
WAR v MANWarriors Warriors Warriors Warriors Warriors Warriors ?
PAR v NQCCowboys Cowboys EelsCowboys Cowboys Cowboys ?
SOU v CRO Sharks Sharks Sharks Sharks Sharks Sharks ?
WTI v SGI Tigers Tigers Tigers Tigers Dragons Tigers?
CAN v GCT Raiders Raiders Raiders Raiders Raiders Raiders ?
Last Round6655566
2024 tally27262026222726
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