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The Roar's NRL expert tips and predictions, Round 8: Don't forget to put your entries in early for Anzac Day!

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24th April, 2024
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Tipping last round was supposed to be an easy one. But a Friday night of carnage ruined the round for most tipsters.

The Warriors were red-hot favourites to knock over the Dragons in Wollongong but didn’t come close. Then when Parramatta held a four-point half-time lead in Darwin, it looked like they would finish the job in the second half only to concede eight tries in 25 minutes to a depleted Dolphins line-up.

Melbourne upset the Roosters and Canterbury toppled Newcastle in minor surprises in a round which left a lot of tipsters cursing their choices.

Among The Roar’s panel of experts last week, there were a few fives but no perfect rounds with Stuart Thomas and Paul Suttor the highest scores with six.

Looking ahead to Round 8, the traditional Anzac Day blockbuster between the Dragons and Roosters looks like a bit of coin toss, which is appropriate on the only day when two-up is allowed.

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St George Illawarra are firing while the Roosters have been hot and cold.

The Warriors kick off the triple header against the winless Titans while Melbourne should be too strong for Souths in the evening match.

Newcastle, without Kalyn Ponga, need to prove they can keep their head above water while he’s out against the Dolphins in Brisbane on Sunday while Canberra are in a similar boat after losing Jamal Fogarty to injury long term when they host Cronulla in the final match of the round.

Most importantly, don’t forget to put your tips in early with the first match of the round kicking off at 2pm AEST.

Here’s how the experts see Round 8 unfolding.

Stuart Thomas

Warriors, Roosters, Storm, Sea Eagles, Broncos, Panthers, Dolphins, Sharks

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A big and respectful weekend for the NRL and rest in peace to the men and women who have died defending our country.

I’m not sure who will be picking the Titans against the statistically decent Warriors, but it won’t be me. Logic says the Dragons have had a few soft kills and the Roosters are a better team than they have shown thus far. I’m not too sure, but still feel the tri-colours will take an ANZAC Day win at Allianz.

The Storm will be at unbackable odds against the Rabbitohs and frankly, I’m enjoying seeing the Bunnies struggling.

Based on form, the Sea Eagles have it over the absolutely bizarre Eels heading into a match that could define the season for Brad Arthur’s sputtering team.

Even on the road the Broncos should have too many weapons for a Tigers team that will be hoping to keep the scores low and eek out a gutsy win at Campbelltown. I can’t really see that happening and the Cowboys do not have the form on the board to even kid themselves into believing a win against the Panthers in Townsville is possible.

Watching Newcastle last week leads to an automatic preference for the Dolphins on Sunday afternoon and the ‘rugrat Raiders’ will be brave against the Sharks in Canberra, yet Ricky’s juniors will be unable to topple the current ladder leaders.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 20: Ezra Mam of the Broncos in action during the round seven NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and Canberra Raiders at Suncorp Stadium, on April 20, 2024, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Ezra Mam. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

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Nick Wasiliev

Warriors, Roosters, Storm, Sea Eagles, Broncos, Panthers, Dolphins, Sharks

Lest we forget folks. Look after yourselves on Anzac Day and remember how lucky we are to live in a peaceful part of the world, one that has been protected by such brave men and women. Warriors will get the job done, emphatically.

With Dylan Walker back and some personnel missing from Des Hasler’s side, this game is only going one way.

I have so many question marks right now about the Dragons, but you know what, that’s okay. Considering the chaos of the pre-season, they’re doing pretty well. With Sam Walker back though, and the Chooks already looking pretty good, I’m going with Sydney.

Melbourne, good. Souths, ehhhh? Damien Cook is a good drop-in for the Bunnies but the Storm naming an unchanged side says how well they’re gelling at the moment. 

Are the Eels a part-time footy team? Even though they aren’t, they’re still gonna have their work cut out to beat Manly at home, especially with Josh Aloiai and Nathan Brown back in the side. I can see Brad Arthur’s side bouncing back but the Sea Eagles should be too good on the insular peninsula. 

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I think we’ll see a thriller in Campbelltown. While Junior Tupou is a big loss the Tigers do have a good side cooking and may go into this game with a nothing to lose approach. Far out though, the return of Payne Haas, Deine Mariner,  Adam Reynolds and Brendan Piakura will do wonders for Brisbane.

Cleary is back! It couldn’t be at a better time for the trip up to Townsville, and while the Cowboys will be desperate for a better showing after their tough night in the Shire, it won’t take long for Nathan to work his magic on this Panthers’ side. 

Throw me a bone here, Newcastle. Last week could not have been much worse in terms of results and injuries, and I see that continuing at Lang Park. Only a few changes for the Dolphins, who should sniff blood in the water. 

Might come to regret this one, as the Raiders are always another step up at home, but Jamal Fogarty being out of the side is hurting. The visitors should come into this game with a stronger squad despite the busy news over the week, so I’m going with them. 

Mary Konstantopoulos

Warriors, Dragons, Storm, Eels, Broncos, Panthers, Dolphins, Sharks

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The Titans have improved in recent weeks but not enough to get their first win of the season. The Warriors to win and get back on track after a disappointing loss last week.

I’m taking a risk and tipping the Dragons in the Anzac Day match. Their form has been steadily improving under Shane Flanagan and Zac Lomax is in career best form. I’m still struggling to get a read on the Roosters who have been inconsistent to start the season.

After a win over the bye, the Rabbitohs will come crashing back to earth when they play the Melbourne Storm who have been doing just enough to win over the last few weeks.

I’m tipping Parramatta out of loyalty and for no other reason.

The Broncos will beat the Tigers and the Panthers will beat a Cowboys team who has been struggling for the last two weeks.

The Dolphins have showed plenty of spirit in recent weeks, despite their injuries and I think they can beat the Knights who have been dealt a blow with the injury to Kalyn Ponga. 

The Sharks will beat the Raiders, but I’m expecting a high scoring and entertaining game. 

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Paul Suttor

Warriors, Roosters, Storm, Sea Eagles, Broncos, Panthers, Dolphins, Sharks

Gold Coast have come oh so close the past couple of weeks – that should mean they are due for a stinker. Warriors by 20.

The Dragons are surging but still unreliable. The Roosters should just have enough to get home by a couple.

Melbourne could put plenty on South Sydney and the rumour mill will crank right up again about coach Jason Demetriou.

Parramatta were putrid in Darwin and if they dish out any more performances like that, something’s gotta give and for Brad Arthur, that could mean his job. Manly to win by plenty.

Wests are scrappy and they have been playing above their weight division but they’re still bantamweights compared to a full-strength Broncos line-up.

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The Cowboys were a hard team to predict – now it’s much easier. If they’re playing a struggling team, they usually win but if they go up against a title contender, they get punked. Penrith will put 40 on them.

The Dolphins are in serious threat of being in the playoff equation at season’s end – they might not make it but they should go close. Newcastle won’t make it or go close. Dolphins by 20.

Jamal Fogarty’s bicep tear rips the heart of Canberra because he was their one steadying influence and now that load is on the shoulders of a pair of rookies. Sharks will win by double digits.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 21: Thomas Hazelton of the Sharks scores a try during the round seven NRL match between Cronulla Sharks and North Queensland Cowboys at PointsBet Stadium, on April 21, 2024, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

Thomas Hazelton scores a try. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

AJ Mithen

Warriors, Roosters, Storm, Sea Eagles, Broncos, Panthers, Dolphins, Raiders

Weird tips this week. I only make one with supreme confidence, because I reckon all matches this week will be closer than we first think. 

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New Zealand really should work over the Titans but they’re in a weird place, the Wahs. Can the Coasters pull off a miracle?Roosters over Dragons, Storm over Bunnies, Manly over Parra. I can’t shake that the Eels might give this a real crack but my train stops at Seibold Station right now.

Broncos in a tussle with the Tigers, Panthers will have a Cowboys team keen for a stoush but should win, then the Dolphins have their injury troubles but should still make do with the Ponga-free Newcastle. 

On Sunday your presumptive champions, the people’s team the Canberra Raiders will field one of the youngest teams in their history as they lay a casual 56 on the hapless Cronulla.

Mike Meehall Wood

Warriors, Roosters, Storm, Manly, Broncos, Panthers, Dolphins, Sharks

The Warriors have been below their best of late, but at home on Anzac Day I can’t see them not showing up. The attack is the issue for Andrew Webster, and it won’t be against a Titans side that resolutely refuses to tackle.

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The showpiece Anzac game is a nightmare to call, but I’ll go for the Chooks based on roster strength more than anything. Wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Dragons nick it, though.

The Bunnies are unbackable and have never won in Melbourne. Easy choice.

Manly score a lot, Parra concede a lot. At home at Brookie, they’ll have too much going forward.

The Tigers are better than they were but still nowhere near as good as the Broncos. Brisbane take it, though not without a fight.

The Phins are up, the Knights are down. Redcliffe will march on.

Cronulla are missing one half, but they can deal without Brayden Trindall much more easily than the Raiders can without Jamal Fogarty. It’s a toughie to call but I’ll take the Sharks on the road.

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Round 7Stuart ThomasNick WasilievMary KonstantopoulosPaul SuttorAJ MithenMike Meehall WoodThe Crowd
NZW v GCT Warriors Warriors Warriors Warriors Warriors Warriors?
SGI v SYD Roosters Roosters Dragons Roosters Roosters Roosters?
MEL v SOU Storm Storm Storm Storm Storm Storm?
MAN v PAR Manly Manly Eels Manly Manly Manly ?
WST v BRI Broncos Broncos Broncos Broncos Broncos Broncos ?
NQC v PEN Panthers Panthers Panthers Panthers Panthers Panthers ?
DOL v NEW Dolphins Dolphins Dolphins Dolphins Dolphins Dolphins?
CBA v CROSharks Sharks Sharks Sharks RaidersSharks ?
Last Round6456455
2024 tally36343037313736
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