NRL Footy Tips Rd 16

With at least ten injured or exhausted State of Origin players forced to pull out of this weekend’s games, their teams are counting the heads.

Those missing include Brett Morris, James Tedesco, Johnathon Thurston, Darius Boyd, Boyd Cordner, four from Melbourne-  Cooper Cronk, Billy Slater, Cameron Smith and Will Chambers, and Tyson Frizell.

There could be more who don’t make it onto the field.

There are seven games in Round 16 (the Eels and Rabbitohs have a bye). Five of the match-ups feature teams in similar positions on the ladder so the results are vital as to which teams shuffle up or down the table.

Here are my tips (winners in CAPITALS):

  • WARRIORS v Bulldogs
  • Tigers  v  TITANS
  • Cowboys v PANTHERS
  • RAIDERS v Broncos
  • ROOSTERS v Storm
  • DRAGONS v Knights
  • Sharks v SEA EAGLES

Last week: 4/4    Total: 77/111

NB: look out for next week’s tips on twitter.

 

 

 

NRL Footy Tips Rd 15

by Warren Boland

With star players in camp for Origin Two, eight teams have a bye and Round Fifteen of the NRL has only four games.

The clubs hardest hit by the absence of Origin players are Melbourne, North Queensland and Cronulla but the injury-weakened Gold Coast are also struggling to put a team together.

In Round Twelve, before Origin 1, the teams without their key players were much more limited in attack but stuck to their task in defence.

Here are my tips (winners in CAPITALS):

  • RABBITOHS v Titans
  • STORM v Cowboys
  • SHARKS v Tigers
  • EELS v Dragons

Last week: 5/8   Total: 73/107

 

NRL Footy Tips Rd 14

by Warren Boland

A full round of eight NRL matches stretches from Thursday to Monday this weekend, starting with last year’s grand finalists meeting for the second time in 2017 in what is becoming a fierce rivalry.

The absence of Cooper Cronk, apparently rested by the Storm, is a let-down for the clash and will make it more difficult for Billy Slater to dazzle by comparison with the Sharks’ fullback Valentine Holmes as both chase Maroon selection for Origin 2.

There is a long list of Queensland Origin hopefuls who should be playing the house down this weekend to force their way into the team.

As well as Slater and Holmes, the list includes Jarrod Wallace, Coen Hess,  Gavin Cooper,  Scott Bolton, Ethan Lowe, Korbin Sims, Felise Kaufusi, Cameron Munster, Daly Cherry Evans and, if declared fit to play, Corey Norman. Also a chance to play this weekend is Jonathon Thurston.

Meanwhile the Maroons whose places are in jeopardy after their resounding loss in in first Origin match – Justin O’Neill, Nate Myles, Jacob Lillyman and Aidan Guerra – will be determined to shore up their  places with strong games. Even Anthony Milford and Sam Thaiday will be feeling the heat.

It will be a surprise if the Blues make any changes but the impressive return from injury of Josh Mansour last week and, possibly, Tom Trbojevic this week will keep Brett Morris on his toes.

Two of the three  matches this Saturday are being played in Bathurst and Darwin. They are toss-ups anyway and the venues don’t make it any easier.

Here are my picks for Round Fourteen (winners in capitals):

  • SHARKS v Storm
  • SEA EAGLES v Knights
  • BRONCOS v Rabbitohs
  • TITANS v Warriors
  • PANTHERS v Raiders
  • Eels v COWBOYS
  • Tigers v ROOSTERS
  • Bulldogs v DRAGONS

Last week: 7/7   Total: 68/99

NRL Footy Tips Rd 13

by Warren Boland

As fans and players recover from a bruising and emotion-charged State of Origin 1,  we turn our attention to the seven matches of Round Thirteen of the NRL.

A number of key players from both the Blues and Maroons are out or in doubt for their clubs: Cameron Smith, Mitchell Pearce, Dylan Napa, Anthony Milford, Justin O’Neill, Nathan Peats, Nate Myles and Brett Morris were all knocked about in Wednesday night’s clash.

Hardest hit by losing halves Pearce and Milford to concussion and having  a further four or five players backing up after only three days are the Roosters and Broncos who face each other on Saturday at 5.30pm.

There are two tough-to-pick matches on Sunday in Manly vs Canberra and Canterbury vs Penrith. I’m opting for the two fresher teams coming off a bye.

Here are my tips (in capitals):

  • STORM v Knights
  • EELS v Warriors
  • DRAGONS v Tigers
  • ROOSTERS v Broncos
  • COWBOYS v Titans
  • SEA EAGLES v Raiders
  • Bulldogs v PANTHERS
  • Last week: 4/4     Total : 61/92

NRL Footy Tips Rd 12

by Warren Boland

Overshadowed and almost forgotten in the barrage of State of Origin debate, NRL Round Twelve features just four games.

Heaviest hit by loss of star players to Origin camps for this weekend’s games are the Broncos (6), Roosters (5), Sharks (4) and Bulldogs (3).

The Raiders and Warriors are down just one player each while Souths and Parramatta who meet in the Friday night game are untouched by Origin depletion.

Here are my tips (winners in capitals):

  • Rabbitohs v EELS
  • WARRIORS v Broncos
  • SHARKS v Bulldogs
  • RAIDERS v Roosters

Last week: 6/8    Total: 57/88

NRL Footy Tips Rd 11

by Warren Boland

State of Origin selections are only a few days away so you can bet all of those players fighting for places in the Blues and Maroons will have big games this weekend.

It also means Round Eleven will be the last NRL round for two months that won’t be disrupted in some way by the regular absence of at least 34 of the competition’s best players (unless they’re Kiwis).

Origin is great but it’s a built-in handicap for NRL clubs with the best rosters.

Injuries and the wear and tear will turn some polished players into damaged goods on delivery back to their clubs. The letdown alone can take the shine off  them.

So it’s important for NRL teams and coaches to make the most of this round while they’re close to full strength and have a full week to prepare.

By the time the Origin series and its after-shocks have settled, and we re-focus on the NRL, it will be late July and Round 20. The ladder will have been shuffled and some clubs’ fate for 2017 will be all but sealed.

It might mean they have no hope of making the top eight or top four.

With the Origin handbrake applied, teams now at the top and boasting a bunch of Origin stars like Melbourne, Cronulla, the Roosters, Broncos and Cowboys are at risk of coming back to the field.

Even teams like the Tigers or Dragons with only two or three Origin prospects can be hard hit because they rely heavily on those key players.

Other clubs with fewer big Origin names  can take advantage to clamber up the ladder. Clubs like the Warriors, Souths, and possibly Canberra and Penrith have the chance to gain momentum.

 

Last weekend Round Ten was remarkable for huge second-half comebacks and upset results. Will the pattern continue?

Here are my tips for  Round Eleven (winners in capitals):

  • SHARKS v Cowboys
  • WARRIORS v Dragons
  • BRONCOS v Tigers
  • TITANS v Sea Eagles
  • Eels v RAIDERS
  • Knights v PANTHERS
  • Bulldogs v ROOSTERS
  • Rabbitohs v STORM

Last week: 4/8   Total 51/80

NRL Footy Tips Rd 10

by Warren Boland

After a Representative Round that turned into a rave, we return to the NRL for Round Ten.

Five clubs are left reeling from drug or alcohol-induced suspensions.

Another five are hampered by injuries to key players suffered over the past fortnight.

Two games feature re-matches from round one and three in March with home ground (or dressing rooms) reversed in May. This time meeting at Jubilee Oval, it’s 2nd v 3rd when the Dragons take on the Sharks.

Meanwhile two teams (Manly and Melbourne) have given up their home ground advantage, deciding to make some money by playing away in a Brisbane double-header. You wouldn’t want to lose narrowly and later miss the finals by a solitary premiership point.

My tips for Round Ten (winners in capitals):

  • BULLDOGS v Cowboys
  • Dragons  v  SHARKS
  • TIGERS  v  Rabbitohs
  • PANTHERS v Warriors
  • STORM  v  Titans
  • Sea Eagles v BRONCOS
  • Knights  v  RAIDERS
  • ROOSTERS  v  Eels

Last round: 6/8   Total: 47/72