NRL Footy Tips Rd 26

by Warren Boland


Results for final round (Rd 26):  6 / 8

Total for 2017 regular season : 135 / 192 = 70.3%

Please Note:  This is exactly the same total score that I tallied at the end of the 2016 season. Like refereeing, you can only ask for consistency….or possibly improvement!


After more than six months of  regular season matches, the final eight will almost certainly not be decided until 6 o’clock this Sunday night.

That’s when the Dragons will walk off ANZ Stadium knowing whether they have beaten the Bulldogs, securing a win which should be enough for the Red V to sneak into the final series.

But there’s plenty of drama to come right across Round 26, the final round of the NRL.

Final positions from 2nd to 9th are yet to be nailed down.

What we do know is that Melbourne are streets ahead for the minor premiership, an outstanding achievement,  and that Canberra have missed out on playing in September, victims of too many narrow losses (seven defeats by six points or less, twice in golden point).

Currently second to fifth, the Roosters, Broncos, Eels and Sharks, can still shuffle the deck. While a top four finish is highly prized because it comes with a second chance in the finals, this year a fourth-placing is booby-trapped because its first up opponent will be the Storm in Melbourne.

Parramatta and the Roosters are firm favourites to win their matches, while Cronulla will know where they stand before they take the field in Newcastle on Sunday afternoon and could rest players.

The Broncos, however, coming off a shock 52-34 loss, face a ding-dong battle in Townsville against the desperate North Queensland.

Locked on 30 points, separated only by for-and-against from sixth to eighth, are the Panthers (+ 61),  the Cowboys (+34) and Sea Eagles (+24). None of the three can afford to lose because the ninth-on-the-ladder Dragons are breathing down their necks. St George-Illawarra, only one win behind them and holding a superior differential (+89), are poised to leapfrog any team who stumbles.

But stumble either Manly or Penrith must – because they play each other! The only way to avoid one of them losing is a golden point draw, a result that would surely bring a stewards inquiry.

Don’t miss the Saturday 5.30pm kick-off: Manly at home at Brookvale after scraping home in Golden Point last week versus Penrith in more convincing recent form but yet to declare whether the hamstrung but vital Matt Moylan will return this week.

What a nerve-wracking final round. It’s knock-out football come early!

Note: There is only one game on Friday but there is a late game on Sunday when the Wests Tigers meet the Warriors at Leichardt Oval at 6.30pm to end their seasons.  In all probability the Tigers would have to suffer a horror loss to get stuck with the wooden spoon which is on its way to Newcastle.

Here are my tips (winners in CAPITALS):

  • Cowboys v BRONCOS
  • EELS   v   Rabbitohs
  • ROOSTERS v Titans
  • Sea Eagles v PANTHERS
  • STORM  v  Raiders
  • Knights v SHARKS
  • DRAGONS v Bulldogs
  • TIGERS v Warriors

Last week: 4 / 8    Total : 129 / 184  = 70.1 %

Repeating : FINAL UPDATE:

Results for final round (Rd 26):  6 / 8

Total for 2017 regular season : 135 / 192 = 70.3%


















NRL Footy Tips Rd 25

by Warren Boland

It doesn’t get any easier for tipsters this week with unpredictability written all over Round 25 of the NRL.

The second last round of the NRL is chock full of cracking clashes that could go either way.

The Broncos will be aiming to turn the tables on Parramatta when second-on-the ladder meets fifth. The Eels forwards got the upper hand in the second half in Round 21 when Parra won 28-14.

At Cronulla, it’s a toss-up between the Sharks and Roosters when fourth meets third. It will be much closer this time around than the Sharks 44-12 win in Round 17.

Canberra (10th) are still four points out of the top eight. The Raiders’ finals hopes are hanging by a mathematical thread, making it a must win against the Knights.

The Dragons (9th) have their season on the line with a tough game against Penrith (6th)  though the Panthers are without their spark plug, Matt Moylan. The Dragons are two points behind North Queensland and Manly equal on 28 points.

Suddenly out of form, losing four out their last five games, Manly (8th) are no sure things to beat the Warriors in Auckland, especially with Shaun Johnson returning from injury for the New Zealanders.

Equally desperate, hoping to end a four-game losing streak, the gallant but wounded Cowboys (7th) won’t have it all their own way against the newly competitive Tigers at Campbelltown.

Then there are two matches with plenty of question marks over them.

Will the Titans react to the sacking of coach Neil Henry with renewed vigour as often happens when a coach is shown the door?

Have the Titans’ opponents, the Bulldogs, turned the corner after they finally had a win last weekend against Manly or was it a false dawn?

Will Melbourne, having secured the minor premiership, drop their intensity against South Sydney?

Can the Rabbitohs add to their three wins in a row without try-scoring whiz Alex Johnston?

Here are my tips (winners in CAPITALS):

  • BRONCOS v Eels
  • RAIDERS v Knights
  • Tigers v COWBOYS
  • TITANS v  Bulldogs
  • STORM v Rabbitohs
  • SHARKS v Roosters
  • Warriors v SEA EAGLES
  • PANTHERS v Dragons

Last week:  6 / 8    Total: 125 / 176 = 71%




NRL Footy Tips Rd 24

by Warren Boland

Skirmishes that can shake up the NRL ladder abound in Round 24.

After wins last week for the much-improved Knights and Tigers, the top teams know there are no “gimmes” anymore, as the bottom two try to avoid the wooden spoon.

Meanwhile the top two, the top four and top eight, and their finishing order, are far from settled with three premiership rounds to go till the finals.

Brisbane have moved into second place on equal competition points (32) with the Roosters who are third on for-and-against.

The Sharks have dropped back to fourth, equal on 30 points with Parramatta.

Then follow three teams sixth to eighth, all on 28, Penrith, Manly and the injury-hit North Queensland.

Chasing the pack are the Dragons (26) and  Raiders (24). Both have superior for and against tallies to the three teams in front of them but first the pair have to catch them.

And it won’t be easy with tough battles ahead this weekend for St George Illawarra against the Broncos in Brisbane, and for Canberra at home versus Penrith.

Here are my tips (winners in CAPITALS) :

  • EELS v Titans
  • RABBITOHS v Warriors
  • BRONCOS v Dragons
  • Knights v STORM
  • ROOSTERS v Tigers
  • Cowboys v SHARKS
  • RAIDERS v Panthers
  • Bulldogs v SEA EAGLES

Last week: 6/8   Total: 119 / 168




NRL Footy Tips Rd 23

by Warren Boland

The battle for positions in the top four  and top eight is becoming  a precarious game of snakes and ladders with four games to go till the finals.

As we head into Round 23, teams can quickly climb or slide a number of positions depending on whether they win or lose, their for and against margin, and how others teams around them fare.

This weekend features exciting match-ups between first and second (Melbourne v Roosters), third and fourth (Brisbane v Cronulla), and sixth versus eighth ( Cowboys v Panthers).

Teams fifth and seventh ( Parramatta and Manly) have matches they will be banking on winning against the bottom two sides in the competition (the improving Newcastle and Wests Tigers) to bolster their positions.

Meanwhile after two narrow losses the Dragons have dropped back to ninth but will fancy their chances in a must-win against the Titans at Jubilee.

Canberra in tenth position will stay in the race if they can keep winning, starting with the Warriors in Auckland.

Here are my tips ( winners in CAPITALS):

  • RABBITOHS v Bulldogs
  • EELS v Knights
  • BRONCOS v Sharks
  • DRAGONS v Titans
  • STORM v Roosters
  • PANTHERS v Cowboys
  • Warriors v RAIDERS
  • Tigers v SEA EAGLES

Last week: 6/8    Total: 113/160





NRL Footy Tips Rd 22

by Warren Boland

Manly, St George Illawarra and Penrith, seventh to ninth in order on the NRL ladder, have important games in Round 22 as the battle to stay in the top eight heats up.

With five rounds to go, these teams want to keep their finals destiny in their own hands.

Suffering losses last weekend, the Titans, Warriors and Bulldogs have now joined the Rabbitohs, Tigers and Knights in the Valley of the Damned for 2017.

Although they trail Penrith by four competition points, tenth-placed Canberra are still alive and kicking but face a tough challenge to stay afloat when they meet Cronulla.

Here are my tips (winners in CAPITALS):

  • Bulldogs v EELS
  • DRAGONS v  Rabbitohs
  • Cowboys v STORM
  • KNIGHTS v Warriors
  • Titans v BRONCOS
  • SHARKS v Raiders
  • SEA EAGLES v Roosters
  • PANTHERS v Tigers

Last week: 5/8    Total: 107/152



NRL Footy Tips Rd 21

by Warren Boland

With six games to go before the NRL finals, Round 21 begins with the faint hopes of Canberra, Gold Coast, New Zealand and Canterbury  hanging by a thread.

Anchored on 18 points after losses last weekend, they have a weak  pulse, needing to win the remaining six games straight.

The sputtering Raiders have the best chance of the quartet of making the finals because they have a far superior for and against record to the other three. However Canberra have three players on the suspended list ( Sia Soliola, Jordan Rapana and Josh Papalii).

If a Matt Moylan-less Penrith can finish off the Bulldogs, the ninth placed Panthers can keep the heat on the eighth-placed Dragons. St George-Illawarra should beat the Knights though it could well be close in Newcastle.

Meanwhile two top eight match-ups should be keenly contested when the second- placed Roosters meet the fifth-on-the-ladder Cowboys,  and when the Storm, top of the pile but without Billy Slater and possibly Cameron Smith, host Manly.

The Sea Eagles are reinforced but underdogs after last week’s depleted line up conceded 52 points when smashed by the Dragons.

Here are my tips (winners in CAPITALS):

  • PANTHERS v Bulldogs
  • Warriors v SHARKS
  • Eels v BRONCOS
  • Knights v DRAGONS
  • Rabbitohs v RAIDERS
  • ROOSTERS v Cowboys
  • STORM v Sea Eagles
  • TITANS v Wests Tigers

Last week: 8/8    Total= 102/144


NRL Footy Tips Rd 20

by Warren Boland

Now the NRL gets serious again with a full round of eight matches in Round 20.

With seven games to go , the target to make the finals is more likely to be 30 points than 28 this year. This leaves fourteen teams who can theoretically still make the final eight but  it looks well beyond Souths so let’s realistically say thirteen.

Four teams (10th -13th on the ladder) are hanging precariously on 18 points with 7 wins / 10 losses and two byes for the season: Canberra, the Warriors, Titans and Bulldogs. Despite their potential, their unreliability this season leaves them with no room for a slip-up.  All have tough games this weekend and a loss would be near fatal to their chances.

Meanwhile the teams currently in the eight will have one eye looking over their shoulder and the other on the teams ahead. They will be jostling for a spot in the vital top four or, even better, top two.

Here are my tips (winners in CAPITALS):

  • BRONCOS v Bulldogs
  • ROOSTERS v Knights
  • SHARKS v Rabbitohs
  • PANTHERS v Titans
  • Raiders v STORM
  • COWBOYS v Warriors
  • DRAGONS v Sea Eagles
  • Tigers v EELS

Last week: 5/6   Total: 94/136