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



NRL Footy Tips Rd 9

Two days after Round Eight finished we swing into the next round.

In masterful scheduling, five days after they played in two games on Anzac Day, those four teams have been re-shuffled. The Roosters travel to Auckland to meet the Warriors on Sunday while Wollongong will host a top of the table clash between the Dragons and Storm.

First up, the Broncos who have played in six games that have been decided by three points or less, face Penrith in Brisbane. A seventh loss for the Panthers could spell doom for their 2017 hopes. They will click sometime but it better be soon.

My tips for Rd 9 (winners in capitals):

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

Last week: 4/8    Total 41/64



NRL Footy Tips Rd 8

by Warren Boland

Going into Round Eight, the NRL ladder is split neatly in half into a top and bottom eight with the potential for the gap to widen.

There are four teams from 5th-8th position  with 4 wins / 3 losses ( Canberra, Brisbane, Canterbury and North Queensland).

Below the divider there are four teams from 9th-12th with the reverse, 3 wins / 4 losses   ( Manly, Parramatta, Souths and the Warriors).

If results involving these mid-ladder teams go as expected (including my predictions) the crack separating the top and bottom eights will expand to a surprisingly large four competition points. Of course should an underdog finish in front, it will produce a team or two sitting in the middle with 4 and 4 win / loss record.

One of the trickiest to tip is the western Sydney derby, the Eels v Panthers, at ANZ.

Note that this weekend there are two games on Friday night, three on Saturday, only one on Sunday, none on Monday but two on Tuesday, Anzac Day.

Here are my tips (winners in capitals):

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

Last week: 7/8     Total: 37/56



NRL Footy Tips Rd 7

by Warren Boland

My warning for NRL Round 7 over the Easter weekend is “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch”.

Teams that looked good things only a fortnight ago are showing cracks. I am talking about the Roosters’ defence, the Storm’s handling and Manly’s concentration.

I am also wondering how much emotional and physical energy last Sunday’s grand final re-match in the wet took out of Cronulla and Melbourne.

The Storm’s 11-2 loss to the Sharks means that no club is unbeaten after 6 games. Meanwhile, with a robust forward-powered game, the Dragons, on the back of four straight wins, have climbed to the top of the ladder alongside Melbourne.

At the other end, the Tigers’ shock win over the Cowboys has left the Titans and Knights on the bottom with 5 losses from 6 starts.

Electric as Wests’ first half performance was in the middle of ongoing uncertainty for the players, beware of the fact they only completed 8/16 sets in the second half to almost gift the game to the Cowboys whose handling wasn’t much better.

Here are my tips for Round 7 which starts on Friday with three games (winners in capitals):

  • BULLDOGS v Rabbitohs
  • Knights v ROOSTERS
  • BRONCOS v Titans*
  • Sea Eagles v STORM
  • RAIDERS v Warriors
  • DRAGONS v Cowboys
  • PANTHERS v Sharks
  • EELS v Tigers

Last week: 4/8   Total: 30/48

*Join me and Mark Braybrook calling the Broncos v Titans game on 4BC – Friday night 7.50 pm kick-off.




NRL Footy Tips Rd 6

After another week in a maze of possible player transfers and coach re-birthings, it will be a pleasure to watch 80 minutes of  rugby league action on the field.

Round 6 will climax with a re-match of the 2016 Grand Finalists on Sunday afternoon. Melbourne, the only unbeaten side in 2017, are shooting for a sixth straight win to open this year’s campaign.  Cronulla are yet to hit their straps but are winning more than they lose.

Meanwhile, sharing the bottom of the ladder, the teams with only one win from five games, has shrunk to three: Newcastle, the Gold Coast and Wests Tigers. All are facing tough opposition. None will want to be stone motherless last.

First up, a clash of two heavyweights, Brisbane and the Roosters, both coming off losses.

Here are my tips (winners in capitals):

  • BRONCOS v Roosters*
  • Knights v BULLDOGS
  • PANTHERS v Souths
  • SEA EAGLES v Dragons
  • Titans v RAIDERS
  • COWBOYS v Wests Tigers
  • WARRIORS v Eels
  • STORM v Sharks

Last week: 6/8  Total: 26/40

*I will be calling the Broncos-Roosters match with Mark Braybrook from Suncorp Stadium.  Thursday night 7.50 pm kick-off on Radio 4BC 1116.




NRL Footy Tips Rd 5

by Warren Boland

Going into Round Five of the NRL, there are 6 teams with three losses and just one win: the Bulldogs, Raiders, Knights, Warriors, Titans and Tigers.

With the Tigers’ Jason Taylor sacked after two defeats, and a media storm as big as Debbie hanging over Dessie at Canterbury after losing three out of four, the coaches of the other four teams will be sweating on a win.

No such worries for the unbeaten Roosters and Melbourne, both playing at home against the improving Manly and Penrith respectively,  as they try to keep the wins coming.

Here are my tips for Rd 5 (winners in BOLD):

  • Bulldogs v BRONCOS
  • ROOSTERS v Sea Eagles
  • COWBOYS v Rabbitohs
  • SHARKS v Knights
  • RAIDERS  v  Eels
  • STORM v Panthers
  • WARRIORS v Titans
  • Tigers v DRAGONS

Last week: 7/8  Total: 20/32