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

NRL Footy Tips Rd 19

by Warren Boland

Footy fans are struggling to re-focus on the NRL competition after Queensland’s convincing 22-6 victory in the State of Origin decider left the Maroon army in rapture and Blues’ supporters reeling.

Now the NRL sets its sails for the finals.

There are six NRL matches this weekend – Canterbury, Melbourne, Parramatta and the Roosters have byes – to be followed by seven full rounds before the final series.

Parramatta , in eighth place on 22 points, have opened up a substantial four point gap but there are six teams from ninth to fourteenth within six points of the top eight and still in contention if they can string wins together.

This weekend the Dragons and Broncos have already lost (Frizell) or rested (Gillett and Maguire) Origin players and Wednesday’s mental and physical exhaustion will no doubt affect the performance of the Sharks (5 Origin players), Titans (3),  Cowboys (3), Tigers (2), Newcastle (1) and Manly (1).

Here are my tips (winners in CAPITALS):

  • WARRIORS v Panthers
  • RAIDERS  v Dragons
  • Knights v BRONCOS
  • TITANS v Sharks
  • SEA EAGLES v Tigers
  • Rabbitohs v COWBOYS

Last week: 2/4    Total:  89/134






NRL Footy Tips Rd 18

by Warren Boland

More a gentle breeze than a Storm, Craig Bellamy’s team are without six State of Origin players – all Queenslanders – as they take on an unaffected Parramatta  on Saturday night in Melbourne.

In Round 15, before Origin Two, the Storm were missing five Maroon representatives and still managed to defeat the Cowboys 23-22 in Golden Point in Melbourne, thanks to a Brodie Croft field goal.

The following week, in Round 16, after Origin Two, the Storm – without four Origin stars this time – were pipped by a Mitchell Pearce field goal, losing to the Roosters 25-24 in Golden Point at Adelaide Oval.

Despite those impressive efforts, it will take a remarkable performance for the young Storm outfit to  finish in front against  the eighth-placed and climbing Parramatta although the game is in Melbourne.

There are only four matches in Round 18. The Roosters will be missing four Origin stars and the Bulldogs three for their games.

Here are my tips (winners in capitals):

  • Roosters v RABBITOHS
  • Panthers v SEA EAGLES
  • Storm v EELS
  • BULLDOGS v Knights

Last week: 5/8    Total: 87/126