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The Roar’s NRL expert tips and predictions: Round 17


Hey Roarers!

Round 16 had it all – big names returning, cyclonic weather, referees under the microscope and footy back over the ditch.

Let’s recap – 

It was almost a case of Deja Vu at Brookvale on Thursday night. After Manly were the better side for the first 75 minutes of the match, the Munster-less Storm came back from 24 points down to put on four quick tries. The returning Ryan Papenhuyzen did his best to spur on a comeback, but luckily for the Sea Eagles they held on for a 36-30 win. 

The Mighty Knights (I can call them that this week) were too strong for the woeful Titans, handing them a 38-12 drubbing in Newcastle on Friday night. The wingers had a field day, with Edrick Lee earning himself a Michelle Pfeiffer, and Dom Young grabbing a hat-trick. The Gold Coast have the bye this round – I’m sure Justin Holbrook is still nervous about how his team will go against it. 

The second Friday night game was between the Panthers and the Roosters caused a stir. It was shaping up to be a top match, with both sides doing unbelievably well in the rain. Unfortunately, the man with the whistle made some very questionable calls, and in the end, Penrith won the match 26-18. Roosters’ fans were furious, neutral fans were shaking their heads, and I’m sure even the most die-hard Panther fan can admit some of the calls were wrong. 

In the first match up Super Saturday, CommBank Stadium became an absolute mud bath for the Sharks v Bulldogs clash. It was a tough match in atrocious conditions, with the Sharks eventually proving too strong and taking out a 18-6 victory. 

We then headed up to some warmer weather in Townsville for the much-anticipated Queensland derby between the Cowboys and the Broncos. The sold-out match lived up to the hype, with the home side securing bragging rights with a 40-26 win. Adam Reynolds’ return for the visitors didn’t quite go to plan, having an off game by his usual standards, and seemingly still struggling with injury.

We travelled back down to a rain-soaked Accor Stadium (with some very dodgy lighting) for the last Saturday game between Souths and Parramatta. Latrell Mitchell ran out for the first time since round six and got better as the match went on. The Eels on the other hand did not, going down to the Bunnies 30-12 and continuing to frustrate their fans with the “so are good or not?” merry go round. 

On Sunday we finally returned to New Zealand after what feels like a lifetime, where the Warriors hosted the Tigers not at Redcliffe, but at their real home ground. In an emotional afternoon Warriors fans were thrilled to see their side secure a 22-2 victory in front of their eyes, and not just on a TV screen. 

We then arrived in Wollongong to try and watch the Dragons and the Raiders battle it out in the middle of a monsoon. This was another game that had us all shaking out heads about the officiating. Despite Canberra making some costly errors, two last minute calls seemingly decided the match, with the Red V holding on for a 12-10 win. Do you agree you got lucky Dragons fans? 

Paul was the outright winner of the weekend, tipping 6/8. Mike and you legends out in the Crowd got 5/8, with Mary, AJ and myself tipping 4/8. AJ is now just out in front overall on 89, with Paul hot on his heels on 88. The Crowd are third on 86, with Mary in fourth on 84. Mike is in fifth on 77 and I’m still out on the golf course on 74. 

Ok onto round 17 – the second split round.

Tonight, we see the Sharks host the Storm at PointsBet Stadium at 8pm. Cronulla are sitting pretty in fourth spot and have won five of their last seven matches – but all have been against bottom eight sides. Can they turn that round against an understrength Melbourne? 

Tomorrow night the Bunnies travel up to Newcastle to take on my Knights at 8pm in the first instalment of the Wayne Bennett Cup. Brailey and Best return for the home side, will they be enough to stop Latrell? 

The Tigers and the Eels battle it out at 7.35pm Saturday night at Leichardt Oval. The last time these two met in round six the Tigers won by a field-goal in the final minute. How will this game end?

Sunday sees us at Suncorp Stadium for the second instalment of the Wayne Bennett Cup, when the Broncos host the Dragons at 4pm on Sunday. Brisbane are missing about 1000 players due to Origin and injury, and the Dragons are without Ben Hunt who is in camp. But they still do have Zac Lomax and Aaron Woods, so it probably evens itself out.

Bulldogs, Cowboys, Panthers, Raiders, Roosters, Titans, Sea Eagles and the Warriors all get the week off. 

If you would like to see how you go up against the Experts this round, just remember to get your tips in below by 5pm tonight to be counted in The Crowd’s tips.

He’s got the ‘Rona, his Raiders lost in frustrating circumstances and then the news broke that CNK is heading to the Warriors – I’m going to let AJ lead us off with his tips to try and cheer him up.

Good luck with your tipping everyone!

(Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

(Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

AJ Mithen

Sharks, Rabbitohs, Eels, Dragons

Split rounds! Booooo. I just want this week to be over so proper regular season play can begin again. Here comes four games, each ransacked by Origin to varying degrees with intensifies any injuries a team may have. In any event, it makes my lead even more untouchable, so I guess that should make you all happy enough. I’ll keep this short:

Cronulla have edge over the Storm who are injury and Origin wracked. 

Bunnies over Knights but it’ll be a close-run thing. Well played to Newcastle’s Jayden Brailey, who’s coming back from an Achilles injury. 

Eels over Tigers in a laugher. 

I actually think the Dragons can get Brisbane in Brisbane because of how Origin and injury wracked the Broncos are. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think St George-Illawarra are any good, and Ben Hunt isn’t playing, but Brisbane are reaching far into the cupboard as they can…

Paul Suttor

Sharks, Rabbitohs, Eels, Broncos

Sharks have survived Origin with barely a scratch so they should account for the Storm

The Rabbitohs are back on a roll with Latrell on deck and the Knights can’t be trusted. 

The Tigers will give the Eels a run for their money but won’t get the upset. 

Brisbane are decimated and the Dragons have won a few ugly recently but Brisbane have Adam Reynolds and St George Illawarra won’t have Ben Hunt so the home side in a close one.

Adam Reynolds.

Adam Reynolds. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Mike Meehall Wood

Storm, Rabbitohs, Eels, Broncos

Being miles behind in the comp I’m looking for any reason to go against the grain. I’ll take Melbourne just because of the Nicho Hynes and Toby Rudolf COVID news on Wednesday. It’s sure to affect the playing group and is less than ideal preparation for the Sharks.

Latrell chose not to be considered for Origin for a reason so he can put all his efforts into Souths. He’s shown in his first week back what a difference he can make. Bunnies to win.

Eels should get over the line against the Tigers.

This one could go either way but I’ll stick with the Reynolds factor for the Broncos.

(Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Mary Konstantopoulos

Sharks, Rabbitohs, Eels, Dragons.

Whenever I tip against the Storm, I am usually made a fool of, but given the players out for Origin and the number of players that the Storm have injured, I am tipping the upset here. Whilst there is still class across the Storm team including the likes of Papenhuyzen and Smith, last week Manly were able to expose some of the weaknesses in the Storm squad, including some of their less experienced players. With the Sharks barely impacted by Origin, this is their opportunity to beat Melbourne.

The Rabbitohs might be missing some players but have demonstrated how different a team they look with the inclusion of Latrell Mitchell. Whilst the Knights may be boosted by their win last week, it was a pretty ordinary Titans team, so I think the Bunnies should win.

Parramatta should beat the Tigers, but I have no confidence that they will.

I’m also going to tip the Dragons given the number of players that the Broncos are missing through Origin and injury. The impact to Brisbane is across the park and with the Dragons only missing Ben Hunt, they should be able to outplay a young Brisbane squad.

Danielle Smith

Storm, Knights, Tigers, Broncos

I’m going all the roughies this week just for fun!

Storm because I can’t see them playing as bad as they did last week twice in a row – even without some big names. 

Tigers because I have no idea which Parra side are going to turn up, and I can just feel an upset here.

Broncos in a very tight one purely because of the halves.

Latrell who? Never heard of him. As always I’m tipping my Knights.

Round 17 AJ Danielle Mary Mike Paul Crowd
CRO vs MEL CRO MEL CRO MEL CRO ?
NEW vs SOU SOU NEW SOU SOU SOU ?
WST vs PAR PAR WST PAR PAR PAR ?
BRI vs STI STI BRI STI BRI BRI ?
Last Round 4 4 4 5 6 5
Total 89 74 84 77 88 86





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