2019 Season Results:Head-to-Head Tipping: 66/108 (61%) (Last week: 5/8)
2018 Season Results:Head-to-Head Tipping: (58%) Line Betting: (46%)
2017 Season Results:Head-to-Head Tipping: 66% Line Betting: 55% (NOTE: If this is your first visit to the site, be sure to click here for an explanation of what we’re all about.)
- Sea Eagles
- After the excitement of the Rep Round, the NRL is back this weekend with what appears to be a relatively straightforward week’s tipping (famous last words). With the last game being played on a Sunday, the turnaround is essentially the same as any other week, with the exception of Origin players backing up on Thursday night with a four-day turnaround. Of course, this won’t be a problem for the Tigers, who don’t have any Origin-quality players in the first place; however, it may be of concern to the Rabbitohs. Wayne Bennett has previously mentioned that he intends to rest his Origin stars at some point, and while they’ve all been named this week, the only other useful time to choose would be their Round 17 clash with Manly (also a four-day turnaround) – and to be quite honest, they stand a better chance of beating Wests short-handed than they do the Sea Eagles. So, we’d be keeping a close eye on the team lists heading into kick-off, and preparing for the possibility that at least one of their Origin players (Damien Cook, Cameron Murray and Dane Gagai) is a late scratching.
- Barring any late surprises though, the Rabbitohs should still be too good for the Tigers – even without Sam Burgess and Alex Johnston. Their recent rough patch has been primarily caused by the lack of direction without star halfback Adam Reynolds, and we expect his return to give the Bunnies the boost in offensive efficiency they need (and not a moment too soon).
- The addition of Scott Drinkwater at fullback for the Cowboys makes them significantly more dangerous. His arrival means that Michael Morgan can return to the halves, and lifts their total of NRL-calibre spine players to 2. That being said, we’re going to need to actually see a bit of innovation in the Cowboys’ offense before we go leaping to any conclusions. Paul Green managed to coach the creativity out of Johnathan Thurston in his final year at the club, so we must be prepared for the possibility that Drinkwater’s undeniable talents are limited by the Cowboys’ offensive ‘system’ (is five hit-ups and a kick a system?). He’ll certainly make them better, but how much better? We’ll have to wait and see.
- It’s worth noting that the Dragons have named Jeremy Lattimore on the bench at the expense of The Human Turnstile, Jai Field. This is likely a shift to better equip St George-Illawarra to go toe-to-toe with the Cowboys’ monstrous pack, but gives the added bonus of ensuring that Field won’t be seeing any playing time. His omission makes the Dragons’ defense immeasurably better, and when coupled with the return to a Tim Lafai/Euan Aitken centre pairing, may well be the best defensive team the Dragons have named in months.
- While we acknowledge that Roosters/Storm matches are typically coin-flips (3 of their past 5 matches were decided by a field goal), we simply can’t make an argument for the Roosters here. Outside of their thumping 38-12 win over the last-placed Bulldogs, they’ve been absolutely terrible since the start of May, when an ominously poor outing in beating an under-strength Raiders side gave way to a three-game losing streak. Fortunately, they’re beginning to get closer to full health, and once the Origin period is out of the way we fully expect them to make a deep run into September. But right now, they’re just not playing that well, and the Storm aren’t a side against whom you can afford to be at anything less than your best. The Roosters’ defense VOA – which was the secret to their 2018 success – has been a shadow of itself all season, ranking 9th in the league. When you add in their attacking struggles in the absence of Luke Keary (the Roosters have a LBVOA of 24.16% when Keary plays, vs -9.79% without him), and it’s hard to get excited about their prospects against the best team in the NRL. They may well be about to go on another run, but it might have to wait another week.
- Credit where it’s due – the Titans‘ offense has been exceptional over their past 4 games, a period in which they’ve scored 15 tries and made 20 line breaks. The star of the show has been our boy Tyrone Roberts, who’s taken over the reins from Ash Taylor, and absolutely flourished. He leads the team with 18 try involvements from just 11 matches (10th in the entire competition), and any strategy that involves getting the ball in his hands more often gets a big tick from us. Unfortunately, the team remains clueless on defense, having conceded 21 line breaks over the same period. With a confident Sea Eagles outfit rolling into town (and now boasting a fit and firing Tom Trbojevic), we just don’t see how they can slow them down. As a result, the Titans are likely to need to score 24+ in order to win this game – the sort of total that they’re certainly capable of, but that falls on the wrong side of ‘likely’.
- It’s hard not to get the feeling that Anthony Seibold is just throwing stuff at the wall at this point, with his hookers being swapped this week and Jamayne Isaako getting a stint in reserve grade. With Isaako obviously down on confidence and proving to be a bit of a liability (he ranks 3rd on his team in errors and 2nd last in tackle efficiency), he’s replaced here by journeyman Richie Kennar – a decision that’s justifiable, but nonetheless odd treatment for their presumed fullback-of-the-future, particularly when their fullback-of-the-present (Darius Boyd) is embarrassing himself in increasingly comical fashion with each passing week.
- In case you didn’t realise: the Eels game is in Darwin, not at BankWest; and Josh Hodgson is back for the Raiders. The return of prodigious five-eighth Dylan Brown for Parramatta complicates things somewhat, but we have so little faith in the Eels’ defense – which has imploded over the last eight weeks to see them now ranked 12th in Defense VOA – that we’re not terribly concerned. We’re just picking Canberra and assuming their five-game winning streak against Parra will continue.
- So, how about those Panthers? The unlikeliest winning streak in the NRL chugs into Mt Smart this weekend for a crack at the Warriors. As with the past few weeks, we can’t pick Penrith because their overall numbers simply don’t justify it – but we have to acknowledge that they just keep winning. Here, they’ll face a Warriors side coming off an unconvincing win over the Titans, and who are without Tohu Harris (knee) and Isaac Luke (we’re guessing Stephen Kearney hates him?). Can they keep the magic going? James Maloney is untouchable at the moment, but the real MVPs for Penrith lately have been their back three. Through their past 3 games, the Panthers have run for over 1400m on each occasion: a mark they hit just 3 times in their first 11 matches. And while the forwards have been good, it’s been Josh Mansour, Brian To’o and Dylan Edwards doing the heavy lifting. The form of Mansour in particular has been remarkable, with Mansour surging up the board to be ranked 6th in the NRL among wingers for run metres, despite having played just 12 games. With the Sauce starting their sets strongly, the Panthers are able to get a roll on, and Maloney can then weave his magic. Against the Warriors elite RMCVOA (4th in the league) that won’t be easy; but the way they’re going, you have to give them a chance.