Round 16 Preview: Rounding things out

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Kim Jong Dan
Staff member
Tipping Member
Round 16 Preview: Rounding Things Out

It has been a number of weeks since I have knocked together one of these and I apologise, work commitments, illness and lack of enthusiasm have all had a hand in this.

Well once again I am on limited time but thought I would try to type this for you between doing other things.
I have had a fairly shocking week in my own personal tipping as well as the normal 5 correct over the past 2 weeks.
The season is now finally starting to take shape and the same teams are showing as dominant and all are starting to cluster in positions that shouldn’t change much over the last 10 weeks of competition.

The Broncos and Manly have been close to the top all season and remain there whilst others like the Raiders are starting to make a move down the ladder as the Eels have risen and are proving themselves a genuine contender this year

Game 1: Rooster vs Eels

It seems difficult to say but after being the powerhouse of the competition for the last 5 or so years the Roosters are really struggling this year and are floundering around the lower half of the 8. They have been crying foul over referee decisions and other matters but they are just excuses. For mine if you lose a game its hard to say the ref lost it for you, you simply have not capitalised on your opportunities, and that is the story of the Roosters this season. They have been playing some good football but just not able to finish off teams.

After a very shaky start to the season the Eels are now on fire winning their last 5 matches and really starting to shape as genuine contender with outstanding attacking abilities and a pinpoint accurate kicking game which has many teams worrying about how to defend against it.

The Roosters will be keen to turn around their recent form and make a strong approach to the finals where as the Eels will be looking to maintain their spot in equal second on the ladder. It is a tough one now doubt and I have the suspicion the Roosters will get up in this one but just can not question the Eels form of late.

Daniel’s Tip: Eels

Game 2: Raiders vs Cowboys

What has happened to the Raiders? They started out as “The team to beat� and were in first position in round 6, they have since lost 5 games in a row, plummeting them to just outside the 8. Raiders fans will be salivating at the prospect of Smith returning in the near future as it seems the team is much more effective and a much more quality side when he is running around in the halves. I wonder if it is too late for them to rescue their season however?

The Cowboys are still missing a few of their players but this year they are a formidable foe. When they are running hot they are untouchable, wracking up massive score lines against most teams in the comp, however when they are off their game they can be easy pickings for some sides. I just don’t fell however that the Raiders will have the power to put one over on them and the Cowboys should get home fairly comfortably.

Daniel’s Tip: Cowboys

Game 3: Panthers vs Knights

Everytime I look at the Panthers playing roster I have to scratch my head, I just don’t get how they can have the players they have and still be sitting in the position they are and having such a woeful season. I just feel that they are lacking fitness which is preventing them from finishing off teams in the second half.
This week without Lewis and Rooney the team will be tested against the Knights who showed glimmers of ability against the Eagles.

The Knights were at times looking strong and looked asthough they might win the game on attacking ability, however all it took was a 15 minute period for Manly to bust them apart. If they can concentrate for the full 80 and put some early points on then they are a chance in this game, but only a small one.

Daniel’s Tip: Panthers

Game 4: Storm vs Rabbitohs

The Storm were another team that was touted as “The Real Deal� and “The team to beat� earlier in the season but have since not been able to finish off a number of opponents, they are still in touch with the lead and their for and against record is outstanding and a great asset to have on their side coming up to the business end of the season.

The Rabbitohs are a real chance in this game. They have the ability to dominate up front and this is all they need to do to beat the storm. If they can put enough pressure on the forwards and get them on the back foot then they will limit the options that the Storm halves have, from there some sound attack will get them over the line.

It has been a long time since I have actually considered Souths as a chance against the Storm but this is one game that it could happen, get your betting books out as this could be one to put money on.

Snap back to reality, the storm will win this one comfortably

Daniel’s Tip: Storm

Game 5: Warriors vs Broncos

The Warriors have had an up and down season, but a better season than last year. Lets face it the Warriors are good for the game and when they are winning the game gets a big boost in NZ. They have some pretty good playing personnel over there and all they really need is more time together and they will start to win more games.

This game however is against the broncos, event he loss of costigen wont stop them, they are clear favourites for minor premiers and they are playing like it. They are hot at the moment and can do no wrong. Players like Lockyer, Hunt and Berrigan are showing the rest how its done. This one will be a carve up and the Broncos will romp home

Daniel’s Tip: Broncos

Game 6: Dragons vs West Tigers

The Dragons will be without key players Barret, Gasnier and Head which means basically they have no fulltime halves player. We all know the Dragons have plenty of top line outside back to cover for Gasnier but the lack of a solid and experienced halves combinations could be the downfall for them in this match. They have been up and down this entire season but are gradually starting to rest more on the up side than down. They will be keen to make the finals this year and finally finish what they have been promising too for the past few years as well.
Whether that will happen with 2 of the games best players out of the side and Head also missing.

The Tigers are another team that I fear putting my bet on either way. When you think they should lose, they some how pull of a miraculous win, when you tip them to win they turn it into a solid loss.
They have some great young talent in the side and have shown that they are a skilful side who is not afraid to throw the ball around and take some risks. This kind of football wont sit well with the Dragons, who play no nonsense skilful football

Daniel’s Tip: Dragons

Game 7: Sea Eagles vs Bulldogs

touted by some as "the most important game of the season", Fortress Brookvale will be in full swing this week, coming off a gritty win against the Knights, the Manly fans will be out in force to support their team to put the double on the Bulldogs and finish their season.
Over the last 2 weeks Manly have played less than desirable football, losing in an absolute hiding to the Rabbitohs and then having 26 scored against them by the winless knights. To their credit Manly were able to win the match in 15 minutes then just down for 65 however this kind of sloppy and soft defense will have the likes of Anasta, Sherwin and Patten salivating with anticipation. In order to win the game the Sea Eagles will need the crowd behind them and they will need to lift from the start to outplay the dogs who always have the ability to surprise teams.

The Bulldogs are still missing key players like Willie Mason and Sonny Bill Williams, these players add a lot more fire power to the team and give the halves the go forward to really play and cause havoc for the defending teams. The Bulldogs will be keen to try and rescue their season as well as gain some revenge on manly for the game earlier in the Season where Manly held out for a tight win.
It is a tough one to call and if Manly play as they did against the knights then they will lose this game, if they play like they did in earlier games this season Manly will be run out winners

Daniel’s Tip: Sea Eagles

Chip and Chase

True Supporter
Staff member
Premium Member
Tipping Member
Game 1: Rooster vs Eels

The Roosters have been a big disappointment this year, and it has become obvious how much of an influence Freddy had out Bondi way. I'm getting weary of taking the Roosters on trust, almost as weary as I am of seeing Brett Finch turn the ball inside to runners up the middle. Surely they can come up with a more creative play than that. They should have beaten the Sharks last week with the amount of opportunity they had, but couldn't close the game out.

The Eels on the other hand have been one of the form sides of late and seem to be playing with some confidence, and in young Smith they have a half with some flair. I'm sticking with the Eels to continue their good form, and they will be morals if Crocker and Flannery pull out as is rumored.

Game 2: Raiders vs Cowboys

The Raiders have come back to earth after a surprising start to the season. Overacheivers ?? They have struggled without Jason Smith and I can't see this week being any different. The only thing on their side is that the game is in Canberra and given the weather the Cowboys will notice the climate change from the subtropical north.

The Cowboys have lost Webb, which is a blow, but they have far superior backs, with pace to burn all over the park. However a wet, freezing cold night with a bit of sleet will certainly take some spark out of them, especially since the Cowboys historically have a poor record in Canberra. Nonetheless I'd have to say the Cowboys should get up.

Game 3: Panthers vs Knights

The Panthers have certainly been the underacheivers this season, but they showed something last week against the Storm to record a much needed win. They will miss Rooney and Lewis, both of whom can find the line. But the Knights backs are nothing to get excited about either. If the Panthers play strong up the middle they have enough strikepower with Campbell, Gower and Priddis to get over the Knights, especially with the home ground advantage. I don't think even the mighty Joey can turn around the Knights fortunes this week.

Game 4: Storm vs Rabbitohs

The Storm have been patchy, especially at home where they are normally very hard to roll. Maybe Orfords contractual toing and froing is affecting the team. However despite some improved performances from the Rabbits of late I'm still not prepared to back an upset from them this week. Storm should win this one, and comfortably, if they want to be taken seriously in the run home to the finals.

Game 5: Warriors vs Broncos

The Warriors are planning a big "back to the future" celebration to mark their debut NRL game against the Broncos in 1995. They have also been showing a marked improvement in form over the last month. The Broncos are short priced favourites for the title at this stage, and rightly so given they have only lost two games all year, the last being in round 4. However interestingly enough their other loss was to the Warriors in round 2.

Given that the Warriors have a good record against Brisbane, and being at home with the added incentive of not wanting to embarrass themselves in front of past players and spoil the planned celebrations, I'm going for a bit of an upset and tipping the Kiwis.

Game 6: Dragons vs West Tigers

Every year the Dragons get touted as premiership contenders, and every year their stars struggle to stay on the paddock. Once again they go into the game with a makeshift halves combination, and with injury clouds over Gasnier and Bailey. However they tend to defy logic and still come up with the wins.

The Tigers on the other hand are a team without any real superstars, only a potential one in Marshall, and a very no frills pack of forwards. However they play some good footy on their day and can be a bit difficult to judge sometimes. I'm going for another upset of sorts here and tipping that the Tigers will get up, as they may have the edge in Prince and Marshall if they fire.

Game 7: Sea Eagles vs Bulldogs

I don't tip against Manly, but I'm probably the least confident I have been since the Brisbane game. If our defence up the middle is like it was against the Knights in the first half, then we won't just be behind at halftime, we will be looking at a 20 point deficit. O'Meley and Asotasi will bulldoze us out of the game if we don't muscle up, and this will give guys like Ryan, Anasta and Grimaldi room to move around the ruck on the back of quick play the balls. The key to this week (as it is most weeks I guess) is to really dominate in the tackle in defence and not let them roll on. The Knights were easy making 50-60m per set last week.

We are still a bit light on in the forward department with Kylie, King and Hecks out. I'm just hoping that the broad shoulders of Kennedy, Menzies, and hopefully an improved Choc can carry us through. I also hope that Donald has been practising under the highball as no doubt they will cross kick for El Masri, who ,for someone short in stature, has an amazing success rate catching kicks. It worked for them in the first clash this year and they will no doubt try it again. I'm banking on the drawbridge being up at the Fortress and the parapets being lined with a bumper crowd (weather pending). Lets get it on !!!!!

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