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Round 17 Preview

Chip and Chase

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After a very interesting round last week, I am approaching this weeks games with trepidation. Given the turnaround in form exhibited by some teams last week, coupled with the lack of SOO players and what looks like poor football weather, one feels that the blindfold and dartboard may be the chosen tipping methodology this weekend. I thought I did well in tipping a couple of upsets in the Tigers and Warriors, only to have all the other games go against me, bar the Storm. However, there was only a converted try in it for three of the games and blind loyalty to Manly cost me the other.

So lets have a look at Round 17.

Tigers v Sea Eagles

Manly exhibited some good football in the first half last week, but let things slide in the second 40. However I never felt like we had the game, or the Dogs, under control. The Tigers on the other hand played well against the Dragons and will be very difficult to toss, especially at Leichhardt. We have struggled in both previous pre-SOO rounds without BK, Beaver and Choc, and once again we are lacking their valuable contribution. Add to this doubt over the fitness of a few other key players in Hill and Stewart and we could be looking at really testing the clubs depth this week. The Tigers have very little trouble scoring points, but the slippery conditions may temper their expansive style.

As much as I hate to admit it, given our performance last week and the number of key players out, I don’t think we will win. But, * touch wood *, we haven’t lost back- to-back this year so maybe the boys will lift.

My Tip: Tigers

Dogs v Storm

The Storm resumed normal service with a 40 point thumping of the Bunnies last week. They will miss Cameron Smith to Origin, but they have Slater this time, and maybe he will have a point to prove. The Dogs will be without Anasta and Ryan, but have some solid go forward in O’Meley and Asotasi. Also El Masri’s kicking may be the difference if it is close.

I feel like the Doggies are running back into form, but a lot of this seems to be on the back of Mr Overrated, who won’t be there this week. Sherwin may fire up after being dropped last week, and this one could be decided on his battle with Orford. The Storm don’t have a good record against the Dogs and I think this will continue this week. The Dogs will handle a wet track better and should get the money.

My Tip: Bulldogs

Cowboys v Warriors

The Cowboys have lost 5/7 of their backline to Origin, and are without their impact forward in Webb. The Warriors on the other hand go in unchanged from the team that played so well to beat Brisbane. The Warriors, while difficult to read sometimes, seem to be stringing a few good performances together, but not always resulting in a win. The Cowboys do have a good record over the Kiwis, winning the last 4 clashes between the two.

Despite the game being in Townsville, I think the Cowboys will miss their stars too much, it really weakens their strike power. Look at their performance against a second string Dragons outfit before SOO2. The Warriors should get home, providing they handle the long trip North.

My Tip: Warriors

Knights v Roosters

The Roosters have lost a lot of players to SOO, injury, and suspension, which might leave them a bit light on for talent and experience. I wonder if there is any chance that Craig Wing will be a late inclusion, moving Roberts back to the wing and Monaghan into centre to cover Cross. I’d be inclined to tip against them this week had they not being playing a Joeyless Knights. Still the Knights must have some renewed confidence after breaking their duck last week, and they do play well in front of a home crowd. The Knights seemed to make some good metres against us in the first half and maybe a wet track will help their cause, as their pack can grind it out all day. But the Roosters showed that they could play good wet weather football in a come from behind performance against the Eels last Friday.

I think this is a 50/50 game and history would suggest that there is at least one “upset” per round. Based purely on the fact that the Roosters have chosen Texas Walker at fullback I’m going for the Knights to string together back-to-back wins.

My Tip: Knights

Raiders v Panthers

The Raiders slipped one by all of us by secreting in Jason Smith last week. They are a 50% better team with him at the helm, and would have been worthy of consideration against the Cowboys last week had we known he was playing. The Panthers on the other hand have been perplexing this year, I really am at a loss to explain their poor performances this season. Surely the couldn’t be missing the impact of the hair bears Galuvao and Puletua that much. They are also without Gower this week who resumes his representative career. They might play a bit more freely now that the “pressure” is off, as they are only at best a mathematical chance of making the 8 as they have an extremely tough run home.

However with a wet and cold Canberra ready to greet them on Saturday I can’t see them getting the points this weekend, the Raiders have a little more to play for, and Smith should see them home.

My Tip: Raiders

Broncos v Sharks

The Warriors ended the Broncos unbeaten run last week, and they face the prospect of back-to-back losses for the first time this season, taking on fresh Cronulla side. The Sharks generally play well against Brisbane, however they are resuming from the bye, which has been a mixed blessing this year, and also lose Nutley to SOO duties. Despite having 5 players unavailable, a quick look at the Broncos side still shows that there is enough class and experience there to be confident of their chances, especially at home.

I may be biased, but I just don’t rate Cronulla’s chances this year, they don’t strike me as a premiership threat. The Broncos on the other hand have rightly assumed favouritism for the title, and despite being low on troops this week, they will have enough to beat the Sharks. I thought about getting the late mail from Sullivan to see whom he was backing in this one, but thought better of it.

My Tip: Broncos

Eels v Rabbitohs

The Eels were unlucky not to get home last week against the Roosters, I thought they had plenty of opportunity, just couldn’t get over the line for the one more try that would have sealed it for them. Souths on the other hand suffered another flogging, how they beat us by 40 is beyond me. Even with Fletcher and Luke Mac back it is impossible to get excited about their chances.

The Eels have been one of the big improvers over the last 2 months and deserve to be in the top 4 on current form. They will have too much class for the poor old Bunnies, whose supporters must be hanging out for tomorrow to see who they have thrown wads of cash at for next season in the hope of turning around their fortunes.

My Tip: Eels
 

sue ridgepipe

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Jul 18, 2004
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good stuff!reckon the eagles are a slight hope if really,really wet.they have far too much for us in attack on a dry track.
 

Dan

Kim Jong Dan
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Knights is a big call. they dont offer a ot without Joey
 

byso

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Jul 19, 2004
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I'd like to see the knights win this one. Put the sword into the Rorters

Good work C & C
 

Fluffy

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Nov 12, 2004
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21,161
cant see the knights winning without joey, i agree as the rain continues that our chances are rising. If we play with 4 props we could just beat them with size. King will only need to play half an hour with 3 others around. Bryant and Kite to do the hard stuff and kylie and king for short bursts.

Its been fairly wet here today so far.
 
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