Round 21 Preview

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Chip and Chase

True Supporter
Staff member
Premium Member
Tipping Member
Round 21 Preview

After an improved performance last week, I have regained enough confidence to offer some thoughts on this weeks round. Admittedly I have been away from newspaper, TV and computer until today, so I’m hoping that I haven’t missed anything glaringly obvious with respect to team selections etc.

I will say that tipping from here to season end will become tougher, as the intangible qualities of desire and commitment become paramount. Basically, given the closeness of the race, with 11 teams vying for the 7 remaining spots (assuming Broncos are safe), “turning up to play” will carry a lot of weight. Expect a plethora of “must win game” and “season defining moment” clichés over the next 6 weeks.

Dragons v Roosters

Roosters have opted for yet another Half - 5/8 combo, with Finch and Soward swapping numbers (makes a change from swapping spit I suppose). A bit of the gloss has worn of the all conquering Bondi Junction boys, as they look in danger of missing the 8, and they no longer strike fear into the oppositions heart. I really underestimated the contribution that Freddy made, they have struggled without him. Bottom line is, they are beatable these days.

Dragons on the other hand may finally be living up to some of the hype and promise that has had them touted as potential premiers for the last 3 years. They are playing good footy, and have managed a reasonably extended injury free period for all their big guns. They will go into this game with confidence after knocking off the Roosters in their Anzac Day clash. With the Roosters having lost 3 on the trot, and the Dragons looking to record 3 in a row to eye off a top 4 spot, I think the Dragons will sound the death knell for Gus, Sticky and the rest of the Café Latte drinkers for Season 2005.

My Tip: Dragons

Knights v Storm

Was tempted to go with the Knights last week, but got gun shy after tipping them against the Sharks only to get rolled in golden point. However with them at home and confident after knocking off the Eels they may be worth consideration again this week. I think the race with Souths to avoid the spoon is their main motivation these days, and it may be enough.

The Storm have got back on track after a little mid season slump, and I think will finish top 4. They have, on paper, a lot classier backline than the Knights and the timely return of Scott Hill adds strength. The Orford – Johns clash should give us a good indication of whether we are getting value for money next year. I’ll stick with the Storm, but I think it will be close.

My Tip: Storm

Broncos v Raiders

The Broncos will bounce back from their loss against the Dogs, as they very rarely lose two in a row, especially when at home. They have a class side, and when you can afford to play an international centre on the wing (although he moves back in this week) it speaks volumes about the depth and class of your outfit.

The Raiders are hanging in there, but the loss of Woolford for the season hurts their chances. Whilst Smith is a wily customer I think there are enough smart heads in the Brisbane side in the likes of Carroll, Thorn, Webcke, and brother Darren to keep him in check. Wouldn’t surprise to see a blow out in the score as the Broncos flex a bit of muscle.

My Tip: Broncos

Panthers v Warriors

The Panthers have had a disappointing season but are still capable of upsetting some apple carts. However I suspect that their minds will be on end of season trips from now on, as they really have nothing to play for.

The Warriors are capable of beating anyone on their day, and really must win this one to stay in touch with the 8. With Price back they have a cool head to temper the Polynesian flair. If they want it bad enough they should be able to get the 2 points, despite a horrible record against Penrith of late.

My Tip: Warriors

Sea Eagles v Cowboys

Why can’t we get through a week without some sort of drama being played out in the media. This week’s instalment is the alleged return of Class Clown John Hopoate. I hope that Des and the boys are concentrating on a big effort this weekend and not being distracted by other rubbish. I won’t put this week's game in the “must win” category, but the 2 points here would be very, very handy. There are too many areas to list where improvement is required, we have all seen the games, we know the score. This weekend's performance will set the tone for the rest of the season. Win, lose or draw we need to compete. Fresh off the bye, the time for excuses has gone.

The Cowboys went through a little hiccup for a month or so, but got back on track with a win over Penrith. Nothing to get overly excited about, but good for confidence. They are basically back to full strength and may have found the missing piece to their puzzle in the form of Brett Firman. However their away record isn’t great this year. They have potentially one of the most potent attacking sides in the comp, and my big worry is their dummy half runners in Sing, Bowen, Jensen and Faimu. If we are cumbersome around the ruck we will get carved. I’m nervous about this one, and based on our mediocre performances of late will be tipping with my head.

My Tip: Cowboys

Rabbits v Dogs

The Rabbits are hard to read, they surprised a few with a couple of wins on the trot only to resume normal transmission last week against the Tigers. Don’t rate them.

Can the Dogs make a late surge in defence of their title ? I think they will make the 8 as they seem to be running back into form at the right time, but El Masri being out will hurt them. Should have no problems accounting for the Bunnies. Be interested to see what sort of performance their fans put on this week, a bunger down a rabbit hole could cause a kafuffle.

My Tip: Dogs

Sharks v Tigers

Few things would give me more pleasure than seeing the Sharks miss out on the finals, and they are playing in the right sort of form to realise this dream. With two wins from their last 8 games, including a very scratchy golden point effort against the Knights, they are on the same Struggle Street as Manly. Their only hope is that they are at home.

The Tigers are playing the sort of footy that fans dream of, as evidenced by the bumper crowd at Leichhardt last week. They have a good record against the Sharks and the thought of stringing 5 together on the trot must have them brimming with confidence. If current form is any indication they should be good enough, as long as they don’t get overawed with the prospect of a top 8 finish.

My Tip: Tigers


Journey Man
Top stuff C&C

I would have to add the panthers to the wooden spoon battle as they are only 1 point up on souths.

Those bottom 3 teams can do us real favours this week, especially if we get the 2 points against the cows which is a 4 point turn around.

I have a good feeling that we will get up this week.

Also i think Johns will be out to show Orford how big the gap is.
Team P W L PD Pts
13 10 3 97 24
14 10 4 118 22
14 10 4 78 22
13 8 5 66 20
14 8 6 143 18
13 7 6 81 18
13 7 6 -55 18
14 7 6 42 17
14 7 7 37 16
15 8 7 -8 16
14 7 7 -50 16
14 6 7 13 15
14 6 8 -55 14
13 4 9 -126 12
14 4 10 -121 10
13 3 10 -129 10
13 3 10 -131 10
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