Welcome to another week of MR TAB’S round preview; Round 13!
DRAGONS v ROOSTERS Thursday, 7.50pm, WIN Stadium, Wollongong
Dragons first up again to open the round, but unfortunately for them, its against the reigning premiers the Sydney Roosters. Sensationally, Chooks head coach Trent Robinson has dropped Kyle Flanagan, the leading point scorer this year!!! Lachlan Lam will be his replacement and finally gets his chance to start. Dragons junior Drew Hutchison has also been added to the bench for the men from Bondi. The Dragons have dropped Corey Norman, there has been talk this week there is a deal brewing to bring back former Dragon Gareth Widdop to replace the out of form Norman. Veteran Trent Merrin returns from injury and Centre Euan Aitken has been named but is in doubt with a hamstring injury. Roosters will stamp their authority in this one and Mary more headaches. Roosters 13+ First Try Ryan Hall $8.50
SEA EAGLES v WARRIORS Friday, 6pm, Lottoland, Sydney
A depleted Sea Eagles side will take on an equally damaged Warriors outfit for the first game this Friday night from Brooky. The Warriors are capable and have been rocking sides lately, they
took it to the Tigers last week and have a list of injured or players that are not
available due to compassionate leave as, long as your arm. In a big shock, experienced half Blake Green has left the club this week, immediately released to the Knights. Manly welcome star Cade Cust back at five-eighth for the injured Dylan Walker and Tevita Funa replaces Brad Parker at centre, Turbo still a couple of weeks away. Manly to get up in a tight
one! Sea Eagles 1-12 First Try Scorer Peta Hiku $23
RABBITOHS v BRONCOS Friday, 7.55pm, ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Grudge match of the round. Bennett v Seibold. The Bunnies went on to beat the Dragons 32-24
after losing halfback Adam Reynolds last week, he returns for this clash. Cody Walker lifted in his absence last week and we hope he can produce another blinder. The baby Broncos have had no luck and have now lost 9 of their past 10 matches. They did look better with Jake Turpin back at hooker and Darius Boyd at fullback where he remains, but Anthony Milford has been ruled out with a hamstring injury and we can’t back them in this one. Brodie Croft returns. Rabbits to win and do Saint Benny Proud yet again. Rabbitohs 1-12 First Try Scorer Campbell Graham $9.50
STORM v BULLDOGS Saturday, 3pm, Sunshine Coast Stadium
The Storm will be without the legend Cam Smith (Yes that’s right, his out injured) and Ryan Papenhuyzen. Brandon Smith gets the start at hooker and Nicho Hynes at fullback. The Dogs still have interim coach Steve Georgallis in charge and you can see the team is enjoying there footy. They didn’t have the class to get over the Eels last week when the chance was there to be taken, going down 18-16. The boys from Belmore are trying hard but don’t have the cattle, having said that Luke Thomson from the UK has been a stand out since joining and he is getting better with every encounter. They bring Ofahiki Ogden into the starting side and Sione Katoa at hooker with Aiden Tolman and Jeremy Marshall-King benched. Cant tip against the Storm, Look for Munster to have a blinder!
First Try Scorer Cameron Munster $12
KNIGHTS v TIGERS Saturday, 5.30pm, McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
A match that sees two teams desperate for victory and we are expecting a high scoring encounter. The Knight’s are down in form and will look to bounce back after going down to the Storm 26-16 last week. They did win this encounter in round two 42-24. The Tigers were woeful last week going down to the depleted Warriors 26-20 and sitting just outside the eight, expect to see them come out firing. Knights to win this!
Knights 1-12 First Try Scorer Kalyn Ponga $13
– PANTHERS v RAIDERS Saturday, 7.35pm, Panthers Stadium, Penrith
First vs Fifth, what a beauty we have to close Saturday night football. The Panthers are firing and Nathan Cleary is just in a league of his own. How costly will that TikTok video be in the race for the Daily M award. The guy is playing the best footy of his career and it’s a pleasure to watch. The Raiders left Townsville with a valuable two points last week, defeating the Cowboys 14-12 in a thriller with the boot of Captain Jarrod Crocker the difference. Its hard to tip against the high flying Panthers and we think they should be to good for Ricky’s troops at Home. Panthers 1-12
First Try Scorer Viliame Kikau $14
– TITANS v COWBOYS Sunday, 2pm, Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
We see two teams at the bottom of the ladder that will be out for the two valuable points on offer in the first game of the day this Sunday. The Titans made the Roosters work for their victory last week and back at home, they will be expected to fire up for this encounter. The Cowboys have won 16 of the 24 games played between the two sides and going by the way they thrashed the Titans in Round three 36-6, we are going to stick with the Cowboys. Look for the wrecking ball Taumalolo to have a huge game. Cowboys 1-12 First Try Scorer Phillip Sami $10
– SHARKS v EELS Sunday, 4.05pm, Jubilee Stadium, Sydney
We close the round with a beauty that sees the Sharks take on third placed Parramatta Eels at Jubille stadium. The team from the Shire are sitting in sixth spot and a lose could see them slip out of the top eight. They came back and defeated the Broncos by ten points, scoring three tries in the final 10 minutes to cap off a remarkable victory. The Eels got away with one last week after going up 18-0 before the team from Belmore staged a fightback and were unlucky not to leave with the two points. The Eels will look to put that game behind them and expect to see them coming out flying in this encounter. Gutherson and Moses will look to click and if they do it could be a long night for the Sharkies. Eels to win and win well. Eels 13+ First Try Scorer Blake Ferguson $9
BEST BET FOR ROUND 12:
COWBOYS -2.5 @$2.00 vs Titans Sunday 2pm KO
//mrtab.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Mr-Tab-Logo.png00Mr Tab//mrtab.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Mr-Tab-Logo.pngMr Tab2020-08-06 10:33:012020-08-06 18:24:48NRL ROUND 12 TIPS AND PREVIEWS
Border closures? – Not for the NRL. We are back for round 12; welcome to another week of MR TAB’S round preview!
– DRAGONS v RABBITOHS Thursday, 7.50pm, Jubilee Stadium, Sydney
The ‘robbed’ Dragons take on the Rabbitohs as the opener for indigenous round, at Kogarah oval Thursday night. Both teams coming off losses will be sure to aim up and need the win. When you’re outside the 8, these clashes are a must win, otherwise the season just starts slipping away… Dragons half Adam Clune and forward Trent Merrin are both out with Ben Hunt finally going back halfback, Cameron McInnes to hooker and Jackson Ford starting at lock, while Tariq Sims returns from suspension. The Bunnies
welcome the man Latrell Mitchell back in the no. 1 jersey, pushing Alex Johnston to the wing and Corey Allan out. This will be a big, tough game but the Bunnies are just a touch ahead of the Dragons this year and are a top 8 side. Rabbitohs 1-12 First Try Campbell Graham $11
– TIGERS v WARRIORS Friday, 6pm, SCG, Sydney
The Tigers went down swinging last week against the highflying Eels, whilst the up and down Warriors are looking more down than up recently, having losing their last 3 NRL contests. They also waive goodbye to 4 players including David Fusitua and Ken Maumalo returning to New Zealand. Patrick Herbert starts on one side while Eels loan player George Jennings makes his club debut on the other. Hooker Wayde Egan also returns from a hip injury on the interchange. The Tigers have Russell Packer and Michael Chee Kam out
but welcome back muscle Alex Twal. Tigers have looked dangerous under Mdge this year, tigers in a close game! Tigers 1-12 First Try Scorer Tommy Talau $11
BRONCOS v SHARKS Friday, 7.55pm, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Another loss, another wild week of changes for the Broncos. Like a bucking ah, um Bronco – the team just will not run in the same direction under Anthony Seibold, call it what you will, but I’ll say it; to me it looks like he has lost the dressing room. Have you ever seen a coach come back from losing the dressing room? The Milford fullback mission is over. He moves back to the halves and Darius Boyd returns to fullback, while they welcome Jake Turpin back at hooker. Cronulla will miss part of their spine in Chad Townsend who looks to miss a month of footy due to a calf injury. Young Connor Tracey is his replacement. Josh Dugan returns to play his 200th game as does teammate Aaron Woods, both reaching 200 games each. We’re hearing Bronson Goodwin might be a chance in place of gun Jessie Ramien who is racing the clock with hamstring tightness. Broncos to win, yes you’re reading right! Storm 1-12
First Try Scorer Sione Katoa $9
ROOSTERS v TITANS Saturday, 3pm, SCG, Sydney
The Titans have been staunch the last couple of weeks and Justin Holbrook looks right at home as head coach, although the Roosters are chasing a dynasty and won’t like being below Eels, Storm and Panthers on the ladder. Ryan Hall replaces Brett Morris on the wing is the only change for the Chooks with the evergreen Morris set to miss a few weeks with a back injury. Mitchell Aubusson has been named to start on the edge and Cap Boyd Cordner has been sidelined due to concussion concerns. The Titans welcome back Keegan Hipgrave in the second row and talent AJ Brimson is closing in on a return being named in the reserves. Roosters to win with Teddy running a muck! Roosters 13+ First Try Scorer Josh Morris $10
COWBOYS v RAIDERS Saturday, 5.30pm, QCB Stadium, Townsville
The Cowboys take on the Canberra Raiders and we are expecting fireworks in this clash with both teams desperate for the two points on offer. The Cowboys will look to bounce back after going down 24-12 against the Sea Eagles here last week. They welcome back a few players including Marsters, Asiata and the lively Jake Granville just to name a few. The Raiders grinded a 18-12 victory against the Bunnies last week and Ricky’s troops will look to come out firing and if they do, watch out! Raiders 13+ First Try Scorer Jordan Rapana $11
SEA EAGLES v PANTHERS Saturday, 7.35pm, Lottoland, Sydney
Clash of the round! Both teams are coming off last start victories and will be hungry for the two valuable points on offer in what should be a Saturday night blockbuster. The Sea Eagles welcome back Dylan Walker and that’s a huge boost as DCE has been carrying for the past few weeks. The Panthers are flying and will look to remain on top of the table. Coach Cleary has really got the boys from Penrith playing good footy and son Nathan is having a Superb year to date. Manly are always hard to beat at Brookie but we like the Panthers, just!
Panthers 1-12+ First Try Scorer Josh Mansour $9.5
– BULLDOGS v EELS Sunday, 2pm, ANZ Stadium, Sydney
The Bulldogs look to have some bite back and is was great to see coach Georgalis get his first victory as a head coach against the Knights in soggy conditions last Sunday. It will take a mighty effort to back it up against the high flying Eels but confidence is a big thing and it looks like the boys from Belmore are enjoying their footy. The Eels name a strong seventeen and playing at home as the away team won’t mind them. Gutho is playing out of his skin this year and with Maiko Sivo terrorizing the Bulldogs wingers we like the Eels to get the job done in what could be a high scoring encounter. Eels 1-12 First Try Scorer Michael Jennings $9.5
– STORM v KNIGHTS Sunday, 4.05pm, Sunshine Coast Stadium
The Storm at home are always hard to beat and with Papenhuyzen, Munster and Hughes all fit, it could be a long night for the Novacastians. The storm put forty six points on the Broncos last week with seven different try scorers. This team is the team to beat if they all stay fit. Newcastle went down to the Bulldogs at home last week and will be looking to bounce back. Hooker Andrew McCullough is out with injury and that’s a huge blow as he has been playing well. This could get ugly, storm by a mile!
Storm 13+ First Try Scorer Cameron Munster $14
BEST BET FOR ROUND 12:
MELBOURNE -10.5 vs Newcastle @$1.90
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More sacked coaches, big injury list, see MR TAB’S analysis and tips for Round 11 of the NRL:
EELS v TIGERS Thursday, 6pm, Bankwest Stadium, Sydney:
A cracking Thursday night game to kickstart Round 11 with the Eels taking on the Tigers at Bankwest. Whilst Parra fell to old foes Manly last week, it’s only the second game they have lost this year. They should welcome guns; Mitchell Moses, Blake Ferguson, Maika Sivo and Nathan Brown, pending final checks. The Tigers will miss Luke Garner being replaced by Michael Chee Kam only, they are a resilient bunch the Tigers and you have to admire the steel head coach Madge McGuire has instilled in them but the Eels are a proven championship contender in 2020, they are second favorites to take out the title. Eels to win in a brutal contest! Eels 1-12 First Try Clinton Gutherson $10
– COWBOYS v SEA EAGLES Friday, 6pm, QCB Stadium, Townsville:
Well the Cowboys become the third NRL team this year to remove the head coach. Old mate Greeny is out and about looking for another gig with others in 2020. Josh Hanny is the fill-in and has named an unchanged side this week for the Cowboys this week. Manly welcome back enforcer Aiden Fonua-Blake from suspension. The Sea-Eagles done well to rattle the cage of the high-flying Eels last week and look to go on with it against an underdone Cowboys. Manly to get the chocolates. Sea Eagles 1-12 First Try Scorer Curtis Sironen $19
BRONCOS v STORM Friday, 7.55pm, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
The Storm are relatively unchanged for the second game on Friday night coming from Suncorp in Brisbane. The under pressure Seibold has named several changes in the hapless Broncos side, including moving half Anthony Milford to fullback. Kotoni Staggs and Herbie Farnworth also return from injury. At this point you have to wonder if he will be the fourth head coach axing this year. We don’t want it to be, but this game looks like a training run for the Storm. Storm 13+ First Try Scorer Josh Addo Carr $7
– WARRIORS v ROOSTERS Sat, 3pm, Central Coast Stadium
The Warriors will face a determined Roosters side at Central Coast on Saturday, The Warriors have more homesick players to deal with and with an ordinary performance last round, we can’t expect much more from them this week against the reigning premiers. The Roosters Mitch Aubusson starts in the back row for Angus Crichton (knee). Isaac Liu starts at lock with Siosiua Taukeiaho shifting to prop and Lindsay Collins to the bench. Roosters to romp home, don’t be surprised they came the Warriors scoreless for 80 mins. Roosters 13+ First Try Scorer Siosiua Taukeiaho $29
– SHARKS v DRAGONS, Saturday, 5.30pm, Jubilee Stadium, Sydney
Local derby again for these 2 clubs at Kogarah this time, even though it is a Sharks home game. Both sides head into this game pretty upbeat; The Dragons have won four of their past six games while the Sharks have lost just two of their past seven clashes. Scott Sorensen is out injured for the Sharks and is replaced by Toby Rudolf. Siosifa Talakai starts in the second row for the suspended Briton Nikora. This will be a toughie but we like the Dragons to win and get the two valuable points. Dragons 1-12 First Try Scorer Sione Katoa $9
RAIDERS v RABBITOHS Sat, 7.35pm, GIO Stadium, Canberra
This is a real danger game for the up and down Raiders, they have just come off a monumental win against the premiers and that would of taken some fuel out of them, it’s a big ask to back it up again, but that’s what being in the NRL is about. The bookies are favoring the Raiders, but we think it will be closer than expected, no major changes for the green machine, although we are hearing crowd favourite Johnny Bateman will run out. The Rabbitohs will miss the unlucky James Roberts (Pec) and Ethan Lowe, as Bayley Sironen is
promoted to the staring side. Sticking with the Raiders in what will be a very cold night in the nations capital. Raiders 1-12+ First Try Scorer Jarrod Croker $10
KNIGHTS v BULLDOGS Sunday, 2pm, McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
No changes for the Knights but they are still missing forward Daniel Saifiti, until Round 16. This could be a cricket score for the dogs, they have Jake Averillo returning at centre with Marcelo Montoya shifting to wing and Christian Crichton omitted. Brandon Wakeham replaces Sauaso Sue on the bench is the only other change. They really are missing both Will Hopoate and Adam Elliot and it will be to tough to go with the Knights,they just don’t have the cattle. Knights to win and make it back to back victories. Knights 13+ First Try Scorer Kalyn Ponga $9
TITANS v PANTHERS Sunday, 4.05pm, Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
Gold Coast up against the flying Panthers to round out the week from Cbus Super stadium and while the Panthers must not fall complacent, the big news is gun hooker Api Koroisau is out with a nasty elbow injury, they will also miss key fullback Dylan Edwards to injury. The Titans have Dale Copley returning along with cap Kevin Proctor. Penrith are the real deal this year and will be too good for the Titans, Nathan Cleary is playing out of skin at the moment and expect to see him run the show yet again. Panthers 13+ First Try Scorer Isaah Yeo $26
Coaching changes, more COVID impacts and injuries, we have it all for MR TABS analysis for Round 10 of the NRL.
ROOSTERS V RAIDERS Thursday, 16th July, SCG, 7:50pm
The Grand Final replay at the beautiful Sydney Cricket Ground for the opener of round 10. Matt Ikuvala has retained his spot in the Roosters side (and why wouldn’t he after scoring 5 tries in 1 game!) despite Brett Morris looking good in training this week and set to return, this pushes Ryan Hall out of the side. Captain Boyd Cordner also back on deck. The Raiders have been hit hard with injuries to champion hooker Josh Hodgson, he joins Curtis Scott, Sia Soliola and Bailey Simonsson on the sidelines indefinitely. Chooks beat the Raiders 3 times in 2019 and will win here and win well! Roosters 13+ First Try Scorer Josh Morris $11
– STORM v TITANS Friday, 6pm, Sunshine Coast Stadium
The Storm shouldn’t have any problems against the improved Titans side at temporary home (due to COVID-19) Sunshine Coast stadium. Both sides have a few shuffles in line up , and the Titans have lifted in recent weeks under Justin Holbrook, but the Storm will be too good especially with C Munster back.
Storm 13+ First Try Scorer Josh Addo-Carr $6
TIGERS v BRONCOS Friday, 7.55pm, Leichhardt Oval, Sydney
YES, the Tigers are back at Leichardt! Albeit with an unlikely halves pairing in Benji Marshall and Billy Walters. Few changes with Josh Reynolds out suspended, while Luke Brooks has been dropped to the bench in a shock move. The baby Broncos did see a little ray of sunshine last week, topping the Bulldogs, but still have a lot of outs; Matt Lodge, Alex Glenn, Kotoni Staggs, Jake Turpin, David Fifita and Jack Bird, to mention a few. They are a gun side, but its yet to be determined if Seibold is the right man for the job. The Tigers despite losing their last 2, have been competitive and look too strong at home. Tigers in a close game. Tigers 1-12 First Try Scorer Tommy Talau $9
– DRAGONS v BULLDOGS Saturday, 3pm, WIN Stadium, Wollongong
While the Dragons have been looking better in recent weeks, let’s not forget the Bulldogs have already beat them this year, just last month 22-2 at Bankwest in round 4. Dean Pay is history now and temporary coach Steve Georgeallis has recalled Lachlan Lewis in the halves in place of Brandon Wakeham. Nick Meaney moves to fullback with Dallin Watene-Zelezniak on the wing. Locky Lewis has had a bad rap but we think the recall will light a spark in him as he looks to cement the position and make it his own. Jason Saab replaces the suspended Jordan Pereira in the only change for the Dragons who gave the Sea Eagles a flogging last Sunday at Oki. The have the confidence, stick with them. Dragons 1-12 First Try Scorer Euan Aitken $13
– RABBITOHS v KNIGHTS Saturday, 5.30pm, Bankwest Stadium
A Danger game for 5th and 6th side teams this Saturday night, back at Bankwest. The Knights (who we rated early on) have been a bit hit n miss over the past few rounds, Jacob Saifiti starts at prop for his injured brother, while coach O’Brien looks to inject some firepower with Connor Watson, Mitch Barnett and Sione Mataútia all returning. The Rabbitohs come off a good win against the Tigers but it came at the cost of Latrell Mitchell who is out, suspended and replaced by Alex Johnston. They will also miss Campbell
Graham and forward Liam Knight, out injured. Bunnies, in a close one Rabbitohs 1-12 First Try Scorer Dane Gagai $15
SEA EAGLES v EELSSaturday, 7.35pm, Lottoland, Sydney
The Sea Eagles seem to have no luck without Turbo at the back, but the good teams find luck, look at the Eels without star playmaker Mitchell Moses, they have just gone 3 straight!. No major changes for either side, although Manly’s Morgan Boyle is out injured, with Taniela Pasekat to start at prop and Corey Waddell joining the bench. The Eels have been mega impressive this year and we can see them going far into the finals this year, this is always a good game between these 2 clubs, but Eels are just too strong at the moment, Eels to win well! Eels 13+ First Try Scorer Clinton Gutherson $10
– WARRIORS v SHARKS Sunday, 2pm, Central Coast Stadium
Warriors and Sharks at Central Coast on Sunday. Shark will be missing Andrew Fifita, out injured and welcome Ronaldo Mulitalo back from a knee injury, pushing Nene Macdonald on the wing. Toby Rudolf starts at lock with Jack Williams dropped and no Moylan, again. Warriors have Five-eighth Kodi Nikorima returning from a head knock in place of Chanel Harris-Tavita, and sensation Eliesa Katoa returns from an ankle injury in the back row. The Sharks have got the wood on the warriors, winning five of their past six games and we like them to continue that. Sharks in a bruiser! Sharks 1-12 First Try Scorer Jesse Ramien $13
PANTHERS v COWBOYS Sunday, 4.05pm, Panthers Stadium, Penrith
Inform Panthers host the Cowboys Sunday arvo to close the round. The Panthers been really standing out since Dylan Edwards returned at fullback and we expect them to prove hard to beat at home. Dean Whare is back at centre with Brent Naden moving to the wing in place of Charlie Staines who has been unfortunately stood down due to breaching COVID-19 protocols following his four try performance on debut. The inconsistent Cowboys will be without star signing Val Holmes for at least 8 rounds and sadly Scott Drinkwater will also miss out due to a knee injury. Panthers have been clinical recently and look to go 5 in a row! Panthers 13+ First Try Scorer Stephen Crichton $10
Welcome to MR TABs analysis & tips for Round 9 of the NRL.
COWBOYS vs ROOSTERSCountry BankStadiumTownsville,7.50pm
What a great game to start the round! The Cowboys Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow has been recalled, replacing Val Holmes at fullback with Holmes shifting to the wing in what we believe is his best position. Connelly Lemuelu comes into the side at centre with Justin O’Neill out injured. The Roosters have some injuries with winger Daniel Tupou and captain Boyd Cordner both out. Ryan Hall starts on the wing, and Mitch Aubusson comes into the second row with Lachlan Lam joining the bench. Look for Tedesco to run riot in what should be a victory for the team from Bondi.
First Try Scorer: RYAN HALL $8
TITANS vs WARRIORS: Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast 6.00pm
This is a winnable game for the Gold Coast Titans and they will look to get off to a flyer against a Warriors outfit full of confidence after defeating the hapless Broncos last round. Sam Stone will start the match in the back row for the Titans with Beau Fermor switching to centre, Tyrone Peachey drops to the bench. Erin Clark starts for hooker replacing Mitch Rein, who is out injured. The Warriors welcome back RTS from a one-game suspension with Peta Hiku shifting to centre and Gerard Beale dropping out. Chanel Harris-Tavita replaces Kodi Nikorima in the halves. We think the Home team will take this out in a high scoring affair. Stick with the Titans!
First Try Scorer: ANTHONY DON $8.50
RABBITOHS vs TIGERS: Bankwest Stadium, Sydney 7.50pm
The Bunnies will aim to make it back to back victories after defeating the Bulldogs 26-10 last Sunday but will miss Braidon Burns who has been ruled out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury. Speed machine James Roberts will be out to have a big game as he gets his more match fitness under his belt, he looked good last week and was unlucky not to have a four pointer next to his name. The Tigers went down to the inform Panthers last round and will be looking to bounce back. Fullback Adam Doueihi faces his former team for the first time and will be out to prove a point. This is anyone’s game but we will stick with the Bunnies.
First Try Scorer: DANE GAGAI $9
SHARKS vs PANTHERS: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Sydney 3pm
The Sharks Matt Moylan is out injured with a foot injury so expect to see Josh Dugan move to fullback, inform Bryson Goodwin to centre and Ronaldo Mulitalo on the wing for the boys from the Shire that were impressive defeating the Titans by 30 points last week. How good was Shaun Johnston! The Clearly clan keep on winning (and blowing kisses) but with Brian To’o set to miss the next two months with an ankle injury they will need Brent Naden, and Dean Whare to step up. Josh Mansour is playing well and with Nathan Clearly calling the shots, we like the Panthers to win this in a tight encounter.
First Try Scorer: BRENT NADEN $7
BRONCOS vs BULLDOGS: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane 5.30pm
What a blockbuster we have in what could be a battle for the Wooden spoon this year. The Broncos are struggling, and what does coach Anthony Seibol do, he names the same 17 that lost to the Warriors last weekend. It looks like he has run out of ideas however he has reshuffled the line up with Tevita Pangai moving to prop, Thomas Flegler to the bench and Corey Oates to start in the second row for a team that is desperate for a victory. The Boys from Belmore will be without Adam Elliott who is out for the season with a dislocated shoulder that requires surgery but we get to see the new British Bulldogs and boom forward, Luke Thompson make his debut for the Blue and White in the No.13 jersey. Brandon Wakeham proved his a first grader last week and will look to take that performance into this match, if he does the Bulldogs could make the Broncos season even worse by replacing them at the foot of the ladder. Bulldogs to grind it out and get the cookies in a game that both teams are desperate to win.
First Try Scorer: NICK MEANEY $10
RAIDERS vs STORM: GIO Stadium, Canberra 7.35pm
The Raiders return to GIO Stadium in what should be a Saturday Night special against the never say die Melbourne Storm. The Green machine will miss the services of Sia Soliola and Emra Guler both out with serious injuries. Dunamis Lui will start at prop alongside Josh Papalii in what shapes as a grueling encounter. The Storm needed extra time to defeat the premiers in what was a epic battle and one for the ages last Thursday night. Winger Marion Seve replaces Suliasi Vunivalu ruled out with a hamstring injury and Ryley Jacks has been named to start in the halves. Don’t be surprised Bellamy includes Cameron Munster into the starting side although he has been named among the reserves and could be a late starter a fortnight earlier then expected. The Raiders will need to be at their best against a storm outfit that has a good record in Canberra. Storm just!
First Try Scorer: BAILEY SIMONSSON $10
KNIGHTS vs EELS: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle 4.05pm
The Knight’s have a few injurie worry’s with Edrick Lee and Sione Mata’utia both out. Tex Hoy starts in Lee’s place on the wing, while Aidan Guerra starts for Mata’utia in the back row. Boom fullback Kalyn Ponga has been quiet of late and is due to explode. Watch for him to have a blinder for the Novacastrians. The Eels are flying and how good was it to see winger Maika Sivo cross over four times in last weeks demolishing of the Cowboys. Fan favourite Nathan Brown returns from suspension at lock, pushing Marata Niukore back to the reserves. Stefano Utoikamanu will make his debut off the bench and is one to keep an eye on for the future. Can’t go past the flying Eels.
First Try Scorer: MAIKO SIVO
DRAGONS vs SEA EAGLES: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Sydney 6.30pm
It’s great to see the Dragons return to Jubilee to close the round against the boys from Brookvale and don’t be surprised we see a bruising contest with plenty of fireworks. Forward Tariq Sims returns from injury in the second row, pushing Tyrell Fuimaono to the bench. Ben Hunt starts at hooker and we see that as a positive move for the Dragons who will be hungry for the two points. The Sea Eagles were denied a chance to tie the match by a referee blunder and with Addin Fonua-Blake now suspended for two matches they will be out for revenge. Star Fullback Tom Trbojevic is again out injured and that’s a huge loss. It will need a mighty effort from the Sea Eagles to defeat the Dragons back on home turf but we think the Dragons with a inform Matt Duffy have what it takes and could end up winning this by a double figure margin.
INJURIES Galore and more, welcome to MR TABs round analysis & tips for Round 8 of the NRL.
STORM v ROOSTERS Thursday, 7.50pm, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
A Clash of the titans first up Thursday night at Suncorp. This is a monumental game and probably a good indicator how far ahead the Roosters are in 2020. The Chooks were good enough to get over the Dragons without both Victor Radley and Sam Verrills last week. Jake Friend is back in the starting side at hooker, Nat Butcher at lock and Teddy will line up at fullback. The Storm will suffer without playmaker Cameron Munster (4 –6 weeks knee injury) replaced by Ryley Jacks in the haves. As such, were backing Roosters! Roosters 1-12 First Try Scorer Joseph Manu $12
RAIDERS v DRAGONSFriday, 6pm, GIO Stadium, Canberra
While the Raiders took the high-flying Eels to golden point last round, they did concede, and head coach Sticky was not happy, again. Bailey Simonsson replaces Jordan Rapana on the wing, who has been dropped, while Michael Oldfield replaces Curtis Scott at centre. Joe Tapine returns from a knee injury at lock for fiery Corey Horsburgh, who will miss the next 12
weeks with a foot injury. No changes for the Dragons, while they have improved in the last 3 weeks, we cannot see them stopping the Green Machine! Raiders 13+ First Try: Our man, Scorer Jarrod Croker $9
EELS v COWBOYS Friday, 7.55pm, Bankwest Stadium, Sydney
Top of the table Eels take on the refreshed Cowboys Friday night at Bankwest, Parra will be without crucial playmaker Mitchell Moses, Jai Field will be his replacement, Jai is a speed machine and a very handy fill in. The Eels have looked staunch since the competition resumed but must wait one more week for powerhouse forward Nathan Brown to return from suspension. The Cowboys eased some pressure with a win against the dumbfounded Knights last week, we are hearing Val Holmes could be a late inclusion. Eels look too good this year; Ryan Matterson has been sensational!
First Try Scorer Blake Ferguson $8
TITANS v SHARKS Saturday, 3pm, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Points-a-plenty between these 2 sides last week, both teams looking a bit hot and cold this year overall. Good on the Titans for giving it to the Broncos last week though. Not much really to report here although Tyrone Peachey starts at centre for Dale Copley with Bryce Cartwright recalled to the bench. Tyrone Roberts has again been included in the reserves and remains an option. Sharkies enforcer Andrew Fifita seems to be slowing down compared to previous years, but hasn’t Shaun Johnston stepped up, Him and Matty Moylan
were on show last week and it was just what the doctor ordered for the Cronulla-Sutherland club. Sharks to win! Sharks 1-12 First Try Scorer Jesse Ramien $13
WARRIORS v BRONCOS Saturday, 5.30pm, Central Coast Stadium
Well if the poor old Broncos can mount any resurgence, this must be the game. It has to start this week for Anthony Seibold. Like the Titans and Sharks, Warriors have been on one week and completely deflated the next. To compound things, they lose arguably their best player in Rojer Tuivasa-sheck after his one-week shoulder charge ban was upheld at the judiciary on Tuesday night. Both Seibold and fill in coach Todd Payten have named multiple changes, as they both search for consistency and some sort of winning culture. Broncos have lost both games at Central Coast stadium this year but were backing them to snap the losing streak against what must be a mentally tired Warriors side. Broncos 1-12 First Try Scorer Herbie Farnworth $13
TIGERS v PANTHERS Saturday, 7.35pm, Bankwest Stadium, Sydney
The battle of the big cats, back at Bankwest Saturday night, this is going to be a cracker as both sides come off 2 wins each back to back. In saying that, the Panthers beat Storm and Rabbitohs and sit second on the ladder. Tigers are unchanged and are still waiting on heavy artillery in Alex Twal (Knee Round 10-11) and Zane Musgrave (foot, round 17) while the Panthers welcome representative Josh Mansour back from injury. Panthers have been more dynamic with Dylan Edwards returning to fullback, he, the man; ‘Hefner Cleary and Isiah Yeo have been enormous, throw in a little James Fisher-Harris and Api Korosiau and look for the
Panthers to go 3 straight. Panthers 1-12 First Try Scorer Brian Too $8
SEA EAGLES v KNIGHTS Sunday, 4.05pm, Brookvale Oval
Back at the real home of the Sea Eagles, Brookvale Oval, with Hasler at the helm, it just seems right, especially as they face their old foe, the Knights, from up the road looking to invade. Hasler gave them an almighty spray after falling to Cronulla last week, Moses Suli (finger) returns in place of Brendan Elliot and Marty Taupau has been named in the starting side. The Knights welcome Bradman ‘Beast’ Best at centre and Herman Ese’ese will start at lock with Tim Glasby out due to concussion. I like Eseése starting, he is a gun and will take it
to Taupau and the Manly pack. Manly are also, still without strike weapons Dylan Walker (ankle, round 13) and Tom Trbojevic (hamstring, round 14-16). Des, get your vocal cords ready for another blasting. Knights to get the chocolates. Knights 1-12 First Try Scorer Edrick Lee $10
BULLDOGS v RABBITOHS Sunday, 6.30pm, Bankwest Stadium, Parramatta
Doggies and Rabbits back at Bankwest to round out the week, it doesn’t get any easier for the Belmore boys as Will Hopoate is out with a severe ankle injury, while Jake Averillo has not recovered from his HIA last weekend. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak moves to fullback to replace Hopoate, while Reimis Smith and Marcelo Montoya are named in the centres as replacements for Averillo and Kerrod Holland, who has been dropped to the bench. This sees Nick Meaney and Christian Crichton come in on the wings, while Jack Cogger has been dropped. New recruit and UK star Luke Thompson has been named in the reserves. The Bunnies welcome James Roberts, to the starting side, in favour for Braidon Burns and are looking to bounce back. Souths will be too hot to handle for the gritty Dogs. Rabbitohs 13+ First Try Scorer Latrell Mitchell $12
Sacked coaches, moving venues, Crowds and COVID changes, WE GOT IT ALL for Round 7 of the NRL. Welcome to Mr TAB’s round tips & previews for the week.
– PANTHERS VS RABBITOHSThursday, 25th June, Jubilee Stadium, 7:50pm
Finally, the NRL welcomes back Kogarah Oval over concerns about the playing
surface at Campbelltown stadium, did you see it last week? It looked choppy. The Panthers bounced back in fine fashion defeating the Storm impressively last round, this certified their second position on the ladder and as a top 4 contender this year. It looks like Jerome Luai has won the five-eighth role (for now) over Matt Burton to join Nathan ‘Hefner’ Cleary in the halves. The Bunnies are coming good after losses over the Chooks and Storm. Cody Walker, Latrell Mitchell and NSW dummy half Damien Cook are slipping into gear. Bunnies to win in a Thursday night blockbuster! Bunnies 1-12 First Try Scorer Brian Too $10
– STORM VS WARRIORS Friday, 26th June, Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, 6:00pm
The Storm slipped to the Panthers as mentioned above, but Bellache rarely goes 2 down in a row. The Storm may face further changes due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19 in VIC but for now welcome back Josh Addo-Carr into the side on the wing at the expense of Marion Seve and Jahrome Hughes returns to partner Cameron Munster in the halves. The Warriors have lost their head coach after what must be said; a really poor win ratio of only
41%. I talked about them galvanising weeks ago and they did however they lose young gun Eliesa Katoa to injury and Interim coach Todd Payten has named a lot of changes, it wont be enough to beat the Storm who will be chomping at the bit and we are backing them to get
the Win! Storm 13+ First Try Scorer Branko Lee $12
ROOSTERS VS DRAGONSFriday, 26th June, Bankwest Stadium, 7:55pm
Despite Kogarah oval open for business, no luck for the Dragons as they face Victor Radley, and the Roosters at Bankwest Friday night. Our Man Radley has been up since the comp resumed, I know its early, but give the lad a Blue jersey please, Freddy. The Dragons saved some face in the last 2 weeks going up against Sharkies and Titans, but this will be a training run for the Roosters, superstar rep fullback James Tedesco looks to be rested and the evergreen Brett Morris will shift to fullback. The Roosters look like the benchmark this year and were backing they will win well Roosters 13+ First Try Scorer Luke Keary $15
– COWBOYS VS KNIGHTSSat, 27th June, Queensland Country Bank Stadium, 3:00pm
The Cowboys at home, will need to help the under-pressure Paul Green + Cowboys side, they are looking at 4 losses in a row as they square off against the energetic Knights albeit without boom centre ‘Beast’ Best. Young Bradman has failed the newly announced COVID- 19 protocols and misses 1 game only. Cowboys still missing direction with no Morgan and Val Holmes this week, forward Jordan McLean is close to an early return from a calf injury. Newcastle are shining, Saifiti brothers, Ponga, Pearce and Klemmer on display, they in great form and look too good for the out of form Cowboys. Knights 1-12 First Try Scorer Edrick Lee $8.50
BRONCOS VS TITANS Saturday, 27th June, Suncorp Stadium, 5:30pm
A QLD derby with a crowd! Yep, 10,000 fans will be allowed to attend after the stategovernment on Sunday eased COVID-19 restrictions in the sunshine state, and the Broncoswill need it after losing 4 straight, Tesi Niu starts at fullback with Jamayne Isaako on thebench, while Pat Carrigan and Tom Flegler are out suspended. Joseph Ofahengaue starts at lock and Jamil Hopoate and Rhys Kennedy join the interchange with Cory Paix (strained
pec) dropping out, Isaac Luke at hooker again. Titans coach Justin Holbrook has madeloads of changes once again for this one with Bryce Cartwright and Erin Clark dropped to thereserves with Jarrod Wallace and Mitch Rein returning to the side. Dale Copley replaces Young Tonumaipea (injured) at centre and Playmaker Tyrone Roberts (ankle) has again been named on an extended bench. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Titans rallied to overcome
the Broncos but Seibolds men are due. We like the baby Broncos! Broncos 1-12 First Try Scorer Xavier Coates $8
– EELS VS RAIDERS Saturday, 27th June, Bankwest Stadium, 7:30pm
This is a real danger game for the flying Eels, they could find themselves on the slide after a tough effort but loss against the reigning premiers last week. Enforcer Nathan Brown is out, having received a 2-match ban at the judiciary Tuesday night. The Raiders are looking to bounce back themselves coming off a gritty loss against an injury hit Sea Eagles. Sticky admitting, they need to put some attention on their attack and will coach his 200th game. They have been named unchanged. This will be close call, but Parra look the goods to bounce back. Eels 1-12 First Try Scorer Waqa Blake $14
SEA EAGLES VS SHARKS Sunday, 28th June, Central Coast Stadium, 4:05pm
Big Beach town clubs face off Sunday at Central Coast. The big news here is the loss to Tom Trbojevic to a hamstring injury. He will be missing for the next 6 weeks and replacing him is Brendan Elliot. The Sharks have been disappointing this year, they have faced the Tigers, Cowboys, Dragons and Bulldogs over the past month, beating Cowboys and Bulldogs only. Manly are also missing Dylan Walker and Moses Suli but welcome back powerhouse Marty Tapou and we like them to get the two points. Sea Eagles 1-12 First Try Scorer Joel Thompson $23
BULLDOGS VS TIGERS Sunday, 28th June, Bankwest Stadium, 6:30pm
The Bulldogs face a Tigers side coming off an emphatic 36-20 win over the poor Cowboys and Dean Pay’s men will sure be up for this challenge to close round seven. The Doggies were unlucky against the Sharkies last week with a few 50/50 calls not going their way in the two point defeat but this is a game the boys from Belmore can defiantly win. The Tigers scored six tries in 34 mins against the Cowboys before taking the foot off the pedal but the damage was done in that brilliant first half display. Still no Benji. We expect this game to be a tight contest and taking the Blue and White to cause the upset.
First Try Scorer Jake Averillo $16