I look forward to every Friday for two reasons: one, it’s the end of the college week and the beginning of the weekend and two, it’s time for TIPPING FOR DUMMIES!
SolSat Prediction Count from Round 20: 7 out of 8 (87.5%)
I am so good. Thanks for failing me, Storm.
Friday 2nd August, 2013
Newcastle Knights vs. Brisbane Broncos
This week’s NRL action begins with Fraser’s Knights vs. Noah’s Broncos. The Knights are coming off a 16 point loss against the Roosters in Round 20 while my Broncos scored a close victory over their rivals, the Cowboys. Probably the main story going into this game is the loss of Willie Mason for the Knights due to the tackle from SolSat Sexiest Man in League nominee Sonny Bill. Who will take the first win of the NRL week?
SolSat’s Prediction: Brisbane Broncos
The Broncos are hungry, hungrier than they’ve ever been this entire year. They know that their finals hopes are dwindling, and this appetite for victory is going to lead them to a close win over the Knights. The changes in the Broncos side provides a new and interesting dynamic, a notable change being Stagg in center. As always, here’s to a good game and, dearest cousin Fraser – game on.
Penrith Panthers vs. Sydney City Roosters
The Panthers are just on the outs of the top 8 in 10th position and they’re going to try their luck as they collide with the no.2 team, the Chookies. Making his return is SolSat favourite Josh Mansour, who is representing the Panthers in the Sexiest Man in League tourney. As mentioned previously, the Roosters will be missing Sonny Bill for two weeks due to suspension. Will this help or hinder the Panther’s chances of beating the Roosters?
SolSat’s Prediction: Sydney City Roosters
Even without the big powerhouse SBW, the Chookies are just unstoppable. These premier favourites have a killer dynamic and they work so cohesively as a team it’s like watching gears turn each other. I’d hate to think negatively for the Panthers, but maybe their loss will be the Broncos gain as they make their way up the ladder to the top 8.
Saturday 3rd August, 2013
New Zealand Warriors vs. Cronulla Sharks
The Warriors are coming off probably the biggest win in their season over the Storm, who cost me a clean streak in tips last week. Like I said, it was their unpredictable offense that cost the Storm the win. For the Sharks, they’ve kind of been a lost cause… but with the return of Gallen, maybe their unlucky streak will be broken as they take on the Warriors.
SolSat’s Prediction: New Zealand Warriors
The Sharks haven’t been getting their business done and on the contrary, the Warriors have strolled through their competition, earning them 9th position after having a not-so-great start of the season. Even with the return of Gallen, I don’t see the Sharks defeating the Warriors because, let’s face it, even I could skip passed the Sharks defense if their recent losses are any indication.
Parramatta Eels vs. Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
My heart went out to Tim Mannah last week at the post-game press conference as you could see the disappointment in his face. Personal feelings aside, the bottom team take on the Sea-Eagles, hoping that a home field advantage will lead them to a much needed victory… not that it’d take them anywhere, but still it’d be nice to have more than 3 victories to your name.
SolSat’s Prediction: Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
Despite my personal adoration for the Eels captain, they won’t be able to stop the Sea Eagles. With all due respect to the Eels, their defense against the Doggies in the last round was terrible to the point where I could’ve probably got passed them, in a pair of six inch stilettos. The Sea Eagles offense has been beautiful and their whole side have the talent to make it to the grand final, whole side including the interchange with notable mention going to Georgey Rose. In short, Manly have got this one in the bag.
North Queensland Cowboys vs. South Sydney Rabbioths
The Cowboys had come so close to my Broncos last week but couldn’t snatch the victory from them in the end. I managed to catch half of the Bunnies game against the Titans and the parts I did watch, I was mighty impressed with Luke Keary’s form which, correct me if I’m wrong, earned him his first two tries of his NRL career. Needless to say, the Cowboys have a tough challenge ahead of them as they clash with the no.1 team on the ladder.
SolSat’s Prediction: South Sydney Rabbitohs
Even with the severe blow to the Bunnies overall form with Inglis out with injury, the Bunnies are, like the Chookies, unstoppable. They have been the form team of the season and, I’m sorry to say, I expect them to soundly defeat the Cowboys this Saturday. Hopefully the frustration that was clearly etched on Thurston’s face last week won’t be so apparent this week – there is no shame in losing against the no.1 team.
Sunday 4th August, 2013
Canberra Raiders vs. Melbourne Storm
The hot-and-cold team of the Raiders are coming off a tight win over the Dragons while the Storm had a complete shocker against the Warriors. The punters have given the advantage to the Storm but going off momentum from the previous games, both teams seem quite evenly matched. Who will take the W for Sunday’s opening game?
SolSat’s Prediction: Melbourne Storm
I am somewhat tentatively backing the Storm this week – and if they fail me again, I will be sure to never back them ever again. Kidding, but seriously, their loss last week against the Warriors was bad, that bad that the Storm should be like “Hey, let’s not make that mistake again”. The Big Three haven’t been so big so hopefully they can show everyone exactly why they are the Big Three with a victory over the Raiders.
Gold Coast Titans vs. West Tigers
The Gold Coast Titans are hoping to snap their 4 week losing streak as they take on the West Tigers who themselves are coming off a 3 week losing streak. Placed at 11th and 15th respectively, the Titans and Tigers are in desperate need of a win if their finals dreams are to stay alive. It’s interesting to note that for the Titans, Ashley Harrison is playing five-eighth making Aidan Sezer the halfback for their squad.
SolSat’s Prediction: Gold Coast Titans
Aside from their shattering loss against the Bunnies last week, the Titans have been in pretty great form this season and with the changes in their squad, I am expecting a whole new dynamic spark in the team leading to a victory over the Tigers who, with all due respect, have been mediocre the whole year.
Monday 5th August, 2013
St. George Illawarra Dragons vs. Canterbury Bulldogs
Rounding off this weekend’s NRL action is the 14th place Dragons vs. the 5th place Bulldogs. The Dragons are still reeling after the injury loss of Dragons veteran Matt Cooper while the Doggies are coming off a huuuuge victory over the Eels in Round 20. Statistically, the Bulldogs would be favoured to win but as you know, anything can happen in the NRL. With the loss of superstar Ben Barba, Sam Perrett will be his replacement at fullback for the Doggies.
SolSat’s Prediction: Canterbury Bulldogs
Statistically, SolSat is going with statistics – I am fully backing a Bulldogs win in this one as the Dragons haven’t had a beauty of a year really with several unfortunate losses and playing the year pretty much without Cooper. Even with Barba on the injured shelf, Perrett showed that he was just as capable at fullback and so I am predicting a blue and white victory in this one.
I’m about to head out to my second dinner after having my first dinner at home so I will be running around trying to find a TV to watch the footy on, namely Broncos vs. Knights. Let’s go Broncos! #bronxnation Also, apparently Benji Marshall is set to go to the Blues next year in union. I wish you the best in your future endeavours, Benji.
– by Noah La’ulu