The finals are literally around the corner and the entire NRL world are holding their breath… figuratively speaking, I hope, I don’t want anyone passing out just because I told them to. There are five teams who are definitely going to make the finals, which means there are three spots left up for grabs! Alas… welcome to Tipping for Dummies, Round 23!
SolSat’s Prediction Count from Round 22: 6 out of 8 (75%)
Same as last week, really. I would say “Way to fail me, Doggies” but really, the referees were clearly against them in that game. Poor Josh Reynolds… bugger was so worked up about the unfair ruling.
Friday 16th August, 2013
Brisbane Broncos vs. Parramatta Eels
The mighty Bronx take on the opposite-of-mighty Eels in the Round 23. Injury hit Round 22 hard and one of the teams to feel that are the Broncos who lose star player Hodges. The Eels, however, gained their star player in Jarryd Hayne. Will this affect the outcome of an otherwise easily predicted game?
SolSat’s Prediction: Brisbane Broncos
My Broncos are hungrier than ever for victory as shown in their previous few matches. They know that their finals dreams are disappearing and to keep that alive, they have to keep on truckin’. With Stagg in the centre, who has won a premiership in that position, I think the Broncos will do just fine with Hodges sidelined.
South Sydney Rabbitohs vs. Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
The Bunnies have been in terrible form without Inglis in the past couple of weeks so, luckily for them, the big GI is returning in Round 23 alongside Bunnies key player John Sutton. With big man Watmough injured, impressive rookie Justin Horo will return to the starting lineup as Manly fans hope that this will lead them to victory.
SolSat’s Prediction: South Sydney Rabbitohs
Tentatively, I am backing the Bunnies in this one. Surely the shining light in Inglis and Sutton’s returns will ignite the fire and get the Bunnies back in top form because, quite frankly, their previous performances have been embarrassing. These two teams are top contenders for the premiership so this one is bound to be stellar.
Saturday 17th August, 2013
Canberra Raiders vs. Canterbury Bulldogs
The Raiders, despite losing last week against the Chooks, put on an excellent performance which was an upgrade on their Round 21 shocker. The Doggies are coming off a pretty big upset as they were toppled by the Titans. In my opinion, the Doggies were cheated; the officiating in that game was bad. Either way, this one is looking to be pretty evenly matched.
SolSat’s Prediction: Canberra Raiders
I am strangely backing the unlikely horse as I am predicting a Raiders win in this one. With Barba’s Bulldogs future in heavy doubt, the Doggies backs are in need of a huge makeover as they haven’t been playing too well recently without him. The Raiders form fluctuates – one week their bad, the next week their good. I am expecting a two-good-week streak from them.
North Queensland Cowboys vs. Gold Coast Titans
Two Queensland teams lock horns as the Cowboys clash with the Titans. Both teams have stepped up their game recently as they are looking to lock in their position in the top 8. With both teams making no changes to the bench, this is bound to be an all-out classic.
SolSat’s Prediction: North Queensland Cowboys
The Cowboys were in celestial (you read right, celestial) form last week with a 32 point victory over the Panthers. The Titans also pulled out a great victory with Aidan Sezer setting up most of their impressive plays. However, the Titans seem comfortable and the Cowboys are hungry… the Cowboys will win this one, only by just.
St. George Illawarra Dragons vs. Cronulla Sharks
Good news for the Sharks – funny guy Beau Ryan has finally returned… along with Anthony Tupou. One notable change on the Dragons side is almost-as-funny-guy Jack de Belin starting as Lock. The Dragons haven’t had a good season. Can they look to defeat the Sharks in this one?
SolSat’s Prediction: Cronulla Sharks
The Sharks side was hurt with the multiple injuries that tarnished their form, so with their recent returns, the Sharks have stepped up their game and will defeat the Dragons. Just so I have something nice to say about the Dragons, I am expecting a great season from them next year!
Sunday 18th August, 2013
Newcastle Knights vs. Melbourne Storm
Speaking of the Sharks, they had a close one last week against the Knights who just managed to pull out the victory. Special mention going to Danny Buderus on his milestone game last week with the Knights. The Storm, on the other hand, skipped around the Bunnies terrible defense last week. These two victorious teams are looking to continue their winning streak.
SolSat’s Prediction: Melbourne Storm
The Storm seem to be over their surprising losing streak… or not streak, whatever you want to call it. Their mission is simple: reclaim the Telstra Premiership for 2013, and they’re doing a very good job at it. The Knights will put up a good fight though.
New Zealand Warriors vs. Penrith Panthers
Also playing on the serene Sunday are the Warriors who are set to collide with the Penrith Panthers. Both of these teams were on the losing end last round; with the Panthers, SolSat favourite Josh Mansour played absolutely terrible. If the Panthers want to reverse their luck in this round, all of them will have to step up their game as they go against the Warriors.
SolSat’s Prediction: New Zealand Warriors
I’m going with the Warriors in this one. They pull out these shockingly amazing victories and the Panthers just aren’t up to scratch; they hit their form climax already and I don’t see them defeating the Warriors in this round, sadly enough. Here’s to a good game between both sides, however.
Monday 19th August, 2013
West Tigers vs. Sydney City Roosters
Great news for the Tigers: their captain Robbie Farah has officially re-signed with the Tigers (as opposed to resigned… grammar saves lives). However, they have the toughest challenge ahead for them as they take on the no#1 Chookies. The Tigers are hoping the good news of securing Farah to their squad plus the homefield advantage will lead them to victory.
SolSat’s Prediction: Sydney City Roosters
No offense to the Tigers but this one’s a no brainer: it’s team no#1 vs. team #15. I expect the Roosters to win this one with ease. That’s all I have to say about that really.
I’m hoping for a solid weekend of footy action that I may or may not keep an eye on – my nephew’s here from Brisbane and I plan on following him around for the entire weekend. It’s rare that I get ot spend time with my handsome 10 month old nephew so I’m going to make the most of it.
– by Noah La’ulu