NRL Predictions – Round 7

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Following another wild and wacky week in the NRL, find out who will win each game in Round 7 from rugby league writer Daniel Boss, who successfully tipped 5 from 8 games last round, in this week’s NRL Predictions.

I’m finally off the bottom of the ladder for all of the tipping comps I’m in! Yay! I’ve finally had a little bit of luck in the tipping, thanks to last gasp wins to the Bulldogs and Storm. With that said, I hope to get some better results in my tips in the coming weeks. Also, stay tuned for my quarterly grades, which will be published sometime later this week.

In Round 6, I was able to correctly select both the lock and upset of the week, thanks to wins to the Manly Sea Eagles and Gold Coast Titans. I did mention last week that I tipped all the favourites, however the Tigers went into last week’s game as the underdogs. I just want to point out that at the time of writing, the Tigers and Cowboys were both paying $1.90 according to the TAB.

2014 tipping results

  • Lock of the week: 2/6
  • Upset of the week: 2/6
  • Season record: 18/48

South Sydney Rabbitohs v Canterbury Bulldogs

Tip: Souths. This game should be a great one as two of the premiership heavyweights go toe to toe. The Rabbits have bounced back into form over the past couple of weeks, while the Dogs have found ways to win in the past fortnight. This is a true 50/50 game but I’m leaning towards the Rabbits. I just think that they have an edge in class in the backline, in particular Greg Inglis. I’m expecting a huge game from him on Friday. Luke Burgess moves from the bench to start at prop for suspended brother George, while McQueen moves into the starting South Sydney back row for the suspended Te’o. The additions to the bench are Ben Lowe, Joe Picker, Joel Reddy and Alex Johnston. For the Dogs, Pat O’Hanlon and Moses Mbye are added to the bench, in place of the injured Pritchard.

Newcastle Knights v Brisbane Broncos

Tip: Knights. Newcastle bounced back into the winners list following an impressive victory in Canberra, mainly driven by the return of Jarrod Mullen. The Broncos have been quite disappointing over the past couple of weeks, in particular mercurial fullback Ben Barba. His effort that led to the Titans’ game winning try showed that he lacks quite a lot of confidence at the moment. However, the Knights have not defeated Brisbane at home since 2010 and Wayne Bennett has a poor record against clubs that he has previously coach, so the Broncos are a chance here. For the Knights, Josh Mantellato comes onto one wing for the injured Uate. The Broncos have named the same 17 players that went down to the Titans, along with the 18th man Jarrod Wallace.

Manly Sea Eagles v North Queensland Cowboys

Tip: Manly. The Sea Eagles have the wood on the Cowboys, as they have won 8 of the last 10 games played between these two sides and the last time the Cowboys beat Manly in New South Wales was in 2005. Manly bounced back with a strong first half display against Cronulla before coasting to victory. They will be looking to put together a full 80 minute performance against an underachieving Cowboys side. For the Sea Eagles, Jason King returns to take a place on the 5-man bench. Curtis Rona is named on one wing for the Cowboys in place of the injured Winterstein and Glenn Hall has been named as the 18th man.

St George Illawarra Dragons v New Zealand Warriors

Tip: Dragons. I’m not really confident about this game but I think the Dragons should be too good. The return of Michael Witt to the halfback position really helped the Dragons’ attack as he was able to provide more direction. On the other hand, the Warriors were better last week against the Bulldogs and probably should have won that game. In addition to this, the Warriors have dropped their last 9 games against the Dragons, so they may be lacking some belief that they can win this game. The Dragons have named the same 17 that lost to Melbourne, but Farrell is in a lot of doubt after picking up a shoulder injury in that game. The Warriors have made plenty of changes, with Laumape moving into the centres for the omitted Hurrell and David Fusitua comes onto the wing. Also, Peyroux moves from the bench to start in the second row for the suspended Matulino, while Jayson Bukuya is named in the starting back row for the injured Ikahihifo. The additions to the Warriors bench are Ben Henry and Tuimoala Lolohea.

Cronulla Sharks v Sydney Roosters

Tip: Roosters. If the Roosters are legitimate premiership contenders, then they will win this game. In the two games that they’ve won in 2014, the Roosters have scored 30 or more points and in their four losses, they have scored 12 points or less. Five eight James Maloney is in a form slump and needs a big performance in order to be in the running to retain his Origin spot. As for the Sharks, they were woeful last week and should be better this week as they are at home. I simply can’t tip them after seeing last week’s performance. For the Sharks, Johnathan Wright replaces Stapleton on one wing. The Roosters are unchanged from 1 to 17 but have added Dylan Napa and Daniel Mortimer to an extended bench.

Canberra Raiders v Melbourne Storm

Tip: Storm. The Storm haven’t been impressive this year but have found ways to win, including the controversial after the siren win against the Dragons last week. The Storm have a good record in Canberra and I expect that continue as they should have too much class for the Raiders. The Raiders have been disappointing over the past couple of games as they have struggled in attack, which is partly due to a knee injury that Anthony Milford is currently carrying. Hopefully for Raiders fans, his knee is a bit stronger this week as he is their main attacking weapon. Joel Edwards returns for the Raiders and is named to start in the back row, which means that Kennedy moves back to the 5-man bench. Melbourne have named the same 17 that played on Monday night, although Chambers could be lost to suspension. Dayne Weston has been added to the Storm bench as the 18th man.

Parramatta Eels v Wests Tigers

Tip: Eels (Lock of the week). I’ve gone Parra for the lock of the week as the last two times I’ve gone against the Tigers with the lock of the week, they have won. So, I’m hoping that the same happens in this game. In all seriousness, I think the losses of Robbie Farah and James Tedesco will be too much for the Tigers to overcome. Last week, Farah set up two tries and scored one himself. I can’t see them scoring too many tries this week against a very impressive Parramatta outfit. The Eels are this year’s feel good story so far and are playing some very good football at the moment. A lot of credit has to go to Brad Arthur, who is hands down coach of the year after Round 6. The only change for the Eels is the return of Darcy Lussick from suspension, who will start on the bench, with Moimoi moving into the starting front row for the omitted Terepo. For the Tigers, Braith Anasta returns from suspension to start at five eight, with Austin relegated to the 18th man. The only other change is at hooker, with Joel Luani replacing the injured Farah.

Penrith Panthers v Gold Coast Titans

Tip: Titans (Upset of the week). I seriously cannot believe that the Titans, who are clear premiership front runners, are the outsiders in this game. If I was a gambler, I would load up on the Titans in this game. I think I may have overestimated the Panthers, as their attack is quite poor and lacks spark in the key positions. Sure, their forward pack is very tough but the big Titans pack won’t be intimidated. The Gold Coast defense is one of the best in the league and they should hold the Panthers at bay, much like Souths did last week. McKendry moves into the starting Penrith front row, while Grant moves back to the bench. Manu is named to start in the second row for the injured Brown, while Tyrone Peachey is added to the bench. The only changes for the Titans are on the bench, with Ryan James in for the injured Bailey and William

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