While we had a fantastic round of games that were extremely enjoyable to watch, some of the upsets played absolute havoc with the tipping. The one I went out on a limb on, I got wrong and at least two, if not more, that I was confident in went nowhere. The Greeks didn’t do much better with only two tips separating us all and at least we did better than in the ISC tipping, where I have slipped below 50%. Embarrassing stuff, folks.
Sydney at Canterbury
Last week, I confidently proclaimed that the Bulldogs would be put away by the Cowboys and that Sydney would take care of Souths. Both of those were very, very wrong with the Rabbitohs and Canterbury doing it all right, leaving their opponents chasing their tails.
The question is: can the Bulldogs do it again? While the Roosters didn’t play well last week, they were still much better than the Cowboys were. The Bulldogs managed that basic level of competence – much like the Titans against the Broncos – that is all that’s required to win a game when your more highly rated opponents can’t seem to find their asses with two hands. Or two busted halves.
The Roosters didn’t play anywhere near their full potential but weren’t bad per se. Souths were just better. I, for one, doubt that the basic competence we saw out of the Doggies last week is both repeatable and enough to beat one of the best on-paper teams in the comp. Sydney to win.
Canberra at South Sydney
Three weeks ago, this would have been a poverty game between impoverished clubs. Then, the Bunnies nearly beat the Dragons and then actually beat the Roosters. The Raiders snapped an 0-4 start to actually start winning games, admittedly against fairly weak opposition.
Both Canberra and Souths come in with a bit of momentum. Both teams have formidable forward packs, which will make for an interesting game dynamic. If both sides can create the metres, how effectively will the playmakers use the space created? Well, as I wrote in yesterday’s post, I would take the fairly average combo of Reynolds/Doueihi over the outright bad combo of Austin/Williams. I think that, plus the speed of the likes of Alex Johnston and
Greg Inglis Damien Cook, will be enough to put Souths over the line.
Manly at Parramatta
It’s crazy, given where Parramatta finished last year, that this is the first time that the Jury has actually tipped the Eels. I realise they have gone 0-6 to start the season and not tipping Parra has actually been a really really good decision but still, that’s surprising.
Which brings us to this week. Manly were unceremoniously pasted by one of my new favourite teams and potential contenders in the Wests Tigers last week. Parramatta tripped over their own shoelaces in a vain attempt to keep pace with Canberra. They couldn’t even cross the line for a try. They’re both loser teams.
The thing is, eventually Parramatta will win a game. Much as I kept tipping the Raiders until they won a game, it’s probably about time to start tipping Parra. I don’t know how they’ll do it but I sniff Sea Eagle incompetence, so the Eels for me.
Warriors face the Dragons in a big clash that I see St George Illawarra winning, they’re just too good right now. Brisbane will play host to Melbourne at Suncorp where they will cop the same pasting they cop every year in this fixture, so the Storm. If the Tigers play like they did last week, Wests will completely dominate Newcastle. In the other Queensland derby, the Cowboys seem to be sticking with what hasn’t worked for the last few weeks, so I have the Titans sneaking a win here. Penrith to confirm what we’re all thinking: the Sharks are over the hill.
Burleigh at Wynnum-Manly
Wynnum-Manly aren’t awful really but they’re not good either. Based on their results so far this season, I would see them finishing about eleventh. That is, I would tip them over the other Seagulls (even though Wynnum lost that match up last week), the Capras and maybe the Cutters. On the other hand, and in complete contrast to last year, I would tip the Bears against almost any opposition in the Intrust Super Cup. They’ve demonstrated that they are one of the teams to beat this year. So Burleigh by a mile.
Norths snapped Burleigh’s winning streak, confirming they’re the real deal so the Devils over the Blackhawks. Ipswich have lost to some weak tea teams this year, so I’m going Sunshine Coast. The Dolphins, the Pride and the Tigers will all be too strong for their opponents. Souths have a negative expected margin but only because Hipparchus rates the Hunters so highly. I’m with Euclid though, who has the mighty Magpies as second best team, and tipping Souths Logan.