Our tipping Guru Tipping Point joins us again, as he casts his eye over the Rd 2 games from a tipping perspective. Some hard games this week to tip and if you happen to be stuck, the guide below will help.
How good is it to have the footy back? Hopefully you spent most of last weekend (and Thursday, Friday and Monday) glued to a telly watching all the matches. Round one produced plenty of surprises with the Rabbitohs, Roosters and Eels impressing, and the Sharks, Broncos and Cowboys leaving their fans (and tipsters) shaking their heads. We jagged six correct picks which is a good result for round one, so the challenge is to back it up: you often find some topsy-turvy results in the opening weeks with sides yo-yoing between wins and losses with massive fluctuations in form. Expect a bumpy second round â€“ similar to round one, anything north of four is a good result.
Season form: 6/8 (75%)
Last week: 6/8
At a glance: Bulldogs, Broncos, Panthers, Storm, Cowboys, Roosters, Warriors, Tigers.
Bulldogs v Eels, ANZ Stadium
This tip is based purely on a couple of key stats, notably the Eelsâ€™ inability to win outside Pirtek and their terrible record at ANZ, as well as the Dogsâ€™ strong record over the Eels in recent years. Iâ€™m not massively confident though; without the injured Reynolds the Dogs lose a bit of spark in attack (albeit with less penalties), and Lichaa is under a cloud. Still, the Doggies monstrous pack should get the better of the Eels and defend their way to a narrow victory.
Sharks v Broncos, Remondis Stadium
Both sides are coming off round one defeats so theyâ€™ll be eager to atone for their poor performances. Itâ€™s even money in this contest but for mine the Broncos look the slightly better option. They tend to beat teams outside of the top eight (and I definitely place the Sharks in that category) and I reckon weâ€™ll see a much improved effort from their halves and forwards. Interestingly, the Sharks have won their last three against the Broncos, including their miraculous comeback win at Suncorp where they turned around a 22-point deficit. Itâ€™s also Shark Park and itâ€™ll be in the Dark â€“ but the Broncos are the better team and should get the job done.
Panthers v Titans, Carrington Park (Bathurst)
Pretty straightforward this one: the Panthers should win. Theyâ€™re a quality side and should be too strong for an undermanned Titans squad. That said, the Titans showed plenty of ticker against the Tigers and the Panthers seem to lack the killer instinct to put sides away. A match they ought to win, and ought to be wary of complacency.
Sea Eagles v Storm, Brookvale Oval
This match is a real toss-up for mine. Usually Iâ€™d be all over Manly given theyâ€™re at Brookie, but given the deep hole the club find themselves in itâ€™s really difficult to tip them. The Storm were the last team to beat Manly at Brookie and they have a pretty good record over the Sea Eagles, but Iâ€™m still not overly confident. Itâ€™ll be close, itâ€™ll be an arm-wrestle, but the Storm have the more settled line-up and should prevail.
Cowboys v Knights, 1300SMILES Stadium
The Cows were dreadful against the Roosters as their 11-match home winning streak came to a crashing halt amidst the screams of anguish from tipsters (mostly mine). The Knights came back strongly to knock over the Warriors but I think the Cowboys will be pumped up for a massive game. They only lost once at home in 2014 so I donâ€™t think weâ€™ll see back-to-back losses.
Rabbitohs v Roosters, ANZ Stadium
An absolute cracking game for Sunday afternoon footy pits traditional rivals and emphatic round one winners against each other. I have to say I like the Roosters in this clash. Mitchell Pearce is on fire and I think they have too much strikepower in the backs for the Bunnies, who are surely due for a loss. Itâ€™ll be a cracking match, with probably less than a try in it, but the Roosters win this for mine.
Raiders v Warriors, GIO Stadium
Flip a coin. This is a really horrible match to tip. The Raiders won last week against a fairly diabolical Sharks outfit, whereas the Warriors actually looked decent against the Knights but wilted in the heat. This for me is a game where the round two bounce-back factor will come through: the Warriors will be primed for a win and the Raiders might just let the guard down a touch after a good showing in round one. Iâ€™ll take the Warriors, but itâ€™ll be close â€“ certainly nothing like their recent matches which have been all one way traffic in favour of the Warriors.
Tigers v Dragons, Campbelltown Stadium
Whereâ€™s that coin? This game has bothered me the most this round. I donâ€™t particularly rate either side and their round one performances did nothing to convince me otherwise. On paper I can see the Dragons bouncing back as the Tigers defence is nowhere near as miserly as the Stormâ€™s, and Benji will be fired up for a big game. The Dragons were also pretty reliable against non top eight sides last year (dropped only two matches), have a good recent record over the Tigers and are undefeated at Campbelltown in their two matches there. But my gut tells me that the Tigers win this match. They just look like they have more points in them, and as I said last week: so long as Farah, Tedesco, Woods and Brooks are on the paddock I give the Tigers a chance against anyone.
Follow Tipping Point on Twitter @tpoint1908