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Here we are already, Rd 5. It is never easy to tip in the NRL given the upsets that often occur and last week, there were a good number of them. There would have been some struggles for some tipsters whilst others may have fluked it somewhat. Either way, Rd 5 is a chance to make amends.
Here is Tipping Point with the lowdown on Rd 5 tips:
What comes up must come down! After a good start and a 70% success rate over the opening three rounds things fell apart last weekend as a string of upsets ruined plenty of tipsterâ€™s weekends, including mine. An incredible five of the weekendâ€™s winners were the outsiders with bookies (Eels, Titans, Dragons, Broncos and the Cowboys), and even the Knights only claimed favouritism late in the week after James Segeyaro was ruled out on Friday. I nabbed three, which turned out about average, but things couldâ€™ve been a whole lot worse had James Roberts not grabbed that late intercept. Enough lamenting: time to make amends in round five. Thankfully there arenâ€™t as many 50/50s this week, but Iâ€™m not taking anything for granted.
Season: 20/32 (63%) â€“ Last week: 3/8 â€“ Stand-outs: 3/4
At a glance: Souths, Broncos, Raiders, Newcastle, Roosters, Tigers, Storm, Panthers.
Bulldogs v Souths, ANZ Stadium
Friday afternoon footy â€“ how good is it! The grand final rematch should be a cracker. While I fancy the Dogs to avenge their GF defeat last year, Iâ€™ll be tipping Souths. I just canâ€™t see them losing two weeks in a row and theyâ€™ll bounce back hard, even with a depleted backline. The Dogs will be a stern test though, and Iâ€™ll be keen to watch Josh Reynoldsâ€™ return; Mbye was strong in his absence and offered plenty with ball in hand.
Titans v Broncos, Cbus Stadium
After a diabolical effort in round one the Broncos have quietly strung three good wins together with the Hunt and Milford combination improving each week. Kahu has also been brilliant at fullback, repaying the faith coach Bennett has shown in him; itâ€™s good to see the youngster do well after such a torrid run with injuries. The Titans showed their fighting qualities with a comeback win over the Sharks, but I think the Broncos have a touch more class and should get home. In the corresponding fixture last year the Titans snatched a late win â€“ this worries me, but the Broncs overall have a great record over the Gold Coast with ten victories from their past 13 matches. Interestingly, the Titans have only won three of their last 14 encounters at home.
Manly v Raiders, Lavington Sports Ground, Albury
This is a really close call â€“ which given the Raidersâ€™ away record says plenty about where Manly are at as a footy side right now. Both sides are languishing toward the bottom of the ladder and whichever side loses this match will consign their coach to massive pressure. Manly absolutely dominated the Raiders in their match-up last year claiming a 54-18 victory in a match that was effectively over at halftime with Manly up 42-4. Mind you, that was a very different Manly side to what will confront the Green Machine in Albury. I actually really like the Raiders in this match. They have a massive forward pack which should be able to steamroll the Silvertails down the middle â€“ where Manly have been so poor this year. If this game was at Brookie Iâ€™d probably take Manly but Iâ€™m going with the Raiders in a cliff-hanger â€“ Manly have too many injuries, thereâ€™s too much drama and I donâ€™t even think the class of DCE, Foran and Stewart gets them over the line.
Newcastle v Dragons, Hunter Stadium
I paid the price for tipping against the Knights at home last week as they chalked up their seventh straight win at home. They now sit alone atop the competition and the only thing that stands in the way of a win over the Dragons this weekend is complacency. They have far too much strike power for a grinding Dragons outfit and they also have the edge in the forwards â€“ particularly with Tariq Sims making his first appearance for the club after a suspension picked up during the Cowboysâ€™ finals campaign last year.
Roosters v Sharks, Allianz Stadium
If you want the textbook example of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, just watch the last five minutes of the Sharkies match against the Titans. They had it in the bag, but some bad decision-making, handling errors and an inexplicable Wade Graham pass gifted the two points to a similarly desperate Titans outfit. Given theyâ€™ve only won five times in their past 28 encounters, this is clearly a side that has forgotten how to win. In saying that, thereâ€™s plenty of talent in their squad so theyâ€™re bound to win a game soon, but I donâ€™t think it comes against the Roosters, who easily accounted for the Raiders last weekend. The tri-colours should get the job done in similar fashion this weekend.
Eels v Tigers, ANZ Stadium
Two of this yearâ€™s surprise packets will line up in what should be a pearler on Easter Monday. While the Eels are favoured in the betting and are coming off a win over the previously undefeated reigning-premiers, I really like the Tigers here. The Eels are generally poor on the road and I think the Tigers will be primed for a big one after two narrow losses against last yearâ€™s grand finalists. Iâ€™ve said it before and will again, but the Tigers are a quality side when Tedesco, Woods and Farah are all on deck â€“ and coach JT has added a toughness in defence which has been missing in previous years.
Storm v Warriors, AAMI Park
The Storm will be absolutely ropable after their last-gasp golden point loss to the Cowboys in Townsville last week, and I fully expect the Warriors to bear the brunt of their frustration. These sides have played out some humdingers in the past, and the Warriors have actually won the last two, but I just donâ€™t see Melbourne losing this. In saying that I am always wary of sides coming off a Monday night game, especially an early kick-off in Townsville. As a result, Iâ€™m predicting a close game. Storm in a squeaker.
Panthers v Cowboys, Pepper Stadium
After a bright start to season 2015 the Panthers have come back to earth with back-to-back defeats. Much of this is down to injuries to key players, but they welcome back Segeyaro this week which will make a huge difference. These sides played at the same venue in round 23 last year and the Panthers snuck home off Moylanâ€™s boot. Iâ€™m predicting a similar result this weekend: a close win to the Panthers â€“ you canâ€™t ignore their strong form at home and the Cowboysâ€™ inability to win on the road.
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