Tipping Point’s View: Rd 5 Tips

Stuck on your tipping? Not sure if picking your team or going against them is the right move? Trying to move up on your tipping ladder? The answer to all those questions and more will be answered by the tipping guru, Tipping Point. He casts his eye over the fixtures yet again, and here are his tips:

Round 5 Tips

Season: 20/32 (63%); last week: 5/8
At a glance: Rabbitohs, Broncos, Storm, Tigers, Cowboys, Roosters, Eels, Bulldogs

Sea-Eagles v Rabbitohs, Brookvale Oval

Round five kicks-off with two of the game’s heavyweights duking it out at Brookie. With two wins apiece both sides have had a patchy start to 2016, with the Bunnies’ superior for-and-against seeing them in seventh position while Manly sit in eleventh. I’m always wary of backing against Manly at Brookie, but the loss of DCE coupled with the return of Sam and Tom Burgess tilts the scales in Souths’ favour. Manly have looked all at sea in attack this season and without their #7 their offensive troubles will only worsen, and I think Souths will aim up after their last-start shellacking against the Dogs.

Tip: Rabbitohs

Titans v Broncos, Cbus Super Stadium

Friday night brings us another Queensland derby with the in-form Broncos taking on a Titans side that has quietly put together three good wins – not a bad effort from a team many had pegged as wooden spoon certainties in 2016. Once again the bookies are giving the Titans a big start at the line and while there’s definitely some value to be had there, I wouldn’t be going past the Broncos in straight head-to-head. As they showed last Friday, the Broncos are a quality outfit that have totally justified their tag as premiership favourites. With a good overall record against the Titans, the Broncos will get the job done.

Tip: Broncos

Storm v Knights, AAMI Park

The Storm were uncharacteristically poor against the Sharks last Monday night and I’m sure Craig Bellamy has flogged them at training all week. Melbourne rarely string together consecutive poor performances so I’m confident they’ll get the two points against a Knights side that is down on confidence, form and personnel. A word of warning though: the Storm dropped games against the side running last on six occasions last season so they are prone to the odd shocker against lowly opposition. I wouldn’t expect it to come this week though.

Tip: Storm

Tigers v Sharks, Campbelltown Stadium

This is a tricky match-up, and I think the betting is a touch misleading. While Cronulla are clear favourites I think the Tigers are a massive chance, especially with their strong recent record against the Sharks. Coming off two losses and playing at home as an underdog, I’m tipping Wests to return to their attacking best and put a few points on the Sharkies. The Sharks are still a bit clunky in attack, and coming off a tough Monday night fixture against the Storm they may be a bit underdone, although they will welcome back Paul Gallen which is a massive boost. I’ll take the Tigers in a close one.

Tip: Tigers

Cowboys v Dragons, 1300SMILES Stadium

Shut the gate, it’s the Cowboys all the way. Coming off a golden point loss to their arch-rivals, they’ll be primed for an epic performance at home. The Dragons will give them a good test, but even their rock solid defence will struggle to contain the Cows.

Tip: Cowboys

Roosters v Warriors, Central Coast Stadium

Central Coast hosts its first game of the season with the winless Roosters taking on the Warriors in 2016’s battle of the biggest disappointments. The Roosters came oh-so-close to breaking their season 2016 duck against Manly last weekend but should head to Gosford confident of picking up two points. While the Warriors did remove the bagel from their win column last weekend, it was not without a few anxious moments despite taking on the hapless Newcastle Knights. I really like the Roosters in this clash. It’s backs-to-the-wall stuff and I think they’ll throw the kitchen sink at a Warriors side that is notoriously unreliable when playing outside New Zealand.

Tip: Roosters

Eels v Panthers, Pirtek Stadium

I’ve got a bad feeling about this game. On form, it’s very hard to go past the Eels at home, but you get the sense that they’re probably due for a loss after three quality wins. After a close defeat to the Dragons last week and with Matt Moylan returning, the Panthers look capable of springing an upset – they’re a much better side than their solitary win in 2016 would suggest. If the game was at Pepper Stadium I’d probably back them in, but I can’t go past the Eels at Pirtek.

Tip: Eels

Bulldogs v Raiders, Belmore

This is a game that really tips itself. It would be a very brave tipster to take the Raiders in this clash, but it’s worth noting that the Green Machine won a bunch of road fixtures in 2015 that they weren’t supposed to. With Blake Austin and Aidan Sezer due to return, they’ll deliver a good account of themselves as they are probably one of the few teams that can match the physicality of the Dogs. But taking a similar approach to the Eels and Cowboys tips, you can’t go past a form team playing at home.

Tip: Bulldogs

Follow Tipping Point on Twitter @tpoint1908

English utility back to head down under from season 2017

Dan Sarginson

The links were there, the connection was made and now it is all confirmed, with the Gold Coast Titans to sign Englishman Dan Sarginson on a 2-year deal from the 2017 season.

Sarginson, who is currently at Super League side, the Wigan Warriors, can cover numerous positions across the back-line if need be.

Still only 22 years of age, Sarginson made his professional debut at age 18 with the London Broncos. Sarginson will join former Wigan player Eddy Pettybourne at the Titans, who was the one that raised the idea of signing Sarginson to coach Neil Henry.

The idea behind joining Wigan was to test himself and Sarginson now wants to take that to the next level. By playing in the NRL.

“I came to Wigan to challenge myself and I really want to take it a step further now and challenge myself in the NRL with a really promising young side in the Gold Coast Titans,” Sarginson said.

“I spoke to Eddy Pettybourne and he said the Titans have a load of promising players and they have started the season really well, and the lifestyle is a lot different to here so I’m excited about that.

“I want to cement my positon in the England squad and I think playing in the NRL with the Gold Coast will help me do that and Eddy says the coaching staff are unbelievable, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

An English Test representative, the utility back played for England in the 2014 Four Nations tournament and surprisingly, was actually born in Perth before moving to England at a young age.

As for the man who endorsed him to Neil Henry and the club, Eddy Pettybourne, he is keen to see how the Englishman performs during his time at the club and praised his ability.

“I was very impressed with him when I was at Wigan,” he said. “He’s pretty quick, has good footwork and is very strong for his size.

“But also he trains hard and is willing to listen and learn and I think he’ll go to another level in Australia.”

NRL Teams Rd 5

5 rounds in already, can you believe it?! Some surprise teams at the top and some teams yet to
taste victory. Regardless, it all makes for some interesting and entertaining contests in Rd 5.

Here are the teams for Rd 5:

Manly Sea Eagles v South Sydney Rabbitohs (#NRLmansou); Brookvale Oval, Manly; Thursday March 31. Kick-off: 8:05pm.

Manly: 1. Brett Stewart 2. Jorge Taufua 3. Jamie Lyon (C) 4. Steve Matai 5. Tom Trbojevic 6. Dylan Walker 7. Apisai Koroisau 8. Brenton Lawrence 9. Matt Parcell 10. Nate Myles 11. Feleti Mateo 12. Marty Taupau 13. Jake Trbojevic.

Interchange: 14. Lewis Brown 15. Josh Starling 16. Darcy Lussick 17. Siosaia Vave 18. Blake Leary 21. Luke Burgess (Two to be omitted).

Coach: Trent Barrett.

Souths: 1. Greg Inglis (C) 2. Kirisome Auva’a 3. Bryson Goodwin 4. Hymel Hunt 5. Aaron Gray 6. Cody Walker 7. Luke Keary 8. George Burgess 9. Cam McInnes 10. Sam Burgess 11. Chris Grevsmuhl 12. Kyle Turner 13. Nathan Brown.

Interchange: 14. Damien Cook 15. Jason Clark 16. Dave Tyrrell 17. Thomas Burgess 18. Paul Carter 19. Michael Oldfield (Two to be omitted).

Coach: Michael Maguire.


Gold Coast Titans v Brisbane Broncos (#NRLgldbri); Cbus Super Stadium, Robina; Friday April 1. Kick-off: 8:05pm.

Titans: 1. David Mead 2. Anthony Don 3. Josh Hoffman 4. John Olive 5. Nene Macdonald 6. Tyrone Roberts 7. Ash Taylor 8. David Shillington 9. Nathan Friend 10. Ryan James 11. Zeb Taia 12. Chris MCQueen 13. Luke Bird.

Interchange: 14. Luke Douglas 15. Agnatius Paasi 16. Leivaha Pulu 17. Daniel Mortimer 18. Eddy Pettybourne 19. Cam Cullen 20. Kierran Moseley.

Coach: Neil Henry.

Broncos: 1. Darius Boyd 2. Corey Oates 3. Jack Reed 4. James Roberts 5. Jordan Kahu 6. Anthony Milford 7. Ben Hunt 8. Josh McGuire 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Adam Blair 11. Alex Glenn 12. Matt Gillett 13. Corey Parker (C).

Interchange: 14. Jarrod Wallace 15. Sam Thaiday 16. Joe Ofahengaue 17. Kodi Nikorima.

Coach: Wayne Bennett.


Melbourne Storm v Newcastle Knights (#NRLmelnew); AAMI Park, Melbourne; Saturday April 2. Kick-off: 3pm.

Storm: 1. Cam Munster 2. Young Tonumaipea 3. Will Chambers 4. Ben Hampton 5. Marika Koroibete 6. Blake Green 7. Cooper Cronk 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Cam Smith (C) 10. Jordan McLean 11. Kevin Proctor 12. Tohu Harris 13. Dale Finucane.

Interchange: 14. Kenny Bromwich 15. Tim Glasby 16. Felise Kaufusi 17. Christian Welch.

Coach: Craig Bellamy.

Knights: 1. Dane Gagai 2. Nathan Ross 3. Sione Mata’utia 4. Pat Mata’utia 5. Cory Denniss 6. Jarrod Mullen (C) 7. Trent Hodkinson 8. Sam Mataora 9. Tyler Randell 10. Korbin Sims 11. Jacob Saifiti 12. Robbie Rochow 13. Jeremy Smith (C).

Interchange: 14. Daniel Levi 15. Mickey Paea 16. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 17. Pauli Pauli.

Coach: Nathan Brown.


Wests Tigers v Cronulla Sharks (#NRLwstcro); Campbelltown Stadium; Saturday April 2. Kick-off: 5:30pm.

Tigers: 1. James Tedesco 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Tim Simona 4. Kevin Naiqama 5. Jordan Rankin 6. Mitch Moses 7. Luke Brooks 8. Aaron Woods (C) 9. Robbie Farah 10. Tim Grant 11. Chris Lawrence 12. Dene Halatau 13. Sauaso Sue.

Interchange: 14. Ava Seumanufagai 15. Kyle Lovett 16. Josh Aloiai 17. Manaia Cherrington 18. Jack Buchanan (One to be omitted).

Coach: Jason Taylor.

Sharks: 1. Ben Barba 2. Sosaia Feki 3. Jack Bird 4. Ricky Leutele 5. Val Holmes 6. James Maloney 7. Chad Townsend 8. Andrew Fifita 9. Michael Ennis 10. Sam Tagataese 11. Wade Graham 12. Luke Lewis 13. Paul Gallen (C).

Interchange: 14. Jayson Bukuya 15. Chris Heighington 16. Matt Prior 17. Joseph Paulo.

Coach: Shane Flanagan.


North Queensland Cowboys v St George Illawarra Dragons (#NRLnqlsgi); 1300 Smiles Stadium, Townsville; Saturday April 2. Kick-off: 7:30pm.

Cowboys: 1. Lachlan Coote 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Justin O’Neill 4. Javid Bowen 5. Antonio Winterstein 6. Michael Morgan 7. Johnathan Thurston (C) 8. Matt Scott 9. Jake Granville 10. James Tamou 11. Gavin Cooper 12. Ethan Lowe 13. Jason Taumalolo.

Interchange: 14. Rory Kostjaysn 15. John Asiata 16. Scott Bolton 17. Ben Hannant.

Coach: Paul Green.

Dragons: 1. Josh Dugan 2. Peter Mata’utia 3. Euan Aitken 4. Tim Lafai 5. Jason Nightingale 6. Gareth Widdop (C) 7. Benji Marshall 8. Leeson Ah Mau 9. Mitch Rein 10. Russell Packer 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Joel Thompson 13. Jack de Belin.

Interchange: 14. Mike Cooper 15. Will Matthews 16. Siliva Havili 17. Jake Marketo 18. Josh McCrone (One to be omitted).

Coach: Paul McGregor.


Sydney Roosters v New Zealand Warriors (#NRLsydwar); Central Coast Stadium, Gosford; Sunday April 3. Kick-off: 2pm.

Roosters: 1. Latrell Mitchell 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Brendan Elliott 4. Blake Ferguson 5. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 6. Jayden Nikorima 7. Jackson Hastings 8. Sam Moa 9. Jake Friend (C) 10. Dylan Napa 11. Mitch Aubusson 12. Aidan Guerra 13. Sio Siua Taukeiaho.

Interchange: 14. Isaac Liu 15. Kane Evans 16. Mitchell Frei 17. Eloni Vunakece 24. Abraham Papalii (One to be omitted).

Coach: Trent Robinson.

Warriors: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 2. Tuimoala Lolohea 3. Blake Ayshford 4. Solomone Kata 5. Manu Vatuvei 6. Shaun Johnson 7. Jeff Robson 8. Jacob Lillyman 9. Issac Luke 10. Ben Matulino 11. Simon Mannering 12. Ryan Hoffman (C) 13. Albert Vete.

Interchange: 14. Jazz Tevaga 15. Sam Lisone 16. Charlie Gubb 17. Konrad Hurrell.

Coach: Andrew McFadden.


Parramatta Eels v Penrith Panthers (#NRLparpen); Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta; Sunday April 3. Kick-off: 4pm.

Eels: 1. Michael Gordon 2. Semi Radradra 3. Michael Jennings 4. Brad Takairangi 5. Clint Gutherson 6. Corey Norman 7. Kieran Foran (C) 8. Junior Paulo 9. Issac De Gois 10. Tim Mannah 11. Manu Ma’u 12. Beau Scott 13. Tepai Moeroa.

Interchange: 14. Kaysa Pritchard 15. Peni Terepo 16. Danny Wicks 17. Kenny Edwards 18. David Gower (One to be omitted).

Coach: Brad Arthur.

Panthers: 1. Matt Moylan (C) 2. Josh Mansour 3. Waqa Blake 4. Peta Hiku 5. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 6. Te Maire Martin 7. Jamie Soward 8. Sam McKendry 9. Peter Wallace 10. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 11. Bryce Cartwright 12. Isaah Yeo 13. Trent Merrin.

Interchange: 14. Tyrone Peachey 15. Leilani Latu 16. Suaia Matagi 17. James Fisher-Harris 20. Elijah Taylor 21. Jeremy Latimore.

Coach: Anthony Griffin.


Canterbury Bulldogs v Canberra Raiders (#NRLcbycan); Belmore Oval; Monday April 4. Kick-off: 7pm.

Bulldogs: 1. Will Hopoate 2. Curtis Rona 3. Josh Morris 4. Chase Stanley 5. Sam Perrett 6. Josh Reynolds 7. Moses Mbye 8. Aiden Tolman 9. Craig Garvey 10. James Graham 11. Josh Jackson 12. Tony Williams 13. Greg Eastwood.

Interchange: 14. Sam Kasiano 15. Tim Browne 16. David Klemmer 17. Adam Elliott 19. Lloyd Perrett (One to be omitted).

Coach: Des Hasler.

Raiders: 1. Jack Wighton 2. Edrick Lee 3. Jarrod Croker (C) 4. Joey Leilua 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Blake Austin 7. Aidan Sezer 8. Shannon Boyd 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Frank-Paul Nuuausala 11. Josh Papalii 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Shaun Fensom.

Interchange: 14. Kurt Baptiste 15. Sia Soliola 16. Paul Vaugahn 17. Joe Tapine 18. Luke Bateman (One to be omitted).

Coach: Ricky Stuart.


Spirited Manly produce gutsy win over the Roosters

Shaun Kenny-Dowall

Manly have produced a gutsy performance to only just scrape home against the Sydney Roosters, but the talking point will be the possible ankle injury to Daly Cherry-Evans.

A crucial player for the Sea Eagles, he will undergo scans to determine the extent of the injury.

But despite that and a further thumb injury to Jamie Buhrer, it was a second win on the trot for Manly after their poor start to the season.

It is much the opposite for the Roosters, who have not won a game in their opening four, leaving them at the bottom of the premiership ladder.

There was one bright spark, though, with Shaun Kenny-Dowall – playing in his 200th game – excelling, as he scored two tries, recorded two line breaks and ran for 180+ metres in a quality performance.

It was an up and down game for both sides, as they enjoyed successful passages of play throughout, sometimes capitalising and sometimes struggling.

But with both teams needing the win, it was ultimately Manly who held on – just – to get it.

Ultimately, Manly’s 14-point run sealed the game for them but there was a contentious moment following that.

The Roosters had a try disallowed and it upset their fans, with the officials eventually ruling that Mitch Aubusson was offside and in front of the kicker, when he went over to score.

Losing two players throughout the game, Manly coach Trent Barrett praised his side’s mental toughness.

“It was certainly the bravest effort I’ve seen from the while I’ve been with the club,” Barrett said.

“They just kept hanging in and hanging in. We went in short of troops and lost two more during the game. I guess being on the backend of a 9-3 penalty count didn’t help.

“It was a great win on a five-day turnaround. We can build a lot on that. It was a great effort. It’s character building. We’re going to get so much of that.”

The Roosters no-try decision left coach Trent Robinson seething.

“It was a try. It was pretty obvious it was a bad call from the ref and it was a bad call from the Bunker. He was onside. We could all see it from the angle. If they’re there to make a call, then make the call,” Robinson said.

“I think we could all see that he was behind. You can’t draw a line on the screen. We know they got it wrong.”

Despite that, Robinson did admit that his side had numerous other chances to win the game.

“There was some good energy and some good hustle on a lot of stuff. I thought overall we held them fairly well, but a couple of little things let them back in that second half,” he said.

“It was pretty disappointing for us. We had other opportunities as well. We had an opportunity after that to go after the game and we missed that as well.”

Player of the Game:

3. Shaun Kenny-Dowall
2. Blake Ferguson
1. Tom Trbojevic

Sea Eagles 22 (Jorge Taufua, Dylan Walker, Jamie Lyon tries; Jamie Lyon 5 goals) defeated Roosters 20 (Shaun Kenny-Dowall 2, Blake Ferguson, Daniel Tupou tries; Sio Siua Taukeiaho, Jackson Hastings 1 goals) at Allianz Stadium. Half-time: 10-8 Roosters. Penalties: 9-4 Roosters. Crowd: 12,271. Injuries: Jamie Buhrer (broken hand) and Daly Cherry-Evans (foot).

Titans pull off a comeback win to hand Raiders first loss of season

David Shillington

A comeback win is always satisfying for a team and the Gold Coast Titans have managed to pull it off, coming from behind in remarkable fashion to defeat the Canberra Raiders.

The Raiders, who were in control for most of the match, may have thought they had it won but the Titans dug deep and scored three tries in 15 minutes to cap off the comeback.

It all came down to a rather silly penalty given away by Raiders prop Frank-Paul Nuuausala, who took out Ryan James off the ball to give the Titans a final chance to take the lead.

Prior to that, both David Shillington and Zeb Taia powered over the line to give the Titans a chance to win the game.

It continues a worrying trend for the Raiders, who start strongly but then finish poorly. As the games wear on, their aggression and intensity levels decrease.

With many predicting the Titans would be spoon candidates, they now have six points after three wins from four games and currently sit top of the ladder with other teams on 6 points.

But once again, the early Raiders dominance was led by hooker Josh Hodgson, who in the absence of both Raiders halves has become their go-to man and key play-maker.

A gutsy performance by the Titans to claw back the deficit and win, it was a victory that pleased coach Neil Henry.

“We talked about it at half-time – ‘if we eliminate some errors and hang in we can come home okay’,” Henry said.

“Look that’s a gutsy second half. We had a few penalties there; we lost possession a couple of times.

“We had some resilient goal-line defence and that’s a great win for the boys.”

Starting well but conceding points late is a trend that Raiders coach Ricky Stuart knows they have to buck.

“We’re getting away to good leads and can’t go on with it, it’s been a similar story all year,” Canberra coach Ricky Stuart said.

“Last three weeks have been a different result but this one went against us.

“We had the opportunity to win that one in first half and the top teams do.”

There was a contentious moment late on with a try to John Olive, with little evidence to see the ball touching the ground. But with the call of try on the field, both coaches agreed that the process was followed to the tee.

“You’ve got to have enough evidence to overturn the on-field decision,” Henry said.

“John Olive is adamant he got it down. But you’re right if he said no try it would have been difficult to overturn.”

Stuart also saw it that way.

“Henry Perenara is copping criticism from the crowd; he was in no position to make the call on that and I don’t think he did, the call came from the touch judge,” Stuart said.

“The touch judge has seen the ball hit the ground.”

Player of the Game:

3. David Shillington
2. Ryan James
1. Josh Hodgson/Paul Vaughan

New Super League deal for former Dragon

Charly Runciman

Some Dragons fans will say that he left far too early and should have been given more opportunity, but they may have to wait a while longer to see Charly Runciman return.

The talented and versatile utility back has re-signed with the Widnes Vikings for a further two seasons.

Since joining from the St George Illawarra Dragons, Runciman has been in fine form, scoring 16 tries from 19 games.

Off-contract this year, there were other Super League teams interested in him but Widnes are pleased to have retained him.

“I am extremely pleased that Charly has decided to commit to us for the next two years. He has been a fantastic acquisition since he arrived at the end of last year,” said Widnes Head Coach, Denis Betts.

“He helped us retain our place in Super League with his fantastic performances in the Super 8 Qualifiers.

“Charly took a chance and came over here and he has added massively to everything we do.”

Runciman himself is excited at what lies ahead for both he and Widnes.

“I have enjoyed my time here and I am excited about what is to come in the future,” he said.

“To be part of a club that is proving it is moving forward is really exciting for me and my team-mates.”

Tipping Point’s View: Rd 4 Tips

It’s the Easter weekend this week and with some big clashes looming, tipping does not get any easier. But the guru Tipping Point is here to help you make the right choices.

Round 4 Tips

Season: 15/24 (63%); last week: 3/8

At a glance: Bulldogs, Broncos, Raiders, Sea-Eagles, Panthers, Warriors, Eels, Storm

Rabbitohs v Bulldogs, ANZ Stadium

The next instalment of the now traditional Good Friday clash between the Dogs and the Bunnies looks set to deliver another bruising forward battle. With both sides coming off losses I expect them to aim up, but I definitely lean towards the Bulldogs. With a five-day turnaround and no Sam Burgess, the big Doggies pack should win the battle of the middle, leaving Mbye and Reynolds to get their attack into gear.

Tip: Bulldogs

Broncos v Cowboys, Suncorp Stadium

Footy fans have been waiting since last October to see this game, with the Broncos out for revenge and the Cows looking to reassert their premiership credentials. Amazingly, the Cowboys are fielding the exact same 17 from October, and the same 17 that’ve turned up across the opening three rounds in 2016 and the World Club Challenge. It’s a really close call, but I have to take the Broncos, mainly off the back of their Suncorp pedigree. They just tend to get the job done at Suncorp and I think they’ll be absolutely seething after dropping a 16-point lead last week – as if they didn’t need any more motivation for a big effort in the GF rematch.

Tip: Broncos

Raiders v Titans

The line is absolutely ridiculous in this game – the Titans are out to almost $3 in some markets, and I really see these two as neck and neck. Both sides will head to Canberra Stadium with some solid wins under their belt, and with two big sets of forwards I can see this being a real grinding affair. The Titans are an underrated side that tend to travel well, and I think they’ll put a scare through the Green Machine who are desperately missing their first-choice halves pairing. The Raiders should get home, but it’ll be by a narrow margin and with plenty of anxious moments for their fans.

Tip: Raiders

Roosters v Sea-Eagles, Allianz Stadium

The Roosters are on an absolute hiding to nothing as things go from bad to worse for Trent Robinson’s men after a 40-point drubbing in Townsville last week. The Chooks’ depth will be further tested with Dale Copley out with a torn pec, and Ian Henderson hanging up the boots after a shocking broken leg suffered against the Cowboys. Despite all that, something tells me the Roosters are a real chance in this game; Manly are pretty unappealing on the road and their current form isn’t much to write home about, even with their win against the Sharks last Monday. I’m going to stick with the Sea-Eagles but a Roosters win would not surprise. Back it if you dare.

Tip: Sea-Eagles

Dragons v Penrith, WIN Stadium

This game is the hardest to pick in round four. Both sides broke their duck last week, with the Dragons outlasting the Bunnies in a monsoon-induced slugfest, whereas the Panthers defied a 16-point deficit and insanely long-odds to snatch a win off the Broncos. Across the first three weeks of the comp I’d say the Panthers have been the more impressive, and could easily be sitting on three wins. With Moylan rumoured to return, a good recent record over the Red V and their forward pack looking impressive, I think the Panthers can spring an upset here.

Tip: Panthers

Warriors v Knights, Mt Smart Stadium

The Warriors won’t get a better chance to break into the winners’ circle than taking on the winless Knights at home. While the Knights showed some glimpses of mettle in their draw with Canberra last week, the Warriors will be absolutely desperate to get their first win and I can’t see anything other than a Warriors win on Easter Monday. They were close against the Broncos, even closer against the Storm, and I think they’ll barge the door down against the Novocastrians.

Tip: Warriors

Tigers v Eels, ANZ Stadium

A really tough tip, and another with a misleading line. Both of these sides have been super impressive to start the season and the Tigers don’t deserve to be as long as they are, especially with former skipper Robbie Farah returning. That said, based on what the Eels have delivered across the past few weeks they look to be the better option and should get the two points in what promises to be a ripper contest.

Tip: Eels

Sharks v Storm, Southern Cross Group Stadium

The Sharks will again feature in MNF and they’ll be hoping for an improved performance after their second-half capitulation to Manly last week. Things won’t get any easier for them with the Storm heading to the Shire off the back of three straight wins and sitting alone atop the competition table. The Sharks are favoured with the bookies, but once again I have a gut feel that the Storm will get the job done. They have looked professional and composed in all of their games in 2016, and the Sharks for mine just have a few little wrinkles to iron out of their offence and I don’t think their halves have quite clicked. I’m not going to betting the house on it, but the Storm will definitely take some beating.

Tip: Storm

Follow Tipping Point @tpoint1908

NRL Rd 4 Teams

The Easter weekend has come early this year, as Rd 4 sees big clashes and different game times, in what promises to be a great weekend of footy. Some teams want to build momentum, others want to find it, as they battle it out for a win to get their seasons back on track or to maintain their momentum.

Here are the teams for Rd 4 of the NRL Telstra Premiership:

South Sydney Rabbitohs v Canterbury Bulldogs (#NRLsoucby); ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park; Friday March 25. Kick-off: 4pm.

Bunnies: 1. Greg Inglis (C) 2. Alex Johnston 3. Bryson Goodwin 4. Hymel Hunt 5. Aaron Gray 6. Cody Walker 7. Luke Keary 8. George Burgess 9. Cam McInnes 10. David Tyrrell 11. Paul Carter 12. Kyle Turner 13. Nathan Brown.

Interchange: 14. Damien Cook 15. Jason Clark 16. Chris Grevsmuhl 17. Kirisome Auva’a 18. Jack Gosiewski 19. Michael Oldfield (Two to be omitted).

Coach: Michael Maguire.

Bulldogs: 1. Will Hopoate 2. Curtis Rona 3. Josh Morris 4. Chase Stanley 5. Sam Perrett 6. Josh Reynolds 7. Moses Mbye 8. Aiden Tolman 9. Craig Garvey 10. James Graham 11. Josh Jackson 12. Tony Williams 13. Greg Eastwood.

Interchange: 14. Sam Kasiano 15. Tim Browne 16. David Klemmer 17. Adam Elliott 19. Lloyd Perrett (One to be omitted).

Coach: Des Hasler.


Brisbane Broncos v North Queensland Cowboys (#NRLbrinql); Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane; Friday March 25. Kick-off: 8:05pm.

Broncos: 1. Darius Boyd 2. Greg Eden 3. Jordan Kahu 4. James Roberts 5. Lachlan Maranta 6. Anthony Milford 7. Ben Hunt 8. Josh McGuire 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Adam Blair 11. Alex Glenn 12. Matt Gillett 13. Corey Parker (C).

Interchange: 14. Jarrod Wallace 15. Sam Thaiday 16. Joe Ofahengaue 17. Kodi Nikorima.

Coach: Wayne Bennett.

Cowboys: 1. Lachlan Coote 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Justin O’Neill 4. Kane Linnett 5. Antonio Winterstein 6. Michael Morgan 7. Johnathan Thurston (C) 8. Matt Scott (C) 9. Jake Granville 10. James Tamou 11. Gavin Cooper 12. Ethan Lowe 13. Jason Taumalolo.

Interchange: 14. Rory Koastjaysn 15. John Asiata 16. Scott Bolton 17. Ben Hannant.

Coach: Paul Green.


Canberra Raiders v Gold Coast Titans (#NRLcangld); GIO Stadium, Canberra; Saturday March 26. Kick-off: 5:30pm.

Raiders: 1. Jack Wighton 2. Edrick Lee 3. Jarrod Croker (C) 4. Brenko Lee 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Elliott Whitehead 7. Sam Williams 8. Shannon Boyd 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Frank-Paul Nuuausala 11. Josh Papalii 12. Sia Soliola 13. Shaun Fensom.

Interchange: 14. Kurt Baptiste 15. Joe Tapine 16. Paul Vaughan 17. Jeff Lima.

Coach: Ricky Stuart.

Titans: 1. David Mead 2. Anthony Don 3. Josh Hoffman 4. John Olive 5. Nene Macdonald 6. Tyrone Roberts 7. Ash Taylor 8. David Shillington 9. Nathan Friend 10. Agnatius Paasi 11. Zeb Taia 12. Chris McQueen 13. Greg Bird.

Interchange: 14. Luke Douglas 15. Ryan James 16. Leivaha Pulu 17. Daniel Mortimer 18. Eddy Pettybourne (One to be omitted).

Coach: Neil Henry.


Sydney Roosters v Manly Sea Eagles (#NRLsydman); Allianz Stadium, Moore Park; Saturday March 26. Kick-off: 7:30pm.

Roosters: 1. Latrell Mitchell 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Brendan Elliott 4. Blake Ferguson 5. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 6. Jayden Nikorima 7. Jackson Hastings 8. Sam Moa 9. Jake Friend (C) 10. Dylan Napa 11. Mitch Aubusson 12. Aidan Guerra 13. Sio Siua Taukeiaho.

Interchange: 14. Isaac Liu 15. Kane Evans 16. Mitch Frei 17. Eloni Vunakece 24. Abraham Papalii.

Coach: Trent Robinson.

Manly: 1. Brett Stewart 2. Jorge Taufua 3. Jamie Lyon (C) 4. Steve Matai 5. Tom Trbojevic 6. Dylan Walker 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Josh Starling 9. Matt Parcell 10. Nate Myles 11. Tom Symonds 12. Marty Taupau 13. Jake Trbojevic.

Interchange: 14. Lewis Brown 15. Feleti Mateo 16. Brenton Lawrence 17. Siosaia Vave 18. Jamie Buhrer (One to be omitted).

Coach: Trent Barrett.


St George Illawarra Dragons v Penrith Panthers (#NRLsgipen); WIN Stadium, Wollongong; Sunday March 27. Kick-off: 4pm.

Dragons: 1. Josh Dugan 2. Peter Mata’utia 3. Euan Aitken 4. Tim Lafai 5. Jason Nightingale 6. Gareth Widdop (C) 7. Josh McCrone 8. Leeson Ah Mau 9. Mitch Rein 10. Russell Packer 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Joel Thompson 13. Jack de Belin.

Interchange: 14. Ben Creagh 15. Mike Cooper 16. Will Matthews 17. Siliva Havili.

Coach: Paul McGregor.

Panthers: 1. Will Smith 2. Josh Mansour 3. Waqa Blake 4. Pet Hiku 5. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 6. Te Maire Martin 7. Jamie Soward 8. Sam McKendry 9. Peter Wallace (C) 10. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 11. Bryce Cartwright 12. Isaah Yeo 13. Trent Merrin.

Interchange: 14. Tyrone Peachey 15. Leilani Latu 16. Suaia Matagi 17. Elijah Taylor 20. James Fisher-Harris (One to be omitted).

Coach: Anthony Griffin.


New Zealand Warriors v Newcastle Knights (#NRLwarnew); Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland; Monday March 28. Kick-off: 2pm.

Warriors: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 2. Tuimoala Lolohea 3. Blake Ayshford 4. Solomone Kata 5. Jonathan Wright 6. Shaun Johnson 7. Jeff Robson 8. Jacob Lillyman 9. Jazz Tevaga 10. Ben Matulino 11. Bodene Thompson 12. Ryan Hoffman (C) 13. Simon Mannering.

Interchange: 14. Charlie Gubb 15. Sam Lisone 16. Konrad Hurrell 17. Albert Vete.

Coach: Andrew McFadden.

Knights: 1. Dane Gagai 2. Nathan Ross 3. Sione Mata’utia 4. Pat Mata’utia 5. Cory Denniss 6. Jarrod Mullen (C) 7. Trent Hodkinson (C) 8. Sam Mataora 9. Tyler Randell 10. Korbin Sims 11. Jacob Saifiti 12. Robbie Rochow 13. Jeremy Smith.

Interchange: 14. Danny Levi 15. Mickey Paea 16. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 17. Pauli Pauli.

Coach: Nathan Brown


Wests Tigers v Parramatta Eels (#NRLwstpar); ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park; Monday March 28. Kick-off: 4pm.

Tigers: 1. James Tedesco 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Tim Simona 4. Kevin Naiqama 5. Jordan Rankin 6. Mitch Moses 7. Luke Brooks 8. Aaron Woods (C) 9. Robbie Farah 10. Tim Grant 11. Kyle Lovett 12. Dene Halatau 13. Sauaso Sue.

Interchange: 14. Josh Aloiai 15. Ava Seumanufagai 16. Jack Buchanan 17. Manaia Cherrington.

Coach: Jason Taylor.

Eels: 1. Michael Gordon 2. Semi Radradra 3. Michael Jennings 4. Brad Takairangi 5. Clint Gutherson 6. Corey Norman 7. Kieran Foran (C) 8. Junior Paulo 9. Issac De Gois 10. Tim Mannah 11. Manu Ma’u 12. Beau Scott 13. Tepai Moeroa.

Interchange: 14. Kaysa Pritchard 15. Peni Terepo 16. Danny Wicks 17. Kenny Edwards 18. David Gower (One to be omitted).

Coach: Brad Arthur.


Cronulla Sharks v Melbourne Storm (#NRLcromel); Southern Cross Group Stadium, Cronulla; Monday March 28. Kick-off: 7pm.

Sharks: 1. Ben Barba 2. Sosaia Feki 3. Jack Bird 4. Ricky Leutele 5. Val Holmes 6. James Maloney 7. Chad Townsend 8. Andrew Fifita 9. Michael Ennis 10. Sam Tagataese 11. Luke Lewis 12. Wade Graham 13. Jayson Bukuya.

Interchange: 14. Gerard Beale 15. Chris Heighington 16. Matt Prior 17. Joseph Paulo.

Coach: Shane Flanagan.

Storm: 1. Cam Munster 2. Young Tonumaipea 3. Will Chambers 4. Tohu Harris 5. Marika Koroibete 6. Blake Green 7. Cooper Cronk 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Cam Smith (C) 10. Jordan McLean 11. Kevin Proctor 12. Kenny Bromwich 13. Dale Finucane.

Interchange: 14. Christian Welch 15. Tim Glasby 16. Felise Kaufusi 17. Ben Hampton.

Coach: Craig Bellamy.

Better late than never as Storm defeat the Warriors

Jesse Bromwich

The game hung in the balance for some time, but the Melbourne Storm won away from home in New Zealand following a 21-14 win over the New Zealand Warriors. The only team that has three wins to start the year, the Storm left it late to make their charge.

In a much more even game than many may have expected, it was a late field goal to Cooper Cronk and then a Marika Koroibete try that wrapped things up for the Storm.

The win had added significance for the Storm, as they won back the Michael Moore Trophy, which goes on the line every time the teams meet.

Both sides went into the game with some changes that affected the team make-up and it was Warriors debutant Jazz Tevaga who replaced Issac Luke at hooker that impressed especially.

Small but tenacious, he bounced back from numerous head knocks and collisions to impress Warriors fans and the Warriors coaching staff.

“He did well, he played tough. I am sure that was one of the main reasons why Cappy (coach Andrew McFadden) put him in the team when Issac went down,” Warriors skipper Ryan Hoffman said of Tevaga.

“We want tough players and Jazz is certainly one of them. We saw he was putting his body in front and we are really proud of his effort.”

The Storm started the stronger of the two sides and eventually raced out to a 12-4 lead at the break.

But the Warriors can turn on the afterburners when they see fit and score points, as they clawed the deficit back.

At one point, the scores were locked at 12-apiece for quite some time, with neither side able to gain the upper hand despite their best efforts.

This is where Cronk eventually stepped in, as he calmly slotted a field goal with pressure all around him, before Koroibete’s try wrapped the game up.

With experienced players like Cronk and Cam Smith, Storm coach Craig Bellamy knew that the one-pointer was always on once his team got close.

“I always send the message down, but it’s probably a waste of time, they know what they are doing,” Bellamy said.

“It just probably makes me feel a bit better I suppose.

“But usually they know the right time so I’m probably better off sitting up there and shutting my mouth.”

Player of the Game:

3. Jesse Bromwich
2. Solomone Kata
1. Cam Munster

Melbourne Storm 21 (Kenneath Bromwich, Cameron Munster, Marika Koroibete; Cameron Smith 4 goals; Cooper Cronk field goal) defeated Warriors 14 (Tuimoala Lolohea, Solomone Kata, Jonathan Wright tries; Shaun Johnson 1 goals). Half-time: Storm 12-4. Crowd: 16,214

A flurry of points gives the Titans fifth successive home win

Josh Hoffman

It was a 25-minute blitz that won the game for the Gold Coast Titans, as they scored 30 points in that time to lift themselves into the top eight.

The 30-18 win at Cbus Super Stadium over the Wests Tigers maintains their sound record at home, their fifth on the trot.

Their start to the game was not great, as two tries to Kevin Naiqama after 17 minutes had them reeling and trailing 10-0.

But no further points came until right on the cusp of half-time, when Daniel Mortimer dived over from dummy half to set up an interesting 2nd half.

From there, it was all the Titans, as their flurry of points put the game to bed, as just under 10,000 fans cheered at their teams win.

The Tigers simply had no answer in defence for the rampant Titans side, something that has long been an issue for them in the past.

Two days after his 21st birthday, Ash Taylor produced a solid game and drew praise from Titans coach, Neil Henry.

“He’s building. Defensively he’s improving, we know he’s got a good kick and he’s got good speed,” said Gold Coast coach Neil Henry.

“We know he can turn up and support but it’s an ongoing process for him and he’s starting to get a little bit more comfortable in his role but there’s still a long way to go with our halves combination.

“It’s a work in progress.”

Whilst his side may have conceded 20 or more points for the third week in a row, their goal-line defence and resolve pleased Tigers coach Jason Taylor.

“That scoreline we are not happy with and we’re not happy at all about that, but we defended our try-line,” Taylor said.

“Because of the amount of errors we made we defended our tryline really well, there was some really encouraging stuff from us tonight the way we defended our line but we just had to do it too often.”

The fast start for the Tigers ended up back-firing, with captain Aaron Woods lamenting his side’s loss.

“We didn’t earn the right to play footy and we were trying to throw it out of our bums too early,” Woods said, as only he can.

“We started off all right in the first 20 minutes and then the momentum swung and we didn’t handle it too well.

“We hung in there in the end, it could have blown out to 40 or 50 but they got back into the game.”

Player of the Game:

3. Josh Hoffman
2. James Tedesco
1. Ryan James

Gold Coast Titans 30 (Daniel Mortimer, Josh Hoffman, Ashley Taylor, Ryan James, Nene Macdonald tries; Ashley Taylor 5 goals) defeated Wests Tigers 18 (Kevin Naiqama 3, Jordan Rankin tries; Mitchell Moses 1 goal). Half-time: Tigers 10-6. Crowd: 9,975. On report: Chris Lawrence (Wests Tigers). Holden Cup: Titans 30 defeated Wests Tigers 18.