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Back again to guide you, aid you and help you tip, is the tipping master himself, Tipping Guru. In modern rugby league, tipping is never easy but with his sound track record and fair game, you can usually bet that his tips will be spot on the mark.
Round 8 Tips
Season: 34/56 (61%); last week: 5/8
At a glance: Broncos, Bulldogs, Raiders, Cowboys, Sharks, Sea-Eagles, Roosters, Storm
Broncos v Rabbitohs, Suncorp Stadium
Fresh off a last-start shellacking at the hands of the Cowboys, the Bunnies have to endure the second-leg of an increasingly treacherous Queensland road-trip with a match-up against the ladder-leading Broncos. The Broncs were at their most ruthless against the Knights last week, and Iâ€™m expecting them to romp home again against a Souths side that looks well off the pace in 2016. Brisbane are unbeaten at Suncorp this season, and in four games have scored 125 points and conceded just 30. The only side thatâ€™s even come close to them at home this season was the Cowboys â€“ and Souths are nowhere near that class.
Bulldogs v Titans, ANZ Stadium
This is a tricky match-up. On one hand you have the Doggies, whose yo-yo-like performances have confounded tipsters in 2016, while on the other you have the Titans who are similarly renowned for ruining tipping weekends. I havenâ€™t quite figured out the Dogs yet. At times they look like premiership contenders, yet a week later theyâ€™ll look slow and lumbering. They are due for a win this weekend, if their current win-loss-win-loss trend is to continue. In saying that, the Gold Coast have a good record over the Dogs, with four wins from their last five, and their performances have been solid in 2016. They also welcome back Greg Bird, who they definitely missed against the Dragons last week. This all adds up to a ding-dong battle, but for mine you simply canâ€™t go past the Dogs at home.
Raiders v Tigers, GIO Stadium
Two of the NRLâ€™s most thrilling sides come together for a clash which I expect to be big on line breaks and offloads and low on completions and defence. After knocking over the Dogs at Belmore the Raiders have crashed back to earth in a hurry with big losses against the Eels and the Sharks. The Tigers have also been in freefall with five straight losses after posting two wins to start the year. While the betting is all one-way toward the Green Machine, I expect this game to go to the wire. Without Blake Austin and up against a side desperate for a win, the Raiders will be in for a tough evening â€“ but I think their superior pack gets them home. Just.
Cowboys v Eels, 1300SMILES Stadium
Despite this game easily being the match of the round, the Cows in Townsville are the closest thing to a lock in footy tipping (besides the Broncos at Suncorp). I have however been really impressed with the Eels in 2016, who along with the Sharks seem to be the only real title contenders south of the Queensland border. While they did knock off the Cows in round two, I donâ€™t think weâ€™ll see a more inept performance from North Queensland all season. The Cowboys will be itching to reverse that result and further demonstrate their premiership credentials.
Sharks v Panthers, Southern Cross Group Stadium
Tipsters are blessed this week with a number of games that simply pick themselves. While I think the Panthers are a chance in this game, you just canâ€™t go past the Sharks at home in their current form. Theyâ€™ve won four straight, have just about a full-strength side and Ben Barba is approaching his 2012-era form. I am a big wrap on the Panthers but coming off a wet Monday night game theyâ€™ll probably be a try or two short of the Sharkies.
Knights v Sea-Eagles, Hunter Stadium
Despite sitting second-last, Newcastle amazingly go into this fixture with an unbeaten home record, thanks to a draw with Canberra and a narrow win over the Tigers. I do however see that unbeaten record coming to an end against Manly, but it certainly wonâ€™t come easy for the Silvertails. The Knights are at least a 12-point better side at home, but the gulf of class between the two sides â€“ especially with Daly Cherry-Evans expected to play â€“ will be too much to overcome. Manly ought to get the job done.
Dragons v Roosters, Allianz Stadium
Regardless of where these sides sit on the ladder, the Anzac Day clash is always a belter. For the first time in a long time neither side is in the top eight, but the contest will be just as willing as ever. You have to feel for the Chooks. Theyâ€™ve been far from disgraced in some of their losses this season, but still find themselves firmly in spoon territory. The Dragons have scrapped their way to three victories, but their performances arenâ€™t going to feature in any end-of-year highlight reels. With Boyd Cordner and Jared Warea-Hargreaves rumoured to return, I really give the Chooks a chance in this game. In their past three games theyâ€™ve lost in golden point to the Warriors, lost by a try to the Panthers and sent South Sydney into orbit off the shoulder of Dylan Napa. I think the Tri-colours get up in this game and start their run at the top eight.
Storm v Warriors, AAMI Park
This is another clash that always delivers entertainment. These sides met just five weeks ago, where it was the Storm prevailing in the final few minutes. Iâ€™m expecting a similarly close contest, and ultimately a similar result. While the Warriors have a good record against the Storm with three wins from their last five, I simply cannot take them as a road underdog, especially with Roger Tuivasa-Scheck now out for the season. I canâ€™t say that Melbourne are setting the world on fire at the moment, but they can probably do enough to get the two points.