Footy Show Round 21 Tips To Essay

The first round of the 2018 NRL season is set to get underway with the Wide World of Sports team gearing up for a host of mouth-watering clashes this weekend.

The footy is back and so are our experts with Gus, Wally, Freddy, Locky, Joey and Sterlo all looking to out-point each other in their pursuit for NRL expert tipping honours.

And it all begins on Thursday night with Ben Hunt going up against his old club when the St-George Illawarra Dragons host the Brisbane Broncos at Jubilee Oval from 730pm live and free on Channel Nine and 9Now.

Hunt will take on his former club in Round 1. (AAP)

Round 1

Dragons

34 - 12

Broncos

NRL

Match Completed

UOW Jubilee Oval - Thursday March 8th, 9:05 am

Round 1

Knights

19 - 18

Sea Eagles

NRL

Match Completed

McDonald Jones Stadium - Friday March 9th, 7:00 am

Round 1

Cowboys

20 - 14

Sharks

NRL

Match Completed

1300SMILES Stadium - Friday March 9th, 9:05 am

Round 1

Wests Tigers

10 - 8

Roosters

NRL

Match Completed

ANZ Stadium - Saturday March 10th, 5:30 am

Round 1

Rabbitohs

20 - 32

Warriors

NRL

Match Completed

Optus Stadium - Saturday March 10th, 8:00 am

Round 1

Bulldogs

18 - 36

Storm

NRL

Match Completed

Optus Stadium - Saturday March 10th, 10:05 am

Round 1

Panthers

24 - 14

Eels

NRL

Match Completed

Panthers Stadium - Sunday March 11th, 5:10 am

Round 1

Titans

30 - 28

Raiders

NRL

Match Completed

Cbus Super Stadium - Sunday March 11th, 7:30 am

Round 2

Sharks

vs

Dragons

NRL

Perfect round. Sorry, just had to get that out early. Round 20 had it all – ignored send offs, lots of points, games to the wire and did I mention a perfect tipping round? This is The Roar’sNRL expert tips for Round 21.

Okay, so maybe a perfect round when I tipped all the favourites (minus my own team) isn’t the greatest thing to gloat about, but after an ordinary season, I’m running with it.

It certainly was an easier round, although don’t tell that to Tim, who ended up with five. The Crowd and Greg both picked up seven, while Mary had six.

Given some of the woeful performances in recent weeks, it was actually quite positive. The Crowd still lead things on 99, with Greg on 94. I move up a spot to 87, Mary sits on 86 and Tim is firming as the Newcastle Knights of tipping, with 83.

Of course, our tipping isn’t really the big talking point to come out of the week. That got overtaken by the question of ‘what on Earth do you actually have to do to get sent off?’. Sia Soliola clean took Billy Slater’s head off and copped a five-week suspension for it, but stayed on the field.

AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

It didn’t help the Raiders though, who all but ended their finals chances with a six-point loss to the Storm. The Titans, too, just about ruled themselves out with a loss to Penrith. That leaves us with nine teams in the mix, six you would have to say already secure.

The Broncos continued their form, running up 40 on the Bulldogs, while the Dragons put a half century on Manly. The Roosters, Sharks, Cowboys and Eels were the other teams in the winner’s circle.

Round 21 kicks off with a desperate Panthers playing the Bulldogs. The other big games see the Dragons play the Knights, and the Eels host Brisbane without Clint Gutherson.

The Dragons and Eels are the other teams in that battle for seventh and eighth, but do have a headstart on Penrith as we head into the final five weeks.

In other action, the Sharks travel to Auckland, the Rabbioths host the Raiders, the Roosters look to make a statement against the Johnathan Thurston-less Cowboys, Melbourne host Manly without Billy Slater and probably Cameron Smith, and the Titans take on the Tigers in what should be the game of the season is unlikely to be a good game.

Don’t forget you can put your own tips in on behalf of The Crowd using the form below. We will have the results at 5pm (AEST), so be sure to have them in before then. Who knows, The Crowd might prove themselves to be better than the experts.

Greg to lead us away.

Greg Prichard

Tips: Panthers, Sharks, Broncos, Dragons, Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Storm, Titans,

Penrith Panthers vs Canterbury Bulldogs
Panthers. At least they’re still in the finals race. The Bulldogs can only kid themselves that they’re a factor. Hoping that means enough for the Panthers to overcome the absence of Matt Moylan.

(AAP Image/Craig Golding)

New Zealand Warriors vs Cronulla Sharks
Sharks. They’ll work harder over 80 minutes as a collective to cover for the absence of James Maloney than the Warriors will for Shaun Johnson being out. That’s just the nature of the two sides.

Parramatta Eels vs Brisbane Broncos
Broncos. The ins and outs really favour them, with Darius Boyd returning against an Eels side that will have to do without their number one player on form this season, Clint Gutherson.

Newcastle Knights vs St George Illawarra Dragons
Dragons. They were flat-out to beat the Knights at home only five rounds back, but hopefully that will be a warning to them. Surely putting 52 points on the Sea Eagles is a pointer to a win here.

South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Canberra Raiders
Rabbitohs. Alex Johnston to fullback and Cody Walker to five-eighth is the way to go for them. The Raiders have been a major disappointment this season and have a poor away record.

Sydney Roosters vs North Queensland Cowboys
Cowboys. The Roosters are vulnerable at the moment, with Jake Friend, Boyd Cordner and Michael Gordon all out. The Cowboys are doing a really good job in the absence of Johnathan Thurston.

Melbourne Storm vs Manly Sea Eagles
Storm. I’m expecting the Sea Eagles to lift after their shocker against the Dragons, but presuming Cameron Smith is playing for Melbourne, they should be able to grind out a win at home.

Gold Coast Titans vs Wests Tigers
Titans. It’s hard to tip the Tigers against anyone. They just keep drifting in and out of games. The Titans aren’t setting the world on fire, but Ashley Taylor can steer them to a win at home.

Tim Gore

Tips: Bulldogs, Warriors, Broncos, Dragons, Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Sea Eagles, Titans

Penrith Panthers vs Canterbury Bulldogs
Bulldogs. James Graham is back and the Bulldogs will be stinging. Add to that, Matt Moylan is out for Penrith. Upset!

New Zealand Warriors vs Cronulla Sharks
Warriors. No idea why I’d go with the Warriors, especially with no Johnson. But the Sharks have no hooker and no Maloney, so why not?

Parramatta Eels vs Brisbane Broncos
Broncos. Poor Clint Gutherson, poor Parramatta – footy is a cruel sport. Also, Ben Hunt is playing very good footy at the moment.

Newcastle Knights vs St George Illawarra Dragons
Dragons. They really cleaned up Manly last week and they mean to play finals. They will and a win here is part of that.

South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Canberra Raiders
Rabbitohs. Sam Burgess is back for starters. Without Sia Soliola and Josh Papalii, the Raiders will struggle to contain Sam Burgess and Angus Chricton. They’ll be hurting, so they could surprise.

(AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

Sydney Roosters vs North Queensland Cowboys
Cowboys. No Michael Gordon, no Jake Friend. That’s tough against a Cowboys side starting to get their act together.

Melbourne Storm vs Manly Sea Eagles
Sea Eagles. They will be absolutely stinging from last week. No Slater, no Smith (although he’s been named, I doubt he’ll play) means Manly will win.

Gold Coast Titans vs Wests Tigers
Titans. At home and the Tigers are really struggling. The Titans are also still a vague finals chance, but must win this one.

Mary Konstantopoulos

Tips: Panthers, Sharks, Eels, Dragons, Raiders, Cowboys, Sea Eagles, Titans

Penrith Panthers vs Canterbury Bulldogs
Panthers. I expect the Panthers to continue their run to the finals, with a particularly easy draw from here on out. The Bulldogs are done for the year and won’t score enough points in this one.

New Zealand Warriors vs Cronulla Sharks
Sharks. Without Shaun Johnson, I simply can’t see the Warriors winning another game this season. The Sharks will win this – my question is will we see them kick into the next gear? I still don’t think we have seen Cronulla play their best footy yet.

Parramatta Eels vs Brisbane Broncos
Eels. Tough game to tip. Some might think that Parra will struggle without Clint Gutherson, but this game should give us an indication of whether they are contenders or pretenders. I’m expecting a much-improved performance from last week and the home crowd to get the blue and gold home.

(AAP Image/Craig Golding)

Newcastle Knights vs St George Illawarra Dragons
Dragons. Are the Dragons back? Too early to say, but they should have enough in them to beat Newcastle.

South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Canberra Raiders
Raiders. A game between two desperate sides that ultimately means nothing. I’m expecting the same old from the Rabbitohs – too much dropped ball, too many errors and too little time with Damian Cook on the field.

Sydney Roosters vs North Queensland Cowboys
Cowboys. This will be fun. A game between two of the in-form teams of the competition. I’ve been impressed with the Cowboys this year, particularly with what they have been able to do without Thurston and Matt Scott. I’m tipping the Cowboys here simply because of the Roosters’ injury concerns – they are still without Jake Friend, Boyd Cordner and Michael Gordon.

Melbourne Storm vs Manly Sea Eagles
Sea Eagles. Another game I am really looking forward to. I’m tipping an upset here – no Billy Slater for the Storm and potentially an injured Cam Smith. The Sea Eagles will also be looking to bounce back after that embarrassing loss to the Dragons last week.

Gold Coast Titans vs Wests Tigers
Titans. The Titans have proven this season that they are tough, gritty and can match it with plenty of the top teams in the competition. I expect them to beat a Tigers squad that has been extremely disappointing this year in front of their home crowd.

Scott Pryde

Tips: Panthers, Sharks, Broncos, Dragons, Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Storm, Titans

Penrith Panthers vs Canterbury Bulldogs
Panthers. This is a no-brainer to start Round 21. Canterbury are bad – really bad – right now, and the Panthers are desperate for victories as they try to push for September action.

New Zealand Warriors vs Cronulla Sharks
Sharks. Same deal for this game. The Warriors are the most inconsistent team in history and that won’t improve with Shaun Johnson watching on from the sidelines in chilly Auckland. Cronulla to drop the ball, give up penalties and grind their way to victory again.

Parramatta Eels vs Brisbane Broncos
Broncos. The loss of Clint Gutherson is really going to hurt the boys in blue and gold. Brisbane, meanwhile, come into this game in form, having run up 40 points last week. The role of Benji Marshall off the bench gives them a bit extra and with Ben Hunt firing, they will win here. Convincingly.

Newcastle Knights vs St George Illawarra Dragons
Dragons. This game spells danger for the Dragons, given the way they played against Newcastle a few weeks ago. Despite that, the Red V are starting to roll towards the finals. Gareth Widdop is beginning to recapture his best, and under pressure from the ninth-placed Panthers, the away side will be out to run up a cricket score – whether that happens or not is debatable, but they will win.

South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Canberra Raiders
Rabbitohs. I’ve just got a funny feeling last week’s loss will break Canberra. They watched their season slip away, unable to get past Melbourne. Souths proved what they could against a weak defence when they put 40 on the Panthers a few weeks ago, and they could do similar here.

Sydney Roosters vs North Queensland Cowboys
Cowboys. The Townsville-based club have surprised me since Thurston was injured. They have kept playing good footy, and even away from home the Roosters just haven’t convinced me at all this season, despite sitting where they are on the ladder. No one looks convincing compared to Melbourne, but the Roosters in particular always strike me as a bottom-of-the-eight side, rather than a top-four one.

(AAP Image/Michael Chambers)

Melbourne Storm vs Manly Sea Eagles
Storm. You know, this is a tough game. No Slater and presumably, no Cameron Smith. With the way Manly were hammered last week, they will want to bounce back, but the Storm have proven over the Origin period they can handle it. Cooper Cronk and Cameron Munster will still be out there, and their defence will see to it that they get the job done.

Gold Coast Titans vs Wests Tigers
Titans. It’s almost a no-brainer. The Titans’ season might appear over (as it is for seven clubs now) but they will pick up a win against a side destined to finish in the bottom two.

Round 21TimGregMaryScottThe Crowd
PAN v BULBULPANPANPANPAN
WAR v SHAWARSHASHASHASHA
EEL v BROBROBROEELBROBRO
KNI v DRADRADRADRADRADRA
RAB v RAIRABRABRAIRABRAB
ROO v COWCOWCOWCOWCOWCOW
STO v SEASEASTOSEASTOSTO
TIT v TIGTITTITTITTITTIT
Last week57687
Total8394868799

Now it’s your turn to try and beat the experts. Using the form below, select your tips for the weekend ahead and we will have the results at 5pm (AEST) this afternoon.

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