Only two teams had the bye in Round 12 of the NRL. Canberra & Newcastle got the week off while the majority of the 14 other clubs faced the tough task of having their State of Origin players back up from Game 1 on Wednesday Night.
|State of Origin Game One - RECAPPED TO THE MAX! |All the Round 11 Moments including Wazza's report from WIN Stadium's final home game before they redevelop the Western Stand. |Three Big Talking Points - >Ricky Stuart is leaving Cronulla, what next for the Sharks? > Season Ending Injuries - Dan Hunt out for Dragons, who else isn't coming back in 2010? > Penrith's mastery of the Bulldogs in the play the ball a Good or Bad Thing for Rugby League? |NRL Tweet Player of the Year Leaderboard after 11 Rounds. |Twitter Time - We answer Questions from the followers of the NRL Tweet. |Plus all our Tips + Previews of NRL Round 12, Our tipping records so far, Our Special Fried Rice Picks for Round 12. |Our not to be missed Fantasy NRL Talk. | When you find a better podcast for all your Rugby League entertainment - tell us so we can copy what they do. > Cheers Waz & Nic - NOT The Footy Show <
DRAGONS 30: B Hornby, B Morris, K Stanley, J Nightingale, J Soward Tries; J Soward 5/6 Goals. EELS 0: No Tries or Goals. Post Game Tweets: #NRL FNF Recap: Darius Boyd briilaint again, as the St.George-Illawarra Dragons withstand early Parramatta resistence to run away 30-0 victors at Kogarah. Rd 12 Notes from WIN Jubilee: Nathan Hindmarsh's withdrawal after the warm-ups threw the Eels into chaos... they were able to pick another player in his spot but he wasn't replaceable. | Darius Boyd has evolved into a game-changning player who can't score a try to save his life... but geesh he's good doing everything else! | Ben Hornby & Luke Priddis are excellent veterans who get the job done each week. | Parramatta's effort in the first half went unrewarded but their lack of creativity in attack outside of Jarryd Hayne's spark and Feleti Mateo's offloads is painful to watch. | Jason Nightingale's ability to spell his two Origin reps Boyd & Brett Morris for kick returns would have been greatly appreciated. | Jamie Soward had one of his opportunistic games (he had about 7 or 8 in 2009) and needs to build on this performance next week. | The front row battle was fairly even but the Dragons' are tough to run down when they get a lead. | Follow The NRL Tweet for more.
Market Watch: STI $1.50 v PAR $2.60
Tuesday's Preview: St.George-Illawarra will welcome their cavalry back from Origin after being outplayed by the Raiders but for Parramatta they were horrendous without their knight in shining armour Jarryd Hayne. This is the Dragons first game at Kogarah in 2010 and unless the rain keeps up - should be a sellout with the Eels coming to visit. If this was at Parramatta you'd give the Eels more than a sniff but when they play on the road it is hard to be confident they will turn up. Dragons at home in this one. Selection & Fantasy News 26/5 (with help from SMH's Late Mail):St.George-Illawarra get 6 Origin players back (Boyd, Morris, Cooper, Weyman, Costigan & Creagh) while Beau Scott returns from a knee injury. Making way are Kalifa FaiFai-Loa, Jake Marketo, Michael Lett and Ricky Thorby, while Nick Emmett & Dan Hunt are injured. The Eels look set to get Jarryd Hayne back but Timana Tahu is no certainty to backup with an ankle injury and Joel Reddy is also in doubt despite being named. Expect Krisnan Inu to start while Jonathan Wright might be the late call up for a vacant outside backs spot if Ben Smith isn't shifted to the centres. Nathan Hindmarsh picked up a sternum injury v Cronulla and is in doubt. 27/5 Update: Origin Injuries: Matt Cooper is out with a hip injury - Kyle Stanley will start at centre, Timana Tahu may have re-aggravated his ankle injury and is in serious doubt.
NRL Tweet's Prediction: Dragons by 7 = CORRECT
50-6Tigers defeated Warriors
TIGERS 50: G Daniela 3, L Tuqiri 2, B Ryan, R Farah, C Lawrence, M Flanagan Tries; B Marshall 7/9 Goals. WARRIORS 6: J Moon Try; B Seymour 1/1 Goal. Post Game Tweets: #NRL FNF Recap:Ever doubted Wests Tigers' ability to score points? Down 6-4 after 37 minutes they beat the Warriors 50-6. Benji Marshall in everything. Rd 12 Notes from Campbelltown: Geoff Daniela scored a natural hat-trick (that is 3 straight tries) and had 2 Try Assists... so you could say he went alright. Shame he's the logical choice to make way for Wade McKinnon. | The Tigers scored 4 points in the first 37 minutes then 46 in the next 43 minutes. | Robbie Farah & Benji Marshall can take the Tigers as far as their defence lets them. They are both as good as any in the game. | The Warriors were blown away in the first ten minutes of the 2nd half after leaking two tries in 3 minutes before halftime - and they weren't that bad amazingly enough. | Gareth Ellis is one heck of a footballer and young Simon Dwyer is a genuine talent. | When you see banks of vacant seats between the 20m lines you know ticket prices are too high. | If some coaches would have the guts that Tim Sheens has and give his players the green light to use set moves ALL THE TIME - the NRL would be high class entertainment week in week out. | Follow The NRL Tweet for more.
Market Watch: WTG $1.48 v WAR $2.65
Tuesday's Preview: Breaking News: The Wests Tigers have signed Wade McKinnon for the rest of 2010 after the Warriors granted him an immediate release. McKinnon will not however play on Friday Night as per the conditions of the release. The good news with all this rain in Sydney during the week is that the Tigers should be used to it after beating Newcastle in a deluge last Friday. The bad news is the Warriors play in conditions like this regularly and the Tigers legs might be heavy. Benji Marshall got the plaudits but Robbie Farah was the driving force behind the Tigers win at Newcastle but defensively they still look ordinary. The Warriors did a good job to defeat a South Sydney side that arrived in Auckland full of confidence but the loss of prop Sam Rapira is significant. If this was in Auckland you take the Warriors... but it's at Campbelltown to Tigers it is. Selection & Fantasy News 26/5 (with help from SMH's Late Mail):Westrs Tigers have made no changes to the team that defeated Newcastle - although rookie Josh Davis is listed on an extended bench for the second week in a row. The Warriors have lost prop Sam Rapira for at least 6 weeks with a patella injury in his knee - but considering it was thought to be a torn ACL - the Warriors will gladly take the new diagnosis. Five-eighth James Maloney left the game with Souths with a back injury and is in severe doubt - look for either Joel Moon to shift straight into replace him or Lance Hohaia to move to five-eighth and Kevin Locke to play fullback. Jeremy Latimore takes Rapira's spot in the squad. Still no Steven Price for the Warriors. No players are involved in Origin 1. 27/5 Update: Micheal Luck & James Maloney have been ruled out of this one with Sione Lousi & Joel Moon to replace them.
NRL Tweet's Prediction: Tigers by 4 = CORRECT
4-20Sharks lost to Broncos
BRONCOS 20: I Folau, D Lockyer, A Winterstein Tries; C Parker 4/4 Goals. SHARKS 4: T Tautai Try; N Gardner 0/1 Goal. Post Game Tweets: #NRL Sat Recap: Brisbane just too good for the Sharks - winning 20-4 at Toyota. Tim Smith has an absolute shocker for Cronulla. Rd 12 Notes From Toyota: Darren Lockyer is a champion... his long kicking game is the best in the competition and his effort to stop Trent Barrett was outstanding. | Trent Barrett tried hard to spark his team but he's lost the class he once had early in his career. | Matt Gillett is the most exciting backrow prospect at the Broncos since Dane Carlaw. | Tim Smith was awful for the Sharks... his two glory boy kicks when the pass was the ONLY option probably cost the Sharks a chance to win. | NRL Stats have some shockers but how Smith didn't register an error for his forward pass to Barrett in the 2nd half is a total mystery. | Since adding Shane Tronc the Broncos finally have a decent front row - and the benefits are there for all to see. | Corey Parker won't get a chance in Origin II (unless Nate Myles or Sam Thaiday are moved to the front row) but it won't be from lack of effort. | Has Cronulla had a night home game without rain in 2010? | Follow The NRL Tweet for more.
Market Watch: CRO $2.25 v BRI $1.65 Tuesday's Preview: Cronulla won just their 3rd game in 2010 by beating Parramatta and Coach Ricky Stuart resigned... Technically Stuart will coach for the rest of the season but if he decides to resign after a win - he's going to leave the country if they lose against the Broncos. The visitors had their first bye and only have Sam Thaiday, Israel Folau & Darren Lockyer backing up from Origin 1 - plus they have a fully fit roster (outside of Justin Hodges) - so Brisbane get my tip this week... albeit on the road. Selection & Fantasy News 26/5 (with help from SMH's Late Mail):Cronulla have zero representation in Origin 1 and retain the same squad that beat the Eels at Parramatta Stadium. The Broncos have Thaiday, Folau & Lockyer to back up, while Ben Te'o is 18th man for Queensland. Brisbane also named Andrew McCullough and Nick Kenny to make their comebacks from injury off the bench, while Gerard Beale, Corey Norman & Ashton Sims are on the extended bench. 27/5 Update: All Brisbane's Origin players looked fine after the match and should play.
NRL Tweet's Prediction: Broncos by 8 = CORRECT
20-24Cowboys lost to Sea Eagles
SEA EAGLES 24: D Whare 3. M Robertson Tries; J Lyon 4/4 Goals. COWBOYS 20: A Graham 2, W Tupou, L O'Donnell Tries; J Thurston 2/4 Goals. Post Game Tweets: #NRL Sat Recap: North Queensland squander a thousand chances and Manly hold on 24-20 in Townsville. Cowboys remain less than the sum of their parts. Rd 12 Notes from Dairy Farmers: Who else got stung by the Cowboys last night? They are not going to win a comp with that group - no ticker when the game gets tough. | North Queensland seem to think they can run any team down... they can't and lose games far too early on to be a contender. | Manly defended well but the Cowboys' errors in the final 20 minutes were the reason the Sea Eagles won the match. | Trent Hodkinson stepped up in Kieran Foran's absence but Chris Bailey had his best game as a Sea Eagle at five-eighth. | Jamie Lyon went off injured in the 50th minute but Dean Whare completely outperformed his skipper on the left. | Speaking of Whare - new game, if someone says his name you've gotta say 'Is-he?' or 'Wolf' before your mates do - whoever isn't quick enough gets punched. | Manly's backrow (Watmough, Stewart & Rodney) were great but Des Hasler can't afford to squeeze them dry by playing them for 80 minutes every week. | Willie Mason was disappointing... after playing on the edges early on it looks like Coach Neil Henry has shifted him to the middle and the results aren't good. | Matthew Scott is one good footballer. | Follow The NRL Tweet for more.
Market Watch: NQL $2.25 v MAN $1.65 Tuesday's Preview:This is an intriguing game. Johnathan Thurston will have to backup for anyone to pick the Cowboys but if he does - I give North Queensland a very good chance of knocking off Manly. It's a desire thing. Manly are sitting pretty in 4th spot while the 14th placed Cowboys have to start winning games - and the best place to do that is at home. The only Cowboy not available is Steven Southern who was ruled out for the season mid-week and if the home side has any Top 8 aspirations they have to fire up and beat Manly in Townsville. At this stage you have to assume Thurston is playing - so I'm taking North Queensland in an upset. Selection & Fantasy News 26/5 (with help from SMH's Late Mail):North Queensland are almost at full strength for this clash (Steven Southern was ruled out for the season during the week) and have listed an extended bench of Anthony Watts, Leeson & Isaak Ah Mau, Carl Webb & Antonio Kaufusi. QLD reps Matt Scott, Willie Tonga & Johnathan Thurston will look to backup from Origin 1. The Sea Eagles have just three Origin players in Jamie Lyon, Matt Ballin & Anthony Watmough but Jason King has been in camp with the Blues this week. Kieran Foran will try and return from a hamstring strain but is in doubt. He was listed in the centres for the suspended Steven Matai with Chris Bailey picked at five-eighth. Expect Dean Whare to come in if Foran can't play. Terence Seu Seu will travel with Manly as cover for Ballin. 27/5 Update: Foran is still in doubt while all the Origin reps look likely to backup.
NRL Tweet's Prediction: Cowboys by 2 = INCORRECT
23-12Storm defeated Bulldogs
STORM 23: D Nielsen, C Stanley, L MacDougall, G Widdop Tries; G Widdop 3/4 Goals, B Finch 1 Field Goal. BULLDOGS 12: A Ryan, B Kimmorley Tries; B Goodwin 2/2 Goals. Post Game Tweets: #NRL Sun Recap: Cooper Cronk makes his case as Melbourne's most important player as he leads under-strength Storm to 23-12 win over Canterbury at AAMI. Rd 12 Notes From AAMI: Cooper Cronk is a truly great player. You can tell which players play the game simply because they are good at it and the ones who play it because they love it and are good at it. He's definitely in the latter category. | Sika Manu is going to be hot property on the Free Agent market if the Storm can't afford him. | Gareth Widdop was good at fullback but Stephen Kearney is on the good stuff if he honestly believes "If Widdop was at any other club in the NRL - he's certainly a first grader." | Is Dogs coach Kevin Moore serious? Complained Storm "have a high skill level & nothing to lose" yet he's the one that dropped Ben Barba. | Canterbury's game plan can look dreadful & brilliant in the space of 5 minutes... why they revert back to boring football when using their speed men works is a mystery. | Luke Patten is in the best form of his career... pity his team isn't. | Michael Ennis hooked with 20 minutes to go... always good. | Brett Finch confirmed he will not be at the Melbourne Storm in 2011. He has his detractors but he'd be a great addition to any NRL team. He was quality today. | Follow The NRL Tweet for more.
Market Watch: MEL $1.55 v CBY $2.45 Tuesday's Preview:I got stung by Canterbury playing right into Penrith's hands on Monday Night with a dull game plan and I'm not giving Bulldogs Coach Kevin Moore the benefit of the doubt by picking them again v Melbourne. The Storm may or may not have all their Origin stars backing up so picking this game so far out is tough. We'll probably revisit our choice come Friday Morning but assuming everyone is backing up - Melbourne are the pick even though the Bulldogs have to start winning games given they are 3-7. Selection & Fantasy News 26/5 (with help from SMH's Late Mail):Melbourne have just four State of Origin players in Billy Slater, Greg Inglis, Cooper Cronk & Brett White but given they have zero to play for at club level they might all get the weekend off. Slater & Inglis seem the most likely to rest but Cronk & White should play. The Storm have added Ryan Tandy & Jesse Bromwich to their bench and have lost Jeff Lima to suspension. As expected Cameron Smith wasn't named after being ruled out of Origin 1 with an elbow injury. Canterbury get Michael Ennis, Jamal Idris & Brett Kimmorley back from Origin duty, while Tim Browne has been added to the bench. Rookie Jake Foster was impressive in 15 minutes on Monday and has been listed to start in the second row. David Stagg is in some doubt after copping a knock to the head v Penrith. Surprisingly Ben Hannant was not named to make his return from injury. 27/5 Update: Greg Inglis could be doubtful as he didn't look 100% on Wednesday Night for Queensland and Billy Slater could get a rest for the Storm. Expect Cooper Cronk & Brett White to play, while Jamal Idris, Brett Kimmorley & Michael Ennis simply have to backup for the Bulldogs. 28/5 Update: Greg Inglis is highly unlikely to play with a hamstring strain, Chase Stanley is his replacement.
NRL Tweet's Prediction: Storm by 2 = CORRECT
42-22Rabbitohs defeated Panthers
RABBITOHS 42: R Wesser 2, D Taylr, J Sutton, I Luke, C Sandow, B Champion Tries; I Luke 7/8 Goals. PANTHERS 22: L Coote 2, B Tighe, G Cooper Tries; M Gordon 3/4 Goals. Post Game Tweets: #NRL Sun Recap: South Sydney impressive & disinterested in the one game - but more of the former than the latter sees them defeat Penrith 42-22 at ANZ. Rd 12 Notes From ANZ: The Bunnies pack stood up to be counted v Penrith - leaving no doubt they've got the depth to mount a charge in September. | John Sutton was the most influential player on the field but he has to stay involved in a game for the full 80 minutes - if he had the Panthers would never have got back in it. | Issac Luke is one strong little customer - Adrian Purtell obviously isn't. | Chris Sandow continues his streak as a fair-weather footballer - Souths have to find a way to make him battle in the trenches in close games with the same enthusiasm he shows when his team is 20 in front. | Lachlan Coote was a one man band against the Bunnies. | Penrith's game plan fell apart when their big men couldn't nullify the South Sydney big men in the play the ball - and they got exposed defensively as a result of never slowing the game down. | Luke Walsh has to start running the ball. | Rhys Wesser injected himself into the contest with great results for Souths. He's an asset when he's not making errors. | Sam Burgess, Ben Lowe & Dave Taylor are a great backrow combination - but where do Michael Crocker & Eddy Pettybourne get their game time? | Luke Stuart would not let NSW down if he got a long deserved chance at Origin football. | Follow The NRL Tweet for more.
Market Watch: SOU $1.91 v PEN $1.91 Tuesday's Preview:Penrith dominated the play the ball v Canterbury by getting a host of big men into every tackle and taking an eternity to get off the ball carrier. Sounds illegal? It isn't - not unless the Referees crack down on it early in a game - otherwise you'll see Penrith win a lot of games this year using the same tactic. To be honest I've got no issues with the tactic - but I don't expect the Referees to let it happen too often as we're all about 'speed speed speed' when it comes to the game. South Sydney will be disappointed they didn't win in Auckland but they were outplayed and Coach John Lang said as much. The upside is the Rabbitohs get Roy Asotasi back from injury - are at full strength and owner Russell Crowe will be watching on in the stands after his whirlwind press junket for Robin Hood. South Sydney might be too good at full strength - despite the way Penrith are playing at the moment and the fact they get Civoniceva, Lewis & Waterhouse back from Origin - the Bunnies are now my tip for this great clash at ANZ Stadium.
Selection & Fantasy News 26/5 (with help from SMH's Late Mail):South Sydney are at full strength for the first time in 2010. Roy Asotasi is named, while Michael Crocker will play just his second game of the year. Dave Taylor should back up from Origin and Jason Clark & Garret Crossman would expect to drop off the bench. The Panthers have Petero Civoniceva, Luke Lewis & Trent Waterhouse backing up from Origin, while a seven man bench features a few key contributors from the win over Canterbury - expect Wade Graham, Gavin Cooper & Frank Puletua to drop off. Although backup hooker Masada Iosefa could make way for Graham. 27/5 Update: All Penrith players looked fine post-Origin and should play, Dave Taylor barely made it on the field so he'll be lining up for sure for South Sydney. 28/5 Update: News through late Friday that Petero Civoniceva has a busted hand and is out. He will miss the game as will Shane Elford who is reported to have done his ACL.
NRL Tweet's Prediction: Rabbitohs by 2 = CORRECT
16-30Titans lost to Roosters
ROOSTERS 30: S Kenny-Dowall 2, FP Nu'uausala 2, A Minichiello, B Anasta Tries; T Carney 3/6 Goals. TITANS 16: D Mead 3 Tries; S Prince 2/3 Goals. Post Game Tweets: #NRL MNF Recap: Off the back of Braith Anasta's best game in years - the Sydney Roosters have upset the Gold Coast Titans 30-16 at Skilled. Rd 12 Notes From Skilled: Follow The NRL Tweet for more.
Market Watch: GLD $1.45 v SYD $2.75 Tuesday's Preview:Both the Titans and Roosters had a bye in Round 11 and only Ashley Harrison & Nate Myles will be backing up from State of Origin Game 1. Last start the Titans got smoked by the Broncos 28-6 and the Roosters were their own worst enemy going down 34-18 to the Knights. The big IN for the Roosters is Mitchell Pearce and that means Todd Carney goes back to fullback and Phil Graham is rightfully restored to the centres ahead of the ineffective Ben Jones. It makes the Roosters look more formidible but the Titans on home turf with Scott Prince enjoying two weeks to work with his backline - all points to a healthy Gold Coast victory.
Selection & Fantasy News 26/5 (with help from SMH's Late Mail):Clinton Toopi is back at centre for the Titans after missing Round 10 with injury - he replaces Josh Graham. The rest of the Titans squad is unchanged. The Roosters get Mitchell Pearce back at halfback, Todd Carney moves to fullback and Phil Graham moves back into the centres for Ben Jones to allow Anthony Minichiello back on the wing. Mose Masoe a giant prop makes his debut on the bench. Jake Friend is the starting hooker ahead of James Aubusson. 27/5 Update: Nate Myles & Ashley Harrison were outstanding for QLD and know their teams need them to back up - and they will. 28/5 Update: Joseph Tomane is in doubt for the Titans.