Post Game Tweet: #NRL FNF Recap: In a game where both teams had big leads - Newcastle end up in front when it mattered 30-22 at fulltime. Broncos scoreless in 2nd half. > Pre-Game Dribble:Brisbane didn't play terribly in their 36-18 loss to the Bulldogs but they need to improve to beat a Newcastle side that will be eager to make up for their appalling loss to Cronulla. The Broncos have lost hooker Andrew McCullough which is a blow to their ruck plays but Alex Glenn will have the mandate to feed Darren Lockyer early and often. Israel Folau v Junior Sau will be a great matchup and the Broncos have made a superb signing in Shane Tronc who didn't miss a beat in his NRL return. Broncos at home but the Knights will push them. > Selection News:Brisbane have lost hooker Andrew McCullough and winger Antonio Winterstein to injury and dropped Gerard Beale - Alex Glenn moves to hooker, Denan Kemp comes onto the wing and Corey Norman & Steve Michaels are on the bench. New signing Shane Tronc will start at prop after coming off the bench v Canterbury. The Knights have named Zeb Taia after he was a late inclusion v Cronulla and Dan Tolar will start at prop. Steven Simpson is out with Mark Taufua at lock. Ben Cross must be in some doubt after a serious head knock last week.
>NRL Tweet's Prediction:Broncos by 2 = INCORRECT
26-10Eels defeated Bulldogs
Post Game Tweet: #NRL FNF Recap: The Eels have their 2nd phase play flowing & we're seeing them come to life as a result. Defeat understrength Bulldogs 26-10 at ANZ. > Pre-Game Dribble:Parramatta are strong favourites after Canterbury's injury toll was revealed. No Ben Hannant, Josh Morris, Yileen Gordon or Ben Roberts for a few weeks and it'll be tough for the Dogs to cope without so many key players. With David Stagg also in doubt - how can you pick Canterbury? Well you can't be that confident in the Eels after being nothing more than solid v Nth Qld... still they've got their second phase play back and their best players were their best players. Eels the tip. > Selection News:Eric Grothe has not returned from injury as Parramatta retain the same 17 that defeated North Queensland. Canterbury on the other hand have injuries a-go-go. Ben Hannant, Josh Morris, Yileen Gordon & Ben Roberts are all OUT - with Michael Hodgson, Junior Tia-Kilifi, Gary Warburton & Blake Green starting. Tim Browne, Jarrad Hickey & Mickey Paea join the bench alongside the surprisingly unelevated Ben Barba. David Stagg is in some doubt after experiencing nerve pain late in the Broncos game.
>NRL Tweet's Prediction:Eels by 2 = CORRECT
16-23Warriors lost to Raiders
Post Game Tweet: #NRL Sat Recap: What the Raiders held onto a match they led by a big margin at Halftime? Shock Horror! Canberra get vital away win 23-16 over Warriors. > Pre-Game Dribble:Canberra threw away another game they led by plenty at halftime and when your coach says the following after the match - any Raiders fan has to be concerned about how the tactics change at the break. "In all 3 leads (v Brisbane, Tigers & Souths) we've talked about the same thing..." But the Warriors were blown away by the Storm at Etihad... in fact they were so far out of the contest it wasn't funny. Although the Warriors are at home one can't help but think that Furner might encourage his team to do something different at halftime should the Raiders lead this week - so Canberra it is... even on the road. > Selection News:Ivan Cleary has gone back to what worked for the Warriors early in the season with Wade McKinnon benched for Lance Hohaia at fullback and Joel Moon at five-eighth. Brent Tate is back in the centres and Patrick Ah Van goes onto the wing. Jacob Lillyman is out and Jeremy Latimore joins the bench. For Canberra - David Furner has made cosmetic changes to the bench adding an actual halfback in Marc Herbert and prop Troy Thompson to the mix. Adam Mogg stays at half despite being replaced with 30 minutes left due to 'injury' v South Sydney.
>NRL Tweet's Prediction: Raiders by 4 = CORRECT
38-24Titans defeated Panthers
Post Game Tweet: #NRL Sat Recap: If you like a try-fest this game was for you. The Titans got Scott Prince back & took control of the game in the 2nd half en route to 38-24 win. > Pre-Game Dribble: Two teams who will be eager to show off their premiership credentials at Skilled Stadium on Saturday Night. The Titans stole their Round 7 match from Manly with two tries in the final ten minutes, while the Panthers were impressive defeating the Wests Tigers at CUA. Luke Lewis is in superb form as he pushes for representative jumpers and the Penrith go-forward machine is in top gear... but if the Titans get Scott Prince back I'll be tipping them at home. > Selection News:Scott Prince is the big inclusion we EXPECT to see come Saturday Night. He was close to playing Manly apparently and he would be the only change to the Titans lineup. Penrith have just one change with Junior Paulo making way for Masada Iosefa on the bench and have named Wade Graham as 18th man.
>NRL Tweet's Prediction:Titans by 7 = CORRECT
6-34Cowboys lost to Storm
Post Game Tweet: #NRL Sat Recap: Cowboys lose Thurston to another shoulder injury after 12 minutes but it was all Melbourne in a 34-6 shellacking at Dairy Farmers. > Pre-Game Dribble:North Queensland are a better team with Johnathan Thurston in a dinner suit but even the superstar in evening wear wasn't enough to hold onto a 18-12 lead at home. Thurston will play but he cannot tackle or run the ball with his shoulder injury. Melbourne were unstoppable crushing the Warriors 40-6 and will be able to play care-free football the rest of the year... if mentally they can get over the hump of nothing to show for the last few years (not easy) they'll be the best team to watch for the rest of the season. And if you saw them play the Warriors - it'll be one wild ride! Storm by plenty. > Selection News:Johnathan Thurston has a second game in a dinner suit ahead of him but it won't be alongside Ray Thompson who was surprisingly dumped for Grant Rovelli. Willie Tupou supplants John Williams and Leeson Ah Mau replaces brother Isaak on the bench. Antonio Kaufusi gets a reprieve for the injured Carl Webb and Dane Hogan is 18th man. Melbourne rang the changes before the Warriors game and youngsters Matt Duffie & Willie Isa hold their spots. Gareth Widdop makes way for Greg Inglis, while Brett White (suspension) and Aiden Tolman (injury) are replaced by Jesse Bromwich and Kevin Proctor. Hep Cahill is 18th man.
>NRL Tweet's Prediction:Storm by 16 = CORRECT
38-0Dragons defeated Sharks
Post Game Tweet: #NRL Sat Recap: Did the Sharks even turn up? St.George-Illawarra pound Cronulla 38-0 with Darius Boyd & Brett Morris nothing short of outstanding. > Pre-Game Dribble:St.George-Illawarra held the Roosters at bay on ANZAC Day and then ran over them in the second half. They roll forward up front and play off the strength of their left side combinations... and have a great defence. That wins in today's game... and unless the Sharks can muster up an 80 minutes that is twice as good as what they showed against Newcastle - it'll be the 6-1 Dragons becoming the 7-1 Dragons. And Ben Pomeroy is back for the Sharks... so there's no way I'm picking Cronulla. > Selection News:No changes for the 6-1 Dragons. Cronulla have named Ben Pomeroy for an early return from a hand injury after his replacement Dean Collis was injured in his first game back from injury. Paul Aiton re-joins the bench after missing the Knights game but Stuart Flanagan remains part of the extended reserves list.
>NRL Tweet's Prediction:Dragons by 10 = CORRECT
8-12Tigers lost to Roosters
Post Game Tweet: #NRL Sun Recap: Wests Tigers had this game in the bag... then with ten minutes left got the wobbles & the Roosters pounced for a 12-8 victory. > Pre-Game Dribble:Robbie Farah at HALFBACK! No that's not a typo and it is probably not how the Tigers will lineup come Sunday. Western Suburbs NSW Cup veteran Nathan Waters will make his NRL debut and look for him to play at #7 for the Tigers this week. Tim Sheens might be looking to pull off the same trick Ricky Stuart did last year plucking Scott Porter from the NSW Cup to run his side. Actually on second thoughts maybe Sheens should just try signing Porter. Either way Waters might be a real surprise... The Roosters tried hard on ANZAC Day to keep with the Dragons but the better team won on the day and proved yet again that without the lion's share of possession the Roosters can't beat good teams. Plus they won't have Mitchell Pearce so our tip is the Tigers at Campbelltown for the first time this season. > Selection News:Tim Sheens moves Robbie Farah to halfback although expect Daniel Fitzhenry to play there when Mitch Brown comes off the bench (if Brown doesn't start). Liam Fulton named at hooker and Mark Flanagan starts in the second row. NSW Cup veteran Nathan Waters might get a chance off the bench to play in the halves after being named for his debut. The Roosters lose Mitchell Pearce to a shoulder injury but Todd Carney moves to halfback and Anthony Minichiello goes to fullback. Phil Graham shifts to the wing and Ben Jones starts at centre.
>NRL Tweet's Prediction: Tigers by 7 = INCORRECT
22-30Rabbitohs lost to Sea Eagles
Post Game Tweet: #NRL Sun Recap: Manly got the job done 30-22 but led 30-6 with 20 mins to play. Still a win is a win so they won't complain. Souths asleep for most of the match. > Pre-Game Dribble: Manly butchered their game against the Titans - blowing a 12 point lead with ten minutes left and given the game was at Brookvale... well let's just say I'd be surprised if the dressing room door is still on its hinges. Souths had their game against Canberra handed to them by a deplorable 2nd half game plan from the hosts and will get a lot of confidence from the fact that despite not playing that well - they turned around a 24-6 deficit to win. Dave Taylor and John Sutton stepped up for the Bunnies in that one and will need to do so again as the Manly halves - Kieran Foran & Trent Hodkinson - are rapidly becoming difference makers for the Manly team. ANZ has never held much of a home ground advantage for anyone who plays there so my leaning towards Manly looking at the teams gives them my tip. > Selection News:South Sydney retain the same 17 that beat Canberra... well the 16 that beat Canberra as Jason Clark didn't get on the field. Watch for a late bid by either Roy Asotasi or Michael Crocker to play. Manly played with 16 as well against the Gold Coast with rookie Jamie Buhrer still yet to taste any NRL action despite being on the bench for the last two games... he now gives way to Matt Cross in the 17.
>NRL Tweet's Prediction: Sea Eagles by 8 = CORRECT