NRL ROUND 25 TIPPING PREVIEW
By W D Nicolson
According to the Rugby League news cycle - Luke Lewis underwent surgery on his neck to attack a cancerous thyroid and as of right now, he's feeling good and on the road to recovery.
That's great news and sadly the world of Twitter has evidently turned what should have been comforting news into a 'he said, she said' deal about who broke the story first...
Gee that's disheartening... Twitter's main use is sharing information, if you want an 'exclusive' go on 'A Current Affair' or 'Today Tonight' and you will not be missed.
Anyhoo... there was a huge story worth talking about at length on Tuesday and NOT The Footy Show has the low-down on the ARLC's long wished for $1 billion deal.
Anyway to the footy and Round 24.
The premiership credentials of a couple of current pretenders get a firm test this weekend when the Tigers visit the Dogs, the Broncos host the Storm and the Sharks face the Rabbitohs.
All three are 'in' the Top 8 but they need big scalps pronto to give them any sort of confidence of winning more than one game when the Finals start.
The other two teams still in contention for a playoff spot - Canberra and Newcastle, simply have to beat the Roosters and Sea Eagles respectively to stay in the hunt.
But in truth neither have a sniff it seems even if they make it to the dance.
There's more on the playoff race and plenty of footy talk on this week's NOT The Footy Show Podcast.
NOT The Footy Show delivers plenty of guests - General Manager of Media Tara White from the Newcastle Knights, Reece Carter, Jake Hauritz and Matthew Duncan join Warrick Nicolson for Episode 121.
The Gyng who stole Rugby League, Was the TV Money worth handing back control to Channel 9? Hornby retires, McClennan sacked, Daley the new coach of NSW and we have our full Round 25 Preview and a couple of sneaky bets from our team.
Grab the 68 minute Podcast right here
Be sure to check all the Team news on the NRL Injured List which is updated every Tuesday afternoon - and the Podcast has plenty of insight on those selections and your Late Mail and Panel Picks are below.
| Full Round 25 Tips are Sea Eagles by 4, Bulldogs by 10, Titans by 6, Dragons by 4, Cowboys by 7, Tigers by 10, Rabbitohs by 10, Storm by 12.
| My 'Locks' are Souths and Melbourne; My 'Less than Confidents' are Bulldogs, Tigers, Titans and Cowboys, while My 'Don't put the house on Its' are the Sea Eagles and Dragons..
Good luck with that.
All the panel's picks are below with their Special Fried Rice selections - which is our lock of the week but we can't choose the same team.
23/08 Odds are courtesy of Sportingbet Australia
For some more insight into the markets check out NOT The Footy Show's resident betting maestro's site GT Tips http://www.gttips.co.uk
All Kick-Offs are LOCAL time.
Round 25 Late Mail...
If you have any reputable mail - Let me know via @NRLTweet
SEA EAGLES $1.48 v $2.72 BRONCOS (+6.0)
Jason King is extremely unlikely, so expect Joe Galuvao or Darcy Lussick to start. Matt Ballin remains a serious doubt with a calf injury and Liam Foran is likely to be on standby. Jamie Buhrer expects to play. The Broncos expect to risk Alex Glenn's hamstring and bring him off the bench, while Josh McGuire will play with an injured eye. That means Luke Capewell could miss out to an extra forward on the bench in Mitchell Dodds or Dunamis Lui.
| I love the Broncos with the start... but can't tip them head to head based on recent performances. The Sea Eagles will miss Ballin terribly if he can't play... that's the big worry from a tipping point of view.
RAIDERS (+4.0) $2.40 v $1.60 BULLDOGS
Canberra will be 1-17 after Tom Learoyd-Lahrs passed his fitness test. The Dogs are said to be resting Michael Ennis so they're specials now... Joel Romelo and David Stagg will share the hooking duties. There is talk there could be other changes but Jonathan Wright's the only confirmed chance to miss due to paternal duties and Aiden Tolman, Ben Barba and Krisnan Inu are all still rumours at this stage. Bryson Goodwin will head to Canberra as cover.
| Canberra can't beat the Dogs if the Dogs stay in decent form, Canberra's 3 match winning streak is a farce - they aren't playing well. Dogs win by quite a few if Ben Barba plays.
PANTHERS (+4.5) $2.50 v $1.56 TITANS
Travis Robinson remains a chance to replace Brad Tighe in the centres, while Adam 'Cotton' Docker is expected to play his 2nd game in a row on the bench. The Titans may well rest Greg Bird and Nate Myles (both carrying injuries) if the Broncos and Raiders win on Friday night as those results would consign the Titans to also-ran status for 2012. Look for more info on Friday as to who travelled with the Titans.
| Great to see a game at 3:30pm on a Saturday... pity it is these two teams. Titans win for sure if Brisbane and Canberra lose, but if they have key guys pull out late due to their finals chances diminishing - don't mind the Panthers with the start.
DRAGONS $1.48 v $2.72 WARRIORS (+6.0)
Ben Hornby did an ankle but wants to play his last game at Wollongong and Dean Young's knee is in the same boat. Jack Stockwell is on standby for Young, while Beau Scott is probably only a chance for a Round 26 farewell. The Warriors are unlikely to bring Simon Mannering back until Round 26 but who knows with a new coach in charge, that also means Konrad Hurrell (if fit enough) would likely start for Ben Henry or Lewis Brown in the centres.
| Who really cares? Both teams are average and the Warriors can score points so... stuff it give the Dragons the benefit of the doubt at home.
COWBOYS $1.30 v $3.65 KNIGHTS (+10.0)
Matthew Bowen should shake an arm injury off and play given the Cowboys are still a chance at Top 4 spot but Ricky Thorby is out and Joel Riethmuller is expected to take his place on the bench. Michael Morgan's wrist and head injuries are a worry but at this stage he will play, James Segeyaro could come in either alongside Anthony Mitchell on the bench or replacing Aaron Payne who would shift to halfback if Morgan is out. The Knights take Kevin Naiqama to Newcastle as cover for James McManus - should the veteran winger (cheekbone) pull up sore after contact work this week.
| Newcastle might have some hope if Canberra and Brisbane lose on Friday, but if that doesn't happen the Cows could win by 20.
ROOSTERS (+4.5) $2.50 v $1.56 TIGERS
Anthony Minichiello is going to play after somehow beating a striking charge that had 3 weeks written all over Josh Dugan's face last week... Aidan Guerra should return from an ankle injury in the second row and don't be shocked if Daniel Tupou is replaced before kick-off. The Tigers won't have Robbie Farah who is out with a hand injury, so Masada Iosefa could start with Liam Fulton at five-eighth and Tim Moltzen moving to the bench. Ray Cashmere may also be a late addition to the bench. Chris Lawrence should be good to go.
| The Tigers all but secure a Top 8 spot with a win here and they will beat the Roosters - even without Farah.
RABBITOHS $1.18 v $5.15 EELS (+13.5)
Issac Luke is at this stage still playing for North Sydney and Jason Clark is expected to get the final bench spot ahead of Justin Hunt and Dave Tyrrell. The Eels should be 1-17 with Willie Tonga the only long shot hope of making a late bid to play.
| South Sydney need to right the ship after two losses in a row... a Top 4 spot could depend on this result so they should. Parra could have a crack but won't stick with Souths if the home team is fair dinkum.
STORM $1.42 v $2.95 SHARKS (+7.5)
If the Storm win this game they can sew up at least 2nd spot, so expect all their stars to play. There may be a late shuffle of the forward pack and the bench, but only Jaiman Lowe looks in any danger of being replaced by Rory Kostjasyn from outside of the squad. Cronulla have concerns over Ben Ross and his hand but Ben Pomeroy is no hope. Wade Graham may not be risked til next week, and Nathan Gardner returns from injury in NSW Cup.
| Melbourne are a team that can win the comp... the Sharks are not. Tip accordingly.
For more on how we see the Weekend unfolding, check out the Podcast and Preview below.
For game-specific Late Mail every week - check back on Friday (or if there's an earlier game, earlier) for all your tipping and fantasy game needs.
IN THE PODCAST...
The Gyng who stole Rugby League...
ARLC get the TV Rights cash but not control.
NOT The Footy Show Episode 121 dissects the Pros and Cons of the $1 billion TV Deal between the ARLC, Fox Sports and the master puppeteers: Channel 9 and that extremely affable executive David 'The Grinch' Gyngell.
Tara White, the General Manager of Media at the Newcastle Knights joins us to talk about Knights Digital Crusade and how Wayne Bennett is reaching out to Newcastle via the website.
So join host Warrick Nicolson and guests Reece Carter, Jake Hauritz and Matthew Duncan as they talk TV Rights, Ben Hornby, Laurie Daley as NSW Coach, Brian McClennan gone from the Warriors and Rob Brough's foray into life after Family Feud. And as always we give you a full odds preview of Round 25 with all our picks and Special Fried Rice selections.
NOT The Footy Show 68 minutes of everything you've come to expect from us... minus Maria, Nic, DC and Eyes.
NOT The Footy Show Episode 121
Round 25 NRL Preview - Released Wednesday August 22, 2012
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LIKE the show on Facebook for all the latest updates. NOT The Footy Show will release another Podcast next Wednesday night - August 29 with our Round 26 Preview.