NRL Round 23 and NRLW Round 3: Some crazy stuff going on!


For general use



The NRLW didn’t take long to emulate the captivating season we’ve seen in the NRL this year! Two big upset wins to the Raiders and the Cowboys highlighted the round while the Wests Tigers are 2 from 2 in their debut season, not unlike the Dolphins’ start in the NRL.


On the other side of the coin, the NRLW Eels, 2022 grand finalists, are winless, as are the traditional powerhouse Broncos. Uncertainty seems to be the name of the game in the women’s competition. In the NRL, the Sharks seem to have lost the plot and the perennially potent Roosters seem to be gone for all money and are now the focus of rumbles about internal disharmony.


There’s some crazy stuff going down!


NRL Round 23

The Roosters v Sea Eagles game to start the round tonight presents the first selection headache. Last week, the Chooks got cooked by the Broncos while the Sea Eagles were hardly convincing against the Dragons. Neither side has set the competition alight this season but at least Manly has finals prospects if they keep winning. That might be enough to get them over the line. The odd moment of the game will see Matt Lodge run out for the Sea Eagles; a month ago he was playing for the Roosters. With no confidence whatsoever I’ll go with the Manly.


The Titans put on one of their best efforts for the season against the fancied Cowboys last week; the  Warriors have been going great guns and sit well up the ladder. The Warriors play this one away from home, not always one of their strengths. Another selection headache. I’m almost convinced by the form of the Warriors; I’m far from willing to jump on the Titans’ bandwagon. Warriors too good, I think.


The Panthers v Storm clash is the match of the round and a possible preview of the Grand Final. Penrith have been ruthless and the return of Cleary has only made them more lethal. The best of Melbourne is formidable, as we saw last week, but they still lack consistency. Maybe when ‘Paps’ returns in the near future we might see the missing piece added to the Storm jigsaw. I’ll stick with the Panthers.


Ah, another Cowboys v Broncos derby, always a closely fought battle. Brisbane are looking good and can turn a match in a 10-minute burst; the Cowboys embarrassed themselves last week and now lose Holmes for a month. Advantage Brisbane, you’d think. But the Cows always get up for this one, as the record well shows. I favour the Broncos because they’ve shown that they have gelled pretty well in both attack and defence.


The unlucky Dolphins host the charging Knights in what could be a high-scoring thriller. Newcastle have caught my eye a bit with their recent whole-hearted efforts; the Dolphins have conceded too many points early too often and then have to play catch-up. They might have the same problem this weekend. Newcastle for me.


Are the Rabbitohs on the surge to September? They were hardly convincing against the last placed Wests Tigers in Tamworth but the return of Mitchell made a difference. The Sharks were pitiful against the Panthers and seem to have lost the plot. Even Nicho looks out of ideas. I do think the surge is on now that Mitchell is back and the overall side looks better balanced, so I’ll go with Souths in the West.


The Eels simply have to win to stay alive in the finals race; the Dragons are long gone. That’s about the long and short of it. Parra comfortably.


The Raiders need to get back in the winner’s circle pronto after their woeful performance against the Knights. The Wests Tigers are counting down the games left – I just can’t find a single reason to suggest that they can win. Canberra.


So my winners for this week are the Sea Eagles, Warriors, Panthers, Broncos, Knights, Rabbitohs, Eels and Raiders.


The Bulldogs have the bye.


NRLW Round 3

The Roosters got a ‘wake up’ call last week in Canberra. Better now than later. The Dragons found some form against the Eels and looked far more capable than Round 1 suggested. But it’s hard to see a team with the talent available to the Roosters going down in successive weeks. The Roosters comfortably.


The Cowboys were impressive against the Knights last week; the Broncos should have won but couldn’t. In this first match between these teams, will we see a women’s version of the fierce competitiveness that we have come to expect from the men? Has their Broncos’ era passed by? I’ll go with the newcomers from the north, the Cow(girls)boys.


The Sharks are struggling; the Titans hung in and hung in last week before finding a winner in golden point. Will Tonegato play? Perhaps the experience of the Titans will be a factor – they know how to win while the Sharks are still trying to find out how. I’ll stick with experience and go for the Titans.


Neither the Eels nor the Knights looked good in Round 2, with the demise of the Knights a real surprise. They add English star Georgia Roche and Hannah Southwell makes her long-awaited return. That should be enough to get the Knights home and leave 2022 grand finalists the Eels winless after three games.


The Raiders and the Wests Tigers should put on a cracker if last week is anything to go by. Canberra dismantled the Roosters last week; the Wests Tigers are 2 from 2 so far, their wins coming in contrasting styles. Toss of the coin here…Wests Tigers to continue on their winning way.


So my winners for this week are the Roosters, Cowboys, Titans, Knights and Wests Tigers.



To see the full draw for Season 2023 click HERE.

To see the full draw for the 2023 NRLW season click HERE.

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About Ian Hauser

A relaxed, Noosa-based retiree with a (very) modest sporting CV. A loyal Queenslander, especially when it comes to cricket and rugby league. Enjoys travel, coffee and cake, reading, and has been known to appreciate a glass or three of wine. One of Footy Almanac's online editors who enjoys the occasional editing opportunity to assist aspiring writers.

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