NRL Round 25 and NRLW Round 5: Eight into four won’t go!


For general use


Watch out for some exciting footy as we get into the last three rounds of the season. Technically speaking there are still 12 teams in the hunt for 8 finals places. The top four look fairly set although the Sharks have hopes of still making that level. The draw for the last three rounds has several of the contenders facing off against each other, so that’s where we can expect action aplenty.



The Cowboys v Sharks clash tonight is one of those key games. The Cowboys are on the cusp of the eight and can’t afford to lose; the Sharks want fourth spot and so they have heaps of incentive too. The Cowboys come into the game fresh off the bye; the Sharks returned to form in belting the Titans. The Sharks are battling mixed sentiments with the retirement of Wade Graham looming but undercurrents of disruption with doubts over the future of Matt Moylan at the club. Does it come down to the old cliché – who wants it most? Toss of the coin…Cowboys.


The Warriors are looking good for their top four spot with three expected wins to round out the season against this week’s opponent, the Sea Eagles, followed by games against the Dragons and Dolphins. They’re rolling along very nicely, thank you very much, and the wave should continue tomorrow night. The Sea Eagles have been honest triers but without the X-factor of Turbo and up against an in-form opponent, I can’t see them winning. Back the Warriors.


If Mitchell Moses was fit this would be the match of the round. But without him I fear that the Eels will struggle against a Roosters outfit that seems to have, finally, found a bit of self-belief. Obviously it’s a four point game and the loser will be gone for the season. The Roosters have been dealt a huge favour at the right time and I expect they’ll cash in to keep their slim hopes alive for at least another week.


The Wests Tigers v Dolphins game may well draw the worst crowd of the season. 14th v 17th is hardly attractive. If it was played at Dolphin Oval they’d be packed in, such is the level of local support. But away, they won’t bring anyone through the turnstiles and Wests Tigers fans are thinking of next year (using multiple, plaintive prayers). I’ll go with the Dolphins.


This week it’s the Titans turn to be overrun by the Panthers. The best news for the Titans this week was the re-signing of Tino and Fifita to long term deals. But that’s about where it ends for now. Penrith by how far?


The Dragons are another team that can’t wait for the season to end. Their punishment this week is to come up against a Storm outfit that seems to be finding form and regaining key players at just the right time. Their demolition of the Raiders was ominous. If Papenhuyzen can get a game or two under his belt before the finals they’ll be even more dangerous. Storm easily.


The Knights v Rabbitohs game is now the match of the round, another key game in shaping the finals list. The Knights have surged in recent times, probably beyond the dreams of even their own fans; the Rabbitohs have spluttered their way through the past 10 weeks or so and got a bit lucky last week with the Walker ‘try’. Perhaps they should use it as an omen and ride their luck. A loss here is not the end of the world for either side but Souths have the more to lose. If that can’t ignite them then I don’t know what will. My gut feeling is that the Knights are due for a miss and so I’ll go with the Rabbitohs.


The Raiders meet the Bulldogs  at a fortuitous time for the men from the capital. They need a win for morale’s sake as well as to lock in a finals berth. Let’s just say that they can’t play any worse than last week! Neither can the Bulldogs who were a disgrace. What has happened to their rebuilding? I think they’ll be fodder for the Raiders.


The Broncos have the bye.


So my winners this week are the Cowboys, Warriors, Roosters, Dolphins, Panthers, Storm, Rabbitohs and Raiders. (I got 8/8 last week.)



Four games in and we sure have a tight ladder in the NRLW after a couple more unexpected results last weekend. The Cowboys came alive, the Roosters re-emerged, the Knights were impressive and the Broncos showed a lot of courage under stress. On the other hand, the Titans were somewhat exposed and the Wests Tigers looked wobbly.


Having found their feet, the Cowboys will be looking to continue their run against the struggling Sharks. Renewed confidence versus shot confidence. It’s hard to see this one going any other way than a Cowboys win.


The started-well-but-have-fallen-in-a-bit-of-hole Wests Tigers meet the underperforming Dragons in a game that means a lot to both sides. The Tigers will surely be wanting to rediscover that early season form; the Dragons will just be hoping to find some form. I’ll go with the Wests Tigers.


The Titans were less than impressive last week while the Roosters rediscovered their mojo big time. That powerful list of theirs simply has to be a winner while the more modest talent of the Titans is enough for mid-table status but hardly more. I’m going for the Roosters in this one.


The match of the round sees the resurgent Knights up against a Broncos outfit that seems to have regained their spirit and self-belief. A couple of suspensions will hurt them this week, just at the wrong time. On that basis, I’ll go with the Knights.


The Raiders have been the recent surprise packet with consecutive wins while the Eels are languishing at the bottom of the table. I can’t see things changing much with their respective trajectories, so get on the Raiders.


So my winners this week are the Cowboys, Wests Tigers, Roosters, Knights and Raiders. (I got 3/5 last week.)



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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.


  1. roger lowrey says

    Ian, as I think I told you some time ago, my old Geography teacher at Chanel College Geelong was Father Arthur Moynihan who was 5/8th for South Sydney in their loss to St George in the “brutal” 1949 Grand Final.

    Father Arthur always told us, as senior students, there were three important aspects we had to take into our adult lives. Always go to Mass, always vote Labor and always barrack for South Sydney.

    RIP Arthur… but meanwhile over the weekend, go you good Rabbitohs!


  2. Russel Hansen says

    Great story about Father Arthur Moynihan, Roger!

    & what a world view!

    I live in hope for the RABBITOHS tomorrow v the Knights, however I am not confident at all.

    A Sunday afternoon surprise win would be great!

    Glory Glory

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