NRL Tipping: Round 11 - What the experts say
With the season now 10 weeks old, many tipsters have found teams they trust and ones who they don't. If you still need help, or just want to reaffirm your decisions, read Steve Turner's previews and check out the tips from the NRL.com experts.
Panthers v Wests Tigers
Penrith welcome back Nathan Cleary from injury and the inclusion of the number seven will only strengthen the second-place Panthers who once again showed last weekend that they're a premiership contender. The Wests Tigers bounced back after three losses in a row with an impressive win over the Cowboys at Leichhardt, but it will be a tough trip to the foot of the mountains for Ivan Cleary's men.
Tip: Panthers by 8
Eels v Warriors
Parramatta were their own worst enemy last weekend in their loss to the Bulldogs after failing to capitalise on a number of chances, which has them now sitting on the bottom of the NRL ladder. The Warriors were poor in the loss to the Roosters after failing to score a point and it's a concern for Stephen Kearney's men because two of their three losses this year have come in the past three weeks against genuine title contenders who have scored 82 points collectively against them. The Eels are desperate and need a win for any hope of playing in September, while the Warriors will be hoping for the return of Shaun Johnson and Issac Luke.
Tip: Eels by 4
Broncos v Roosters
The Broncos found it tough going against Manly last weekend and trying to find a halves partner for Anthony Milford has been the issue all season for Wayne Bennett. It's a real concern and an area that they need to fix very quickly especially with Origin just around the corner. The Roosters found their groove last weekend and registered back-to-back wins for the first time since round three. Their attack was on song, their forwards were impressive and their stars fired. They will be too good for the Broncos.
Tip: Roosters by 10.
Titans v Knights
The Titans showed signs of improvement last weekend despite going down to the Storm, but injuries and the form of a number of high profile players has cruelled them all year and this week they face a young and enthusiastic Newcastle outfit. The Knights have slipped just outside the top eight and while they have only won half their games to date, they certainly have been in every contest. They have lost their last two, but I see a victory coming for the Novacastrians this week.
Tip: Knights by 10
Cowboys v Rabbitohs
The Cowboys have been a real disappointment this year. They are a much better side than what they have shown throughout the season. Once again errors cruelled them in their loss to the Tigers and this week's clash with the super impressive South Sydney doesn't get any better. The Bunnies showed they are the real deal after a great win over the ladder leading Dragons. Their forwards were superb, but Damien Cook was the star. The No.9 has been outstanding all year and the middle of the field is where the Bunnies will have so much joy this weekend.
Tip: Rabbitohs by 10
Storm v Sea Eagles
Melbourne have been dealt a big blow with Cameron Smith to miss the match through suspension. It's a big loss for the Storm, but they're a club that for many years have been able to deal with adversity. Manly finally registered a win after five weeks of disappointment. The Sea Eagles win was thanks largely to Jake and Tom Trbojevic as well as Api Koroisau. When Manly play well, it's off the back of these three men through the middle of the ruck. Manly are up and about after their win, while the Storm will be out to prove the critics wrong that they can win without Smith and throw in the rivalry, Saturday night's clash should be a beauty.
Tip: Storm by 6
Dragons v Raiders
It was a flat performance from the Dragons following their second loss of the season last weekend to the Rabbitohs. Their halves were put under pressure and they failed to build any pressure, an area that has been a strong point in 2018. I expect the Saints to bounce back against a Canberra side that forgot how to close out a match. The Raiders were up 16-8 into the second half against the Sharks and because of poor game management, Canberra were unable to get the win.
Tip: Dragons by 6
Sharks v Bulldogs
The Sharks once again dug deep and showed plenty of spirit thanks largely to Andrew Fifita and Valentine Holmes to make it four wins in a row after a come from behind win in Canberra. Fifita has been outstanding and will be the focus for Canterbury. Stop him and it goes a long way to winning. The Bulldogs left it late, but they did end a three-game losing streak with a win over the Eels. The win was built on defence and commitment, something they will need this week in the Shire. Canterbury just need to keep winning and will thrive on the occasion this weekend. Big crowd and Sunday afternoon footy, does it get any better?
Tip: Bulldogs by 8