NRL Tipping: Round 14 - What the experts say
The first post-Origin round of the 2018 Telstra Premiership season is upon us, with all 16 clubs back in action. Read what Steve Turner has to say about each match and also who the NRL.com experts are tipping.
Raiders v Panthers
Both teams come into the clash off the back of a bye. The Panthers will have four players backing up from State of Origin compared to the Raiders one, but Penrith sit on top of the table for a reason and they will have too much class for Canberra.
Tip: Panthers by 6
Titans v Rabbitohs
The Rabbitohs showed last weekend against a top eight side that they're capable of winning without their Origin players. The Titans have the second worse defence in the NRL and this week they come up against the best attack. It will be a struggle for the Gold Coast who and although South Sydney will have four players backing up from Origin, the red and green will be too good.
Tip: Rabbitohs by 8
Sea Eagles v Warriors
The Sea Eagles will be hoping the Trbojevic brothers come through game one of the State of Origin series unscathed. They certainly missed them last week in a very flat performance and it's a big game for DCE who would be disappointed with his performance last week. The Warriors are fresh off a bye and need a win to stay within the top four. They have only dropped one game away from home this year and I don't see it being defeat number two away from New Zealand.
Tip: Warriors by 6
Knights v Roosters
The Knights registered a good win last week against a poor Eels side, but they will need to go to another level if they're to get the win this weekend. Newcastle need more from the halves. Kalyn Ponga can't do it all! Their opposition are finally clicking into gear and showing signs of what everyone expected from them. The Roosters will welcome a number of stars back into their side this week following the opening game up Origin which will only strengthen them.
Tip: Roosters by 10
Eels v Cowboys
The Eels are in a hole and I don't see it getting any better this week. They have too many injuries and are a side who is extremely down on confidence. Brad Arthur needs a miracle from his men this weekend. The Cowboys were impressive last weekend thanks to Thurston and Taumalolo and once again Paul Green will be looking to both these players to inspire his side during the rep period to register another win.
Tip: Cowboys by 8
Sharks v Wests Tigers
The Sharks were flat last weekend and ran into a good team, while the Tigers were unlucky in their two-point loss to the Roosters. Cronulla will be looking to their big guns and senior players to get them back on track this week, while the energy Josh Reynolds brings from the bench has been impressive for the Tigers over the past fortnight.
Tip: Sharks by 6
Storm v Broncos
Both teams are fresh off a bye and have a host of stars backing up from Origin. The Storm have the luxury of Cameron Smith being available during the rep period, but they do have an injury concern with Billy Slater still nursing a hamstring injury. Brisbane's record in Melbourne isn't good, throw in the battle of the coaches and you have a cracking game on Sunday afternoon.
Tip: Storm by 6
Bulldogs v Dragons
The Dragons will be hoping all their Origin players come through injury free because they have been an enormous part of their early season success. It's going to be a testing period for Paul McGregor's men who have set the bar so high to date. The Bulldogs have won 11 of their past 12 matches against the Dragons and that's good enough for to suggest they will make it win number 12.
Tip: Bulldogs by 6