NRL Tipping: Finals Week 1 - see what the experts are saying

The finals have arrived and the stakes have been raised.

The margin for error is reduced, mistakes and magnified and teams are exploring all avenues to find an edge on their opponents.  

Starting with Friday's SCG showdown between the Roosters and Rabbitohs, each of the four matches in the first week of the finals has the potential for an upset.

Before you enter your tips for this weekend, see who the NRL.com experts are backing and read Brett Kimmorley's previews.

Finals Week 1: Tips and Previews

Roosters v Rabbitohs, Friday 7.50pm at SCG

Brett Kimmorley says: Luke Keary returning is huge and I think the Roosters win this game. Last week's battle was unbelievable for a game that meant nothing - the most brutal game of 2019 - and being a semi this week they'll take it to a higher level. The Roosters are the second-best defensive team in the competition and only a few points behind Melbourne in attack. They had the potential to lead by 20 at half-time last week and I see them making a massive statement on Friday. They'll show us how great they are and that they're the team to beat in 2019. Roosters by 10

Match: Roosters v Rabbitohs

Finals Week 1 -

Full Time
Roosters

Home Team

Roosters

Scored 30 points
Rabbitohs

Away Team

Rabbitohs

Scored 6 points

Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney

Match broadcasters:

  • Nine Network
  • FOXTEL
  • LIVE PASS

Storm v Raiders, Saturday, 5.40pm at AAMI Park

Brett Kimmorley says: The Raiders will certainly go to Melbourne without any fear after coming back from 18-0 down to win a few weeks ago. Ricky Stuart will use that as motivation. But I'm not too sure the Storm will allow that to happen too often in a single season. Cam Munster comes back fresh this week, and Melbourne are the best defensive and best-attacking team in the competition. The motivation to win at home and get a week off is enormous. The Melbourne go-forward will be too powerful for the Raiders to contain, and I see guys like Ryan Papenhuyzen, Jahrome Hughes and Munster creating havoc on the back of that. Storm by 4

Match: Storm v Raiders

Finals Week 1 -

Full Time
Storm

Home Team

Storm

Scored 10 points
Raiders

Away Team

Raiders

Scored 12 points

Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne

Match broadcasters:

  • Nine Network
  • FOXTEL
  • LIVE PASS

Sea Eagles v Sharks, Saturday, 7.50pm at Lottoland

Brett Kimmorley: Not having Tom Trbojevic and Marty Taupau really hurts Manly. Addin Fonua-Blake and Jake Trbojevic are going to have to take a lot of the go-forward work and do a lot of the ball-playing. The key for Manly is Daly Cherry-Evans and the two dummy-halves, which means Cronulla can afford to tighten up a bit defensively and control the momentum in the middle. That's a huge part of stopping Manly. The Sharks' left edge attack with Wade Graham is a huge threat and they ride in with great confidence from a wonderful second 40 minutes last week under pressure. The Sharks love fighting over a bone and there's a lot of motivation to keep the momentum going for a legend in Paul Gallen. Sharks by 8

Match: Sea Eagles v Sharks

Finals Week 1 -

Full Time
Sea Eagles

Home Team

Sea Eagles

Scored 28 points
Sharks

Away Team

Sharks

Scored 16 points

Venue: Lottoland, Sydney

Match broadcasters:

  • Nine Network
  • FOXTEL
  • LIVE PASS

Eels v Broncos, Sunday 4.05pm at Bankwest Stadium

Brett Kimmorley says: I think Parramatta will win this. What will hurt the Broncos will be their lack of game management and kicking game. They've got the best young crop of forwards in the country and some amazing outside backs, but in key moments in finals it's about managing games and building pressure and calling the right plays. The Broncos, unfortunately, are lacking in the nine, seven and six area, and that means Parramatta have to tackle extremely well to stop the Broncos forwards. If they tackle well and have lots of energy they'll provide space for Mitchell Moses to create a bit of havoc with his running game or his kicking game to two wingers who have had amazing seasons. Eels by 4

Match: Eels v Broncos

Finals Week 1 -

Full Time
Eels

Home Team

Eels

Scored 58 points
Broncos

Away Team

Broncos

Scored 0 points

Venue: Bankwest Stadium, Sydney

Match broadcasters:

  • Nine Network
  • FOXTEL
  • LIVE PASS