AFL tipping favourites for Round 10. Expert tips and predictionsPosted on 20/05 by T J Dilfer
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Tigers v Cowboys
The Tigers were second best to a rampant Warriors last week and have dropped to seventh on the ladder after a poor run of results recently. Having suffered three straight defeats, they will be desperate to get back to their superb early season form. The Cowboys withstood a determined Panthers comeback to record their third win of the season at Carrington Park last week. A 14-point haul from Johnathan Thurston was enough to see the skipper surpass Jason Taylor into fourth on the all-time point scoring list. His side almost blew a 20 -point lead; just managing to repel the Panthers sufficiently to hang on for a much-needed 26-20 victory after losing six of their last seven games.
Knights v Panthers
The Knights showed plenty of resolve after conceding two tries in the first five minutes to the Rabbitohs last weekend. Just 16-12 down after the break, the game turned on a bombed try by Ken Sio that took the wind out his side’s sails and the Rabbitohs took full advantage of the error. The Panthers endured a dreadful start of their own in Bathurst; the lethargy set the tone for a disappointing defeat at the hands of the Cowboys. Losing Trent Merrin in the warm-up was the sign of things to come for a squad that was already straining under an avalanche of injuries. A valiant second half fightback was ultimately in vain as Anthony Griffin’s side went down to their third defeat of the year.
Prediction – Panthers
Bulldogs v Eels
The Bulldogs were cruelly robbed by a calamitous refereeing blunder last week, with their opponents awarded the opportunity to claim the points with last-gasp penalty. It was a much improved performance from the Bulldogs though, as coach Dean Pay sprung a pre-match surprise by dropping Michael Lichaa, a gamble that almost paid off. The Eels’ recent resurgence was curtailed by the Sharks last week; it was Cronulla’s fifth straight win over Brad Arthur’s side. The Eels remain anchored to the foot of the ladder and are the competition’s lowest scoring outfit, scoring just 134 points in nine matches so far.
Prediction – Bulldogs
Warriors v Roosters
The Warriors bounced back from the previous week’s hiding at the hands of Storm to record an excellent 26-4 win over the Tigers on Saturday, although the victory came at a price with injuries to Shaun Johnson, Adam Blair and Isaac Luke taking the edge of the triumph. In a week in which new owners were announced at Mt Smart, the side delivered a perfect riposte to recent criticism with a win that moves them back up to second on the ladder. The Roosters just about managed to hold off the Sea Eagles to squeeze out a 22-20 win last time out. Criticism of the Chooks has been growing, with the low-scoring win over the Bulldogs in round 7 masking some poor results of late. This victory moves Trent Robinson’s men back into the eight though although they face tough adversaries this week – the Warriors have already inflicted a week 30-6 defeat upon Trent Robinson’s side back in Round 4.
Prediction – Warriors
Storm v Titans
The Storm were incensed by a decision to disallow a Josh Addo-Carr try in their defeat to the Dragons; with the score at 10-4, it was a pivotal moment in the game. The loss, Melbourne’s fourth of an uneven campaign will no doubt provoke a strong response from the Premiers this week. Storm have sacrificed a home fixture to take part in the indigenous round showpiece at Suncorp – a venue where they have tasted victory in nine of their last ten visits. Titans’ boss Garth Brennan was distinctly unimpressed with his side’s defeat to the Warriors – their fourth successive loss – labelling it not up to NRL standard. The number of injuries that his team are suffering has only added to the misery – Jai Arrow and Jarrod Wallace went down with mystery illnesses before losing Keegan Hipgrave to a concussion.
Prediction – Storm
Sea Eagles v Broncos
Manly’s 22-20 defeat to the Roosters has consigned them to their worst start to a campaign for 21 years; not since 1999 has the club recorded a 2-7 opening. The performance was better than they have managed of late, but the improved effort still left them empty handed. Beneficiaries of two contentious decisions that handed them a narrow 22-20 victory over the Bulldogs, Brisbane took extended their improved recent form to 3 wins from 4. The Broncos will be extremely satisfied by their ability to find a way to win though and build upon last week’s excellent win over the Rabbitohs.
Prediction – Broncos
Rabbitohs v Dragons
The Rabbitohs returned to winning ways with an emphatic 36-18 win over the Knights, delivering another encouraging performance for coach Anthony Seibold. The Bunnies need to continue to produce these kinds of displays on a regular basis though; they will need to be on top of their game this week against Dragons side that is high on confidence following their triumph over the Storm on Sunday. If there were any doubts remaining over the validity of their title claims, they were blown away by the Red V’s magnificent 34-14 win over the Melbourne Storm that sees them go clear at the top of the ladder with 16 points.
Prediction – Dragons
Raiders v Sharks
The momentum behind Canberra’s revival continues to grow and they have the opportunity to record their fifth win in six against a dogged Cronulla side. The Green Machine appear to have eradicated the errors that blighted their early season performances and seem to be back on track with their bid for a top eight finish. The Sharks scored their third successive win without a string of key players: Paul Gallen, Luke Lewis, Jayson Bukuya and Josh Dugan have all spent time on the sidelines recently. In a further setback, Wade Graham was forced from the field after just 28 minutes with a hamstring problem that jeopardises his place in next month’s NSW Blues squad.
Prediction – Raiders
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