NRL NRL 2020 Season - Round 13

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Sep 4, 2003
15,316
18,205
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Balmain, GreenBay, Edmonton, Celtic
Thursday 6th August
St.George-Illawarra vs Sydney Roosters (WIN Stadium- 19:50)

Friday 7th August
Manly-Warringah vs New Zealand (Lottoland - 18:00)
South Sydney vs Brisbane (ANZ Stadium - 19:55)

Saturday 8th August
Melbourne vs Canterbury-Bankstown (Sunshine Coast Stadium - 15:00)
Newcastle vs Wests Tigers (McDonald Jones Stadium - 17:30)
Penrith vs Canberra (Panthers Stadium - 19:35)

Sunday 9th August
Gold Coast vs North Queensland (Cbus Super Stadium - 14:00)
Cronulla-Sutherland vs Parramatta (Netstrata Jubilee Stadium - 16:05)
 
Sep 4, 2003
15,316
18,205
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Balmain, GreenBay, Edmonton, Celtic

Dragons: Corey Norman has been dropped with Adam Clune returning from a concussion in the halves. Trent Merrin (HIA) also returns taking the place of Jacob Host on the bench. Centre Euan Aitken has been named despite a hamstring issue last week.
Roosters: Josh Morris returns from a calf issue, allowing Sitili Tupouniua to return to the back row and Nat Butcher to the bench with Daniel Fifita dropping out. Kyle Flanagan is out with Lachlan Lam at halfback and Drew Hutchison called up on the bench.

Sea Eagles: Tevita Funa replaces Brad Parker (HIA) at centre and Cade Cust is back at five-eighth for Dylan Walker (foot).
Warriors: Chanel Harris-Tavita starts at halfback following Blake Green's mid-season move to the Knights.

Rabbitohs: Unchanged. Halfback and captain Adam Reynolds is named despite going off with a burner last week.
Broncos: Two big changes with Anthony Milford out for a month with a hamstring injury and David Fifita making his long-awaited injury return in the back row. Brodie Croft returns in the halves, Joe Ofahengaue goes to the bench and Ethan Bullemor drops out of the 17.

Storm: Brandon Smith starts at hooker with captain Cameron Smith (shoulder) set to miss a couple of games. Ryan Papenhuyzen is out with Nicho Hynes starting at fullback. Justin Olam returns at centre for Marion Seve (ear). Ryley Jacks and Albert Vete join the interchange.
Bulldogs: Ofahiki Ogden moves into the starting side and Sione Katoa starts at hooker with Aiden Tolman and Jeremy Marshall-King benched. Reimis Smith replaces Jack Cogger on the interchange.

Knights: New recruit Blake Green starts at five-eighth, allowing Kurt Mann to shift to hooker in place of Chris Randall, who drops out. Centres Bradman Best (ankle) and Tautau Moga (dropped) are replaced by Gehamat Shibasaki and Star Toa, who starts on the wing with Enari Tuala shifting in. Brodie Jones replaces the suspended Pasami Saulo on the bench.
Wests Tigers: Mass changes. Star hooker Harry Grant and lock Alex Twal are out injured, with Moses Mbye shifting to dummy half, Matt Eisenhuth back at lock, Tommy Talau moving in to centre and new recruit Asu Kepaoa debuting on the wing. Centre Joey Leilua returns from suspension, bumping Chris Lawrence to the bench. Luke Brooks is back starting in the halves with Billy Walters dropping to the pine. Russell Packer returns from suspension in place of Ollie Clark at prop. Sam McIntyre starts in the second row with Luke Garner dropped to the reserves.

Panthers: Malakai Watene-Zelezniak returns on the wing for Charlie Staines (hamstring).
Raiders: Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad returns from a dislocated finger at fullback, with Jordan Rapana shifting to the wing and the injured Semi Valemei dropping out.

Titans: Sam Lisone returns on the bench in place of Sam Stone.
Cowboys: Captain Michael Morgan returns from a should injury at halfback in place of Jake Clifford, who drops to the reserves with Ben Hampton retained at five-eighth. Tom Opacic returns at centre with Justin O'Neill going to the wing and Murray Tualagi out. Josh McGuire is back from suspension at prop, pushing Francis Molo to the bench, while Jake Granville and Emry Pere have been called up on the interchange. Mitch Dunn starts in the back row with Shane Wright, Gavin Cooper and John Asiata all out of the side.

Sharks: Josh Dugan returns at centre for his 200th NRL game alongside Jesse Ramien, with rookie Jackson Ferris injured and suspended, Siosifa Talakai moving to the second row and Briton Nikora dropped. Matt Moylan returns in the halves in place of Braydon Trindall.
Eels: Ray Stone replaces Brad Takairangi on the bench. Ryan Matterson is still at least a week away.
 
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juss

Brownlow Medallist
Feb 23, 2009
21,218
26,929
Melbourne
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
New York Jets
St.George-Illawarra vs Sydney Roosters
The Roosters are an automatic tip against most teams, hard to go against them here.

Manly-Warringah vs New Zealand
Warriors continue to surprise and pull out the odd impressive game, but overall Manly should be too good. NZ have too many key players gone home.

South Sydney vs Brisbane
This should be a 3+ try win. Broncos have been awful and I think the Rabittohs are on the up.

Melbourne vs Canterbury-Bankstown
Easy, will probably be a blowout.

Newcastle vs Wests Tigers
Honestly with these two sides, you have no idea which version will show up which makes this the hardest tip of the round for me. I will take the slightly healthier Tigers, but it's a last tip before my trust runs out if they lose.

Penrith vs Canberra
Hottest team in the comp right now, can't take Raiders with their outs against the top team.

Gold Coast vs North Queensland
I simply don't rate the Titans at all, Cowboys with Taumalolo is the tip.

Cronulla-Sutherland vs Parramatta
I rate the Eels as serious contenders, quality all over the field. Cronulla are fighters and will grind to the end making this an even contest, but I think the Eels have the edge in quality and will just get up, late field goal or golden point wouldn't surprise.
 

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Falconista

Debutant
Dec 31, 2019
133
211
AFL Club
Fremantle
Other Teams
West Perth; SGI Dragons
St.George-Illawarra vs Sydney Roosters
The Roosters are an automatic tip against most teams, hard to go against them here.

Manly-Warringah vs New Zealand
Warriors continue to surprise and pull out the odd impressive game, but overall Manly should be too good. NZ have too many key players gone home.

South Sydney vs Brisbane
This should be a 3+ try win. Broncos have been awful and I think the Rabittohs are on the up.

Melbourne vs Canterbury-Bankstown
Easy, will probably be a blowout.

Newcastle vs Wests Tigers
Honestly with these two sides, you have no idea which version will show up which makes this the hardest tip of the round for me. I will take the slightly healthier Tigers, but it's a last tip before my trust runs out if they lose.

Penrith vs Canberra
Hottest team in the comp right now, can't take Raiders with their outs against the top team.

Gold Coast vs North Queensland
I simply don't rate the Titans at all, Cowboys with Taumalolo is the tip.

Cronulla-Sutherland vs Parramatta
I rate the Eels as serious contenders, quality all over the field. Cronulla are fighters and will grind to the end making this an even contest, but I think the Eels have the edge in quality and will just get up, late field goal or golden point wouldn't surprise.
I'm tipping the Knights with no confidence whatsoever- probably a matchup of the two most frustrating 'good' teams this season with the loser probably missing finals. It's also mid-season (upsets season) so tipping the Raiders and Titans- Penrith are bound to lose a match at some point and the Cowboys don't enthuse me except for Taumalolo.
 

moto748

Club Legend
Apr 19, 2010
2,834
471
Wigan
AFL Club
Adelaide
Other Teams
Wigan Warriors
This week I'll go

Roosters
Manly
Broncos (!)
Storm
Tigers
Panthers
Titans
Eels

I'd love to back Wigan Reserves against Penrith, but I just can't see it! :D
 

PhatBoy

Brownlow Medallist
May 5, 2016
21,306
22,378
AFL Club
Geelong
I havent seen this Roosters kit from memory but it looks brilliant, love the design one of the best NRL kits I've seen.
we’ve had some great Anzac Day ones. The V made out of poppies a few years back was awesome
 

PhatBoy

Brownlow Medallist
May 5, 2016
21,306
22,378
AFL Club
Geelong
On paper that was just a win for a title hopeful against an also ran but in reality that was a great win.

8 first 17 players missing, high completion rate, some brilliant goal line defence and an amazing ability to turn a precarious set into one where we are kicking from halfway or beyond.

that was premiership football. Disciplined, mistake free, gutsy footy.

yes it’s only 3 teams making up the numbers but we’ve beaten the 3 sides we couldn’t afford to drop a game to through the injury crisis in warriors, titans and dragons. Hopefully our form improves further with some players returning.
 

juss

Brownlow Medallist
Feb 23, 2009
21,218
26,929
Melbourne
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
New York Jets
On paper that was just a win for a title hopeful against an also ran but in reality that was a great win.

8 first 17 players missing, high completion rate, some brilliant goal line defence and an amazing ability to turn a precarious set into one where we are kicking from halfway or beyond.

that was premiership football. Disciplined, mistake free, gutsy footy.

yes it’s only 3 teams making up the numbers but we’ve beaten the 3 sides we couldn’t afford to drop a game to through the injury crisis in warriors, titans and dragons. Hopefully our form improves further with some players returning.
One critical mistake of not attacking a ball cost the Dragons. I found it bizarre in that situation as it seemed like someone had to contest that. That was the key moment I reckon the Dragons were every chance to equalise otherwise.

But yeh there were some players I'd never heard of and the Roosters just got it done. Dare I say it, are they a Richmond like system team? It seems whoever they bring in can do the job even if they are far lesser names.
 

PhatBoy

Brownlow Medallist
May 5, 2016
21,306
22,378
AFL Club
Geelong
One critical mistake of not attacking a ball cost the Dragons. I found it bizarre in that situation as it seemed like someone had to contest that. That was the key moment I reckon the Dragons were every chance to equalise otherwise.

But yeh there were some players I'd never heard of and the Roosters just got it done. Dare I say it, are they a Richmond like system team? It seems whoever they bring in can do the job even if they are far lesser names.
hmm not a terrible comparison as we do have a knack for finding role players rather than relying on one or two different stats per week playing out their backside. Take martin out of Richmond and Tedesco out of the roosters and there’s a few similarities there among the rest.
Not sure who their tigers counterparts would be but:
Jake Friend - is never going to be Cameron Smith but his job is to tackle the big boys in the middle and he does it relentlessly week after week and he has just enough attacking smarts to know the 3-4 moments per game to inject himself into the play.
Joey Manu - has the priceless ability to make a lot happen with minimal touches and he knows that doing the donkey work from out of our own end isn’t his role.
Ryan Hall - is having all sorts of trouble making an impact in attack so he’s simply rolling his sleeves up and helping us work the ball out of defence
Kyle Flanagan and now Lachlan Lam - they know that Keary is the chief playmaker. Their job is not to provide the flash, simply to have a reliable kicking game and organise the 1-2 plays before Keary fires his shots.
Taukeaho - seems to know precisely when to take his run each set out of defence and knows where to run to maximise his yardage. He was amazing tonight.
Nat Butcher - knows he isn’t Victor Radley ajd has neither the punishing defence of Radley not his ball playing ability so he simply doesn’t pass, makes his dirty metres out of our own end when the bigger boys are getting inside and makes his 40 tackles a game.
Aubusson - doesn’t have a lot of skill so he too simply makes his tackles, reads well in defence, makes runs that no one else wants to make.

it’s a good observation - we have a deep squad of players who know their job and they stick to it.
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves when he’s there - he’s never going to be a Payne Haas workaholic or an Andrew Fifita big man who passes in traffic like a five-eighth, but his knack for knowing when to make a huge aggressive run or come up with a big tackle is probably the best of any front rower in the last decade.

it’s when we go outside that framework when things come unstuck as they did against Canberra and Melbourne. Games we should have won but discipline cost us with too many players trying too much.
 

Falconista

Debutant
Dec 31, 2019
133
211
AFL Club
Fremantle
Other Teams
West Perth; SGI Dragons
One critical mistake of not attacking a ball cost the Dragons. I found it bizarre in that situation as it seemed like someone had to contest that. That was the key moment I reckon the Dragons were every chance to equalise otherwise.

But yeh there were some players I'd never heard of and the Roosters just got it done. Dare I say it, are they a Richmond like system team? It seems whoever they bring in can do the job even if they are far lesser names.
Comparing them to Richmond is spot on. Roosters play as a team, compete for the full 80 minutes (as referenced by Gus and Joey in the Nine commentary tonight) and have a one in, one out selection policy. They traditionally improve as a year progresses too, a la Richmond. Both the 18 and 19 Roosters premierships have been won through withholding and withstanding their opposition and being better when their moments arrived.

In comparison the Dragons are predictable, have some odd lapses ('peak Dragons') and are reliant on too few. Imagine tonight without Frizell, Sailor and Lomax!
 

PhatBoy

Brownlow Medallist
May 5, 2016
21,306
22,378
AFL Club
Geelong
Comparing them to Richmond is spot on. Roosters play as a team, compete for the full 80 minutes (as referenced by Gus and Joey in the Nine commentary tonight) and have a one in, one out selection policy. They traditionally improve as a year progresses too, a la Richmond. Both the 18 and 19 Roosters premierships have been won through withholding and withstanding their opposition and being better when their moments arrived.

In comparison the Dragons are predictable, have some odd lapses ('peak Dragons') and are reliant on too few. Imagine tonight without Frizell, Sailor and Lomax!
and their game breakers aren’t nearly consistent enough. Dufty, as mentioned a few times tonight, is capable of some breathtaking attack. Doesn’t produce it often enough - Tedesco, Ponga, RTS etc are good for one great player minimum per game that will impact the scoreboard. Dufty doesn’t have that sort of output despite having a lot of natural talent. lomax, though excellent tonight, is in the same boat.

Take McInness out of that side and their ‘reliability’ factor just plummets
 

juss

Brownlow Medallist
Feb 23, 2009
21,218
26,929
Melbourne
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New York Jets
hmm not a terrible comparison as we do have a knack for finding role players rather than relying on one or two different stats per week playing out their backside. Take martin out of Richmond and Tedesco out of the roosters and there’s a few similarities there among the rest.
Not sure who their tigers counterparts would be but:
Jake Friend - is never going to be Cameron Smith but his job is to tackle the big boys in the middle and he does it relentlessly week after week and he has just enough attacking smarts to know the 3-4 moments per game to inject himself into the play.
Joey Manu - has the priceless ability to make a lot happen with minimal touches and he knows that doing the donkey work from out of our own end isn’t his role.
Ryan Hall - is having all sorts of trouble making an impact in attack so he’s simply rolling his sleeves up and helping us work the ball out of defence
Kyle Flanagan and now Lachlan Lam - they know that Keary is the chief playmaker. Their job is not to provide the flash, simply to have a reliable kicking game and organise the 1-2 plays before Keary fires his shots.
Taukeaho - seems to know precisely when to take his run each set out of defence and knows where to run to maximise his yardage. He was amazing tonight.
Nat Butcher - knows he isn’t Victor Radley ajd has neither the punishing defence of Radley not his ball playing ability so he simply doesn’t pass, makes his dirty metres out of our own end when the bigger boys are getting inside and makes his 40 tackles a game.
Aubusson - doesn’t have a lot of skill so he too simply makes his tackles, reads well in defence, makes runs that no one else wants to make.

it’s a good observation - we have a deep squad of players who know their job and they stick to it.
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves when he’s there - he’s never going to be a Payne Haas workaholic or an Andrew Fifita big man who passes in traffic like a five-eighth, but his knack for knowing when to make a huge aggressive run or come up with a big tackle is probably the best of any front rower in the last decade.

it’s when we go outside that framework when things come unstuck as they did against Canberra and Melbourne. Games we should have won but discipline cost us with too many players trying too much.
Comparing them to Richmond is spot on. Roosters play as a team, compete for the full 80 minutes (as referenced by Gus and Joey in the Nine commentary tonight) and have a one in, one out selection policy. They traditionally improve as a year progresses too, a la Richmond. Both the 18 and 19 Roosters premierships have been won through withholding and withstanding their opposition and being better when their moments arrived.

In comparison the Dragons are predictable, have some odd lapses ('peak Dragons') and are reliant on too few. Imagine tonight without Frizell, Sailor and Lomax!
I just see similarities as well although they can score quickly and when they need to, they are defensively just so resolute and sound, its never easy to score against them no matter the names on paper, the team as a whole just does the right thing more often than not. I also always feel like when its even or even when behind, they have an ability to find something and they are such a reliable, trusted unit.

They are built on defensive discipline first as their backbone, and then their ability to score quickly and efficiently comes from breaking teams by outlasting them and just being better for longer, they never crack first.
 

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juss

Brownlow Medallist
Feb 23, 2009
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Anyone else think one or two unlikely upsets loom as dangers tonight?

Manly are hit hard by injury and even though the Warriors are missing some players at home, they have galvanised pretty impressively and have really competed hard.

Secondly I know the Broncos have been awful defensively, but with Fifita back their pack starts to look pretty intimiaditing with Haas, Fifita and Pangai Jnr all there.

I think these games might be slightly more up for grabs than the odds suggest, or am I giving the favourites too little credit?
 

PhatBoy

Brownlow Medallist
May 5, 2016
21,306
22,378
AFL Club
Geelong
Anyone else think one or two unlikely upsets loom as dangers tonight?

Manly are hit hard by injury and even though the Warriors are missing some players at home, they have galvanised pretty impressively and have really competed hard.

Secondly I know the Broncos have been awful defensively, but with Fifita back their pack starts to look pretty intimiaditing with Haas, Fifita and Pangai Jnr all there.

I think these games might be slightly more up for grabs than the odds suggest, or am I giving the favourites too little credit?
no it’s a fair call. The warriors have been amazing all things considered.

f*** I feel sorry for Payne Haas. The man is an absolute beast but at 20/21 he has no right to be asked to carry that side. But week after week he does.
All things considered, ie. the relative drag factor of his garbage teammates, he has been close to the best player in the comp this year. It’s like watching Ablett at the suns
 

juss

Brownlow Medallist
Feb 23, 2009
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New York Jets
no it’s a fair call. The warriors have been amazing all things considered.

f*** I feel sorry for Payne Haas. The man is an absolute beast but at 20/21 he has no right to be asked to carry that side. But week after week he does.
All things considered, ie. the relative drag factor of his garbage teammates, he has been close to the best player in the comp this year. It’s like watching Ablett at the suns
Don't underestimate the impact Dave Fifita can have either, we might not see it tonight first game back, but this guy is one of the hottest young prospects in the game at 20 years old and can break teams apart. I do feel like he will be a bit wasted moving to the Titans as opposed to a big NSW club or staying at the Broncos.
 

PhatBoy

Brownlow Medallist
May 5, 2016
21,306
22,378
AFL Club
Geelong
Don't underestimate the impact Dave Fifita can have either, we might not see it tonight first game back, but this guy is one of the hottest young prospects in the game at 20 years old and can break teams apart.
not at all, the guy is a gun.
 

DEVO

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 8, 2000
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I think I’ve just seen the softest, most pathetic try in the 45 years I’ve been watching the game. Everyone wearing a Broncos jumper should be ashamed.

The Dogs and Titans don’t deserve the wooden spoon, it belongs to the Broncos, the weakest team I’ve seen in decades.
 

diegodcg

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Apr 9, 2015
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Panthers put on another show during the first half tonight. Haven't conceded a try in the first 20 minutes of the game since round 1, and coped with great initial pressure from the Raiders to score first and then dominate. Defensively brilliant and going forward they just seem to execute to near perfection all the time - Cleary is the obvious superstar but they've got a lot of people doing the right things, players like Koroisau have been brilliant and my personal favourite is Luai, another try assist for the number 6. In my limited experience watching rugby league, I have rarely seen a side as good as the 2020 Panthers.
 

moto748

Club Legend
Apr 19, 2010
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Wigan
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Wigan Warriors
Like half of Wigan, I expect, I was looking forward to seeing how George and his team measured up to the comp's form side. And truth to tell, like other sides before them, they found it hard going. Without ever quite sparkling, they still threw a fair bit at the Penrith defence. And what can you say about their execution when the chance comes to attack? It's great to watch, and Cleary is getting scary now.
 

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