JT’s Succinct NRL Tips: Round 11, 2023

Nice to see the Dolphins celebrated Wayne’s 900th game as a coach by killing the Sharks then migrating north for a week

It’s worth remembering that while Saturday night was Wayne Bennett’s 900th game as a First Grade coach, it doesn’t include his 170 games coaching in Brisbane First Grade during the 1970s and 80s, 27 games coaching Queensland, 35 Tests coaching Australia, England and Great Britain, nor his 5 games as coach of the NRL All Stars.

Anyway, the Suncorp Stadium surface has been utterly destroyed and we’re on to Round 11, one step closer to State of Origin football, and I thought I might be half a chance of a Magic Round 7/8 on Sunday after pulling off the tip of Wests to defeat St George, but the Cowboys and Titans both decided to show up for Magic Round and pulled off upsets against the foreign Sydney invaders, leaving me to celebrate with an above average 5/8.

Now, celebrating the highlights for Round 11:

– A good contest on Thursday night primetime with the Storm up against the Broncos at AAMI Park, a game that looks genuinely interesting with the Storm sitting right on the edge between contender and also-ran, a problem that became apparent when Nelson Asofa-Solomona went off for a rest and the Storm forward pack got mutilated by Souths, while the Broncos simply need another quality win just to stamp themselves as genuine, having been mutilated several times over by the Storm since 2016.

– Another appropriately placed game in the 6pm Friday slot as the Bulldogs (Josh Addo-Carr is finally back) play the Warriors at the Olympic Stadium, with the Warriors also simultaneously playing the referees after One NZ CEO Jason Paris described the refereeing of Warriors games as “Cheating of the highest order“, which most objective observers seemed to agree with.

– Penrith and Easts may be sitting 3rd and 8th respectively, but they’re both sitting at a slightly above average 5-4, such is the competitiveness of the NRL’s midpack right now… In fact, the Canberra Raiders, who are 9th, are only points differential out of a Top 4 spot.

– The rampaging Souths take on Wests on Saturday afternoon, in what has somehow become the form game of the round with both teams on multiple game winning streaks, as the Tigers somehow now don’t look like the worst team since the 2016 Knights.

– The Cowboys play the Dragons at Townsville, as the ‘Boys suddenly come home with a bit of momentum, while the Dragons, who have lost 5 straight games by a combined 13 points, slide further down the shitheap as the end draws near for Hook Griffin, who will almost certainly feel a big right hook across the chops from the Red V hierachy.

– The Raiders, who seem to love a close win, play the Eels in the frozen capital of Australia, a rematch of last year’s Semi Final blowout that the Eels dropped on the Raiders, and this time around it is a genuine 4-point kind of game as the Raiders sit just outside the Top 8 and the Eels are floating down the creek… which is usually good, because they are a water-based mascot.

– Newcastle were the luckless bastards to miss out on Magic Round, getting a trip to Bali instead as some kind of a present for being belted by the Eels, and now they get a home game against the visiting Titans, who are finally starting to find something resembling winning consistency for the first time since approximately 2010.

The Glitter Strip Kids vs the Bali Boys… what a contest.

– The final game is the latest edition of the Battle of the Beaches between Manly and Cronulla, as Manly slowly fall down the tubes just shy of halfway into Anthony Seibold’s debut season, and Cronulla’s premiership credentials look as flimsy as their salary cap between 2016 and 2018.

Now, enough garbage, here’s the Round 11 tips, trying to improve on a return to the normalcy of a 5/8 in Magic Round:

Round 10 Score = 5/8, Progress Score = 48/80 (60%), which is corrected as it turns out I gave myself one tip I didn’t get during Round 8

Round 11 =

Round 11 Lock of the Week

Well, folks, when you’re right 52% of the time, you’re wrong 48% of the time!

Another regulation 3-foot putt last week as Penrith got the points against the Warriors to move to 7-1-2 on the year, as we manage to Lock our way through the shortest-priced favourites every week to get called experts, and this week looks fairly even with about 4 games in the 50/50 range.

Now, the LOCK OF THE WEEK for Round 11…

In a Sunday afternoon contest between the Glitter Strip Kids and the Bali Boys, I think it’ll the Gold Coast who slightly prevail, and when Justin Holbrook gives his pre-game and half-time addresses, you know what he’s going to quote to the Titans players?

He’s going to quote Spandau Ballet, because they’re GOLD!

Gold (Coast)
Always believe in your soul
You’ve got the power to know
You’re indestructible
Always believe in!

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