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NRL Predictions & Tips - Round 12 2024

NRL Predictions & Tips - Round 12 2024

Magic Round has come and gone, and now we turn our attention to Indigenous Round 2024. This week the NRL community comes together to acknowledge the ongoing contributions that the Indigenous communities make to our great game. Each side has embraced their traditional land owners and designed jerseys specific to their region and community, donning genuine works of art on their backs this week. There are some deadly clashes on the cards this week, let’s dive in and take a look.

Kicking off Indigenous Round 2024 on Thursday night will see the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs host the St George Illawarra Dragons in the first of two games at Accor Stadium this weekend. The Dragons come into this contest fresh off the bye, after a comprehensive win against the Rabbitohs the week before. The Dogs on the other hand were sloppy against the Raiders last week, and gifted the opposition several tries. Being such a diverse club, I would expect the significance of this round to really energize the Bulldogs this week; with the side likely not wanting to let down their Indigenous superstars like Josh Addo-Carr. I’d expect this to be a very close game, with the Dragons looking to cement their spot in the top 8, however I’m leaning towards the defence of the Dogs being the difference here. Bulldogs by 12 points. 

Friday night’s curtain raiser will see the North Queensland Cowboys take on the Wests Tigers. The Cowboys finally broke their losing streak last week in their match against the Bunnies, but were far from convincing. The Tigers went down to the Dolphins last week, but all year have looked a lot better than a win/loss record of 2:8 would suggest. The Cowboys have shown zero interest in defending all year, and have exclusively looked to attack. If Benji Marshall can get his side to maintain discipline in their fundamentals and defend as a unit, I can genuinely see a Tigers victory unfolding. The optimist in me is going with the Tigers by 8 points.

Friday night’s main event sees the Melbourne Storm travel to Sydney’s northern beaches to take on the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. Manly fought hard against the Broncos last weekend, and were unlucky not to go home with the chocolates. While Melbourne on the other hand played a far more free flowing style of football AFTER losing Cameron Munster to a groin injury, and took the sword to the Parramatta Eels. Everything points towards this being another close game, with both sides missing a smattering of key players. Ultimately the experience and next-man-up mentality of the Melbourne Storm will be the difference here, and despite the fact I am anticipating another big fight from Manly; I’m going with the Melbourne Storm by 4 points.

Super Saturday opens up with the Sydney Roosters heading down to the Nation’s capital to take on the Canberra Raiders.The mighty run of the Chooks finally came to an end last week as they went down to the Sharks, and the Raiders rallied together for one of the all time great comeback wins, being down to 11 men at one stage against the Bulldogs. The two big take aways from last week are, the Roosters aren’t invincible and you should never count Canberra out! The Raiders were embarrassed in their last home game against Cronulla and will not want that to happen again. Despite going into this contest at long odds, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to predict the Raiders replicating last week’s rallying efforts to come away with the win here, to really cement their place in the Top 8. I’m going with the Raiders by 7 points.

Match of the Round: The second Super Saturday clash is likely to be this week’s Match of the Round, as the red hot Cronulla Sharks take on the mighty Penrith Panthers. After the Panthers shock loss to the Warriors last week, it is going to take everything Cronulla have if they are to walk away victorious in this game. Penrith coach Ivan Cleary was not happy in his press conference last week, and you’d be naive to think he wouldn't have in turn worked the side even harder this week. However, Cronulla’s win against the Chooks showed that they are genuine top 4 contenders in 2024; this will be the test to see if they are genuine premiership contenders though. In front of a home crowd, I can really see this one meaning more to the Sharks than it does to the Panthers. I’m tipping the Sharks by 8 points.

Closing out Super Saturday will be the South Sydney Rabbitohs hosting the Parramatta Eels in the second of two matches at Accor Stadium this weekend. If there was ever a time for Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker to stand up, and reestablish themselves as dominant forces in the NRL, it is this Saturday. The stage has been set. A home game, in Indigenous Round. Parramatta players are dropping like flies, and the keys to the coach's box have been handed to a bloke with a career record of 34 wins and 72 losses. You have to hit rock bottom before you can rebuild, and it looks like Parra are opting for the fast lane there. The tremendous second half drop offs won’t disappear in the space of a week for the Eels. I’m going with South Sydney by 20 points.

The Sunday Ticket opens up with the Brisbane Broncos taking on the Gold Coast Titans in yet another match at Suncorp Stadium. The Titans were once again unlucky to go down last week, with a controversial bunker decision in the dying moments going the way of the Knights. The Broncos however, took home the two points thanks to a Jock Madden field goal. Despite showing improvements each week under coach Des Hasler, I think Brisbane will just be too strong in this contest. I’ve got to go with the Broncos by 18 points.

Closing out the round will be one to keep your eye on, with two very exciting teams going up against each other. The New Zealand Warriors will host the Dolphins in one that could genuinely go either way. The Wahs are fresh from knocking off the Panthers at Magic Round, much to everyone’s surprise given how many starting players they were down. The Phins on the other hand, are seemingly going from strength to strength and looking better each week, especially with last week’s return of Hamiso Tabuia-Fidow. On paper the Dolphins have the better side here for mine, but I think the difference is going to be the location. It is hard to play the Warriors in New Zealand, and it’s even harder when they are brimming with confidence after last week’s efforts. I’m going with the Wahs by 10 points.

Indigenous Round is set to be an unreal weekend of football. So lay it on me, what do you think of the predictions? There are some deadly matches on this weekend, and you won’t want to miss a minute of the action. I’m tipping the Bulldogs, Tigers, Storm, Raiders, Sharks, Rabbitohs, Broncos and Warriors to all walk away victorious. How many do you think I’ll get right this week? We will have to wait and see. As always, if you haven’t already got your officially licensed NRL Indigenous Round fan gear for 2024, make sure to head into Jersey’s Megastore for All Things Footy!