NRL tipping semi-finals

CHIEF Rugby League writer Peter Badel remains comfortably on top of the leaderboard after week one of the finals.

He was among several of our NRL expert tipsters to pick two out of last week’s four finals games.

No one did better than 50 per cent, while Robert Craddock and Mike Colman managed just one from four.

With just two games this weekend, we should have a few sweeping the round, or will we?

Semi-finals: Broncos v Panthers; Eels v Cowboys.

Peter Badel

Score so far: 130

Broncos by 4

With or without Darius Boyd, the Broncos will be stung by last week’s loss to the Roosters. The Suncorp factor will get them home in a thriller.

Eels by 16

The Cowboys have been so brave but are running out of petrol. The Eels played superb football last week and will learn from their Melbourne defeat.

Mike Colman

Score so far: 124

Broncos by 2

If Broncos cut missed tackles and dropped ball by 50 per cent they should just squeak past the Panthers based on home ground advantage.

Eels by 8

Cowboys have been beyond brave but I can’t see them going past this week. Eels showed against Melbourne that they are genuine contenders.

Rikki-Lee Arnold

Score so far: 122

Broncos by 1

This match will come down to the wire, but it will be Brisbane who advance to a showdown with Melbourne just because of their experience, the home crowd advantage and the fact they have so many players who are leaving and won’t want to lose.

Eels by 4

I have no doubt the Cowboys can cause yet another upset, but have tipped the Eels because of the way they performed against the Storm. They have the ability to go a long way this finals series.

Paul Malone

Score so far: 121

Broncos by 8

Penrith have plenty of points in them and are going much better than when they lost 32-18 at Suncorp Stadium in Round 9. But I think the Broncos have them covered at home, regardless of whether Darius Boyd (hamstring) plays.

Cowboys by 4

Teams rarely win a week after 90 minutes of extra time. But sides also don’t win often after being bruised by the Storm. In the end, I trust in Jason Taumalolo and Michael Morgan to win a second finals game in a row as underdogs on the road.

Robert Craddock

Score so far: 116

Broncos by 4

They will have been roused by a modest effort against the Roosters and will be more cohesive and high spirited at home. But if Boyd does not play it’s even money.

Cowboys by 4

They can beat the Eels if they can stay close to them. The pressure will mount given the Eels’ tortured history. The Cowboys play a brand of football which works in finals.

Travis Meyn

Score so far: 116

Broncos by 6

The Broncos are no certainties to win this game but they should produce an improved performance from last week’s loss to the Roosters. The Broncos were below their best but still got within two points of the Roosters and should be able to beat Penrith.

Eels by 8

Parramatta has the energy and intensity to rattle the Cowboys, who are running on fumes. North Queensland was gallant in last weekend’s extra-time defeat of Cronulla but that win would have taken plenty of energy.

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