NRL Round 8 tips: Andrew Johns has come up with a theory to explain why Josh Papalii was rested for tonight’s game.

Andrew Johns admits Ricky Stuart’s decision to leave superstar prop Josh Papalii out of his side to clash with the Rabbitohs tonight is “an interesting one” but says there’s method to the madness.

Speaking to Brad Fittler for Wide World of Sports’ Freddy & Joey’s Tips, Johns looked ahead in the Raiders draw before launching into a theory about why Stuart would have picked this game as the one to rest Papalii – a player almost guaranteed selection for Queensland in the upcoming Origin series.

“I had a look, next week they go Newcastle at home, that’s a nine-day turnaround,” Johns said.

“Whether they thought they’d rest him and freshen him up for that one…”

The decision to rest Papalii gives him a 14 day period between games to freshen up, with Stuart himself admitting he’d done it in an effort to “bring the old Papa back”.

But the other players in the side will also benefit from a luxurious gap between tonight’s game and next Saturday’s Knights clash, with Johns adding he was sure Stuart would have dangled a carrot for his players to put in a big effort to snap their losing streak against the Rabbitohs.

“I have no doubt Ricky would have gone to his team and told them, ‘Thursday night, you boys win I’ll give you Friday, Saturday, Sunday off.’ So for that reason I’m going to tip the Raiders down there,” Johns said.

Both Johns and Fittler also expected the chilly Canberra weather, with a predicted temperature for tonight’s game of 2 degrees, to give the Raiders and edge, although Fittler still tipped the Rabbitohs.

“Sometimes when you go down there and play in the cold you can be beat before you even get there,” Johns said.

Scroll below for the current leaderboard and Round 8 tips by Johns, Fittler and all Nine’s expert tipsters!

Andrew Johns: Raiders, Storm, Titans, Panthers, Eels, Roosters, Warriors, Dragons

Brad Fittler: Rabbitohs, Storm, Titans, Panthers, Eels, Roosters, Cowboys, Dragons

Peter Sterling: Rabbitohs, Storm, Titans, Panthers, Eels, Roosters, Cowboys, Dragons

Paul Gallen: Raiders, Storm, Broncos, Panthers, Eels, Roosters, Cowboys, DragonsĀ 

Ruan Sims: Rabbitohs, Storm, Titans, Panthers, Eels, Knights, Warriors, Dragons

Darren Lockyer: Raiders, Storm, Broncos, Panthers, Eels, Knights, Warriors, DragonsĀ 

Wally Lewis: Rabbitohs, Storm, Titans, Panthers, Eels, Roosters, Cowboys, Dragons

Mat Thompson: Raiders, Storm, Broncos, Panthers, Eels, Roosters, Warriors, DragonsĀ 

James Bracey: Rabbitohs, Storm, Titans, Panthers, Eels, Roosters, Cowboys, Dragons

Peter Psaltis: Rabbitohs, Storm, Titans, Panthers, Eels, Roosters, Cowboys, Dragons

The Mole: Rabbitohs, Storm, Titans, Panthers, Eels, Roosters, Warriors, Dragons

Tim Elbra: Rabbitohs, Storm, Titans, Panthers, Eels, Knights, Warriors, Dragons

Ben Glover: Raiders, Storm, Titans, Panthers, Eels, Roosters, Warriors, Dragons

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