Lake Mail – Round 25

I’m officially kicking off my double shift for the last few weeks of the season and there’s a little bit happening. Let’s get right into it.

And follow me on twitter (or X or whatever tf it’s called now) @dlake631 for all the rounds teams drops.

Side note: the teams listed below are what was named on Tuesday, not what is expected on game day.


Thursday, 7.50pm, Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville

Nth Queensland Cowboys

1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Murray Taulagi 4. Peta Hiku 5. Semi Valemei 6. Tom Dearden 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jordan McLean 9. Reece Robson 10. Jason Taumalolo 11. Luciano Leilua 12. Jeremiah Nanai 13. Reuben Cotter 

Bench: 14. Jake Granville 15. Coen Hess 16. Heilum Luki 17. Griffin Neame 

Reserves: 18. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 19. Zac Laybutt

Late Mail:

There shouldn’t be much of a change for the Cowboys tonight as Payten has “confirmed” that Jeremiah Nanai is a likely starter. He got through the captain’s run without issue and they should run out as named, with maybe a few shuffles in exactly how the pack lines up.

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks

1. Connor Tracey 2. Sione Katoa 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Siosifa Talakai 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Braydon Trindall 7. Nicho Hynes 8. Toby Rudolf 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Braden Hamlin-Uele 11. Briton Nikora 12. Wade Graham 13. Cameron McInnes 

Bench: 14. Jack Williams 15. Royce Hunt 16. Thomas Hazelton 17. Matt Moylan 

Reserves: 18. Mawene Hiroti 20. Jesse Colquhoun

Late Mail:

Sharks remained 1-17 after the 24-hour cuts and it would surprise me to see anything change from this point. Matt Moylan has played the past two games off the bench, registering a DNP and then 13 minutes respectively. I’d expect he stays in that same role but Jesse Colquhoun is floating around.


Friday, 6.00pm, Daniel Anderson Stadium, Auckland

The Warriors

1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Rocco Berry 4. Adam Pompey 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Luke Metcalf 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Wayde Egan 10. Bunty Afoa 11. Jackson Ford 12. Marata Niukore 13. Tohu Harris 

Bench: 14. Dylan Walker 15. Jazz Tevaga 16. Bayley Sironen 17. Josh Curran 

Reserves: 18. Tom Ale 20. Taine Tuaupiki 21. Freddy Lussick 22. Edward Kosi 23. Ronald Volkman

Late Mail:

Wayde Egan spent time in hospital last week for the throat injury suffered against the Tigers so is in some doubt but signs are pointing to him playing at this stage. Freddy Lussick is on reserves just in case. Addin Fonua-Blake should be fine too despite an ankle injury last week. And Mitch Barnett is missing this week after getting stitches in his knee, so should return next week and likely that Bunty Afoa would be out again. Sorry Anton.

Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

1. Reuben Garrick 2. Jason Saab 3. Tolutau Koula 4. Morgan Harper 5. Ray Tuaimalo-Vaega 6. Josh Schuster 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Toafofoa Sipley 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Sean Keppie 11. Haumole Olakau’atu 12. Kelma Tuilagi 13. Jake Trbojevic 

Bench: 14. Jakob Arthur 15. Dean Matterson 16. Aaron Woods 17. Ethan Bullemor 

Reserves: 18. Gordon Chan Kum Tong 19. Ben Condon 20. Samuela Fainu 21. Austin Dias 22. Jamie Humphreys

Late Mail:

Talk for the Eagles is that Jakob Arthar will start at 5/8 with Josh Schuster moving to edge 2RF and Kelma Tuilagi dropping to the bench. Schuster averaged 58.5 PPG from 15 games on the edge in 2021.


Friday 8:00pm, CommBank Stadium, Sydney

Parramatta Eels

1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Viliami Penisini 4. Bailey Simonsson 5. Sean Russell 6. Daejarn Asi 7. Dylan Brown 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Joey Lussick 10. Junior Paulo 11. J’maine Hopgood 12. Bryce Cartwright 13. Joe Ofahengaue 

Bench: 14. Luca Moretti 15. Ryan Matterson 16. Wiremu Greig 17. Brendan Hands 

Reserves: 18. Makahesi Makatoa 19. Waqa Blake 20. Ofahiki Ogden 21. Ky Rodwell 22. Jack Murchie

Late Mail:

I don’t expect anything to change here as far as the starting 17 goes. I could see a shift of J’Maine Hopgood to lock, Ryan Matterson to edge, and Joe Ofahengaue to bench, but that’s pure speculation on my part. This is more likely to occur when one of the big boppers in the middle goes in for a rest with JoeO playing prop and the other rotating.

Sydney Roosters

1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Billy Smith 4. Joseph Manu 5. Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii 6. Luke Keary 7. Drew Hutchison 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Brandon Smith 10. Lindsay Collins 11. Siua Wong 12. Nat Butcher 13. Victor Radley 

Bench: 14. Sandon Smith 15. Fletcher Baker 16. Terrell May 17. Angus Crichton 

Reserves: 18. Sam Walker 19. Dylan Napa 20. Corey Allan 21. Fetalaiga Pauga 22. Nathan Brown

Late Mail:

Angus Crichton will play, but in what capacity I’m not sure. And despite Sam Walker being named in the reserves, Trent Robinson said today that he won’t be brought in for the game, but is close to a return.


Saturday, 3.00pm, CommBank Stadium, Sydney

Wests Tigers

1. Jahream Bula 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Starford To’a 4. Asu Kepaoa 5. Junior Tupou 6. Daine Laurie 7. Luke Brooks 8. Stefano Utoikamanu 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. David Klemmer 11. Isaiah Papali’i 12. John Bateman 13. Fonua Pole 

Bench: 14. Jake Simpkin 15. Alex Seyfarth 16. Alex Twal 17. Shawn Blore 

Reserves: 18. Justin Matamua 19. Aitasi James 20. Triston Reilly 21. Josh Feledy 22. Kit Laulilii

Late Mail:

The Tigers are finally clicking and playing some decent footy. This is the best shot they have for a win before end of the year and I don’t think we’ll see any changes to the starting 17. In saying that, Sheens named this team on Tuesday and has since be fired so Benji gets final say on the run out side.

The Dolphins

1. Kodi Nikorima 2. Jamayne Isaako 3. Jack Bostock 4. Robert Jennings 5. Tesi Niu 6. Isaiya Katoa 7. Sean O’Sullivan 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Harrison Graham 10. Herman Ese’ese 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Euan Aitken 13. Mark Nicholls 

Bench: 14. JJ Collins 15. Josh Kerr 16. Anthony Milford 17. Jarrod Wallace 

Reserves: 18. Trai Fuller 19. Max Plath 20. Poasa Faamausili 21. Mason Teague 22. Valynce Te Whare

Late Mail:

Felise Kaufusi is in doubt with a hamstring injury but is expected to play at this stage. Euan Aitken is returning from a knee injury, and probably a week early, but the Dolphins are running very thin for troops so I don’t see any changes because I’m simply not sure they’re able to.


Saturday, 5:30pm, Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast

Gold Coast Titans

1. Keano Kini 2. Alofiana Khan-Pereira 3. Brian Kelly 4. Aaron Schoupp 5. Phillip Sami 6. Jayden Campbell 7. Thomas Weaver 8. Moeaki Fotuaika 9. Chris Randall 10. Jaimin Jolliffe 11. David Fifita 12. Klese Haas 13. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui 

Bench: 14. Kruise Leeming 15. Isaac Liu 16. Joe Stimson 17. Jacob Alick 

Reserves: 18. Iszac Fa’asumaleaui 19. AJ Brimson 20. Tony Francis 21. Jo Vuna 22. Josiah Pahulu

Late Mail:

It’s looking more and more likely that AJ Brimson returns for this game. Whether he slots in at fullback or plays in the halves with Jayden Campbell going to the back, I’m not sure. But whatever the case, Keano Kini will be dropped from the side.

Penrith Panthers

1. Dylan Edwards 2. Sunia Turuva 3. Tyrone Peachey 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Mitch Kenny 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Scott Sorensen 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo 

Bench: 14. Soni Luke 15. Lindsay Smith 16. Matt Eisenhuth 17. Jaeman Salmon 

Reserves: 18. Jack Cogger 19. Luke Garner 20. Zac Hosking 21. Thomas Jenkins 22. Spencer Leniu

Late Mail:

The only expected change here is the standard prop swap between Moses Leota and Lindsay Smith. Otherwise, they’ll run out as is.


Saturday, 7:35pm, WIN Stadium, Wollongong

St George-Illawarra Dragons

1. Tyrell Sloan 2. Mathew Feagai 3. Moses Suli 4. Zac Lomax 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Talatau Amone 7. Ben Hunt 8. Francis Molo 9. Jacob Liddle 10. Blake Lawrie 11. Billy Burns 12. Dan Russell 13. Michael Molo 

Bench: 14. Connor Muhleisen 15. Ryan Couchman 16. Ben Murdoch-Masila 17. Zane Musgrove 

Reserves: 18. Toby Couchman 19. Sione Finau 20. Jaiyden Hunt 21. Paul Turner 22. Max Feagai

Late Mail:

Dragons should also be 1-17 with both Zac Lomax and Francis Molo all but certain to play.

Melbourne Storm

1. Nick Meaney 2. Reimis Smith 3. Marion Seve 4. Young Tonumaipea 5. Xavier Coates 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Tui Kamikamica 9. Harry Grant 10. Christian Welch 11. Trent Loiero 12. Eliesa Katoa 13. Josh King 

Bench: 14. Bronson Garlick 15. Tom Eisenhuth 16. Tepai Moeroa 17. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 

Reserves: 18. Alec MacDonald 19. William Warbrick 20. Jonah Pezet 21. Tariq Sims 22. Tyran Wishart

Late Mail:

The watch is on with Cameron Munster who’s expecting the birth of his second child. As was the case with SJ earlier in the year, the timing of the birth will be the deciding factor of whether Munster plays or not and SuperCoaches will be praying that kid holds on just a little while longer. Jonah Pezet will be brought in if need be.

Will Warbrick missed last week with neck soreness and could be brought back in. If he is, either Reimis Smith or Marion Seve are the likely men to make way.


Sunday 2.00pm, McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle

Newcastle Knights

1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Dominic Young 3. Dane Gagai 4. Bradman Best 5. Greg Marzhew 6. Tyson Gamble 7. Jackson Hastings 8. Jacob Saifiti 9. Phoenix Crossland 10. Leo Thompson 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 13. Adam Elliott 

Bench: 14. Kurt Mann 15. Daniel Saifiti 16. Jack Hetherington 17. Mathew Croker 

Reserves: 18. Dylan Lucas 19. Enari Tuala 20. Adam Clune 21. Brodie Jones 22. Jack Johns

Late Mail:

Even though he was a surprise inclusion to the team list, Jackson Hastings is only a 50/50 chance to play and I personally would be shocked if he does make it. He’s a tough bastard though so it’s not out of the realms of possibility. Adam Clune is on standby for his first game of the season.

The only other minor worry is Bradman Best but he’s expected to take his place.

South Sydney Rabbitohs

1. Latrell Mitchell 2. Alex Johnston 3. Isaiah Tass 4. Campbell Graham 5. Taane Milne 6. Cody Walker 7. Lachlan Ilias 8. Jai Arrow 9. Damien Cook 10. Shaquai Mitchell 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jacob Host 13. Cameron Murray 

Bench: 14. Tallis Duncan 15. Michael Chee Kam 16. Siliva Havili 17. Davvy Moale 

Reserves: 18. Tyrone Munro 19. Hame Sele 20. Peter Mamouzelos 21. Tevita Tatola 22. Dean Hawkins

Late Mail:

After last week’s game, Jason Demetriou stated that Hame Sele would likely return this week, so despite not making the initial call sheet, I’m expecting that he’s called up in place of Davvy Moale or Shaq Mitchell.

The other watch, as it is every week now, is Tyrone Munro and I’ll do my best to bring you any updates over the weekend.


Sunday, 4.05pm, GIO Stadium, Canberra

Canberra Raiders

1. Jordan Rapana 2. Albert Hopoate 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Matthew Timoko 5. Nick Cotric 6. Jack Wighton 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Josh Papali’i 9. Zac Woolford 10. Joseph Tapine 11. Hudson Young 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Corey Horsburgh 

Bench: 14. Tom Starling 15. Emre Guler 16. James Schiller 17. Ata Mariota 

Reserves: 18. Trey Mooney 19. Matt Frawley 20. Ethan Strange 21. Brad Morkos 22. Adrian Trevilyan

Late Mail:

No changes expected to this lineup. Just enjoy Jarrod Croker‘s final few NRL games for what they are.

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

1. Jake Averillo 2. Blake Wilson 3. Jacob Kiraz 4. Braidon Burns 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Matt Burton 7. Toby Sexton 8. Max King 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Liam Knight 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Corey Waddell 13. Ryan Sutton 

Bench: 14. Kyle Flanagan 15. Luke Thompson 16. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 17. Tevita Pangai Junior 

Reserves: 19. Harrison Edwards 20. Kurtis Morrin 21. Jayden Okunbor 22. Hayze Perham 23. Reece Hoffman

Late Mail:

And again here. Should be 1-17 although there could be some changes in the make up to the pack in some regard.

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Hitro Okesene

Thanks Lakey. I will be enjoying the Bunty emoji, if only for a week.


Cheers mate. Great of you to step in and keep us all up to date.

polarbear has Max Feagai in for Lomax. Is Lomax out that you know of?