Lake Mail – Round 9

There are a host of team list changes heading into round 9. Fortunately, we’ve seen the majority of them on Tuesday afternoon and the late mail is looking fairly standard for the time being. Which of course means that it will be anything but. Everything I’ve heard is below.

RAIDERS v BULLDOGS
Friday, 6.00pm, GIO Stadium, Canberra

RAIDERS: Xavier Savage was an out in the 24 hour cuts so the Raiders are shaping up to run out 1-17. The hits to SuperCoaches come from the news that Jarrod Croker is set to take up the kicking from Brad Schneider, and that Adam Elliott is likely to start in the #9 again. Tom Starling will come off the bench. The biggest loss from this side is that of Josh Papali’i’s mullet.

24 Hour Cuts: Emre Guler, Xavier Savage, Trey Mooney, James Schiller, Peter Hola

BULLDOGS: Same-same here as Josh Jackson has recovered from his COVID bout so will take up the #13 again. with Max King to bench. Bailey Biondi-Odo has survived too. Wakeham was rumoured to be returning but was dropped in the first team cuts.

24 Hour Cuts: Josh Cook, Jackson Topine, Brandon Wakeham, Reece Hoffman, Paul Alamoti

PANTHERS v EELS
Friday, 7.55pm, BlueBet Stadium, Penrith

PANTHERS: The Panthers are SO FAR unchanged but those big names on the extended bench, Brian To’o and Moses Leota, have survived the 24 cuts and been given the all clear to return from injury. With To’o, SuperCoaches will breathe a sigh of relief to hear that Charlie Staines has been named to play fullback in the NSW Cup side. Just to note though, May has been battling the flu this week. It’s sounding like he’s fine but something to monitor. Leota has moved into the starting pack, with Matt Eisenhuth dropping to the bench and Scott Sorensen making way. Sorensen hyperextended his elbow last weekend so this is likely a short term rest to get on top of that. Soni Luke has also made way for Mitch Kenny.

24 Hour Cuts: Scott Sorensen, Soni Luke, Robert Jennings, Chris Smith, J’maine Hopgood

EELS: Sean Russell being named in the squad was exciting for SuperCoaches, but he’s been named to return via the NSW Cup and subsequently drops out of first grade at the 24 hour team cuts. But Tom Opacic is good to go so Dylan Brown will return to the halves. As he damn well should.

24 Hour Cuts: Mitch Rein, Ky Rodwell, Samuel Loizou, Elie El Zakhem, Sean Russell

SEA EAGLES v TIGERS
Saturday, 3.00pm, 4 Pines Park, Sydney

SEA EAGLES: Manly duo Josh Schuster and Tolutau Koula were both sick this week and missed training. At the time of publishing this, both have been cleared of COVID through initial tests. Morgan Harper is on standby for Koula should he be too unwell. Josh Aloiai’s shoulder is good to go.

TIGERS: Stefano Utoikamanu has confirmed he’ll play against the Eagles, but not where or how much. He did speak about “building over the next few weeks” so it sounds like he’s coming off the bench, but he’ll be there. Simpkin remains the starting hooker and with Peachey on the bench as a utility, Liddle should be the 1th man.

ROOSTERS v TITANS
Saturday, 5.30pm, BB Print Stadium, Mackay

ROOSTERS: The Chooks are probable to run out 1-17 but Billy Smith is edging towards a return and Paul Momirovski is in the firing line. If Smith isn’t called in this weekend, he should be named next week.

TITANS: The Titans should also run out as named on Tuesday. Phillip Sami is named in the extended squad and is the most likely to return on game day. It would be at the expense of Corey Thompson.

COWBOYS v KNIGHTS
Saturday, 7.35pm, Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville

COWBOYS: The Cowboys have named the same team that beat the Titans last week. But considering Todd Payten’s penchant for late changes, it’s more likely than not the same will happen this week. I expect a swap between Lolo (to prop) and Cotter (to lock) and also a potential Luki/Gilbert swap as has been the case the past three games. Hammer will play a similar role to the one he did last weekend, hopefully with far less success.

KNIGHTS: Some reports about that have Kalyn Ponga moving to 5/8 and Tex Hoy at the back. I can’t see it happening in any official capacity but we may see some in game switching between the two. The rest of the team will be as named (because there’s no one left) with the only potential change being the Saifiti swap.

STORM v DRAGONS
Sunday, 2.00pm, AAMI Park, Melbourne

STORM: The Storm have had back-to-back training runs that haven’t caused any major concerns so they should be close to 1-17. The only change that would occur would be Tom Eisenhuth in for Jordan Grant, but don’t freak out when I tweet that Grant has been cut.

DRAGONS: Dragons also looking like they’ll be 1-17 but Jack Bird must prove his fitness through the captains run to actually take his place. All signs are trending upwards though so expect to see him there. Jayden Sullivan has put his hand up for inclusion as the utility which would see Amone dropped for that to occur.

SHARKS v WARRIORS
Sunday, 4.05pm, PointsBet Stadium, Sydney

SHARKS: No major changes for the Sharks but I’ve heard reports of an in team shuffle with Finucane to prop, McInnes starting at lock and Tolman to the bench. Should it happen, I’ll be coming for user @tanous. You’ve been warned.

Wade Graham will continue in a bench role for the time being as he eases his way back from his long lay off.

WARRIORS: No changes for the Warriors either so it’s good to see DWZ returning. Also, a pre-emptive RIP to whoever of Rocco Berry (most likely) or Viliami Vailea has to mark up on Siosifa Talakai.

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