We’re at the business end of not only the NRL season, but the SuperCoach season as well. Round 26 brings about the head to head finals and hopefully you’re still alive in all of those leagues that matter the most to you. Yours truly is facing off for the premiership in just one league this season, and it just so happens to be the NRLSCTalk Lakey league. Fitting.
But onto the reason we’re here. Because none of the above matters if the team lists strip us of all valuable assets. And those who have loaded up on Souths players to get this far are now in for one hell of a tough weekend. Let’s see if they are your only issue.
And apologies for a straight to the point teams wrap this week. Work slammed me today.
This Weeks Bye Team/s
South Sydney Rabbitohs
Bunnies players are all off this week (obviously), but Latrell Mitchell has been handed a one match ban from his late elbow to Tyson Frizell on Sunday afternoon, meaning he’ll also miss round 27. His season is over.
PENRITH PANTHERS vs PARRAMATTA EELS
Thursday, 7.50pm, BlueBet Stadium, Penrith
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. Jack Cogger 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Zac Hosking 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo
Bench: 14. Soni Luke 15. Lindsay Smith 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Luke Garner
Reserves: 18. Jaeman Salmon 19. Luke Sommerton 20. Jesse McLean 21. Thomas Jenkins 22. Matt Eisenhuth
Brian To’o ($775.9k – CTW – BE 60) returns this week after being rested last weekend. To’o is a big in for the SuperCoach run home and now that he’s had his rest, it’s hard to imagine he misses either of the next two despite any restings that may occur.
No other changes to last weeks team with Scott Sorensen and Mitch Kenny remaining out. Jack Cogger ($404.5k – HFB – BE 78) continues at hooker.
And still no Izack Tago. Coach Cleary has stated that he will be back before finals so if he’s not included this weekend, you’d assume the return will come next week.
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. Ryan Matterson 12. Bryce Cartwright 13. J’maine Hopgood
Bench: 14. Luca Moretti 15. Shaun Lane 16. Wiremu Greig 17. Joe Ofahengaue
Reserves: 18. Makahesi Makatoa 19. Brendan Hands 20. Waqa Blake 21. Ky Rodwell 22. Ofahiki Ogden
With that loss to the Roosters, Last years Grand Finalists can no longer make the finals. Technically, Shaun Lane ($473.3k – 2RF – BE 77) is due back this week, and he has been named, but why rush him back for two weeks that essentially mean nothing. I don’t get it.
THE WARRIORS vs St. GEORGE-ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Friday, 6.00pm, Daniel Anderson Stadium, Auckland
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. Josh Curran 12. Marata Niukore 13. Tohu Harris
Bench: 14. Dylan Walker 15. Jackson Ford 16. Bayley Sironen 17. Freddy Lussick
Reserves: 18. Tom Ale 20. Taine Tuaupiki 21. Edward Kosi 22. Te Maire Martin 23. Kalani Going
No changes for the Warriors this week.
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. Jayden Sullivan 20. Max Feagai 21. Sione Finau 22. Jaiyden Hunt
Similar here with the only change being the return of Zac Lomax ($769k – CTW – BE 105). It should be noted though that Jacob Liddle ($423.9k – HOK – BE 72) and Connor Muhleisen ($200.8k – HOK – BE 21) switched up spots to start last week so the same could happen again here.
THE DOLPHINS vs NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Friday 8:00pm, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
1. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 2. Jamayne Isaako 3. Tesi Niu 4. Robert Jennings 5. Jack Bostock 6. Kodi Nikorima 7. Sean O’Sullivan 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Harrison Graham 10. Mark Nicholls 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Connelly Lemuelu 13. Kenny Bromwich
Bench: 14. Jarrod Wallace 15. Josh Kerr 16. Euan Aitken 17. Herman Ese’ese
Reserves: 18. JJ Collins 19. Isaiya Katoa 20. Valynce Te Whare 21. Anthony Milford 22. Kurt Donoghoe
The three players who missed last with after failed HIA’s (being Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow ($479.7k – CTW/FLB – BE 79), Connelly Lemuelu ($478k – 2RF/CTW – BE 25) and Kenny Bromwich ($411.3k – 2RF/FRF – BE 61)) are back, causing a mess of a shuffle to last weeks starting lineup.
Nth Queensland Cowboys
1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Zac Laybutt 4. Peta Hiku 5. Murray Taulagi 6. Tom Dearden 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jordan McLean 9. Reece Robson 10. Jason Taumalolo 11. Luciano Leilua 12. Heilum Luki 13. Reuben Cotter
Bench: 14. Jake Granville 15. Coen Hess 16. Griffin Neame 17. Kulikefu Finefeuiaki
Reserves: 18. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 19. Brendan Elliot 20. James Tamou 21. Robert Derby 22. Jack Gosiewski
A big out for the Cowboys with Jeremiah Nanai missing. He came back early from his shoulder injury but then aggravated it during the game. Reportedly needing multiple needles to make it through last week, the shoulder clearly remains a concern. Semi Valemei is also out from the wing. Heilum Luki ($440.6k – 2RF – BE 63) gets the start on the edge with both of Zac Laybutt ($200.8k – CTW – BE -9) and Kulikefu Finefeuiaki ($269.6k – 2RF – BE 38) joining the squad.
MELBOURNE STORM vs GOLD COAST TITANS
Saturday, 3.00pm, AAMI Park, Melbourne
1. Nick Meaney 2. William Warbrick 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. Nelson Asofa-Solomona
Bench: 14. Bronson Garlick 15. Tom Eisenhuth 16. Tepai Moeroa 17. Alec MacDonald
Reserves: 18. Reimis Smith 19. Ryan Papenhuyzen 20. Chris Lewis 21. Tariq Sims 22. Tyran Wishart
The Storm are getting healthier, and while still a chance to miss out on a top 4 spot, that’s unlikely to happen this week.
Josh King is out, being replaced at lock by Nelson Asofa-Solomona ($415.2k – FRF – BE 79), but the main news is the almost return of Ryan Papenhuyzen. It will be great to see those flowing locks once more but expect minimal minutes if he’s brought into this one as the Storm continue to be cautious with his return. The unknown of his return, apart from the minutes restrictions, is how this will affect Nick Meaney ($602.2k – FLB/CTW – BE -6) in the next couple of weeks. Will Warbrick ($448.6k – CTW – BE -8) has proven his value to the side on the right wing so I’m not sure we’ll see Meaney revert to that side, which I’m guessing (and I stress guessing) that means a shared fullback slot in the short term.
Gold Coast Titans
1. AJ Brimson 2. Alofiana Khan-Pereira 3. Brian Kelly 4. Aaron Schoupp 5. Jojo Fifita 6. Kieran Foran 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. Keano Kini 19. Jo Vuna 20. Tony Francis 21. Iszac Fa’asumaleaui 22. Josiah Pahulu
The Titans lost the game and lost Jayden Campbell through a very serious looking injury. Thankfully, it’s not an ACL tear but whatever the final diagnosis is, he’ll miss the rest of the year. Kieran Foran ($375.6k – 5/8 – BE 84) comes back into the halves as his replacement.
Phillip Sami was also hurt during that game so misses with Jojo Fifita ($319.3k – CTW – BE 41) filling the void.
SYDNEY ROOSTERS vs WESTS TIGERS
Saturday, 5:30pm, Allianz Stadium, Sydney
1. Joseph Manu 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Billy Smith 4. Corey Allan 5. Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii 6. Luke Keary 7. Sam Walker 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. Drew Hutchison 19. Egan Butcher 20. Zach Dockar-Clay 21. Fetalaiga Pauga 22. Naufahu Whyte
The Roosters have found some form in recent weeks and while still looking unlikely, they’re finals chances are still alive.
However, they’ll have to continue the fight this week without James Tedesco who failed a HIA on Saturday and is stood down under the concussion protocols. To cover, the Chooks have named Joey Manu ($676.9k – CTW/5/8 – BE 72) at fullback and brought in Corey Allan ($349.3k – CTW/FLB – BE 35) at centre.
Also, Sam Walker ($558.8k – HFB – BE 106) finally makes his way back into the side at halfback. He’s been coming back gradually in the NSW Cup and finally played through 80 minutes last week which has given Trent Robinson confidence in his first grade return. One wonders where this team would be if they’d never dropped him in the first place.
And Jared Waerea-Hargreaves ($470.9k – FRF – BE 67) is back in the front row rotation.
1. Jahream Bula 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Triston Reilly 4. Asu Kepaoa 5. Junior Tupou 6. Daine Laurie 7. Will Smith 8. Stefano Utoikamanu 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. David Klemmer 11. Isaiah Papali’i 12. John Bateman 13. Fonua Pole
Bench: 14. Justin Matamua 15. Shawn Blore 16. Alex Twal 17. Alex Seyfarth
Reserves: 18. Aitasi James 19. Brandon Wakeham 20. Josh Feledy 21. Kit Laulilii 22. Tommy Talau
Just one change at Tiger-town. Will Smith ($326.9k – 5/8/HOK – BE 92) is in at halfback, but that allows Api Koroisau ($632.5k – HOK – BE 60) to revert to hooker which is a big boost in my humble opinion.
CANBERRA RAIDERS vs BRISBANE BRONCOS
Saturday, 7:35pm, GIO Stadium, Canberra
1. Jordan Rapana 2. Albert Hopoate 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Matthew Timoko 5. Nick Cotric 6. Matt Frawley 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. Pasami Saulo 19. Brad Morkos 20. Jack Wighton 21. Sebastian Kris 22. Adrian Trevilyan
Canberra got a much needed win over the Dogs to hold onto 6th spot for now, but they’re a chance of missing the 8 still and this matchup doesn’t help at all.
Jack Wighton missed last week and was being talked about as returning here but has only been named in the #20 jersey for now. I expect he’ll be called up though. That’s the good news. The bad is that Corey Horburgh ($582.4k – 2RF/FRF – BE 56) suffered a head knock, and Albert Hopoate ($347.5k – CTW/FLB – BE 81) a rib injury. They’ve both been named as the Raiders roll out the same team sheet as the weekends game. Again, expect some changes across the weekend to what you see here.
1. Reece Walsh 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Herbie Farnworth 5. Selwyn Cobbo 6. Ezra Mam 7. Jock Madden 8. Thomas Flegler 9. Billy Walters 10. Payne Haas 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Jordan Riki 13. Patrick Carrigan
Bench: 14. Tyson Smoothy 15. Brendan Piakura 16. Kobe Hetherington 17. Corey Jensen
Reserves: 18. Jesse Arthars 19. Keenan Palasia 20. Martin Taupau 21. Tristan Sailor 22. Deine Mariner
The Broncos return off the bye but news surfaced across the weekend that Adam Reynolds is still struggling with the calf injury that he picked up in round 24, and that he’d be out at least one more week. Jock Madden ($335.4k – HFB/5/8 – BE 10) will take over halfback duties as he has in previous ARey absences.
Elsewhere, Deine Mariner and Keenan Palasia make way for Corey Oates ($510.9k – CTW – BE 87) and Corey Jensen ($405.2k – FRF – BE 47) respectively.
CANTERBURY-BANKSTOWN BULLDOGS vs MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Sunday 2.00pm, Accor Stadium, Sydney
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. Harrison Edwards
Bench: 14. Kyle Flanagan 15. Luke Thompson 16. Kurtis Morrin 17. Tevita Pangai Junior
Reserves: 19. Jayden Okunbor 20. Samuel Hughes 21. Jeral Skelton 22. Hayze Perham 23. Joseph O’Neill
After being brought in from 18th man to the starting squad, Jayden Okunbor drops out for Kurtis Morrin ($234.5k – 2RF – BE 43). The Dogs are otherwise unchanged.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
1. Tolutau Koula 2. Jason Saab 3. Brad Parker 4. Morgan Harper 5. Ray Tuaimalo-Vaega 6. Jakob Arthur 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Toafofoa Sipley 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Sean Keppie 11. Haumole Olakau’atu 12. Ben Trbojevic 13. Jake Trbojevic
Bench: 14. Gordon Chan Kum Tong 15. Kelma Tuilagi 16. Aaron Woods 17. Ethan Bullemor
Reserves: 18. Josh Schuster 19. Dean Matterson 20. Ben Condon 21. Samuela Fainu 22. Reuben Garrick
Reuben Garrick may have played his final game of the season after being ruled out here. He fell heavily on his back last week which will keep him out for this week and he’s currently considered an “outside chance” at returning in round 27, but with the season over for Manly, why risk him? Tolutau Koula ($474.2k – FLB/CTW – BE 98) starts at fullback and Brad Parker ($260.1k – CTW – BE 38) returns at centre.
Meanwhile, Anthony Siebold, like SuperCoaches everywhere, has had enough of Josh Schuster. He was benched for Jakob Arthur ($244.6k – HFB – BE 6) last week and now has been omitted from the side entirely. Ben Trbojevic ($293.7k – CTW/2RF – BE 54) is back and starts on the edge.
NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS vs CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Sunday, 4.05pm, McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
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. Fa’amanu Brown
Jackson Hastings ($498.2k – HFB/5/8 – BE 54) has been named to return in place of Adam Clune, with the latter unlucky after a very good game against the Bunnies. A couple of other Knights took knocks during the game but all have been named with no major concerns at this stage.
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. Jesse Colquhoun 19. Mawene Hiroti 20. Oregon Kaufusi 21. Kayal Iro 22. Jayden Berrell
And the Sharks are unchanged. They’ve pieced together a couple of wins of late and will be hoping to continue the run. A loss here would see their opponents leapfrog them on the ladder.