Our teams are decimated. Our rankings are plummeting. We’re reeling. We’re hurting. We’re barely scraping together a 17. So please SC gods, just one round with no late outs?
As always I will update the rest of the mail on Thursday night/Friday morning and you can follow me on Twitter @AStilesAuthor for the game day and 24 hour updates. Good luck for Round 8!
Melbourne Sunshine Coast Storm vs Sydney Roosters, Thursday 7:50pm
Cameron Smith appears set to start in the halves and could switch between there and hooker throughout the game as needed, according to Bellamy. This would see Brandon Smith start at hooker and Ryley Jacks drop to the bench. Cooper Johns and Chris Lewis were omitted Wednesday night.
James Tedesco is mercifully confirmed to return to Roosters this round in a massive boost for owners, with no other changes expected. Daniel Suluka-Fifita and Freddy Lussick were trimmed 24 hours out. Should be 1-17.
Canberra Raiders vs St George-Illawarra Dragons, Friday 6:00pm
Joe Tapine has been all but confirmed to play with the omission of Dunamis Lui, who dropped out alongside Kai O’Donnell on Thursday night. George Williams will play despite breaking his nose last round. Josh Papalii has also passed concussion protocols and will play. 1-17 expected.
The Dragons appear set to run out 1-17. Billy Brittain and Tim Lafai were cut 24 hours out.
Parramatta Eels vs North Queensland Cowboys, Friday 7:55pm
No late changes for the Eels, should be 1-17. Stefano Utoikamanu and Will Smith were cut 24 hours out.
Valentine Holmes made it through training on Thursday but Coach Green said his return will depend on how he pulls up Friday. He will not travel with the team if his ankle isn’t right so we should know early. In bad news for SuperCoaches, Green confirmed that cheapie Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow likely makes way at this stage if Holmes is right to play. When questioned if he would consider Hammer as a utility, Green confirmed he prefers Ben Hampton in that role. Jordan McLean has been ruled out with a calf injury. Francis Molo starts at prop with Reuben Cotter joining the interchange.
Gold Coast Titans vs Cronulla Sharks, Saturday 3:00pm
Philip Sami (dislocated shoulder) and Kevin Proctor (ruptured bicep) have both been ruled out for multiple weeks after being injured at training. Tyrone Roberts returns at fullback with Corey Thompson shifting to the wing, Bryce Cartwright to edge and Erin Clark onto the interchange.
The Sharks should run out as named however every week we see some swap in the pack. Last week it was Andrew Fifita to the bench for Braden Hamlin-Uele and in the weeks before that there was a swap involving Toby Rudolph. Hard to see something like this not happening again this round. William Kennedy and Nene MacDonald dropped out Friday afternoon.
New Zealand Warriors vs Brisbane Broncos, Saturday 5:30pm
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was unsuccessful in overturning his should charge at the judiciary so will not play. Peta Hiku will switch to fullback with Gerard Beale joining the centres.
Despite being named to start, Matt Lodge will not overcome his ankle injury and will be replaced in the starting side by Tom Flegler with Corey Oates being recalled to the interchange. I tried to find some info about a rumoured Anthony Milford injury but couldn’t see anything floating around.
Wests Tigers vs Penrith Pathers, Saturday 7:35pm
Adam Douehi and Thomas Mikaele will need to make it through captain’s run after nursing knee injuries but at this stage both are expected to play barring any setbacks. No other changes expected.
Brent Naden is being tipped to replace Dean Whare at centre for the Panthers with no other changes expected.
Manly Sea Eagles vs Newcastle Knights, Sunday 4:05pm
Should run out 1-17.
Also expected to be 1-17.
Canterbury Bulldogs vs South Sydney Rabbitohs, Sunday 6:30pm
Adam Elliott has been referred to the integrity unit over a video that has surfaced from 5 years ago. Not sure at this stage how this effects his availability for the round. Luke Thompson could also be a late inclusion onto the interchange but is told it’s his decision to make so we may not know until captain’s run.
Should run out 1-17.