Only a small slate this week which means less players to monitor, but the importance of each is higher than ever and there is still a bit up in the air regarding a couple of popular players and their availability/positions.
As usual I’ll be tweeting the 24 hour and game day mail @AStilesAuthor and good luck for the first bye!
TIGERS V PANTHERS, FRIDAY 7:55PM
TIGERS: Luciano Leilua had a successful outing at the judiciary on Tuesday night so the Tigers should run out 1-17. Jake Simpkin owners hoping for a reprieve will be sad to see him drop out Thursday night, along with Tuki Simpkins.
PANTHERS: Dylan Edwards and J’Maine Hopgood are listed with hamstring and ankle injuries respectively, though I watched the presser with Ivan Cleary on Thursday afternoon and he referenced the timely return of Edwards given the Origin callups so I imagine he is good to go based on that. Sunia Turuva and Kurt Falls were the first men cut.
STORM V TITANS, SATURDAY 7:35PM
STORM: Kenny Bromwich is listed with a hamstring injury but from all accounts is fit to play. Tom Eisenhuth surprisingly isn’t in the casualty ward but he copped a heavy knock last week after 15 minutes and I assume will need to pass through concussion protocols to play. Cheese copped a head knock too last week (I remember the group chat blowing up accordingly) but was able to return so I don’t think he’s in any doubt.
TITANS: Ash Taylor lingers in the casualty ward with his hip injury but he should be good to go, though Greg Marzhew looks like he will finally debut in place of Anthony Don on the wing. I can’t wait to see this guy finally in action!
KNIGHTS V EELS, SUNDAY 4:05PM
KNIGHTS: Kurt Mann (groin), Tex Hoy (head knock) and Lachlan Fitzgibbon (head knock) are all listed in the casualty ward with the latter two having to pass protocols to line up and Mann likely to be monitored throughout captain’s run. Tyson Frizell has been ruled out for six rounds with an ankle injury and Barry Toohey rates Brodie Jones to hold down the edge position over this time, making him a decent cheapie shout this week. Minutes are unknown at this stage however and Toohey doesn’t expect 80 so there is some risk there. Jake Clifford was touted to make his debut this round and has been named on the extended bench so could be a late inclusion into the halves, which potentially sends Connor Watson back to the bench despite being arguably the team’s best on ground at the 6 last week. It’s so understood that young prop Matt Croker will debut as well from the bench.
EELS: Reed Mahoney owners can breathe a half sigh of relief as Travis Meyn reports that unless things change, the rake is expected to play for Parramatta this weekend, though obviously the official confirmation will be key. Joey Lussick is the only hooker on the extended bench and is the most likely to replace him should he be held out. Will Smith is listed as carrying a thumb injury but I haven’t seen much commentary about him so likely just needs to be cleared at captain’s run.