The late SJ out last week was a real test of team depth and AE strength for many SuperCoaches. The hits kept coming on TLT with Taumalolo injured, Fotuaika suspended and Talakai relegated to the bench. This week we’re already on BMoz watch, with the ‘popular POD’ trade in target in doubt with a hip injury. When will it end?
As always, I will update this article on Thursday evening with the remaining mail and you can follow me on Twitter @AStilesAuthor for the 24 hour and game day updates.
Parramatta Eels vs South Sydney Rabbitohs, Thursday 7:50pm
No changes expected for the Eels. Will Smith and Brad Takairangi were omitted 24 hours out. Update: 1-17
Dane Gagai dropped out of the squad at first cut with a minor hamstring injury and is replaced at centre by Steven Marsters. Jed Cartwright was also omitted. No other changes expected. Update: Per the mail
St George-Illawarra Dragons vs Gold Coast Titans, Friday 6:00pm
Dean Young has confirmed the Dragons will run out 1-17, with Billy Brittain to spell Ben Hunt at hooker. Young confirmed that he sees Hunt as the team’s hooker moving forward but says he’ll be most effective in two stints, which suggests he might play the first and last 30. Jayden Sullivan and Max Feagai dropped out Thursday evening.
Only one potential late change for the Titans, with Philip Sami in doubt with a knee complaint and Anthony Don looking for a return either this week or next, according to Holbrook. Treymain Spry and Darius Farmer were omitted at first team cut.
Sydney Roosters vs Brisbane Broncos, Friday 7:55pm
Brett Morris is in doubt for this one with a hip injury, although he was pictured at captain’s run. Ryan Hall also featured in a few photos but it appeared he was on the opposite wing, which could raise some concerns for Danial Tupou’s return. First team cut made things no clearer with Max Bailey and Egan Butcher dropping out with Hall still on the extended bench.
The team trained as named during the week so no changes expected for the Broncos. Brodie Croft appears as though he’ll play back up hooker… Corey Oates was omitted Thursday night along with Tyson Gamble.
New Zealand Warriors vs Newcastle Knights, Saturday 3:00pm
It looks like the Warriors will run out 1-17.
Starford To’a is in doubt with a concussion, which would see Tex Hoy shift to centre and Enari Tuala to the wing should he be ruled out. No other changes expected.
Cronulla Sharks vs North Queensland Cowboys, Saturday 5:30pm
Shaun Johnson is out once again, this time with the groin injury he sustained a few weeks ago. The Sharks have been granted an exemption to bring Braydon Trindall back into the side. If Andrew Fifita makes it through captain’s run he should slot onto the bench at the expense of Jack Williams or Royce Hunt. As usual it would not surprise me for Scott Sorensen to start at lock with Toby Rudolph dropping to the bench.
The Cowboys appear set for 1-17.
Penrith Panthers vs Wests Tigers, Saturday 7:35pm
Moses Leota is battling a hamstring complaint and could trigger a pack shuffle if ruled out, with James Fisher-Harris likely to shift back to prop and Isaah Yeo to lock. Kurt Capewell could be a late inclusion on the edge if this happens, however Billy Burns or Tyrone May are the most likely candidates.
The Tigers appear 1-17 at this stage.
Melbourne Storm vs Manly Sea Eagles, Sunday 4:05pm
The Storm appear 1-17.
It appears Albert Hopoate will make his NRL debut at centre for Manly after being recalled from the Warriors. He would take Jack Gosiewski’s place with Gosiewski reverting to the bench.
Canberra Raiders vs Canterbury Bulldogs, Sunday 6:05pm
The Raiders appear set to run out 1-17 barring another last minute shuffle in the forward pack, as they are known to do on game day.
The Bulldogs also seem likely to run out 1-17.