Stilesy’s Late Mail – Round 18

I could go into the absolute insanity that was Origin, and the obvious impact it has on late mail this round. I could bang on about not knowing until you know. About the complexion of the round changing across the whole weekend. But I think this response on Twitter sums it up best:

This round is going to be an absolute doozy but I’ll try to navigate it as best as possible.

As usual, all the 24 hour and game day updates will be flying across the weekend @AStilesAuthor and keep the altered schedule in mind.


COWBOYS: Tom Dearden won’t be backing up after his Origin debut and was ruled out at the 24 hour mark. Ben Hampton has replaced him at five-eighth and Thomas Chester has joined the interchange. Tom Gilbert remains named on the edge, but I would have to think he’s a chance of reverting to the bench or dropping out based on his own Origin performance.

24 hour cuts: Dearden, Pere, Condon

Final side: Dearden out, Hampton halves, Leilua edge, Lemuelu/Chester bench, Price 18th

SHARKS: Siosifa Talakai was a somewhat unsurprising inclusion to the team at the 24 hour cut, albeit off the bench. Owners will hope he reverts to a starting role come game day. Aiden Tolman dropped out to accommodate him. No other changes expected with Nicho Hynes and Toby Rudolf returning from covid.

24 hour cuts: Tolman, Dykes, Miller

Final side: Tolman out, Colquhoun bench, Trindall 18th, Talakai not playing


EELS: Based on the 24 hour cuts it looks like Junior Paulo will play after Origin though he could revert to the bench before kickoff. Not expecting any other changes at this stage.

24 hour cuts: Opacic, Nathan Brown, Ogden

WARRIORS: The Warriors also look like they’ll be 1-17.

24 hour cuts: Asi, Petterson-Robati, Frei


ROOSTERS: There are a lot of Origin ramifications in this one. The obvious player who will drop out is Lindsay Collins who failed his HIA and is no chance to back up. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves has also dropped out with Nat Butcher moving to prop and Hutchison/Lodge joining the interchange. James Tedesco and Angus Crichton both had massive Origin games and as a winger Daniel Tupou obviously played 80 minutes but with the Roosters currently out of the top 8 I would imagine all will be trying to back up unless physically incapable of doing so.

24 hour cuts: Collins, Waerea-Hargreaves, Baker, Naiqama, Keighran

DRAGONS: Ben Hunt, the redeemed king of Suncorp Stadium, is the main player under the microscope here but he has a history of backing up and I would expect him to do so here until I see otherwise. Josh Kerr and Jaiyden Hunt both dropped off the interchange and have been replaced by Billy Burns and Josh McGuire.

24 hour cuts: Kerr, Jaiyden Hunt, Sloan


SEA EAGLES: Daly Cherry-Evans is likely still riding high from Wednesday night and has declared himself a starter already for the weekend. Jake Trbojevic had a big innings minutes-wise but I’ve not seen anything thus far placing him in doubt of backing up. NRL Physio isn’t concerned about Reuben Garrick’s hip pointer injury and therefore neither am I.

KNIGHTS: Kalyn Ponga, Jacob Saifiti and Dane Gagai are the ones to watch here. Ponga has missed the last few rounds at club level so I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s keen to back up. Dane Gagai was involved in a bit of biff but I’m expecting him to back up as well, and with 36 Origin minutes on Wednesday night I would imagine Saifiti is OK as well.


TITANS: Tino Fa’asuamaleaui traditionally backs up from Origin so I would expect a similar outcome here, with no other changes expected in the side.

BRONCOS: Patrick Carrigan and Corey Oates were only named on the extended bench on Tuesday so I imagined both will be rested here, though apparently Carrigan messaged Reynolds “LETS GO SATURDAY” so he could be a late inclusion. Although not named at all, Selwyn Cobbo has been cleared of further injury outside his concussion so could be a chance next week.


TIGERS: Not expecting many changes to the Tigers this week, should be 1-17.

PANTHERS: None of the Panthers’ Origin players were named to back up so I’m expecting another 1-17 here.


STORM: The Melbourne Storm confirmed that Harry Grant only suffered a cork during Origin and they expect him to play on Sunday. With Cameron Munster and Felise Kaufusi already missing from Origin, there is nobody else in doubt here so 1-17 looks like a possibility.

RAIDERS: Elliott Whitehead looks like he’ll miss with a knee infection and will be replaced by Corey Harawira-Naera, while Nick Cotric is also in doubt. In better news I’d expect Josh Papali’i to be available after Origin.


BULLDOGS: Matt Burton ate a few fists Wednesday night but is expected to play at this stage. Aaron Schoupp is expected to be ruled out with covid however and will be replaced by Declan Casey.

RABBITOHS: Cameron Murray is surely no chance to play after failing his Origin HIA in the opening minute. Davvy Moale started last round and could come in at lock or they could look to Siliva Havili. Damien Cook and Jai Arrow both played reasonably low minutes so I sould expect Cook to back up, but Jai Arrow is in doubt.

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Is Tacklehi the new Noel Cleal of Origin? History is hilarious.


No comparison. Other than his embarrassing goal-line dropout moment in the wet, Cleal played well in origin (13 games). Not sure Talakai will get another chance.

Last edited 10 months ago by DCE2011

Thanks for the write-up, really good information.


Damien Cook and Jai Arrow both played reasonably low minutes so I would expect both to back up.”

If you saw the Thursday morning interview with Arrow, I’d say there’s a chance he misses this week.


Ha. Hardly. Just that Arrow wandered back to the team hotel at 6.30am wearing a canetoad hat he’d traded his playing shorts for. He was a mess. It’s great TV


His eyes matched his canetoad hat.


Hi All
I’ve traded out Talakai for Tapine. I just wonder if Talakai will go berserk this weekend and score a 150. Anyway I’ve got McInnes or Mahoney instead of Talakai.
TU: Trade out Talakai
TD: Trade out Mahoney/ McInnes


I also traded out Talakai after weeks of indecision. I could have made a heap way back when, but that’s what you get.

Now that I’ve done it, he will most certainly finish the game with 400m, 34 tackle busts, 3 tries and 7 assists.


As an owner, I hope so 


Thanks the input. Conan described my fears.


Talakai pulled out so it was decided for me.