REST ROUND. I was skeptical prior to TLT that the carnage would be widespread, however the players who have been given the week off are hugely SuperCoach relevant and the makeups of several team benches *cough Panthers* still have us in a frenzy when our teams are barely holding together. Surely some luck has to fall our way, right?
As usual I will update this article Thursday evening and you can follow me on Twitter @AStilesAuthor for all the updates as the round progresses.
South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Canterbury Bulldogs, Thursday 7:50pm
No changes expected for the Rabbitohs with Cody Walker looking fine to take the field after being in doubt after last weekend. Tevita Tatola and Cory Denniss dropped out Wednesday evening. Update: 1-17
The Bulldogs similarly look 1-17. Nick Meaney and James Roumanos were the two omitted 24 hours out. Update: 1-17
North Queensland Cowboys vs Penrith Panthers, Friday 6:00pm
Esan Marsters is out for this one and has been replaced at centre by Deajarn Asi. This also sees Jason Taumalolo return from the interchange, although he will be on a minutes restriction. Peter Hola also dropped out Thursday night.
All eyes are on the Panthers this round, though things are a little clearer with Dean Whare and Charlie Staines dropping out which is great news for Josh Mansour owners. This leaves Billy Burns and Matt Burton on the interchange, which places question marks on Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai. Cleary at least has flown to Townsville and is expected to play. Spencer Leniu seems like he’ll be fine to play despite a head knock last week.
Parramatta Eels vs Brisbane Broncos, Friday 7:55pm
No changes expected for the Eels, should be 1-17. Haze Dunster and Stefano Utoikamanu dropped out Thursday night.
The Broncos also appear 1-17. Pride Petterson-Robati and Sean O’Sullivan were omitted at first cut.
Manly Sea Eagles vs Gold Coast Titans, Saturday 3pm
Tom Trbojevic will make his glorious return when FLB stocks are shot. His inclusion sees Tevita Funa shift to the wing and Abbas Miski to the bench. Addin Fonua-Blake has been ruled out, which sees Taniela Paseka start at prop. Reuben Garrick also dropped out 24 hours out.
Brian Kelly will be a game day decision with his ankle injury, and his inclusion would push Treymain Spry out of the side. No other changes expected. Toby Sexton and Nathan Peats were omitted at first team cut.
Melbourne Storm vs Wests Tigers, Saturday 5:30pm
Brandon Smith and Paul Momirovski could both return from injury this round and would replace Ryley Jacks and Brenko Lee respectively. Christian Welch has breached Covid protocols and will not play this round. He is likely replaced at prop by Nelson Asofa-Solomona with Tino moving to lock.
No changes expected for the Tigers, should be 1-17.
Sydney Roosters vs Cronulla Sharks, Saturday 7:35pm
Boyd Cordner is out this round as the Roosters play it safe. Angus Crichton will likely replace him on the edge with Poasa Faamausili being promoted to the bench.
No issues for the Sharks, should be 1-17.
Canberra Raiders vs New Zealand Warriors, Sunday 2:00pm
The Raiders should be 1-17 with Sia Soliola expected to be given another week.
Pika Hiku is most in doubt and must pass HIA protocols to play. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Kodi Nikorima were on light duties during the week but should line up.
Newcastle Knights vs St George Illawarra Dragons, Sunday 4:05pm
The Knights rested last week so should have everyone ready to go this round, expected to be 1-17.
Josh Kerr must pass HIA protocols and would be replaced by Eddie Blacker if he is ruled out. Adam Clune is expected to play despite an ankle injury.