The post-Origin rounds are finally in the rearview and, touch wood, we hopefully have some semblance of normalcy with only the usual late outs to worry about and not all this last minute resting.
As usual I’ll be tweeting out all the 24 hour and game day mail @AStilesAuthor across the weekend.
ROOSTERS V KNIGHTS, FRIDAY 6:00PM
ROOSTERS: Siosiua Taukeiaho has been ruled out with a hamstring injury and has been replaced on the bench by Fletcher Baker. No other players seem in doubt with Josh Morris the other man to drop out Thursday evening.
KNIGHTS: David Klemmer has been ruled out due to a concussion sustained last week. His bench position has been taken by Jack Johns. In better concussion news, Kalyn Ponga will be playing and I’ve heard from a few places he could have returned last week after his HIA but the game was already out of hand by that stage so coach AOB decided to play it safe. Both Daniel and Jacob Saifiti are in the casualty ward with rib and ankle injuries respectively but at this stage look like they’ll play after surviving the first team cut. I’m also having round one flashbacks with Connor Watson named at lock with Sauaso Sue lurking on the bench, so owners will be hoping there is no game day swap. Simi Sasagi and Lachlan Fitzgibbon both dropped off the extended bench, with Jirah Momoisea joining the extended bench to make up the numbers.
COWBOYS V STORM, FRIDAY 7:55PM
COWBOYS: Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow was unfortuantely rushed for an emergency appendectomy during the week and has been ruled out. Scott Drinkwater shifts to fullback with Daejarn Asi moving to five-eighth. Peter Hola also dropped out 24 hours out.
STORM: Coach Bellamy indicated in a pre-game media release that after taking a cautious approach Ryan Papanhuyzen will be playing in this game, though he was very coy about his actual position and simply said they have a plan that they’ll stick with unless there are injuries (he was asked twice about Pap starting and he blatantly refused to answer). This could mean many different things and the scenarios as I see it are:
- He plays in a utility role or through the middle rotation. I don’t think we’ll see the full spine rotate mid-game but could be wrong
- He shifts to fullback pre-game with Nicho Hynes moving into the halves and Cooper Johns drops out, or Jahrome Hughes who has apparently carrying a calf injury despite not being named in the casualty ward
The 24 hour mail didn’t tell us too much, with Aaron Booth and Marion Seve dropping out, with Trent Loiero taking Booth’s place on the interchange.
RABBITOHS V WARRIORS, SATURDAY 3:00PM
RABBITOHS: Campbell Graham has not passed concussion protocols and has been ruled out. Taane Milne survives another week after being promoted to centre with Braidon Burns joining the bench. Dean Hawkins was the other player to drop out.
WARRIORS: Nobody named is in the casualty ward so they should be 1-17. Sean O’Sullivan and Ben Murdoch-Masila were the first players cut.
SEA EAGLES V TIGERS, SATURDAY 5:30PM
SEA EAGLES: The Sea Eagles have a host of returning troops including Tom and Jake Trbojevic, Daly Cherry-Evans and Josh Aloiai. Tommy Turbo and DCE were simply rested and should be good to go, though after extended layoffs I’d expect Jake and Josh need to make it through captain’s run though haven’t seen anything playing any of the 17 in doubt at this stage. As usual I caution for a swap around in the forward pack on game day.
TIGERS: Nobody named is in the casualty ward so I’m expecting 1-17 after Thomas Mikaele did start at lock last week, which I found questionable at the time.
PANTHERS V BRONCOS, SATURDAY 7:35PM
PANTHERS: James Fisher-Harris is listed with a neck injury though he should be OK for this game, however will miss the next 2 as he’ll leave the bubble for the birth of his child. Jarome Luai is also confirmed to return from injury, however Api Koroisau is being investigated for a Covid breach for bringing someone into camp in Origin II. I am nsure if this will have any impact on the upcoming game yet but if it does, I assume Mitch Kenny slots straight into the hooker role.
BRONCOS: TC Robati is in the casualty ward with a leg injury but NRL Physio says he should be right to play this week. Kotoni Staggs was questionable with an hamstring injury going into last round and didn’t see out the whole 80. He isn’t listed in the casualty ward though I’m skeptical.
DRAGONS V TITANS, SUNDAY 1:50PM
DRAGONS: Nobody seems to be in any doubt so the Dragons should be 1-17.
TITANS: Mo Fotuaika dropped to the bench last round with Jaimin Jollife starting and it wouldn’t surprise me to find him on the bench again, though as I mentioned last week it could be a swap involving Tino and Peachey (though that never came to fruition). Greg Marzhew should be fine to overcome his elbow injury to line up.
BULLDOGS V SHARKS, SUNDAY 4:05PM
BULLDOGS: Looking likely to run out 1-17 at this stage.
SHARKS: Similarly appear 1-17 with nobody named under any injury clouds.